Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

This post should have been published a week ago on 12-7-14.

Bruce and I got to see Josh in concert with the King's Singers. 

It was awesome!  It was a huge production.  I think the only thing that could have beat it would have been to be at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert in the Conference Center.  We are getting closer to Zion!

We got a ride over with Aunt Michelle's two sisters, Tamara and Kirsten, and then we got a ride back with Laren, Caralee, Devin and Ashley.  It was SO fun to catch up with them!  They are great people.  They have abundance flowing to them all the time.  It is amazing to see what they attract.  Good, good people.

Our truck batteries have both died, so now we have to jump start the truck every time.  And no money for another week to replace them.  Ah, the joys of having one car.
Peter has been singing to himself the songs from the Nashville Tribute Band concert we went to a few weeks ago.  Today he sang some words that talked about Jesus, "And He healed me..."  We also listen to the songs every morning on the way to the bus.

Libby went and took a shower on her own without being asked.  Starch my shorts, what is going on in this family?!

Mary had a fantastic missionary experience yesterday with Alexis, a non-member friend from Madrigals.  Mary asked her to be in a group that is singing the musical number at the Morningside for Seminary on Dec 12th.  She said yes.  The practices have brought her to our house, and she and another boy from Mads, Connor, talked to Alexis for over three hours about the gospel.  It was randomly brought up, but she started asking questions, and it went from there.  She said that when she comes to our house she feels light, and Connor said the same thing.  If that isn't the coolest feeling in the world, I don't know what is.  I am SO grateful for that protection and light that surrounds us.  She did end up giving her a Book of Mormon, and she has already started to read it.  It was really a fantastic experience!

I have been praying and thinking about the Russian people this week.  The ruble, which is the Russian currency, fell by 50% this week.  It wouldn't be so critical except for the fact that Russia imports so much that now they're buying power is cut in half and they won't be able to import nearly as much with the same amount of money.  Putin got on public radio and announced to the people to prepare for hard times.  They are already having hard times, as most of them are only surviving anyway.

Jesse's Sophomore Recital is the 13th of March!  


I'm so grateful for that.  It'll be amazing.  She has the whole Madsen Recital Hall to herself.  She asked her Bishop today to open up the process for her mission papers!  Holy makarel!  It gave me a strange feeling when she told us that tonight.  It's one thing for you boys to go.  Entirely different to have her go.  Not sure why.  :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

Thanksgiving Week!

What a wonderful week to focus on gratitude and everything we have to be thankful for, especially our Savior Jesus Christ, and his gospel. 

Josh and Jesse both got home on Tuesday night.


It was so fun to see them and have them home!

On Thanksgiving Day, everyone got assigned a dish for the dinner.  Josh displayed his skills learned from his catering job at BYU-I!  He folded the napkins, set the table just right, and even insisted on flowers for the centerpiece! 

And we had Joseph with us too (if only by his portrait).
The turkey wasn't fully defrosted when I pulled it out of the fridge Thursday morning, so we didn't eat dinner until late.  This was highly stressful for me, but everyone was patient and it all turned out well.

On Saturday, we decorated the tree!






 Jesse got to put the top on the tree on this year!  She has never gotten to do it before, and since she might be gone for the next two years on a mission, we let her have the privilege this year.  :)








We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Especially because Bruce, Mary, Peter, Libby and I played Puerto Rico last night and I won.  :) 

And now it's already December, with Christmas only 24 days away!

PS Sorry the pics are so bad in this post.  I transferred the pictures from our phones through iCloud, and apparently it only stored a small version of the original.  :(  Well, now I know. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rescued


It was crazy driving this week.  The roads were so cold that there were mounds in the road of ice and snow where it hadn't quite melted.  I was really glad to be driving in the truck with 4-wheel drive.

But on Friday, I got a little cocky.  It got up into the 40's, so the ice/snow on the roads had turned into slush.  I was going down a road at 50 mph, and turned to the side to get the middle seat down to rest my elbow on it.  When I look back up, the truck had gone into the slush and I was sliding with the back end to the right.  I let off the gas, didn't put on the brake, but tried to correct.  Soon I found myself headed across the other lane and off the road, right in between an electrical box and a telephone pole.  The back of the truck slid out to the right behind me and turned the truck.  This was a good thing, because if not, I would have landed head first into this embankment.  Instead, the back of the truck slid into to it, specifically the right rear wheel, and the truck went over on two wheels and teetered there for a moment, before landing back down on all four, albeit at weird angle.  The two big dirt spots here were where the rear wheels ended up.

