Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #30

In case you missed it, I am thankful for:
family
priesthood
freedom
modern medicine
transportation
two eyes, two ears, hands, and legs
general conference
babies
good books
laughter & Dawson
music
four seasons
Faith
visiting teaching
three sisters
Kate
my job
temples
good advice
friends
faith promoting blogs
food
teachers
snowstorms
shelter
Atonement
trials
the spirit of Christmas
modern conveniences
AND

I am thankful for goodly parents. My parents always made sure that we had what we needed. We never went without. They sacrificed so that I could be in band, which was a highlight of my growing up. I took piano lessons. We had a piano in our home. They taught me the gospel and made sure that I knew that church was important. Now, as I am grown and have a family of my own, they try hard to let me learn how to be a parent. They probably bite their tongue quite a bit, but for this I am grateful. My Mom watches Kate for me on Mondays, which is a huge help for us. My Dad is always willing to help with blessings or to teach one of my own how to ride their bike.



Thank you Mom and Dad for loving me and teaching me all that I know!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #29

I am thankful for modern conveniences. I don't know if I could have made it as a pioneer woman.

Things like flushing toilets,


microwaves (what did people ever do without them),


and the good old washer and dryer.


I am thankful and grateful for all of the modern conveniences that we have.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #28

I am thankful for the spirit of Christmas. It is such a wonderful time of year that we try to give of ourselves. Neighbors scrap walkways and help dig their cars out. Many doors are knocked with anonymous gifts, treats, and jars filled with coins.

I love the spirit of Christmas and especially all of the great stories that bring tears to your eyes and warm your heart. These stories help us remember that not everything in this world is bad and that we too, can give.

Here are two great stories. The first is "Christmas Shoes", one of my favorite Christmas songs that makes me cry my eyes out everytime. The second is a story that I found online about changing lives during a difficult Christmas. It was a story that I had never heard before, but one that touched me. I hope that you enjoy both!



Story written by Annie

I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gift. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And wondered if the grandkids would even play with them.

I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, “Are you sure I don’t have enough money” She replied a bit impatiently, “You know that you don’t have enough money for it." The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle. The boy continued to hold the doll.

After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, “It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it.” I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said “No, Santa can’t go where my sister is…I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her”. I asked him where his sister was.

He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, “She has gone to be with Jesus”. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go be with her. My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, “I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store”. Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he’d had taken at the front of the store. He said “I want my Momma to take this with her so she don’t ever forget me. I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister.”

I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and pulled out a handfull of bills. I asked the little boy, “Shall we count that money one more time?” He grew excited and said “Yes, I just know it has to be enough”. So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it.

Of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, “Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money.” Then the boy said, “I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister. And he heard my prayer. I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn’t ask him, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma. She loves white roses so very very much”.

In a few minutes, the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on rather to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.

Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store.

I left there in tears, my life changed forever. The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.

“We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give.”

I AM THANKFUL #27

I am thankful for our trials. This is something that I am not always grateful for, but who would want to be the same person 5 years down the road. There are so many things that help mold and change us and make us a better person. I love the way that C.S. Lewis puts it in 'Mere Christianity.'

God's work in our lives can be painful, but His ultimate goal is to transform us into something better.

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity


I AM THANKFUL #26

I am thankful for the knowledge of the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


The knowledge that Jesus came to this earth to teach and live the gospel helps me everyday through the bad days and the good ones.


I continue to learn from his teachings and am so blessed to have this knowledge.


He not only lived for us, he died for us so that we may all live again. His resurrection is one of the most touching of all the stories in the Book of Mormon for me.


How grateful I am for my older brother!

I AM THANKFUL #25

I am thankful for the shelter we have to protect us from the winter cold or the sun's blazing heat.

It means something extra special when you know that home is where you will be loved unconditionally, learn life lessons, and feel safe.

This is the home where I grew up in. It will always have a special place in my heart.

I AM THANKFUL #24

I am thankful for snowstorms with big snowflakes. . . . especially when I don't have to drive in it!
video

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #23

I am thankful for having so many wonderful teachers. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Helm in 1st grade. It was such a wonderful year for me! I also had many wonderful teachers in primary and young woman's, and now in Relief Society. I hope that I can be a teacher that my children remember.



The Best Teachers
Teachers open up young minds,
showing them the wonders of the intellect
and the miracle
of being able to think for themselves.
A teacher exercises
the mental muscles of students,
stretching and strengthening,
so they can make challenging decisions,
find their way in the world,
and become independent.
The best teachers care enough
To gently push and prod students
to do their best
and fulfill their potential.
You are one of those.
Thank you.

