Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time goes too fast

Noble has been here a whole week and it's just going by too fast. Last Saturday she took me out to dinner and to see the Nutcracker. Topdad took our picture.

Last Sunday I spoke in church (you can read that on my other blog); this week has been a combination of lazy days and lots of Korean with a little bit of baking and shopping and wrapping presents thrown in.  Noble is so fun to have around I'm loving life with her here.

Thursday night Topdad and I went to his annual end of semester staff bowling party. I won the award for the Lowest Score - and look, they even took my picture! (Sometimes that's what I feel like.)



Wednesday was our church Christmas Dinner and Party. I cooked a turkey for it and the party was a "white elephant" gift exchange. I scored some Hannah Montana hairbands and lipgloss as well as a package of thank you notes and another of stationary. Topdad got a hot dog and bun cooker, looks like a toaster. (We're re-gifting that to JET who is living away from home. BUT DON'T TELL HIM.)

Well, it's Christmas Eve and I want to wish you all a Joyous Christmas. May God bless you and your loved ones with the righteous desires of your hearts.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

When JET was a baby I sat nursing him in the glow of the Christmas tree lights at midnight on Christmas Eve. I loved having a baby and felt close to Mary and her baby. As I looked at the tree with its lights and baubles I wondered "What does a green tree and lights and shiny baubles have to do with the birth of the Savior?" I couldn't answer except to say "nothing." I pondered for months on what would be a better symbol of the birth of Jesus Christ. Finally the light came on in my brain and out popped the answer: A manger and a baby doll. While visiting my parents that summer (1994) I was able to leave the children with someone responsible and make a trip to the toy store alone where I found the perfect little newborn baby doll. In the fall we moved from Washington state to Virginia and just before Christmas I had my husband build a manger for me. I couldn't draw what I wanted so he put together what he thought I wanted and when I saw it I said "It's just fine, dear." (He built another, much nicer one in Utah.) Our children were five, three and sixteen months that Christmas and the older two enacted and re-enacted the Christmas story all through December and into January. We didn't have a Christmas tree that year as I wanted to keep the focus on Christ and not telling the toddler NO NO NO.

The peace I felt that Christmas convinced me that I was onto something great. For a while we alternated not having a tree and having one according to whether we had a toddler or not. I noticed during the years we had a tree that the manger with Jesus in it was pushed to the back and the children were much more me-centered and contentious. During the years we had only the manger the children were sweeter and more service minded. Finally one year we had a tree and the fighting during just the decorating of it was more than I could tolerate so I decided to forego trees in the future.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Christmas trees, but in our home it caused contention and I realized that after I had spent so much time pondering and then getting my answer that I should follow what was personal revelation for our family. As much as I love Christmas trees I can do without them; I can't do without my manger and baby Jesus.

I truly love my Savior and am so grateful for his condescension in coming to earth. Seeing the sweet baby in the manger reminds me of several truths:

  1. I must humble myself as a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven.
  2. When I give a gift it is as if I'm giving to Jesus
  3. He sees me at all times
  4. He lived a mortal life and knows my pains and sorrows, along with my joys and triumphs
Last year Noble begged for a tree, saying it didn't feel like Christmas without one. I consented and found that now the children are older they can handle it. I believe all the training has paid off. We bought a little tree that allows room for the manger to be central to our decorations.

So, however it is that you celebrate, I hope you'll keep Jesus at the center of your heart if not your room too.

Our sweet baby Jesus

Nativity Tree Skirt 

Some of our homemade, handmade ornaments

The whole picture
We love giving gifts to each other and remind our children that "Inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Fledgling . . . Fledges!

Today our 6'4" hunk of an eighteen year old man moved out of the nest. JET goes to school and works in Council Bluffs, just over an hour away. He has wanted to move out since August but hadn't found just the right situation. The decision was made easier on Saturday when he slid off the road into the ditch on his way to work. When Topdad went to pick him up they drove immediately to see a house with a room for rent. Today he and I packed up the most necessary items into the family Suburban and he drove off to a new home in the big city. (We are driving a rental car until JET's car is fixed.) He'll be back tomorrow after school to get the rest. It's always nice when a child moves out under good circumstances rather than in anger or rebellion.

Time continues to race ahead us our readiness. When I think of where our family will be in five years it boggles my mind. JET should be home from a mission; Dr. Hair on a mission; Dandylion preparing for a mission. And here's an interesting tidbit for any LDS readers: In our family we have a High Priest, an Elder, a Priest, a Teacher, and a Deacon. How's that for priesthood representation!!

Christmas preparations are coming along slowly, had that major hiccough this weekend, but I think I'm back on track. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post about what we do and why.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Surprise!

Day Thirty of Count Your Blessings

Last night I was on our bed reading when Topdad came into the bedroom bearing a gift. I melted into tears!
I love surprises, especially when they are so thoughtful and wonderful! Thank you, Topdad.



Isn't it lovely? I think I'm getting in the Christmas spirit!
Speaking of which, throughout the month of December I'll be sharing how I put Christ back into Christmas.

Accidents Will Happen!

Dateline - Provo, Utah 27 June 2006
Dr. Hair, age 7, and Dandylion, age 5, went to the Creamery on 9th to get a child's ice cream cone each. They were VERY slow returning. Mom sent JET to look for them. When asked where they had been Dandylion said, "On the way home we found a huge sand pile and we accidentally played in it."

CORRECTION: Dandylion tells me my math is off - He had just turned 8 and Dr. Hair was almost 10.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oops - I missed a day

Day Twenty-eight and Twenty-nine of Count Your Blessings

Well, I missed a day for no reason other than I was tired. Bad excuse. I've been wracking my brain too, but am in a fog and can't come up with something wonderful that I'm thankful for that I haven't already expressed. So how about a bunch of little things.

I'm thankful for:
a husband's warm body in bed with me on cold nights
an eighteen year old son's hug and "I love you Mom."
a fifteen year old son who holds my hand while shopping
a thirteen year old son who cuddles up to me on the couch
a faithful missionary son
a daughter who's my best friend

I enjoy:
sunsets and moonrises
rain and rainbows
flannel sheets and wool blankets
Mormon Tabernacle Choir music and Korean Boy Bands
plaid skirts and corduroy slacks
fruit pies and fudge brownies (homemade from scratch, of course)
whole wheat bread toast and peppermint tea
cheese - almost any kind
fresh summer fruit
movies that make me laugh and cry
good books
letters in the mail
dressing up
being remembered and recognized
making new friends
speaking in church
teaching
laughing with my children
traveling to new places (or old ones for that matter)
a clean house
sunshine through clean windows
unexpected gifts
museums and art galleries
live symphony concerts
mastering a skill
learning new things
a brisk walk
a leisurely stroll (hand in hand with a loved one is even better)
family history research
old photographs (whether I know the people or not)
fresh flowers
dark chocolate
linen napkins
handkerchiefs

These are a few of my favorite things. . .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wait, I'm not finished yet

Day Twenty-seven of Count Your Blessings

Today I'm grateful for the patience, mercy and longsuffering of God. I mean he doesn't zap me immediately when I've done wrong (which somedays is just about every minute) but let's me figure out that  I've sinned and allows me time to repent. Do you know what a blessing that is?

Interestingly enough, today two other bloggers on my list talked about repentance. A SIGN! I need to repent of my stupidity, my rebelliousness, my weaknesses, my imperfections and so on. Maybe that's why Enos prayed all night, he was talking specifics, not generalities.

Today I'm grateful for repentance and forgiveness, for mercy and the Atonement. I feel like Nephi,
"Oh wretched [woman] that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh [there's just too much of it]; and my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations that do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." (2 Nephi 4:17-18)

I am a work in progress and I'm so thankful for the patience of God while I stumble about here on earth. I am eternally indebted to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for paying the price for my sins so I can repent and be reconciled to God, the Eternal Father and return at last to his presence.

Now if you'll excuse me I have some repenting to do!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cloudy With a Chance of . . .

Day Twenty-six of Count Your Blessings

I'm so thankful for the good weather forecasting (well as good as it can be, nothing's perfect) we have today. I wanted to drive north to Carroll this afternoon for a few errands and I was able to check the weather forecast and see that no snow was expected, only strong winds.

This is a blessing earlier residents of these parts just didn't have; and while it is possible to tell the weather by signs around us, those satellite images and radar tracking are a heap more accurate and timely.

How was your weather today? What about tomorrow?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pajama Party Game Night

Day Twenty-five of Count Your Blessings

Did you know you can establish a family tradition any time you want? We've had a number of "traditions" over the years. Some have lasted a long time, others weren't so popular. The current one we're trying is a Friday night Pajama Party Game Night. I felt we were watching too many movies and not interacting enough, so a couple weeks ago I invited everyone to a Pajama Party Game Night.  After dinner and then kitchen clean up we changed into our favorite jammies and pull out a bunch of games. Each person got to choose a game from the pile to play in turn. We had simple refreshments and snacks during the evening.

Dandylion getting a Yahtzee!
At the end of the first party Dr. Hair went to bed chanting "Fun night; fun, fun night; we had a fun, fun night." He was so HAPPY! I found that my simple efforts were worth it for my 15 year old to go to bed that night so happy. Tonight was our third party and it was just as fun. I think this is a tradition to keep.

I'm grateful for family traditions and making happy memories with my children.

A round of "Presto-Chango"

Playing "Warriors from the Book of Mormon"


P.S. One month from today is Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day Twenty-four of Count Your Blessings

Today I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so thankful for the scriptures and the many people through the ages who sacrificed their time, talents and even their lives to prepare, preserve and translate the scriptures so that I can read God's word today in my native language. I am eternally grateful for a living prophet to lead and guide us.

I'm truly grateful for my family, past, present and future.

I'm grateful for Patriots, past, present and future.

I'm grateful for the wonderful abundance I enjoy in this land of liberty. I'm grateful for those who daily work to preserve the liberty of this great nation.

May your day be full of blessings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Extra!

A huge thank you to my friend from San Diego! Got your note today and send wishes back for a lovely Thanksgiving with you and yours!  I love getting letters and cards in the US mail.

Do you have a library card?

Day Twenty-three of Count Your Blessings

Before I met my husband I went out a couple of times with another guy, who upon seeing my floor to ceiling bookcase asked incredulously, "Have you read all those?" And when I answered "All, but a couple of them that I'm still working on," said something to the effect of "What a waste of time." I didn't go out with him again. When TopDad saw that same bookcase he said "Wow, you like to read too!" I married him.

Sometime last year, or was it the year before? anyway, Noble introduced me to a really fun book from a pile she'd gotten at the library and then decided she wasn't interested in.  By Hester Browne, it's called The Little Lady Agency. There are two sequels and two other completely separate novels by Hester. She is a delightful British author and her character Melissa/Honey is one of my favorites.

Feeling down this week because of the vile, overcast weather, I pulled The Little Lady Agency off the shelf and read it for the umpteenth time.  It never fails to please and lift my spirits. I highly recommend it, as well as all of Hester's other books.

I love to read! We as a family have more books than I can count. It's like a small library, built up over many years of homeschooling and to feed our love of reading.

Today I'm thankful for all the authors whose talent is so much greater than mine in putting down on paper great stories, as well as fantastic non-fiction information and education in a really accessible way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Makes A Friend?

Day Twenty-two of Count Your Blessings

Today I'm grateful for friends. I've heard from two of my favorites this week.

My idea of a friend is someone who is rarely too busy to let me come over to bend her ear for an hour and feels comfortable enough to stop in at my house to do the same.  She invites me for lunch or shopping at the drop of a hat, and is willing and ready to go when I invite her.  Then when one of us moves away she writes, calls, and emails regularly in answer to my regular letters, calls and emails.  She shares her griefs and joys and then allows me to cry on her shoulder in turn and is delighted to share in my good news. She gives good advice, encourages me, helps me see my faults, shares recipes and then expects and accepts the same from me.

I've lived in nine different places since getting married.  You'd think I'd have tons of friends, but what I have are many acquaintances, just a small handful of great friends! And one of those I raised along the way. (Saranghae, Ah Reum.)

 Since entering the world of blogging I've encountered some absolutely wonderful people about whom I think "I wish we were neighbors so we could be friends!"  There's got to be a word to describe this new kind of relationship.  In the meantime, I'm so glad to have met so many terrific and talented folks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Do You Want for Christmas, Mom?

Day Twenty-one of Count Your Blessings

My children used to get very frustrated with me when they'd ask that question.  My answer was always the same, "A clean house and obedient children." 

Today as I was cleaning up the mess from our busy, but relaxed Sabbath I got all teary eyed as I realized that my wish had come true.  Well, not the clean house part, but the obedient children part. No rebels in the bunch; our adult children are all productive, contributing members of society, as well as in the church; our two younger sons are busy with school, work and improving their talents.  We have good relationships and enjoy being together.  We look forward to reunions with those who are away from home presently.

With a grateful heart I say thank you to my Heavenly Father for sending me such great children.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This, That and The Other

Day Nineteen/Twenty of Count Your Blessings

One day the lesson in Relief Society (church's women's group) was on keeping a journal. The young mother teaching it was passionate about journals and had many going all at once.  She has a regular journal, a gratitude journal, a baby book, a humor journal, and so on.  I can't remember all the ones she kept.  But I was impressed and over the years I've tried various things, but haven't managed to keep up anything more than a regular journal and jottings in a little notebook that I keep with me all the time.

Some time ago I began a "gratitude journal" thinking I would add to every time I thought of something I am grateful for. Here's as far as I got:
rain
cool nights
eye candy
laughter
friends
a clean bedroom
a package in the mail
ice cream
beautiful music

Just reading it brings up good memories and makes me feel better.  Have you ever made a list of things you're grateful for? I saw a book once that was called 14,000 things I'm Grateful For (or something like that) that was a list of everything the author was thankful for. I was impressed! I'm going to add to mine so that when I'm feeling pitiful I can look back and see how blessed I've been.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fatigue

Day Eighteen of Count Your Blessings

After thirteen days straight getting up early (before daylight) I'm truly grateful it's the end of the week and there is nothing going on tomorrow morning and I can sleep until I wake up naturally when the sunlight caresses my face.

Inspiration to get sewing again

I found another Blog that inspires me to get back to sewing for myself again.  I have tubs and tubs of fabric, boxes of pattern , notions galore, and time each day (that's the truly amazing part).  So, herewith is MY pledge:


I, Rozy Lass, take the Seamless pledge until June 25, 2012. I will abstain from buying any new retail clothes until the end of my pledge. I will find ways to be fashionably dressed without buying retail and without contributing to the cycle of fast fashion consuming the high street. I will utilize thrift shops and consignment stores locally and most importantly I will craft my own clothes with my own two hands from my extensive stash of fabric, patterns and notions. I will post pictures of my creations on this blog to share with others my successes. 


Here's the Pledge if you feel you'd like to join in. (There's a nice button that I wish I could add, but I'll be danged if I can figure out how to add it and make it work.  Noble will be home in a month and promises to teach me all these little tricks.  In the meantime, thanks for your patience!)


20 January 2012 Update
Noble came and went and we forgot to do the button while she was here. I pressed forward and finally figured out how to do it on my own. Yay, PFCMom. Check out the button on the left.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Day Seventeen of Count Your Blessings





Did you think I was going to say I'm thankful for sunsets?  While I am thankful for the beauty of them, what I'm more thankful for is the fact that I can see them! I've been wearing glasses since seventh grade and my biggest fear is that I'll go blind completely.  I'm so thankful for my eyes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heaters, Wool Sweaters and Socks, Oh My!

Day Sixteen of Count Your Blessings

Studying the domestic history of our country is an interest of mine.  I have an exceptionally well written book called "Our Own Snug Fireside, Images of the New England Home 1760 - 1860" by Jane C. Nylander.  In the chapter called Frosty Mornings and Stinging Fingers: The Effects of Winter, the author details the differences in homes then and now.  From the diary and journals records we know that their homes were much colder in the winter than ours. MUCH colder, as in interior temperatures in the forties. They didn't turn up the heaters in winter, they put on more clothes.

Today was the first day I've felt cold this autumn.  I turned up the heater a notch and still felt cold so I put on my trusty sweater to keep me warm. (I've been wearing wool socks to bed because I can't fall asleep if my feet are cold.)

I'm so thankful for heaters and programmable thermostats; wool sweaters and socks; flannel sheets and pajamas.  (And we haven't even gotten to winter yet!)

I have to admit, this is the only place I've ever lived where the weather makes me nervous.  I experienced my first blizzard last year and the fury of the wind was downright scary!  Makes me doubly thankful to be a stay at home mom, too.  No trudging off to work everyday.  I really admire all of you who do it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Fuss Cooking

Day Fifteen of Count Your Blessings

Every time I use my slow cooker (crockpot) I wonder why I don't use it more often.  I put ingredients in at 7 AM and serve a delicious dinner at 5 PM.  How easy is that?!

Today we had ham and bean soup with homemade, from scratch corn bread muffins.

I'm so thankful for modern miracle appliances.

Monday, November 14, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Day Fourteen of Count Your Blessings

When I was a little girl I told everyone who asked or would listen that I wanted to grow up to live on a farm and have twelve children.  I would play house alternating with teacher, my two loves.  As I matured I couldn't figure out how I could do both, be a homemaker and a school teacher.  But I shouldn't have worried because being a teacher is another name for mother, and God had a plan for me.

I don't live on a farm, in fact, my hardworking husband has NO desire to do anything remotely connected to farming (and I LOVE cows!).  We don't have twelve children either, but that is because we were 31 and 30 when we married and when I had Danny at age 40 I knew I was done.  Having babies is a young people's sport! I really admire my Nana who had fifteen children beginning when she was 23 and ending when she was 46, no twins there either!

During our engagement TopDad and I talked about our future family and home life.  I was adamant that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom; he worried because he felt it took two incomes to make it.  I told him that I knew how to live on one income, having learned from my parents.  He eventually agreed that when we became parents I would be able to stay home.

When I had Noble I couldn't imagine leaving her with someone else and trudging off to work everyday.  Horrors!  When she was three we did put her in a Montessori preschool where she did really well, EXCEPT! Except she began to change into a little monster, picking up bad language and behaviors from the other students.  We lasted one semester and didn't return her to the school after Christmas break.  About that time we asked questions of a family at church who we knew homeschooled their children.  They answered our questions, gave us books to read and invited us to meetings.  It didn't take long for us to be convinced that this was the way to go for us.  What really converted us was attending an end of year exhibition of the whole group in our county.  We were so impressed with the teens!  They were well groomed, articulate, friendly, well-mannered and just wonderful "poster children" for the whole thing.  We said to each other "That's what we want our children to be like."

And that's what they've turned out like.  I'm so thankful TopDad trusted me enough to let me stay home and be a wife, mother, homemaker, and school teacher. It has been my dream career.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I love to Iron

Day Thirteen of Count Your Blessings

I'm really grateful for people who don't like to iron, because they give all their expensive linen clothes to thrift stores where I can buy them at prices I can afford, then I can look great in expensive clothes without paying a fortune.  Whew, that's a mouthful.

I love linen!  It is cool in the summer, warm in the winter (layered) and feels heavenly to me.  Most people don't like it because it has to be ironed.  I love ironing!  It is a brainless job that I can do at the same time as something pleasurable such as watching a movie or listening to a child tell me about his day.  (Dishes are similar, but I haven't figured out how to move the sink into the living room so I can watch a movie, so I just listen to music or children while working in the kitchen.)

Anyway, I look for linen pieces whenever I shop at thrift stores.  My latest find was a lovely shirt. I fell for the colors and classic style.  I wasn't sure what I would wear with it, but figured for a couple of dollars I couldn't go wrong.  And it just spoke to me!  Once home I took it to my closet and realized that I had both a skirt and a pair of slacks that would coordinate. This morning I pulled together this outfit for church:


So,  a big thank you to whoever didn't like to iron for donating this gorgeous shirt for me to have.

Vanity Plates and Tender Mercies

Day Twelve of Count Your Blessings

A long time ago my husband gave me vanity license plates that said "A Lil Roz".  I loved them!  But they're not the vanity plates that I want to talk about.

Yesterday on my way home after a long day in Council Bluffs, I had a moment of loneliness and sadness. Tears welled up in my eyes and I was on the verge of having a pity party.  Suddenly I was passed on the left by a little white car with plates that read "B Joyfl".  First I laughed, then I said "Thank you!" to the man upstairs who coordinated things so that when I most needed it, a sign of his love would be in my sights.

