Friday, February 5, 2021

2020 Quotes - Everyone Else

 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,

then BYU

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. 

“OK, Doctrine” 

 - We overheard one of Danny’s companions calling him this in a mission video. Kind of like

“OK, Google”?

“It was so weird to have people speak English. I can’t even describe it. Even the taxi cab driver

spoke English!” 

- 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.

“You’re goo-ood.”

-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

is big.’” 

-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

take off”

“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

there again.” 

-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:

2013 quotes-search-for-trends

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

2020 Quotes - The Girls


Joyce, 9

Mike: “Turn the oven off, because the oven is the most expensive thing in the house to run.”

Joyce: “It’s not the most expensive thing in the house, Dad, cuz...(gestures to herself) me!”

-unexpected sass from Joyce.

“Can you pay extra to get smiley ones?”

-Joyce, unsatisfied with the restrictions on passport photos, June 1. 

“I had a dream about Settlers and how I’m going to win.” 

-Joyce, April 28, showing her competitiveness during a Settlers of Catan streak during our 4-week Covid lockdown. 

“We only had to use our discussion question once!”

 -Joyce and Sage, emerging triumphantly after a Miller Family Zoom call. They had felt pretty nervous about keeping the conversation going during our breakout rooms. 

“Did it used to be 2019?”

-Joyce, during a conversation about 20/20 vision. 

“Ohhh, that’s a nice tick.”

   - Joyce feels a sense of satisfaction as she checks boxes on her NZ citizenship form. 

“I love my capital A”

   - Joyce, filling out those same forms. Joyce JoAnn Jones.

“Out of the three things I’m doing right now - jazz, ballet, swimming - I only wear undies for one of them.”

   -That’s one way to categorize one’s hobbies. 

“If the topic we’re talking about is bad, then I give them bad.”

   -Joyce has always loved rating our video calls with the 1-5 stars after we hang up. I didn’t realize until this week that she was rating the calls based on how interested she was in the conversation. 

"I’ve got a math problem I just NEED to solve!”

    - Joyce, emerging from the bathroom with unexpected zeal. (On the toilet paper pack, it said there were 12 packs with 180 sheets…)

“Finish Harry Potter”

-One of the items on Joyce’s bucket list. After many, many years of having the younger kids in the family complain about listening to Harry Potter in the car (Sage: “It makes me car sick!”) or simply take the wrong messages (5-yo Oak started calling baby Mercy ‘Crabbe’ or ‘Goyle’), or get teased by older brothers for taking more than a week per volume (8 or 9 yo Mercy), 2020 was the year that we all became old enough to enjoy Harry Potter.

“We just turned and looked at each other at the same instant!” 

-Joyce and Sage, during our drive home from church, when they described their favorite/most interesting part about the meeting. They were referring to the moment when Elder Odgers talked about the 5 predictors of a happy life, one of which was to be in a relationship with someone who loves you. Sept 27, 2020. 

Sage: “What if Santa was British?”

Joy: “Isn’t he?”

Sage, 12

Timon in The Lion King

“I’m so stiff, it hurts just to sit here.” 

-Sage looks nice at church but she’s actually in agony. She had a 3-hour dance workshop on the previous day. 

“I’m the second shortest girl in my class.” 

-Sage, after class picture. Being the tallest kid in class was such a defining part of my life until I was about 16, that I am still shocked at how things have turned out for my girls.

“The more I am in this house, the more I like it. The wooden walls and the creaks remind me of our old house.”  

-Sage, after being left alone with Joyce in the new house for the first time. Mike and I had to make one more trip to the Mangorei Rd home to pick up MAVY. 

“I have so many things I want to invent, I should start some kind of invention company.” 

-Sage, after telling me yet another invention idea, this time for a melted butter dispenser. 

“I’m actually quite prideful about my hair.” 

-Sage confesses 

“Three random people came up to me this week and asked if I got my eyebrows done.” 

-Although people notice her long hair, the compliment that Sage gets the very most is about the shape of her eyebrows.

“This is such a good brush that I feel like it’s my friend.”


“The stars help me feel the spirit.” 


“It seems like your life is more problematic than the rest of ours.” 

-Danny to Sage, about her ability to self-express

Most likely to invent something. Or to be a brain surgeon. 

- Sage, what my class voted for me when I grow up. 

“If everyone had that in their head all of the time, the world would be a better place.” - 

-Sage about a playlist with Pachelbel’s Canon and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. 

“I just love life!”

-Sage, with full expression

“They had all these weird things on the menu. Like, ‘whop-per.’ What’s a whopper? I had no idea.”

-Sage, after going to Burger King for lunch as a Devon reward for 100-mana tickets at school.

“I already have an idea for my PhD in math.”

-Sage wants to invent a new sign for any number divided by 0, which is undefined. Joyce then wondered out loud if only 4 people had ever gotten their PhD’s in math, one for plus, one for minus, one for multiply, and one for divide (one person for each sign). 

“You could sell the store to ME, and then YOU could work FOR ME!” 

