Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Candles

I tend to lose these candles most years. And then I find them shortly after Christmas - like when I'm putting all the Christmas decorations away. This year they stayed on the shelf in the kitchen the whole year. Not surprising, though, when you consider how I don't clean house like I used to.



These are the Christmas Eve candles. Breakfast gets cooked for dinner, someone lights the candles and then all the lights get turned off. Dinner/breakfast is eaten by the light of the candles.



Just a tradition that has no magical story as to its beginnings but its a tradition that has stuck. I'll take it.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nathan Rescues Baby Jesus

Watch the video to the very end. Nathan is the one on the far right rescuing Baby Jesus. He even cuddles Him!










Nathan is the one on the right

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Case of Mysterious Missionary

Brian has been asking for a suit for quite awhile now, I guess. Joe and Mandy finally found him one. We happened to be at their house the first Sunday he wore it. I think it grew him up several years! You could tell he felt good about himself and how he looked just by how he held himself and how he walked around. It was all I could do to get him to smile for at least one of the pictures!




He will be an awesomely handsome missionary, won't he?






On the way home from church he was asking if he could stay in his suit all day. So reminded me of his dad! Joe loved to be dressed up. He could stay in his Sunday clothes all week. {He actually tried staying in his Sunday socks for a week but only made it to Wednesday when I happened to sit on the floor by his feet. That was as long as he made it!}. Brian was told he needed to change his clothes, though.


 


Since he so kindly shares his room with us when we visit, this is what I found when I went into his room to change my clothes:







Except for the fact the pants were backwards if you looked really close, I thought for a moment he'd simply crawled right out of his suit. Our little missionary melted away like the green witch on The Wizard of Oz!

Friday, October 18, 2013

If You Can't Stand the Heat....

...Yeah, well, I learned the hard way. Worst part is, I was still cold! Nathan used to dance through the coals of the fires to prove to everyone it wouldn't hurt his feet. He must have been faster than me because I don't remember his shoes melting this bad!







And, once again, thank goodness for duct tape! Because there were still rocks to climb and lizards to chase!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just a Bit of Door Therapy

I haven't rambled for quite some time and so I'm feeling a rambling coming on! Reminds me of Crocodile Dundee feeling a walkabout coming on. I guess my rambling is just me going on a walkabout in my brain. Scary place to be, even for me, who owns it.



I'm finishing day 2 of a three day vacation. LOML is at IFA University. Since my work doesn't send me anywhere and Betty moved to Utah, this is the only way I get my vacations.



This time I even went so far as to spice up my little vacation by taking today off as a mental health day hoping to get a little something checked off my list that stretches from now to Christmas. Notice I didn't say Christmas of which year.



I still have to perform my rituals when I'm on one of these LOML-induced vacations. You know, blinds all shut, windows locked, doors at least double locked {if not triple locked} and chairs under all the doorknobs. While performing the rituals on the first night, I started thinking about all I wished I could realistically lock out of not only my home, but my life. Realistically, the locks will have to do. Spiritually and emotionally, I don't think the world makes locks or security systems that the adversary can't penetrate. I'm grateful I have the Gospel and it's principles that help me lock out all that other stuff that brings me down from the spirit and the heart. Need to learn that Gospel Security System better so I am as confident that those doors are locked up as I am the ones I'm sliding chairs up against.



I question my decisions, too, as far as what I'm locking out and what I'm locking in. The only difference is which side of the door I'm on. That's a multi-faceted concept, huh? Because of that, though, I go through the house, turning on all the lights, looking in all the closets and underneath all the beds before locking the fort up for the night. For now, I'm in. And I want everything else out.



Inside my house, I hate being behind shut doors. More specifically, I hate coming out after having been behind shut doors. Seriously, what may have happened "out there" while I've been "in here"?Or what {or who} is going to be waiting on the other side? Maybe I've been so absorbed in my little world on one side of the door that I haven't heard chaos ripping apart my life on the other side. So now I'm a little anxious because I know that if, when I open the door of this room to go out, and someone is on the other side, it won't be LOML trying to scare me or just being there doing his own thing. Every door I open for the rest of the night is done ever so quietly, ever so slowly as my imagination revs its high-powered engines. Crazy, I know, but it happens quite often in this brain of mine and then it's difficult to shut down {maybe my brain needs a better door to shut this type of stuff out}!



