Friday, September 30, 2011

Scriptures On The Nook

I never saw myself as an e-reader type of person until I bought my Nook about six weeks ago. I have to say, it is a wonderful little invention. I have my scriptures loaded on it. My scriptures are very large and very heavy but the Nook is small and very light weight and it has an easy touch screen for turning pages. I find that it fits ever so nicely in my purse when I am out and about. Five minutes here and ten minutes there of waiting in the car or while waiting for any of the myriad things I wait for gives me ample opportunity to read some extra scriptures in my day. I am delightfully surprised that I am seeing "new" things I haven't seen before. I am seeing them because my Nook doesn't display the pages the same way I read my regular scriptures. I make the font size really big on this device and therefore the words seem to jump out at me a lot more. I also read them at a slower pace where I seem to "chew" on the words more. I am learning new things and taking more time to "ponder" on just a few words here and there. It has been a delightfully new learning experience for me. What a great little investment.

This morning I happened to be reading Lehi's Dream in 1 Nephi 8 through Chapter 11 in the Book of Mormon. When I was finished, I read the article in October's Ensign by Elder Bednar about Lehi's Dream. Although I have read those chapters probably more than 50-75 times in my life, I learned new things today. Elder Bednar talked about four specific groups of people in Lehi's Dream. He mentioned the third group of people who "pressed forward continually holding fast to the rod of iron" (the Word of God). He said that this group of people were those who "consistently read and studied and searched the scriptures." He said, "Perhaps it was diligence and devotion to a seemingly small and simple thing...that saved the third group from perishing." His article was really enlightening. I certainly don't like the idea of perishing. I had a wonderful sense come over me that "holding fast" to the Word of God that I cherish is a safe and wonderful blessing.

Blessings come in surprising ways sometimes. This little Nook device turns out to be a big blessing and a new way to "hold fast to the rod of iron." Just thought I would share...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out On A Limb

I went out on a limb and put my book into PDF format and sent it to three recipients who asked to read it (one being my daughter Sarah). That's kind of out of my comfort zone. Oh my.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snakes

I am not a fan of the wild. Those that know me know that. I am not a fan of coyotes, foxes, bears, lions, cougars or anything else you might happen upon in the Utah mountains, deserts, or in this case, canyons.

I took a lovely walk in Memory Grove this afternoon. It's a nice walk. It's a pleasant September day. I don't like being startled by the unexpected. I suppose the snake had a right to be there as much as I did but you think he could have had a warning beacon or siren or something to alert unsuspecting canyon sharers such as myself. Large, slithering, meandering snakes sort of mess up the intended tranquility of the walk a bit.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Short E-Mails


I try very hard not to miss my son but this morning I dissolved to tears. He has been gone a really long time. I'm leaving some out of his e-mail but here's a little bit.

"Dear Family,                                                                                              Sept. 26, 2011

We had an alright week this week, lots of sun and lots of rain as well, but that’s Brazil for you...
Sorry but this email is going to be super short once again, I have some other things that I have to do. I bear my testimony that I know that the Church is true, that we are led by a living prophet and I am so very excited to hear from him this weekend. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that if we obey the commandments, God will always help us and protect us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and redeemer, His atonement has real power to cleanse and heal our lives...I am so very grateful for my wonderful family and all my great friends. I love you all very much."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How I Love This Meeting!

Every year I look forward to the General Relief Society meeting. I have attended this meeting in the Tabernacle or in the Conference Center almost every year for the last 25+ years. Jim used to just drop me off when my kids were young but these days tickets (free) are required. So I start begging for unused tickets from everyone I know a few weeks before the meeting and gratefully, begging usually works. :)
This year, Jim's sister Kirsten supplied me with five tickets from 
leftovers from her stake near Ogden. 
We had amazing seats this year.
 The Conference Center holds about 21,000 people.
 I invited my two good friends, Joanne and Angela. 
Joanne went with me last year when I only had two tickets.
This year, delightful Elisa also came.
 She makes every activity a great event.
I am blessed to have her as my daughter.
She blesses my life immensely.
One year I would love to go with my three daughters.
I hope we can do that someday.

I was struck by the excellent talks given about the purposes of Relief Society. I was particularly touched by President Uchtdorf's comments about how much God our Heavenly Father loves us and how we are not forgotten. There was a distinct and palpable hush that came over the audience that seemed to spread until the entire Conference Center was filled with a beautiful, sweet feeling. Women all around me had tears in their eyes and I think everyone was moved to tears by the beautiful sense of those wonderful words and the truthful impact we felt as they were conveyed to us. That was really a very special moment.We all commented on that experience after the meeting was over.

Relief Society is such a great blessing in my life and attending these yearly meetings is something I am so grateful for. The video of the meeting is already up on the internet here:


(Pres. Uchtdorf's comments I wrote about 
are at about 1:15:00 in to the video).

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Italian Side

My aunt apparantly posted this picture
on her Facebook page today. My sister sent it to me.
It is so interesting to me because these are names and faces of so many of my relatives. This was the Italian side of my family on my mother's side. I knew them when they had grey or white hair. This picture was taken in 1948. My grandfather Roscoe was one of ten children and Nanny was one of eight children. I had a lot of great aunts and uncles. Growing up with them and their families was something my children have never known. I moved away from my hometown a long time ago and most of these people have passed on. There are very few of my relatives left in my hometown. Seeing these women and some faces I recognize when they were young is a true delight. Fond memories of boisterous people... also known as my extended family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Is In The Air

Well at least in Park City it is. I drove up there today and there were many trees in full autumn splendor while many others have not begun to change yet. It's just a great time of year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cross Country Meet And An Update

It was a home meet for Seth's cross country team today.
The weather was great.
Seth was happy we came to see him run.
And they were off...
and running.
Seth being the tallest of the pack.
More running...
until the finish line!
Way to go Seth!

Update: After 13 weeks at a publisher, my manuscript came back...rejected so to speak, but the rejection letter was so pleasant. :) I wondered what happened to it, they said turn around time was 6-8 weeks. Here are my thoughts:

  1. This has been a GREAT learning experience.
  2. I am glad I did it, I enjoyed the process very much.
  3. I will now secure an official copyright for it.
  4. Come winter, I may have it professionally edited.
  5. I will make sure I bind a copy for each one of my kids.
  6. I may consider self-publishing or possibly just linking it to this blog on the net after I secure a copyright. That might be nice.
  7. Maybe in the doldrums of winter, I'll send it to a different publisher. We'll see. I have lots of options.
  8. I never had my heart set on having it published therefore there is no real sadness just a sense of gratitude for the whole process.
  9. I have been told by the four people who have read it that it's a good book.
  10. Yay!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That's Why He's Called A Toddler

(Click on link)

Soon, he'll be destroying Grandma's house. :)
We love this kid.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Night Of The Full Stomach"

I did not receive an e-mail today from Ian. Instead I received a voice recording attached to an e-mail that said, "just this." He was obviously walking along a busy street because I could hear cars/trucks/motorcycles zooming past him. He talked as he was walking. It is great to hear his voice. More importantly I can "hear" in his voice that he is well and happy. No trying to "read between the lines." He mentioned that they had a baptism yesterday of a woman they have been working with. Good for her. He mentioned that the weather is getting hot again and that he got the second package (FINALLY!). He just sounds good. I am so happy for him. I told him yesterday in my e-mail to him that I don't worry about him at all, I am just happy that he has an opportunity to serve God.

Funny thing, shortly after I posted this, I received an e-mail from Ian. Happy day. :)

"Dear Family,

We had a great week this week. Once again, the week flew past but it ended great with Gloria’s baptism!...on Friday when we went there, she had had some confirmations and she was ready to be baptized! She said that she didn’t want to lose any more time, so we invited her to be baptized on Sunday and she accepted! ...We had a great activity on Saturday called: ``A Noite da Barriga Cheia`` or ``the night of the full stomach ´´ so as you can imagine, I loved it. The members brought food that was typical of their region of the world/Brazil. There weren’t all that many people there, but a good time was had by all that went. We also had a giant had a giant tub of ice cream at the end.... We are teaching some more good people. We are having interviews/a zone p-day today with President Tavares and the 2 zones in Maringá. We ate Churrasco (Brazilian bbq) for lunch. We have soccer and volleyball, and it is just good to be able to spend time with the other elders and relax a bit. I got the other package today, thank you very much for every thing that you sent me. I liked the picture album of Nathan a lot, even though some of this pictures are a bit outdated. Thanks for the candy and the usb drives. And thank you Elisa for the inflatable guitar, now every one will want to be my friend. 

It has been a great week.

I am very, very grateful for the wonderful family that I have, I know that it is the fullness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that has given me that family. I know that this church is true. I know that we are led and guided by a true prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Jesus Christ died for us and that through Him we can be saved. I know God loves his children and I know that he loves me. I love you all very, very much!"

As a mother, I am DELIGHTED to hear that my son experienced "the night of the full stomach." I will sleep peacefully tonight just thinking about it. AND... only Elisa would send an inflatable guitar. :)

I'm a happy mother, not to mention I hear that my grandson is finally walking!! Make that a happy grandmother too. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seth

Seth gave a talk in Stake Conference today in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. What a good kid. I am humbled to be his mother. I thought I'd post his talk to keep in this blog/eventual book.

"Good morning Brothers and Sisters, my name is Seth . I am a priest in the Ensign First Ward and a senior at West High School. I am humbled to have the opportunity to speak from the same pulpit prophets and apostles and have spoken from. My remarks today are on how to live a Christ-centered life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Savior and how we can live closer to Him.

The youth of the Church, and the adults as well, are continually worked upon by the influences of Satan in the world. Through the media, through peers, and so many other ways, the members are tempted to stray from the path of the gospel. We are continually presented with opportunities to do wrong, or simply to not do what is right. Because we live in such a world it is essential that we live a Christ-centered life. It is by being founded in faith in Christ that we can overcome these things.

Helaman 5: 12 says, “ And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

I want to tell some of the things I do, to help me try to live a Christ-centered life. I’ve found that for me, reading the scriptures is very important. Reading the scriptures helps bring the Spirit into our lives, which testifies of truth and helps our testimonies grow. The Spirit also makes the lies and influences of Satan in our lives clear, so that we can see them for what they are and choose the better way. There are also warnings and directions in the scriptures that help us avoid deviating from the path. When I read the scriptures and learn of Christ, I feel closer to Him and ready to face the world.

One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 11: 28-30:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I testify that we can find rest unto our souls by learning of Him through scripture study, and by taking His yoke upon us by living the Gospel.

I have also found that sincere prayer has been a great support in my life. Often times I have come home from school very depressed and I decide to pray. Without fail, if I have humbled myself as best I can in prayer, I have felt a sense of peace. My problems were not necessarily fixed, but I was given strength to face them. It has been during times of serious prayer and pondering that I have able to feel the love the Savior has for me, which is the most wonderful thing, for the love of Christ overcomes all things. The most important realization we can come to in this life is to know that the God we love, loves us. That will change our lives. Feeling that love will give us strength to face our trials, and motivate us to choose the right, and live a Christ-like life. If we want to feel that love, we must seek it diligently first, and then we can find it.

I have also found Sunday meetings and seminary to be extremely helpful and uplifting.

In a 1949 general conference, Elder Albert E. Bowen said:

“Men are mortal and beset by human frailties. They are enticed … to depart from the high standards of the perfect law. When they are under the influence of an exalted occasion, they make high resolves. They firmly determine to avoid past mistakes and to do better. But gone out from under the spell of that influence and absorbed in the complicated pursuits of life, they find difficulty in holding fast to their noble purposes. … So it is essential that they come again, and frequently, under the influence which kindles anew the warmth of spirit in which good resolutions are begotten, that they may go out fortified to withstand the pressures of temptation which lure them into false ways."

That is why it is so important to go to church, and to study the scriptures and pray every day, it helps us keep the spirit and hold fast to our noble purposes.

I also want to say that repentance is so important to living a Christ-like life. When we sin, we are separated from God spiritually. It is through repentance that we can be cleansed, and when we are cleansed by Christ we will seek to become like Him and live like Him. I am so glad for repentance and for what it has done in my life. It is crucial, that we accept His atonement and use it in our lives, for His is the only“…name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.”

In 2 Nephi 25:26 Nephi teaches his people’s motivation for living a Christ-centered life. He said,

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

I want to close with a quote from Elder D. Todd Christofferson and then my testimony. Elder Christofferson said:

“We can put Christ at the center of our lives and become one with Him as He is one with the Father. We can begin by stripping everything out of our lives and then putting it back together in priority order with the Savior at the center. We do so by always remembering Him…”

I bear my testimony that I know our Heavenly Father lives, and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that it is through our faith in Christ that we can overcome every temptation of the devil and come off conquerors. If we seek to have Him be the center of our lives, and to follow Him we will be blessed. I bear my testimony that I know this Church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that we have a living prophet of the world in our day. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunsets And Reflections

We've had some pretty sunsets this week. 
This was taken earlier this week.
This was taken this evening from my deck.
I sat there watching this sunset this evening on my deck in the beautiful night air reflecting on my blessings. When you see the evidence of the Lord's goodness and love for His children in a beautiful sunset looming before you as amazing as tonight's sunset, there is much to ponder.

I went to a very, very good meeting this evening at church. There were a number of speakers, all very good. The first man spoke about the blessings of the Lord for converts to the church. His words were very uplifting and I was deeply touched. I reflected on my own conversion and baptism to the LDS faith 33 years ago today. I never forget that date. It is always a time of reflection for me which causes me to have a feeling of tremendous gratitude. 

Tonight I reflected on the covenants (sacred promises) I made with the Lord 33 years ago today when I was baptized. I covenanted to:

1) Take His name upon me (In other words, be a Christian in word and deed).
2) Keep His commandments.
3) Always remember Him.
4) Serve others and help my fellow man.

All of these are really important but #3 is particularly important. I promised the Lord when I was baptized that I would "always remember Him." I have found that in keeping that promise, I have been blessed because I have felt close to the Lord and being close to the Lord brings me peace, no matter what.

Someday my life will have its own sunset and I will pass on. I hope when that happens and I reflect back on the sunset of my life, I find that I have remained true to my covenants and have kept my sacred promises to the Lord. That is the desire of my heart.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Great Trip

My sister Bernadette lives in North Carolina. She has been asking me for along time to visit her. I finally figured that this was the year to do it and I'm glad I went. Sometimes pictures of me don't turn out as I like but I will post them anyway. This blog is causing me to lose my vanity.
Bernadette is three years older than I am,
the oldest of all our siblings. 
The last time I visited her in North Carolina was in 1979.
She lives in Wilson, North Carolina but has a small property in Emerald Isle which is very close to where the eye of hurricane Irene passed a few weeks ago. Her property survived well as did the beach for the most part. 
The end of the pier was demolished from the hurricane
but otherwise made it OK.
 It was lovely at night and we sat on the pier
every evening and enjoyed the near full moon.
The sunsets on the beach were lovely.
The daytime was great too.
We had perfect weather.
We walked on the beach and talked and talked.
And spent a lot of time in these two chairs...talking...
and talking...and talking...
while getting quite brown even though she
made me slather myself with sunscreen.
We talked a LOT.
There weren't many people on the beach 
which made it wonderful.
I love the beach!
We also shopped a lot. (We also ate a LOT, way too much actually but that's another story). We went to Beaufort and Atlantic Beach where the eye of Irene passed. I was amazed by one shopkeeper who said she lived there all her life and she slept through it. 
 We saw a LOT of hurricane damage
between the beach and Wilson, 
huge oaks ripped out of the ground,
on houses, a car, and just a lot of damage.
I was amazed at the cotton fields. I picked a little cotton and thought it was very cool. I don't remember seeing it before. North Carolina is very pretty. The beach area is wonderful but so is  everything else.
I met my nephew Kyle for the first time since he was at my wedding when he was 18 months old. My niece Rachel also visited. I met her a few years ago. I lamented a bit the fact that I have not had the opportunity to be a close aunt to them because we live so far away. That made me quite sad. Bernadette's other daughter Stephanie was unable to visit and I was so sorry about that. The last time I saw her, she was one year old. My brother-in-law was very kind to me. He's a good guy.

My time with my sister was short. We processed a lot of our childhood, the good and the bad... the fun and the hard times. I'd say it was a healing time for the both of us. I'm so glad I went.

Thanks Bern.
Love ya, mean it.

“A sister is a little bit of childhood 
that can never be lost.”
Marion C. Garretty

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Afternoon With Nathan

Pure joy is spending time with my grandson.
 I threw my hands up in the air when I saw him and said "Yay!"
and he spent the rest of the time constantly
throwing his hands up in the air to echo the joy.
I don't know why some people are afraid of growing old.
If growing old means I get time to be with a grandchild 
who throws back his head and cackles with laughter
because he is playing with grandma...
Then I'm all for it. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Second Place

