Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloweens Past

Just a few pictures from Halloweens past. Halloween was my favorite holiday for a long time. Some people think it is evil, I guess. But I love the fun of dressing up, decorating the house, playing spooky music, and a couple of times even hosting our own haunted house. Remember that one on Plum Drive, kids?
For a few years we stuffed clothes and sat them like a man on the front porch. I would glance out the window and jump every time because it looked like someone was on the front porch.
I don't really like scary movies though. But I like Thriller! And our dog, Nikki has a witch costume. She doesn't like it because she thinks her friends will make fun of her.
I am not sure I have a favorite holiday anymore. But look at some of the fun we had.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What I learned today

“You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is,” President Lee concluded. “You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own.”

This is a quote from the lesson I am teaching tomorrow in Relief Society.

One example President Lee uses is from Acts. Peter and John are going to the temple when Peter sees a man who has been crippled from the time of his birth. Peter says, Look upon us. I don't have any money, but I will give you what I have. And in the name of Jesus Christ Peter tells the man to rise and walk. Then Peter takes the man by the right hand and helps him to his feet and the man walks. In fact, he leaps!

The things I learned from this very short scripture are:

Acts 3: 2-8

1: "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer." [They were doing the things they were supposed to be doing so they had the spirit with them and were worthy and listening to the spirit.]

2: "And a certain man lame from his mother's womb" [Seemingly insurmountable burden.]

4. "And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us." [For one thing, we can be looking for those to help as Peter seemed to be doing. Encourage people to look to the prophet, go to Church, say prayers, read scriptures, hold Family Home Evening, attend the temple or at least be worthy to do so, serve, etc.]

5: "And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them." [Look for it!]

6: "Silver and gold have I none." [It doesn't take the things of this world to serve. It takes faith, love, compassion, forgiveness.]

6: "..but such as I have give I thee; In the name of Jesus Christ. [With power of God, with the proper authority, in obedience to his commands, with the compassion that Christ would have upon us.]

6: "Rise up and walk." [Have faith. Listen to the prophet. Try.]

7: "And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. [Peter used more than just words, he acted.]

7: "..and immediately his feet and ankle bones recieved strength. [Blessings come immediately.]

8: "And he leaping up stood, and walked..." [In all situations not every person is perfectly healed or made whole in every way. But I think that the message is that he was better off than he had been. After all, he had been a cripple all of his life and not all of his problems would have gone away. We can assume that he does not have a wife or children and obviously he is poor with no job as he was begging at the temple gate. So all of his problems did not go away, but some did and who knows what the future could hold?]

Another portion of my lesson contains the story of Alma at the Waters of Mormon as he explained the covenant of baptism and organized the Church. Mosiah 18: 8-10
Probably most of us do not realize the requirements made of us as members of the Church when we are first baptized as children or even as older people, as I was, because we are still taking those baby steps. But Alma makes it clear that as those who desire to come into the fold and to be called his [Christ's] people we should be striving to meet certain criteria or requirements. As we mature and grow in our gospel knowledge and understanding we also become more cognizant of our responsibilities to:
8 "... as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life--

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"

This leaves no excuse for our human tendencies to be selfish or what have you. In the years to come I hope that I can live up to my commitment to my membership in the Church and to the Savior Himself. I want to be one of those who as in verse 11 did this: "when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy." For this truly is the desire of my heart. I am at this point though, just so darn human it stinks.

Can I have a couple of hundred years to get better at this?

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Some believe that this is where the Waters of Mormon are located. It is beautiful here. There are 5 (I think) volcanoes surrounding the lake. We ate lunch at a hotel right at the edge of the lake. I couldn't stop thinking about Alma.

Happy Birthday, Alexa! October 24th.

Alexa is the birthday girl! She is growing up! Love you, Lexie!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Re-reading letters

A couple of Christmases ago my mom gave me two binders full of letters that I had written to her over the years. It is quite an interesting compilation of history. I don't even remember many of the things that I describe happening.
Here are some excerpts:

May 1973

"Chaplin Palmer knows many Apostles because of his line of work. It just so happened that he knew one really well who was there Saturday. [Nauvoo- we went over for the dedication of the new Visitor's Center.] It was Brother Gordon B Hinckley, so he told Brother Hinckley that he would appreciate it if the apostles (4 of them) would come and speak to we service people. So I sat in a type of fireside with 4 apostles of the Lord. Four prophets actually.... I sat one foot away from Marion G. Romney, who incidentally was my favorite, two feet from Delbert L. Stapley, 3 from Spencer W. Kimball, and 4 from Gordon B. Hinckley. They talked to us and spoke to us individually."

October 1973

"Robert also gets off swing [shift] Friday. We've gotten so used to this, I just hope we'll like days again. Robert is all interested in "All My Children."

December 1979

"Jared has plans to open a toy shop. Handmade toys from wood. In our garage at first and eventually getting his own place. After his mission he's going to drive a cement truck until he saves enough money to start it up. [I guess the toy shop.] It's about all he talks about anymore. Something will catch his eye and he'll tell me how he's going to use it in his shop. He's going to buy used post office trucks for deliveries. It's all planned."

"Mandy is very popular with the girls in her age group. She's in that holding hands stage and she usually has one friend on each hand. She's always being invited over or having them here. People are starting to ask me where I found my twin."

Jan 1988

"Sara is completing her science project. It's a peanut butter taste test. Between Jiff and a No-name brand. -- Sara got an A+ on her science project and she gets to go to the school competition. She was really excited."

June 1983

"Beth has stopped sleeping in the crib. She is very excited about her birthday. She says, "Don't tell me about my presents! Then it won't be a prize!" But she says she only needs two candles. I baked a cake and she was convinced it was hers. She took a handful out of it and Sara came and told. Beth said, "Well! It's my birthday cake!"

July 1984

"Leslie has started to walk quite a bit now. With the walking she has started to carry things around the house, like books, small garbage cans, her bottles and of course toys. She can say a few words now: Hi, Momma, eat, and amen! She also yells at the kids and shakes her finger at them."

May 1996

"Spencer is going to participate in the National Junior Olympic trails. He was so excited on Saturday when we got home....He received a silver medal and took it to church yesterday and wore it. Today he took it to school. He had a job for two weeks. He rode along with this little kid down the street to school. He earned a dollar a day, but last night I learned that he had been laid off. The mother's student teaching ended and she didn't need him any more. He was all excited to be earning his own money."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Walter's Birthday! He turns 50!

I talked to Walt on his birthday. He sounds more and more like Dad every time I hear his voice.
This birthday Walt turned 50 years old. How does THAT feel? Well, it feels sort of different than when I turned 50. Since I am older, having Walt turn 50 makes me feel older still.
Walt said he felt fine.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

From Bride to Mother of a Brood in just a few short years!
Happy Birthday, Adrienne! Enjoy your day!