Monday, October 27, 2014

Flitting About

When I go out of town, Bruce doesn't tell anyone where I have gone; he just tells them I am flitting about.

But before I tell you about my trip, Mary had a Madrigals and Show Choir concert this week.  I love this concert!  Mary performed so well.  She is the president of both the Madrigals and the Show Choir, so she sends text messages to the choir members almost every day, letting them know what's going on and where they are expected to be and when.  She does a great job keeping everybody organized.

Sometimes dog-piles happen on the couch.  This is a "dog-pile" selfie.  Ha ha

Mary said goodbye to Chet for two years on Friday.  This Wednesday, he will leave to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.  We are so grateful that he is going on a mission.  He is going because, as he said in his farewell talk, "Heavenly Father is waiting to send buckets of blessings down on us," and he wants to share that with the people in Belgium and the Netherlands.  He will be missed, and not just by Mary!

In the meantime, Jesse and Stephen have started dating.  This has made me One Happy Mama!

And now, to my trip.  On Friday, I went to visit my Mom and Dad, and took Libby with me.  She and cousin Alyssa got to spend almost two days and a night together, sleeping over at Grandma's.  How fun is that!

Libby had it in her head that she wanted to make bread dough and form it into cool shapes.  We watched a video online of someone doing that, and she wanted to try it.  Thank goodness Grandma was around to help her with that!  Good job Libby!

With the leftover dough, Grandma helped Libby and Alyssa make homemade pizzas.  They were delicious!  I posted this picture on Facebook, and you wouldn't believe how many comments people made about my Mom - how fun it was to see a picture of her, and what good memories people have of being in her kitchen and cooking with her, etc.  From old friends, other grandchildren and nieces.  My Mom is well-loved!  :)

We also got a great visit from Craig and Jennette and their children.  Hello Grant!!

The next day, I went to a Christ Centered Energy Healing Conference, and I really enjoyed the day and what I learned.  I came away with some great information and a ton of new leads for books I want to read.

That night I got a ride over to Rexburg, and I got to watch Josh play soccer in a scrimmage game.  He's the one playing defense in the long black pants and red penny (sp?) over a green shirt.  He plays on a team with some old high school buddies - Dane, Curtis, Calvin, Josh, Paul and Braiden (although Braiden was sick that night so I didn't get to see him).  Josh's roommate Aaron also plays with the team.  I sat on the sidelines in some warm wool blankets and watched the game.  Josh played defense and did a great job!  He hustled, was in the right position, passed well and was having fun to boot!  Afterwards, we went to a little shack and got a specialty hot chocolate - it was yummy!
Josh borrowed Aaron's car and took me back to Rexburg, and Josh got to see Grandma, Grandpa, Libby and Rodney, my brother-in-law, who was helping Grandma fix a door lock.  I love this picture of my Dad and I!
On our drive, Josh told me all about his date with Elizabeth the night before, and his date with Christina to the Piano Guys Concert.  So fun!

The next morning Libby and I got to see our old Bishop and his wife Glendi!  They now live just a few blocks from my Mom and Dad, and we were in the same Sacrament Meeting with them on Sunday morning.

I had a great talk with my friend Karen G., coming and going.  Later in the afternoon, after we got home, Bruce was showing the kids the pictures and story that Aunt Michelle sent of the trip Bruce's family took when he was eleven years old back to Nauvoo.  Mary took a screen shot of this family picture that was taken around that time.  Classic!

Oh, and among all this hulabaloo, Bruce and Peter went up hunting again on Thursday at mid-morning.  It rained and rained and rained, and they didn't see a thing.  So Friday morning they packed up and were home by the afternoon.  They did go over to Larren and Tiffany's and process the venison meat into hamburger, so now we'll have some new meat to try!  Never had that before.

When I got back half of the leaves, or more, on our big Autumn Blaze maple tree out in front had fallen off.  Does anyone besides me have this sad feeling when they see leaves blow off of a tree in the fall?  I do.  But I don't let it stay there.  I go inside my space between stimulus and response, acknowledge the emotion, and then choose my response, one that is filled with gratitude for the seasons of life, and the opportunity for growth through the winter.  And then peace fills my soul and I feel to acknowledge the great goodness of our God.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Heavenly Home

I took these two pictures of our home the day after the Cider Festival.
We borrowed the tractor and the wagon from our friends Lane and Tammy.
We are very grateful for our home and love living here in this wonderful neighborhood.

