Friday, November 27, 2009

thankful


When I begin to count my blessings for the past year one specific comes to mind.
Family....immediate and extended, ward and friends.


Thanksgiving was a day of enjoying some of our extended family, and pondering on those who we are far from yet dear to our hearts. It was a beautiful day of food, friendship, fun and FOOTBALL....[as you can see from the grass/mud stains on all our knees].

What a wonderful year of growth and experiences we have had. We are thankful for many blessings, and many trials which have brought us closer to one another, and closer to our Heavenly Father, who as promised never lets us fail. We fall, but with Him, we do not fail.

We are thankful for health and strength, for spiritual guidance, for faith, for our earthly comforts of home and food and provision through Brian's hard work and employment.

We are thankful for education and recreation which keeps us actively engaged in good things.

We are thankful for eternal families and for knowledge that we will be with those we love again someday. We are thankful for forgiveness and love and laughter....

We are thankful for the good word that helps us to have happiness through good decisions.

We are thankful for awesome family and friends, many of whom we have been able to see, both near and far, during the year.

We are thankful for this beautiful earth which testifies to us that there is something more to life beyond today. We are thankful for family night, and family dinners.

We are thankful for the protection our soldiers so willingly sacrifice to offer us.

We are thankful for good music,...and fun music [some I don't find so g-o-o-d! but the kids enjoy].

We are thankful for Football season, Basketball season....Soccer, and Survivor!!!

We are thankful for you.
We love Y O U!


Thank you for sharing our lives,
for your sweet thoughts
that show you care
and love us too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The things that bring me peace....

Grieving is a hard stage.

Whether you are grieving the loss of a person
or the person you have lost.

Grieving the distance of loved ones,
or a loved one who remains distant.

Whether you are grieving the loss of a child,
or a childhood that was lost.


There are moments ministered that will bring certain peace....here are a few of my favorite peaceful things....



...may you find peace in your moments
or moments of peace
this week. ♥

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Be of Good Cheer!

Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.


Be of Good Cheer

President Thomas S. Monson


President Thomas S. <span class=

My dear brothers and sisters, I express my love to you. I am humbled by the responsibility to address you, and yet I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Since last we met together in a general conference six months ago, there have been continuing signs that circumstances in the world aren’t necessarily as we would wish. The global economy, which six months ago appeared to be sagging, seems to have taken a nosedive, and for many weeks now the financial outlook has been somewhat grim. In addition, the moral footings of society continue to slip, while those who attempt to safeguard those footings are often ridiculed and, at times, picketed and persecuted. Wars, natural disasters, and personal misfortunes continue to occur.

......I have been pondering a great deal today. This is the lesson that we will be studying from in our church Relief Society tomorrow. I have studied it knowing there is always a chance that I have to teach....with illness and circumstances I am better off prepared for I have taught many many times this year with no preparation. The Lord is with and dear sisters always contribute to beautiful learning and spirit, but standing without a recollection of said material....never my favorite.


This is a BEAUTIFUL message, as those of you who heard it before will recall. I am posting this last story mainly for my own remembrance. Whatever point of struggle, pain, trial, loneliness in a crowd feelings that I may be experiencing I do know that He is there to succor and to strengthen and to lift me in my burdens. I think the initial statement "the future is as bright as your Faith" stresses to me that my action of Faith is really what I need to work on. In whatever dark pathway I find myself, in whatever ailment, loneliness, struggle and grief....Faith is the solution, the remedy, the solace.


President Monson:

My brothers and sisters, each of us has that light in his or her life. We are not left to walk alone, no matter how dark our pathway.

I love the words penned by M. Louise Haskins:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than [a] light and safer than a known way.”

The setting for my final example of one who persevered and ultimately prevailed, despite overwhelmingly difficult circumstances, begins in East Prussia following World War II.