Between all the cupboard doors and the storage room door, trying to find something to snack on, I lost count of how many doors had slammed. The light in the fridge came open more times than the night light. Producing no satisfaction. By the time I was done in the storage room, however, I'd discarded at least three boxes of stale crackers, some old oatmeal and a couple of gritty granola bars. There's some stuff that still remains questionable so eat from the storage room at your own risk. The philosophy always is, if you're hungry enough...right?



I'm not sure if this was therapeutic or not. There was some motivation behind it and it's obvious I have my own personal relationship with doors. Not sure if that's very therapeutic, either! Still, the first outside door I unlock in the morning is the one I always use so if you know me well enough to know which door that is, enter at your own risk!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bookmarks


I went through a rough patch a bit ago trying to
understand why people (specifically clients, in this case) were making the
choices they were. Their lives contained so much to live for and so many tender
mercies dangling in front of them like carrots, urging them to put one foot in
front of the other. At least that was my view of their life
standing with my nose
smashed against their window, hands cupped around my eyes, fooling myself into
thinking I was viewing the whole picture. Obviously I wasn
t and it bothered me.
Then, I got an image in my head (I
m totally a visual
learner) and it helped me kind of grasp what was going on.


 


Something from the outside (we all have our own
idea of what the
outside is) had interrupted them
while they were reading their Book and they hadn
t used a Bookmark when
they
d set the Book aside! So simple in my little
brain.


 


And I got to thinking. No one has enough Bookmarks!
In fact, I
ve since decided you cant have too many Bookmarks.
Those small inconsequential bits of paper reminding us of our place in the
Book. They are in that awesome group of
Markers; often taken for granted
but vitally essential. Some of these Markers are Landmarks, Postmarks and
Bookmarks. Landmarks help you figure out where you are (so you can either find
that place again or NOT find it again, depending). Postmarks validate where you
ve been and identify the
direction you are headed. But Bookmarks. Well, Bookmarks are kind of a
combination of all three. By showing you where you are, they remind you where
you
ve
been, how far you
ve come and serve as a jumping off point for where
you should now be going.


Holding our Book in our hands, its all too easy to look at
all the pages combined and feel inadequate, realizing we
re closer to the front
cover than the back cover. Or maybe I
m a slow reader,
scrutinizing over words that come easy for you, slowing my progress and
therefore paling in comparison to you. Or perhaps the plot thickens
unexpectedly and the act of reading becomes burdensome as we try and absorb all
that is happening. Does your book have words between the lines
real or imaginary causing such discouragement
that the Book is set aside for a time? When you pick it up again, though, isn
t it a pleasant surprise
to have that half of a chocolate bar wrapper sticking out ever so timidly,
gently reminding you of how far you made it before setting it down?


Wow! I dont have to start clear back
at the prologue! And the story comes back quickly once it
s picked up again!

 


I never realized just how important that little
marker is
or how unique, or unusual
it is that I am lucky enough to have a Bookmark (several even). Whatever my Bookmark
happens to be at this moment
a sincere smile, a pat on the back, a belief system,
grandchildren laughing, a friend
s phone call, a blooming
flower, a butterfly
I express gratitude that
I am blessed with Bookmarks.


 


And since realizing this, I have tried to give out
more Bookmarks to others. Hoping that maybe it can serve as a starting up point
to replace feelings of being overwhelmed or helpless at the thoughts of
possibly having to start over.




And in sharing with you my (perhaps oversimplified)
definitely uneducated observation of life, I also share with you a Bookmark.
May you put it to good use. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Windstorms and Willows





Mother Nature is awesome! Brilliant and beautiful and messy and amazing and inspiring and dangerous and on and on and on. There was beautiful storm last night. One with lightning and thunder and wind and rain and gray clouds in a gray sky. I was wishing I had a huge porch so I could sit out and safely watch it in all its glory. And just as quickly as it would wind up, it would wind down and leave me wondering what was the mastermind behind all the damage I could see.





