Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

 We started out the week with the news of two baptisms, one in El Salvador and one in Colorado!  Our son Josh is in white on the left, and our nephew Derek is in white on the right.  What happy news!  I'm sure this makes Grandma and Grandp H just want to burst their buttons!

Josh also told us of a wonderful experience he had with a familia Reyes.  They were preparing for baptism, and it had to be delayed because of a small worthiness issue.  The husband really had a hard time with it, but it turns out that during the week, his son decided to get baptized with them, which might not have happened had it all gone through at the beginning.  Josh truly felt that this was a miracle!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, punctuated by having Joseph home with his friend Jacob from BYU-I, and special live ordinances at the Temple.

Jacob was in the Blue Cast in Nauvoo this summer, and Joseph was in Yellow Cast, so they didn't know each other really well, but at BYU-I, they are in the PMP (pre-missionary program) and have gotten to be fast friends.  They talk about Nauvoo all the time, and the great memories they have from there.

We picked them up Wednesday morning, and everyone was determined that Jacob was going to have an "Idaho Experience", and he was a willing participant!  The first thing they did was go horseback riding on Wednesday evening, and he also milked the cow that night with Joseph.  They played Telestrations that night, and Mary said it was one of the funniest times she's ever had playing it.

On Thanksgiving day, I began cooking early.  I was in charge of the mashed potatoes and gravy, fruit salad, relish trays, pumpkin pie and cheescake.  They all turned out really well!  We went over to our neighbors at around 2 pm.

Norm and Sharon had set a beautiful Thanksgiving table:

Mary, Jesse, Tori, Jacob

Joseph, Logan, Peter, Zoe

Bruce, Lorena, Ann, Shailor

Libby, Emilee, Sharon, Norm

Thanksgiving Table!
During the dinner, we went around the table and expressed something for which we were grateful.  Mine was that I was thankful that Joshua is serving a mission.

I just love this video!  It shows the happiness of the day!

The next day, Friday, Bruce & I went to the Temple for Joseph to complete one of the sacred ordinances that takes place there in preparation for his mission.  It was a wonderful experience to be there with him.  Norm & Sharon, Rachelle & Greg, and Elysia were there with us also.  We sat in the Celestial Room for a long time, and Joseph kept saying, "This is a lot to process.  I have a lot to think about."  And he was so happy and grinning from ear to ear.

After the session, Jesse and the other kids came with a picnic lunch that we ate on the lawn of the chapel next to the Temple.  We had a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers, so it was yummy.  Then we went over to Deseret Book for a couple of hours.  We spent a pretty dime on Christmas presents there!  After that, we went back to the Temple and attended the sealing of Tori to her parents, Norm and Sharon.  Emalie and Logan were able to be in the sealing room also, and it was a beautiful sealing!  And THEN, on top of that, I got to attend the sealing of Jason and His wife Anna.  Jason is the son of our friends Dan & Gale F.  That was also a very touching and wonderful sealing.  So in all, I got to attend THREE live ordinances in the Temple on Friday.  My thought as I walked out of the Temple was, "God is good."  After seeing the joy and the happiness that comes from these sacred ordinances, I felt of God's goodness and mercy.  Everything He does is directed toward blessing our lives.  He is good!

Saturday, I got the chance to give two Foot Zones to some friends from our town.  It was so fun to visit with them and work with this therapeutic modality.  In the afternoon, we put up the Christmas Tree!

We actually set the tree up, put on the lights and the beads all in one day.  The kids say it's never happened before.  Ha ha  Now we still have to get the ornaments up!

An afternoon horseback ride followed.
Joseph, Jesse, Jacob and Mary

We turned Jacob into a real cowboy - with chaps even!
That night, we went and saw "the lights".

Hanging out in the Igloo

On Sunday, right before Joseph left, we had the annual Measuring of the Heights!

Libby tries to sneak in with Jesse's high heels on!

Peter won the contest for growing the most - over 2".  Libby and Mary followed closely behind.

We even added Jacob to the board!
I have so much fun writing these blogs and recording the history of our family.  The Lord has blessed our family in so many ways.  I am so grateful for his tender mercies, not the least of which has been this wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Now to November

Now to November...  but wait!  Here are a few things still from October...

I decided to start adding some of Joshua's pictures and news to the blog.  I send an email out to some of you, but the pictures don't always get attached.
Josh actually likes this dog.  But look at his shoes!

Josh is training Elder Z. from México

The baptism of José Santo!
 This is a paragraph from Josh's letter last week that I just loved, especially the Spanish part!

We had a really cool lesson with an older man named Manuel. He came to church this past Sunday (not yesterday though because I guess he was in San Salvador, but we're gonna see what happened with that haha), but it was a really awesome lesson. Short but powerful. At first it was really hard to teach him. He's really old. That's all I have to say. hahah but then a friend came that was really crazy and started talking to us. Eventually I just signaled to Elder Z. to teach Manuel and I would talk to this other guy. He just went on and on about how Jesus gave us all and then applying that to the lottery tickets that he was selling. Basically loco. But I eventually he left. So I returned to the lesson and Elder Z. was struggling to teach this man because he just wasn't focusing well. So I asked for his grand-daughter to bring a piece of paper. Then I did a drawing for him (I know, Josh drawing.. what?? haha). Not a very fancy one by any means, but it was simple. That's what I wanted. I explained how God created us and wants us to return to live with us. Then the connection of prophets, the gospel, apostasy and all that. The priesthood. So after, he looked at me and said, "entonces, usted esta diciéndome que este iglesia es el unico iglesia verdadero y todos los demas no son verdaderos." "Si, estoy diciendole eso. Es porque es el unico iglesia con este autoridad o sacerdocio." "Vaya, cuando esta el culto?" "Domingo a las 9. Mismo tiempo." "Ustedes van a traerme verdad?" "Claro que si Manuel." "Vaya esta bien." So then a little later, after talking a little bit of baptism, he said, "Mmmm, cuando puede hacer eso. Cuando puedo hacerlo? Quizas en Diciembre?" "Si Manuel, claro que si." "Mmm, quizas el 22. Puedo hacerlo el 22?" That was sooo cool. We're gonna have to work a lot more with him to help him really understand everything, but it was really powerful.

