Sunday, June 12, 2016

Putty, Sand, Vacuum, Prime, Paint... and do it Again

This has been the story of the week.  But things are coming along!  Here's one of the walls we worked on this week.  Touched up paint, cleaned stair rail (done last week by Mary and Becca), and new light fixture.  Yeah! Oh, and the carpet on the stairs got stretched too.
Our hardwood floor got finished this week too, and it is beautiful!  The house is looking SO NICE.

I also had the help of six Relief Society Sisters that came in and cleaned windows, window sills, blinds, and even Jeni, who came with her two daughters and climbed up on the kitchen counter and vacuumed off the top of the cupboards.  Interestingly, Jeni has MS and had just the day before come home from spending four days at Girls Camp.  Wow - can you figure anyone that had a better excuse not to sign up to come over and help?  When I talked to her about how she managed her MS, she said, "I think it's more how I think about it than anything.  Sometimes I'll think I can't do something, but then I just start to do it, and I'll find that I can do it."  And then there is Shelly, who is doing the same exact thing we are doing - getting ready to put her house on the market - and she is over helping us.  And Amber, who brought her two kids to help, and Melanie, Tanya, and Heather - put in wonderful hours of service for our family.  I was so grateful!  And I hope to pay it forward many times over.

On the way home from Church, I was thinking about my children, how each one of them makes the world a better place wherever they are.  Lynsie came up to me at Church today and said, "Libby was so great at Girl's Camp."  She related how encouraging she was to all the other girls and was up for whatever was presented.  She had fun!
I love this picture of Libby!  She said that halfway up this hike they gave the girls a chance to turn back if they wanted to.  As Libby related the story, she rolled her eyes.  No turning back for this girl!

Peter was a good sport this week to work every day.  He and Libby performed Saturday night for the Mrs. Idaho pagent with Breakaway Ballroom, their dance company.

Becca came over on Friday night and we went out to Applebee's with her.  We figured out that she fits right in the spot in our family where we have a big gap - between Mary and Peter.  It's just perfect.  :)

Last night my friend Diane brought dinner over to us - glazed pork chops with potato salad, watermelons, Izzy's and lemon bars for dessert.  It was so good!

Becca also got to spend some time with Joseph in Rexburg.  Here are these two love birds!

Josh got 97.5% on his French test this week.  This is the same number that he has gotten every time he has taken a French test this semester.  I told him, if you're going to be stuck on a number, that's a good one!  Update:  Josh informed me that it's not only this semester but last semester too - he got 97.5 on every test!  Haha - even more funny!

Jesse sent a bunch of pictures out this week.  This is my favorite:
Mia lives in their ward, and Jesse and her companion go up there on P-days sometimes (they live up in the mountains).  Jesse loves it there.  Apparently in this picture Mia just threw a bucket of water on her.  For some reason, this picture makes me miss Jesse so much I can hardly stand it!

I decided to start posting some of my favorite pictures from Mary and Kevin's engagement photos!

This week our dear neighbor and friend Helen Bryson passed on to the other side of the veil.  She and Wally had ten children, and they were ALL around her bedside when she passed away.  Imagine that!  They said it was beautiful and peaceful,  It was an amazing thing to go over to their house and see them sitting around talking, and feel the "peace that passeth understanding".  The blessings of the eternal sealing covenant are real, and they are available to us as families.  I'm so grateful that our family is sealed together!  Pres Boyd K. Packer, the former President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, said repeatedly that the aim of everything we do in the church is so that a mother and father can be happy at home with their children, sealed in the covenant, and protected by the priesthood.  To experience that is a wonderful blessing!

I have determined that I will speak differently about death than I have in the past.  If someone is dead, that means they are no longer living.  But the problem with that word usage is that it's not true - it doesn't happen - to anyone.  Everyone that "dies" keeps on LIVING.  You'll notice that I said Helen had passed ON.  This is how I will refer to the end of mortal life from now on - passed on, instead of died, or passed away.  When I announced this in Relief Society today I said, "Our dear Helen has made it!  She's done with her probation and she made it!  She endured well to the end of mortality and was a shining example to all of us."  I saw a lot of appreciative faces and joy and love for Helen!
We express tenderness for the family that remains in mortality, and love for them, but wow - can we be anything but happy for the person that has passed on, especially if they lived the life that Helen did?

I am grateful for every single person in my life, everyone, including the ones that are challenging.  Even those, because I know they are in my life for a reason, and I love them for going through whatever hard thing they are going through in order to give me a chance to learn and grow.  In mortality, we are all in a CONNECTED WEB of sinning, and being sinned against, having challenges and successes, having good days and bad, and working through this mortal experience together.  Truly, when we look back, we will see how closely our lives intertwined.  And how desperately we need our Savior Jesus Christ to be the bedrock of our foundation.

The final message from today, the verse that Josh read as his final statement in his talk at HS Graduation:

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