{The wind was a funny thing when the kids were little - especially Nathan. It was something to be feared and it's been humorous to see what a genetic issue that fear of wind is. But that's all a story for another post.}





It actually wasn't until this morning that I was able to see all the storm had left in its wake. I think this is probably the worst collection of downed tree limbs we have had in one occurrence since we moved here and chose to plant willow trees. Yes, I said "chose". When we were planting the yard, I wanted a foresty front yard. Kind of to hide us from the street but mostly just because I liked the ambiance of it. We weighed the pros and cons of the kind of trees we'd plant. We wanted fast growing. We wanted shade. We wanted trees that could be climbed in. We wanted trees that wouldn't blow over in the winds that Tremonton is famous for. Willows fit the majority of our requirements and, because of that, we felt that a little bit of mess from weak branches would be livable. And, truth be known, we actually chose three (3) willow trees. One in the backyard and two in the front yard. It would be interesting to see what things would have looked like this morning had the drunk driver not upended one of the willow trees from the front yard years ago! 





So, yeah, we chose.





What I saw this morning was such a vivid analogy of life. Maybe my life more than anyone else's. And I wondered the whole day. I wondered if, after the storms of life, I am a branch who is still on the tree or if I am one of the many weak ones on the ground. Or, on the broader sense, am I weak like a willow tree who can't hold herself together when the storms get scary and wild?








The backyard. Fairly normal after a windstorm for the backyard. Some pretty big (weak) branches but not more than usual.




One angle of the front yard. Some really big (weak) branches and many more than normal.






Front yard by the fence. I don't think there have ever been branches smashed up again the fence. Reminds me of the

sage brush in Delta. If I actually am a willow tree, I certainly fell apart big time!




Another angle of the front yard.






The biggest of the branches piled up. They were probably up to my waist at the deepest part. Absolutely amazing!

What an amazing image of weakness to me. Of not having my armor on tight enough {if I even have it on at all}. Truthfully, I probably am a willow tree. I'd like to think I'm strong and can do anything but deep down in my roots, I know I'm not. I'm weak and fragile and fall apart after three sneezes, let alone a wind storm. I'll own that. But, I guess my question now is, can the Atonement make this frail willow tree a mighty oak? Is that what Christ's Atonement can do for me? Second question would have to be, do I have the faith to allow Christ's Atonement to make me into an oak tree? Can I believe {rather, know} that when He causes a strong wind to blow and I lose branches, those branches needed to be lost? So the wind is His way of pruning me and cleaning me up and shaping me into a mightier, deeper-rooted, stronger-limbed tree? That's what I'm to believe and trust in?



I guess I need to not just sit on an imaginary porch watching the storm. I need to get out in the storm, look forward to the wind, knowing I will come out on the other side a better, stronger tree.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Grandkids - In All Their Various Stages


In the course of two days my grandkids went from well-behaved, Sunday best kids to fierce warriors to crazy dirty bridge-sitters. I love them in all their stages!!! So glad we got to be all together!


































Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stripling Warriors Armored Up


Since our Labor Day Camp spanned over Sunday, it's kind of become a tradition to have a Family Home Evening Meeting so we are reminded - if only for a moment - that it is Sunday. 





Joe and Mandy had a good experience with the Armor of God with their family so they were assigned the teaching at the meeting. Mandy and I got all the visual effects and "Armor" ready.







Everyone waiting quietly for the meeting to start. Kind of
surprising just how quiet they were, actually!

There was a cool bridge up the hiking trail a little ways and I wanted to get a picture with all the grandkids sitting on it so a few of us took them on the short hike up to the bridge. They were supposed to come back into camp with their 'reverent' voices and be ready to start. I think they did really good!




Look at those good examples!! Wow!






Helmets of Salvation






Grampa conducting the meeting






The adult row






Krisy leading the music - The Army of Helaman

Nate led a good discussion with the kids about the firefighting gear he puts on before he goes out to fight a fire. The kids were pretty smart, knowing what he needed and why he needed to wear it. All of it was to protect him and vital parts of his body.




