Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Adam's Baptism

On Saturday we climbed in the van at 7:00 a.m. to head towards Logan to attend our nephew Adam's baptism.  Derek's parents came with us.  It was nice to visit with them, and to attend the happy event. It was fun to see Trent and Michelle, and to tour Adam's Grandparent's house (Michelle's parents). Adam's Grandma W. designed the house herself, and it is very beautiful.  We were glad we could go.

Here are some pictures:
This is our J.D. (Jake Derek) with his cousin J.D. (Joseph Duhn)
Both were named with their great grandpa J.D. (Jensen Duhn) in mind
Jake goes by Jake.  J.D. actually goes by J.D.
J.D. saw Jake and exclaimed "Oh!  I missed you so much!"  J.D. knows how to make people feel good!
Jake spent most of his time with J.D.  He loves his cousins and is really good with the little ones.

This is Adam looking handsome on his big day.

I thought I'd get a selfie with Adam.  He is a good boy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February's Romantic Read

Image result for courtships of the prophets

I thought "Courtships of the Prophets" by Mary Jane Woodger & Paulette Preston Yates would be a fun choice for February and so I put it on my list.  I finished it January 31st!

This book was a gift from Derek's parents.  It has 11 stories of the courtships of modern day prophets.  I enjoyed all of the stories, but especially the ones about Joseph Fielding Smith.  He was really shy, and not very romantic, and I found his idea of how to go about courting humorous.  Still, he was married three times because he outlived his wives, and how he found each wife was interesting. They were all good women and he had 11 children.  I loved the description that his 2nd wife gave of him.  He may not have been "romantic" but she described a wonderful man who loved his family!

This is a quick read, with interesting glimpses into the lives of 11 remarkable men, and the women who married them.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

There is Hope Every Day

Derek gave me these for
taking care of him when he was sick.
They are beautiful.

Just in case the words of the song do not say this clearly, I know that we will only have a perfect body when we are resurrected, and we can only be resurrected because of Jesus.  I also know that there is no way to keep from making mistakes.  The only reason we have any hope of making it back to live with Heavenly Father is because of Jesus.  I love Him.

Finally, if you go to this link to listen to me trying to sing, those who are very familiar with the LDS Primary book will no doubt recognize that the beginning of the verses sound very much like Mother, Tell Me the Story.  I in no way intended to steal Janice Kapp Perry's work!  I admire her.

There is Hope Every Day

Children of mine, here's a song just for you.
A song from your mother, I love you, I do.
These are the things that I want you to know
At all times and all of the places you go.
You have a Father in heaven divine.
You were His child, before you were mine.
He knows your name and all you can be,
And loves you a lot.  Even better than me.

Father sent you here to become just like Him
He knows us all well, and He knew we would sin.
It takes lots of practice to get things just right,
We'd need to be perfect to get back to his light.
The Way would seem hard, and the journey seem long.
It would be hopeless, but we have a brother,
Who loves you more surely than even your mother.

He came and He suffered for every mistake
That all of His brothers and sisters would make.
He did it so we could get better each day.
He did it so we would all know the way.
When you fall down He won't give up on you.
We'll get back to Father through all He did do.
He was resurrected, so you will be too.
With a perfect body, a free gift to you.

So when life feels heavy, or you're feeling sad.
When you're feeling broken, or think you are bad.
When you've lost a loved one, and your heart seems sore.
When you think that you cannot take anymore.
When friends don't seem friendly, and you feel alone,
When you want to laugh, but it comes out a moan.
Here are the things that I want you to know,
Every time and in all of the places you go.

There is hope every day.
There's a light for your way.
There is love that won't end.
There is a perfect friend.
There is help when you fall.
Father hears when you call.
Jesus came just for you.
And I love you too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

When Only God Sees

from Google Images

A few years ago I read a book by Nicole Johnson called Invisible Woman:  When Only God Sees.  In it she talked about the building of some of the great cathedrals of the world.  She shared a story of a monk working on one of the beams that would go in a cathedral. On a part of the beam, the monk was carving a beautiful bird.  The person who was watching realized that after the beam was placed in its position, this beautiful work would be completely hidden from view.  He asked the monk why he was doing it, when nobody would see it.  The response? God sees.

I really like people to notice the good things I do. If I made dinner I want to hear that it was good.  If I served someone in some way, I like it to be acknowledged, or to at least know it was appreciated. Quite frankly, sometimes I worry that I do good things not to be good, but to be noticed, or to be liked.  I really want to be like this monk.  I want to do good things, and be content that only God sees.  I want to do good things not to please other people, but to please God, who gave me life, and a purpose, and a Savior.  At the end of a busy day of doing good things, even if nobody else noticed, I want to be confident that God did, and that He is smiling at me for my efforts no matter how small they were.