   -Sage to Mercy. Mercy had said that she and Bree were going to start a cafe. Sage thought Mercy could hire her (Sage) to work for the cafe. Mercy said she didn’t think Sage would be the “easiest” employee. Sage agreed and came up with a better solution.

“I feel so bad for pink.”

-Sage, feeling compassion for the color which gets abandoned en masse by girls as their favorite color as they get older.

“Do all these things explode?”

-Sage, contemplating the periodic table on a dinner placemat. 

“When I was little I wished so bad I could say it, but I never did because the words were too big and confusing and I knew I’d mess them up if I tried.” 

-Sage, recalling how impressive it seemed when people could bless the food using the phrase, “nourish and strengthen our bodies.”  I remember feeling this way, too. November 2020

Sage: Why does Uncle Dan go fishing at NIGHT? Is that some weird habit he has? 

-Uncle Dan makes the Quotes page once again. He’s taken up spearfishing in the ocean. Sage did NOT want to go with him because “I DOUBT you can SCREAM underwater.”

“When she said ‘you can take out the next magnet,’ I knew exactly which one she was talking about.”

-Sage knows why Joyce would let her [Sage] take out the next magnet in the Christmas advent calendar. The magnet shows the David statue from our trip to Florence.

Mercy, 15

Oak- “Mercy had an interesting experience in chemistry today.”

Mercy- “I almost fell asleep! That is the first time that has EVER happened to me!”

-Mercy was sincerely amazed. Going to high school in NZ has helped our kids get good sleep, and I’m thankful.

From Oak to Mercy

“Is there a calf there?”  

-Mercy’s physiotherapist, Finn, commenting on Mercy’s thin little calf that emerged from her boot. “Your calf is visibly, visibly thinner”

“My bum has more untapped muscles than I thought.”

 - Mercy, after the adventure racing squad’s first weight training session. 

“We were vibing!” 

- Mercy re NPGHS ball

“Mouthwash misunderstanding!!!”

-Mercy’s exclamation after she realizes she just mouthwashed with the old stuff. Full quote: “Mouthwash misunderstanding! I’ll get over it.” …  "I’ve had two spits of it. TWO!”  ….”I thought I was using the very last bit in the bottle.”

“I’m a team-sport-kind-of-person!” 

-Mercy, about why it’s okay that she's an adventure racer who doesn’t know how to change her bike tire quickly. She said, “I’ll be studying the map while someone else changes my tire."

“Ahhhh, I want to do that!!!! That sounds scary-AZZZ!"

   - Mercy’s excited response when I told her the radio was looking to interview one or two soloists for the concerto night. She’s such a thrill-seeker.

“We learnt that we are not very good at bunking.”

   -Mercy reporting on what she learned at school on Friday, after she and Bree returned to school because they couldn’t feel good about a baking day at Drinkwaters on a day when all of their teachers would be giving placement interviews.

“I think I’m THAT!”

   - Mercy exclaimed with enthusiasm when she heard the term ‘micromanager’ for the first time. “Two cool words put together! Micro - involved with the details, and ‘manager’ - involved with organizing everything!”  

“Go, Bree!”

   -Random NPGHS girl cheering Mercy at TSSA cross-country race in Hawera. Lots of people are getting Bree and Mercy mixed up these days.

“It’s like being a track athlete, but on a bigger track."

   -Mercy, cracking up when she heard the team was going to do the Pouakai Circuit…again. 

“I decided what I want to do for my birthday. Run the 4 peaks with Bree and Abby.”

-Epic 16-yo bday plan! Go, Mercy! I think my dad took us snow camping when I turned 16, since I’d always been curious about how the scouts could dig snow caves. 

“Send it. Don’t take yourself too seriously. But do.”

-Oak’s last advice to Mercy before Hillary.

“A lot of people’s legs got stuck- mine just got really stuck.” 

-Mercy, about why she couldn’t walk after the long paddling section of Hillary. October 10, 2020

“Markleton- the female half of Einstein’s brain. Also commonly known as Marce, Merce, Mercy, Schmogan Bogan, Haityitemitetimatongiyte, and MACINATOR the GREAT and GHASTLY ONE. Formerly known as Kernel or Crab.”


“Abby bought a goat over the weekend! It was 40 dollars. Now she has a pet goat! It hangs out with all their lambies.”

-Mercy has awesome friends

“Don’t assume I’ll give up my Nokia just because I turn 16.” 

-Mercy, loyal to her non-smartphone

“I can’t see a guy-I’d-really-like’s first compliment being that I’m cute.”

-Mercy’s reaction to the guy who wanted to hang out with her because she was ‘cute’. 

“S for Hage.”

-What happens when you’ve been playing Contact for most of 39K. 

“I think I weigh a round number. Like 50 or 60 or 70.” 

-Mercy, when asked how much she weighs. Very helpful.

“I approve.” “Yo” “Yeah, buddy,” “Get up, Hage,” “Classic stitch up,” “Crack up,” “Oosh,” “Unlucky,” “Nailed it,” “Skuxx g,” “Chur,” “Oi,” “Rip.”

-Mercy has 13 responses that seem to be enough to respond to anything life throws her.

Links to previous years: