Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I have been reading, part 1

On my recent trip to Robin’s house, I took 4 books with me. Her boys go to bed early and so I spent some time reading each evening, giving Robin and Dennison some quiet time alone.
I read The Book of Mormon every day for at least 15 minutes, so that was one of the books. The others are, Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman, A Grief Observed by CS Lewis, and The Problem of Pain, also by CS Lewis. A day or so before I came home I bought The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, which I  started on my way home.
Since I love to get recommendations for books, movies, recipes, etc, I will share my impressions and opinions about these books in case you are interested.
Misquoting Jesus; the Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why was the first one I read. It’s author, Bard Ehrman, is a well renowned biblical scholar, and an accomplished expert on early Christianity. In the introduction he tells his own story in a very honest and open way, including his journey as a Christian and the reasons why he has become an agnostic. He clearly reveals his conclusions and opinions, some of which I disagree with, and the evidence and reasoning behind them. I found this book very interesting and read it quickly. Here is a summary of his main points taken from the last pages of the book:
* We do not have the original manuscripts of any of the books of the New Testament, but  only copies--over 5000 copies, just in the Greek language in which these books were originally written.
* Most of these copies are centuries removed from the originals.
* All of these copies contain mistakes both great and small, as scribes either inadvertently or intentionally altered the text.
* The vast majority of these changes are insignificant, immaterial, and of no importance for the meaning of the passages in which they are found.
* Others, however, are quite significant. Sometimes the meaning of a verse, a passage, or an entire book depends on which textual variants the scholar decides are ‘original’.
* These decisions are sometimes relatively simple to make; but in other instances they are exceedingly difficult, even for scholars who have spent years working on the problem
 * As a result, there are many passages of the New Testament where scholars continue to debate the original wording. And there are some in which we will probably never know what the authors originally wrote.   p 260-261
Here is another telling paragraph, taken from page 216:
...the more I studied, the more I saw that reading a text necessarily involves interpreting a text. I suppose when I started my studies I had a rather unsophisticated view of reading; that the point of reading a text is simply to let the text “speak for itself,” to uncover the meaning inherent in its words. The reality, I came to see, is that meaning is not inherent and texts do not speak for themselves. If texts could speak for themselves, then everyone honestly and openly reading a text would agree on what the text says. But interpretations of texts abound, and people in fact do not agree on what the texts mean. This is obviously true of the texts of scripture; simply look at the hundreds, or even thousands, of ways people interpret the book of Revelation, or consider all the different Christian denominations, filled with intelligent and well-meaning people who base their views of how the church should be organized and function on the Bible, yet all of them coming to radically different conclusions (Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Appalachian snake-handlers, Greek Orthodox, and on and on).

After reading this book, I am even more grateful that God speaks to man in our day, that we have a living prophet who receives revelation from Him for us.
Mr. Ehrman reaches an interesting, but I feel erroneous, conclusion regarding the corruption of the manuscripts of the Bible which he became aware of in his years of study. He decides that since God did not prevent men from changing the text of scripture down through the ages, then He must not have inspired its writing in the first place.
But God knew that the inspired and sacred writings of his prophets would be tampered with, and He provided the solution. He prepared other books of scripture to reinforce and restore the truth; records that were kept and preserved so we could have the truths originally included in the manuscripts of the books of the Bible. That is the role of the Book of Mormon. This record was prepared and then ‘hidden up unto the Lord’, kept in it’s purity because it was not in circulation among men, and then brought forth in one step of translation in our time. It is a marvelous second witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ which bears witness to it’s readers the plain and precious truths taken from the Bible.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