Today, like the monk, I can do some beautiful hidden work.  Mine will not be a carving, but it can be a work of love or kindness, and I will know that God sees.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dan's Secret Identity

Last year was difficult in some ways.  We had been switched to a very nice new ward (church congregation), but the change was still hard -- especially for Jake.  So it was that I found myself with a couple of hours on a Sunday to spend with just Jake while the rest of the family was at church.  This happened more than once, and I prayed and prayed to know how to help Jake.  I felt like my prayer was answered on more than one occasion with inspiration.

This particular Sunday the thought came to mind that I should have Jake help me write a song.  I gave him a choice of who he wanted to write about, and he chose Dan.  Jake is a very good big brother for Dan.  He loves him.  This is the song that Jake and I wrote.  You will understand the song better if you know that Dan has an excellent imagination, and has played his own made up game for years where his secret identity has occasionally changed.  I sang the song for Dan when he got home that Sunday.  He loved it.

Secret Identity

There is a boy in our family, who has a secret identity.
He fights robots and evil men, shooting, exploding, and hurting them.
But when he is with the family, he plays the piano repeatedly,
And smiles and laughs and twirls around.  A happier boy could not be found.
His secret identity's not always the same.  He's trying to find the most awesome name.
He started as Super Duper Dan, but was also cool as Dan the Man.
Robotic Destroyer -- a scary name, he could have helped Batman to defeat Bane.
Falcon #4 added magic and more.  Watching those battles would not be a bore.
The last of all of his secret names, Used in his totally awesome games,
Is Swordsman now, the winner of all, causing all kinds of bad guys to fall.
All of those secret names are great, and many a criminal has met his fate.
But regular Dan, with his super smile, helps our family through many a trial.
Defeating the grumpies is a good thing too,
And Dan is ready with a smile for you.

Jake was very helpful with writing this song.  He is good at rhyming, and he was aware of a lot more of Dan's secret identities than I was!  If you'd like to hear it sung click here.
Dan and Jake

Friday, January 29, 2016

"Our" Homework

Yes, we all wish homework either didn't exist, or could be done magically!
Comic by Bill Watterson

I have six wonderful children.  Three have already graduated from high school, and one graduates this year.  That leaves me with one in junior high and one in elementary school.  I have had at least one child in school for almost twenty years, and yet it wasn't until this last year that I realized their homework isn't "our" homework -- it is theirs.  Perhaps it took this long because a lot of my kids are self motivated, and have done a good job of taking care of their work without me having to do anything but help when I was asked.

Las year I found myself telling Jake, or Dan, "It is time for us to do our homework".  My boys do not really like to do homework, and I felt like if I didn't step in it wouldn't get done.  It felt like my homework! Unfortunately, by calling it our homework instead of their homework, I was taking away some of the responsibility that should be theirs.  It is their grade.  It is their homework.  I went to school for a lot of years, and I already did my homework, and I turned it in on time too! (Yay me!)

They do need encouragement, and often they need help, but they also need to be responsible for their own work and their own grade!  I do not want them to get to college and not know how to keep track of what work they need to do, and when to turn it in!  Now the trick is to find a way to help them actually care about their homework, and the consequences of not doing it or not turning it in on time! We're working on that!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Rest of the Story

image from

A couple of days ago I was watching a Mormon Message about Stephanie Nielson, the airplane crash survivor and author of the blog "The Nie Nie Dialogues".  As I watched, and listened, I thought about what I write on my blog.  I share some of the happy things we do, and the good things I am trying to work on, or that I am thinking about.  I share songs I have written, and things I have read, but I rarely share the rest of the story.

I am a real person, and real people always have challenges and struggles and things they want to change.  I have flaws a plenty and days that seem long and hard.  I have mornings when the alarm goes off, and it is all I can do to get up so that I can see my children off to school.  Mornings when my prayers come out more whining than grateful.

I have days when Derek leaves for work, and I cry because I do not want to be left alone with just my own thoughts for company.  My own thoughts are not always so kind to me.  I have days when I feel like I say the wrong thing constantly, and when I can convince myself that even my own family would rather not talk to me.  I am sometimes selfish, and grumpy, and everything seems too hard.

On days like that I usually do not write on my blog, or call anyone for fear that my hard times might be contagious -- and honestly because I don't want to cry at anyone.   Though I don't enjoy these days, over time I have managed to learn a lot from them, and how to avoid having so many. I can even be thankful for them -- when they are over.

 One thing my experiences have taught me is that, for me, there is a danger in being too tired. It is then that I can "know" I am not good enough, and cry over the flaws that I never can seem to quite get rid of.   It is when I am tired that I forget God's grace, and the atonement that is there for me to use because I am human, and imperfect, and Heavenly Father knew that I would need it.  Just knowing that fatigue is the real problem can sometimes keep me from descending into discouragement, and forgetting hope!

When you have hard days, it is my wish that you will be able to hang on to hope, and know that eventually, things will be better.  There is help.  I know that God loves you and me, and that even the worst day can contribute to our learning if we turn to Him.