For Goodness Sake

with investigator

Every noble impulse, every unselfish expression of love, every brave suffering for the right; every surrender of self to something higher than self; every loyalty to an ideal; every unselfish devotion to principle; every helpfulness to humanity; every act of self-control; every fine courage of the soul, undefeated by pretense or policy, but by being, doing, and living of good for the very good’s sake–that is spirituality.

David O. McKay

The Christmas Call


For the mushy hearted missionary mom with a baby boy in far, far away Lithuania–Christmas day is a fabulous thing. Because Christmas, my lovelies, is one of the four days in two WHOLE years that I get to talk to my boy on the phone.

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So, at 12 noon, our time—which was 9 pm Lithuanian time—we called our Daney boy. Ohhhh…he sounded wonderful–just like he was sitting right next to me. He said he loved the pictures of the babies…


and of course his BYU loot.

I had no idea that he took that football with him. What a crack up!


He told us about the place that he lives now called Sialulia–pronounced Show-lay. It’s really quite beautiful–cobblestones and snow everywhere.


He said he spends most of his days knocking on apartment doors. Most often, no one is home or they don’t open the door.

orphanage 2009

He told us that he loves to entertain the kids at an orphanage by talking like Donald Duck. Imagine speaking Lithuanian and Duck at the same time. It makes his nose itch.

Makes my head hurt.

Lily and Beckham sang ABCs and Twinkle, Twinkle. Baby Chompy said, “Oh, wow!” right into the phone.

He read us the Christmas story in Luke–but in Lithuanian. It’s a very curious thing to hear your own child speaking a language that you didn’t teach him. He has worked so hard since last year at this time.

antique windmill

The best part about this phone call was that this was the last Christmas day call and then in June….

ahhhhh, then my boy comes home. I’ll try to contain myself.

That day will be Christmas.

Tasting the Tree

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Being the good “Grammy” that I am…

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I’m quite certain that part of my keeping-an-eye-on-the-baby job…

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is to keep her…

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from doing…

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But seriously, how could I? Why would I…

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when it’s just so dang cute?

Besides, Baby Chompy comes from a ancient and noble line…

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of covert Tree Trim Tasters.

How can she help it?

“Uncle Dane”– Christmas 1989

It’s in her blood.

Merry Christmas, My Boy…


Very soon—next week in fact, I’ll get to talk to my far away boy for Christmas. When people hear that he only has six months left they ALWAYS say, “Wow, the time has gone by so fast.”

Well, not to me…

He sent us these pictures and truthfully they remind me of so many things we have to be thankful for this holiday season.

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Here is the paper clip star on top of his tiny pretend Christmas tree.

Here he is with Elder Newman at a place called the Hill of Crosses. The people in Lithuania have left millions of crosses here for over 600 years in defiance of foreign invasion. Dane sent post cards from this monument as well. It is an amazing place.

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Here is the Barbie sized Christmas tree that sits on their table.

Dane game

He sent this one especially for me. This is a game we used to play on hot summer days. He’d actually lay on the floor and let me “try” to pour water directly in his mouth without nearly drowning him. Why he loved it I’ll never know–but apparently he’s carrying on without me.

Silly dude…

C-mas tree

Since the string of lights is bigger than his whole tree–he put it here with a picture of the Savior. Very pretty–I’d say.


Here they are…The men in black–looking all brave and scary. But we know who they really are…


Elder Porter, Elder Cook and my Daney-boy–in their true forms–crazy people in a foreign land. Please note the matching ties. Yikes…

Merry Christmas, son.

Be safe and warm. We miss you.

There’s This Boy…

…in a far away land.

A) by castle

What better place could there be for Sir Dane, than to be surrounded by ancient castles and motes and bridges? He is really happy in this place.

A) Siauliai streets

He’s still in Lithuania but he’s been transferred to a village called Siauliai. I know…I know. No idea how you pronounce that one. He said it was like being taken to the Hobbit Shire, in Middle Earth.

A) With business class

He was asked to speak in the business school in town. They wanted to hear an “actual American” speaking “proper English.”  If you knew Dane before he left and ever heard his fake foreign or his own personal slang–you’d know funny that is.

A) With pals

My sweet boy has been gone for 1 year and 5 months—which means, he will be home in about 7 months! Wahooo!

Just in time for the bald kid—our baby, to step up.


We’ll need a busload of Rescue Remedy for that one.

Listen for the wailing…