What a month it has been. We got ready for Christmas early this year so I could spend some time with Robin, Dennison, Carter, Jude and their new baby girl.
The first week or so of December was filled with 3 concerts at BYU, our BYU ward Christmas dinner, visiting teaching, the 1st Presidency Devotional, baking goodies, wrapping gifts and sending packages. Then I was off to Washington on the 10th.
It was so nice to be in Robin and Dennison’s home, to see them and their boys and new baby girl. I kept pretty busy just keeping up with the boys, they are so much fun. We read lots of stories, played hide-and-seek, put puzzles together, and took lots of pictures. I even stayed for Robin’s birthday; we had Raspberry Ribbon Cheesecake ~ Robin’s favorite, and I watched the latest Twilight movie with them, the only one I’ve seen.
I am so pleased and proud of my sweet daughter and the mom and wife she has become. I am so glad she decided to marry Dennison, he brings out the best in her and they are a great team. They have created a wonderful atmosphere in which to raise their family; a home filled with patience, love, laughter, and joy. It was a privilege to be there, I loved every minute.
It was also nice to get back home; I arrived in SLC at about 9 pm and Dave was waiting at the airport. We woke up the next morning, when I had an 8 o'clock appointment, to 15" of new snow. My Idaho family and friends won't think that is a big deal, but without a snow blower and snow tires it is a bigger deal than we care to deal with very often. After trying to get out of the neighborhood and getting stuck more than once, we just came home and went back to sleep.

Dave on the deck, up to his knees in snow
the yardstick tells the story
The whole week was fun and festive, finishing last minute Christmas projects, delivering goodies, etc. Christmas day was wonderful ~ but quieter than I would choose. We breakfasted with Steve, Krista and Cache, then had dinner with my family that evening.  Dave and I are looking forward to spending this next week together with a few gatherings thrown in; then welcoming the new year with all the new experiences, friends, and opportunities it will bring.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Gratitude seems to be an old fashioned human characteristic, like patience, frugality, and meekness. Thanksgiving day is a good reminder for me to take time regularly to reflect on the many wonderful things I have in my life that I so consistently take for granted.
My list of things I am grateful for includes hot showers, our warm and comfortable home, a reliable car, wholesome food and clean water, my amazing family, and my husband who works hard to provide for us, along with intangibles like the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the freedom provided by our inspired founding documents.
I have been thinking lately about how much of my time and efforts--my resources, are consumed with things that are temporary, things of limited importance. I believe that the abundance we enjoy is a double edged sword, it brings comfort and convenience, but it can also cloud our vision and be a great distraction from things that matter most and last forever.
I have realized that if I focus on the things in my life, my principles and values could be at risk. If I value my comfort, ease and physical well being above all else, then it’s conceivable that I would keep them at the cost of my principles.
It’s not hard to see difficult times ahead for our country, circumstances we would not choose but may be thrust upon us. Those circumstances may place us in a position to make some very telling choices. Will we choose comfort and safety over liberty and the freedom to make our own choices? Will we give up our principles for things?
It’s been said that materialism is what holds our society together, that if our things go away we will turn on each other. Does my love for my fellow man depend on how much stuff I have, how comfortable I am; or have I learned to love as our Savior loves--even when I am inconvenienced, hurt, or suffering?
The more I learn about history, the more I realize that abundance and freedom are the product of correct principles. We cannot have these things if we abandon the principles they are dependent upon.
I will always be grateful for a hot shower and a safe home, but I hope if I ever have to choose between comforts and principles that I will be strong enough to forgo things in favor of eternal truth and freedom.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Fall Road Trip

A few weeks ago Dave and I took a trip north to see our grandchildren, and their parents. We had a great time!
We went to a 4H dinner with Rachel, Dave and their children. They all received an award or two. We are proud of all they do in that organization.
We went to the lake, and played at the school, the weather was wonderful considering it was October.

We spent some time with Robin, Dennison and the boys ~ we went to the zoo,

pretended it was Jude's birthday,
and enjoyed seeing our kids as parents.
(I don't know how Dennison avoided the camera)
Carter wanted to wear the chicken suit one more time before it got handed-down.
to cousin Ike

Scott's boys were working hard getting ready for winter

we love being with our darling grand children

and seeing the fun things they do, like building a bike jump.
We love our family and are so proud of the good things they are doing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Stand Amazed

We are studying Isaiah in Sunday School right now; there so much material there to cover in only a few weeks. How blessed we are to have our own scriptures; we can sit down and feast on the words of God whenever we choose. I love the imagery of Lehi's vision in the 8th chapter of 1 Nephi where we see that the iron rod ~ the word of God ~ leads us to the tree of life, which is the love of God ~ Jesus Christ. Yesterday we were in Isaiah 40 - 49 where we read about and discussed the characteristics of our Savior and the results of following or failing to follow Him. There are beautiful passages there, messages of hope and peace that comes to us only through Jesus.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Isaiah 49:15-16
In Sacrament meeting we sang one of my favorite hymns: I Stand All Amazed (text and music by Charles H Gabriel)
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Oh, it is wonderful
That he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful,
Wonderful to me!

