Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Thoughts 2015

Our Easter celebration and commemoration is upon us.  The glorious event pictured above is the culmination of this week.  The joy of the open tomb of our resurrected Lord and Redeemer. The events leading up to it were not so pleasant.

I have written a lot of Easter posts in the past few years and have given talks about Easter on Easter in church more than once or twice.  But for a couple of years I had been trying to remember where I had seen the Easter passages that really touched my heart several years ago.  It was in one of our church books somewhere.  I am excited that I have found it again and I love this so much.  This is a talk given by Jeffery R. Holland when he was the President of Brigham Young University in 1985.  I found a portion of it in his book entitled On Earth As It Is On Heaven.  It was published in 1989 By Deseret Books.

The book included a portion of the talk in this anthology.  The Chapter heading is I Stand All Amazed.  Hmm, being the researcher in training these days I thought maybe...just maybe there is a talk online by Elder Holland with the same title.  Bingo.  I found it on Google is a nano second.

So I have given you a portion of his words where he is quoting a former Apostle, Elder Melvin J Ballard later on in the text.

Elder Holland...

“There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
“And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
“Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
“But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
“But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
“And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.” (Matt. 21:33–39.)

That is the moment at which we find ourselves on the summit of Golgotha. It is not a pleasant story. Through patience that seems inordinately generous, the Father and the Son have waited and watched and worked in this vineyard for mercy to run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. But they have not run. Not only have the prophets and faithful few been killed, but now so is to be the son of the Lord of the vineyard. A terrible, incalculable price is to be paid, and it wounds the human heart to tell it.
In the midst of the swearing and the spit, the thorns and the threats, the ridicule and the rending of his garments; added to the crushing weight of his own body straining for support on the very nails that have been driven into his hands and into his feet; with friends in retreat and foes as far as the eye could see, the worst possible scene in this divine drama unfolds.
Perhaps the briefest glimpse is given of the terrible emotions and forces at work here when we read lines intentionally preserved for us in the original Aramaic: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46.)
There is one thing and one thing alone this Only Begotten Son has been sure of: the love and companionship and unwavering support of his father. Consider these lines taken almost at random from the Gospel of John. They are suggestive of a theme that runs throughout that book.
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: … The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” (John 5:19–20.)
“I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38.)
“I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him.” (John 7:28–29.)
“The Father that sent me beareth witness of me. … If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (John 8:18–19.)
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30.)
“He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49.)
“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32.)
And then this assertion, perhaps the most painful of all: “I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. … He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:16, 29.)
That one constant thread of doctrine and belief, the one certainty he had in spite of what might happen among mortal friend and foe: “[My] Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things which please him.”
And now, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
May I share this from Elder Melvin J. Ballard, written many years ago:
“I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress … and not render assistance? I have heard of mothers throwing themselves into raging streams when they could not swim a stroke to save their drowning children, [I have heard of fathers] rushing into burning buildings to rescue those whom they loved.
“We cannot stand by and listen to those cries without its touching our hearts. … He had the power to save, and He loved His Son, and He could have saved Him. He might have rescued Him from the insult of the crowds. He might have rescued Him when the crown of thorns was placed upon His head. He might have rescued Him when the Son, hanging between two thieves, was mocked with, ‘Save thyself, and come down from the cross. He saved others; himself he cannot save.’ He listened to all this. He saw that Son condemned; He saw Him drag the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and faint under its load. He saw the Son finally upon Calvary; he saw His body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh, and let out the life’s blood of His [Only Begotten] Son. …
“[He] looked on [all that] with great grief and agony over His Beloved [Child], until there seems to have come a moment when even our Saviour cried out in despair: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.
“In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles, … His great heart almost breaking for the love that He had for His Son. Oh, in that moment when He might have saved His Son, I thank Him and praise Him that He did not fail us. … I rejoice that He did not interfere, and that His love for us made it possible for Him to endure to look upon the sufferings of His [Only Begotten] and give Him finally to us, our Saviour and our Redeemer. Without Him, without His sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into His presence. … This is what it cost, in part, for our Father in heaven to give the gift of His Son unto men.
“He, … our God, is a jealous God—jealous lest we should [ever] ignore and forget and slight His greatest gift unto us”—the life of his Firstborn Son. (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness,Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, pp. 136–38.)"