Nate giving a description of what he wears as a
firefighter






Paisley joined her dad in teaching safety.






Joe telling the story out of the scriptures and
explaining what the Armor of God was and why
it is so important in protecting us






Mandy getting the warriors all pumped up as she explained what
all the parts of the armor were for and how they could use them
to protect themselves

Trying to get them all lined up so we could get a picture of them all while they had their armor on and before they left for battle. That was almost a losing battle!







A mom getting her little warrior ready for battle




I think I specifically told them to quit taking pictures until my behind
was out of the way. Obviously someone wasn't listening!




My 12 Stripling Warriors - there wasn't a picture where someone
didn't have some piece of armor in front of their face - theirs or
someone else's




And then 'someone' yelled, "1, 2, 3, Battle!" and any semblance of a Sunday was over! Luckily we did have the closing prayer first! I think...












Scott getting pummeled while trying to start the fire. Something tells
me he thought he would escape the battle




Amber didn't escape either. But at least she tried
to steal some armor and weapons and protect
herself and fight back!

There was a lot of distractions, being in the mountains and will all the cousins together and all, but I think a landmark was planted. I can't help but think that at some point down the road, at least one of those kids will remember that time up in the mountain when they learned about how God's Armor could protect them. They will remember and they will look it up and they will correct whatever isn't going right with their lives at the time. I have to believe things like that. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Third Little Boy


A couple of years ago, Brian brought his two-wheeler to camp. He'd just barely had his dad take off his training wheels and was working hard at learning how to balance and ride his bike with a minimum of tipping over. Later that camp, Scott, Amber and their kids came. Hunter brought his bike that still sported training wheels. When he saw what Brian was doing, Hunter got with his dad and they took off his training wheels. He took right off. Well, sort of. My memory is him zooming down a little hill and hitting a tree and falling off but then getting up laughing his head off. He got right back on his bike and rode it without training wheels from that point on.


 


I wasn't in on the original idea at this camp, but fortunately I looked over just at the right time to see Adam helping Garrett ride his newly converted two-wheeler. After snapping a few pictures and watching for a minute or two, I realized Nellie wasn't out here documenting this momentous occasion. I yelled at her in their trailer and asked if she knew her baby was out here riding a two-wheeler. There was a scream, an audible "NO!" and scrambling as she found her camera and headed out the door.


 


So now, camp seems to be a great place to learn to ride a two-wheeler.


 




Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nothing Is As It Seems

No wonder I walk around in a daze all the time - confused and deliriously crazy. I think this life is just all one big trick. Now, maybe I have something to do with that at times and maybe I don't :-} but nonetheless I think it's only right to expect what I'm going to get {or get what I'm expecting}.



Now me, I love almonds - especially these. There is usually an open can in my cupboard at all times.









So, imagine my surprise when I reach my hand in for some almonds and discover:









Yep. Paisley has been here. One of the many passies that have betrayed her whereabouts and travels throughout my house. But not until long after she's gone home without it!





So, I guess we're even, LOML! 




Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Name is Janis and I'm a Closet Drinker

Yeah, that pretty much means I failed. At least I failed in July and so far the first week of August. Call it homeostasis. Blame it on that pleasure sensor in my brain.



But I was a success from April 15 to July 4! That's got to stand for something, right? If I was successful once, I can be again, right?



I was talking to my friend at work, expressing my frustrations with my lack of self control. Normally I wouldn't have said anything to anyone. The Pepper 10 bottles were discretely hidden in a grocery sack and I was stashing them at the very back of the fridge. But she caught me. Maybe it was the drool she saw pooling on my bottom lip as I reluctantly let go of them. Maybe you really can see through those white plastic grocery sacks and I'm not as smart as I thought I was {like using Stetson cologne to hide the cigarette smoke}.



I told her I felt like a failure. And it isn't like I fell... {Okay. Break here. Has anyone noticed before that 'fail' and 'fell' go together in more ways than just their sound? I just noticed that as I typed them and they really do kind of go together. Okay. Break's over.} ...off the wagon at a spot that left me even with where I was on April 15th when I quit before. No. Landing on my robust bottom allowed me to bounce backwards several times before coming to rest in the dusty mistiness of self pity. I spent a month wallowing in that dust bowl.



