Monday, May 16, 2016

16 Family Pictures for the 16th of May 2016

Kathryn: Showing off my latest trick. I kiss on command.
Though I do get a little camera-shy about it.

Eliza: I love to read. Even the Children's Songbook.

Afton: I was excited to do a chore I've never done before.
Drying dishes while Mom washes them. Wearing an apron is key.

Michelle: Diaper Change Olympics! Mom: 1. Kathryn: 0

Ty: I spent a little time enjoying this show with Michelle tonight.
It reminded me of our newlywed days and our first home together.

Ezra:  Peach season.

Almost every morning Zeph and Joe (and Chewie) look out our
bedroom window and talk about what they see.

Jane:  For Family Home Evening we went to supper at McDonald's,
Henry's favorite place.  Grace, Henry, and Hazel are visiting
while Abe is in training.  Grace had never had a Big Mac, but
because they were 2 for $5, we decided to order one for each
of us.  Grace asked the employee what a Big Mac had on it
and without skipping a beat, I said, "Two all beef patties, special
sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."
Some ditties don't die.

Grace:  eating my first Big Mac for Family Home Evening with
Grandpa and Grandma.

Hazel:  Grandma holding me.

Henry:  Grandpa teaching me how to find red, ripe strawberries.

Calvin:  Finding a strawberry for Henry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Homemaking Tip -- Why We Do What We Do

In a nutshell, this is what Calvin and I believe. It's why we do what we do and live like we live. I'm grateful to live in a time in history when these truths are on the earth.

The truths in this video, explain why we love home and family so much.  Knowing that Jesus Christ made it possible to see and live with our Eternal parents and family again, and gave us the opportunity to make our little family that we have here on earth a forever family, is why I love making a sweet and safe home where our family can grow and find refuge.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Memories - #Hallelujah

“If it says Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s on the label, label, label
You will like it, like it, like it on your table, table, table.
If it says Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s on the label, label, label.”

We sang that ditty over and over while eating our sandwiches and chips. Excitement. That’s what makes children babble and repeatedly chant. We were wound up that day because it was The Tour and everyone in our 4-H club had their animals washed, blow-dried and combed waiting for our leaders and club members to come to our homes and see them. The day was especially looked forward to because the tour ended at the hot springswith a pot-luck supper afterwards. I was giddy because I had a brand new, scooped neck, orange shirt—a birthday gift from my sisters—to wear.

Since Dad was our 4-H leader, the tour started at our house. After everyone had seen our animals, we loaded up for the next stop. I climbed in a car with a neighbor girl a few years older than me and we hurried to her house so she could get her animal brushed off before everyone arrived. We pulled onto the cement pad in front of their family garage and I climbed out of the station wagon. The family’s big German shepherd dog greeted me. Being freshly ten years old, I didn’t have to stoop far to pet him. He barked, put his paws on my chest and pushed me back a little and then bit my face. He left teeth marks on the bridge of my nose and then as his teeth slid down my face they tore the skin between my upper lip and nose into two pieces. A thin layer of skin inside my mouth held the two pieces together, but the outer layers were torn apart. Blood dripped down my orange shirt.

The girl’s mother quickly came around from her side of the car and yelled, “Lock up the dog!” She led me into the kitchen and put a cold washrag on the gape. She also gave me a different shirt and began rinsing and ringing mine in the sink. When Dad arrived he took me to the doctor. The tour went on without us.

The doctor took one look at my lip, laid me down on the table and put a paper towel with a little hole over my face. Then he deadened the flesh and began stitching the pieces back together. He apologized for taking so long and putting in so many stitches, but said he didn’t want it to pucker and scar. The room spun as he worked, it felt like a ride at the fair. When he and the nurse finished sewing, they gave me a tetanus shot and told Dad to check the dog for rabies. We got in the car and drove to the swimming pool where the 4-H club was. I sat with my bandaged lip and watched the other kids swim and eat. It hurt to smile.

The lip healed, but not without a lump. The pieces didn’t fit the same after they’d been torn apart and the lip thickened as scar tissue formed. When I smiled, the lump hung; when I frowned, the lump hung. It didn’t interfere much, but it didn’t bend. The doctor suggested plastic surgery to remove the lump, so the next year my mother drove me to a large hospital several hours away and a surgeon removed the excess scar tissue. Again, after some time, my lip healed and today, other than having one extra deep laugh-line from my nose to my lip, the scar is not noticeable.

