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Monday, June 28, 2010

Spiritual Crocodiles

Dear Dad,

You will not believe this.  This past week, my family and I were attacked by little man-eating fish.  You always told me that the fish would be more scared of me than I was of them, but that was not the case, we were terrified of them.

I just have to tell you this, not to rub it in that you were wrong.  Husband and I actually think you are one of the best "educated guessers" around.  You know a lot, and have a lot of common sense, and when you put it all together, your guesses tend to be quite close to the truth.

So there we were, just a-campin' away next to a beautiful lake.  Yes, our campsite was that close!
We decided to go for a swim.  Daughter loved it!!!
Then these little guys showed up to play.
They bit me a few times, and I could tell when they nibbled at Daughter, she would kind of look around the water, like "Hey, what happened?"  Husband got the worst of it.  They kept biting at the moles on his back, and broke the skin twice!!!  He had blood running down his back, and I can only imagine how much it must have hurt.  I have no idea if the moles looked like little bait or what, but they were brutal.  The best way to describe it is like tigers stalking their prey.  They had no fear of us, and just kept inching closer and closer and closer until they bit you.  Thankfully they didn't bother us if we swam after dark, and they left Husband alone once he swam with a shirt on.

There you can sort of see the size compared to my big toe.
While Daughter rested (notice that her feet aren't actually touching the ground! and yes she did that by herself), I began to think...
Those fish were so small.  The lake was so big.  They totally seemed like they shouldn't have had any effect on our camping trip, yet they made us so jumpy that anytime a rock settled on the ground and brushed against our feet we were making our way out of the water to the safety of the shore.

I also found myself thinking about Spiritual Crocodiles, a talk by Boyd K. Packer.  I have also included the video that was made after his talk was given.  In the talk, he talks about how the watering holes looked safe, but that they all were super unsafe to the other animals to get a drink, because there were always crocodiles waiting to eat them.  I thought about the little things in my life that look harmless, but really are not.  I recently decided to stop watching a certain television show.  It had references to drugs, fornication, homosexuality, bullying and other things that I don't agree with.  Every week we put our trash out at the curb to be taken away.  I don't need to bring anymore filth into my home.  There are some blogs that poke fun at my beliefs that I have decided to no longer read.  I know why would I read them in the first place?  They just didn't seem that bad.....they were funny......I know it sounds lame now.

I have also been thinking.  Am I always thinking the best of others?  Am I always being a positive person?  Oh, Dad, you've taught me so much.  I love you.  You have been a great example to me.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

LDS Church Music Interactive Music Player

Dear Readers,

I have often linked to the LDS Church Music Interactive Music Player website.  This is an awesome resource. I would like to point out one feature that you may or may not know about.

When a song page loads, if you look at the upper left hand corner of the page you will see where it has the "play" button controls.  Below that it says "Interactive" and the button is filled next to "Music with Parts".  This is to help people learn the song.

If you click the button next to "Words and Music" which is just below that, then you will get a a nice MP3 recording that is not so choppy of a fake piano.  If you just want background music then choose "Music Only". has the downloadable files if you would like to download them.  Click here for the specific page.

There are many other wonderful features to this site, but I just wanted you to enjoy the songs that I link to.


How Dear to God are Little Children

Dear Sister,

As promised here is the talk that I gave today in church:

Last week at Stake Conference it was wonderful to hear from Elder Lynn Robbins of the Seventy.  After the Conference he approached the Stake Choir Director and in discussing the music of the meeting, he said to her, “What we need in the church is beautiful music excellently done, and more of it; good talks excellently done and less of them.”  It is true that I spent more time preparing for the musical number, than this talk.  I have known that I was going to play “Beautiful Savior” today long before I knew that I was going to be giving a talk about our Savior.  I am grateful that the topics lined up so nicely.

In 3 Nephi it tells of when Jesus Christ visited the people who lived on the American continent.  It is a great and marvelous event that takes many chapters to tell about it.  In chapter 17, After he has been teaching the people many doctrines including the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer, he says that He is going to leave and give the people a break and go show himself unto the lost tribes of Israel.

3 Nephi 17:2-3 says “I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.  Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.”

However, when Christ says this to the people he takes compassion on them, because they were “in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.” (Verse 5)  I don’t know exactly what their faces would have looked like, but I can imagine the intensity that must have been present.

So, because of the Nephite’s faith, Jesus then asks for the sick and afflicted to come forward to be healed.  Reading in verse 9, it says “And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.”

Well, not only those who were sick got to meet Christ, but others also approached him and they kissed his feet and bathed them with their tears.

I tell you all of this in case you are unfamiliar with this story or perhaps you have forgotten the details, but it is the next part that I really want to focus on next.  It is when Jesus Christ commands the Nephites to bring their little children to him.  This is my favorite story about Jesus Christ, which fits in with this week’s theme (Tell me the Stories of Jesus).

So, the Savior has the children sit on the ground near him.  Then he tells the rest of the people to kneel down.  Then he knelt and prayed to Heavenly Father.  The Savior’s prayer was so marvelous that it could not be written, but one thing that they did record was “No one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.” (Verse 17)  After his prayer, Jesus said that the Nephites would be blessed because of their faith, and then he wept because he felt so much love and happiness.

Then he took the little children and blessed each one.  He prayed to Heavenly Father for them and wept again.  Christ then said “Behold your little ones.”  When the Nephites looked at their children they watched angels come down from heaven that encircled the children and ministered to them.

So what do I learn from this story?

I have broken up my thoughts into two different categories.  First, what I can learn from the Nephites behaviors and reactions, and second, what I can learn from the Savior.

First, let’s look at the Nephites.  I admire them so much.  They had a desire for the words of Christ.  They were spiritually hungry for it, and they had spent the whole day feasting as they listened to Christ teach them all of these wonderful things.  In Matthew 5 it says “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” And they were.  They got to sit at the feet of the Savior and learn.  It wasn’t even enough though, because it was their look, their steadfast look that caused him to have compassion on them and stay a little longer.  He didn’t originally plan on healing the sick and blessing the children at that time, maybe he had plans to later, but he did it then, because he could tell how bad the Nephites wanted to drink the living waters of Christ’s love.  He was telling them that they have had enough for one day.  The Nephites also had faith.  They were healed because of that faith.

They were open to the Spirit.  To have a spiritual experience as great as that, they must have been keeping the commandments and living the teachings of the gospel.  Would you be prepared to have a visit from the Savior?  They were touched.  They had tears in their eyes.  That is one way that the Spirit touches people.  They were completely consumed, remember they had a steadfast look towards him.  No distractions.  Can you say the same about you?  Do you have distractions in your life that are preventing you from focusing on the Savior and keeping the Spirit from touching you?

Lastly, I have learned from the Nephites the kind of parent that I want to be.  Am I leading by example?  Do I have my children at the right places at the right times to be blessed by the Savior?  In order to be prepared, am I going to my meetings, and having both personal and family prayer and scripture study?  The Nephites knew that the Savior was going to come to them because of prophecies.  Have we heard of a time when the Savior will come again?  A time that has been prophesied of, a time that we are to be preparing for?  Yes, we do, the second coming.  I know that I can to do better, and I hope to be like the Nephite people.

Now, what have I learned from the Savior?

First, I like the pattern that he set forth here.  He taught the people doctrine, then he took compassion on them and solved a need that they had by healing them.  Elder Robbins just taught us how a problem is a goldmine.  Then Christ blessed the people and prayed for them.  This sounds like a great home or visiting teaching formula to me.  Teach, love, bless, and pray for those we are asked to watch over.  Am I asking others if they will allow me to solve their problems?  Am I offering my services to others to solve their problems?  Am I acting as our Savior, Jesus Christ?