Elder Holland continues...
So how do we make sure that we never “ignore or slight or forget” his greatest of all gifts unto us?
We do so by showing our desire for a remission of our sins and our eternal gratitude for that most courageous of all prayers, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.) We do so by joining in the work of forgiving sins, which is so clearly demonstrated hour after hour, day after day, in temple work, from the baptismal font on the back of those twelve oxen deep inside the House of the Lord clear to the veil of the temple, the celestial room, and the Holy of Holies beyond it.
“‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,’ [Paul commands us]. (Gal. 6:2) … The law of Christ, which it is our duty to fulfill, is the bearing of the cross. My brother’s burden which I must bear is not only his outward lot [and circumstance], … but quite literally his sin. And the only way to bear that sin is by forgiving it in the power of the cross of Christ in which [we] now share. Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share [in] the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian’s duty to bear.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 2d ed., New York: Macmillan, 1959, p. 100.)
Surely the reason Christ said “Father, forgive them” was because even in the weakened and terribly trying hour he faced, he knew that this was the message he had come through all eternity to deliver. 
All of the meaning and all of the majesty of all those dispensations—indeed the entire plan of salvation—would have been lost had he forgotten that not in spite of injustice and brutality and unkindness and disobedience but precisely because of them had he came to extend forgiveness to the family of man.
Anyone can be pleasant and patient and forgiving on a good day. A Christian has to be pleasant and patient and forgiving on all days. It is the quintessential moment of his ministry, and as perfect in its example as it was difficult to endure.
Is there someone in your life who perhaps needs forgiveness? Is there someone in your home, someone in your family, someone in your neighborhood who has done an unjust or an unkind or an unchristian thing? All of us are guilty of such transgressions, so there surely must be someone who yet needs your forgiveness.
And please don’t ask if that’s fair—that the injured should have to bear the burden of forgiveness for the offender. Don’t ask if “justice” doesn’t demand that it be the other way around. No, whatever you do, don’t ask for justice. You and I know that what we plead for is mercy—and that is what we must be willing to give."

I find this to be extremely beautiful and poetic and true.  I especially love the portion where he is quoting Elder Ballard.  We often think of the magnitude of our Savior's sacrifice which is incomprehensible to us.  
But until I read this passage I never pondered deeply about the unfathomable anguish of Our Heavenly Father as He watched His Only Begotten Son experience this horrific death one hideous abuse after another, knowing that he could have stopped it.  But He, Our Heavenly Father, suffered it for us. Having a son of your own adds yet another dimension of appreciation for His gift.  Our Heavenly Father did this because He loves us...that much.  Imagine it!  It was for you and for me individually and all of us.  Not as a group but for each one.  
There are not words sufficient to express the gratitude we should feel for both The Father and The Son not just in this Holy Week but all the time.  Because of that pivotal and universal sacrifice the opportunity for everything that is important in this life and the next can be ours.  This should give us great cause alone to have A Very Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter Eggs~I Learned Something Today!

I enjoy that a lot of our religious celebrations also are accompanied by cultural traditions that are fun for families and people everywhere.  Which one among us would not like to get a chocolate bunny for Easter no matter our age?  

I like occasions that unify us as a people, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc. There are far too many things that divide us as Americans. The speaker in church stated today that he had looked up Easter eggs and then he said something I cannot ever remember hearing before.  I may be showing my ignorance here!  Or have I known it before and dismissed or forgotten it?  Who can know for sure with the hard drive of my brain getting more full day by day?  

Anyway his talk prompted me to look Easter Eggs up on Wikipedia.  Sure enough his words were a direct quote from the Wiki.  

"Easter Eggs, also called Pascal Eggs, are decorated eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.  As such, Easter Eggs are common during the season of Easter.  The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionary such as jelly beans. Eggs were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth in Christianity. 

For the celebration of Eastertide, Easter Eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.  The Easter Egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who will also experience eternal life."

The part I didn't know was the underlined part of the above paragraph.  Easter Eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.  I never could really grasp that from the way Easter eggs were done in our childhood.  

But I think it is perfect for the way modern customs have provided us with the plastic eggs that open.  We normally put little treats inside, right?  There has got to be a clever little way to have kids find some eggs that are empty and that is the surprise inside. (So they don't burst into tears explain first perhaps? Like something far better awaits when you find an empty one?) Then following up with something about the resurrection for the little ones and a really special treat.  For what it is worth, it just made me think of a way we could incorporate a teaching moment along with an Easter Egg Hunt for our little ones.  

