I saw the hand of the Lord today in the eyes of my children as they drew pictures and created card after card for their Daddy.

I heard the hand of the Lord today as I talked to my Dad on the phone and thought how lucky I am to have a loving father who is happy to talk with me (even when I don’t send him a present for Father’s Day), and a “Papa” for my kids that is interested in what they do and who they are.

I felt the hand of the Lord today as Rob hugged and squeezed my shoulder while the primary children sang, “I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home.”

I was thankful for the hand of the Lord today, when I thought of the wonderful example of fatherhood Rob had growing up. “Pappy” taught him how to love his “queen”, his babies, and the gospel.

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Welcome to YW

Today I was called to serve in our ward as the first counselor in the Young Women presidency.  I haven’t been a part of YW since I was in high school, so I am really excited! I meet tomorrow with our YW president to discuss my responsibilities.  So far I know that I will be spending a lot of time with the Mia Maids (age 14 & 15) and that the advisor (teacher) I will work with is fantastic. I feel a bit like I’m playing house right now, and wonder if I’ll ever feel like a grown-up.

This is a huge responsibility that I have been given.  I know it will take a lot of time, but also be very rewarding.  I feel like the teen years are the most important in discovering who we are and how we will live out our lives. I am so grateful for the organization and doctrine of our church that has such an emphasis on the success of the children and youth with the Primary and Young Women/Young Men programs.

I really feel like this church embodies the idea of “it takes a village to raise a child.” I recently had a conversation where we discussed how great it was growing up knowing that there were other adults (besides our parents) that felt responsible for and cared about us. And now as a parent, I have been so appreciative of the Cub Scout program for Hunter.  There are adults who care enough about him to teach him and make sure that he stays on track to fulfill the requirements of his den each year.  It feels more important to Hunter because he is getting encouragement from these adult leaders who show such dedication to him.

I recently had my friend’s children over to play while she worked on preparing a talk for sacrament meeting. She happens to serve in the Primary presidency and spends a great deal of time preparing to teach my children. So if I support her needs, she is better able to serve my children. It is such an amazing cycle to me. I will undoubtedly need help with my children while I plan or attend YW activities, and I know that there will be someone there to offer help. This turned into a bit of a ramble, but I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ has service at its core. I am a better person because of the requirements I have placed upon me as I serve. What a blessing.

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Thank Goodness!

Today the Relief Society newsletter for November quoted parts of this beautiful talk by Joseph B. Wirthlin. Of course we all want to be happy, and make others happy as well, so I decided to take action on his advice and post one thing I am grateful for each day until Thanksgiving Day.  I remember others doing this last year, and thought it was a great idea. I’d love it if you tried it along with me, or left a comment about something you are thankful for too.

Quotes from the talk that stood out to me:

Think for a moment, if you will, of someone you know who is truly happy. We’ve all met those who seem to radiate happiness. They seem to smile more than others; they laugh more than others—just being around them makes us happier as well…

Now think of someone you know who isn’t happy at all. Perhaps they seem 10 years older than they are, drained of energy—perhaps they are angry or bitter or depressed.

What is the difference between them? What are the characteristics that differentiate the happy from the miserable? Is there something that unhappy people can do to be happier? I believe there is…

Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.

It is difficult to even imagine a resentful person who is grateful or a grateful person who is resentful…

I believe that many people are unhappy because they have not learned to be grateful. Some carry the burden of bitterness and resentfulness for many years. Some pass their days as though suffering a deep sadness they cannot name. Others are unhappy because life didn’t turn out the way they thought it would…

Choice blessings await those who live in thanksgiving daily. “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness,” the Lord has promised, “shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more” (D&C 78:19).

Don’t wait to start. Open your eyes, open your hearts, and open your arms. I promise that as you do so, you will feel greater joy and happiness. Your life will have a new level of meaning. You will forge relationships that will transcend this life and endure through the eternities…

Today- I am thankful for the right to vote. As you can tell from my blog lately I have become very involved in the political process this election.  More than ever before I have done research and studying about candidates, propositions, and issues.  I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to voice who we want our leaders to be, and what we think our society values should be.  Although I get frustrated by the politicalness of politics, and how mean it can get, I still believe that our democratic system is the most solid base for a successful government. Remember to vote on Tuesday!

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Baptism ’84

In May 1984 I was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In this picture are my Dad, Erica, Me and Chris (Matt was born several months later) standing in our backyard. The dress I’m wearing was made by my talented mother.  I found it a few weeks ago in a box I had stored away, and Emma will wear it at her baptism this Saturday. I was worried that she would think it wasn’t her style and wouldn’t want to wear it, but she is so excited to wear the dress her Nana made and her mom was also baptized in.

These were our friends that lived next door at the time.  We were all the same ages and genders, so we played together lots and lots.  My best friend is on the left;  Her name was also Amy, so we were known as “Amy N.” and “Amy T.”  In this picture are Amy, Me, Christie, Erica, David, and Chris standing in front of the church before the baptism service. Amy T. received her first communion at the Catholic church around this same time and I remember attending that service too.

Emma will be baptized this Saturday at 10:00 am at our Stake Center. The baptism is earlier in the day than usual because there are two Lights on Broadway performances that day too.  I’m sure Emma will shine especially brightly in the shows that day. If you are able to come to the baptism, we would love to have you there!

