2020 Quotes - Everyone Else
Oak, time at home, then online MTC in Chinese (Taiwan), now assigned to the Wellington, New Zealand Mission
“My voice is actually tired right now from talking.”
-Oak, The disadvantages of hitchhiking in NZ - talking for 5 hours straight with 5 different sets
of traveling companions.
Mercy- “I wonder if I could go biking now, my foot is not hurting now.”
Sage- “Hey, you could be my partner! Oak’s a bit... a bit too much of a partner.”
-April 23, 2020
“We know we’re going to get left behind by a few teams. We just hope we don’t get left behind
by a whole day.”
-Oak re the multi-day adventure race with Poppy, canceled just a few days before it was meant
to take place because of Covid. Getting left behind by. awhole day would be the adventure racing
equivalent of getting lapped.-March 15.
Oak: “I don’t know what to name it.”
Mercy: “You had seven hours to think about it! Mission failed!”
-- Mission failed? Oak had just run alone for 7 hours straight!
“I feel like I’m cramming for a test, and I think I’ll feel like this for the next two months.”
-Oak, about an intensive 2-month Chinese course.
“We were all prepared to be serious and then Dad just burst out laughing when he saw Oak.”
- Mercy, regarding the kids’ preparing and serving an April 26 anniversary dinner for Mike and
“It’s because I move my hand while I’m brushing.”
Oak, defending his practice of brushing his teeth for less time than the 2-min timer on his
electric toothbrush goes off.
“Is that Mandarin?”
-Grandma to Oak, when Oak and Mercy announced their team name, ‘Schmogan Bogan’, for a
game on a Zoom family call. Love this quote, Grandma!
“All that ends bad was fun at first.”
“Whenever I’m writing something, I’m not reading something.”
Danny, Moscow Russia Mission, then home,
Danny- “At this point, I don’t think I could even get to Moscow if I wanted to, let alone find a
flight out of Moscow.”
-For me, it was a strange feeling to have Danny stuck in a town many hours from Moscow
when Covid shut down international flights
“Become the kind of person that people are willing to share their stories with, and then know
what to do with it.”
-one piece of advice that Danny remembers from his mission president.
- We overheard one of Danny’s companions calling him this in a mission video. Kind of like
“It was so weird to have people speak English. I can’t even describe it. Even the taxi cab driver
- Danny’s first impression of NYC on his way home from his mission.
“It looks like it should belong to the whole block, not just us!
-Danny, the first time he saw the back yard at our new house, which, to me, seems quite small
compared to the other houses where we’ve lived.
“Who-ah, this room is just for me? It must be half the house.”
-the first time he saw his (normal-sized) bedroom.
Danny (indignantly): “They had us teaching two 24-year-old girls!”
Me: What’s wrong with that?
Danny: Why pick someone so intimidating?
-after his MTC rating session (for employment) just a week or so after he got home
“The mountain landscape is so inspiring. I feel like it would change the people here. I feel like it
would be harder to get stuck in the daily grind if you lived here.”
-another comment from Danny as his eyes adjust to NZ after living in big cities in Russia.
“Why aren’t these all quarter notes?”
- Danny, sightreading something other than hymns when he first came home from his mission.
“I think they’re going to kiss, and it’s going to be great!”
-Danny, trying to get a reaction from Joyce while watching Aladdin.
“I’m not going to do social media once I get married. I’ll let my wife do that for us both.”
-Danny, anticipating one of the possible efficiencies of a future partnership
- Girls and I found ourselves exclaiming this multiple times per day when Danny was home.
Why? It’s hard to explain. When Danny breaks unspoken rules or finds a new way of doing things or
pushes someone's buttons just to be funny.
“She just stole everybody’s dopamine.”
- Danny, referring to Sage rejoicing after winning Ticket to Ride. Danny: “I’ve never heard such a
vocal victory in my life!”
“I’d rather go to work and have it be hard, than have it be easy.”
-Danny on why he chose to work for a start-up.
-Joyce voices sincere respect for Danny's finger guns.
“A lot of conversations just peter off after a couple of minutes to something like, ‘wow, man, this
-Noah, describing what it was like to walk around campus after the Covid-closure was first
announced. “You also see a lot of people giving long hugs.”
“Do you want me to also fast for your haircut this Friday?”