In keeping with my new resolve to post more often and reprise older posts here is one from 2011.

Easter Eggs

Wouldn't it be fun if you could save eggs your kids decorate when they are little that aren't hand blown and so fragile? Wouldn't it be neater if your little kids could even hold and decorate a blown out egg without cracking it?

Once while decorating eggs with my friend, Lee, I discovered that you can. Did you know that you can hard boil and decorate eggs that will last forever a long long time? If they don't have any cracks they will be just fine for years to come. I always thought they would start smelling rotten, but nope. All that happens is that the egg inside dehydrates and shrinks and they are like a little rattle over time. Think plastic egg with a small chocolate egg in it. The first few years I would leave them out but hidden for a few months to make sure they were not rotten before storing them away. I have never had a problem and neither has Lee and she still has some that her mother painted for her when she was a little girl. Try it, it is eggciting.

The eggs that you see with the patterns on them are done with hard boiled eggs and spring tissue papers. You just tear some pieces dip them in liquid starch and press them on the egg and dry. Our daughter, Jen, taught me this little trick ten years ago when we were in Scotland she made them for Piper's first Easter. I fell in love with them but they were the blown eggs so would not transport easily. Finally I just made some of my own. Again, my kinda thing. They really are pretty cute for the effort that goes into them.

Well, I hate to put all my eggs in one basket but this is probably the only crafting post you will ever see from this chick!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Week is Coming

This is just beautiful and says it all. Remember Him!

Kick-Start Heightened Personal Productivity!

When I looked at my total number of posts this year I felt terrible.  FIVE.  That is not acceptable. I have decided to revisit the over two thousand posts I have done since December 2007 and republish some of the more timeless ones, or the reminiscent ones, or the funny ones.  I also thought that it might be fun to pick amongst the hundreds of Pinterest photos I have collected and share thoughts about one every once in awhile.  This post comes from another blogger and it is one that helps me a lot even still.  Attribution and link below for The Happiness Project's author.

The only place clutter works~in the garden!

Remember when we thought that electronics would make our world of paper, a thing of the past? Wow, not so. When I got home last night I found two and a half weeks worth of mail, magazines, junk mail, bills, cards and letters, adverts, you name it. Jim was so sweet to stack it all up nicely for me and for that I am grateful...but Holy Cow! So much paper! I am a real stickler about keeping my desk fairly well cleaned off as I find it gets overwhelming if you don't. I also go into many homes where the paper takes up more room than the people. For me it is almost like brushing your teeth~you take care of it everyday for a few minutes or pay the price down the line.

I have so much to do to get ready for the staging on Friday but I really just couldn't unclutter my mind to think straight until I took care of this paper mess. So I have slowly been chipping away at it while unpacking, etc. Some time ago I ran across a fun blog and today there is a great article in there about this very topic and increasing our personal productivity. 

This article is by Gretchen Rubin. You can find her here~
Add her to your Reader, she has some great ideas.


Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
Better Personal Productivity

"I confess: I can’t touch each piece of paper just one time. I can’t return every email within 24 hours. I can’t maintain a clear desk at all times. I can’t go paperless. Nevertheless, I’ve found some realistic strategies for getting things done that have helped me a lot.
One thing I know about myself is that an accumulation of tiny tasks, even if they aren’t particularly irksome in themselves, combine to make me feel overwhelmed and drained. If I can keep little chores from piling up, I feel much more capable of tackling bigger, more difficult tasks.
For that reason, many of my most important daily personal productivity rules are very low-tech and simple – they’re aimed to help me accomplish the most basic tasks of my day.
1. Follow the “one-minute rule.” I don’t postpone any task that can be done in less than one minute. I put away my umbrella; I glance at a letter and toss it; I put the newspapers in the recycling bin; I close the cabinet door. Because the tasks are so quick, it isn’t too hard to make myself follow the rule, but it has big results.
2. Observe the “evening tidy-up.” I take ten minutes before bed to do simple tidying. Tidying up at night made our mornings more serene and pleasant, because I’m not running to and fro like a headless chicken; and it also helps me prepare me for sleep, because putting things in order is calming, and doing something physical makes me aware of being tired.
3. Do a daily errand, or a bi-weekly errand afternoon. I keep a list of things I need to do (get a prescription filled, buy a new toner cartridge, return library books), and each day, I do one of them. Doing one errand is manageable, and although it doesn’t sound like much, it adds up. My mother prefers to spend one afternoon every few weeks running errands—perhaps a more efficient strategy in a place like Kansas City, where she needs to do a lot of driving from place to place, in contrast to New York City, where I usually do my errands while I’m walking someplace. And while I’m running those errands, I…
4. Buy necessary supplies and keep them in order. Nothing annoys me more than spending time vainly searching for some obscure yet important office supply: a jumbo binder clip, an index card, a ruler, double-sided tape. I dislike running errands (therefore, tip #2), but having the right equipment, and keeping it organized enough so I can find what I want, makes a big difference to how much I can get accomplished in a day. Also my level of aggravation.

