Thursday, August 31, 2017

Waiting - The Rowing Song

I learned the name of this rowing song and the dance from another field missionary who watched the video with us. She said she knew one of the Sisters. Missionary work can make the world much smaller.

I hope this works and that you can see the Sisters at the MTC.  They were waiting for something but spent their time learning a rowing song together and sharing. After I watched them in the hall, I asked if I could film them and share it with those I blog with. They said, "Sure!" and started practicing. My camera ran out of battery power, so I enlisted Elder Stinchfield to come and film them on his phone. He then sent it to my laptop and I uploaded it to YouTube. I'm really hoping you can watch the Sisters perform this Samoan Rowing song, "Sasa". And enjoy the dance "Taulunga". Here is the link: Rowing Song

I thought about the Panek's and how they always honor their culture and promote the songs and history of their ancestors. I love that the Sisters would share this with their district and pass along some joy and history.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Home safely

It is alarming to hear the reports out of Texas and the hurricane that is on a rampage. Typhoon storms are sweeping across this portion of the world too. They actually have a few months that is expected to have typhoons. Everyone just hopes it isn't bad in their area.
 On our way back from the States last week the plane struggled against headwinds and we were late getting into Hong Kong. Jeffrey and I were afraid we'd miss the next flight. At the airport we found our plane had been cancelled and we were soon booked on the last flight out for the night to Manila. It was only as we were disembarking when we realized how fortunate we had been. All flights for the next day had been cancelled going to and from Hong Kong because of the storms sweeping through. I was so happy not to conclude a sixteen hour flight across the Pacific ocean with a long stay in the airport.

And they Two shall be One

-Snippets from a day filled with Joy-
August 19, 2017
Life is Good!

Married for time and all eternity in the LDS Fresno Temple

The wedding party - Teemaree was there but taking the picture
The surprise was walking into the temple and turning around to see my mother-in-law!
I got a picture of Matthew and Andrew with Michael before the wedding, as I knew they wouldn't be there for the pictures after the ceremony as Andrew drove Matthew to the airport as soon as he could.
Looking good
The day was hot and getting pictures was only good while you were the ones not waiting
Line Up

Bride's maid's duties

Susie helped entertain the troops
Jeffrey and I wanted to honor our friends from this ward, so we wore formal Philippine dress

For the reception, we went back out to the Little's friend's home in Aubrey. Jayson found a friend and a cat

Julia had very beautiful fresh flowers, candles, and decorations in a low-key way that was delicious

Michael is going to have a ball with his new family!

The yard was pretty when it was light and magical in the dark with thousands of tiny lights

It's all about family

Getting to know family

On August 18th our family traveled down in several different cars from Concord to Fresno, then after dropping our suitcases at the hotel we went on to Auberry to meet the Little family. They do not live in Aubrery anymore so were staying at a friends home. When the door opened a very tall smiling  woman answered the door. In my mind she was a daughter of the people who lived there, so when she said, "Hi, I am Trina," my mind stalled out for a few seconds before it would accept the fact that this was Michael's soon to be mother-in-law. Trina is a little over six feet tall, has the most welcoming smile and warm personality and looks like Julia's big sister not mother. Julia's brothers came around the corner and we shook hands. Simon is the oldest brother, the next brother Benjamin is serving a mission -  I'm pretty sure in Colorado - then there is Joshua and Levi is the youngest. I don't believe you could get more distinct boys in one family if you tried. They are all very lovable with a fierce moral agency code in common, but their likes, personalities, and attitudes are uniquely their own. Michael is going to love being an older brother!
Michael introduced us to Julia with pride and happiness. Julia is a beautiful girl with kindness and graciousness to everyone. Watching Michael with Julia is like seeing a whole new man. He does things he has never done before - like opening car doors - and I like the man he is becoming. There is something about Julia that brings out the good in Michael.
Julia's dad is a very talented man. He built the house they lived in in Auberry, though now they live in Monterey where allergies won't affect Levi so much. Jeffrey and David hit it off and talked a lot that night. The Littles made us a scrumptious dinner with tons of vegetables and we talked and got to know different members of the family.
Matthew took a nine hour exam, wrote a paper, took his wife out on a date, then flew to Fresno to be with Michael on his important day. Matthew looked tired though he had a great smile for everyone. He planned on being there for Michael's wedding and then taking off right after the ceremony, writing another paper on the plane ride home and starting a new job on Monday morning. Whew! I'm so very thankful he made the effort to come.
Oops did I forget to say Susie was with us the entire time? She has always been a member of our family and hasn't missed a wedding. We were so lucky that she put us all up in hotel rooms and took care of the small details she knows from experience will happen.
It was so lovely getting to know the Little's and connecting with family again, a great evening. The next day we got up and met at the Cheesecake Factory for a wedding breakfast with the same group again - fun!  I loved watching Nate interact with his son. Something expands in my heart when I watch my children tend their children.
Levi on the left, Joshua, Julia, Michael, Simon, Matthew, Rebekah is hidden by her Mike, Nate, Susie
Rachel and Andrew were at the counter with Trina, David, Jeffrey, and a friend.

