Monday, December 20, 2010

Flight Into Egypt

As I thought about drawing a Nativity this Christmas these scriptures came to mind:
Matthew 2:13-16
13 ... the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

What it must have been like to flee into the night with a new baby to a foreign land. Where would they live? Would they be safe?

We once moved from one coast of the US to the other with a new born. We traveled by VW bus and slept in motels. We were going to a state we had never been to before without knowing where we would live. It was a little scary. But we weren't running for our lives. We knew our baby would be safe.

As Mary and Joseph fled, were they led by angels? Did the Holy Ghost whisper words of comfort and courage to their hearts as they traveled. Did their hearts break for those babes that would die at the hand of the evil King Herod? I know the answer to each of these questions must be yes.

How grateful I am to these brave parents who did as their Father in Heaven commanded. Without hesitation they fled into Egypt and kept the savior safe.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It Was My Birthday!

Thursday was my birthday! Having a birthday in December can sometimes be a little disappointing, having to compete with Christmas. But mine is a whole 2 weeks before, so instead of competing, it kind of heralds in the season. A lot of my favorite Christmas decorations came to me as birthday gifts.

I'm not shy about my birthday. I want it remembered. This year I turned 58. 58! What a shock! As I was doing the math, more than once out of disbelief, my granddaughter asked if I was going to die soon. I reassured her that I am planning to be around for a long, long time.

I refuse to be old and have decided that 58 is the new 28. When I look in the mirror I never expect to see the wrinkled, tired, and a tad saggy face that stares back at me. In my head my face is young and thin, with only the happiest laugh lines around my eyes.

And no old lady gifts for me! No night gowns, no bottles of lotion, or silly sweaters (ok, sometimes I like a good, old lady, over-embellished sweater). This year my grandchildren gave me the Rex walking dinosaur from Toy Story (the only thing on my birthday list). He joins the rest of my collection of dinosaurs. They gave me a new snowman book to read to them and a picture with Santa. And as I'm writing this, I'm wearing the cutest slippers that Kelly knit and felted for me.

But the funnest present; the one that made me realize I am not an old lady, was the Red Wii. What a gift! What fun! What laughter! I completely forgot that I'm not supposed to be silly. I danced to the Just Dance 2 game (scoring 8,000- far more than anyone else). I hooped and hollered at Nate while trying to shoot ducks. I totally felt like the 28 year old I am in my head.

All in all it was the best birthday ever- Well, until next year anyway.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving. I'd happily skip from Halloween to Christmas.

When I took down the Halloween decorations, I didn't hang up the prints that usually go above the family room couch, in anticipation of the Christmas decorations that would go there. I mean, why hang them up for just a month.

After my father passed away, Rich, Harry (he was little), and I would go to Oregon to have Thanksgiving with my mom. We'd leave the other three home to fend for themselves. They would have friends over and make their own dinner-not necessarily turkey. Rich and I would do our Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving and not have to pay sales tax.

After my mother died, we started to have Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night so the kids with spouses could go to their other family's for dinner on Thanksgiving Day. It left Thursday free for lounging around in the morning watching the parade and a movie in the afternoon. Then anyone who wanted could come over for left overs.

Anyway, that was how it started. Now we just have Thanksgiving two days in a row. It's total chaos. The grand kids run wildly through the house (they never eat dinner).

Sabrina and Kelly wore matching tutus.

There were Hot Wheel tracks and trains EVERYWHERE.

Sandi did a lot of the cooking.

And then the eating began.

On Thursday while everyone else was cooking and eating their Thanksgiving, we were at the movies seeing Tangled.

And then it was Friday. Toys were left here and there.

An odd shoe.

China was stacked, ready to be put away until next year.

And today the Christmas decorations went up.

Don't get me wrong- I AM thankful. I am very aware of all my blessings. How grateful i am that all my kids live close to me. I LOVE the little kids running wild all day and then crying because they don't want to go home. I love being exhausted by the time I go to bed. I am thankful.

But what's even better is that NOW it's CHRISTMAS and the wild craziness and hugs and silliness will just keep going and going and going and...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

Raking Leaves

While Nancee has been recovering from surgery, I've been spending extra time helping with kids.

Today we raked the leaves.

We were all tired when it was over. Nancee rewarded us with cookies. It was a fall day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Weekend

I sat on the couch, in my pajamas all weekend and enjoyed General Conference. Here are some things I learned:

There are 14 fundamentals in following the prophet.

Life gives you two precious gifts - time and agency.

Sometimes we must give up something good for something better.