In about March 1946, less than a year after the end of the war, Ezra Taft Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, accompanied by Frederick W. Babbel, was assigned a special postwar tour of Europe for the express purpose of meeting with the Saints, assessing their needs, and providing assistance to them. Elder Benson and Brother Babbel later recounted, from a testimony they heard, the experience of a Church member who found herself in an area no longer controlled by the government under which she had resided.

She and her husband had lived an idyllic life in East Prussia. Then had come the second great world war within their lifetimes. Her beloved young husband was killed during the final days of the frightful battles in their homeland, leaving her alone to care for their four children.

The occupying forces determined that the Germans in East Prussia must go to Western Germany to seek a new home. The woman was German, and so it was necessary for her to go. The journey was over a thousand miles (1,600 km), and she had no way to accomplish it but on foot. She was allowed to take only such bare necessities as she could load into her small wooden-wheeled wagon. Besides her children and these meager possessions, she took with her a strong faith in God and in the gospel as revealed to the latter-day prophet Joseph Smith.

She and the children began the journey in late summer. Having neither food nor money among her few possessions, she was forced to gather a daily subsistence from the fields and forests along the way. She was constantly faced with dangers from panic-stricken refugees and plundering troops.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks to months, the temperatures dropped below freezing. Each day, she stumbled over the frozen ground, her smallest child—a baby—in her arms. Her three other children struggled along behind her, with the oldest—seven years old—pulling the tiny wooden wagon containing their belongings. Ragged and torn burlap was wrapped around their feet, providing the only protection for them, since their shoes had long since disintegrated. Their thin, tattered jackets covered their thin, tattered clothing, providing their only protection against the cold.

Soon the snows came, and the days and nights became a nightmare. In the evenings she and the children would try to find some kind of shelter—a barn or a shed—and would huddle together for warmth, with a few thin blankets from the wagon on top of them.

She constantly struggled to force from her mind overwhelming fears that they would perish before reaching their destination.

And then one morning the unthinkable happened. As she awakened, she felt a chill in her heart. The tiny form of her three-year-old daughter was cold and still, and she realized that death had claimed the child. Though overwhelmed with grief, she knew that she must take the other children and travel on. First, however, she used the only implement she had—a tablespoon—to dig a grave in the frozen ground for her tiny, precious child.

Death, however, was to be her companion again and again on the journey. Her seven-year-old son died, either from starvation or from freezing or both. Again her only shovel was the tablespoon, and again she dug hour after hour to lay his mortal remains gently into the earth. Next, her five-year-old son died, and again she used her tablespoon as a shovel.

Her despair was all consuming. She had only her tiny baby daughter left, and the poor thing was failing. Finally, as she was reaching the end of her journey, the baby died in her arms. The spoon was gone now, so hour after hour she dug a grave in the frozen earth with her bare fingers. Her grief became unbearable. How could she possibly be kneeling in the snow at the graveside of her last child? She had lost her husband and all her children. She had given up her earthly goods, her home, and even her homeland.

In this moment of overwhelming sorrow and complete bewilderment, she felt her heart would literally break. In despair she contemplated how she might end her own life, as so many of her fellow countrymen were doing. How easy it would be to jump off a nearby bridge, she thought, or to throw herself in front of an oncoming train.

And then, as these thoughts assailed her, something within her said, “Get down on your knees and pray.” She ignored the prompting until she could resist it no longer. She knelt and prayed more fervently than she had in her entire life:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I do not know how I can go on. I have nothing left—except my faith in Thee. I feel, Father, amidst the desolation of my soul, an overwhelming gratitude for the atoning sacrifice of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. I cannot express adequately my love for Him. I know that because He suffered and died, I shall live again with my family; that because He broke the chains of death, I shall see my children again and will have the joy of raising them. Though I do not at this moment wish to live, I will do so, that we may be reunited as a family and return—together—to Thee.”