Then I learned how I should love the little children like the Savior does.

First, Jesus is patient.  Verse 12 says, “Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.”  He waited for all of the children to get up to him.  He was not in a hurry.  Kids move slower.  They get distracted, and it is easy as an adult to hurry children.  There was a great article in the June Ensign entitled “Don’t be in a Hurry”.  I highly recommend it.

Also, the children are brought up front before Christ prays.  I think this is significant.  In my house, we always say a blessing on the food before we eat.  Sometimes, it seems much easier to just quickly pray, because the baby’s quiet, or to hurry up and pray before the food gets cold, because we’ve already asked her to fold her arms 20 times, and she’s said “No” 20 times.  I often justify my actions in that, we are always eating, and so there will be many other opportunities to slow down and help my daughter fold her arms.  Are we working hard to hard to involve our children in the gospel?  As parents are we helping them be in the middle of it all or are we sometimes discounting their presence, or their ability to understand?  Do we sneak into the back of the chapel, or maybe even just sit in the foyer or are we helping them understand the importance of the sacrament?  Do we read the scriptures with them and explain what is happening, or do we just read the words thinking “they’ll understand when they are older”.

It says that Jesus took them one by one.  He spent time with each child, getting to know them, and helping them to feel loved.  Now, I would like to point out that Jesus was not the father to any of these children.  He did all of this, because he loved them, not out of duty or obligation, because he was the parent.  He wasn’t judging any parent, he wasn’t there to take the place of the parents.  He didn’t want to do someone job, or step on any toes.  Christ was a positive influence to these children.  I know as a parent I am always looking for support and role models for my daughter.  It didn’t matter if these children came from perfect homes or broken homes.  Jesus loved the little children.  The Proclamation on the Family uses the scripture Psalm 127:3 “Children are an heritage of the Lord.”  The Savior recognized that.

Pres. Eyring said in our most recent Conference, “Many bishops in the Church are inspired to call the strongest people in the ward to serve individual children in the Primary. They realize that if the children are strengthened with faith and testimony, they will be less likely to need rescue as teenagers. They realize that a strong spiritual foundation can make the difference for a lifetime.”  I love serving in the Primary.  I see their needs.  They all want to be loved.

Listen to the words of this Primary Song (Teacher, Do You Love Me).

(Child) Teacher, do you love me?
Teacher, will you care for me?
Even if I turn away, or disobey, or go astray,
Then will you love me still?
Teacher, will you teach me?
Teacher, help me choose the right.
When I do not understand the Lord’s command, please take my hand
And lead me safely with his light.
(First time child only.)
I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior’s love will light the path
To lead me safely home.

Elder Robbins said last week that “Love is a choice”.  Are we choosing to love the children in our ward?  Are we spending time getting to know them?  Pres. Eyring also said, “We all can help. Grandmothers, grandfathers, and every member who knows a child can help. It doesn’t take a formal calling in Primary. Nor is it limited by age.”  I know of many who yearn for children, and can’t have them.  Many grandparents wish their own grandchildren lived closer.  No matter what your family situation is, you can be like Jesus Christ, and love little children.

Our Savior prayed for the children.  We can pray for the children in our ward.  We can pray to love them.  We can pray for them to resist temptation.  We can talk to them.  Elder Hales just said in this recent conference, “I have learned that what makes a priesthood or Scout activity most meaningful to a boy is not just getting a merit badge but having the opportunity to sit and talk with a leader who is interested in him and his life.  Similarly, mothers and fathers, Do you take the time to have them take the earplugs from their MP3 players and all the other devices so that they can hear you and feel of your love?”

Proverbs 22:6  says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  We all need to help one another and help these children feel loved, not because anyone is being an awful parent, but because the world is wicked and we need to strengthen together and like Elder Eyring says, they will not rescue later on, if we help them now.

