Squeezing It All In

This week has flown by, and with only one more week in Hawaii, we’re trying to squeeze it all in. Last week included stamping (and coloring) with the sweet girls in our branch. It was also our anniversary, and the girls surprised us with flowers and a shout out. We enjoyed visiting and just hanging out…and two of them asked if they could become demonstrators. Woohoo!

We hiked to the lighthouse with Tiffanee and tried a new Mexican restaurant (we’ve eaten there twice this week) and a crepe place…yummy! It was such a nice evening (windy, but nice!), and we wondered why we hadn’t made time in the evenings, during the year, to hike more often…

On our p-day, a senior missionary couple invited us to join them for breakfast and a few hours at Bellows Beach. It was beautiful and relaxing, and we finally tried boogie boarding. Aside from being thrown around a bit and getting too much sun, it was a fabulous day!

We taught our last temple preparation class on Sunday as well as spoke in church. And Monday night we were in charge of Family Home Evening, with all the senior couples, at President and Sister Warner’s home. Of course we stamped then too, but we didn’t take photos because we were pretty busy with lots of first-time stampers, including several men!

Along with my usual responsibilities, I’m spending my weekdays trying to finish my training binder for the next sister missionary who will take over after we leave. I keep thinking I’m almost done, but then something else pops into my head that I should include.

Feeling a little anxious about another busy week ahead, can someone stop (or at least slow down) the time, please?!

Super Simple Cards

If you’re like me, you can never have enough birthday cards on hand! I asked my designer to make a bunch of super simple birthday cards, and I’ve used this design as inspiration for several batches of birthday cards during the last couple of months. It’s surprising how just changing the DSP and birthday stamp refreshes the simple design. So, if you need a simple card of any kind, give this super simple (and quick) concept a try!

Mugs, Hugs, and Kisses

Our family members received a monogramed mug filled with hot cocoa mix for Valentine’s Day this year. We wrote one special thing we loved about each person—a quality unique to them—on their tag, and we hope they all know how much we love them!

And although I wasn’t able to join Sara for our tradition of giving hugs and kisses (the chocolate kind, of course!) to all our employees, we gave away lots here in Hawaii!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Deserved Praise

Shortly after Sterling’s stroke, in a round about and inspired way, we found a program that would help him learn how to reverse cardiovascular and related diseases. Without hesitation, he committed to attending sessions for four hours, twice a week (Monday evening and Saturday morning), for nine weeks.

The program focused on four elements...nutrition, exercise, group therapy, and stress management. His personal priority was getting off of medication as quickly as possible, which he did within a few weeks of starting the program. In the process, he’s also lost the weight he put on since arriving in Hawaii (I can’t say the same for me!).

After hours of homework, in addition to the sessions, he finally “graduated” with his caring cohort of ten. One of the staff did a spotlight on him, and these are some excerpts from her letter:

“Even on the tough days…he was honest about his trials and challenges, allowing himself to show his vulnerability and courage at the same time—a true inspiration on what it means to be fully authentic as a human being, going through this journey of unexpected events and blessings in life, all with a gentle and strong heart of faith and trust.”

“He even extended his kindness to me personally when I was feeling lots of tension in my shoulders, and with his background in massage therapy, he offered to reduce my physical tension, which really did help.”

“Sterling, …I personally am touched by your willingness to extend your generous smile and light to me, our team here, and your fellow cohort participants simply with your bright and loving presence.”

Those of you who know my sweetheart know he’s deserving of the praise he received. Sterling was diligent and disciplined in his efforts, and I’m so proud of him!


Textured Wedding Card

We received a sweet thank you card this week for our wedding gift (this card with cash tucked inside...my kind of easy gift-giving!), and not your typical, generic one either. We were touched by the thoughtful sentiment and plan to keep it in our mission album. The P.S. read, "Love the card, Sister Gardner!" Hopefully you will too.