Having said that, though, it's not the house that brings happiness.  It is convenient, and gives us opportunities to grow and serve in many ways, like the Cider Festival, but it is not the source of our happiness.  I have lived in adobe houses with no indoor plumbing, taking sponge baths instead of showers for months, and been as happy as I have ever been in my life.  When we got married, Bruce often remarked that he didn't have to worry about where we lived, because I would think anything with hot running water was heavenly.  I have seen both extremes, and know that happiness comes from knowing I am a daughter of God, living up to that heritage, and keeping my covenants with my Father - that brings happiness.  Everything else is icing on the cake.  I already wrote about that here.  And I look forward to mansion above, the Heavenly Home, that I know my Father in Heaven is preparing for our family!

Peter's football team won their District Championship, and then they played in the Inter-Valley District Championship, and they won that too!  Peter's # 7.

And a hug from the Momma.  Good job, Peter!  (I love this picture)

After the game we went out and brought in the hay from the Farm.  Peter's friends Tyler and Taylor came to help us.  It's so nice just having to do the lower field!  Saves a ton of time!

Chet, Mary and Libby went to the Temple and took the traditional "group" selfie.  I love this picture too!

Mary, Chet, Nic and I went out to do some more senior pictures for Mary.  We had a great time, and we'll post more later.  Mary's friend Nic is an excellent photographer and I can't wait to see his work!  He certainly had a beautiful subject.  Thank you Nic for your great work!

Peter and Bruce went hunting this week. They didn't see any elk, but Peter shot a deer.

And here's the DOOZY of a bruise that Bruce got from "sighting" his gun before the hunting trip.  Sighting the gun means you shoot it a few times (he shot it five times) to make sure the "sight" you look through on the gun is lined up right.  When he came home form that, his shoulder was swollen up like a baseball.  When he came home from hunting 3 days later, this is what his arm looked like!  That is quite the bruise!  I have been applying Lavender and Helichrysum essential oils - they will help heal up the bruising quickly.

Peter and Bruce got home a day early, and we were so excited to see them.  They had a really hard time the first day.  Strawberry, one of our horses, got a bad cut on her foot in the trailer on the way up, so they weren't able to hike in and set up camp like they wanted to.  Instead, they tied up the animals and then took off hunting.  It was cold and snowy, and they went up and down thousands of feet of elevation.  When they finally got back to camp, which Bruce said was no small miracle, they pulled out their sleeping bags and slept in the back of the truck.  They didn't have the wood stove burning overnight in the wall tent, so their clothes were still frozen in the morning.  Bruce said he almost broke his pants getting into them in the morning.  I ask them all the time, "Now, tell me why you think this is fun?"  But they came home in one piece, with some deer meat to boot.  We're grateful for that!

Chet's farewell was today!  A farewell, in Mormon culture, is known as the Sacrament Meeting in which the missionary gives a talk before going out on his mission.  It is usually attended by a lot of family and friends, although his/her speaking is not the center of the meeting.  It is a regular Sunday worship meeting, and the Sacrament is the most important part of the meeting, and the missionary speaks on a gospel related topic, so the meeting is not about the missionary, but it is really fun to hear him or her speak and bear their testimony right before they leave to serve a full-time mission!  Mary and Chet sang God be With You for a musical number, with me accompanying them.  When they told me that's what they were going to sing, and they were singing together, I thought it was an extraordinarily bad idea, but then Mary told me that Chet felt a prompting from the Spirit that that should be the song, so I honored that.  And then I listened to them sing and gauged if they could really pull it off without getting emotional (or being sappy), and I concluded that they could.   And they did!  They sounded great, and brought the Spirit in.  And then Chet tied it in with his talk at the end, so that was cool.  Chet gave a great talk!  He said, "The Lord is waiting to pour down buckets of blessings on us."  I loved that imagery!  He delivered it so well - no stumbling on words, or external phrases, or mumblings.  I felt his love of the Lord and the work.  He will be a great missionary!

