Friday, November 28, 2008

And the "Bite Your Tongue" Award Goes To . . .

If there exists an award for the person who is able to bite their tongue and not say what is really on their mind it should go to my husband. And the person he could easily have been angry with is me. Yes, me. I know, I am usually pretty well behaved, but this time I did have a huge blooper. I am blaming it on the fact that I have company in town, Thanksgiving was yesterday and biggest of all, my son is getting married in the morning. So, I haven't been thinking all that clearly. But the story began this afternoon when my husband took my father and our son-in-law out into the desert to shoot guns. And since he took my car, that meant I had to drive his.

Of course, that shouldn't have mattered. Everyone knows that when you park a car you actually put the gear in park and turn off the car. I know that. But for some reason, I forgot to do it. I had my daughters and mother in the car with me and we were going to see the movie Twilight. I dropped them off at the front of the theater and went to park the car. My husband and father met us there. (Yes, my husband and father were there to see Twilight as well, but that is a different adventure.) After the movie, my husband and I walked out to his car. As we approached it, we heard a warning bell ringing from the car. Perplexed, we opened the car door where we also saw the lights on, and that the car wasn't even in park! It was still in drive. Now don't ask me how a car can stay still in a parking spot for two hours in drive with the motor running, but it did. However, when we went to turn the car back on, it was dead. The battery had died.

Now this is where I fell in love with my husband all over again. He was certainly justified in getting upset with me, or at least saying something. But he didn't. We just hurried and called my dad to come back so we could jump the car and then we left to meet everyone at the restaurant for dinner. When I apologized for the mistake he just said, "It takes time to get used to a new car." What a sweety! I have only been driving cars for . . . .well, we don't need the exact number, I quit aging once I turned 42 anyway, but lets just say it has been for a long time. By now I should know what to do with a car when I leave it for a couple hours in a parking lot. And so that is why, my wonderful husband wins the "Bite Your Tongue" Award. And one more reason why life with him brings so much . . . joy to my journey!

Thankgiving Party Favors

Here is a fun thing we did for our Thanksgiving dinner. I had remembered doing these years ago, but haven't had dinner at my house again until this year (about 18 years later) so haven't made them since. But we took sugar cones and steamed them for about a minute in a double broiler until they became soft and then bent them to form a cornucopia. They re-harden very quickly. We then filled them with fall colored candy, covered them with plastic wrap and tied a bow to hold the plastic wrap in place. Attached to the bow we had a scripture on gratitude. Each scripture was different so while eating our meal we went around the table and had everyone read the scripture they had. They can also be used as placecards.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Week's Theme----Gratitude

“Gratitude is deeper than thanks. Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts”
David O. McKay
"A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being."
James E. Faust

I love those quotes. I also love many scriptures that teach of gratitude. Here are a few of my favorites.

Thess 5: 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

D&C 98:1 Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.

D&C 78: 19 And he who receiving all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious: and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea
, more.
Alma 37:8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his priase, yea, let us give thanks go his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.

Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

In the past 24 hours I have been counting my blessings. Here are a few of them.

1. I am thankful for a husband who taught my seminary class this morning so I could spend all day yesterday getting things ready for my son's wedding Saturday.

2. I am thankful for the friend who said, "let me take care of that".

3. I am thankful for another friend who dropped by this morning and visited while I did my dishes. That boosted my spirits and started my day off just right.

4. I am thankful for the daughter who, seeing I was busy, finished getting dinner ready and set the table without being asked.

5. I am thankful for hugs, kisses, telephone calls and emails.

6. I am thankful to have enough money to buy food for Thanksgiving dinner.

7. I am thankful I will have all my children together under one roof on Thanksgiving day.

8. And mostly I am thankful for my faith, my family, good health and great friends. And that although things are getting tough in the world, there is still a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lisa's Wonderful Bread Sticks

Here is my gift to anyone who is reading this blog. This is a recipe for very yummy, quick and easy breadsticks from my very good friend Lisa. They are great when you don't want to take the time to make rolls, can't get to the store to buy some, but would still like to have bread for your meal.