One time my heart felt like my lip. It was ripped into two pieces, an emotional tear, but it felt physical. It ached. It throbbed. It hurt to smile. But like my lip, with the right attention, my heart healed. Like my lip, when it healed it didn’t fit back together the same as it had before. Though mended and healthy, some scar tissue formed from doubt, injustice and fear and my heart felt a little thick in a spot or two. Although my heart beat the same as before it was torn, I wanted the scar tissue removed. I didn’t need something extra hanging on to a perfectly good heart. And like my lip, an expert physician was needed, a Master Physician. Carefully, with perfect tools, He cut away the thickness and my heart once again felt soft and impressionable.

Life is full of bumps, bruises, tears and scars, stitches and healing. And yet, as painful as things may be, because of the real celebration of Easter we know we don’t suffer alone or needlessly. We know that the Son of God sacrificed so that our pains could be temporary and our deaths impermanent. I am humbly and eternally indebted for His ability to heal my heart, lift my spirit, and forgive my sins. And that is something worth singing about.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

52 Blessings: Life is Beautiful

On Wednesday I read this verse in Psalms  ". . . the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord" ~ Psalm 32:5, and it made me stop and think.

Immediately I thought of the creation of the earth and images from the Hubble Telescope.

I never tire of seeing them.

Even though I can't see them at night doesn't mean they aren't there.  It is comforting to me to think of images like these images blanketing our earth.

Then I thought of all the little beautiful things in life that I can see -- things like spider webs and blooms -- but are easily missed if I'm not paying attention. Pictures I had used in earlier blog posts came to mind so I went and looked at them again.

By the time I was finished thinking about Psalm 32:5, I had created this little video of pictures from our backyard and neighbors' fields.  I hope you enjoy it:

When Ande was a little girl, she often left me pictures with a few soda crackers or chocolate chips or a dandelion on my pillow.  They were evidence of her love for me.

There is incredible beauty in the detailed simplicity of the Lord's creations.  It's especially noticeable in the picture with the bee.  The symmetry and design in the center of the flower is so precise and calculated . . .  each flower created gets that kind of detail.

These simple scenes that are in your backyard and mine, make it abundantly clear that " . . . the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."

And to think He left them as new reminders, as fresh as every day, that we are loved and wanted and missed makes me feel very safe and secure.

". . . the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."  ~Psalm 32:5

52 Blessings - #Hallelujah it's Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday.  It's a sweet day to remember the final time that Christ entered Jerusalem.

On that “triumphal entry” he rode a donkey signaling that He came in peace and humility, yet royally. His humble followers were people just like you and me, people who loved Him and had been served by Him.  To show their honor and love, they carpeted the road with palm fronds, flowering tree branches and some of their own clothes.  As he rode by they " . . . cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 21:9);

In Hebrew, "Hosanna” means "please save me." The people recognized that He was the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.

Some have supposed that palm leaves* were used on “Palm Sunday” simply because they were plentiful, but as with many things of a biblical nature, there is deep symbolism in Jesus’ followers using the palm leaf. They symbolized:

1.  Great value and luxury. The palm branch was the emblem of Judea and was found on her coins, signifying that palms were one of the      country’s and people’s greatest riches.

2.  A gift from God. The palm had many uses in the people’s lives, so much so in fact that when countries went to war they attacked the      enemy’s palms to expedite their victory because:

     a. the date palm supplied dates.

     b. the coconut palm supplied coconut and coconut milk and the shells were made into bowls, utensils and tools.

     c. the sugar palm sap was dried and ground into sugar and it’s leaves were cooked and eaten like a vegetable.

     d. the trunk of the sago palm was ground into flour.

     e. the heavy fiber was used to make ropes, the coarse fiber was used to make brooms, mats and baskets, the fine fiber was made into         sewing thread.

     f. the palm oils were made into butter and soap.

     g. palm wood does not easily rot and was used for making boats.

     h. the palm seeds were boiled and made into medicinal drinks or were dried and eaten like nuts or used as beads.

     i. the yellowish-white palm flowers were made into perfume or worn as d├ęcor by the women.

In essence, through the symbolism of the palms, the people showed they were willing to offer their daily pursuits and time as well as their riches to honor Jesus.  

Palm Sunday is a good time to reflect on the honor, devotion, appreciation and love that we can show to the Savior like the people who laid the palm branches.  It's a good time to get rid of habits and attitudes that aren't reflective of how we really feel about Jesus Christ and adopt ones that are.  It's fitting that today is the first day of Spring, too, it's like we get a fresh start all the way around.