Obedience to the commandments protects our agency.

We don't need to have a perfect knowledge of all things. Faith fills in the gaps.

Life is no spiritual picnic.

Righteous character is more valuable than anything we have or have learned.

Make Jesus Christ the center of your life.

We need to trust in God. That trust comes from knowing Him.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the most important gifts given to men. He can be the comforter when no one else is around.

To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.

Worthy Aaronic priesthood holders are needed so they can become worthy missionaries and church leaders.

Parents need to have courage.

It is often the small things that influence bigger things in life. What we say. How we react. Being positive in these things brings peace.

The fence is there to protect us. "Wickedness never was happiness."

Would you think it, say it, or do it if Jesus was there with you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Remembering Taffy

While looking through old pictures of Harry for his Senior Ad in the yearbook, I came across pictures of our beloved Taffy.

We got Taffy the year Rich got out of the Navy. He was home and so it seemed the perfect time for us to try having a dog again. We'd tried 2 other times when our kids were young but it was too much like having another baby to take care of so we had to give them back. But at this time all our kids were at least past toddler-hood. So we picked out our cute little yellow lab and named her Taffy.

Rich got her house broken and she chewed everything. We played with her and loved her.

She loved a good snack. We could never leave freshly baked cookies out because she would find a way to get at them.

She was always there with us, whether playing, helping, hiding, or waiting.

She shows up in a lot of my drawings.

When Harry came along she was there. She was there to help him climb onto the couch. She was there when he needed a soft place to nap. She was right beside him when he rode his first bike.

Sabrina found her to be the perfect napping partner.

She loved laying next to Jeanette while she sewed.

She slept on our bed. She chewed our shoes. She ate anything we left within her reach. She was part of our family.

As she got older it got harder and harder for her to move around. We had to help her get on the bed. We left the sliding glass door open at night so she could make frequent trips to the potty (and she seemed to prefer the outside). Then one day she just couldn't get up. We wrapped her in a quilt and took her to the vet where we hugged her, petted her, and kissed her black nose as she slipped quietly away.

Even now sometimes I can feel her jump up on the bed and lay next to me.

I know that she is happy and running and chewing things and eating anything the angels are leaving unattended.

Friday, September 10, 2010

GPS and Cruise Control

I spent today with Kelly and Roko. I drove up to Folsom this morning and then drove home tonight. On the way home I was talking on my cell to my sister when my GPS started yelling at me to get over and take the next off-ramp. I quickly got over and exited and then said good-bye to Jeanette.

I got to thinking about how much I depend on GPS and what a miracle it is. I no longer panic about going new places, knowing that I will get lost because I have no sense of direction.

Today I got off the freeway at Folsom Blvd.- a different exit than usual and felt so lucky to have had my GPS take me this way because there at the end of the exit, poking up through the trees was the Angel Moroni atop the temple. I think the lady who lives in my GPS knew I needed that beautiful view this morning.

Not only does my GPS keep me from missing turn-offs it keeps me from speeding. Well, from excessive speeding anyway. Right there in the corner of the screen is the speed limit and how fast I'm going. When I'm going too fast the two speeds are high-lighted in red. Most of the time I'm in the red but not by much. It makes me wonder why everyone else on the road goes screaming by me.

Which leads me to my gratitude for cruise control. I set that little button on my steering wheel and stretch my legs out and relax. I don't have to constantly scan for CHP cars. (Oh who am I kidding- I still watch for cops.) I kinda like decreasing and increasing my speed with the little buttons on the wheel- although sometimes I get them confused with the stereo volume controls also located on the steering wheel. Again, I wonder why everyone else passes me like I'm standing still. Tonight, some guy had the nerve to flash his headlights at me so I'd get over and out of his way. I was only doing 70- obviously too slow.

So...GPS and Cruise Control. How did I ever escape speeding tickets and hours lost on unknown freeways going in the wrong direction before they came along.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This Sunday

Harry gave a talk.