We also had fun FaceTiming with Joshua - meeting his roommate Dan, and talking with Walker.  I treasure every time I can hear Josh's voice, or see his face and talk to him.  After two years of not being able to do that, it is wonderful every time.

And we got to FaceTime with Jesse and her friend Stephen twice this week.  What a miracle FaceTime is, and other forms of video communication.  I'm truly grateful for it.  And grateful for the wonderful friends that surround my children!

I hope the end of this Sabbath day finds you happy and filled with hope.  I was blessed in a special way today, to experience the meaning of turning a problem over to the Savior, and having Him take my burden.  I was different from one moment to the next.  I know the Atonement in real, and that we have a Savior who loves us and wants to help us carry the burdens we are called on to bear.  It is REAL!  I testify of that, in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He lives and He is real.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Get ready for pictures... Cider Festival and Homecoming!

But first, let me post just some ordinary day pics:

Somehow they ended up sitting on the bar altogether.  Guess it's time for a picture!

Mary and Libby took a selfie at the Temple.
We have a monster chicken!  What in the world?  And at least one Aricana.  Cool!

Now, to the Cider Festival! 
 Cindy, Lorraine and Karen - some of my angel helpers with the donuts!  We made about 250-300 donuts.  My dear friend Sharon came over and helped me get started on making the dough.  Jesse and her friends Peter and Stephen, and Chet and Mary rolled all the dough out and cut them out, ready to fry.  They were yummy as ever!

 Parker is almost as tall as Karen now!
 Friends gathered to visit and enjoy the donuts and fresh apple cider.
 David said he came over just to see Jesse.  He is her "second Dad".  He also listened to Jesse, Peter and Stephen play the piano.  They love to perform!
 Bruce's friend from work, Jonathan, and his wife came to the Cider Festival for the second year in a row.  So fun to see them again!
Sister missionaries, returned missionaries and other friends, hanging out in the shade on the front porch.

We had a wonderful turnout for the Cider Festival and really enjoyed all the wonderful friends who came by.  We drank apple cider tonight at the dinner table.  It was delicious!!

After the Cider Festival was over, I got to sit on the couch and listen to Jesse play the piano, along with her friends Stephen and Peter.  Stephen is a Composition major at BYU, and Peter is a fellow Piano Performance major at BYU.  So can you imagine how heavenly it was to sit and listen and watch them play?!  
Peter and Jesse goofing off.  For BYU piano performance majors, this means playing Listz' Consolation No. 3 with one hand each.  Lovely!

 After they all played, then Peter sight read every song that was put in front of him (as in sight-read it perfectly - it was phenomenal), while Jesse and Stephen sang.  They are both in Concert Choir (and Peter in Men's Chorus), so they sing beautifully.  You could have just floated me right up to heaven, to listen to them sing for probably two hours.  I lost track of time.  Thank you for playing and singing!  It was unforgettable!

The only missing element was wishing Joshua was there to sing with them!

It was Homecoming week at Mary's high school!
Nic, Mary and Chet met at Costco to buy pies for dinner before the Homecoming dance.

 Day date: Cameron, Allie, Chet, Mary, Jenna and Nathan

 Mary at the shooting range for the day date.

Chet picking Mary up for the dance!

 Group shot after the dinner.
 After the dance.

This morning Mary woke up and saw this sunrise, and went up on the roof to take a picture.  She loves sunrises and sunsets.
 PS This was not part of the dance date!!  That was over before 1 am. and they were with a wonderful group of friends the whole time.

After a very eventful week, we were glad for a quiet Sunday.  Church meetings this morning were wonderful.  I cried through all three meetings.  I cry when I feel the Spirit - tears come easily to my eyes.  Bruce bore his testimony today, and it was wonderful.  He testified of the wonderful truths that are found in the Book of Mormon.
I am so grateful for the wonderful Spirit I felt today.  I add my witness to those testimonies borne today that our Heavenly Father is real, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by our Savior Jesus Christ through his appointed prophets and apostles.  I am grateful for that knowledge and witness that the Spirit has borne to my soul.