Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tell Four People

Image from Google taken at Stuart Falls.

On the very last Saturday in October I went to a Women's Conference.  At the end of the meeting the Stake President spoke and challenged us to share what we had learned with four people.  I thought right then that I would share what I learned on my blog, and at least four people would surely read it.  Well, here it is the very end of December -- it's a good thing I took notes!  I went to 3 classes.

1.  Mothering  I liked this quote:  "There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a good one."  The other thing that struck me during that class was this advice she was given when she was struggling with taking her 7 children to church alone: it is most important that the children know she loves being at church and that she loves them being there with her.

I love being at church, but I do wonder sometimes if my children know how much I love them to be there.  In my frustration with their lack of love for church when they were little, or their lack of attention to it sometimes now, do I show my frustration with them instead of my love for them, and my joy that they are there at all?  It is something good to think about!

2.  Tools to arm our children against Pornography.  Remove shame (you are bad for looking at that).  Change that shame, which causes a desire to hide, into guilt (what you saw was bad, choosing to look again was bad, but you are not).  Guilt is a motivator to change.  Shame makes the problem worse.

We are to disperse dark with light AND love.

3:  Depression  There is so much I loved in this talk, and it is too long to write it all, but here are a few points.

There is tragedy in abuse, or anything hard, but the greatest tragedy is the unwillingness to work through it.

We may need to redefine what a good day is for us.  She decided that for her a good day is when she has compassion and charity for her fellow man.  It is not necessary to feel happy, and well, to have a good day, it is only necessary to think and act with compassion and charity.

Finally, she told the story of the Martin handcart company and how someone was criticizing the leaders of the church for allowing the company to leave so late in the season and so unprepared.  A man who had been in the company stood and asked that the criticism stop.  Here is a part of what the man said as cited by President James E. Faust in Refined by Our Trials.

“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’”
He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’” 1
The woman who taught this class now feels that the depression she has suffered with her whole life is the price that she paid, and continues to pay to come to know God better and she is grateful. It took her a long time, and a lot of work to come to that point, but she is there now, and hopefully all of us who suffer similarly will feel that way one day too.

My Orchestra Adventure

Me in my orchestra dress.
Picture by Dan.
At church I met a fellow flute player named Maudie.  She is very talented, and very sweet.  She offered me the chance to come and play in the Nebo Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Elias by Mendelssohn.  I was certainly the least skilled of the 3 flute players, but I loved every moment of being there listening and playing with talented musicians.  Everyone was so kind and welcoming and it was so fun!

After that performance (which happened on my oldest daughter Trisa's birthday in October) I was able to keep playing with the orchestra.  We had a Christmas Concert the day after Thanksgiving.  Derek's parents, Derek, and all of my kids except Tia were able to come.  I loved that too.  Then it was time for orchestra break, but Maudie asked if I wanted to go play with an orchestra for a Messiah Sing-along at the Nu-Skin building in Provo.  That's where the photo below came from (which I took, which is why it is blury).

Me and Maudie
I will not be able to play with the orchestra this coming year because youth night switched to Tuesdays, and I will be there instead of at orchestra -- but it was really great while it lasted and at least I can still keep my orchestra friends, and maybe one day I can join them again in making music.

Cumberland Gap, Cumberland Falls

Derek, Tia and Kayli.  We are standing at an overlook where we could see a little of Virginia, but it was really foggy :-)

Derek, Sherie, Kayli

Derek, Sherie, Tia

Sherie, Derek, Tia, Kayli

Derek and Sherie at Cumberland Falls

Derek and I hiking around Cumberland Gap

Tia, Derek, Kayli at Cumberland Gap National Park

Sherie, Derek, Tia, Kayli (front and I love her face!)

I'm not the selfie queen but this turned out better than usual.



Cumberland Falls State Park

Cumberland Falls.  It was hard to get a picture because when you looked at the falls you were looking toward the sun a bit.

Beautiful Kentucky, Beautiful People

Tia.  Happy on the Roof.

My Sister-in-law Lori (Ray's wife), My Mom, and my Aunt Gail

One of the beautiful cemeteries where we visited family graves.

Kayli in front, Derek and me piled on Tia in the Harlan house where we stayed.

So Pretty!

Aunt Gail behind her mother's gravestone.