My friend just nodded her head and agreed with me. And for a moment we bonded as we shared vices. I said that in some small way, I understood how people with more life-threatening addictions struggled so much to quit. Again she nodded and said it's good for 'normal' people to feel that because then it's easier to empathize.



I can make a "Pros and Cons" list and the pros to not drinking pop will definitely win. But that cold, biting first swallow as it rots its way down my throat wins out every time! Dammit!



Yeah so maybe it's homeostasis. Maybe the pleasure sensor in my brain is just overstimulated from years of overdosing. Maybe it's just my addictive personality taking charge of my choices. Whatever, I will succeed again. Until then, you'll find me in the closet imbibing my Pepper 10.

Snooze vs Dismiss

I know it's a irritation to LOML. But, what's new?? The majority of my habits and idiosyncrasies drive him crazy, so why should the alarm on my phone be any different? Not just the alarm on my phone, but the way I deal with it.



I have a quote on my board at work that says, "Life isn't short on wake up calls. We're just too quick to hit the snooze button". I love the snooze button. Sometimes I'm not so quick to hit it, though. Sometimes I don't hear it. Sometimes I wake up annoyed, wondering why it sounds like a jackhammer is attacking the headboard. Sometimes I actually wake up before it and lay there wondering when the clock app is going to roll over to that magical number and start its little jiggle dance.



I have multiple alarms set strategically. They're strategic in my mind, at least. Mornings are not my favorite part of the day. Never have been. When I was little I remember being woke up to Mom wanting my sheets, the sound of the sprinklers outside or just Mom making her 'cleaning the house' noises. Once I got married and started a family, I woke up to little people wanting a bottle, pushing their way into my bed, or ready to go outside and play.



Now I wake up {sometimes} to "You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd but you can be happy if you've a mind to". Every ten minutes. My whole morning is thrown off if I'm too far away from my phone when it goes off and LOML pushes the 'dismiss' button instead of the 'snooze' button.



Every time my alarm snoozes, I know I have ten more minutes to get that much closer to being ready for work. Or ten more minutes to get a last little backup of sleep. Like plugging your cellphone in for five minutes, thinking that will make the difference in whether the battery lasts through the day or not. Not sure I'm recharging or draining my internal battery, though! If I don't have my ten minute wake-up calls, I trick myself into thinking I have all the time in the world to accomplish my tasks. And I WILL take all the time in the world, too!



This morning I observed that the ten-minute frame is just like the rest of my day {life} - it's relative. The closer the reminders are to the originating time of 6:00am, the longer, more peaceful and soothing the spaces are. When it goes off again, I'm thinking, "Thank you for that luxurious ten minutes of extra peace before I get out of bed!" But the closer the reminders get to the 7:50am alarm {labeled "In Car"}, the closer together they seem to be and the more irritable I am when the suggestion to roller skate in a buffalo herd starts playing. By then I'm thinking, "I'd like to tell you where you can roller skate!"



But, so, I've reached an impasse. I have to wonder if it's better to be setting small, easier to reach goals for my life or stick with all these goals that I might have to wait until the eternities to find out just how poorly I did! I have all these things I want to do and be and yet I never seem to feel any sense of accomplishment.



Maybe I need to keep the long range goals but leave the ten-minute check-ins just like they are and work a little faster during them.



Maybe I just need to learn how to roller skate so I can be happy if I've a mind to!

Friday, July 19, 2013

That Could Have Been Heavy








So the Health Department and Mental Health Department sponsored a "Suicide Awareness Walk". I decided I should be supportive of my place of employment and went. The walk itself was a piece of cake - three times around the track. That made a mile. But the thoughts of why we were there started weighing me down.



There were families and groups there with matching t-shirts, some with the name of the person they were honoring or mourning or remembering. No one was sharing stories {which was a good thing overall} but it left me wondering just what their experience had been. That's when it started getting heavy in my mind, me putting together possible scenarios. And also me seeing what that person who had died had chosen to leave behind.