Children want to be loved.  I have worked with Primary children in 3 different states.  I have worked with After school programs, City parks and recreation programs, Summer Day camps, Cub Scouts, and in each of these, the children are the same. They want to be loved.  They want to feel the love of their Savior Jesus Christ.

I would hope that everyone here will answer as the teacher in the Primary song does:

(Teacher) Oh yes, my child, I love you.
My child, I’ll always care for you.
And with the Savior as our guide,
I’ll share the light I feel inside,
And you will feel his love for you.
Oh, yes, my child, I’ll teach you.
My child, I’ll help you choose the right.
And when you do not understand
The Lord’s command, I’ll take your hand,
And he will lead us with his light.
(Second time duet.)
I need your love, I need your light
To show me how to be like Jesus.
The Savior’s love will light the path
To lead us safely home.

I love the sweet children of this ward.  I need them, as much as they need me.  I love my Savior.  I love his example that he set for me.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

He Sent His Son

Dear Sister,

I thought your kids might like to watch this.  Daughter does.  The first time that she watched it, she applauded
at the end.  The phone had rung so I didn't see the whole thing, so we watched it again, and again, and again and Daughter applauded, and applauded, and applauded.  It is one of Daughter's very favorite things to do.  She loves the pictures of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know she also enjoys hearing children sing the song.

This week I have been writing a talk for Sacrament Meeting  this Sunday about Jesus Christ, so I have been pondering how I feel about Him and my relationship with Him.  I'll share the results when I finish, but first I am off on a camping trip to enjoy the beauty of our Heavenly Father's creations.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Confess and Forsake

Dear Readers,

I want to publicly say that I am no longer watching a certain television program.  It doesn't matter which one it is or whether or not you have different feelings about it.  For me and my house, it was chasing the Spirit away from us and we can't have that happening anymore.  We have been working so hard to make our home a heaven here on Earth, just like this song says.

Sad to say, but I need this kind of public accountability to follow through.  It is way too easy to say, "It's not really that bad.  The good parts are good, and I can just ignore the bad parts," but it doesn't work like that.  I need to follow these guidelines.

Now I must follow Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43 and never again watch this show to truly repent.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Love You

Dear Brother,

Hey Bro, it's been awhile.  I miss hearing about everything going on at school and everything that you are up to.  I can't believe how big you are now.  When I see Husband hanging out with the other boys who have just graduated they always look so grown up to me with bright futures.  Then I remember you are the same age, too, but I just seem to always remember the sweet little you.

The little you that sang and danced and was always smiling and jumping up and down and was always so loving and expressive.  Growing up you were the one that ALWAYS shared a piece of your candy bar with everyone.  You always were so thoughtful and helpful.  I know that J.M. always appreciated you going up to her every Sunday and greeting her.  You were such a peacemaker.  I miss playing in the backyard with you.  Of course I was always bossing everyone around, but you were always just you.  Sweet and simple.

I thought about these memories today.  We had Stake Conference today and Elder Lynn Robbins came to speak to us.  Some of his thoughts were about love and expressing it and that we need to be better at that.  I thought of you and hope to be like your example.

He said that we needed to say "I love you" more and that we needed to express that in our homes so that our children knew how to love.  He also said that love is a decision and that it is not something that we fall into or out of.  He asked that everyone there read Moroni 7 and 1 Corinthians 13 and read the 13 points about love and what it is describing.

His words made me think about choosing to love my neighbors.

Thank you for your example.  I love you.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ride, Sally, Ride

Dear Friend T,

I never get a chance to talk to you anymore, so here are a few thoughts to unload on you.

1.  Recently at a baby shower, I was seated at a table with women that I did not know.  One was telling the others about her upcoming move, which was a surprise to them.  They said, "But you have a lovely home.  Don't you like it?"  The first woman replied.  "Yes, but it is just bigger than we need, so we are downsizing."  I could tell that some of the ladies thought she was weird, but in my head I was so proud of her to do that, to live so prudently.

This happened about two weeks ago so I have been thinking about provident living quite a bit since then.

2.  One morning I was going to work out to a DVD.  Rather than getting to do it downstairs, where there is a large space for me to move around in, I was stuck upstairs confined to a 3 foot by 3 foot space which isn't going to work for push ups.  Of course I worked out in a huff, because this was Husband's fault, not mine. :)  Looking around at everything that was in the way, it WAS mine.  MY craft junk, MY piano music, MY personal files, MY cd's, and MY decorations.  MY garbage.  I picked up everything in the way and threw them into garbage bags and since then I have pulled out some piano books that I needed, but otherwise, I have been living without my "can't live without" crafts, cd cases, etc.

My conclusion?  I have known this for awhile, but there is no way to get around it now.  I am a Stuff-a-holic.  Also known as a pack rat (sounds so harsh).  What to do about it?  Well, I know, throw stuff away, but it is just easier said than done.  I have been working on this stuff for almost 5 years!!!

I also realized that I was a Stuff-a-holic when I looked at my garbage can and the only thing in there was packaging.  Now you can say that is a good thing, that I recycle, that I find new life for things rather than dumping them, but no, it's not a good thing.  It means that my house is filled with outdated magazines, old "projects", and tons of paper that might need to be filed, and it might not.  I won't know, because I ignore it, afraid to make such a final decision as sending it to it's final resting place.

3.  Lastly, I don't know if you noticed or not, but we sold our beloved Corolla, Sally.  Husband called her that (much to my distaste in the beginning, but it did kind of grow on me).  We have been thinking about it for months, but just finally got around to really doing it.  She was a great car, our first car together.  She's getting older, and becoming too much of a liability.  I am glad that we are downsizing like that one woman moving houses.  We are a family of three people that try to spend as much time together as possible, so we didn't really drive both cars enough to justify two cars except for that we live in America where this is the norm.

There's  a lot more I could say, but you get the idea.  I have been thinking about needing to clean up my clutter.  I love this scripture.  It's my goal.  I'll keep you posted.

Good to talk,

P.S.  One final pic of Sally.  I am sure the buyer thought I was nuts, but now that more time has passed, I know we made the right decision to let her go.

Almost a Grown-Up

Dear Readers,

I will never consider myself a grown-up until I properly know how to prepare mushrooms.

We eat them fairly often and I am always afraid of dying.  Now let's clear this up right here, right now.  I am NOT afraid of dying.  Life will be awesome living with my family forever.  I am just afraid of dying by mushroom.  That seriously just sounds like the worst way to go.

Here is my call for help.  Please leave a comment informing me of:
1. How well do they really need to be washed?  Do they really have to soak in cold water?
2. How much stem must be removed?  Does more than the stem need to be removed?  What about that brown fringey stuff?  What about the white weird stuff around the stem?

And no this is not a sneaky way to get comments on my blog.  I am not that shallow.  I felt grown-up when I started to pay my own car insurance.  I felt grown-up getting my piano tuned.  I felt grown-up when I had to water my garden at midnight to keep it alive (a non-grown-up would have let it die for sure).  It's just one of those things in my head that only makes sense there, but when you say it out loud it does kind of sound ridiculous.

Indulge me,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There Was a Crazy Moose

Dear Readers,

I recently chaperoned some cub scouts while they were attending their Day Camp.  I say chaperoned, because I am not the den leader, so I only attended one day, and did not get to see the full scope of everything that happened there, so I don't really feel like I went, but that's all beside the point.

One of the camp songs they sang was the Crazy Moose song.  I had completely forgotten about this song.  I don't know if it is very popular, because this is only the second place I heard it.  The first place I heard it was in a class taught by Dr. Gary Palmer.  He is amazing!!!  So I started thinking and remembering the class and other classes I had taken from him at BYU.

Then I also remembered that he was published in the Ensign magazine once.  Here is his article.  It is about laughter in the home.  I love reading it, because I can picture all of his voice infections, and faces, and body gestures that he would use if he were telling these stories in class.