I'm so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows me by name and is mindful of my needs at all times.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Day Eleven of Count Your Blessings

I attended a Veteran's Day program at the high school this morning.  Our little town loves and honors the Veterans.  Five current members of the National Guard were the color guard; the high school band performed a medley of the service songs, and choir performed the national anthem and Battle Hymn of the Republic; a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was the Master of Ceremonies; members of the speech team gave a wonderful presentation of the symbols of America. The last presenter talked about the youth of this generation carrying the torch of freedom and preserving all the hopes and dreams of America. It was an inspiring program in which all the Veterans of the different eras were asked to stand and be recognized: World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Prisoners of War, and then we all stood and observed a moment of silence in honor of those who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, to preserve our freedoms.  My husband sat by me and stood as a Veteran of the Viet Nam era, and Desert Shield/Storm.

As I watched the members of the color guard I teared up thinking of another veteran, currently serving in the Air Force. And here she is at Recruit Graduation in San Antonio, Texas.



I was so impressed with the graduation ceremony.  They really made a BIG DEAL of all these recruits. The commanding officer thanked us, parents, families, spouses, etc., over and over for allowing, encouraging, and supporting our loved ones in their decision to serve their country, especially in a time of war.  That brought tears to my eyes.  I don't like being reminded that my sweet little girl is a warrior. Fortunately her job will not be in harms way.  Her training is too expensive and valuable to risk losing her.  We had a great time visiting her and seeing her in her new role. 

Airman's Run

Do we look like proud parents?
Well, we were and are!                  

We have another family member who is part of a Royal Army serving far away in Argentina.  He also is a warrior in the fight for freedom and liberty. We are so proud of him as well.

Elder PW is fourth from the right on the very back row. 


We love our veterans, both military and missionary, past, present and future. Thank you for serving valiantly and faithfully.

One final thought: As I watched the program today the words of a hymn came to my mind --
"Oh youth of the noble birthright, carry on, carry on, carry on."



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Day Ten of Count Your Blessings

Today is the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  Their motto is Semper Fideles - Always Faithful (for non-Latin readers).

I'm thankful for all the Marines (as well as soldiers, sailors and airmen) who serve day in and day out for less pay and more hazard than they deserve, without complaint, and with much pride and loyalty.  I'm especially thankful for my Marine who sometimes thinks he didn't do much.  But he was on call 24/7 for twenty-five and a half years, and served others without thought for himself.  Semper Fi, Topdad.

Topdad at Recruit Training Graduation (age 17)



Topdad on our Wedding Day (age 31)

Topdad at present (age 54)

Once a Marine, Always a Marine!  I love you!



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Answers to Prayers

Day Nine of Count Your Blessings

Do you remember what was going on in 1995?  Beijing, China was the host of an International Conference on Women, September 4 - 15.  All year as I listened to NPR I heard about this conference and how Hilary Clinton and women like her were going and representing the United States; these women talked about empowering women and the changing face of gender roles, the obsolescence of marriage, homosexuality, and such. It was pretty frightening and I prayed fervently that the Lord through his prophet would say something and set the world straight. I longed to hear a voice of reason and truth, rather than the strident voices of those women.  I watched every issue of the Ensign, waited for a letter read from the pulpit, something, anything, but nothing was said. The time of the conference came and went and I was so disappointed that nothing happened from church leaders.

At the time I was first counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency and we hosted a reception prior to the annual General Relief Society Broadcast September 23. Being on the east coast we began the reception at 7:00 and moved into the chapel just before eight to watch the broadcast. I will never forget the thrill that went through me when President Gordon B. Hinckley read The Family - A Proclamation to the World.  I sat with tears streaming down my face as I heard eternal truths spoken with authority by a prophet of God.  My prayers were answered, true to form, in a way better than I could have imagined.  My heart was so full I thought I'd burst. When I got home and tried to go to sleep words were swirling around in my head.  I got up and wrote them down quickly so as not to lose them, and over the next few days completed a simple hymn expressing my gratitude.  I sent it to President Hinckley whose secretary sent a kind note back.  My prayers included many expressions of thanksgiving for the proclamation over the next weeks and months.

Here is the hymn - It fits to the tune of God Moves in a Mysterious Way (#285 LDS Hymns).

How Blessed We Are
By Rozann W. Thoelke

How blessed we are to have a guide,
A prophet of the Lord
To lead us in these latter-days
Of famine, drought, and sword.

With strident voices on all sides
He speaks a calming word
To cheer us and encourage us;
The Lord, our prayers has heard.

He calls to us “Repent from sin.”
And asks us to do more
To live the gospel in our homes
Rich blessings are in store.

We pray for him to lead us in
The way of righteousness.
He has not faltered, nor yet will
Let’s follow and be blessed.

I'm grateful for the proclamation even more sixteen years later.  Just this week I read a news story about a group working toward legitimizing pedophilia. In 2008 when California was trying to pass the proposition declaring marriage to be between a man and a woman only, there was a lot, A LOT, of flack in Utah about it.  I wrote a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune (and it was published) that included this line "Society shouldn’t redefine marriage.  What would be next?  Include pedophilia, incest, bestiality?  Should all deviancies be tolerated?"  Was I prescient or what? 