BTW- Lights on Broadway is a musical production that Emma and Hunter are participating in.  They have been practicing for months now and the performance will be fantastic.  Adults and children from our stake are doing song and dance numbers from broadway plays. Emma will be in Born to Entertain, I Won’t Grow Up, Lion King, and Consider Yourself.  Hunter chose to do just one song, Pick A Pocket. If you want to come and watch, let me know!

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To Be A Daughter of God

Today I gave a talk in sacrament meeting at church.  The topic I was given was “Daughters of God,” and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should say to the congregation.  It was difficult for me to approach a subject on a specific group of people so that it would hold the interest of everyone.  I was so nervous, literally shaking as I spoke and afterwards it took almost an hour to calm down from the knots I had twisting in my stomach, but I think it went well, and I’m happy with it. Here it is:

Last fast Sunday I didn’t really feel strongly about anything I should fast and pray about, so I asked Heavenly Father to tell me what I should be thinking and praying about.  After church I got a phone call asking me to talk in sacrament meeting and knew that Heavenly Father had answered my prayer.  When I was told that the topic for my talk today was Elder Ballard’s talk from conference “Daughters of God,” I felt relieved because I love this talk.  I even did a series of posts quoting it on my blog.  Preparing for today has given me the chance to gain a stronger testimony of this topic. I will also be referencing Elder Ballard’s address “Women of Righteousness” given at BYU in 2001.  Elder Ballard has five daughters and 22 granddaughters, and has some wonderful things to say about women, so I will be quoting him a lot. President Hinckley gave a talk, “The Women in Our Lives” shortly after the passing of his wife, so he had some touching things to say as well. I prepared this talk to apply to us all, so don’t tune out quite yet brothers…

As a teenager I thought that my mother’s attempts at teaching me homemaking skills were silly.  I didn’t really want to know how to cook, garden, clean, sew, or babysit.  I did some babysitting to earn money, and I liked little kids well enough, but didn’t flock to the new babies in the ward like some of the other young women.  I fought to be free from a future stereotypical “Mormon Mom” role.

As I ventured off to college I was grateful for the cooking lessons and for the chores I had been given so that my adjustment to life on my own wasn’t quite so traumatic.  I knew I wanted to get married and have children, but didn’t really know all that much about what it would mean.  When I was at BYU I met and married my awesome husband Rob. Two years after we married, Hunter was born and I jumped into the full-time world of mother.  I still cringed when we bought our mini-van, seeing it as a symbol of my mom-ness, and although I have come to enjoy some crafting and sewing, I don’t think I will ever enjoy cooking.  But let me share with you some things I have learned about my role as a daughter of God:

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Always Remember – Hero Camp 08

Last week was “Hero Camp”, an amazing church camp that is planned and run by the mothers in my ward (congregation) and a neighboring ward. Last year Hunter and Emma had a great time, and they have been waiting all summer for this big week.  This year’s theme was “Always Remember” and focused on the wonderful examples of heroes we have had throughout time. Every morning the group of 99 children would meet together and get a visit from a hero that came through a Time Machine. Then they would split into groups by age and rotate through activities, music rehearsal, and a lesson.  I didn’t see everything that went on, but here are some of the highlights of the week:

Monday’s Hero: Old Testament – Joseph and the coat of many colors. The focus was on choosing the right no matter what happens to you, and having a good attitude. They talked about “CTR Power” quoting the scripture in 2 Samuel 22:33- “God is my strength and my power: and he maketh my way perfect.”  They also learned about other heroes in the Old Testament: David’s power of courage (they used sling shots to throw marshmallows at an amazing painting of the giant Goliath), Moses’ power of faith, Daniel’s power of prayer, Esther’s power to stand for what is right, Noah’s power of hard work, and Joseph’s power to forgive.

Tuesday’s Hero: The Book of Mormon – Ammon’s wisdom. God helped Ammon to be wise by giving him ideas in his mind and in his heart.  They did activities related to living in Nephite times, making an arrowhead necklace, a little clay pot, a headband and painted each others faces.

Wednesday’s Hero: New Testament – The Good Samaritan. This is the day I was most involved with and I helped teach a lesson about Christ and how he taught us to serve by the way he lived. We talked about how he used his hands for service, made painted hand prints and special pencils, did an obstacle course and assembled hygiene kits.

Thursday’s Hero: Doctrine and Covenants – Mary Elizabeth and Caroline Rollins (They saved many of the pages from the Book of Commandments when a mob destroyed the print shop). The theme for the day was “We can do hard things.” Much of the focus was on the early Mormon pioneers and the hard work and sacrifice they gave to live and defend themselves from persecution.They made covered wagon snacks, played games that pioneer children would have played, and made butter.

Friday: The kids all performed the songs they had rehearsed through the week.  Each group had a song they learned together, and there were two beautiful group numbers as well.  (I can’t remember the name of the CD that so many of these songs were on, so if you know please tell me!) Each child was given a memory book with pictures of them and the things they did all week.  Then we all went to the Lagoon for swimming, sand and water slides.

It was such a special week.  The kids felt the love of their Heavenly Father and learned so much while still having fun with their friends.  There were tears shed by one of my girls because it was over so fast and she just loved learning and singing.  A huge Thank You to any of you that were involved in making this week happen.  It will be something that my kids will always remember.

Hannah’s group singing Nothing’s Too Hard For The Lord


Emma’s group singing Good News


Hunter’s group circle dancing


The whole camp sings together


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