I especially like this quote:
I think laughter is more important than a family vacation because it’s always available and it’s free. Vacations are not.
I have been dreaming of a family vacation this Summer that probably won't happen, so I will be looking for more laughter instead of more money and time that I needed for the vacation.
Husband says I am witty (and I think he is too), but witty doesn't usually produce belly laughter, at least for me.

If anybody knows a good joke, send it my way!!!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Adoption Aha Moment

Dear Sister,

I know we haven't talked about this for a little while, but I was just going to let you know that now I feel like I could adopt whereas before I didn't.  I wasn't really against it, but I didn't really know how it fit with me.  I always planned on having many children, but that doesn't seem to be plausible anymore.  Reading these questions before, always just confused me.  I was never sure that I would be able to love an adopted child the same as my own, and I was worried that the child wouldn't love me, that they would only want their mom.

So eventually, I had kind of just talked myself into a smaller family, because I do love Husband and Daughter and life is good, but a few Saturdays ago I had the neatest (I know who says that?) experience.  Husband and I were watching someone's children while they attended the temple.  Isn't this picture of Oakland, divine?  I totally miss seeing that every week.  The church we attended was on the same property as this temple.

Anyways, my "aha" moment came while we were eating lunch.....well having a chaotic moment that is also known as lunch.  Five kids, ages 1-9 were all seated at the table eating chicken nuggets, needing ketchup on their plates, apple juice poured in cups, and many other needs all filled at the same time.  It was at this moment that my eyes met Husband's and I just knew.  I knew that I could love somebody's child as much as my own.  The way that Daughter interacted with them all and how loving Husband was just cemented it into my soul.  I knew right in that second that I could have a large family and that I will have a large family.  Someday we'll be in our house with our own family, 5 kids, ages 1-9, and they'll all be mine.  They might have different mother's but that won't matter.

We won't be able to adopt for a few years because of our financial situation, but I know that then I will be ready.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Little Honesty

Dear Friend P,

Remember how recently I was telling you how everyone I know has a problem with negativity right now?  Well I have more to say about that.

So looking around and finding problems in everyone is easy.  Everyone has flaws.  This I know, because I have allowed to let these flaws in everyone BOTHER me.  I realized recently that I have flaws too.  It's the whole mote/beam thing found in the Bible.

I am a hypocrite.  I don't mean to be, because really who does?  I know that you know this, and I think you are kind to not point this out to me, whenever I am having a beam in my eye.

I have to say a little honesty goes a long way. I realized that I was being negative about the people being negative.  I might have been positive about the things they were being negative about, but I was completely missing that I was being negative about them, and letting it really bring me down and totally consume my life.

Since I have self-examined this past week, my life is back to being awesome!!!  I realized what I was doing, that I was being selfish, and that I am no better than my neighbors.  We are all God's children and he loves us all the same, which by the way is more than we can really ever comprehend.

Here's the funny part, ever since I have stopped being so "negative", guess what?  So has everyone else.......  The human mind is such a funny thing.

Thanks for listening.  You always do.

Your friend,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Choir Practice

Dear Sister,

I just home from a church choir practice and it took me back over a decade ago when I went to my first choir practice.  I sat next to you, crowded on a soft squishy couch that seemed to eat up my body (and was not very conduscive to singing).  This was back when we were meeting at the G. home.  You were singing alto, but I couldn't follow so I had to switch to soprano.

The girl that I sat next to today had your exact tone quality. I have been by her before, and somehow you guys just sound the exact same when you sing.  It definitely made me smile to myself, because it has been a really really long time since we have sung in a choir together.

It made me think of singing selection's from Handel's "Messiah" and many other songs that appeared in our folders, marking up up music with our pencils, all while being very squished in that living room.  Every once in awhile the director would have made cinnamon rolls which were always a welcome treat.  I remembered the choir president, S.M. who took her job very seriously, making weekly reminder phone calls, and always having a motivational quote to read each week.  I also remembered C.H. who is no longer with us, but a big part of my choir memories.  He always was paying attention to the music to make sure we were observing all of the markings and expressions that were listed.

