Sunday, September 27, 2015

All Things Testify There is a God

What a beautiful blood moon we are seeing this evening!  Mary and I climbed up on the roof and got to see it change from the time it was a crescent moon to when it was a full blood moon.  We were joined one by one by people from the Singles Branch, who were here for scripture study, and then Bruce and Peter came up after milking Buttercup, Butterscotch and Lilly, and then even our Home Teachers came up - Doug and his son Jacob.  Fun!

I was so moved by the beautiful moon.  I felt the Spirit testify to me of the beauty and grandeur of our God, and felt comforted by the signs in the heavens that he is hastening his work.  Uncle Chris called me at about 7:30 pm and said they were looking at it down in Arizona.

A few weeks ago Bruce took Libby and others on a horseback ride.  Brett is on the back with Libby, and Parker is behind.  Donna, a foreign exchange student staying with Brandi and Jason is behind.

 Another picture right before the plane ride last week!
Jesse got transferred this week!  It was an emergency transfer to replace a sister that sadly had to go home because she was sick.  Elena, my Mom's best friend since childhood was in Jesse's last area, and she called my Mom after she was transferred and Elena was fit to be tied!  She said that Jesse was the best sister missionary they had ever had in their area - she knew the scriptures, she opened her mouth and talked, and the whole ward was excited about missionary work.  She said the whole ward was disappointed that she got transferred!  Jesse is loving her new area, and she is in the ghetto.  She said this week, "come to California and meet people that say, 'I'll ax him'.  Either they are all serial killers or they accidentally, kinda sorta don't know how to say the word 'ask'. "  Yes - learning new dialects of English is fun!  Here she is visiting an ostrich farm.  She loves ostriches.  She had a stuffed ostrich toy when she was young and it was her favorite one.
Mary was invited to go to the Symphony on a date, so she was raiding my closet for new dresses.  She found the dress that Bruce bought me when he picked me up at the airport when I came home from my mission.  NOTE:  I had already been released in Chile where my parents lived at the time.  So he took me straight from the airport to the mall where we bought his wedding ring at Macey's and he bought me this Laura Ashley dress.  Mary did end up wearing it to the Symphony.  Cool!
And Mary posted this on Facebook today.  These are pictures that Aunt Michelle put together of Mary and her Grandma LuJeanne (Bruce's mother).

She passed away 2 1/2 years ago, and we miss her.  But we don't have to look very far to find someone who looks like her!

A couple of weeks ago our friends came over and Peter ended up holding Abby in the swing.
And here's Peter playing soccer.  He has been playing great!  He had a shot on goal this week, but it went straight to the keeper.  :)

Josh is having a great time at college with cousin Kaleb and his other roommate Andrew, or "Rooney" as Josh calls him.

Josh is serving as the Executive Secretary in his ward, and between that calling, his classes and still working at the sandwich shop, he is one busy fellow!  But obviously leaving enough time for fun!

Joseph has been working the swing shift at his new job at a potato processing facility.  He is living with my Mom & Dad, helping my Mom with odd jobs and giving her some peace of mind at night.  Although some nights he is not there, like Friday night, where he worked until one in the morning, came home and threw some things in the back of his car and went over to Rexburg to pick up Andrew.  They drove up to the parking lot at the trail head of Table Rock, threw down a tarp and slept from 3:00 am - 4:00 am (roughly) and then hiked Table Rock in 2 1/2 hours!  That is hauling up the mountain to see the sunsrise!  Interestingly, it took them about the same time to come DOWN the mountain as it did to go up.  (That is unfathomable to me, frankly, but they did it!)  The really funny part of this story is how I casually told Joseph that Grandma probably didn't like it that he did that, and he confirmed my assessment.  "No, she did not approve at all," he said.  For some reason, I totally knew that would be the case. I may or may not have done some crazy things like that in my teenage/young adult years, and Grandma may or may not have approved!  Ha ha ha!  We are all behaving true to form, as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

Mary just told me that Joseph told her that he probably shouldn't have told Grandma that he carried a 30 lb pack with a car jack in it up to Table Rock in order to roll rocks down the mountain.  Oh my word, I laughed so hard when she told me that!

AND, here's a selfie of me coming home from Church.  I taught Gospel Doctrine today on 1 Corinthians 11-16.  Awesome material!  