5. Ask yourself, “Why do I need this?” before you keep anything. I have a friend who filed the stubs from her gas bills for years. “Why do you keep those at all?” I asked, when she was complaining about how far behind she was with her personal paperwork. “My father always told me to keep that kind of thing,” she said. That’s not a good enough reason!
6. If there’s something you don’t want to do, prepare all the necessary preliminary steps the night before, and make yourself do it first thing in the morning. For example, I dislike making even the easiest phone calls, so I always steel myself to do those right away. (Check here if you need more tips for making yourself place phone calls you don’t want to make.)

7. Be diligent about “unsubscribing.” I need to be better at this. We all find our way onto email lists and newsletters of all sorts, and I often let weeks or months go by before taking five seconds to unsubscribe. But it’s worth it, to weed out clutter from your in-box.
8. Keep a daily scratch pad. You know those notes you write to yourself—phone numbers, URLs, the “call John Doe” reminders, the quick “don’t forget” notes…all those nagging loose ends that clutter the surface of a desk, and then vanish, get thrown away, or can’t be deciphered when you’re looking for them? Now I keep a scratch pad on my desk, and anytime I have the urge to make a note, I discipline myself to write it there. At the end of the day, I copy anything I need to keep (this is important!), then toss the paper.
9. Remember my Eighth Commandment and “Identify the problem.” This sounds so obvious, but it’s astonishingly helpful. For example, I like to work in coffee shops, and for years, and I mean years, I spent a lot of time running out of battery power and chasing around looking for someplace to plug in my laptop. Then I asked myself: “What’s the problem?” Answer: “I need more battery power.” Light dawned. I could buy an extra battery! I did, and it gave me a huge boost in productivity."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't Be Afraid...

I thought this was quite cool and decided to write a little something about it.  What is so great about sparkle and why should a lady go for it?  Because she can!   Sparkle is adding a little pizazz to the ordinary.  I love that the fashion industry has been on bling for several years now.  Why?  Because it is fun and fancy and whimsical.  I don't like dreary...not a bit.

Glitter adds light and uplift and excitement to drab.  There comes that time in a woman's life when she is no longer a young girl. Around the 40s it seems to hit.  People often decided to quit trying then.  My thought is if you can buy a cute tee shirt with a little bedazzlement...why not?  Or a ring with some pretty stones or a dangly bracelet...go for it.  Or how about a cute scarf that adds a lot to an outfit and covers up those neck wrinkles a bit or at least distracts the eye.  A big YES!

It will lift your spirit and make you feel fancy.  It doesn't have to be expensive, in fact it shouldn't be. Just something to brighten your countenance and make your eyes sparkle a little more is fun.  Of course sparkly from the inside is essential and beautiful too.  But today I'm just talking about the exterior.  I say why do drab when you don't have to?  Unless of course you like the real toned down approach, in which case then carry on!

As for me and my closet we are going to keep calm and sparkle on.  Why?  Because it makes me happy.  When I am happy I see the world through a different set of glasses.  They are rose-colored perhaps, but that is OK isn't it?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Simple Woman's Day Book~March 23, 2015 NEW!

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Monday, March 23, 2015
Outside my window...we had a little rain last night and it was sorely needed.  Everything looks clean today.  The trees and flowers look fresh and new.  I opened all the windows this morning but now in the late afternoon a chill has set in and I closed the house and am about to cuddle up under a blanket.