Those were the days.  Remember?


Friday, June 11, 2010


Dear Friend K,

I just wanted to thank you for being the best friend ever.  Even though there is an age difference between you and I, I love that you treat me as your equal.  None of this "Wait until you're my age, because you are a little girl." garbage.  Why would I want to be your age when I am my age now?  I want to be your age in 10-15 years after I enjoy the experiences that come with being my age.  Thanks for respecting that and recognizing the potential not just in me, but in everyone.  You truly see the best in everyone and are such a good example to me.  You move forward as a disciple of Christ not caring whether that makes you popular or not.

I also love the way that our families have become intertwined together.  It's almost kind of crazy considering that we have no blood connection.  Your children are a delight and I love that even though our daughters are not the same age they play so well together.

Everyone should have a friend as great as you.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Power of Love

Dear Readers,

I have recently had an experience.  A wonderful experience.  A life changing, humbling experience.  However, it is an experience that isn't meant to be chronicled here on this blog.

What I will say to you though, is that there is power in love.  The Bible does say that it is the greatest commandment.  So today I am writing to you with a challenge.  Think of one way to improve love in your life, and then DO it.  This can be love of self, love of God, love of spouse, or love of children.  Any of these are important relationships in our lives and relationships need to be worked on to help the love thrive. Even writing this right now, I have many ideas that I could do for all of these relationships in my own life.

My only rule is that you need to think of something that you can do all by yourself, not dependent on anyone else.  Sure the people that we have relationships with have flaws, but we do too, and I encourage you today to be honest with yourself about the love in your life.

Good luck,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

Dear Daughter,

I just wanted to let you know how tickled I am that you are kind of like Anne of Green Gables, one of my all-time favorite book characters.

Anne always says that one of the best things about her is that she always learns from her mistakes and never makes the same mistake twice.  You are kind of like that.  When Husband and I tell you what the boundaries are, you learn.  When you get hurt, you know to avoid getting hurt the same way again.

I love that part of your name was inspired by Anne of Green of Gables.  I own and have read the boxed set many times over the years.  I wanted to read these books out loud to you while I was pregnant, but since I didn't know if you were a boy or a girl, I didn't want to risk it, because these are the ultimate girl power books.

Everyone thinks these books are all about Gilbert Blythe, but they're not.  Only a few pages in each book is dedicated to the love story between Anne and Gilbert, unlike the movies.  These books are all about Anne's adventures and how she makes it in the world as a creative soul with an extreme passion for life.

I want you to have to have a passion for life.  I want you to grow up to be a strong good woman.  I want you to always remember that while you are named after your Father, Anne of Green Gables was an inspiration as well.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberry Delight

Dear Mother,

I love opening my refrigerator right now.  Every time I do, I get a big whiff of the smell of strawberries.  Yum!!!  Time to make strawberry squares, and a bazillion other yummy strawberry treats.  Husband and Daughter just like to eat them plain, but I love that there are as many ways to prepare strawberries as eggs, (ha!) or so it seems.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Staying Out of Trouble

Dear Dad,
I thought you might get a kick out of this.

Yesterday, there was a knock at our door.  I could see through the blinds that it was some kind of salesman, because he had just unloaded a large pack that was clearly holding his wares.  Husband was home so I had him get the door.

All I hear next is, "Do you want to buy some candy for my basketball team?"  Now I didn't want any of the peanut brittle, but Husband and I did want to support him.  Anyone who walks around with chocolate products all day in ninety degree weather for their High School basketball team is pretty good in my book.  So we buy one little box of the peanut brittle, which was way overpriced, but I kept telling myself that was for the fundraiser part.