  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Humor

Day Eight of Count Your Blessings

Where would we be without humor?  I love a good joke, riddle or pun.  I love laughing with my family. Take time to make happy memories with your loved ones!  True humor and joy are closely connected, at least in my mind.  Looking for the bright side, seeing the humor in a tense situation, looking hopefully to the future, enjoying the present are all part of faith, hope and charity.

Today I enjoyed some laughs with JET, our 6'4" eighteen year old son.  He has an artist's soul--he even likes his food to look pretty! When he was, I don't know, ten or so, he frequently spilled milked as he was pouring it into his glass.  One day I watched him as he poured and noticed that he was watching the milk as it flowed out of the container.  He continued watching it until the milk was overflowing his glass!  Then I realized that my artistic son was enjoying the beauty of the flow of milk and not watching the level in the glass.  Aha! I didn't have to scold him, I just reminded him to pay attention to the level of milk in the glass and not get carried away watching the "pretty flow of milk."

What does that have to do with humor?  Well, it's just one of the many funny stories from the lives of our children.  As they've grown up I write down (at the moment, on any scrap of paper handy) the funny things they do or say and then put it in a file.  Now that they are mostly grown we get that file out when we're together and relive the funniest moments of our lives together.  These are our private family jokes that we repeat like lines from a movie when we're together.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. - Proverbs 15:13

Monday, November 7, 2011

Noble - Daughter of the Year

Day Seven of Count Your Blessings

I just got off the "phone" (Skype) with my delightful daughter Noble.  I have to say she is what I'm most grateful for today.

She is fun, creative, interesting, virtuous, thoughtful, spiritual, loyal, patriotic, intelligent, talented, brave, and curious.  Whew!

Noble has introduced me to a whole bunch of fun, new experiences, and helped me overcome a prejudice. She was my shopping buddy and I miss her lots.




Sunday, November 6, 2011

Email and U.S. mail

Day Six of Count Your Blessings

Elder PW has been gone just over nineteen months, sixteen of which have been in Argentina.  When my brother was a missionary in Argentina thirty years ago, we waited weeks for each letter and sometimes months.  A weekly email from Elder PW is such a blessing!!  I count on it to retain my sanity.

But as much as I appreciate email, I truly love and treasure a "real" letter that comes in an envelope with a stamp on it.  It is tangible, I can take it upstairs, sit on my bed and relish it.  I can smell it, re-read it, carry it with me and share it with someone else.  There's nothing like a real letter. (And I hate to call it snail-mail because I think the letters from my mother in San Diego arrive in two days--I can't drive the distance that fast!)

But I do truly appreciate the speed and convenience of email.  I think we need both.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Scriptures - Ancient and Modern

Day Five of Count Your Blessings

Finished another week of teaching Seminary yesterday and thought about the blessings of doing so.  The Old Testament is the subject this year and it is my favorite book of scripture after the Book of Mormon.  Actually, they go together so well that they truly are one in my hand (Ezekiel 37:15-17).  This is a rich scripture year for me; I'm studying the OT for Seminary, reading the New Testament as a family, as well as for Sunday School, and searching the Book of Mormon in personal study.  After hearing from Elder PW about him filling ten notebooks with his scripture study I decided to give it a go.  While reading (actually listening to the book on tape and following along) the Book of Mormon I stop and write impressions that come to me.  It's been said that if we want to talk to God we pray; if we want God to talk to us we read the scriptures.  It's true!  When I read I will get different impressions than you will get because the Lord's instructions are tailor made for each.

I'm so thankful for scriptures, both ancient and modern; both canonized and the words of modern prophets and apostles that come to me each month in the Ensign magazine (which I expect will at some point be canonized, after all, what was King Benjamin's address to his people but a "General Conference" talk; and Deuteronomy is a series of about five talks from Moses. There are many more examples, but you get the idea.).

Anyway, I am so blessed to have all this.  Back in 1984 a series in the Ensign described the events leading to us having the Bible, from the writings of the Apostles who were eyewitnesses of Jesus to the King James Bible.  It is a fascinating story and I re-read it several years ago.  Then this past week I watched the BYUTV production of Fires of Faith which was fantastic!  I got really emotional when the Halleluia Chorus was performed. We owe a great debt to those men and women who made it possible for us to have the Bible.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grocery Stores

Day Four of Count Your Blessings

Today I'm really grateful for grocery stores.  In all of the history I've read and studied nothing amazes me more than the stories of families moving to the wilderness in covered wagons and making a life in the middle of nowhere.  Talk about self-sufficient, oh my.  No stores, restaurants, pizza delivery, or even neighbors.  What you carried with you was what you ate until you could grow something, which involved clearing land, plowing, planting, waiting patiently, harvesting, then preserving whatever it was you were able to grow.  We are SOOOOOO spoiled today.  Which is why I'm so thankful for grocery stores.  I make many things from scratch, but when I'm tired or in a hurry it is wonderful to open a package of some sort to make a meal (my idea of "fast food" is canned beans instead of the soak and slow cook kind).  I'm grateful to the farmers, the truckers, and all the others involved in getting the food from the farm to me.

I made a grocery store run today and picked up some cases of canned goods, and bottled juice on sale, to stock my pantry.  I love reading about others who have gardens and put up all their own produce, but that has not been within the scope of my life.  So I'm doubly grateful for a well stocked store.