Libby just pointed out that Peter's elbows make it look like I have elf ears!  Hahahaha! He was sitting behind me in the car when I took the selfie.  Oh my heck, I didn't even realize that till now.  Super funny!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Press Forward, Saints

Peter has been getting more playing time on the JV soccer team.  The coach switched him to left forward!  He is pictured here in the blue in the middle.
Jesse had an emergency transfer this week because of a sister that had to go home because she was sick.  So she is now in "the ghetto" as she termed it.  She was really excited!  I hope she finds a lot of people to teach there.

I am having a great time teaching my Lightfeet Zoning class.  My friend brings her little 3 week old son Wesley, and I got to hold him while she practiced the points I had just taught.  Fun!
Mary, Peter and Libby got to fly in an airplane for the first time!  
Uncle Gérard took them up flying yesterday and they had a great time.  Mary even got to fly the plane for awhile.  Gérard said she made a perfect turn.  Here's an aerial view our property.

Joseph and Bruce went hunting early in the week.  Bruce said, "We saw a ton of bull elk but all within a 2 hour span spread out over 2 days - 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 before dark - that is when they were talking and we had to be where they were during that time and get it just right - we didn't, but sure saw a bunch of them."

Bruce said it was cold, wet and rainy up there, and when he got back he had a cold, so he has been slowly recovering from that all week.  I started to get a bad sinus headache last night, but I used RC, Deep Relief, Breathe Again Roll-on, and then I diffused Laurus Nobilis, and when I woke up this morning it was GONE.  I was so grateful!

Mary helped Nic take pictures on Friday night at the Homecoming Dance, and earned $80 in the process.  Good friends, good times!

Josh, Joseph and their roommate Andrew went over to Craig & Jenette's for Sunday dinner.  After playing horsey with the girls and Grant, this is where they ended up!

Mary has invited all the singles branch over tonight for scripture study.  It's so fun to have everyone over.  A pic after saying good-bye to everyone:

Speaking of having everyone over, we had big crew here last Monday night for Family Home Evening.  We had Greg & Rachelle, Todd & Kristie, Matt & Chantel, Jay & Leah, Tyson & Laurel, and Caryn (her husband Matt couldn't make it), Doug & Tonia, and all their kids.  It was super fun.  We had a celebration for the Jewish New Year, the first day of Tishri.  We had falafels and watermelon, and all kinds of deserts.  Then we had a short lessen, where I talked about Isaiah 58 and the "bands" being loosed and the restoring of the breach in the wall.  Then we had a long talk that lasted until midnight!  (The advantages of having friends that home school.  haha)  Oh, and LaWanna was here also.  All the kids went outside and had a blast playing Capture the Flag.  I love hosting big parties, that is for sure!

We had a wonderful Stake Conference today.  Our Stake President made a wonderful point about the Sabbath being a sign to us from God that the Savior can heal us. And our actions on the Sabbath are a sign to God of what and whom we choose to be our God.  I am grateful for the Sabbath day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dancin' in September

Joshua and Joseph drove through the night on their way home from San Diego and got home at 6:00 am in the morning on Labor Day.  We, of course, were planning on sleeping in, but we were interrupted by these two big yahoos jumping on our bed!  They had gone and woken up the rest of the kids too, so pretty soon here was everybody in a big dogpile on our bed.  Good thing it is a King Size bed.  It lasted for awhile and then, to no one's surprise, it deteriorated quickly.  It's a miracle no one got hurt, is all I have to say.  Then we all went in to the kitchen and had a dance party, dancing to September, Juicy Wiggle and something else I can't remember - but there were 3 songs.  Fun!  And then we had scripture study and prayer.  It was great family time!

Later in the morning Gerard and Michelle came over and we had breakfast together before Gerard took Mary, Peter and Libby to fly in an airplane!
Unfortunately, the plane wouldn't start, so they weren't able to go up that day, but they will go another time.  It's really great to have an uncle that's a pilot!

Joshua and Joseph left early the next morning to drive back to school.  Joshua is going the Fall Semester, and Joseph is living with my Mom & Dad and working.  Josh is rooming with cousin Kaleb, so that is going to be fun for them!

Well, we said goodbye to Muy Bueno this week!  This was Jesse's nickname for our green 2002 Town & Country van.  We've had it since 2007.  We decided to go with the money from the insurance settlement instead of buying it back from the junkyard.  It was hard because Jesse and Muy Bueno made a deal that it would make it to 300,000 miles.  Maybe some poor soul will still drive it to 300,000 but it won't be us.
It served us well, but when it looked like this, it was "pretty much done fer."

Bruce & I had a wonderful weekend at the "Couples Retreat" that Bruce's sister Michelle planned.  4 out of the five siblings came with their spouses:  Shawn & Janel, Bruce & I, Gerard & Michelle, and Gary & Heidi.
 It was delightful!  We mostly just sat around and talked and ate wonderful food! We did take a "field trip" to the farm to help Gary & Heidi load llamas.