1 T. Yeast
1 1/2 C. water (150 degrees)
2 T. White Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Cups Flour

Mix all ingredients together. Knead for 3 minutes, cover and let rest for an additional ten minutes. Roll out to about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into strips, dip in butter. Place on cookie sheet and add garlic, cheese or other spices as desired. Let rise for 10 minutes and then bake at 375 degrees until done. (About 10 minutes) Enjoy!

Fifty Is Nifty

On Thursday, November 13, my very handsome husband turned 50. After a great deal of begging and pleading, he agreed to let me throw a party in his honor, but it had to only include his family and a small group of friends. So . . .that little party turned in to a three-day celebration. On the first day we had a small dinner at home with the kids. The next night Wes and I went away to a local resort and the third day we had dinner with a small group of friends and family. It wasn't the large blow out bash I had originally envisioned, but we had a wonderful time and Wes felt very loved. One highlight was a movie we showed titled, "Fifty Things We Love About Wes." All the people who were at the dinner were also in the movie. It was great!

Ever wonder what 50 balloons on your ceiling look like? :-)

A good friend recently told me that a journey isn't very fun if you travel alone. Thankfully our lives have been filled with great "traveling companions." Some of those were at the dinner party we hosted in Wes' honor Saturday night.

In addition to good friends we had family. Here is a picture of Kali (Ryan's fiance) with Kathryn and Michelle. Doesn't she look like she belongs?!

A special treat was having Camille and Kristen home. They flew in to surprise their dad. It doesn't get better than that. Poor Camille is even 8 months pregnant!

This is Wes' very good friend Curt and his wife Denise. Curt and Wes grew up together, were roommates in college and work together now. He is a CPA and does a lot of the accounting for Wes' company. It was so fun to have them join us for the big night.

And here is Wes' mother and our son Ryan. Wes' two sisters, Judy and Jackie and their husbands came as well.

Wes received many thoughtful gifts from friends and family. Here is a picture of a few of the 16 pounds of Peanut M&M's he received.

Our friends the Holmes gave Wes this knife. I still don't understand what it is about guys and weaponry. The next day Wes gave us a lesson on how to use it. Also, while testing how sharp the knife is, he put a gash in my kitchen counter. We now know . . . it is sharp.

Our friends the Purtymun's gave Wes this wheelbarrow. Bryan and Wes have hauled innumerable loads of dirt together over the years, and the wheelbarrow we had was looking pretty aged. We love the new one! Notice all the little details Bryan added to it--tassels, a horn, decals . . . .He even went to Michael's himself to buy them! What a good friend!

Apparently there are different levels of intelligence here. "Wise at 50+" is the lowest level mark."Young and Dumb" is the highest.

We are so grateful for everyone who sent birthday email greetings, called and brought by gifts. Wes had a wonderful time and appreciated the love and support from so many.Thanks to you all for making the day so memorable. We are thankful that along life's path, we have found so many great people who have added so much . . . joy to our journey.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So, does anyone else have that one person in your life who just loves to push your buttons? You know, the one who has to play games, get you riled up or is just outright rude and unkind at times? And you can't avoid them because they are part of your life and here to stay. Well, the other day I woke up with just such a person on my mind and was contemplating what revenge I would exact were I brave enough to do so, (just kidding!)when I saw this quote on charity I had posted near my computer (perhaps for such a time as this).