I AM THANKFUL #22

I am thankful for food. There are so many delicious things to eat on the earth. I thought that I didn't like to cook, but I was so wrong. I love to make wonderful things to eat.


Things like homemade pot pie, chicken cor don bleu, and homemade rolls. You just can't go wrong.

Here is a recipe for a delicious and easy dessert that we made for Faith's birthday this year.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sheet Cake

1 white cake mix
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 small pkg. cool whip
1 c. powdered sugar
Danish Dessert (strawberry)
Fresh Strawberries, sliced



Mix and bake cake as directed on a cookie sheet. While cake is cooking, make Danish dessert as directed on the box. Add the strawberries to Dessert. Mix well. Add cream cheese, cool whip, and powdered sugar together. When cake is cooled, spread frosting on cake. Spread mixed dessert and berries on top of frosting. Cool in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. Serve! (We add a dollop of cool whip on top as well.)

I AM THANKFUL #21


I am thankful for 'faith promoting' blogs. Each time I read, I am inspired at how mom's do what they do as they overcome their trials. It gives me strength to read their testimonies and hope that I can do the little things everyday.



These are the two blogs that I read on a regular basis right now.




Monday, November 22, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #20

I am thankful for wonderful friends. In my patriarchal blessings, it says that I will be blessed by good friends. I can honestly say that I have seen this in so many ways in my life already. My friends are like family; I could call them and ask for help, for a listening ear, or for a hug. I am thankful for friends.

I will go in alphabetical order as not to show favoritism.

Ang

I am thankful for Ang because she never fails to make me laugh. And whenever we make it to the gym, the workouts are the bomb! Love you Ang!

Anya

I am thankful for Anya for making sure that girls night actually happens. She is the best, knowing when you need chocolate. I hope that I can return the chocolate at some point!!! Thanks Anya!

Heather

Heather is a life long friend. We have been friends for 27 years. Crazy, huh? She is one that I know will always be there. When we've gone a month without talking, I know that when we pick up the phone, it will not be awkward or weird. We pick up where we left off last. Heather - I'll call you soon!!! (hugs!)

Kristy

Kristy was more of a sister than a friend in high school and through college. Kristy has given me hope when I could not find it on my own. We have shared laughter and hugs through the good moments, tears and hugs through the bad moments. Just remember that I need a second towel Kristy!!!

Jenny

Jenny has been a wonderful influence in my life, whether it has been stamping, scrapbooking, or sewing (our latest love!). Thank you for sharing not only your friendship, but the hobbies that you are passionate about. It has given me things to also be passionate about!!! (P.S. Thank you for being such a great teacher. I can't wait to do it again!)

Peggey

Peggey is a new friend that I have been able to share gripes and concerns with. And although this may be just a reason that we are friends now, I hope that we will be friends for many years to come. Thank you for the wonderful emails lately that have made me smile!

Sara

Sara is the best at picking up the pieces and helping me to remember to breathe. Though she has been in the ward for 4 years, we have been friends for 7. She's one of those friends you don't want to let go because her smile is contagious, her personality is warm, and she is the dearest, kindest friend to those who know her. Thank you for including me in your friend list! Love you!

I hope that we can all be lifetime friends! Thank you for being a part of my life!

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown


I AM THANKFUL #19


I am thankful for advice that I have received over the years. Many times, we try hard to ignore the advice that comes in. But then there are times when the advice is helpful and wonderful and changes your perspective on life.

Here are a few pieces of advice that have changed my life.

The first, our Bishop, suggested this book by Wendy Watson Nelson, who married Russell M. Nelson (quorum of the twelve).


She uses the scriptures as the 'how to' book on relationships. Here is a review:

Relationships are so challenging in this life--no matter who you are. This book has both the spiritual doctrine as well as views from a seasoned therapist who has worked with countless families and couples over her career. My husband and I read it together; we buy all books by her for her incredible insight, inspiration, and knowledge about the gospel and relationships.

I would definitely recommend this one to any one as well. If you don't have it, it is a keeper to add to your collection. I think that it would also be a great gift for marriage.

One of my favorite quotes that feels like advice is:

Dance like no one is watching


Love like you've never been hurt


Sing like no one is listening


Live like Heaven is on earth.


Great advice huh?

Our wedding advice from our Stake President was wonderful. (Yes, I have a copy of it!)

Things that Brandon can do for Zoey:
  • Even when you have been married for a long time, complement her cooking.
  • Learn some new jokes for the sake of Zoey because she has heard the old ones.
  • Send presents to her for no reason at all.
  • Ask your wife's advice on problems and sometimes take it.
  • Bring her flowers while she can smell them.

