Friday, September 30, 2011

Kids Are A Crack-Up!

Precious Stuff!

I have started a new quote section on my sidebar for the funny things the grand kids say and do. This is what prompted it.

Laura posts on FaceBook the following: So I asked Spencer, "Do you know who Justin Bieber is?" He said, "I don't think so, Mom. Why? Does he go to my school or something?" I laughed. Then I cried. Oh the sheltered life we live."

Two minutes later I go to Jen's FaceBook where she has posted various photos of her girls. I find this among them...Julia standing by a Justin Bieber life size cut out and looking rather pleased with herself being in such close proximity to the Beib!!

This little girl is too young to have this much
glee on her face! She's eleven, barely.
Heaven help us keep her safe!
I'm not ready for her to give
up her childhood yet!

So I added this for Spencer..."Don't worry Spencer, we figured it out! Justin Bieber goes to Jewel's school!" I didn't want poor Spence to keep on wondering who and where this guy was or why it mattered. And that in a nut shell is the difference between preteen boys and girls! Gotta love it!

Now we are all in the know! Here's Justin Bieber!
Here is the link for you e-mail followers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Forget Me Not

President Deiter F. Uchtdorf shared a precious message with the sisters of the Church at the Relief Society Session of General Conference. This conference session can be viewed in its entirely at

This is one Special Witness of Jesus Christ and his heart is always in the right place, always knowing just what we need to hear to be uplifted and strengthened. But this talk was above and beyond. It seared a lot deeper and meant much more to me and I know others felt the same. I am so happy that I decided to attend this special Saturday afternoon meeting last weekend.

President Uchtdorf is from Germany and has such a delightful voice and accent. And his wonderful spirit will touch your heart as he speaks of God's love for each of us. Stop over and hear it for yourself!

“No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you, with an infinite love.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, gave this loving reminder during the General Relief Society Meeting on September 24, 2011.

Using the forget-me-not flower as a metaphor for his remarks, President Uchtdorf noted that although the flower is small in size, and easily unnoticed among larger flowers, it is still beautiful and vibrant.

President Uchtdorf tied the five petals of the forget-me-not flower to five things women should not forget.

Forget not to be patient with yourself:

President Uchtdorf reminded women that everyone has strengths and weaknesses—that no one is perfect, even those who may seem so.

“God wants to help us eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal,” President Uchtdorf said. “It is OK that you are not quite there yet. Keep working on it but stop punishing yourself. “

“Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others,” he added. “Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.”

Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice:

President Uchtdorf defined an acceptable sacrifice as giving up “something good for something of far greater worth.”

“Dedicating some of our time to studying the scriptures or preparing to teach a lesson is a good sacrifice. Spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson into homemade potholders for each member of your class may not be.”

President Uchtdorf noted that every situation is different, and suggested asking, “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” in order to distinguish between good and foolish sacrifices.

Forget not to be happy now:

Using an example from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, President Uchtdorf described how one of the characters, Willy Wonka, hid golden tickets within chocolate bars, promising to reveal wonders to five people who discovered the tickets.

“In their anxiousness, people began to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket,” President Uchtdorf said. Whatever a “golden ticket” may represent to each person, President Uchtdorf warned Relief Society sisters to not put their happiness on hold as they wait for a future event, or golden ticket, to appear.

“The lesson here,” he said,” is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.”

Forget not the “why” of the gospel:

President Uchtdorf said that sometimes, in the routines of daily life, the vital aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ are unintentionally overlooked. “We sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long “to do” lists. We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.”

President Uchtdorf reminded the sisters that the gospel is not an obligation, but a pathway leading to happiness and peace in this life and “glory and inexpressible fulfillment” in the life to come.

Forget not that the Lord loves you:

In closing, President Uchtdorf said, “Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time.”

“You may at times feel a little like the forget-me-not—insignificant, small, or tiny in comparison with others,” he said, noting: “I hope (the forget-me-not) will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet.”

More of the highlights of his talk can be heard here: Or obtain a full copy of the transcript.

The beautiful picture of the Forget-Me-Nots is being used by permission, thank you Julie!

The content of the talk, photos of President Uchtdorf are from

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hem of His Garment

This is one of my most prized possessions. I did a post about it once before which said that if our house was on fire, this would be one of the first things I would want to rescue and run out the door with it in my arms.