About 5-6 people stopped to see if I was all right.  Thankfully, I was.  I called the roadside assistance that we have, but they ended up telling me that towing was not covered for the size of vehicle we have.  But at the same moment they were telling me this (yes - the same moment), a guy who I later found out was named Vern, was at my window telling me that he was going to put a cable on the front of the truck and pull me out with his winch.
Dave, the man pictured here, also stopped to help.  He coached me on how to turn the wheels and when to press on the gas while I was being pulled out.  He didn't know Vern or me from Adam, but they were both there helping me out.  Vern's truck winch pulled me out easy as can be.  It was amazing!  When I asked Vern for a business card, or what I could do for him, he said, "Nope, nope."  I said, "Well, I can pray for you."  And he ducked his head and said, "Let me tell you that the truck was a gift to me.  It was worth $8000 and I payed $1000 for it, and it only took $400 to get it running.  You are the 40... no 42nd person I have pulled out from a ditch this week."  This week!  The truck was undamaged, I was completely unhurt, and the tow cost us nothing.

I was rescued as clearly and simply as can be imagined.  And I didn't deserve it, but I was blessed with it, which reminded me once again, as I am often reminded, of the Savior's infinite and loving mercy to me.

And thanks to that tender mercy, I was able to attend the concert that night of the fine gentlemen in these pictures from the Nashville Tribute Band!

Oh my word, these guys were awesome!
The lead singer and songwriter, Jason Deere, pictured below, reminded me so much of my brother Cedric.  :)  He bore powerful witness of the Savior, through word and song.
The whole concert was entitled "Redeemer" and it was all about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the way people saw Him who knew Him
They published a CD in 2005 called "Joseph" that we obtained somehow (I don't remember buying it), and our kids loved it!  Mary said fell asleep every night for a time period in her life, listening to that CD.  It had songs about Porter Rockwell, Emma, and others.

This concert was wonderful!  We got to sit on the front row with our friends Jonathan and Mirlandra, so it was up close and personal!  You can see that by the pictures!  

Mary got to bring her friend Becca, too, and of course Nic was up on the top working with the lights.  An accidental "major dim" of the whole auditorium may or may not have been caused by him.  Haha!  Thank you to our Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sponsoring the concert!

I got a Raindrop this week from my friend Michelle.  She only joined Young Living in the summer, and has already been to the C.A.R.E. Training and is currently taking my Foot Zone class.  It was a wonderful treatment.  I came away from it feeling grounded, and back to myself, after feeling "off kilter" for a few days before that.  Thank you, Michelle!

Peter started indoor soccer this week!  He is playing with kids that are a year older than him in school, so the high school JV team, basically.  They lost their first game, but hopefully it will get better from there.

Peter, Libby and Mary are loving their ballroom dance team.  Chantal, their co-director told me last week that if it wasn't for those three, coming in a year ago with their talent and good attitudes, that they might have folded as a club, but that these three gave them the impetus they needed to keep going, and now this is the best year they have had so far.  What a compliment!

Saturday we helped our friends Jay and Leah move in to their temporary rental until their house can be built.  It was great to be of service, although they had so much help that I don't know how much  we did besides throw a ton of snowballs (the snow was perfect for it that day).  But Libby and I did get the kitchen boxes mostly unpacked, so that was fun!

Have I mentioned on this blog that I have become a Norwex consultant?  I love the products - they are designed for chemical-free and effective cleaning - and it is providing a source of income for Mary and Libby, whom I have hired as assistants.  Make no mistake, my Young Living business is my top priority, but this is a fun side business that is doing well!  We have had two parties in the last two weeks, and have a third one planned soon.

Mary's Honor Choir concert was this week!
They sang The Last Words of King David, by Thompson, which I love.  And then a new song which I thought was gorgeous, called Autumn.  And then they sang two more that I am familiar with - Troubles of the World (I don't know if that's the title) and Cindy! arranged by Mack Wilberg.  It was an awesome concert!

Follow up from last week!  Libby's teeth are fixed!  Thank you to our local dentist and friend who did a great job taking care of Libby!

While Mary was at Honor Choir two days this week, I was a substitute at the high school for the choir teacher.  While I was sitting in his office, a took pictures of the pictures that he has on the wall of Josh, Joseph and Jesse.  Throw back!
The MAD Boys in one of their first performances.
Josh on tour.
Josh in Madrigals
This picture of the MAD Boys was from their photo shoot for the cover of their album.

Madrigals - with Jesse and Joseph (bleached blond hair in the middle!)
Jesse - one of her senior pictures.  (One of my favorite ones, too!)

My children's favorite memories from High School are all with Madrigals.  Josh, Joseph, Jesse and now Mary all say the same thing.  What a blessing to have that experience!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!