I'm really grateful for a stove and refrigerator, as well as hot and cold running water. I can "pioneer" when called upon to do so, but I'm thankful I 'm not called on to do so at this time.

How Much Does Stress Weigh?

I don't know about you, but I'm a stress eater.  Very bad for health.  I knew a woman a long time ago in Virginia who said "I eat three times a day, and my metabolism eats five times a day."  After age thirty-five I was lucky if my metabolism ate three times a week!  The only way I've found to jump start it and then keep it going is by walking briskly three to five miles EVERY DAY!  Well the every day is difficult enough without little children (and no stroller), but nigh impossible WITH.  And the stresses of life just add the wrong mix of hormones and eating.  Oh my!  I guess I use that as an excuse, but I ask you, what's a girl to do?  Watch for some major progress as my life settles down, stress is decreased and I'm free to do the best things to get healthy and fit.  And work on my long neglected projects.

I originally wrote this October 19, and then didn't post it and I can't remember why.  Well here it is.  My stress level is decreased somewhat, but I'm weak and undisciplined so haven't made so much progress.  TopDad and I have plans to help each other, but life keeps getting in the way.  Deep sigh.  Does anyone have wise counsel for us? What is the formula for success? What works as a motivation? How does one conquer self?  HELP!

Courageous

Day Three of Count Your Blessings

Yesterday when TopDad came home from school (which is work) we sat on the couch and reviewed the day, enjoying a few moments of togetherness.  He asked what the dinner plans were as there was nothing visibly ready.  I told him that it was "clean out the fridge" night.  Then I said "I feel like going to a movie."  He said "Okay, what do you want to see?"  He is so easy!  We hurriedly got ready and left some hazy instructions with Dandylion and departed.  We drove over an hour to West Des Moines to the gigantic megaplex there (20 theaters) and saw Courageous.  Which brings me to my Day Three Gratitude - I'm so grateful for 1) people who produce films as fine as this one; 2) a righteous husband who has overcome much (alcoholic father, broken home, single mother, high school drop out, divorce, etc.) to become a loving husband and good father; and 3) The Family, A Proclamation to the World, which gives us eternal truths relative to families, marriage, parental responsibilities and such.  What a huge blessing to have this document and know the word of the Lord concerning these things.

I highly recommend Courageous as a film to see.  It is well done, a tear jerker, and has a rousing finish.  We both liked it.  And it is the reason I didn't post yesterday; we got home late in the evening and I was too tired to stay up and try to write.  5:30 AM comes really early and I never feel like I've slept long enough.

So, what you thankful for today?

Read The Proclamation here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let it Snow

Day Two of Count Your Blessings

I'm really glad I took my pictures yesterday of the beautiful autumn colors, 'cause look what happened today:
View from the front porch

It's beginning to look a lot like winter!

View to the north from the front porch.























































So today I'm thankful for a heater that works, storm windows and doors, warm blankets and clothes, a gas stove and oven, and a water heater.  All the modern conveniences that make life during the winter in Iowa bearable.  I recently read, as I do each year, The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This book, more than any other, helps me remember my many blessings.  I have it so easy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Count Your Many Blessings

Here it is November already; time for my favorite holiday - THANKSGIVING!

Think about it, there are no decorations, no cards, no gifts, no costumes, no pageants, programs or parties. Just family, food, and gratitude (no football in this house for which I'm very grateful).

Join me this month as I blog each day about the things I'm grateful for. Thirty days of gratitude!

DAY ONE - I'm grateful for the beautiful world Heavenly Father created for us.


Flames of Virginia Creeper licking at the back of buildings in town:


Statue of John James Audubon, for whom our town is named, in the town park:

Last of the fall color in the town park:


Close up of the spot of color - the last of the petunias:


The colors of Autumn are some of my favorites; natural for a redhead, since I look so good in them.

Thank you Heavenly Father for a glorious world.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sharpening My Saw

Linda J. Eyre tells this story in her book A Joyful Mother of Children:

"My husband's grandfather was a master carpenter. As a little boy, he used to watch his grandfather work, and he noticed that after cutting a few boards Grandpa's saw went slower and slower until smoke curled from the cutting edge and perspiration dripped from the old man's brow. The boy knew that even though his grandpa was anxious to finish the item or had a deadline for completion, he still took time to sit on a stool and methodically sharpen the saw.  Richard loved watching Grandpa's look of pleasure when he put the saw back to the board and it cut like a hot knife through butter."

TopDad and the boys were off school on Friday as a compensatory day after a week of parent/teacher conferences.  We got a couple of things done to the house, namely putting up a new latch and deadbolt on the front door and removing the old storm door (for use at the back of the house) and putting up a new full glass one to show off the pretty original door to the living room.

Here's the new door, right next to Ironman and his hippie friend (Dr. Hair and Dandylion). A pretty Autumn sunset is reflected in the door. Too bad you can't see the pretty front door. Next time.

Saturday while TopDad was putting up the new door, I was upstairs in our bedroom cleaning, decluttering and rearranging.  Sharpening my saw!  I couldn't move for the piles of stuff, mostly books, but lots of papers, clothes (changing seasons) and other miscellany that needed to be put away, decided upon, or trashed.  My goal is to have NO PILES on any of the floors in any of the rooms.  Lofty goal, but I believe in the scripture that says: "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion." (D&C 132:8)  I want mine house to be that way too.

