August 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Missionary Christmas

A Missionary Christmas

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, My decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun.
I've bought him all white clothes because... This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because, This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion , their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton
For two years we will pray for him, I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one.
I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year, I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand
Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make, This year... I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none.
For years ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray;
Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say.
Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done,
My gift has taken years to make. This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

(author unknown)

Monday, December 6, 2010


I realize that the Thanksgiving Holiday is over. However it also leads into the Christmas Season. Time seemed to disappear to get this posted on time. I loved the talk President Monson gave in the October General Conference entitled "The divine Gift of Gratitude". A story from this talk is posted below. It reflected my feelings.

"I share with you an account of one family which was able to find blessings in the midst of serious challenges. This is an account I read many years ago and have kept because of the message it conveys. It was written by Gordon Green and appeared in an American magazine over fifty years ago.
Gordon tells how he grew up on a farm in Canada, where he and his siblings had to hurry home from school while the other children played ball and went swimming. Their father, however, had the capacity to help them understand that their work amounted to something. This was especially true after harvest time when the family celebrated Thanksgiving, for on that day their father gave them a great gift. He took an inventory of everything that he had.
On Thanksgiving morning he would take them to the cellar with its barrels of apples, bins of beets, carrots packed in sand, and mountains of sacked potatoes as well as peas, corn, string beans, jellies, strawberries, and other preserves which filled their shelves. He had the children count everything carefully. Then they went out to the barn and figured how many tons of hay there were and how many bushels of grain in the granary. They counted the cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and geese. Their father said he wanted to see how they stood, but they knew he really wanted them to realize on that feast day how richly God had blessed them and had smiled upon all their hours of work. Finally, when they sat down to the feast their mother had prepared, the blessings were something that they felt.
Gordon indicated, however, that the Thanksgiving he remembered most thankfully was the year they seemed to have nothing for which to be grateful.
The year started off well: they had leftover hay, lots of seed, four litters of pigs, and their father had a little money set aside so that someday he could afford to buy a hay loader—a wonderful machine most farmers just dreamed of owning. It was also the year that electricity came to their town— although not to them because they couldn’t afford it.
One night when Gordon’s mother was doing her big wash, his father stepped in and took his turn over the washboard and asked his wife to rest and do her knitting. He said, “You spend more time doing the wash than sleeping. Do you think we should break down and get electricity?” Although elated at the prospect, she shed a tear or two as she thought of the hay loader that wouldn’t be bought.
So the electrical line went up their lane that year. Although it was nothing fancy, they acquired a washing machine that worked all day by itself and brilliant light bulbs that dangled from each ceiling. There were no more lamps to fill with oil, no more wicks to cut, no more sooty chimneys to wash. The lamps went quietly off to the attic.
The coming of electricity to their farm was almost the last good thing that happened to them that year. Just as their crops were starting to come through the ground, the rains started. When the water finally receded, there wasn’t a plant left anywhere. They planted again, but more rains beat the crops into the earth. Their potatoes rotted in the mud. They sold a couple of cows and all the pigs and other livestock they had intended to keep, getting very low prices for them because everybody else had to do the same thing. All they harvested that year was a patch of turnips which had somehow weathered the storms.
Then it was Thanksgiving again. Their mother said, “Maybe we’d better forget it this year. We haven’t even got a goose left.
On Thanksgiving morning, however, Gordon’s father showed up with a jackrabbit and asked his wife to cook it. Grudgingly she started the job, indicating it would take a long time to cook that tough old thing. When it was finally on the table with some of the turnips that had survived, the children refused to eat. Gordon’s mother cried, and then his father did a strange thing. He went up to the attic, got an oil lamp, took it back to the table, and lighted it. He told the children to turn out the electric lights. When there was only the lamp again, they could hardly believe that it had been that dark before. They wondered how they had ever seen anything without the bright lights made possible by electricity.
The food was blessed, everyone ate. When dinner was over they all sat quietly. Wrote Gordon:
“in the humbleness of the old lamp we began to see clearly again. … “It [was] a lovely meal. The jack rabbit tasted like turkey and the turnips were the mildest we could recall. …
“Our home…, for all its want was so rich to us.”

Well, below is a picture of our pantry inventory. We feel so very blessed with such a successful garden this past year. Almost all of our jars are full. That doesn't include the non-tangible blessings that incude faith, family and friendships.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Harvest Report, 2010

This spring I posted about the progress in our yard. This fall I feel the need to report on our garden harvest. It was an incredible garden year. We took a minute to tally:
  • potatoes, 300 lb
  • tomatoes, 200 lb
  • peas, 35 lb
  • peppers, 15 lb
  • onions, 15 lb
  • beans, 43 pints
  • beets, 20 lb
  • carrots, 5 lb
  • cucumber 5 lb
  • zucchini plenty for us and some to share!
  • corn, only 10 ears
    Below are a few pictures:

    Ripe tomatoes on the vine - now in Montana, that
    is something to get excited about!

    Purple peppers!!

    Jalapeno peppers
One cherry tomato bush - when we hung it in the basement to finish
ripening, it went from the rafters to the floor.
Our first attempt at growing strawberries!

Three varieties of potatoes - yukon gold, russetts, and red.

Fourth Annual Fall Fishing Trip

Our fourth annual fall fishing trip was a success! Perhaps I should qualify that - maybe not in the number of fish caught, or the size of the fish, but the quality of company we had. Allison, Brayden, Mason and Wes joined us and we had a lot of fun. Everybody caught fish. It had a warmer fall and so it was just average fishing. We still compare it to the first trip when Scott caught a 26 inch, six plus pound fish and had many more on of comparable size.
Scott at Macks Inn Wes, Allison and Scott - this year's three musketeers of fishing

Moose that I saw crossing the stream while tending Mason. Mason trying Grandpa's banana.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Family Pictures

While we were together for our family reunion, we took time for family pictures. It is always like a coin toss to see how they turn out. I'll post a few and then put some others in a slideshow. We would like to recommend our photographer, Lauren! Mackay Family picture - 2010 version

Katie, Wes, MacKenzie, Julie, Weston

Brynlee, Brett, Breyson, Jinni, Ashlynn

Ethan, Allen, Spencer, Jenny


Allison, Brayden, Mason Glenn

Amber, Allison

Wes, Brett, Allen, Glenn

Glenn, Amber, Brett, Allison, Allen, Wes

Alaine, Glenn, Scott

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family Reunion 2010

We had a very memorable family reunion this year. It included family pictures, Glenn's Eagle Court of Honor and Sacrament meeting before his mission, time together at Macks Inn, some fishing and going to the temple. The best way to share it is with a slide show.

Rexburg Temple August 17, 2010

One of the favorite days of my life was the day that all of my children were able to be with in the temple together. This occurred when Glenn went to the Rexburg Temple prior to beginning his mission. It was a little picture out of what I see heaven to be.

Garden Time

Scott and I enjoy discussing our the progress of garden with our children and grandchildren. As time for our family reunion grew near this summer, we thought that it would be fun to have a dinner from our garden when our family gathered. We invited Ethan, Ashlynn and Brynlee to help us pick the peas, dig carrots, onions and potatoes. They were delicious along with roast beef for Sunday dinner.

Continuing the Tradition

Last month I was able to host granddaughters Ashlynn and Brynlee for a few days of 'Grandma Time'. We expanded the 'to do list' to include riding the horses and going to the Missoula Fair and Rodeo. When Ethan came on Saturday we taught him how to catch grasshoppers.

Petting pigs at the fair!

Scott, Brett, Breyson, Jinni, Brynlee, and Ashlynn at the rodeo.

Ashlynn, Brynlee and Ethan catching grasshoppers in the pasture.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On My Honor

Every once in a while a mother has a dream and now and then that dream comes true. I had always wanted Glenn's older brothers to be able to help present his Eagle Scout Award to him. It took a year after Glenn completed his project and Eagle Board of Review to have them all in the same place at the same time. It turned out to be pretty cool - even if I do say so myself! Each of the brothers (and brother-in-law) shared a little of the value of being an Eagle Scout. They included things like building character traits, belonging to an exclusive group, leadership skills and guaranteed a cute wife!
Brayden presented the Eagle scarf,
Wes the scarf slide,

Allen the pin,

and Brett a bronze palm.

Our Mackay Family Eagles Nest!

Glenn and his Young Men Leader, Kim.
Mackay boys pointing to their name on the Eagle plaque.

Scott, Alaine and Glenn

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So .... What Have You Been Doing This Summer?

How many times have you been asked that question? Well my answer is working at Camp Mak-A-Dream as a part of the housekeeping staff. It a summer camp located in Gold Creek, Montana for youth and young adults who have cancer. In fact, here is the web site if you'd like to learn more. I've done everything from cleaning cabins, the health center, and art barn - vacuum and mop floors, clean bathrooms, etc, laundry, and help in the kitchen with meal preparation and dishes. The variety was good. I enjoyed associating with the young adults that worked as camp counselors and all of the staff. I am grateful that it was close by and flexible. Here are a few pictures The main lodge is at the left and two of the four cabins for
the campers are on the right.
(As a side note - at the bottom left of this picture there is an orange
fence, that is at the end of the sand volleyball court that was Allen's
Eagle Scout project. In front of the lodge are some picnic tables that
Brett built for his project.)

From left to right are the heath center, staff cabin and art barn. In front is
the new (this year) tree house.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yard Progress - 2010 Edition

This blog has two purposes:

1. To document progress on our yard.

2. To post pictures so that our family can see what we've been telling them that we've been so busy doing.

In early April, our good neighbor, William, offered to till and level our front yard so that we could get grass planted.

Land planing to smooth out the uneven places.

We started planting our garden (in the background) May 10th and finally got the grass planted June 8th. We've been blessed with significant rain to keep it wet.
We built the wishing well to cover the green cap to our septic tank that sticks out in the middle of the yard. Our plans include adding some ornamental grass to add a little more dimension.

In a raised garden bed that we already had, we've planted strawberries and await a bounteous harvest.

The grass that we planted last fall is coming very well. We even took a moment last Friday afternoon to lay down on it and stare up into the sky!