Susie took a picture and I took a picture. Good times with the Adams and Littles

Rachel was cracking me up and I chose pictures of her with actions.
Standing: Jeffrey, Andrew, Simon, Trina, Joshua, David, Mike & Rebekah, Susie
Seated: Nate, Michael and Julia, Levi, Rachel and Matthew
Not shown: Kelsi, Jayson and Caleb who had to go to sleep early.
Meeting up at the Cheesecake Factory

Andrew is manning the camera-
Left side: Julia, Michael Jeffrey, David, Mike and Rebekah, Kelsi/Caleb, Nate
Coming back up on the right: Matthew, LA, Rachel, Susie, Trina, Levi, Joshua and Simon
After the breakfast we all went back and got ready for the wedding!
The guys except Nate who was helping his own guys get ready.
Though the day was very hot - almost a hundred, there was a lot of joy flowing around!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Something to hold

On Saturday morning I came out of the hotel room and found family members on their various devices as they were talking. I had to get a picture -- with the camera found in my hand.
Everyone likes to hold something!


Jefffrey and I left Manila on Wednesday and got back to California on Wednesday. It is interesting being in the same time twice.
Arriving back at the house in Concord was awesome!! Kelsi, Nate, and I found out - her dad had all work to create a kitchen and dining room that looks awesome. I now know what it feels like to be on one of those shows where the designers come in and update your house while you are gone. It is great!!
Reconnecting with family and friends was the highlight of Thursday. I woke up very early, Jeffrey woke up late. Jet lag affects people differently. I saw some boxes that had my name on them and thought how great my friends in Clayton Valley 1st ward are. Little did I know there was another stack I hadn't even seen!
Laura and I set out to do some shopping and talking we visited about six stores on different errands before getting back to Laura's house to finish up some sewing. I wanted to make sure Jeffrey's barong fit him correctly. I met up with Pam Hosking, Bonnie Carter, Grandma and Vickie Nausin and Laura's mom. It was nice to chat and work with friends.
That evening Jeffrey and I met up with all our children except Matthew, Debbie and family. Life is so good! The friendship, camaraderie, insights, and happiness I feel with my family is where goodness is manifest and joy grows.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Only a week?

I realized today that it has only been a week since I was in California watching my son get married to his beautiful wife. So much happened there and so much has happened since I got back and I'm still dealing with the jet lag. Awake at 2 in the morning and asleep by 7 at night. Another few days and I should have my body clock in sync again.

I'll deal with the easy stuff first!  My ward in California - Clayton Valley 1st - came through for me big time!! I asked for items a new, returning sewer could use. It took three suitcases to hold! I also asked for toothbrushes and they gave me floss and toothpaste too!!
Boxes after being emptied so contents would fit snuggly in suitcase
When I unpacked and then re-packed the sewing materials they took up four large bags and a box. There is too much for one man to carry on a bus to his home, so I am thinking about driving an hour and a half to three hours down to Cavite to drop them off at her house.
Re-packaged materials to drop off 
Thanks Clayton Valley 1st!!! You are the best! So generous, helpful and awesome, I really appreciate your time, money and efforts to help me with this project!!