I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of Jesus and his mission to save us. This knowledge comes to me through the scriptures, the words of the prophets, and through the sweet whisperings of the Holy Ghost.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Catching Up

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since I shared anything with all of you! I guess that means we have been busy.
I did spend a week in mid August serving as a hostess at Campus Education Week at BYU, I loved it! I will have to write about some of the things I learned in a future post.
We also bid a sad farewell to most of the members of the BYU 2nd ward, we love our association with these amazing young people. Now we have many new members of the ward ~ we had a fun bbq/water games day in the park last Saturday, and and our Sunday meetings have been wonderful; we are looking forward to a great year.

Someone sliding into home plate during the 'kiddie pool kickball' game

keeping the pools full

Cache is back, he spends his mornings with us 3 days a week. He is so much fun and I'm amazed how much goes on in his little brain.

It's been a weird garden year. Our zucchini plants died! Do you know anyone who is able to kill their zucchini plants? And our other squash got lots of blossoms but very little fruit ~ so we have carrots, peppers, and some tomatoes (although the tomatoes look sadder than usual). The strawberries are still producing though, and Cache loves them.

whatever Cache doesn't eat goes into the freezer

We harvested our corn about the first of August, it was delicious!

this is all the corn we got, but Dave and I both think it was the best corn we ever ate

Dave built this arbor a few weeks ago, it turned out really nice

Summer always goes too quickly for my liking, it's hard to believe Labor Day has come and gone already. We have some fun plans for the fall: we would love to go north, before it gets too cold, to see Rachel and Dave and their family, and Scott, Donna, and boys, and we have planned a trip to see Rick, and a 'Vocal Point' concert in November.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Morning thoughts

I take a morning jog several times a week. My usual route takes me through the city cemetery.

this is my favorite tombstone, it makes me laugh

I sometimes find myself wondering about the people buried there ~ what were their lives like? Were they pleased with the choices they had made, with the man or woman they had become?

Life events occasionally force us to face our own mortality. The death of a loved one, a serious accident or illness, or even just the passing of another birthday or anniversary. The end of our mortal lives will come someday, we will have become the person that we have created through our choices.

I love the Old Testament; I love the symbolism of Christ that is everywhere in this ancient record. I recently read about the tabernacle that Moses was commanded to prepare and carry with the children of Israel through the wilderness that God might dwell among his people. I also read about the various sacrifices that the Lord commanded them to offer, to point their minds forward to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and their total dependence on him for redemption. I have found scriptural heroes like Moses, Abraham, Esther, and Noah. They loom large in my imagination, bigger than life, yet they were just ordinary people like us, asked to do extraordinary things in extraordinary times.

I found a statement in an OT commentary in the introduction to Numbers 13-16. It says: “The Old Testament has some stories of great and marvelous men and women..who provide inspiration to all who desire to achieve true greatness. But the Old Testament also records many tragedies. The tragedy was not so much in what happened, but in what was lost, in what could have been, compared to what was.” Old Testament Student Manual, Genesis - 2 Samuel, Religion 301, 205.

These two ideas merged in my mind this morning on my way through the cemetery. When I die, will I have become the woman that God intends me to be? Will my life be a triumph or a tragedy? I know that my Savior Jesus Christ has paid the price for my sins, rebellions, misjudgments, and carelessness. I know that as I repent I am made pure and clean through his blood, and that he is able to affect changes in me that can make me a pure and sanctified person. But, he waits for me to choose to accept his offering and let it be effective my life; I must decide if I will follow him, live as he asks, obey his commandments, and yield my will to his that I may become holy through his love. His is the power and ability, the choice must be mine.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Sun Oven

I got a Sun Oven for my birthday this year.

A few days later, it was used to bake a loaf of Rosemary bread.