When she finally reached her destination of Karlsruhe, Germany, she was emaciated. Brother Babbel said that her face was a purple-gray, her eyes red and swollen, her joints protruding. She was literally in the advanced stages of starvation. In a Church meeting shortly thereafter, she bore a glorious testimony, stating that of all the ailing people in her saddened land, she was one of the happiest because she knew that God lived, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He died and was resurrected so that we might live again. She testified that she knew if she continued faithful and true to the end, she would be reunited with those she had lost and would be saved in the celestial kingdom of God.8

From the holy scriptures we read, “Behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in [Him], they who have endured the crosses of the world, . . . they shall inherit the kingdom of God, . . . and their joy shall be full forever.”9

I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure.


Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments.

There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.

The LDS Daily WOOL - Perfect Balance

“So much energy is wasted in feelings of hatred and revenge,

but when we can seek to set things right cheerfully,

‘we stand still, with the utmost assurance,

to see the salvation of God,

and for his arm to be revealed’ (D&C 123:17).


When we harbor mean-spirited feelings of retribution, we are on the devil's turf; but when we seek redress cheerfully, the Lord is on our side.”

- Spencer J. Condie, “In Perfect Balance,” p. 168





I think the first virtue is to
restrain the tongue;
he approaches

nearest to gods who knows how to be
silent in anger,
even though he is in the

right.
- Cato the Elder (234BC - 149BC)

Opening Day Park City!!!

What's better than Christmas?
[actual quote from the kid!]

What can keep a kid from sleeping?
[he couldn't sleep and found his friends
texting him in the middle of the night,
also not sleeping because of complete excitement!]


What makes mom and dad wake up on
a Saturday before 6 AM????


What requires a favorite breakfast of bacon,
pancakes and homemade buttermilk syrup?

THIS 15 year OLD!
...and opening day at PARK CITY!!!!


Even bigger smiles today
than were seen on his BIRTHDAY!!!!

It's not you!
The picture is bleary.....eyed me!
TOO early in the morning.

Wow,
it looked good when I took it.

hehehe ♥




Thursday, November 19, 2009

WorlD 4 thE pReVenTioN of cHiLD aBusE dAy

I generally keep my healing separate from my family posts here because I figure this is not the place. I have great respect and understanding that everyone has struggles, trials, frustrations, and that for the most part people only want to hear the easy stuff, to celebrate triumphs, successes, and to laugh and smile at the funny stuff. But the truth is that this is my truth. This is my journal and with the ups come downs, there are good and bad times, and for me to be whole I have to be honest.






It's natural as humans to be human.
With judgments and jealousies, drive, ambition, conflict and competitiveness...
sorrow/pain, celebration/grieving. There is opposition in all things.

We rise to the noble occasions and shy away from the uncomfortable truths.



My thoughts are deep rooted today, my feelings and emotions tell me that I am on the cusp of new healing. The hurt is always the worst before new light enters my mind and soul and heart and I find myself opening the door to the next chapter.

...Yet, it is my belief in the good side of humans, the compassionate side, that brings me to what I write today. This entry is going to be raw, it is my heart and soul today, and at some point I may come to my senses and remove it.


I hurt. I ache for children all over the world who suffer at the hands of humanity. Not the humanity that does good, the humanity that is selfish and the humanity that is a work in progress.

Being human we are going to make mistakes and sometimes we are the product of others mistakes. So how do we take the naturally evil and selfish side of humanity and create the beautiful and merciful qualities of compassion and consideration for all humankind.

Sadly, sometimes, children are subjected to terrible mistakes of others.

The truth is that there are a great deal more children being subjected to abuse than we want to believe and we generally don't want to hear or talk about it.


Today is celebration of the World For The Prevention of Child Abuse. Everyone of us should be willing to take a moment and recognize the role we play in the lives of children in our homes, our communities, our country and our World.

This is a global beauty that out of our simplest act we can effect the lives of so many children around us.