Slow Sunday

Jonah, Roma and Aunt Divine came over to visit on Sunday
Roma told Jonah she wanted to learn to sew and Jonah told me
Pillow cases are fun easy and stress free
Each of them helped the other until all three ladies got their pillow case done
Good job ladies!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Don't get used to this."

On the trip over to Hong Kong from Manila, Cathay Airlines bumped us up to business class from Premium Economy for the two and a half hour plane ride. As I explored all the buttons, gadgets and how the seat moved up and laid flat, the television screen popped out the room and comfort of the area, Jeffrey warned me, "Don't get used to this." Too late, flying in business class on Cathay is fabulous!
I played with all these gadgets. Notice the seat buttons - the top lays back the bottom comes up and the middle moves forward to let your feet rest on a step in front to lay flat. Of course there is  a blanket and pillow on the seat as you sit down.
We were handed a hot towel when we sat down and also a drink in a glass before the plane had even started.
Rest your feet straight out, or put the "chair" closer and lay out flat. Yes, I am already "use" to this! My knees never touched a thing except my dress. There is a place for a purse of small bag by my feet.
I had an overhead compartment all to myself. The backpack hardly took any room.
This is the meal they served and then added the main dish with our choice of what we wanted. The napkin was cloth and the silverware was metal not plastic.
Drinks were offered, the lights were dimmed, snacks could be had if wanted. There were movies to choose from, games to play, things to buy, and maps to look at as we traveled.

Sorry Jeffrey, I am totally use to this!!
Thank You Cathay Pacific - please let me travel with you again (and again).

Allergy Attack

An Elder and his companion came in through the door it was evident that he had an allergy problem as his face, especially his eyes were swollen. The dentist came out and looked at him and prescribed some benadryl but we didn't have any on hand. I called the MTC nurse - they were gone to the temple with other missionaries, I called the MRC but no one picked up the phone. The doctor gave me a sticky note with dosage and I walked the Elders back to main lobby in the MTC to find the MTC president's wife Sister Carlos to see if she could give him one dose until we could get Elder or Sister Eckert (MTC nurses) when they got back.  Sister Carlos was not in her office. I usually find her all over the campus walking with and taking care of missionaries. I parked the Elders on the couch and told them to snag Sister Carlos if they saw her walk in.
Meanwhile, I went over to the MRC to see if I could find anyone there that could give this Elder some relief.  When I walked into the MRC I could see that they were having lunch. I talked with Elder Peel about the situation and Sister Peel opened her office door and immediately came over to help. She had been on a call about another missionary and heard us in the room and jumped up to take care of this missionary. Sister Peel had a brisk walk and fired questions about the Elder as we walked back to the MTC main building. I could tell there would be no lunch for her until all her ducks were taken care of. She spoke gently with care in her voice and had answers to her questions about timing of symptoms, what he had been doing, eating, and what medications were given when. He said he had never taken medicine in his life. My mind went back to all the discoveries I made about my children when they were babies, this Elder would find many things about himself for the first time on his mission. Sister Peel gathered up the Elders explaining about allergies to them as she took them to back to the MRC to see a doctor. I don't think she noticed anyone else around her. I am in awe of her dedication to her missionaries.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Can't sleep tonight

It's about 2 o'clock in the morning (in California) so it is daytime in the Philippines. I've decided it is just fine that I am not asleep.  Today was a pretty special day watching Julia and Michael get married.  My mind is running over today and the last few days and I'm so thankful for so many wonderful blessings.  I'll start out with my friends. On Thursday, Laura Nausin took me all over to buy little things from about six different stores and then I went to her house to sew up Jeffrey's barong for the wedding.
Going to the wedding all dressed up