There are so many memories out at the farm.  Shawn & Janel hadn't been there since Mom (LuJeanne) passed away, so there were some sweet memories and tears shed as we remembered her.  Her imprint is in every corner of that farm.
This is the same table that their parents had in the house growing up, so we took a picture of them all sitting around that table.  I really love this picture.  (Thy fly swatter hanging on the wall in the back completes the picture!)
 Shawn and Bruce were always in the middle, so they always had to crawl out underneath if they wanted to get out.
 A trip to the farm is not complete without going to Arctic Circle!
That night we watched the BYU vs. BSU football game, and did our share of standing and cheering!  What a game!  Thank you to Gerard and Michelle for hosting this Couples Retreat.  We will do it again next year for sure!

Libby had a science project to see how far paper airplanes could fly.
She had her first soccer game this week too!  She played middle defender the whole time, taking after her sisters!

Peter got a lot more playing time this week in his soccer games.  He played really hard in practice, and the coach gave him some high praise before their last game.  Way to work hard, Peter!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Now Thank We All Our God

Our strawberry patch didn't do too well this year, but early in the week I walked past and saw these beautiful strawberries just sitting there.  No one else was home, and as my great-great grandfather Ephraim K. Hanks said, "I wasn't at a loss to know what to do."  They were delicious.
Everybody pile on top of Dad.  This is the girls' mantra.
Peter running off the field after his JV soccer game.  Way to go Peter!  He hasn't gotten too much playing time, so that has been a learning experience.  But he talked to the coach about what he could do to improve, and he's working hard.
Joseph and Dad went with Randy hunting about 3 hours away.  They went bow hunting, but didn't have any success because the bulls were not bugling yet.  When they would get close to them, they would hear them and run away.  But they had a good time anyway.

The next day after getting home from hunting, Joseph and Josh went drove to San Diego, California this week, along with friend Logan, to their roommate Dan's wedding to Jessica.  Look where they passed through - Bakersfield!
Josh, Dan, Logan and Joseph at the beach!  Finally, at least two of my children have been at a warm beach.  I'm happy about that!
They also went to an aircraft carrier, the Midway.
Joseph sent me this picture the wedding day, and said that he wanted to elope, that he didn't want to do this.  Well, he'll have to find a girl that wants to give up her wedding day.  I think I'll have to do some explaining to Joseph when he gets back...
Josh at the wedding reception.  :)
Driving through Los Angeles
And look at that sign - Tehachapi!
And here they are at the Mission Office!

We did this to Joseph too - went to his mission office and took a picture.  Are you weirded out yet, Jesse?!  Correction:  They never actually went to the mission office - they were out of time - but they did look it up.  :)

In the meantime, back at the ranch (so to speak), Libby has big news.  She finally got a cell phone!  It's a "basic" phone - an LG Cosmos 3.  And Peter moved to Jesse's old Samsung slider phone.  I can't tell you how glad I am that Libby and Peter both have phones now.  Yeah!

I have had an incredible week of working with the Healer's Blueprint with clients and friends.  I think I did a balance every day, and some days two.  I am still getting used to the rigors of it because I got a cold and a cough during the week.  It didn't affect my functionality, but I realized that it may be because I'm still getting used to the intense nature of the work.  I will get stronger!  It really is a miracle to me, though, how the Lord has brought this about.   I have been so humbled and honored to work with friends who truly have been through horrendous things, and yet have come through with such willing and faithful hearts.  I am strengthened by their courage and their valiant lives.  I also had two friends this week whose children suffered falls and had signs of concussions, who were healed by priesthood blessings.  It was truly a miracle.

I am so full of gratitude for the Lord's bounteous blessings to our family.  I know HE lives!  I desire more than anything in my life to be among the meek and humble followers of Jesus Christ, who are valiant in their testimony of Him.  I love my Savior and Redeemer and acknowledge his mighty hand in making me whole, and making whole my wonderful friends who come seeking healing.  He is the Master Physician and the Great Healer.

In any way I can, I want to witness that we can TRUST HIM.  His word is sure, and even though it may seem to you at a dark time in your life that you are out in the wilderness with nowhere to turn, keep moving forward with your faith, even though it may be a flickering candle.  Keep that simple light shining in your heart, because it is the Lord's light, and it will grow brighter as you move forward.  I have found that to be true in my own life, and I witness to you that it can be the same in yours.  There is hope and help and there are blessings ahead!