There are plans in the works for cookies, rice, brownies, some kind of chicken dish, and some soup or stew all baked/cooked with the power of the sun.
So stay tuned for updates on our cooking adventures.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A day filled with family

Last Thursday was a day filled with family. It was the day of my Uncle Erwin's funeral. He is my dad's only younger brother ~ the eighth child and fifth son of my Haws grandparents ~ and was my dad's only living sibling, until July 1 when he passed away.

It happened in a room in the ER in a local hospital, where he was surrounded by some of the many people who love him. It was a bitter-sweet time; good-byes with those we love are always difficult. As we stood close to each other in that quiet room, we heard the beeping of the monitor as it tracked his gradually slowing breathing and heartbeat, and the whispers on phones to loved ones too far away to be there in person.
We felt a sacred reverence for the event taking place. My grandfather Haws died when his family was young, at least his two youngest sons, my dad and my Uncle Erwin, were under 8 years old. As we waited, knowing the end of his life was minutes away, we thought of those who have gone before ~ his parents and brothers and sisters ~ and their joyful anticipation of a long-awaited reunion, only moments away.
Loving words were spoken, to and of him. The sacred priesthood power was exercised in his behalf, invoking the will of our Father, and expressing our love and respect for this man who has been such an influential part of our lives. Tears were shed, prayers were offered and heard. There were many hugs and 'I love you' s spoken, and we eventually left that room grateful to have been there to bid farewell to this man we love.
Thursday was a day filled with family ~ as we gathered to celebrate the life of our Uncle Erwin, and to rejoice in 'the great plan of happiness' of our God that promises us that families last forever.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"America"...powerful new patriotic original

This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I love the 4th of July parade, patriotic music, the hallowed words of our founding documents, and the inspiring lives of those who were raised up to create this system of government that has blessed the whole world.
A friend posted this video on facebook, and I want to share it here.
I hope you enjoy it and feel increased gratitude for living in this land.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Look what I found today in our 4 planter boxes of strawberries, almost 6 pounds worth.
We will be making strawberry jam tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Love Stories

I love love stories, especially true-life love stories ~ here are my top two all time favorites.
The number two top love story started in 1975 at Lake Perris California. That is when and where I met Dave. He was home on leave from the USMC for a month or two and since he is a good friend of my brother in law Gene, he and my sister Holly invited him to our waterski outing. We went to dinner a few times with Gene & Holly, then he returned to his duty station in the east. About a year later he was stationed in Orange County where he and I both lived. We started dating off and on; but I also saw him with other girls at activities we both attended ~ group dates, Young Adult dances, firesides, etc. There was no talk between us of marriage, no ‘I love you’, and only one kiss. I was under the impression that we were just good friends. One night in the spring we were together walking through a park. We found a place to sit and started talking. Then, totally unexpectedly, he looked at me and said: “I think we should get married.” I wondered for a second if he was giving me some general advice; there was no shortage of people telling me and other young people my age about the importance of marriage. After all, he is a few years older than me ~ I wondered who he had picked out and even if he had a suggestion for me. So the first words out of my mouth, in response to his surprising statement was, “to who?”
It turned out that he had chosen someone, and he had also picked out someone for me. His response to me was, “to each other!” We talked a little about it, and I am embarrassed now to admit that I asked him, more than once, if he was kidding. He convinced me that he was serious, that he really wanted me. He did not get an answer from me that night. During the next few days I began to see him differently, to understand what he was offering me ~ his love (although he still hadn’t used that word), to support me, to share my burdens, our own home and family. Three months later we were married in the temple. That was many years ago, and only the beginning of our love story. We have shared many wonderful times together, a few tragedies, sorrows, and frustrations; we have had quite an adventure together. Still, the 30 plus years we have shared are only the beginning. I have heard it said that real love stories never have endings ~ and because of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his plan for our happiness, our marriage and family can last through the eternities.

The number one best love story began before we were born. It was then that our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ began. We all knew and loved Him there, we learned of the plan for our progression and trusted Him to play the vital part He volunteered to play in that plan. When we read in Matthew “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ...” we may think that Jesus is giving general advice. It’s true that He wants all people to come to Him, but His invitation is to all of us as individuals. If we ask, and ponder, we will become convinced he truly wants us, that His offer of love, companionship, redemption, peace, and so much more, is to us individually.
As we accept His invitation, He will walk with us through the trials, challenges, and joys of our lives. This story of love between us and our Savior truly has no ending, it will go on throughout eternity.

