Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joy in the journey

We have so many amazing things and people in our lives. We often find ourselves counting our blessings and marveling at the love our Father shows us every day through so many things that bring us happiness.
Our family brings us constant joy. This picture was taken a summer or two ago, and is very outdated ~ we have several more grandchildren now ~ but it is a favorite. Whether through phone calls, blogs, email, facebook, Skype, or otherwise, we love being close to our kids and their families! (Robin and I shared a great Carter moment yesterday, thanks to Skype.) We see Steve, Krista, and Cache several times a week, although it is never really enough. We hear from Rick frequently, at least once a week. Robin calls or Skypes several times a week, and Rachel calls and sends pictures every week too. Jonas was with me in my dream a few nights ago, and it made me miss him even more.
Dave's sister Suzanne and her husband Jay came to visit last week, we had a wonderful time. We love visitors and spending time with those we love.

A few days ago we decided to include a 'scripture minute' before we pray together each night. It's a time to share our feelings and insights about the scriptures we read that day, a few sweet minutes to end our day.

Our opportunity to serve in the BYU stake is another joy in our lives. We have met such great young people, we have grown to love them all. The Relief Society had a luncheon a couple weeks ago, just before the semester ended. They didn't all attend (there are 72 women in the ward), it was held just before finals. They are amazing, so smart and talented, we hope they will keep in touch with us when they leave.

The winter semester ended last week, and quite a few of the students left for the summer, or just moved to another apartment complex. We didn't want anyone to leave without having been guests at our home for dinner, so we invited 'anyone who has never had dinner at the bishop's house, or anyone who wants to come again' to join us for dinner after church ~ about 30 came. Luckily it was a beautiful day, warm enough to eat outside. It was a fun time, and they ate all the food! We will miss those who left the ward, and look forward to meeting those who will move in.

After many years living far from a temple, we are enjoying having the Provo temple so close. Many beautiful and sacred experiences await in any of the holy temples; they are dedicated to the work of the Lord and the things we do and learn there turn our thoughts and hearts to eternity and bless our lives greatly.

And now for a tour of our yard, we love spring!

Our bleeding heart plants are growing nicely.

The peas are coming along too, hopefully we will get a good harvest before it gets too hot.

And there are blossoms on the strawberry plants!

Some of our tulips ~ to tell you the truth, they looked better a few days ago.
We also have carrots, lettuce, and spinach growing, and Dave has mowed the lawn about 4 times already.

We also love having Cache here. He is such a delight, he entertains us just likes our other grandchildren, and their parents. Today he learned to climb up on the kitchen chairs, and he loves to play 'where's Cache?' Krista is looking forward to the end of the school year, but we will surely miss having him here during the summer.

One of the things we enjoy most about this time in our lives is that we get to spend so much time together. This picture is 4 years old, but we don't have that many ~ Krista has promised to take a great picture of us this summer.

We have learned in the many years we have been married that life holds its ups and downs, good times and bad, sorrow and happiness. We are grateful to know the purpose of life, to have the gospel of Jesus Christ to guide us through all that life throws at us.
And we love having so much that brings us joy on our journey.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I can't remember a time when prayer was not part of my life. My parents taught me to pray, and I learned from their example as we prayed as a family. We moved to California when I was 11 years old and prayer got me through the difficult months of going to a new school. Unexpected challenges and heartaches have been easier to bear because I have not borne them alone, prayer has lightened my burdens and given heavenly help. Some of the most sacred experiences I have had have been during my personal prayers.

Sometimes the things we do most regularly can become routine and automatic; my prayers too often slip into this category. A few weeks ago I decided to make a conscious effort to improve my prayers and found encouragement in Bishop McMullin's talk at General Conference, he said:

It is as important to be guided by the Holy Spirit while praying as it is to be enlightened by that same Spirit while receiving an answer to prayer. Such prayer brings forth the blessings of heaven because our Father “knoweth what things [we] have need of, before [we] ask him,”(Matt 6:8) and He answers every sincere prayer. Ultimately, it is the Father and the Son who promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)
It's hard to say exactly what I have been doing differently in my prayers, but they have improved. I avoid repetitious phrases, pray in specifics, focus more often on giving thanks, pause to ponder rather than rushing to be finished. As a result I more easily feel the love of my Father, thoughts seem to come more often and clearly to my mind, and I find myself wanting to prolong my prayer and strengthen the bond it builds between myself and my Father.

It is an amazing privilege to approach God whenever I choose, to speak to him of personal cares and concerns. I know that prayers are heard and answered, that our Heavenly Father knows us individually and cares about whatever we care about. I know that love and comfort can be found wherever and whenever we go to him in prayer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Knitting for a cause

My favorite yarn shop sends a newsletter every month, and in the last one they issued an invitation. It seems that our servicemen in Afghanistan and Iraq need hand knit helmet liners, made from 100% wool. "When soldiers are in explosions from IEDs or in a fire, the wool helmet liner will not melt like synthetic fibers and will provide protection from the flames and help reduce the traumatic shock from the explosion."
They provided a pattern and are collecting the finished product to ship to our servicemen.
I have made 2; I need something to do when we watch TV, it's hard to keep up with the many programs the designated channel changer likes to watch at one time.

If anyone is interested, I can post the pattern, it's not difficult. Each one takes one ball of Galway 100% wool or Plymouth Merino Super-wash wool, 175 yards. The preferred color is black, but gray, tan, and brown are acceptable.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The Old Testament is largely a record of the dealings of God with his children in ancient times. He communicated and guided those people through prophets such as Moses, Elijah, Abraham, and Noah.

During his earthly life the Lord Jesus Christ called and ordained apostles to help him spread the good news of the gospel. Before he ascended again into heaven, after his resurrection, he commissioned his apostles to take the gospel to all the world, that all might know and apply the saving gospel in their lives.

We have the same privilege as those who lived in Old Testament times, and those who lived at the time of Christ to hear authorized representatives of our Savior. We have living prophets who receive revelation from the Lord, and who speak his words as they lead and guide us just as the prophets of old. In the book of Amos we read:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
It is no small thing to hear the voice of a prophet of God and to receive divine guidance from the Lord through him. Such is our privilege this weekend, to hear and heed the counsel of a prophet who bears witness of Jesus Christ to this world so much in need of his guidance, love, and mercy.

Two more sessions of General Conference are being held tomorrow at 10 AM and 2 PM; I invite all to listen on TV, radio, or on the internet. All 4 sessions are available to watch at this site.,5161,9080,00.html