My parents were married in St. Paul, Minnesota, seventy years ago today. They had a tiny wedding at a Lutheran church, at 8:30 am on a Sunday morning, before the regular church service and Sunday school took place. My grandmother and a couple they were friends with were their only guests. This was the only wedding present they received. It has been a part of my life, all of my life and I love it.

We have it in our bedroom and this picture is the reason we have a yellow bedroom. I wanted it to sit on a wall that complemented the artist portrayal of the Savior. Heinrich Hoffmann painted this picture and it has inspired me many, many times when I needed extra faith or reassuring hope. I did a little research on this painting done in 1890 and the original along with three others of his most famous paintings are permanently housed in Riverside Church in New York City. I definitely will make an effort to see it if we ever find ourselves in The Big Apple again.

I absolutely love the story of the woman in the scriptures with an issue of blood, that had brought her suffering for many years. You can read the story in the New Testament. There are two accounts of it, one by Mark, the other by Luke. (Mark 5: beginning in verse 23 and Luke 8: 40-49.)

This woman suffered for 12 years with hemorrhaging. Any woman who has undergone something like this knows that this is very bothersome and sometimes the only answer is surgery. I imagine that on top of the hassle, the anemia, exhaustion and the worry, what she experienced emotionally was much worse.

I often think about her and wonder what it must have been like to have been shunned by others as being unclean. That brought her such huge rejection according to the customs, superstitions and dictates of her day. She was literally an outcast. This probably brought as much, if not more pain to her then the medical condition itself.

Jesus had caused quite a stir in the land with His miraculous healings and she was well aware of Him and she believed. She was a woman of faith and knew that all she had to do was touch the hem of the Savior's garment to be healed. She didn't want to bother him, and was probably embarrassed to share her problem, but she went anyway in her desperation. She had spent all she had on doctors that could not help her. So she pressed forward into the throng of others seeking His special powers to heal. Quietly, she merely touched His garment and knew she was immediately healed.

At that moment the Savior felt His healing power escape His body, in spite of the crush of people all around Him. His disciples found it almost funny that He would ask who touched him as they were being pressed by the crowd from every side. But He knew exactly what had happened and had a lesson to teach. He asked about it, she confessed what she had done and why, and He said, "Woman they faith hath healed thee, go in peace."

I love and admire that kind of faith; I believe in it. I think one of the reasons I love this picture so much is it very clearly shows that hem of His garment. The painter has skillfully created the folds and texture of that garment and made it look real, soft and delicate to the touch. What she did took a tremendous amount of courage, she made the effort, she went to Him, in spite of her reservations and fears, and she reached out. Is that not a perfect lesson of how faith works?

Faith requires us to act. She did that and it wasn't easy. She was blessed for her faith and courage with exactly what she wanted and needed. The Lord in His perfect love for all of us desires to heal us in the same way if we will but ask, and demonstrate our faith in His promises. Sometimes the way He heals us is different than what we pray for because we do not know the end from the beginning as He does. One thing I know most assuredly, He always sends comfort and love and help in coping with things that are not to be changed from His will to ours.
When we first heard about Hazel's spina bifada, a lot of prayers were offered up that somehow that outcome would be changed and she would be born healed. But that was not to be. Could He have done it? Of course. With God nothing is impossible. But He knew she would be fine. He knew her far better than we did. He knew she was willing and able to fulfill His plan for her. He knew that her physical health would be fragile but her spirit was gigantic.
We have learned volumes from her. He knew that all those around her would be healed of their fears and learn to see tremendous blessings in their place. We are learning to put our trust in Him and be comforted. We have learned to feel His love in a very personal way. Not only for us, but especially for her and others who suffer what seem to be be very unfair things. When things look most bleak for Hazel, He reaches down and enfolds her in His loving arms and lifts her up again. I have seen it with my own eyes and heart. When it happens we are all lifted up too and our faith is reassured and refreshed.

There are many days when I seek that kind of healing the Lord gives for my own shortcomings, weaknesses and infirmities of body and spirit. When I am making the bed each morning I look at this picture. There are days when I study it and remember that woman, my sister, with an issue of blood for 12 years and her sacred story of healing. And everyday I remember Hazie and realize that the Lord's healing does not always mean a perfect body in this life, but it always means a perfectly healed spirit.