These love stories are my favorite because I live them, they are as breath to me. They bring me purpose, direction, and immeasurable joy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scott and Donna

Scott, Donna, and the boys were here for a few days, it was so nice to be together. We didn't do much, mostly eat and visit with a little outside playing thrown in. We love visits from our kids, and anyone else who is in the area. So if you are ever in our neck of the woods please stop by ~ I always have cookie dough in the freezer so we can have fresh hot cookies in a matter of minutes.

in the backyard, Steve, Dave, Scott, and Donna

Jonas helped me with some weeding

Jonas and Bryar

playing at the school playground

He found our leftover Christmas candy

now everyone has met the baby of the family, he is no longer referred to as the "alleged baby".

Garden update

Our garden is growing! We had quite a bit of rain, and some snow, this spring, but now it's sunny and warm most days. So our plants are progressing nicely.

we decided to try corn this year

Strawberries are a favorite, we have already picked and eaten quite a few. They are red all the way through, tender and very sweet.

The peas are just starting to appear. I picked a few Tuesday morning to share with Jonas.

Our tomatoes are doing well, one plant already has a few tomatoes on it.
We put them outside a little early and a few branches got nipped with the cold; we look forward to some juicy, flavorful tomatoes later this summer.

This is our first planting of carrots for the season

Our second crop of lettuce and spinach, soon it will be too hot for these crops.

We had rosebushes along this fence, but they didn't survive the winter. Last week we replaced them with these privet and sand cherry bushes.

Our two hydrangea bushes come back every spring, and we get some beautiful blooms.

We thought this clematis was dead, but it made a big come back.
Someday we will have an arbor for it to climb.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Blessings of the Temple

Every Friday I am privileged to serve in the temple. It has become one of the highlights of my week, to be there in that sacred place which has been dedicated to the work of our Savior Jesus Christ. The atmosphere there is conducive to learning from the Holy Ghost ~ receiving personal revelation. I have had sweet and tender experiences in the temple; I have been tutored by the Spirit, been given insights and knowledge regarding our Father's plan for us, and felt the joy of serving others who have passed on. I have found the temple to be a refuge from the cares of the world, a connection between heaven and earth, a place to focus on things of eternal importance, and a place to feel more intensely the love our Father and our Savior have for us.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Some favorite pictures of Rachel ~

with Scott back in the day

a long time ago, but seems like yesterday

angel cousins

ballet recital

3 generations

with a handsome baby

Rachel is a beautiful woman, we are so proud of her.
She can do just about anything:
she is the best friend anyone could have
she is a creative cook ~ I have more than one original recipe from her
she loves her family and we love to see her in action as a mom
she has a fun sense of humor
she is a happy, optimistic person who makes things better just by being there.
We love you Rachel!


On Monday Scott showed up on our door step! What a wonderful surprise. He was just passing through, going to a convention with 3 co-workers. On their way back home today we saw them again, this time I was prepared with cookies and a goodie bag for him to take to the boys. He didn't stay long enough, but I got some pictures and more than one Scott hug.

Love this guy!

Steve and Cache were here

three of my all time favorite people

Monday, May 10, 2010


Steve is our youngest child. He was born a few days before he was expected, labor and delivery were about 2 hours, he was born during business hours so I had makeup on and my hair was done. He is our only child who didn't come in the early morning. I have told him since he made his very considerate entrance into this world that I expect much of him, and he has not disappointed me.
Steve has grown into such an impressive man. He loves his wife and their darling baby. He is a hard worker, a great student and he learns well and quickly. He is quick to laugh, and sees the good in life. He loves the Lord, he blesses his home by honoring the priesthood he bears, he is a strength to our family because of the testimony he has and the way he chooses to live.

I have probably used this picture before, I love it!
Steve and Robin on our back steps in McCall.

I think this was his 5th grade picture.

The night Steve went to the temple for the first time.

Right before the wedding ~ that's Krista's little sister.

Steve is a great dad.

We love you Steve, you make us proud. We are so grateful to be your parents.