It begins with how we view our selves;

---in how we see and treat ourselves--- we respond by effecting the lives of our own children, our spouses, our nieces and nephews, grandchildren, our neighbors, others children, our leaders, the grocery store clerk, our cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, friends...

Children all over the world are being abused and what exactly can and are we willing to do to stand up for them.

The solution is wrapped up in the following; we quit being silent, we quit looking away, we stop ignoring the problem.



If you for even a second think "Thank Goodness I wasn't subjected to abuse", or sadly think "I wish I hadn't been", than you should be willing to do something.

Anything....is better than nothing.
Today. Tomorrow. Every Day!



My personal desire to bring this to light comes from so many of my own experiences.
As children we were abused. We were neglected, we were left, ignored, ...in silence.

A VERY painful SILENCE.


In the action of so many looking the other way because it was uncomfortable to see, to suspect,
that something could be wrong.


No one really stepped up, STooD up for us. It was scary for them, and a nightmare for us.

If they did want to, they didn't know how or what to do.
It was the times, you didn't get too involved with other people business....

...has anything really changed in today's world.
I like to believe we are in the beginning stages of change.


In our case many adults have regretted that they didn't do enough, that they didn't do anything. That they thought they couldn't. I can understand that. It is almost as hard to hear someone say NOW that they wished or they wanted to do something as it was to live through the actual abuse.

I don't like admitting that I understand it because it shows my own human weakness.
I should know better...


I do sometimes question things I see and even with what I experienced I have a really hard time stepping out of my own comfort zone.


There is the comfort of naivety and living obliviously

It is uncomfortable to say, "...hey, something doesn't seem just right here,
ARE YOU OKAY?"

...for fear that the answer is

"No, ....I'm not, my kids are not, life is tragic for us right now and we are suffering."

If that is the answer than I would have to do something. I would be involved.


Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way. Someone I could have helped committed suicide this month.

Yes, THIS month of this year.

...painfully reminding me of another someone....my foster mother,
who also died from sadness 21 years ago this month....

Fortunately another family that I am involved with is living in a shelter because of abuse,
the beginning of safety for them,

...and another family I know is running again....because people started to ask questions.

I asked questions.

I know first hand that sometimes there is nothing you can do.
But more often there is something you can do....

Once you do you have to be strong enough to hang in there with people, to have true Christlike compassion and Faith that what you can give will be enough.

Not one person can ever resolve the enormous problems that reside in abusive circumstances, but I can promise you that one person can be enough when that person is willing to say,

"I see you are going through something,
you are struggling,
you are hurting.
I love you.
I am sorry for your pain.
Can I sit with you,
can I hold your hand,
do you feel comfortable if I hug you?
Can I pray with you?"


That is enough in the moment,
the rest comes as the person feels valued,
as a person begins to value themselves....
enough to work through what they are feeling,
and to get out of whatever abuse they are going through.

Never can you completely solve ones sorrow,
only can you strengthen them to resolve it for themselves.



Children, on the other hand, absolutely need responsible people to stand up for them until they are old enough to stand up for their own healing.

And parents who are neglectful and abusive generally need the same love and compassion as those who they are neglecting and abusing.

Abusers need people to stand up to them and say STOP.... What you are doing is WRONG!



It has taken years of work and pleading for healing for me to realize that there are always two victims.

It wasn't ever just about me being subjected to abuse and neglect, it was about the turmoil, the retched disgusting refuge that my parents were personally living through that caused them to allow the abuse or to act abusively.



Everyone of us has a story.

Every person has been somewhere in their life, been through something.
If not abuse, they have been thru grief and sorrow of another sort.


Knowing this truth can't we all just be a little more compassionate, try to be a little more understanding, a LOT MORE forgiving, and a LOT more willing to be honest and truthful and openly Love One Another.



The greatest sorrow that we will ever experience will come in the form of another person letting us know that they were pleading/begging/needing us, and we forsook them. We walked away, we turned a blind eye, a blind heart, a silence.