Things that Zoey can do for Brandon:
  • Don't make him the family "Meany." Don't say to the children, "just wait until your father gets home."
  • Don't tell him your problems until you have fed him.
  • Remember the thing you said and did to land him and try them again.
  • Don't shush your husband if he sings at a party or acts like a clown.
  • Try to be home when he gets there.
  • Don't borrow his razor.

Things you both can do:
  • Treat each other occasionally as though you were meeting for the first time.
  • Never sleep on a problem without a solution or some agreement.
  • Stop keeping up with the Jones's.
  • Avoid getting mad at the same time.
  • Respect each other's privacy.
  • Switch off the TV and talk.
  • Build each other up in public. Don't try to compete. Cultivate good humor.
  • Never yell unless there is a fire.
I would love to hear what advice has affected you in your life!


Friday, November 19, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #18

I am thankful for temples on the earth today and for the knowledge that we can be a family after we part from this life.


Our story: Brandon and I were married November 20th, 1999 by an awesome Stake President. It was a very special day for us and also for our family. Brandon's mom and dad and Brandon's brother all have the same anniversary. It makes it easy for us to remember the date!

We started our family right away. In October 2000, Faith was born to us. We took the temple prep classes and filled out the paperwork (Brandon was married before in the temple) and waited. The week of Christmas in 2000, we received a letter from the First Presidency that stated we could go to the temple and be sealed. It was the best Christmas present that year!

The temple closes right after the holidays for cleaning. So, February 7th, 2001, our family headed up to the Idaho Falls temple to be sealed. It was a wonderful (yet long) day for us and our family. We were grateful to have over 40 people go through with us. The best part was when they brought Faith to the sealing room. She was 4 months old by then. She wore her blessing dress that Grandma Cindy made for her. She had a white Binky and white crocheted blanket. Faith looked peacefully (not a peep) at the chandelier and at everyone who had come. I will always remember that moment.

On November 20th, each year, we celebrate our anniversary. But on February 7th, we have a family party with the kids and remind them that this is the date that we became a forever family. It is a wonderful opportunity to talk to our children about the temple and get them excited about 'going there someday.'



We are blessed by temples on the earth today.

What it says about temples on mormon.org:

Can a husband and wife be together forever? Do Mormons believe that families will live together in heaven?

Family relationships can last forever—not just for this life.

Just as some of life’s sweetest joys can come through family associations, the loss of a beloved family member can be a source of our deepest sorrows.

Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And it will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

Death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in eternity], only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2).

Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. These ordinances seal a husband and wife together for all eternity and children to their parents as an eternal family. (See: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #17

I am thankful to have a wonderful job where I do something I love with people that I love.


Without it, I don't think I would be quite as happy. Some of these gals have left, but I am still grateful for all of them. It is great to feel good when I go to work and come back refreshed. All of the girls understand my standards. They are SO great! I am truly lucky to be so blessed.

I AM THANKFUL #16

I am thankful for Kate. She has added so much to our family. We would not be the same without her. We knew in 2005 that we had another girl to add to our family. It took awhile to get her here, perhaps because Heavenly Father knew that she would need quite a bit of attention. Kate became sick when she was 6 months old.


She always had an ear infection. She would cry and cry. Right before she turned 1 year old, we took her in to have tubes done. (Valentine's day.)


She did better, but the infections continued.


Now, after 5 surgeries, she is doing beautifully. Kate is a very shy one that clings to those who she knows.


She also knows, though, that she is the baby and that she rules the roost.


She is full of life, always keeping us on our toes.


She has one of the best smiles that I know.


She can always make you laugh!



We love Kate so much and are thankful that she is part of our family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I AM THANKFUL #15

I am very thankful for three sisters. We probably missed out having a brother, but it was sure fun to have sisters. Now that we are older, I enjoy their company, their helpfulness, and friendship.
I don't know what I would do without them.

Tracy & Brian

Robyn & Jason

Laura & Jason (and Bruce)

A sister’s love is special
in oh so many ways
Now miles stretch between us
and minutes turn to days.

We’ve shared so much as children
the tears, the joys, the pain
A lifetime spent together
those memories remain.

In times gone by we’ve pondered
the paths our lives have taken
Knowing that in spite of this
our sister love unshaken.

A sister’s love is special
in ways that are unspoken
Still that binding force exists
our sister love unbroken.

Thank you, Tracy, Robyn, and Laura for always being there for me and for being such awesome sisters! Love you!