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt, or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences and weaknesses and shortcomings, having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."
Marvin J. Ashton

But if that weren't enough, I then clicked on that day's edition of "Latter-day Light" and found the following:

"But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"
Matthew 5:44-45
Hmmmm. A message perhaps? And in the mouth of two witnesses even. Although I wouldn't call the person in my life an ememy, they do cause me on occasion some grief. But after reading the above scripture and quote, I felt sufficiently chastised. So, just in case there is someone else out there struggling with these same emotions . . .here is a thought for your journey. :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset

When we moved to Arizona 24 years ago, we were driving down the street in front of the Paradise Valley Mall, when I commented to my husband how depressingly brown everything was. About five years later, we were driving down the same sreet when I mentioned what a pretty area of town we were in. It was then we both remembered my previous comment and started to laugh. After living in the dessert for a while you begin to appreciate its unique beauty. But it wasn't until we moved to our current location (which was once on the outskirts of town) that I really learned to appreciate the Grand Canyon State. From my back porch I am treated to dazzling sunrises and from my front porch spectacular sunsets. Even after eleven years, they never fail to thrill me. I love both sunrises and sunsets. I have come to view a sunrise as God's first gift of the morning. Here is one of those gifts for you to enjoy as well.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why I Voted Yes On Prop 102

I have thought long and hard this past week about what I should write. I really want this blog to be a happy place, and not one that incites contention. I want it to be a place that brings joy and peace to those who visit, not anger and hostility. But I also hope my children will read it, and perhaps someday my grandchildren also, and therefore I have concluded, it is imperative that I take a moment and be perfectly clear as to why I voted yes on Proposition 102.

Neal A. Maxwell, (A Time to Choose [1972], said,
“There is a special sense of urgency infusing itself into many Church members everywhere that says, quietly, but insistently—this is the time for us to choose! It is not just that God will insist that we choose for our own sake, but that those who depend upon us, or use us as a reference point, need and deserve to know which way we are going. . . .The disciple must not only stand in ‘holy places’ but on holy issues and ‘not be moved.’"

Therefore, here is my stand on the issue.

Prop 102 allows Arizona to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman. This passed in Arizona, as it did in Florida and California. It has not come without controversy however. We, along with my husband’s company contributed to help finance the fight for Prop 102 and in so doing became targets for angry letters and telephone calls. Those opposed to the traditional definition of marriage call those who are in support of it hatemongers and have called for the burning of homes and churches of all those who contributed. I probably don’t need to point out the irony in this.

I have no negative feelings towards those who oppose my view, but just as they feel they have the right to fight for their rights, so do I feel I have the right, and the obligation, to fight for mine. We believe the family to be the basic and most fundamental unit of society and that a family exists to bring children into the world, and to raise them to be responsible and contributing members of society. I believe marriage between a man and a woman to be ordained of God, and that sexual intimacy should be limited to a man and woman who are married and that anything other than this is immoral and weakens the moral fiber of our existence. Although I feel everyone has the right to choose their own behavior, I do not want my children to be taught as normal or exposed to behavior I feel is not only detrimental to their emotional well being, but also threatens their spiritual safety.

My beliefs stem from what I believe to be true regarding where we came from before this earth, why we are here and where we go after we die. We believe that before coming to earth we lived as spirit children of our Heavenly Father (God) in Heaven. It was decided there that an earth would be created where we could come and receive bodies so we could progress and become like our Heavenly Father. Therefore, one of the main purposes of our existence here is to get married and provide physical bodies for our spirit brothers and sisters. Therefore, I believe we not only have the obligation to marry and bear children but that every child has the right to both a father and a mother.

I believe the traditional family unit (husband, wife, children) existed before we came to earth, that it exists today and that families can also be sealed together for eternity and continue after this life. Therefore, not only does immorality weaken the family, which is the foundation upon which our society is built, but homosexuality defeats one of the main purposes of our existence as a homosexual couple cannot on their own bear children, and children raised in a homosexual environment are deprived of their basic human right to have both a mother and a father.

And so I will continue to raise my voice in defense of morality and the traditional family so that my children and grandchildren can have a world where they too can . . . . find joy in the journey.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A thought for your journey . . .

"If you are not willing to step outside your comfort zone, you won't learn.
If you don't learn, you won't grow.
If you don't grow, you won't experience joy."
Bruce C. Hafen