Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas (my latest song)

Google Image
(to listen click here.)

Christmas makes me feel like all the good that I have known
All the love that I have felt
And the kindness I've been shown.

Christmas makes me think of all the sweet and joyous things
Like a baby's dimpled smile
Or a happy voice that sings.

Christmas touches something that is deep inside my heart
With the treasured Christmas story
And all those who played a part.

Christmas helps remind me of the things I want to know
There is hope for us each day
And Christ's love helps us to grow.

So I'll sing a song of Christmas with a smile upon my face
And will feel the joy of Christmas
As I go from place to place.

Sing out with love and joy and peace and laughter!
Sing out knowing there's happily ever after!
Sing out because the King of Kings came down to give us joy,
And for hope brought to the world by a tiny baby boy.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Bunch of Gratitude

The Payson Temple.  Picture from Google Pictures

Hi all.  I have not been diligent in writing things I am thankful for this week so I am writing what I am thankful for in a bunch!  Tuesday I just remember that I had a good morning.  We'll go ahead and not talk about the evening -- it's possible I let myself get a little too tired :-). 

Wednesday I made new friends.  I went to visit a little boy in my Primary and played trains with him and his sister while I chatted with their Mom.  I enjoy visiting, and I enjoy friends!

Thursday I had a chance to visit with friends I already have.  That was good too! 

Today Tia came home and we got to go to the temple together.  While we were there I was thinking of just how much I enjoy my grown up daughters.  They are good people and are really fun to be with.
Trisa, Kayli, and Tia -- my super awesome girls!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunday Smiles and Laundry Machines

Looking back, I think I am most thankful for the smiles I got yesterday.  Smiles from family.  Smiles from friends.  And especially smiles from children.  I enjoy those smiles a lot!
Teddy, aka Poof or Poofty, the innocent looking dog :-)
Today is laundry day, and every laundry day I actually say a prayer of thanks for laundry machines.  Washing clothes by hand sounds hard, and exhausting.  Drying them on a line wouldn't be so bad in nice weather, if the dog didn't steal them off the line.  But we don't actually have a "line" for the dog to steal them off of.  So, in that way at least, he is innocent!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Books at home. Books at the Library.

Books at Home
Dan with his stack of books from the library.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time reading.  I love books.  I learn a lot from them, and sometimes I escape into them for a break.  Of course, if I care about the characters in the book too much, even if they are fictional, I might actually worry over books too -- even though I know it won't change the outcome of the story.   Yesterday I read books to learn from, and then books to enjoy.  That was awesome!

Today Dan wanted to go to the library.  We have lots of books at our house, but there are more at the library!  Dad was pretty proud of his big stack of books and movies.  Going to the library is kind of like checking out presents that you want.  You have to give them back later, but you can keep any knowledge you gained, and any enjoyment you found!

I am thankful for books!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Feeling Well

Picture by Jake
Today I actually feel well!  My headache is gone.  I don't feel like hiding under the covers and sleeping a few extra hours!  It is so much easier for me to enjoy everything, and to feel grateful, when my head doesn't hurt and I actually have a little energy.  Days when I don't feel well have a lot of good in them too, but oh how thankful I am for days when I am feeling well!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Good People

My girls are some good people!

My Family

I know "good people" isn't very specific, but just imagine how bad it would be if I left someone out!  I know a lot of good people.  People who care about me, and my family.  People who go out of their way to be kind, and to help, and to make sure we're okay.  People who send emails, and messages.  People who call, or come by.  People who may not do either, but who remember us in their prayers, or smile when they see us.  A lot of the good people I know are family -- including my children.  They love each other, and try to help each other. 

Life would be a lot less happy without all of the good people I know!  I am thankful for all of you -- if you're reading this, be sure to count yourself as a good person!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Derek

Hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Derek, Me, and Jake -- on top of the world (sort of)

Derek with Angels Landing behind him.

Today and every day I am thankful for Derek.  He goes to work every weekday even though the commute stinks and he has to sit through lots of meetings that aren't always that interesting.  He does a good job, and he works with good people, but it isn't always fun and he goes anyway.  Because of this we can have a nice house and food and clothes and puppets and instruments and other fun stuff.

When he can, he calls me at lunchtime.  I am glad he calls every time, but there are days like today where I cry at him because I'm tired, and I have a headache -- still, and it won't go away and whine, whine, whine.  That probably wasn't what he was hoping for, but he doesn't complain.  He's just always so good to me!  On days like this I don't feel very useful, and I'm not too impressed with myself since my to do list just sits and mocks me, but he just thinks I'm awesome anyway.  I love that!  What a blessing for me!

Derek is a great dad, and he's fun.  He's also really patient when we are hiking up a steep mountain and I have to eat every 10 minutes so I don't cry and I take about 100 breaks.  But hey.  We made it!  That wasn't today though.  Today I'm just really glad that he loves me no matter what.  That is a great gift for me, and I am thankful.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Primary and My Missionary

I didn't write yesterday.  It was a busy Sunday!  I have been called to work in the Primary again (the children's organization in our church).  I am super grateful for good people to work with, for teachers who teach, and especially for the children.  It is easy to be happy when you get to spend time teaching cute children about the gospel of Jesus Christ!  They were all really good, and really smart.  We were learning about how to be missionaries by serving people.  That leads me to what I am thankful for today.

This morning the first thing I did after turning off my alarm was to read a letter from my missionary son Connor.  I am thankful for him.  He is in Japan, and I check my email lots on Sunday nights hoping his email will come early.  I have read them in the middle of the night before too.  The time difference is rather large.  Now that we've had daylight savings time they are 16 hours ahead.  I think.  He's already up on Tuesday and I haven't had dinner on Monday.  I love to hear the good things he is doing, and laugh that he tries to stick in so many Harry Potter references in his letters when he writes.  I am really proud of him for bravely heading across the world to teach people that Jesus loves them!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Shared Knowledge

This morning I was able to go to a Women's Conference held by the Stake Relief Society (The Women's organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).  It is so nice that there are people who are willing to share the knowledge they have gained through their own hard times.  I went to three classes.  Here is an idea from each class.

1.  If you ask someone what you can do for them, and they say nothing, try asking what you can pray for them.  We can all use extra prayers!

2.  We all have a lot to do.  Allow the Holy Ghost to speak to us each day to tell us what the most important thing is that we can do.

3.  We can't control our children (or anyone else).  We love, support, serve, teach, and pray for them.  Teens are always receptive to love.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Savior Who Can Help

Picture by Anton Dietrich

This morning I said a prayer for help before studying my scriptures.  Help for me.  Help for my children.  Help in knowing how to help.  I didn't say it in those words, but I'm sure that our Heavenly Father heard me.  As I read I recognized just how much knowledge God gives us in the scriptures.  He would not have bothered if He didn't care.

It struck me that there is not a limit to the good that God can do in our lives, except for the limits we create by our lack of faith.  This is not a harsh fact, but a hopeful one.  We can increase our faith!  No problem is too big for God to solve.  No person is too unimportant for Him to help.  In fact, no person is unimportant!

I know that I have put limits on what He can do for me.  I have refused to ask for help because I was sure I wouldn't receive an answer.  I thought I had faith in God, just not in my ability to hear.  It turned out that God was willing to answer AND to help me hear.  I wonder in what other ways I have limited God without even realizing that's what I was doing!

After all of our failures in faith, and trust.  After all of our sin, and lack of belief, the Lord still says that His "arm is lengthened out all the day long".  He is reaching out to us.  He never gives up.  At the end of my study, my challenges were the same, my children's challenges were the same, but my load was lighter because I was reminded very kindly that I have a Heavenly Father who cares, and a Savior who can, and does, help.

*This morning's study was 2 Nephi: 28

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gratitude for Music

I am starting a November series on things that I am grateful for.  Today, like every Thursday, is "Thankful Thursday" for me.  I have noticed that looking for, and paying attention to the good things that are around, and the good things that are said and done in a day, can make all of the difference in how I feel.  Noticing is important.  Expressing gratitude for those things I notice is important.

This morning, at the beginning of November, I have had one of my favorite Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas specials on while I fold some laundry that I washed on Monday.  There are many who will cringe because Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet, and Christmas music has been playing in my car for a month, but I often pull out Christmas music throughout the year when I want something to lift my spirits.  There are very few things in this life that can bring me peace, or joy, or just a feeling that there is good in the world, as quickly as a good song, or a joyful melody.  Hymns and Primary songs have helped me through many a rough patch.  Christmas music has extra power because it reminds me not only of the birth of my Savior, but of many happy memories that have been created throughout the years.

So today, and every day, I am thankful for beautiful music.  There is great power for good in all good music.  I hope you will hear some today, and have your spirits lifted.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Encouragement Challenge

sunrise-pic-for-devo-copy.jpg (2354×1136)
From Google Images
I heard something on the Christian radio station more than a week ago that has stayed in my mind.  I want to share it because I think it is a great idea, but I don't know who to share it with, and so I am putting it here where it will most likely be read by my very encouraging family and friends!  On the program they were adapting something from Revive Our Hearts called the 30-Day Husband Encouraging Challenge and making it more general, so that you could choose to do this for anyone you wanted to improve your relationship with.   You can find the original, more detailed program here .

The basic gist of the adapted program is this.
1.  For 30 days you don't say anything negative to your person, or about them.
2.  For 30 days you do tell your person something good that you notice about them , and you also tell someone else something good about them.
3.  You find a small way of serving them each day.

The only other guideline they suggested was that you only do one person at a time, though I think it is implied that you don't go announce to your chosen person that you are doing this.

There were some pretty incredible stories about how wives participating in this challenge had seen marriages restored that had seemed doomed.  One lady was so worried that she wouldn't have one nice thing to say about her husband every day that she carried around a notebook so she could write things down when she saw them just in case she saw two one day and none the next.  She was surprised that at the end of the 30 days, her notebook was full.

A lot of the good things I have done are, at least in part, due to the encouragers in my life.  Without the encouragement of Derek and my kids I probably would have quit writing songs -- or at least been afraid to share them.  Without the encouragement of my parents I might never have made it through reading the scriptures the first time.  Sometimes Derek's encouraging, "We can do this" as he heads off to work helps me to get through the day.

So, we can do this!  We can all be more encouraging if we put our minds to it, and it might make a much bigger difference than we expect.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Desk Project

Our old desk was rather old and ugly and I really wanted a new one.  On a seemingly unrelated note, we have a lot of left over laminate flooring that I don't know what to do with.  So, one day when I was looking online, I found an idea to use the left over flooring as a desk top.  Derek was game to help me, and this is what we ended up with.  I like it LOTS better than the old one!

The two cabinets are stock base cabinets from the Home Depot with the bottom cut off.  The top is a piece of particle board with left over laminate from the guest room locked together and glued on. Trim is nailed around the top to finish it, and Derek made the part to hang the keyboard. Derek could have finished this faster by himself, but I wanted to help so we worked together.  I got to use the chalk line, the circular saw, the glue, and the nail gun -- plus a few other things.  Yay for a new desk and thanks to Derek for helping me with it.