I am thankful for...for the fact that I recognize that I need to write whether I feel like it or not.  I am sure you may have noticed that I have been off my blog for 6 weeks and if you are a regular follower you may be long gone by now.  That is how it can be with blogging.  I remember one time this lady wrote to me and said how much reading my blog had become a part of her day, and that each and every day she waited for my post.  Sometimes that was what spurred me on to keep going.  Just knowing that someone appreciated it and enjoying reading it.  I do wonder whatever happened to Dorothy.

From the learning thing I have learned about myself is that I have to be in a certain state of mind to enjoy writing. But the farther I slip away from that state of mind, the more the state of mind I'm in requires that exercise of the pouring out and sorting the things in my head.  They say that introverts have a constant conversation with themselves going on in their heads.  Well, that's me and it is so true.  I am a social person but I require my space also.  During that time of renewal and solitude I ponder.  I sometimes worry.  I somethings retreat from all but a few.  I am sometimes very content and joyful and other times I am reflective and melancholy.  But regardless of that momentary state...I ponder.  The writing simply helps me sort things out and process all that pondering.  It is very cathartic and grounding for me.  It helps bring back the things that are the most important into a place where I can prioritize them and focus on them and above all be grateful for them.  

I am reading...all the time.  I just find no time for reading for pleasure anymore.  I miss that but I feel restless when I try to do it, as I feel an urgency to educate myself on the principles of my passion.  Genealogy and the creation of a family legacy or family history.   It feels like I am in school full time now and it is exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.  I love the teaching and the learning and most of all the option to do what I please.  It is delightful to examine and pursue my interest without constant interruptions.  It is a privilege that most of us wait a life time for~what a blessing.  

I often wonder how different we might all be it we could have done this all along the way in our lives by being able to find appropriate balance in our duties.  Having more time and energy left over for our own specific growth and development along the way would have been good.  

I don't know about you but for me the last thing on my list was adding yet another thing that wanted a piece of me.  I kept my blinders on to other interests to get through the days with a full time job and three children to raise, and hubby and parents with needs as well. Funny but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way at the time either.  In some way is was preparatory to what I enjoy so much now.  It is a bit of a paradox really.

That all seems like another lifetime now somehow.  Now the world is wide open to me and I love that.  I want to learn about lots of things and become who I am supposed to be in the autumn of my life.  I don't have time or interest in the trite things of life, like wasting time and the squabbles or negativity of others.  Life is too short.  And I want to spend all my time socially with family and friends that uplift and inspire me not who drag me down. I am very blessed in that department and I am so grateful for each of you.

From the kitchen...keeping it simple and basic and low cal.  Trying to lose a few pounds before our UK adventure.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I recognize that although my life seems to be in three separate parts, all very different from the others; the common thread has been my love for my good family and friends.  That love coupled inseparably and undeniably with that is my love for God.  Spirituality and my love for God has always been present in my life has been the glue.  God has been the one ever present constant.  The gifts of our Savior have colored and been my foundation all of my life.  I cannot even imagine my life without it.  Nor would I want to do so.

Someone I am praying for this brother Steve who had surgery this past week.  Awaiting biopsy results that should be here any day now.   Piper who has not been at the top of her game health wise in the last little while and always Hazel and all of our family and friends each as they stand in need.

I am hearing...Not much really except my own thoughts and the train just went by bringing commuters home for the night.  A car or two here and there is passing by and that is it.  Must be time for a little Kate Davis and her jazzy bass.

Quote of the week from James Tanner..."You cannot push a rope." This is reference to the idea of leading a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.  You cannot push someone to do something they do not want to do, etc.  I love this.  I have tried this and I testify that it is true.   You definitely cannot push a rope.  Nope, it ain't happenin' - not ever!

Pinterest photo of the week...

I love this apple green
It's so springy and pretty.

One of my pleasures...I really enjoy putting various clothes and jewelry and accessories together.  I like paying attention to the details of what I am wearing whether I'm going some place special or just hanging out at home.  I find if I take care of all of that in the early morning I feel better about myself and I am ready to conquer the day...come what may.  If I skip it I regret it all day.  I just don't feel on top of my game at all on those days.  I love buying basics and then interchanging them and creating new looks.  I like all that girly stuff a lot.

Pet the afternoon arrives too early and I run out of steam.  After I take a little rest in the late afternoon I get a second wind but it is not for intense work. It is for fun stuff like movies and Pinterest and texting, etc.  Hehe.. So I have to get major things done early.  