Silence that kills....Silence that destroys, that sucks the childhood from the child and replaces it with darkness and sorrow, and pain.
Ache that takes a lifetime to get over.

What to know the side effects of abuse?
Ask me. I can tell you many many of them.
Ask my husband....he suffers the side effects...
Ask my children....what they don't understand now, they will someday.


There is something that we all can do.


We can love.
We can pray.

We can ask hard questions, we can look one another in the eyes and see their heart and soul. We can stop looking away.


I find myself in quiet pondering, in reflection....of where I have been and where I am going.

My sweet Aunt who has mentioned a few times to me that she wished there was something more that she could have/would have done....knowing what we children went through.

She has listened to me in times of trial and sorrow and healing she has come to a place in her life where she has a great desire and a willingness to take the hard steps of helping others who are in trouble. She invited my sister and I to join her at the Christmas Box House International breakfast with Richard Paul Evans. We did. Last week, early Thursday morning.

At this event I sat with my sister, my arm around her as we both wept openly
watching the video which so descriptively shows the need for people to care about this issue.

To care bout abuse.


The video hit our hearts hard.
We know what it is like to be forgotten.
To be forsaken by those who should love you the most.
We know what it is like to need someone to care.
Someone to love,
to speak up,
t
o stand up for you until you can stand for yourself.

The Christmas Box House is an organization that provides temporary shelter for abused and abandoned children. This time of year they reach out to communities for help.

I was honored to be one of her guests, and to give what I could.

As I left I stopped by the giving tree... A Christmas tree with paper ornaments.
Each ornament had a child's name, age, and a gift that they could use or would desire.

I picked a few, I can't wait to take my kids shopping, help them to lovingly wrap, and deliver these simple gifts.

Gifts that will help my children to know that they are greatly blessed,
and gifts that will help another child to know that they are not forgotten.


The GREATEST gift you can give a child is LOVE in their childhood.

Every Child
Deserves a Childhood
-the motto of the Christmas Box House Organization.


My childhood may not have been the easiest, but we did have wonderful times, and great love between us as siblings. While many may have forgotten us, looked away, wept in silence,
we were together
...we did laugh, we did love, and we did grow,
and we did weep.

...we are not done weeping.

We still hurt and ache, and the fact is
that our abuse is still
collecting dust under so many peoples rugs

..people who don't want to accept the yucky truth that it happened...

Family members still look away,
whisper,
judge....and
misunderstand...

We are grown up now, and we are close.
We love one another, we laugh, we cry and as we FORGIVE....
we HEAL

.
A lot of people think that when you heal you forgive.
I know it is the exact opposite.
As we forgive....we heal.
We survived....once victims of abuse,
we are now Survivors.
We choose to heal....


We have a greater strength
and determination
to make sure that none of our children
or any child
whom we ever meet
has to live with the pain of silence.


I realize that I can not stop every child from experiencing what we did, but I have hope that if I stop suffering in silence that all of us together can and will make a difference in the lives of our own children and every child we can reach.


Abuse is human, it happens....but it doesn't have to happen in silence....


No one has to feel alone,
if every one of us is willing to take another hand,
and hold them in our heart.


Abuse is sadly a part of natural human instinct.




We all do it.


We do it when we choose to ignore one another,
to be angry,
to be unforgiving,
to be judgmental.


It begins with self and ends with ish.


But there is HOPE that we can become more aware of how our actions effect others and how our lack of action affect others.


Please, even if it is only a moment of your time. ...think of someone you know who might need you to hold their hand, ...someone you can forgive...someone you can be a lot more kind to in your life. We all need to be noticed, to be seen, to be heard.


To be loved.


Celebrate and become part of the
World FOR the PREVENTION of CHILD ABUSE
by standing up and STANDING against abuse.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WAY WAY BACK to yester... years ♥

...or maybe it was yesterday...



Pre-"I want a mullet" days...