I knew specifically one of the people being memorialized was a grandmother. She babysat her grandchildren. She chose to end her life just before Paisley was born. I remember holding Paisley in the hospital, crying for what this grandmother would be missing and, at the same time, grateful to be blessed with something living to hold in my arms.



There's a saying, "We're all just walking each other home." I guess, in a small portion, that's what was being done during this walk. I should be more conscientious all the time, though. Everyone walking on the road I'm walking on has a story and chances are, I won't be privy to it. Just as they are not necessarily aware of my story.



But, here we are. Walking together. Trying to get home. Trying to help each other home.



I need to say - I'm not judging these people. I struggle to understand. I KNOW mental illness is real. When I say they made/make "choices", I realize there are extenuating circumstances that hide the thought processes a basically mentally healthy person uses to make choices.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dough and Beans and More Experience

I finally had my first experience with frozen bread dough. It wasn't all as negative as I was anticipating. Nor was it one of those experiences that keeps you from ever doing anything remotely similar again. I didn't break out with a bad case of hives, either. But I wasn't bouncing with thrilling exhilaration, though. So was it good or bad, you might be asking yourself. Well, not so bad I wouldn't do it again but not so good that I'd use the frozen dough - probably make my own dough. It did stir up long ago memories of another all nighter, however.





I decided to bottle chili beans. I'd gone to college, eventually majoring in home economics education. I'd taken a lot of cooking classes. I'd been raised by a mother who was a home economics major and raised during the depression and big on being self reliant so I'd had a lot of learning experiences. I knew that beans expanded so I got a really big pan to soak them in. They're supposed to soak overnight. I put them in the very large pan and covered them with water. Before I went to bed, I checked them again.



Holy growth spurt!!



I plugged the sink and dumped them into the sink and again covered them with water. Then I went to bed sure that I had them well under control. Next morning, they had expanded and were flowing over into the other side of the sink.



Needless to say, although I spent a lot of time bottling chili beans that day, I didn't have to can them again for a few years.



So, back to the freezer dough. I was making some Mexican Monkey Bread for a morning meeting at work. New recipe. I know. That's the first rule of Cooking 101 - never try a new recipe when it's for company or a work meeting. It's the rebel in me, I guess, that thinks it will be different for me.



Working backwards from when I needed to leave for work, and {believe it or not} reading the instructions on the package, I deduced I needed to get this freezer dough out at 1:00 am to begin the thawing process. I cut each roll in half and didn't even fill a cookie sheet. Panicking, I opened the other package and cut them in half. Now I should have enough for two layers like the recipe called for. That means it's 2:00 am when I'm trying to go to bed.



5:00 am and my alarm goes off. I get up to get started on the remainder of the process, {having thought it all out in my head several times when I should have been asleep} and stopped dead in my tracks. The dough on the cookie sheets had overflowed and grown together and, all in all, became two pansfull of yeasty grief. That's when the chili bean experience came back to the front of my brain.



Needless to say, I got to work separating the overgrown pieces of dough and putting my concoction together. Might as well have been working with a bowl full of dough as individual pieces were indistinguishable. The baking process caused the dough to grow even more. I had to pull the top rack out of my oven before I could even pull them out. Awesome. I guess you realize that means that I didn't put nearly enough cheese in between the layers of dough since the layers of dough had multiplied two hundred fold. Oh, well. It was okay. They ate it.



I've bottled chili beans a couple of times since my first experience and I'm sure I'll try this recipe again. Manned with more experience and more reasonable expectations, of course!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You Gotta Love It!

So, for Father's Day, I gave LOML a shirt...and me a matching one. Surviving the 70's/80's, it was sorta done as a joke. All the girls in the family having dresses out of matching fabric and the menfolk all having ties or vests that were also out of the same fabric was really cool.