Past Remembrance...When Jim and I and Laura were on the train to Edinburgh to pick up Jennifer from her mission and we heard a little British girl about 3 years old singing Baa Baa Black Sheep with the cutest little accent on earth.  I love an English or Scottish accent and no one does it better that the wee ones.  I am hoping that memory will spur me on to the trip I am supposed to be planning ASAP!

If I could change one thing it would be..Mitt in the Oval Office.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Grantchester.  Love that little Vicar!

I am curious British TV can be consistently better than American TV.

Plans for the rest of the week...Work tomorrow and then trip planning until I get it done.  Women's General Conference on Saturday evening.  I got a new iPhone 6 this week so still trying to get that all set up. Annoying but worth it.

One of my favorite things...having my cell phone available at night when I am wide awake and I don't want to just lie there, or get up because it is cold.  I love just pulling up the covers and snuggling down and reading new email or often old email from special people like you.  Or reading one of my Kindle books on my phone.  It is so much better than when I use to walk around the house aimlessly or folded laundry...before electronics rescued insomniacs.

One thing that made me so happy this past week...that we have been grandparents for 16 years.  Piper turned sixteen on the 18th.  She is learning to drive and I am thrilled that we get to spend Easter together.

The most surprising thing this past week...that I have an ancestor that was in the first emigrating group of LDS passengers out of Wales in the early 1850s. They came to America and made their way to Utah.  I was shocked and thrilled and then a few days later someone asked me to join the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. (Not sure about that!) That was a lot to take in within a few days. That ancestor is buried in Brigham City, Utah and you can bet we will be visiting the graveside of John Davis Rees soon.  Only another convert could appreciate that story as we do.

Here is a photo I'm sharing this week....

Piper and Chloe the day or so before Piper turned 16.  These girls are so amazing. The interesting things about the human heart it is has an infinite capacity to love. When you just think you cannot love more or another single can. The Lord just gifts you with an endless supply of "love terabytes"~more heart space free of charge.  If you don't believe it have some grandkids! Meet a fabulous new friend or do your family history.

Take Care of You For Me!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Simple Woman's Daybook~February 8, 2015

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Sunday, February 8, 2015
Outside my window...The sun is up but covered up with the gray clouds.  It's early yet and the forecast is it is to be raining throughout the day.    The groundhog definitely saw his shadow here, so more winter with some rain for us. This is a huge gift.  It has been a mild winter most of the time but we've had some super cold days too, but very little rain.  The things I like least about winter are the short days and viruses. Spring will be coming soon, right?

Jim has had that respiratory thing going on for the past 8+ weeks.  Our friend had it from July to December.  It comes and goes but never quite goes away and the coughing is horrendous.  Of course the minute it goes away, he jumps back on his horse full speed ahead, and then he wears himself out and it comes back. So crazy. I have been fearing I'd get it this whole month as I had two big projects that needed to be done.  I completed them on Friday so now I am free to plan my trip to Utah.  

However, I have been having vertigo for over a week now but I am seeing a lot of improvement finally.  This is always my big fear when I get colds.  They always go into my ears and cause such dizziness. Vertigo is so hard because you feel so helpless.  Also it is so exhausting because you have to use all your energy just to move between point A and B.  The weird part is I never did not get the cold. Thank goodness. I'm good with that.

I am thankful for...prayer.  It is such a mighty force in our lives.  I am praying now to be recovered by the 11th when I am planning to go on a great little trip with my friend, Carol.  This is the dangling carrot that has kept me going all year.  Rootstech in SLC.  So we pray and wait and hope and believe and move forward as if.  But in the back of our mind is always, "Thy will be done."  He knows better than we do what is best for us.

From the learning room...There are 168 hours in a week.  It is astonishing to comprehend how some people can get so much accomplished.  These really high powered movers and shakers really amaze me.  Sometimes I think we work very hard, probably as hard as those people..the over achievers.  They must just work supper fast and much smarter is all I can think.

I am reading...mostly online articles and blogs about genealogy.  Since I have been teaching a lot this past month that has been right there on my mind more than usual.