The Filipino people as a whole are much smaller than we are, so I had to make adjustments on my dress and Jeffrey's barong. Bonnie Carter and Pam Hoskings came over to say Hi and reconnect. I was thinking tonight of the times I taught PEP in school with Pam, went camping, took pictures before prom, and attended baby/wedding showers with her. Bonnie seems to have worked in Young Women's forever and in the Relief Society when I worked in Primary. We have connected so many times over the years. I got a hug from Grandma Nausin and Vickie too. They have added to my life immeasurably raising my kids and at girls camp.  Laura's mom is starting to be a fixture in my life also.
A special visitor who came was Lisa Lambert. I thought I wouldn't see her at all because I knew she went to San Francisco in the morning. But on Thursday night she came over with cinnamon bread and a hug. She is my exemplar, friend, and who I want to be like when I grow up. she can get more done in less time despite the roadblocks thrown in her way.

Today Teemaree decided to visit her mom down past Fresno and watch Michael get married. Though our children grew up together and we went camping too, my fondest memories are working in the Relief Society together. I'm so glad she made time to come today.
Teemaree decided to come down for the wedding on her way to her mom's house.
The lifetime friend I have is my sister.  After I was born my mother prayed for a sister for me and Susie has been a blessings ever since. She has been a major help, support and last minute fix-up in all of the weddings in our family.  Thanks mom and a generous Heavenly Father for my sister Susie.
Life is better with Susan Eames
Entertaining Caleb and Jayson while the pictures were being taken. It had to be around 100 degrees today
I am so thankful for the love and dedication of my family. They love and help each other out.
Matthew took a nine hour test, finished a paper, took his wife out on a date, then headed to the airport to find stand-by flights so he would be at his brother's wedding. As soon as the ceremony was over he hopped in the car with Andrew and drove to the Fresno airport to get a flight to San Francisco to find another flight to North Carolina. He plans to finish another paper as he flies and reports to work on Monday morning at a new job. I'm praying he gets on early stand-by flights all the way home.
Matthew and Rachel on Friday night.
I have a deep gratitude and thankfulness as I watch my boys who have grown up and become father's themselves. There is a deep joy in watching them take care of their children.
Caleb and his dad

Well, I'm getting tired so I'm going to try going to sleep now and I'll post again about this really fabulous day another time.

Keep paddling

In the early 20's I helped out at a boy scout camp that my brother ran. One of the most hilarious sights was watching the boys learn to canoe. There were several requirements including swamping the canoe and throwing rope for thirty or so yards - feet? Most of the city boys did not know how to paddle a canoe and in the best case some scouts zig-zagged across the water. Sometimes they ended up traveling in large circles usually away from where they wanted to be. It took quite a few tries for them to go from point A to point B. They just kept paddling until they could work smoothly, even if not evenly. The rope throwing was just as funny to watch as the rope mostly traveled sidewise instead of in front to "save" the other scout. They did pass off their requirements, though they were by no means perfect by the end of the week.

Back in my girls camp days, in the craft area,  a sign asked us to guess how many items were in the different jars set up.  One jar of jelly beans looked very inviting and quite a few of my friends and I made some guesses - we didn't win. At the time I wondered how long it took the "bean counter" to figure out exactly how many were in each jar.

My work in the dental clinic resembles both of these previous experiences. I told Sister Stewart about going to scout camp - she has been to scout camp too.  We both have watched scouts learn to paddle. Running the front desk while the dentist work their magic in restoring teeth sometimes feels like zig-zagging all over the place while trying to get from point A to point B. My highest priority each day is to make sure there are patients in the chair,  enable any help needed while they are there, and then to get the paper work done.

To get a patient in the chair requires a schedule and a patient chart to be filled out. That sounds pretty simple. Missionaries are rated on a 1 to 4 category, 1 being urgent and 4 needs a cleaning (prophy or prophylaxis) in six months. Patient charts are made on paper and on the software. Paper for the dentists to keep track of procedures and the software chart to make reports from. After each patient leaves, a rating is given by the dentist to decide if that person comes back for another appointment. The ratings are entered into the computer. Entering each procedure on the software system is not difficult just a matter of pressing the right buttons, but can take some time. To make up a daily schedule the missionaries sorted by their ratings. The computer has macros that decide how far away their mission field is and other factors giving priority to one over the another.