Dad on the ladder, and all of our cars in the background.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Up On The Rooftop

For my birthday I asked Derek if he would take me to Kentucky to meet up with my parents and my brother Ray and his wife Lori to help redo my Aunt's roof.  Derek took me, Tia, and Kayli.  We got lots of sore muscles, but we had a wonderful time.  My Aunt Gail, who is my Mom's sister, lives in Harlan where they grew up, and this is the first time Derek or any of my kids have been there.  My Mom enjoyed taking us all on a walking tour, and my Dad drove us around a little.  It is beautiful in Kentucky, and it was so fun to get to see my sweet Aunt, and to have a rare visit with some of my Kentucky cousins.  Here are some pictures my Dad took:

Before we got to Kentucky my cousin Ricky, and hopefully a helper or two, took the old roof off.  That is hard work!  This is my brother Ray by the pile of old roofing materials.

My cousin Ricky was taking off the old chimney when we arrived and patching the roof.

This is (from left to right) my brother Ray, Derek, Tia, Kayli and me.  We were the main work crew for the days we were there.  My 78 year old Dad was naughty because he wanted to be on the roof so badly helping, so he carried quite a few shingles up the ladder.  He even hammered in some nails from the ladder, and gave us instructions, which we sometimes took graciously.  My cousin and his son Raymond helped out with carrying shingles too.

This is Tia, me, Derek and Kayli.  I think that is Ellen and Raymond in the foreground.  Ray was up there working on the other side of the roof.  Ray forgot the nail gun and so we hammered four nails in every shingle.  Ray works really hard and was really the most skilled roofer up there so all turned out well.

This is when we were wrapping up what we could do.  We ran out of shingles, and the store was far enough away from Harlan that by the time my Dad and Ricky got back, there wasn't enough daylight to finish.  My cousins finished up the roof after we left since we headed off the next day to do more vacation like activities.
My Mom really wanted to know what my family thought of Harlan.  We loved the accents.  We tried doing good southern imitations with not much success.  We were thankful for the work Ricky and his helpers did (I'm a little vague on who helped him).  My girls and Derek (and me too!) thought my Aunt and my cousin Gina were really sweet.  They did keep feeding us and giving us water.  They also gave us bandaids for our blisters and made us feel heroic for coming from Utah and working up high on the roof.  We got to talk to Ricky's and Ellen's son Raymond quite a bit and quite enjoyed that because he always seemed so happy to talk to us and help us out.  I enjoyed my five minutes with cousins Mike and Jimmy and wished I could have seen them and other relatives more.  We often had an audience while we worked which was interesting!  We liked our trip to Harlan, and we liked feeling helpful.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jesus' Light and Love

"Let Your Light So Shine" by Simon Dewey
A few years ago my friend Shannon gave me a framed copy of this picture as a gift.  It hangs on my family room wall where I can see it every day.  I love it. 

One morning I was sitting on the couch listening to beautiful church music and looking at this picture.  I was quietly feeling my head ache, and trying to get up a little gumption for my day, and I got to wondering what it would feel like to see Jesus. To just have a moment to be with Him.  As I thought about this it came to me that, in a way, I see Jesus every day.  I see Him in the compassion and love shown to me by my family and friends.  I see Him in the kindness and thoughtfulness shared with me and with my family.  I see Him in the little tender mercies that are there if I pay attention.  Thinking of this made it so I really could feel the thankfulness that I was trying to have that day (It was a Thankful Thursday)

This morning I was reading my scriptures and found a scripture that matched my pretty picture:  "I give unto you to be the light of this people ...let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." 
3 Nephi 12: 14 and 16  

Thanks so much to every one of you for all that you do to share Jesus' love with me, my family, and with all of those around you.  I truly am blessed every day -- and not just on Thursdays!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Top Dog

Dan won the "Top Dog of the Month" award at his school in September
 Below they are getting ready to take a victory lap around the school with the Barnett Bulldog

YAY Dan for being a good student (And he is in this picture if you look hard)

The Post of Birthdays Past

It is time to cram all of the events I haven't written about into the last few posts of the year so that they show up in the correct blog book.  This is my birthday -- at the end of September.  I'm afraid I've forgotten nearly everything except that I was spoiled.  I think I had spinach pizza for dinner like last year, and I had a yummy applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert.  Mmmmm.
Halloween Socks

A Tai Chi video to try out.

A book I probably finished the next day.

Solar pumpkins that went next to my flowers.
I do remember that we got the newest Jungle Book Movie to watch as a family.  I kind of think I fell asleep for part of it.  Oops.

Trisa's birthday was in October -- not too long after mine.  She lives in Cedar City and wasn't home.  I sent her presents in the mail and hope that she had a happy day there!  She's 26 so I'm pretty sure I am not the 29 Derek kept telling people I was turning!

There is one more birthday to celebrate this year in our family -- but it is not a part of birthday's past, so we'll get to it later.