From the kitchen...Ugh...this one always throws me for a loop.  I wish we had a cook.  There is nothing new I can say about this.  Not my favorite thing to do anymore.  Period.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...Well, I have been thinking about love since Valentine's Day is just around the corner. On the spiritual side of that is God's unconditional love for us,  It is something that seems hard to comprehend sometimes.  No matter what we do or how many mistakes we make He is there for us, loving us in spite of ourselves.  I was thinking about how much better the world would be if we could do that more.  If we could just love more and unconditionally when people we love and care for do things that hurt and disappoint us.  

We should be able to rise above a lot of that and not take things so personally. We should take ourselves and our feelings out of the equation, so that we can more readily focus on our gift of love to another...not the other way around.  The 'if you do this or that, then I'll love you'  isn't quite how we are loved.  God doesn't love us that way.  We should work harder at not loving that way either.   Boy, is is hard to do.  But He first loved us so we could learn His way.  I am guessing it takes a life time but I think being more aware is a step forward.

Someone I am praying for this week... Hazie as her little body struggles to heal from the last surgery.  The biggest problems is the way the bars fit inside put pressure on certain spots that are having trouble healing on the outside.  Her skin is very delicate.  All of our family and friends as we all face the everyday trials.  Ben as he struggles with his side effects of his bone marrow transplant to fight his leukemia.  He turned 12 a few days ago.  The bravest little guy.  He has been battling this now for months.  I pray for his parents, grandparents and siblings, family and friends.  This has been very hard to watch and very exhausting, yet they stay strong, faithful and full of hope.

I am hearing...rain falling on the roof and the fireplace.  I need to turn on some music I suppose but the quiet is especially nice in the early morning.  It is Sunday morning so maybe I'll listen to The Spoken Word in a little bit.  But for now..raindrops!  Going out in it seems a little daunting. Right now it is pouring. Even the music would not cover this up.

Quote of the week from Pinterest..."Happy Valentine's Day!

One of my pleasures...going to Utah to see the family.  I have missed them over the past six months.  It seems like feast or famine with our traveling.  The girls will have changed and grown more. Bittersweet.  Hazel has had three surgeries since I saw her.  They have a new dog, Leo, to keep their Lucy company.  They are cute together. I am eager to see them all.

Pet Peeves...the fact that it seems to take as much work to get ready to go on a trip for a week as it does for a month. But it is all good really.  I am so excited about the Rootstech conference and being with Carol for five whole days.  I'll miss Jim Bob but he'll be fine and busy while I am gone.   He is going to Utah next month and we are saving our time away together for our trip to England and Wales.

Past Remembrance...thinking about all the great things I learned last year and the fun I had at Rootstech.  Have been looking forward to the biggest genealogy conference in the world for a year now.  I am so thankful to be almost over the vertigo.  Carol and I reserved our room at the hotel nearly a year ago now.  Gotta plan way ahead with that many people flooding into SLC.  The weather looks like it will be mostly sunny and cold.  Yay!  No snow in the forecast!

If I could change one thing it would be...more happiness for all.  Less war and strife, better leadership in all the countries of the world.  Less corruption and graft.  You know me, just a better Pollyanna world would be super.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...5th season of Downton Abbey.  We have loved it.  Watched the Christmas episode last night. We never can wait to see what happens so bought the DVD when it came out. Fabulous.  We have been pretty happy that there is yet another season to look forward to next year.

I am curious about...Wales and how we will navigate around there driving on the other side of the road.  Ugh,  Not my favorite.  I am also curious about when I can get started on getting that all together with some concrete plans. 

Plans for the rest of the at 11:00, Monday getting last minute things done, Tuesday working, Wednesday leaving for SLC, rest of the week with Carol, Jen and family and the conference. Home Sunday.  It will be quick so will be consciously savoring the experience and learning a lot.

One of my favorite things...answers to prayers.

One thing that made me so happy this past week...Getting some photos from my cousin Jim of his grandfather and my grandmother and 30 others that we know or know of at a picnic back in the 30s.  It was so special to see his Grampa and my Grandma standing next to each other in the large group.  Our fathers who are cousins are also in the photo!  That made our cyber relationship feel very real.  It was exciting.  I enjoy working with my newfound cousins who also have an interest in family history.  

The most surprising thing this past week...A really long and sweet letter was received from our granddaughter, Aynslee.  She is so homesick while living in England this year but the wonderful side of that is there are lots of letters home.

Here is a photo I'm sharing this week....

At Stonehenge
Aynslee with her Daddy, our son Chris!

Take Care Of You For Me!