Way back when they were little ---er!
When I see pictures
like these
it reminds me
to cherish the moments
that we have now,
for soon enough today
will too be WAY BACK WHEN....

...when they were little ---er
...and now we have this!

Brian meant it when he said it.....
"If you don't choose a haircut
you will have to wear a barrette!"
And Jeremy meant it when he replied....
"When can we go to the store and buy some!!!"
This is how he went to school yesterday....
What is wrong with it, I ask????
His teacher wouldn't let him wear his barrette all day
....and I ended up cutting SOME of his hair last night.
He was pleasant enough to allow me
to make way for his eyes to see,
as long as it wasn't a BOYS cut!!!
Treasure today....
for all that it brings!
Smile along the way....
Be cheerful in all things!
If you missed the events leading to this
the following links
will take you to the Mullet conversation:
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
...and btw:
I thankfully read today in the Handbook for Middle School Kids
that allowing children to choose
how they wear their hair
and how they keep their rooms [within reason]
is GOOD parenting.
...leaving room for conversation
on more important issues
that come up with kids.
I am patting myself on the back,
and plan to HUG Brian really big tonight!
As parents we are always questioning
what is right or wrong for them,
and finding a little bit of light
in otherwise very stressful years of raising kids
has given me a sense of great PEACE....
HOWEVER...just look at Jeremy's smile....and tell me that he is not a very well adjusted CONFIDENT happy kid.
THAT should have been my first confirmation.
ALWAYS follow your feelings!!!
They are your kids,
and only YOU know what is best for them!!!!
Happy Happy Wednesday Everyone!

wAy bAck WHEN--esdAy ♥


Dedicated to Sheri.
They were all so little ♥


...there was a day
when the girls couldn't climb
out of their cribs...

TIME FLIES!

Friday, November 13, 2009

FLaShbAck fRidAy






So thankful that Glen returned home from Iraq safely. I was pondering the service to our country that is so selflessly rendered and remembered sitting for nearly two-thirds of a day waiting for our family friend Glen to leave for Iraq. Every moment counted, and as weary as the day became it was worth every second being there. The many tears that flowed, families sending their loved ones into harms way, yet the feeling of love for country and for honor was far greater than the sorrows.

We saw him off that day, and were thrilled to welcome him home two years later. It was hard to believe that he was going to be gone that long, and as the time passed we found ourselves in constant prayer for his safe return. He was one of the lucky ones. He came home....alive.

As we honored veterans this week my heart was full of appreciation for all who serve their countries. Our world is so uncertain, and I am thankful for Men and Women who will stand on the front lines so that we can peacefully raise our children in this country, out of harms way.

I think we don't recognize as much as we should how blessed we are to be able to walk out our front doors every morning to freedom, to peace, to a life that we are spoiled to enjoy.

This Friday the 13th.....keep a prayer in your heart for the families of those serving, keep a prayer for the service men and women, the leaders of our nations, and ask God to help us to be on His side, that all may someday enjoy the peace that we take for granted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Hero - Happy Veterans Day 2009

Grandpa and Alyssa


[photo by Mike Terry of the Deseret News]




Family Friend Fred Jackson,
a veteran of Vietnam.
Also played for the Oakland Raiders!!!

Gavin.....skipping skool for the good stuff!

Colonel James Austin, also a family friend!


Grandpa and Samuel


Grandpa made the Front Page!!!
Click on the picture to take you to the
Deseret News article.


[photo by Mike Terry of the Deseret News]



video

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Clarissa in Once Upon A Mattress!










lights...camera....action...BLURR!!!

Clarissa was wonderful
and delightful to watch in her

Junior High School
production of
Once Upon A Mattress.





Beautiful Girl, lovely performance.
Well done...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wonderful Wonderful

Lost and Found



The beautiful Sound of Music!!!

video



my happiness!

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers
“You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experiences.” ~Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

COURAGE to HEAL

COURAGE to HEAL
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