So after he leaves, Husband tells me what was really said.  It went,

Boy: Do you want to buy some candy for my basketball team?
Husband: How much is it?
Boy: I have 3 different flavors of peanut brittle at $4.95 each.
Husband:  Okay we'll take the chocolate dipped peanut brittle.
Boy: Okay, you'll have to put it in the refrigerator.  I have been outside selling all day.
Husband: What basketball team is this for?
Boy: I go to (local) High School and this is a program to help us raise money for our basketball team and to help keep the kids out of trouble.
Husband: What position do you play?
Boy: Second String Point Guard
Husband: What year are you?
Boy: Senior
Husband: Good luck.

This is how they keep the kids out of trouble?  Summer just started and these boys are going to door-to-door it for the next few months?  I do have to say the boy was very polite and seemed like a good kid, so I have no idea if he needed help staying out of trouble or not.

We probably should have given him an extra For the Strength of Youth book, and told him that would keep him out of trouble if he read it, but I didn't hear the original conversation.  I am grateful that I don't have to worry about keeping my kids out of trouble, because they have so many tools that they can use.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why I Ran A Marathon

Dear Lindsay,

I can't believe it has been over 6 weeks since I completed a marathon.  That is 26.2 miles.  Since then I have not even run a total of 26.2 miles.  For months, it was such a big part of my life, this goal of running a marathon that now that it is over, I don't want it to fade away.

I am slowing forgetting the dedication, the hard work, the feelings, even the desire of how bad I wanted it.  So today I am taking just a minute to write down why I ran that marathon.

It all started last fall.  Husband's school schedule was intense and family time was becoming a rarity.  One stressful day I told my husband that I was going to buy a jogging stroller and that we were going to run a marathon together.  He said okay, because he figured he had no choice, but as we started to run together we looked forward to it.  Our daughter loved it.  We spent family time together and all was well.  To run a marathon you have to stick to the training schedule.  So as we made time for running, we were really making time for family.  Every day when we ran, we held hands together as we crossed our "finish line" which was the crack in the driveway.

In January, my husband pulled out with a knee injury.  We were both devastated.  We had run, we had pushed, we had even started to get babysitters because our mileage had increased to a point where our daughter couldn't sit that long in the stroller.  We had run in the snow, rain, wind, bitter cold and mainly we had run together.  We held hands every time that we finished.  Our marriage had been strengthened.

I took a week off.

I thought about things.  Was I still going to run the marathon alone?

Finally, I decided what my answer was going to be.

I was going to run the marathon alone.  My husband still was going to help me.  He babysat our daughter for many hours while I ran.  He cheered, he brought water, he did all he could.  He made the money so I could spend it on running shoes, socks, pants, entry fees, etc.  Still I was alone.  It was quiet when I ran.  I only had my thoughts to tell me to keep going.  I finished every run without his hand in mine.

I was going to run the marathon alone.  Mainly because I knew deep down what I had always known...what I think everybody knows.  People who run marathons, have self-discipline.  As a teenager as I ate my way through life I knew I didn't have self-discipline, because if I did, then I wouldn't be so overweight as a result of lack of nutrition and exercise and zero self-discipline.  As a young adult, without parents and teachers to make me do things, I didn't always do the best that I could.  I grew lazy, and procrastinated more than I ever had before.  I knew that I HAD to run this marathon so I could develop the self-discipline that I wanted, to re-capture me.

And discipline it took to finish the training, but the day of the race came, and I did it.  I ran a marathon.

I ran by a guy that was wearing a shirt that said "We run for those we love".  Then on the back it had a long list of names.  I don't know if they were living or deceased, family or friends, but it made me think.  Who was I running for?  After some thought I knew.


I am a woman.  I always help other people.  I always worry about my family.  I put myself on the back burner.

And so, Self, who I love, remember why you ran a marathon.  Though there were many reasons to get you started and continuing on the journey, do not forget that you are special and that you are worth it.

We run for those we love.  Keep running.  Keep loving you.