• Bishop found me at mutual this Thursday and told me I would be giving a talk today. I can’t tell you how excited I am :] but, the cool part about this was I got to pick my own topic out of the for the strength of youth pamphlet. So my topic for today is… language.
• I just thought this would be appropriate for a youth speaker such as myself because I experience language in all its colorful different forms, every day due to my being in high school.
• So the first thing one thinks about when discussing language in church is profanity. Profanity just isn’t that cool when you think about it. It’s totally disrespectful. No matter how you stretch it or how you justify it, profanity offends people; otherwise we wouldn’t call them “bad words.” In fact, if you look at the word profanity, it comes from the adjective profane which means irreverent. Also, profanity includes using the Lord’s name in vain. Using His name in vain is breaking a commandment; therefore, it’s a sin. When you’re swearing to God, it should be about something important; not about that guy who just cut you off on the freeway.
• But, my topic is “language” not “profanity.” Language includes everything you say not just the offensive stuff.
• The way you speak says a lot about who you are. When you’re constantly throwing around bad words and profanities, you’re giving the people around you a pretty bad first impression. However, if you can use kind, intelligent words you’re showing how smart you are and that you probably have something to offer the world other than a couple gross jokes. You can be an example to those around you, just by staying positive and clean when you speak.
• Kind words can mean the world to some people. If you’re having a bad day, not many things feel better than having someone compliment you on how nice you look today. Being nice in the way that you speak can make others feel better. You can bless others’ lives by keeping clean speech.
• Probably the most important, and the coolest, part of keeping your language clean is that it can make other people think. When everyone else seems to be saying vulgar, unclean things but you manage to keep yourself positive and uplifting in speech, it makes people wonder what’s different about you. When people notice that you don’t ever participate in vulgar jokes and when they notice that you don’t ever cuss, they automatically wonder why. This is where being an example comes in. Showing others how to be Christ-like by being Christ-like yourself is really effective. In Ephesians 4 verse 29, it says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” This means that we can teach others just by how we communicate with them! We can bring others to know Christ with our speech. Not many people listen when you’re putting them down, but if you lift others up, you can show them Christ and they can listen.
• I’ve actually had people ask me, “Are you Mormon?” just because I don’t use bad words. It’s things as simple as this that show others

I bear testimony of this church. I know that this is the church of Christ and I know that the principles taught within it are true. I know that the language we use can testify of our faith and can be used to uplift those around us. We can be tools in the hands of our God by keeping our speech clean. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

My Primary Class was especially helpful and reverent while practicing the Primary Sacrament Program today. I was and am so proud of them! It's hard being 10 & 11 in Primary. It's the last 2 years and you're lumped in with 5-9 year olds and you've heard everything before and you're just way too cool. So today, they were good examples and I was glad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weird Photos

This is the photo that started it all:

One of these is not like the others. It's my cousin, Barbara. I just died when I came across this photo. It could be put on one of those funny greeting cards that uses old photos that make you laugh out loud while standing in the middle of the grocery store. Have you ever done that? Please tell me I am not the only one.

Anyway it got me thinking about weird/funny photos that we just happen to take without even knowing it. Then later when you get the film developed or look at them on your computer or even years later when you find an old box under your bed you say to yourself, "Oh Wow! This is so weird!

So that photo of Barbara led me on a hunt for "wierdness". I've looked through my computer, my phone, and all the bags, albums, and boxes that I keep in the end table in the living room. (I did not look under my bed. Anita is the only one who keeps pictures under her bed.)

We took this picture of Harry a few summers ago, not knowing until we printed it how weird it looked. It looks even weirder in black and white. We have it framed and hanging in his bathroom.

This picture was taken this summer. I knew it was going to be funny and weird!

I don't really have any weird drawings or paintings to show you. I once did a water color of a stream and some rocks that turned out to look like a dead blue giraffe laying in a stream. Now that was weird. I gave the painting to my brother-in-law. I think it's in his garage.

But there are some funny/weird pictures of me when I was little. This is my favorite. I was known as "the baby with the doily on her head". I think the doily is under a lamp in the guest room.

And so you don't think I'm the only weird one, I found this one of my twin, Jeanette, asleep. She had a habit of sleeping with her eyes a little open.

Roko is one child in our family that we can count on to provide us with weird photos. He's always doing weird things.

What more can I say?

This is a truly weird underwater shot of Andrew. It's hard to tell it's underwater 'cause his eyes are so open and his big smile. This summer he discovered goggles. That big smile? It's still always there when he is underwater.

Another time I took a picture that turned out weird was after a huge bird hit my windshield and broke it. Can you see the print it left? It's kind of hard to see. Look closely. See it?

Here's another photo of Barbara. She's the one on top.

This one is weird because it's the three of us together as we were so often. Both Jeanette and Barbara are smiling at the camera. That's me, the one Barbara is standing on with my butt to the camera. Obviously they had ganged up on me as so often happened. The three of us will be meeting up tomorrow-like old times-and I'm sure the two of them will gang up on me and Barbara will end up on top.

In closing, let me encourage you to search through your photos. I bet you find some weird ones.