And I must confess there are many days when I find myself tracing the hem of that garment with my fingers on this beloved picture. It sounds kind of silly I guess, but for some reason it helps me know He is there and all I have to do is reach out for the things I need or that my family needs.
I appreciate that woman's willingness to take the risk and share what she knew about faith way back then, when Jesus walked the dusty trails in the place where she lived. As we all touched the hem of His garment in prayer for my brother, Steve, these past months, he was miraculously healed just as she was. Miracles are a part of everyday life. We get them, we recognize them and we should thank God for them. And we testify of them so that all may know Him.

The most beautiful part is that even though He is no longer physically upon the earth with us, we can all receive the exact same healing by spiritually and emotionally and mentally touching the hem of His garment. Talk about a miracle, that gift belongs to all of us. Reaching out in faith, we can do it. We must do it, there is too much to lose if we don't; too many blessing lying in wait for us to receive. And may we be filled with total gratitude when they come and be willing show our love for Him by the way we live, is my prayer today, tomorrow and always.

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Got The Angel, Not the Sword!

We have just learned that Steve has had his PET scan and the results of the chemotherapy.........


We have received our miracle and you have been participants! Thank you so very much for your prayers and concern! Your thoughtful communications and your beautiful hearts and prayers of supplication to the Lord, have been affirmed.

I cannot help but think of the story of the 10 Lepers and how only one returned to give thanks. We are collectively that one! We acknowledge God's holy hand in this healing and are so joyful and happy today! A few weeks ago I wrote about adversity and the principle of the angel and the sword.

Here is an excerpt from that post. In Acts 12 we read about James and Peter and their capture after the Savior's crucifixion. We read that James was slain by the sword. When Herod saw that this had pleased the Jews, he had the same plan for Peter whom he had cast into prison. However, because of the fervent prayers of the members of the church, AND because God's plan differed from Herod's, Peter was freed by an angel.

Michael (a man who lost his wife, Laurie, to cancer) pointed out that when adversity comes we all want the angel. We plead for the angel, we may even lead a life worthy of the angel, but sometimes we get the sword. Was James more deserving of death than Peter, no. Was Peter more valued as a disciple, no. Did James want to live less than Peter? Probably not. Were the Saints prayers for Peter any more fervent than Michael's prayers for Laurie? Definitely not!

Were Michael's less fervent than ours for Steve? Not possible. However, for reasons only God knows, Steve as been given lots more time to live his life and for this we are eternally grateful. And this family is very joyous today!

Steve with his wife, Emily, and mother-in-law, Ruthie. His daughter Alesha and son-in-law, Raul, and his two grandchildren, Sebastian and Samantha. Below his son, Nick and his fiance, Mara and little Sebastian.

Sebastian, Steve's little buddy has been quite
worried about his "Bampy" as he calls Steve.
These two have a lot more living to do..together!

Today everyone in this family should have a very grateful heart. Speaking for our house, we truly do! We would never offend God by supposing this came about in any other way but his tender mercies towards my sweet brother, in the granting of this beautiful miracle. We are so grateful that we got the angel when we could have gotten the sword.

"My love for you never ends. If my goodnesses toward you end, I will cease to exist. As long as there is a God in heaven, there is grace on earth and I am a spilling God of the uncontainable, forever-flowing-love-and grace." Ann Voskamp

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Copper and Autumn Belong Together!

My kind of DIY craft & tutorial!
I'm Hooked!

Go to Walmart
Buy some cheap, fake, ugly, mini pumpkins
for $1.00...near the 47 aisles of costumes and candy.

Go to JoAnn's and buy a can of copper
spray paint behind the locked cabinet doors.

Spray the pumpkins, or better yet
have your awesome hubby do it!

From Crass to Class in 120 seconds!
They really are pretty...

It would be fabulous on walnuts, pods or pine cones also!

Enjoy in numerous ways.

If you want some but don't want to store them...
buy the real mini ones at the grocery store and toss
after the autumn festivities.

They would make great place markers at Thanksgiving.
Just prop a cute little name tag against the stem.

Most of the different shapes they have @Walmart

In case you can stop over for dinner!
Click Click for a closer look...

I promise our walls are NOT lime green,
not sure why they are coming out
this way with our camera!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

9/24~HaZie Is Finally Four!

"It's My Birthday, Gramma!"
"Happy Birthday, Hazie!"
Please note her beautiful birthday hat!