-Noah’s friend, Anthony, about Noah’s habit of cutting his own hair. This is the guy who said it
was important to find a good barber in Cambridge because your haircut is the outfit you never
“I feel like I know more math than you feel like you know.”
-Mercy feels like she’s conquered (high school) math, while Noah, taking his last required math
class at uni, feels FOMO at all the math he won’t be learning.
“It was the hardest choice I made all week.”
-Noah, about declining Kevin’s invitation to run to the top of Squaw Peak at midnight on a
Saturday night while it was snowing. “We’re both send-y, so it’s fun”
“I’m awful at lying but good at logic.”
- Noah about how he manages his apartment’s epic game nights.
What might happen if you wear a sweatshirt from the Kingdom at a farmer’s market on Maui.
Mike: “What are you doing playing Boggle? Take a nap. Sleep is your superpower.”
Noah: “Slept the entire 4 hr flight to Charlotte. But Boggle also happens to be a superpower of
“Where’s your doomsday predictions? This time it’s actually legit.”
-Mercy to Mike regarding (what else?) coronavirus
“I don’t even think they are that yummy... but they’re EXCITING!”
-Mike, referring to, yes, pop tarts.
“I was so sad! You take us to McDonald’s once a year and now you’ll probably never take us
-Sage to Mike, skipping over the grieving process for the 4 bikes and the bike rack which were
busted when Mike drove through a McDonald’s drive-thru with the bikes on top of the car, and
going straight to the true tragedy of the situation.
“I wish I had a picture of Mikey without a fish in his hands.”
-Mike’s mom, looking to update the family photos in her living room.
“He’d make more fun of the way that you do it than how Mum does it.”
- Mercy to Dad about Oak’s humor-generating potential if Oak could see Dad using Noom. Life would be so much more boring without Mike around!
“The 1950s were a pretty great time to be alive.”
-Mike to me. Can I really be expected to react calmly at times like these?
“He looked at you with so much love and admiration I wanted to cry.”
-Anne Russell to me, as I play organ after sacrament meeting, regarding Mike’s face as he sat
on the stand and looked at my back while I was presenting a talk. Awww!
“The first time it was kind of exciting. But this time just seems lonely.”
-Mike, re another 2 weeks in managed isolation at the NZ border.
“I was sure you were going to stand up and turn off the movie, and then I realized you couldn’t
turn it off because we were in the cinema, and I was so happy!”
- Mercy after going to see Little Women with me. Sage added, “I know! When it starts to be
about that time, I try to sit really still so maybe if you don’t see me move you won’t think to turn it
off.” It’s not that I don’t finish movies - just that I place a high priority on bedtime!
After I get back from my first world tour paid by the boys for all their haircuts, then I’ll collect on
all your accompanying hours and do it again.
- Mom to Mercy who was amazed to hear the price most students pay for one performance
plus 30 min rehearsal with me.
"Maybe that's why Mum doesn't play games with us - Because we haven't reached her level."
Joyce to Mike about one reason I might not play games with her and Sage as much as Mike does. Such a show of confidence!
“Too bad people can’t sue God, because they’d probably do it a lot.”
-after hearing that several US states were suing China
It’s been a long time since I had a discussion like this about something I disagreed with but
with someone whose opinion I respect and who can explain their position.
- Danny to me. A memorable compliment, and since I’m the one keeping this record...
“I reference you all the time.”
-Noah to me. “My friends feel like they know you.” What a tribute!
Sage- “I want to live next door to you when I grow up.”
Me- “I could do homeschool with your kids and teach them piano!”
Sage- “I want to do homeschool!”
Sage- “They’d have to do it twice.”
“I don’t do corners.”
-My announcement to Sage when she dared to suggest I finish sweeping the kitchen floor instead of
leaving the pile to be handswept by her or Joyce.
Maybe you’ll finally live up to your name, Mum-SKI. - June 28, 2020.
-When I told Mercy we were going skiing for winter break.
“It’s the only cute thing about you!”
-Joyce earnestly complimenting my toenails.
“I knew you were going to say that. And I already decided not to.”
When I suggested that Mercy wear her ball-helper dress to church to get her in the mood of fancy
before the concerto concert. Uncanny! The idea hadn’t crossed my mind until I said it, but Mercy had
already accurately predicted me and determined a response.
"Mom, I love you with my whole heart, and I always will."
- what Sage says on the way to bed every night
Links to previous years: