Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Wonderful Day

I love when Conference rolls around. I love having family here. Although Seth is in Seattle and Ian is in Brazil, it has been wonderful to have Elisa, Sarah, Gregory and Nathan here. Nathan is a constant joy and delight in my life. I guess grandmother's hearts just keep growing loving more children with each new addition to the family. Emma's best friend just returned from her mission to California today and she spent the day with her.

Elisa, Sarah, and I went to the afternoon session of Conference today. It is hard to describe how really wonderful it was. I think I cried though about 1/3 of it. I was very touched by several of the talks and the music was really wonderful. This afternoon's choir was comprised of Elders and Sisters from the MTC. I loved when we all stood to sing the intermediate hymn, "Called To Serve." I had a hard time singing because I had to fight back the tears. Somewhere in Brazil, my missionary son was also standing and singing that song, probably in Portuguese. I loved when the choir sang "Lead Kindly Light." That one was also very touching.

I didn't find out until we came home that David Archuletta was in the MTC choir today. He entered the MTC this past Wednesday. He will be serving in Chile I think. Here is another amazing example of the sacrifice required to serve a mission but also of the attending joy. Good for him.
I miss my son. It's hard to express the privilege I feel however of having a son who willingly serves God and his fellowman. My heart goes out to David's Mom. That first week when a son leaves is really tough on a Mom. I hope she feels the same joy however when she sees her son wearing his missionary name tag as I do when I think of my son wearing his.

God is so good.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Seattle Anyone?

Seth is off to Seattle with a school choir trip.
He's the president of the Acapella choir.
Lots of fun and activities...
with good friends
...even if it is a 20 hour bus ride.
Spirit bowl week ended with "jock day"
and today was "wear your class colors" day.
The seniors won. 
And now it's spring break and a good trip.
Have fun Seth!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blossoms

I was so taken with the trees on Temple Square the other day that I went back today to take more pictures. I didn't have my regular camera with me then. The blossom stage is gone so quickly that I didn't want to miss it. I'll just post them without commentary this time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pictures That Speak for Themselves

Elisa, who is always a delight, was here last evening for a little bit. She bought a used IPad2 from her good friend who bought a new one. She only had a few minutes to play with it and this is a picture she took with it. These are one of the many pair of reading glasses I have stashed all around the house.
It's "spirit week" this week at Seth's high school. It's an entire week of different activities intended to build spirit at the school. My kids have looked forward to spirit week every year as one of the highlights of their year. Yesterday was "nerd day" and everybody was supposed to dress like a nerd.
I'd say Seth pulled that one off very well. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Way to A Man's Heart...

In my husband's case, that would be by providing some excellent meatballs and fabulous sauce and spaghetti for dinner with some ice cream for desert. We've been eating very healthy lately but it's Jim's birthday today and he is now a very happy man.

Here are a few snippets from the e-mail "Person of the Day" tradition comments provided by family:

From me: "Happy 53rd Birthday to Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like Dad (Jim) because he's a manly man who understands the role of being a man and does a very good job of taking care of me on many levels. He's a nice husband, a good father, a caring Bishop, and my loyal friend. He is the kindest man I have ever known. Love him."

From Elisa: "I like Dad because we watch TV until late at night and he taught me to paint and he taught me to fix a bathtub and plumb a toilet."

From Emma: "I like dad because according to mom we basically look the same......so apparently he saves me trips to the mirror? (har har har) But for realz (yes with a 'z'), I like dad because the man knows how to party. Late night TV watching with that guy is awesome."

From Sarah: "I like Dad because he is funny, loving, slow to anger, and he makes a mean mountain music.  I have many many fond memories of time with Dad when I was little.  Like when he would feed us popcorn for dinner.  Awesome. I have also been a fan of the late night tv parties. Father daughter bonding time. "

From Gregory: "I like Jim because he's jovial.  He is entertained by simple things, and loves to laugh and be in a good mood.  It's refreshing."

From Chris (like a son to us): "I like Jim because he lets me come over and eat all of his ice cream.  He is a very kind and humble man to let a growing boy eat his food.  He is smart and when I talk engineering he knows what I'm saying.  He is a good example."

From Wade: "I need to get me some of that late night TV watching in with Jim (Father-in-law/son-in-law bonding time)... I like Jim because he gave me life's most precious gift, a loving wife. He has always been kind and giving, he likes my sarcastic humor, and he is an awesome Father-in-law. Love you Jim :D."


Now mind you, I've apparently been missing those late night parties all these years because I'm an "early to bed, early to rise kind of gal."  And can I just say for the record that popcorn for dinner is not something I exactly approve of...  :)

Still waiting on Seth's comments. 

Happy Birthday Jim.
 You are a loved man.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Family Home Evening

We are faithful Family Home Evening holders in our house. If I can point to one thing that has without a doubt been a big blessing in our family, it has been consistently having Family Home Evenings on Monday nights. (I'd give us a 95% overall because every once in a blue moon for one reason or another, we miss it). That's a lot of Family home Evenings. We have had many, many deep discussions over the years about a lot of things, particularly the Gospel and all aspects of it. The last few years we came up with a much better way to plan FHE. We plan out three months at a time. We try to look at what needs our family has, what kind of things we as parents think we need to be teaching our children, try to plan some fun activities, and look at what the kids might want to do. It is a successful formula. After that planning night, I type up the schedule and post it where everyone can see it. When Monday rolls around, we just look at the plan that's posted and it makes it really easy.

Tonight we finished the latest round of scheduled FHE's. In the last two months, we have had a mission prep sewing night where I taught Seth how to sew on a button, hem a pair of pants, repair a necktie, and fix two different kinds of rips in a shirt-one along a seam and one random tear. Elisa showed up for another FHE night when it just so happened we had scheduled a missionary prep cooking lesson. She's a Home Ec. teacher and she taught Seth how to make two different kind of meals. They were excellent! We had a scripture based lesson evening, a family walk evening which we always enjoy, an evening where Seth simply wanted us to tell him about life lessons we have learned over the years and another one where he wanted to learn about Priesthood responsibilities in relation to the welfare plan of the church. FHE has without a doubt been a great blessing in our lives.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed tonight's FHE. Tomorrow is Jim's birthday and we scheduled a birthday dinner at a restaurant to celebrate. When we scheduled it, I didn't know the new City Creek Center would be open. We went to The Cheesecake Factory there for dinner. Let me tell you...it was FABULOUS! Cheesecake has always been one of my very favorite desserts. Add some whipped cream and well...we all know how I feel about whipped cream.

Here's some pictures from tonight's FHE.
After dinner we walked around the malls and Temple Square.
 The cherry trees were in full bloom and they were spectacular!
We needed to walk around because this was
 the display case of the cheesecake selections that greeted us.
 I had a mango key lime slice.
I can't even describe how good it was. :)
Seth had raspberry lemon which was also great
and Jim got a Godiva chocolate slice.
The meals were also very good.
Jim's not much of a shopper.
I was having a GREAT time however. :)
City Creek Center has great fountains.
Seth not only played in the fountain 
but he rode the escalators like a kid does.
Maybe he was just helping me ease
 into being an emptynester soon.
Great fountains.
The whole thing is so well done 
and it's just right across the street from the Temple.
It was such a nice evening.
The tulips are blooming on Temple Square and the 
smell of the hyacinths was quite intoxicating.
Spring has sprung all over the place!!

I'd call that a great Family Home Evening
even if it wasn't at home. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"With His Stripes We Are Healed"

I am deeply moved and touched by these latest Bible videos. They speak for themselves.



"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Friday, March 23, 2012

Today's Images

Seth and his friends were here this afternoon
 saving the world by playing the game of 'Risk'.
The sunset was fabulous.
I snapped this one of Jim while 
sitting on the window seat waiting 
...for this. :)

I love Spring.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The New City Creek Center

Our downtown has been pretty much torn up the last four or five years. The city planners called it "Downtown Rising." The project had a massive price tag, about 1.5 billion dollars I think. It involved demolishing two malls and a bunch of other structures and starting from ground zero to rebuild our downtown. Today was the grand opening of the completed project. It seems like downtown has been torn up forever. The news hype about this project has been extensive and relentless the last few days. I was downtown this morning for something else and I met up with Jim about 10:30 this morning. Everywhere we went there were huge crowds. They were expecting about 50,000 people per day for the next three days. From what I can see, everything appears to be very, very well done. The City Creek which flows down from a mountain canyon in my neighborhood runs right through the middle of the project. It makes the atmosphere really wonderful. There are several nice fountains as well but this natural creek is just beautiful. Jim and I of course went and got some chocolate and walked the length of the project but didn't stay long. I think we'll go back when the crowds die down.
I have to say, this gal whoever she was, did an amazing job just standing there as a statue. I did a double take when I realized she was a real person.
The creek makes a wonderful statement.
 Well done,
I look forward to going back.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Don't Know If It's Good Or Bad!

I needed to go to the fabric store this afternoon for some replacement buttons. As I was checking out, I noticed a sign that said that today was senior citizen discount days. If you were over 55, you would have received 15% off your entire purchase. I thought that was a good deal for the lucky old folks.

At the end of my order the checker said, "Let me see if you qualify for the senior citizens discount." I said, "I'm only 52 so I wouldn't." She said, "There, you got $2.12 off" or something like that. I said, "But I'm only 52." The checker turned a little red and apologized. She said, "My manager said that if the customer looked like they were 50 or older that I should apply the discount but I wasn't supposed to ask their age." I said, "Well, that's my first senior citizens discount!" She turned even redder and apologized some more and was chagrined at even bringing it up.

I left the store wondering if the whole exchange was good or bad. Getting a discount on anything is always good. Looking like a senior citizen is certainly bad... :)

Somehow these buttons are going to be a strange reminder for me of my foray into old age. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Thoughts About My Book

I have been trying to figure out what to do with the book I wrote. A few people have read it. By a few, I mean five that I know of that have read it completely. I know of four others who said they were going to read it, wanted to read it, started to read it...etc. etc. etc., but I never heard if they finished it or not. That's good feedback. If you can't finish it, then there is a reason for that. That feedback is useful in helping me to decide what to do with it. If four out of nine never got back to me about the end, then I should consider that seriously because the end was meaningful and important. If somebody gets lost getting there, hmmm...I need to work on that a little.

After many months of considering what to do, I have decided to self publish it. There are a few reasons for that decision:

 Number one: I have no desire to become a famous author. Knowing that makes one wonder what to do in that case.
Number two: The book should really be published in a normal format, in book form, to make it easy to read and accessible like a normal book.
Number three: Self-publishing is easy these days. As a matter of fact, I suspect in the future that many people will choose this option. If it looks like a book, feels like a book, has an ISBN like a book, can sit on a shelf like a book...then it's a book.
Number four:  I had something to write that only I could write from my perspective and experience. Publishers know what they are looking for, what will sell, readership expectations, etc. They publish according to those guidelines. Regardless of those things and whether or not they like the book has absolutely nothing to do with my thinking that I think my book should "look like" and "feel like" a real book. Hence, self-publishing is the logical solution.
Number five: I don't care about making money off my book.
Number six: If no one buys it, I don't care.
Number seven: I want to leave it in book form for my family.
Number eight: I'm not interested in promoting myself.
Number nine: The message of my book is specific. It targets a certain audience. I gave it to one person who falls in that category that said it was a great help to them. I need it in book form to give to others over the years who also fall into that same category.
Number ten: Emma says I should get it published.

Here's my plan: I intend to have it thoroughly edited. It needs thoughtful, careful editing. I will remove a few things and perhaps shorten it a little. Publishers care about length, etc., etc., etc., I don't. I care about the message. I would like to have it self published by the beginning of August. That's a good time frame. Self-publishing renders it an ISBN number. Before I end this blog around the beginning of September, I'll post a link to the book and leave this blog up on the web.

Those are my thoughts for today. I guess the moral of the story is that when you start writing a book, you have to figure out what to do with it. I think this is a good plan.

Thoughts anyone?

Monday, March 19, 2012

It Was A Nice Short-Lived Hope

I wake up on a Monday morning looking forward to getting an e-mail from my missionary son. Last week, I got one that said he had no time because his companion was getting transferred and he was getting a new companion. At least I knew he was alive.

This week I got the voice recording he made last week but didn't have time to send. In it, he said he talked to his mission president and the transfer issues he mentioned a few weeks ago which would have affected his possible release date no longer exist. He said that means he will be home as originally scheduled which looks like Thursday, August 23rd. That's also the scheduled move-in date for his apartment at BYU and Seth's first day of BYU freshmen orientation. Of course he won't move into that apartment that day because that's the day he comes home after being away for two years!

So I guess we are back to square one and my hope that Ian could come home even a little bit early was very short-lived.

"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." (John Lennon?)

My eye is suddenly twitching again.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

"That's What I Love About Sundays"

There is a country song by that title where the guy singing is exuberant about all the things he likes about Sunday. I feel the same way sometimes even though my Sunday experience is different than the one he sings about.

I was very touched by a scripture someone made reference to today in a talk. It's a well known scripture and it always touches me and leaves me with a tender feeling in my heart.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, 
and carried our sorrows
yet we did esteem him stricken, 
smitten of God, and afflicted...
he was wounded for our transgressions,
 he was bruised for our iniquities:
 the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
 and with his stripes we are healed."
 Isaiah 53:4-5

There's so much to ponder about when reading that scripture. Today I remembered how many times the Lord has borne my grief and carried my sorrow. I have experienced a lot of sorrow in my life for one reason or another. I have also had a lot of joy but sometimes I have experienced such overwhelming sorrow because of circumstances beyond my control that I know it is only because the Savior loves me and died for me that I can endure. I was particularly touched by the reminder that the peace that eventually comes after such overwhelming sorrow, comes because of what Christ did for me in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary.

I am so grateful for Sundays for so many reasons. I am very, very grateful that there is a specific sabbath time we set aside to remember these saving, uplifting, healing truths.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bible Video Update

I am amazed at the latest Bible videos being added weekly to the ones already displayed. These last two I found this morning are very well done.

The Savior Suffers in Gethsemane


Jesus Is Tried by Caiaphas, Peter Denies Knowing Him

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cleaning My Desk

Sometimes my desk accumulates a bunch of "stuff." I suppose that happens to all of us. It's all the little papers that I never know what to do with that get to me. I scribble notes down as I am thinking or a quote that has somehow  impressed me from a talk I heard. Then I wonder what to do with them.

Here's a smattering of some of things I've collected on my desk the last few months. I'll write some of them down here then I'll think I "did" something with them while I clean off my desk or find a new place for them.

"The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph." (I don't know who said this.)

"Each of you is one of a kind." Pres. Monson

"You are more than what you have become. Remember who you are." (Pres. Monson quoting from the Lion King.)

"The more I lack, the more Christ can do for me." (Jim Lelis)

"When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be a changed person." (Ezra Taft Benson)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Sunshine On My Shoulders"

John Denver (think 1970's) sang a song about this. It's an old song but I'm an old person so who cares? I'm too happy in the spring sunshine surrounded by blooming flowers these days to want to put forth much effort to blog. Maybe when the spring fever wears off OK faithful readers? In the meantime, enjoy the song and the cheesy video.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Old Teachers

I saw Ian's third grade teacher today. She asked how he was doing and I told her he would be home in five months. The time is really speeding by now. I'm glad we're on the downhill side of things. Time really does fly as they say, especially in hindsight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Is Here!

Well.... not exactly according to the calendar, but it is according to the warm weather we have been having and the sprouting spring flowers coming up everywhere. I went to the genealogy library today but after two hours had a slight headache so I decided to take a walk on Temple Square to see what flowers were blooming. There were scads and scads of deep blue/purple crocuses in bloom on the south side of the temple. They were so lovely. They were in mounds and I was quite surprised to see how many there were.