Because of LOML's reputation for chatting and visiting with anyone and everyone whenever we go out in public, and the differences between he and I, I often get deserted. No, that's not right. I ALWAYS get deserted. Anyway, the reason for purchasing the shirts was, when {if} we wore them out in public, at the end of the function, he would happen to look across the room. As he looked, he would see a familiar shirt and look down at his own shirt and say to himself, "How strange. There's someone else wearing a classy shirt like I am!"



And then he would think {again to himself}, "I should go meet that person! Maybe we'd hit it off." And then when he got closer, he would say, "Hey, I'm from a small farming community just west of Fillmore... You look familiar but I can't quite remember your name."



And then I would put on my sort of angry eyes, my smirky mouth and it would all come back to him. "Oh, yeah, that's right! You came with me!"



Well, I don't know if we'll ever find out if the shirts work or if that scenario would be close to what I imagine it would be. We should have had them in Provo this last week at the IFA meetings, though. LOML lost me.



I'm sitting {yes, SITTING} in the restroom when my phone rings and it's LOML.



Me: "Hello."

LOML: "Where are you?"

Me: "In the restroom."

LOML: "Which one?"

Me: "Duh. The women's!"

LOML: "There are two restrooms..."

Me: "I know that and I'm in the women's."

LOML: "Which one? There are two...."

Me: "I'll be right out. Just stay where you are!"



So, maybe you would have had to have been there {either in the WOMEN'S restroom or wherever LOML was} for it to be so hilarious. Maybe the shirts would have helped but only if he would have come in the women's restroom looking for me or I would have been in the 'other' restroom - the men's. What's scary is that, the older we get, either of those scenes could easily play out!  {Just for the record, there was a north set of restrooms and a south set - which was what LOML was referring to}.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Being in the Right Place

Sitting in my new birthday camp chair in one of my most favorite, beautifully created spots in the mountains, enjoying the peace and quiet and all the butterflies and the how all the different kinds of trees grow together into a plush foresty area...and my cellphone notifies me I have a text message!



What a way to interrupt an oncoming inspiring thought! I lost cellphone service at least a mile down - if not farther. I keep my cellphone with me because I have no watch and, also, because the camera comes in handy sometimes.



So, it was good timing that I did get the text. It was Amber letting us know they were coming for dinner and there just might not have been enough food if I hadn't gotten that message at that particular time. And that was just in the afternoon of Day 1 of the camping trip.



Needless to say, I kept my cellphone with me even more religiously Day 2 through Day 5 - because , who knows, I might get another important text message. But only if I'm in exactly the right spot at the right time and listening for the sound of my phone's notification. If anyone had been watching me, they'd have guessed I had a nervous tic or an uncontrollable muscle spasm, the way I would check my phone. Looking for messages. Searching for places where everything lined up so the signal could get through.



So why am I not more concerned about finding those perfect spots so I can get the messages my Heavenly Father has for me? They're just as welcomed and unexpected and merciful and timely and perfect and even more personalized and meaningful. The messages from my loving Heavenly Father will help me be prepared in more ways than just putting more food on the grill.



 In the mountains, I had to find the rare spots where the random messages would get through. In life, the spots are not so rare. The messages are not so sporadic.



I guess that's another goal I need to work on. Standing in the right place. Listening with a grateful heart. Being ready to go forward with sure feet and willing eyes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Choose Life

If I am ever laying in a hospital bed, with more stuff outside my body running the things inside my body, only come and see me if you can tell me jokes and reminisce of fun memories. If my grandkids can't come, bring recordings of them talking and laughing and playing and put them on my mp3 player {with Celtic Thunder and my other favorite assortment of music. My favorite playlist is now labeled "Bring Me Out of a Coma".} Put those earplugs in my ears when I'm left alone so I'll be tricked into thinking I'm not alone. With all of that going on, I know in my heart and every fiber of my being that I will choose to live. I know there is a spark so deep and so protected in me that will flare up inside so hot and motivating that, no matter how hard the work, I will choose to live.



That's how those little scenarios always play out in my head anyway.



And there's another part of me that thinks, "Who wouldn't choose to live?"



And then I see people at work. And I cry.