If you have been around Hazel anytime since our family reunion in June, all you have to do is insert your name where I have put Gramma in the above caption and you have 'been there.'

Happy Birthday from all of us, Hazel!

Auntie Laura planned a big family birthday party at the reunion and in Hazie's mind it has been her birthday ever since. There is a calendar on the wall in their kitchen near where Hazie sits at their bar for various meals. I thing every time I have seen her since the reunion and she is sitting in her chair, she'd look up and she'd remember that her birthday is September 24 and we'd go through the whole scenario again. So to say that Hazie is excited today would be an understatement! This girl loves a birthday, especially hers!

She wore the paper birthday hat
for two days, even to bed!

So her mommy bought her the cute fabric hat with the fancy cupcake you see in the first photo of this post! Speaking of cupcakes...When I talked to Jen yesterday she said that she 'accidentally' invited 40 people to Hazie's birthday party this afternoon! She was exhausted after making 120 cupcakes and getting ready for the party!

Fortunately she had Piper helping her!
Aren't the cupcakes beautiful?

Personally, I think Jen and her girls should open a special order bakery for fancy birthday cupcakes. They have always enjoyed making fancy cakes! Everyone gets in on the act. Even Lowell bakes cakes, Cheese Cake is his specialty! And he even does a fantastic, operatic rendition of the Muffin Man with his amazing voice! Yep, they are all about cake over there at their house!

Cutie Pie Baker, Miss Hazie!

This is one of my favorite "Blast From the Past" photos of Hazie baking. How funny this post is turning into a hat post! But more than that it is celebration of the life of our littlest angel.

Her Angel wings!

She is pretty cute with no hat too, don't you think?

A virtual cake I found for her!
Cut and paste, my favorite kind of baking!

She only had a little bit of hospital time
this year so that has been great!
Her fancy hair accessories even went there!

And then the exciting first day of school!
Pink shoes and hair bows!

It is a big beautiful world for Hazie Jo!

And off she goes to take full advantage
of that life and all the love in it!

I guess she could not stay a baby forever!
Happy Birthday to our Growing Up Beautiful Girl!

If you'd like to wish our little Sweetheart
a Happy Birthday,
please leave a message
in the comment section
we'll make sure she gets it!

A Very Happy Birthday, Hazie Girl!

Love, Kisses and Hugs
from your Gramma and Grampa
that love you with all of our hearts!
You bless our lives every single day!


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Eye of the Beholder ~ It's Perspective!

Why the real estate market is faltering these days...

Your house as seen by.....YOU.

Your House as seen by .......The BUYER

Your house as seen by ......The LENDER

Your House as seen by.....The APPRAISER

Your House as seen by ........... the COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR


Thursday, September 22, 2011

We Are Forever Friends!

I am will be the one in the green dress, and you?

I know we are all much more glamorous than this but I thought this picture was so cute. I love you all and embrace Womanhood and Girl Power with all my heart! And for you male readers...I am sharing the love with you today too! Thank you for stopping by to see what is up over here. I always appreciate your visits! Stay healthy about 40 years we are gonna look like these old babes! But not yet though...not yet by a long shot!

The way we are really under our much more modest clothing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aynslee, It's Your Day!

Happy Birthday Aynslee!

Ayns is NINE years old today! She is growing up so fast and has become quite the young lady this past year. It is amazing to watch our little ones just blossom into these incredible people that are having a positive impact on our world. I love it when you see young people that contribute to making the world a better place to be. Anyslee is one of them and we are so proud of her.

W all had such a fun time together this summer
at our
family reunion and here is Aynslee
with her Great-Grandma Gloria.
Anyslee and her Dad had an overnight camping trip with the other Daddies and Daughters of their ward. Grampa was invited to join them while we were in Utah this summer. Anyslee has a special love for her Grampa and she really enjoying being with both of them. They went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant that Aynslee chose and then they drove to the camp and settled in with the group for the night. They got up very early and hiked in the dark to a hot springs area where they enjoyed a nice warm dip in the springs and all before the rest of the world was awake!
Grampa had fun taking pictures of
Chris and his favorite girl!

Hungry, Christoper?

Enjoying the sunshine on her shoulders!

Anyslee is one of the few of our grandchildren that likes having her picture taken. That is so nice because she is relaxed and the photos clearly show what she really looks like. Chris took this one of her at Sundance. Beautiful isn't she? And even more important and lovely is her sweet heart.