(*Information gathered from Dorothy D. Warner, “Palms for the Lord,” Liahona, Apr 1999, 10)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sixteen Pictures (+ or -) for the 16th of March 2016

Jane:  Sunshine on My Shoulder.  Thank you John Denver.

Calvin:  getting loggers in the sun and ready for install in the
farmers' fields

Cali:  Nine times a minute, Atlas asks Uncle Allan if he "like my space ship?"
Nine times a minute Uncle Allan expounds on how awesome their creations are.
I love families.

Levin:  a glimpse of baby Levin in boy Levin

Atlas: We made cupcakes and decorated them with sugar pumpkins that are older than Levin.

Ray:  Ready for a DaVita (work) party

Ande: Today I'm staying sane.

Ezra: Eating fabric scraps.
Ezra loves to eat fabric, but towels are his favorite.

Zeph: Reading to his alligator. (Ande) I also caught him scolding him,
"Alligator, look at me. Look at my eyes. We don't his Ezra.
 Do you understand?" I tell Zeph and Ezra 3 reasons why
I love them as I put them to bed. When Zeph put his alligator down
for a nap he stroked his face and told him why he loved him.

Afton: Doing chores: cleaning the glass doors.

Ty: I sent Captain Sexton on her first solo in the T-6 today!
She came back safely (as did the aircraft) so it was a success all around.

Kathryn: Doing chores: eating rocks and practicing tricks.

Eliza: Doing chores: putting away the silverware.

Michelle: There's a new season of the Amazing Race on Amazon.
This is what Ty and I will be doing most nights for awhile.

Abe: Conducting a recon on the lovely town of Ujen at NTC.

Grace:  My view on our walk today.

Henry:  Finally . . . a nice day to go outside!

Hazel:  Had a playdate today and the little girls made sure I had lots of toys to play with.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Memories - The Nap

Every summer my grandparents took us (my brothers, sisters and two cousins) north to Aunt Jean’s cabin. The boys rode with Grandpa in the station wagon and the girls rode with Grandma in the fancy car. On the way to the cabin, it was best to be in Grandma’s car because she stopped at the drug-store-soda-fountain for black-licorice ice cream cones, but on the way back it was best to be in Grandpa’s car because he could make it all the way home without pulling over for a nap.

Forty-five years later, I am my grandma.

Today is National Napping Day. Since a nap is a human battery re-charger, National Napping Day is celebrated on the day after Daylight Savings begins and we lose an hour of sleep. A few things I love about napping:

  • A ten to twenty minute nap is scientifically proven to improve our efficiency. 
  •  Some studies show that people who nap and get adequate sleep are less forgetful and have lower levels of stress hormones.
  • Napping is an inborn skill.  (Babies are really good at it.)

This weekend I got to babysit my great-niece Sayer and help her take naps.

My grandma was on to something.  Naps are a very good thing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

16 Pictures for the 16th of February 2016

Cali:  making an "I Spy" quilt for the boys

Atlas and Levin:  a walk in the park

Grace:  Henry playing with "Howez's" shirt.

Henry:  being like Iggy Peck Architect and building towers.

Happy Hazel

Abe:  my view for the day

Ezra:  Rolling down the slide.

Zeph:  tackling and hugging Ezra on the trampoline

Ande:  crocheting blanket squares.  19 down 90 more to go.

Ty: Hop on Pop
(Michelle note: Today, the pilot training class Ty's been working
with for the last 5-6 months officially moved on to the next phase of their training.
A handful of students received awards for their performance,
and Ty was presented an award for being voted their
"favorite instructor pilot." I'm very proud of him. He's a great instructor
and I'm glad his students recognize and appreciate that in him.)

Afton: Today I went to Miss Carli's house to borrow some celery
all by myself. I also decided to fill up everyone's water glass for
dinner and did it all by myself.

Eliza: I am very polite and always say "No fank you."
Dad told me to make my cutest face and Afton coached me.

Kathyn: I am just always happy!

Michelle:  I completed all of vacation recovery in one day!  

Jane:  I caught a ride over to Seattle to spend the long weekend with Cali doing fun projects.
I planned to catch the bus home, but accidentally bought a 11:30 pm ticket
instead of a 11:30 am one.  However, I didn't discover the mix-up until I went to the
bus station at 11:30 am and found no bus and no refund.
Cali drove me halfway home where we met up with Calvin.
It was a great trip.