But the computer does not take into consideration the time a patient needs to heal from an extraction, or swelling to go down on a root canal so that more fillings can be done. The computer also doesn't find any patients that have been forgotten or unfinished. Fallible senior missionaries get to take care of those issues.

So here is the story:
While entering data into the computer the front door rings and the missionary is let into the door by pressing a button about knee level. Greeting the missionary, "Have a seat for a little bit. I'll tell the dentist you are here." Walk back to the operatory, "Your 6:30 missionary is here" or Elder/Sister so-and-so is here. Walk back back to the computer and start entering, answer the phone, go back to the computer, have a different doctor come out and say his patient hasn't arrived, call front desk, if no one answers, walk up an incline to the front building, search for missionary, page missionary on the intercom, walk back down and remember where you left off at the computer. Get a call for Jonah to come help in the MTC nurses office (she is a trained nurse and can administer immunizations) put gloves on to assist Dr. Stewart sometimes for 10 minutes sometimes for half an hour. Go back to the computer and remember what was going on before leaving. Just as I finish the next day's schedule a field missionary calls with an emergency that will need to be fit in. Redo the schedule. Then I find a doctor is scheduled for two root canals/extractions etc. in the same hour, redo the schedule. Check the calendar, answer the phone, go get a missionary, answer a question from someone walking in. Redo the schedule.  Sometimes I tell Sister Stewart that I'm still paddling.

Another part of my job is answering questions. Usually Sister Hoem's is manning the front desk (making schedules and patient charts). Whenever Sister Stewart sends a report to the Missionary committee or whomever it is that she sends reports to, she needs numbers, all kinds of numbers to put in those reports. Number of missionaries served, screened, taken care of. Number of procedures done, how many were urgent, Where those missionaries came from. Who needs to be seen the most. Luckily I've never worked on money amounts - for supplies, procedures, or how much it saves to take care of the missionary in the MTC versus in the field. I work with numbers, I'm the bean counter. I have poured over charts and lists and count each missionary who has been seen - probably two or three times for different lists. If a man from Salt Lake walks into the Clinic I wonder what kind of question he will have. Inevitably I will be counting somewhere to find part of his answer.

Sometimes I wonder if there are guardian angels watching from the shore laughing as I zig-zag along paddling as they watch my actions. Are they happy I'm getting more experienced? I do know they make sure missionaries are not missed and that the schedule goes pretty smoothly despite my slip-ups.
I have also come to appreciate the value of numbers and how important they are to the questions that need answers.
"We take care of the health of the missionaries," is pretty vague. Versus "The dentist extracted 15 "rotted stumps" of teeth or more accurately root tips this week to avoid infections in missionary mouths.
A big question is who needs dental care? Isn't that suppose to be done before they come? There are lots of answers, I just provide the data numbers to help answer them.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pop up memories

Today I jumped on my email and got a pop up memory from Shutterfly from four years ago.

This is after Matthew and Debbie's engagement party in Provo, UT
I had forgotten that we stayed with Grandmama and had Sunday dinner
So much has happened, Talia is returning from her mission now
Then just a little later Debbie and Matthew got August. August is a good month for the Adams!
Matthew and Debbie August 24, 2013

I am outside of all the hoopla going on for Michael and Julia's wedding, but I am just as excited for the both of them.  I'll be coming back to California just briefly for their wedding and flying back here just after. I am so happy for both of them and love to see the light in Michael's eyes in pictures.
Michael and Julia August 19, 2017

Four was just yesterday and so long ago. Lots of things have happened in four years! Our first grandson and now three grandsons and a granddaughter, three children married, graduations from  different schools, and a mission served, now Jeffrey and I have a new lifestyle. Wow, what are the next four years going to bring?