Ayns at school with her friends.

Out in front of their house! Looks like she might
be going to school
with that fancy bag she is toting!

~Blast From The Past ~
Aynslee picking out a pumpkin when she was little!
You've come a long way, Baby!

Aynslee took ice skating lessons last season.

Grampa and I got to watch her skate a few times and she is really very good. She just looks like a natural out there on the ice. In fact, she is having her friends birthday party at the ice rink this week.

We hope your birthday, the party and
your new year is just fantastic, Aynslee!

Well here is a Happy Birthday Cake I found for you, Anyslee, and I cannot believe it has your name on it. Perfect! Enjoy your real birthday treats, presents and special dinner that you got to choose yourself. Mom says it is fried rice, fresh fruit and brownies made by Connor with ice cream! Great choices, Ayns! Wish we could share this special day with you!

All our love and best wishes!
Gramma and Grampa!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO and one to grow on XO

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Light

I have been thinking a lot lately about the light that Christ is or can be in our lives. I love the analogy of righteousness, goodness and light being like the Son of God and the darkness being likened to bad things, wickedness and evil~all the things that lead us away from righteous living. In fact, for me it is far more than an analogy it is a startling reality. I love that the sun and the Son provide us with all that we need to sustain life, here in mortality and in the eternities. I love that we have our agency to choose between light and darkness in every situation.

Over the weekend we attended our stake conference on Sunday. We met in Oakland on Temple Hill and enjoyed great teachings from our leaders. We enjoyed the spirit we felt and the common foundation we shared with the hundreds of others in attendance. It was just so inspiring and one of the speakers discussed the dichotomy of light and darkness and how we control the light switch in our own lives. It was so in line with my thoughts recently and I loved it and how it applies to everything.

Often times we feel victimized by the events in our lives. Once we start to feel we have no control we begin on the downward spiral into the darkness. Our agency should bring us great joy. It is true that we cannot prevent some of the 'not so wonderful' things that happen to us, but the way we choose to react is where the power of the light lies. By being reactionary we allow ourselves to be dragged down into a pit, we allow ourselves to venture into the darkness created by fear, anger, and hopelessness. By choosing faith in the Son, we feel of the warmth of his love, his reassurance that we are not alone, and his pure light. The reality is we control the light switch.

I have some good friends that lost a sister at 17 in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. The five remaining sisters took this loss very hard and each suffered greatly. Years later one of the sisters, then the mother of six small children, was devastated when a police officer appeared at her door to inform her that her husband had been killed in an accident. My friend told me that immediately she felt that old familiar feeling of when her sister was taken so unexpectedly. She told me that the first thing she did this time was fall on her knees and plead with the Lord to help her view this with different eyes, to have the strength to carry on, etc. She testified to me how much this changed this loss of someone she loved so deeply. This experience of my friend, Karen, really changed my life and I try to always remember it.

I have thought of this example of someone who acted proactively, she reached through the darkness into the light. She controlled the light switch and made a conscience decision to choose the light. By going towards the light she was able to find the silver lining in her experiences and she successfully went on with her life being filled with faith and knowing that she was not alone. Of course she had her difficult days, but she decided to remain in the light. This gift of agency to choose that option, is as powerful as the faith that has sustained her all of these years. And I believe that faith goes much farther than just having a positive attitude. Faith allows us to literally draw on the powers of heaven.

When I face difficult challenges in my life I try to remember my friend's example, I try to go to the edge of the darkness, reach out and take the Lord's hand. I have always found it to be there. He waits there lovingly and patiently until I am ready to flip the switch and then I am filled with his light. When I look up, he reaches down and pulls me up.

Greg Olson~Artist
We each have our own switch and they all work the same way. Up is for the light and down is for the lack of it. The more we switch it on the easier it gets. The more it is on, the sweeter all of life's experiences get, even the not so wonderful ones. In the light they take on a different perspective. Bathed in the illuminating light of his love we can see the blessing of even the most wretched things. Although we don't seek out those times, when they come, if we turn the light on, we can see more clearly and learn from them.

It is a powerful reality that we do, indeed, have the choice to make decisions as to how the course of things will go for us in those exact moments. I cannot think of a single incidence when this practice does not or would not apply. No matter how overwhelming, no matter how small. Hold on to the light switch for dear life!

(Reprise: originally posted 11/2009)