There are grandmas choosing drugs and smoking spice over reading to their grandchildren, listening to their prayers and tucking them in. Mothers are choosing harmful habits while their pregnant profile is haughtily shown off. Maybe they don't have any happy noise playing in their lives. It seems there are little moments during the day to choose life that are more important than the coma moments.



I hope I will choose life in those little moments, too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Look Who Made it Home!!!!



Yep! He still had to be reminded to run after he hit the ball but he made it to second base on his hit and eventually ran back to home base on some of his teammates' hits. He still maintains baseball is boring and he likes soccer better but he has gotten better. One of the first games I watched, he caught the ball with his gut, just by standing in the right place {or would that actually be the 'wrong' place?}. Another game he hit the ball but wasn't sure what to do {not even sure he realized he'd hit the ball} so he didn't make it to first base.




Thanks for making it home, Hunter! It was fun getting ice cream cones to celebrate!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Starting the Day

There's a lot more to getting the day started now that my work is in this new building. Fortunately, I have one master key that unlocks every door I need to open. If I was being targeted for some heinous attack, it would be a cinch because my routine is amazingly predictable. Isn't that the first thing they teach you in order to protect yourself - don't be predictable? For now, though, I think I'm safe. Then there are cupboards to unlock, phones to switch, computers to turn on, lights to flip on, schedules to straighten out - all just to hopefully get the day started and keep it running smoothly.



Anyhow, I got to thinking the other morning when I was in the middle of my routine, "Wouldn't it be great to be able to open up my life as easily?" That's what I thought to myself, anyway. Fortunately, given the place where I work, I didn't say it out loud. People might get to thinking, you know. So, like I said, I was thinking to myself how great it would be to have the same system for my life. I sorta smiled to myself and went on about my routine.



It wasn't until later in the day that it dawned on me. There are things I can do to get my life opened up and ready for what may come. Perhaps what I need to worry about is, am I doing them as regularly as I unlock doors at my work? I think not.



If I was more consistent with my prayers and scripture reading and journal writing and serving others and controlling my appetites and addictions, etc, etc, my life would most likely have multiple doors and windows opened to receive the blessings waiting for me. I should work on that.



But you see, I have a routine for shutting down the office, too and I'm sure, once again, the same things apply to my life. I should probably work on that, too. If I want my life to run more smoothly, that is.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Get Out of the Way!!

We have a new driver in the family! Layne is now the newest Two-Wheel Driver we have!







Tyler was taking credit for the feat. If that's the case, he's a great teacher! I'm sure Layne had a little bit to do with it, though!





Way to go Layne!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day


I can't help but wonder if they've decided who's making the mug run! And if I listen really closely, in that state of mind that takes some concentration to get to, I can hear them laughing! How fitting such good friends in life should be so close together for eternity!





Spent a lot of evenings helping Mom maintain Daddy's headstone while I was growing up. I usually got the job of pulling out the little side pots and cleaning them out for new flowers. Earwigs, potato bugs and spiders were living in there for the most part. Lots of memories, though, and probably the main place I learned about heaven.


Went to Springville first and then on to Holden and Flowell and then back to Springville. We enjoyed the slow, peaceful weekend.




Alan's Grandma & Grampa Harmon






Alan's Great Grandpa & Grandma Harmon






Alan's Mom and Dad









It's nice to have a holiday where we remember those who have passed before us, honoring them by remembering tender, sweet times.





Betty & Allen cracked me up, though. When we were in Springville, we also found Allen's mother's grave and he put some flowers on it. Kind of sad to see her there all alone. But they've decided, since their plots are right behind hers, they'll just use the back of her headstone. It's already got the family name on it for them, so why not? I tried to tell them they'd be facing the wrong direction but they're convinced that doesn't matter but I argued it would when they come out and they're looking at the backs of everyone's heads. Their second argument was that, when they do rise from the grave, it will be easier to push the headstone off their feet than off their chest or head. I thought it was pretty hilarious, anyway.





I did come away from this Memorial Day knowing that I don't want a headstone - I want a bench over my grave. I don't want anyone kneeling down to talk to me. I want you to sit and visit and imagine that  I'm sitting right by your side, possibly touching your hand or putting my arm around your shoulder.