I had a FANTASTIC time with my sister in North Carolina. I don't have time to blog about that today and I still have to find all my pictures from the trip. On the way home from the airport we stopped at the fair for Family Home Evening. Call me crazy, but it was a GREAT seeing my entry with a red ribbon on it (below my arm on the right in this picture). We had a great time at the fair even though I was really, really tired.
I got my funnel cake but we threw half of it away to save calories because no one should eat an entire funnel cake at my age. Jim ate 1/4 of it and I ate 1/4 of it but I did have all the Bavarian cream and whipped cream. :)
Seth ate all of his. I think that's what 17 years olds do.
Seth works for a man doing yard work all summer. The man is a master gardener. That man enters his produce in the fair every year and wins a lot of ribbons. I think he won 14 this year.
Seth was SO excited to find all his ribbons because Seth did a lot of the gardening. The man is 82 I think and can't do the gardening the way he used to. Seth has learned a ton from him about how to garden and they have a great relationship.
We had a lot of fun.
Ribbons all around. :)

Today I am off to Provo to see my Grandbaby!! And my nephew Jonathan goes in the MTC this afternoon too.

I was in the Temple yesterday and looked in a mirror as I went by and thought to myself, "I know her but she looks much browner than the one I know." I think it was all that fabulous beach sun. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Was This A Great Day Or What?!

I spent most of the day on the beach with my sister AND Elisa called me and told me I won a RED ribbon at the fair which is second place!!!!!

This is a GREAT day!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Beach Is Calling

I just hung up the phone with my sister Bernadette. I'm flying to North Carolina first thing in the morning and will most likely be at the beach tomorrow evening. :) She is as excited for me to come as I am excited to go but I always, always hate leaving Jim. He and Seth will be just fine however as I am leaving a large batch of sauce and meatballs in the fridge.

Her beach property weathered the hurricane just fine and we are expecting nice weather for the weekend. My sister Sue will probably join us on Friday. Gosh life is good.

No blogging until I get back early next week. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

" I Love These People..."

"Dear Family,

Good news! I finally got the package, it only took 6 months and more then $200, but I got it, and it made me very happy. I really don´t care that it took so long or anything, I just feel really bad for you all having to pay so much, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I am very happy with the digital voice recorder, it seems really great, and it will serve me well for the things that I want to do and I believe that it will continue to be useful for me for a long time. I had an idea this week to make recordings and send them to you each week so that I can talk about all the things that I don’t have time to talk about in my email. I sent off the first test one already, let me know how it goes, I hope it works right...So the biggest news this week is that we will have a baptism this week! Her name is Gloria, which means glory...We started working with her son after he talked to us on the street one day...she has A LOT of faith. She was praying and praying a lot for an answer and when she went to church she said that she felt that a great burden was lifted from her shoulders, and she said that she wanted to get baptized and we marked a date and now she will be baptized next week. It has been really incredible...

I am out of time already, but I bear my testimony that the church is true, I know that God lives and loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I am gaining an ever-growing testimony of the importance of missionary work; I know that this work is ordained of God. I love my Savior and I know He loves me. I love these people, I am so glad God called me to serve them. I love you all very, very much, thank you for all the support and love. Take care and have a great week."

We also got a wonderful 13 minute recording this morning. He finally gave us great detail about things that are happening which we hardly ever get in his super short e-mails. I say the extra money for the packages was well worth it! And it actually only took four months to get to him, not six months. He has yet to receive box #2 because I split them up, but he should get it this week (fingers crossed). The funny thing is that when I walked by the calendar this morning I noticed a note I wrote on the bottom of September's page-"Mail off Ian's Christmas package." I could only laugh. I'm going to have to really give that some serious thought.

I love his last paragraph. It is wonderful that missionary work allows these young men to get out of themselves so to speak and focus on serving others. I love how he says that he loves the people he is serving. That's what it is all about.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bishop's Youth Fireside

Last Sunday night we held a Bishop's Youth Fireside at our house. Jim is the Bishop of our ward and one of his major responsibilities is to look after the youth ages 12-18 in our ward.
There were only a handful that came 
but those who did come had an enjoyable evening.
Jim is a good bishop and he is just an all around nice guy to boot.
A few of their other leaders came as well. After a short formal lesson, the kids wanted to stay for quite a long time and chat. Of course the hot fudge sundaes and brownies were a real draw too.
It's nice that my kids have had these opportunities over the years. It's something I didn't grow up with. It's nice that there is something in place to strengthen the youth and help them to have good role models to look up to.

The Church has a guideline for the youth that is available to them, their parents, and their leaders to help the youth in all aspects of their life. I love the fact that it is so clear and simple for them to understand.


Help for my children, loving guidance from caring leaders, and clear expectations...these are just some of the things I am grateful for because of being a Mormon.