I like crocuses. They remind me that after a cold, dark winter... new life and deliverance from gloomy winter darkness emerges with each new spring. Being delivered from darkness and evil is also one of the recurring themes found in the scriptures. That deliverance comes because of Christ. I looked at the crocuses today and thought how appropriate it was that they were right next to the temple, the other symbol of hope and deliverance from darkness...and a place of sure peace.

I walked on the temple grounds and sat down for a while right near the spot where Emma and Wade had a lot of their wedding pictures taken. That was just  a short 1  1/2 years ago. That was such a pretty day.
It was also a great day. The crocuses I saw today were right near these doors where this picture was taken. So much hope because of a new spring, so much hope because of the temple. Emma and Wade's hope is that they will have each other for eternity.
This is my favorite picture from that day. Everybody was so happy. I love knowing that Emma is mine for eternity because of the special blessings available in the temple which seals and binds people together forever. What a great thing for a mother to have that hope for the children she loves and cherishes so much. That's not only a hope but it is also the sure promise we have... as we all continue to try to live worthy of those blessings.
Mounds of beautiful crocuses reminding us of Christ's redeeming deliverance in our lives, right near the temple which reminds us of God's great love for us.

 Those are two great images to hold onto.
Happy Spring. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interesting Info

I found this today on a news site.
 It's pretty interesting. 
I like the graphic.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saying

Jim and I were in Deseret Bookstore yesterday. I saw a plaque that went something like this: "A missionary leaves his family for a little while so that others can live with theirs for eternity." What a great little statement. A lot of service is like that, giving of yourself to help make somebody else's life better. In the process of giving that service, I have found that the end result is that I am inevitably happier.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

More

I had to go to Provo yesterday for something so I stopped by to see Nathan and Sarah for a little bit. I didn't stay long, only about 45 minutes. When I was leaving, Nathan was very sad and cried about my having to go. I picked him up to hug him and tell him that Grandma had to go bye-bye. He snuggled in to my shoulder and made the sign for "more." He did that three different times when I picked him up.

Sarah has taught Nathan many sign language signs although he hears just fine. He couldn't say "Grandma don't go" or "Grandma, please stay longer," so he just made the sign for "more." I think he meant "more Grandma." As long as I live, I will never forget the sweetness of that plea.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"I Am So Grateful To Have The Privilege To Serve As A Missionary"

"Dear Family,

Our week this week didn’t work out exactly like we had planned..the young man that wanted to be baptized...got discouraged several times, but almost every time we cheered him up and helped him to focus on his baptism again...I also got a cold this week, so that was a little annoying, but it didn’t hinder our work at all. Despite the disappointments and the sickness, I have been feeling great all week, I don’t know why, if it is a change in weather or the daylight savings time change, but I have been having a lot more energy...whatever it is, I am grateful...I am doing great, I hit one year and six months on Thursday, it passed just like another day, I didn’t do anything to celebrate it or anything like that. As I am now starting to get closer to the end of my mission, I am consciously working to prevent trunkiness and not get distracted...I want to end my mission as focused as possible and I know that the Lord will help me. I am out of time but I love you all and I know that this church is true. I am so grateful to have the privilege to serve as a missionary, I am finding so much joy and satisfaction in the work, and I see the hand of the Lord in our work more and more every day."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

God Is So Good

We had a lovely, lovely stake conference this weekend. It was a blessing to me in more than one way.

This afternoon I sat outside on my downstairs patio. The sun was out and it was warm on my skin. I listened to some nice songs about Christ and a few Mormon Tabernacle Choir selections while resting in the sun. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of how good God is and how good He is to me in particular. It was a lovely feeling.

It's been a good Sunday.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hang On Little Hannah Elizabeth

Sarah is 21 weeks pregnant. 
She also is a clogger. 
She loves clogging and she's very good at it.
 She looks amazing at 21 weeks
and danced up a storm.
 I don't know if little Hannah Elizabeth enjoyed the clogging...
but Nathan sure did.
He loved the clapping part at the end.
Good for Sarah and her team.
It's nice she has something to do
 that she loves and that she is good at.
I'm not sure if this tiny video will post or not 
but this was the last few seconds of the dance.