Jesse and Mary had their first choir concert for Madrigals in October.  They sang beautifully!  Because of their experience with the choir invitational at ISU, they began harder music earlier in the year than they normally do.  Mary also performed in the Show Choir to "Seize the Day".  It was so fun to watch!  She did awesome in her first Show Choir performance.
Jesse is second from the left, and Mary is third from the right (the second girl is hidden)
Here are some Halloween pictures:

We had a fun night at a trunk-or-treat with our ward.  Everyone brought cornbread and/or chili.  I brought my whole wheat cornbread recipe, and it was yummy!


On the first weekend, Grandma & Grandpa W and Jesse and I went to visit Angie and her family. 
One morning, Angie and I went to walk on the green belt.  I got to tell her all about the book I was reading, Visions of Glory, and we had a great talk.

Jesse got to spend the day with Joseph at college!  These two were so happy to see each other.  When your best friend is not with you, you miss them a lot.  :)

Ethan got ordained to be a Deacon while we were there.  It was so fun to be a part of that, especially because Joseph got to stand in the circle to ordain Ethan.  Congratulations, Ethan!

Angie, Ethan, Rodney
Joseph, Ethan, Jesse, Lorena
Three out of the ten of us siblings were there.  I can't even remember what the bicep curls were for.  Maybe something about how it rocks to live in Idaho!

Craig, Angie and Lorena
I LOVE to be with my brothers and sisters.  I know that not everyone can say that, but for me it is true.  Next to Bruce and my children, there's no one I'd rather talk to or be with.

Our High School football team had a great season!  Here is a celebration down on the field as they advanced in the state tournament.  Jesse and Mary are down in the middle of that crowd.

Besides celebrating on the football field, Jesse and Mary tried out and made the Honor Choir, which is made up of choir students from around 15 area high schools that audition to be in this choir.  They practice on 3 different nights, and then they get together for 2 days during the school day and practice with everybody.  Then they put on a concert after the 2nd day.  It was a beautiful concert.  Loved it!

 Jesse and Mary and choir friends are gathered around the piano singing impromptu a Madrigal Song - Requiem - before boarding the bus to go to Honor Choir.  I was there substituting for the choir teacher, so I got to capture this moment.  Jesse was playing the piano, of course.

 And finally, Jesse and Mary got to be a part of the Youth Cultural Celebration for the new Temple!

Logan, Jesse, Mary, Tori
Peter also got to attend, but mostly as a spectator.  Jesse and Mary sang in the 900+ member choir!  Jesse said, "I couldn't stop smiling!  Usually when I feel the Spirit, I feel more solemn, but there I could not stop smiling!"  It was so fun to be able to hear the youth cheer for the prophet.  Usually they have to hold it in and be reverent, but in this celebration, thy were able to clap and cheer with all their enthusiasm.  Elder William Walker said with a smile, "Now you know why we don't cheer at General Conference."

There is so much to say about the Celebration!  The choir was beautiful, and the dancers put on great numbers.  They were simple, but well done and included a lot of creativity, humor, fun and color.  While we were waiting for it to begin, they showed pictures of all the missionaries in the area that are out serving right now.  They flashed them really quickly on the screen, about three every second, but we managed to get a glimpse of Josh's picture!  That was so fun!  And then we saw Mary on the big screen three different times, on a closeup with Kimi and Brighton by her, and we saw Jesse twice.  Actually it was Libby that picked out Jesse both times! President Monson endeared himself to the crowd by his actions and playfulness.  He said that some members of the Quorums think that these celebrations aren't necessary, but he said, "I'm an advocate for these, and I have some say."  :)

Yesterday morning we had the crowning jewel - the Temple Dedication.  We got there early - at 7:50 am, so we had some time in our seats to be ready.  Wonderful talks were given by Bro. and Sister Brinkerhoff, the Temple president and his wife, Elder Christensen from the Seventy, and then Elder David A. Bednar and Pres. Monson.  Elder Bednar contrasted the ways of the world with the ways of the Temple in a masterful talk that struck me powerfully.  And then Pres. Monson in his usual storied way, taught the gospel in its real essence.  His dedicatory prayer was beautiful, and to do the Hosanna shout was wonderful!  I imagined the Savior to be in the very room, and I felt almost overwhelmed by a deep reverence and love for Him!  Mary said after the dedication, "Now I know true joy."

I am SO GRATEFUL to have a Temple again close to us.  I got to go to the Twin Falls Temple about once a month, but I am looking forward to going once a week again to this closer Temple!  I know that it is truly The House of the Lord.