So, to that end I'm taking time at this busy season to clean and organize so I can better accomplish all my tasks for the upcoming holidays.  Next up is my sewing/crafting room. I'm borrowing Dr. Hair's camera for before and after pictures so you can see the difference.

May you take time to sharpen your saw and then cut through your tasks like a hot knife through butter.

I'm S.A.D.

IF I believed in evolution, which I don't, it would be easier for me to accept that I evolved from bears rather than monkeys because every autumn I feel an uncontrollable urge to eat to bulk up for winter and then I want to hibernate until spring.

Can I say it right here?  I HATE getting up before the sun!  I HATE daylight savings time. It is unnatural, it is wrong, it is depressing.

I am a creature of LIGHT!  I need the sunshine to fully wake up.

Okay, there I've said it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shopping in Our Little Corner of the World

Living here in rural Iowa certainly has its charm.  I love the tiny town where I can walk anywhere: bank, Post Office, Library, hair salon, High School, shops, even the grocery store (if I need an item or two).  But! The lack of stores sometimes gets to me.

The grocery store here is bigger than a convenience store, but has a smaller selection and higher prices than I find in larger towns 25-30 miles away.  There is a drug store and a dollar store, both on the edge of town and a little too far to walk because of the time it takes.  I like the idea of spending my dollars here to keep the economy going except:  my dollars are few and my needs are great so I do most of my shopping in either Atlantic, 26 miles south, or Carroll, thirty miles north.  The grocery store I prefer to shop at has a store in both towns; both towns have a Walmart; and both towns have a good thrift store.

One of the reasons I like the grocery store Fareway is because they are closed on Sunday.  Years ago I heard a story about someone, who, when I looked it up turned out to be Bishop H. David Burton, who saw President Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife at a grocery store far from their home and he asked the President what they were doing so far south from home.  The answer was that they preferred to patronize stores that honored the Sabbath Day by closing.  That stuck with me and I've thought about that as I shop.  I prefer to shop and support a business that honors the Sabbath Day too.  Not that that is possible 100% for me, but I do my best within the limits of my budget.

In researching Fareway, I found this on their website:  The idea of resting on Sunday is something in which our founder, Paul S. Beckwith, firmly believed—in part because of his religious beliefs, in part because of a story told to him by his father.
Paul’s father was a pioneer who traveled to the new territory by wagon train. Some of the pioneers were in a great hurry so they drove on every day, leaving behind those who stopped for a day of rest and worship. Weeks passed, and as the settlers continued to move westward, the families who had taken Sunday off began to catch up with those who had pushed ahead—only to find broken-down wagons, lame animals and weary people. Paul’s father told him he decided right then and there that the Bible was right; neither man nor beast was made to work seven days a week.

In Atlantic there is a Salvation Army store and a privately run thrift store.  I've shopped at both although I prefer the Salvation Army simply because it is better organized.  The private store had clothing on the racks in a complete jumble: short and long sleeves, woven and knits, all the colors and sizes mixed up together. It made looking for something rather tedious and I don't have that kind of time. In Carroll the thrift store is run by the Catholics, I believe, and while not as nicely organized as Salvation Army, the prices are great and I've found wonderful things there.  The ladies who volunteer there are really sweet and helpful too.

In our town, there is a consignment store that has prices close to a thrift store's, but the selection isn't as big, especially in my size, which by the way is slowly but surely getting smaller, one ounce at a time.  I like the owner, though and support her efforts as much as I can.  Besides clothing she has a few household items, antique and vintage, as well as new crafts and baubles.

There is an antique store, which I've not ventured into because I don't want to be tempted beyond my ability to resist.  Next to it is The Present Company where I can buy greeting cards when needed (meaning when I don't have anything appropriate in my stash from other sources).  Linda, the owner, is gracious and has given me boxes for mailing from her big stash.  Up by the park is a little gift shop inside a beauty salon, where I've gotten a few charming handmade items.

Also on the edge of town is a furniture store, another place I don't venture as I'm trying to avoid the sin of coveting.  They have some used furniture in a little place across from the park that I peek into as I'm passing on walks.  That's about all I can tolerate.  (Someday I'm going to have well coordinated and beautiful furniture!)

Not having access to lots of stores has certainly helped me stay on budget; but there are times when I'd love to just browse a big used book store; a fabric store; a kitchen store; a lingerie store.

The closest malls are about an hour and a half east or west of here.  We only go when combining trips to the big cities of Council Bluffs/Omaha or Des Moines.

So there you have it.  Shopping in Audubon.  The town motto could be "We save you money by not having everything available!" We live by the old pioneer motto "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You Better Watch Out . . .

Many years ago, in another life, I worked with a woman who loved Christmas; so much so that on the twenty-fifth of each month she would exclaim "Only (fill in the blank) more months until Christmas!"  It was one of those things that wormed its way into my brain and from then on when I notice that it is the twenty-fifth of the month I think "Only two more months until Christmas!"  And, actually, it makes me happy!

Christmas seems to be the culmination of the year's hopes and dreams.  The high point of the year; certainly the biggest celebration of the year.  Noble called last night to give me her flight information for her return at Christmas time.  Now that is cause for celebration.

Also on my mind this morning is blessings.  JET offered the prayer today after scripture reading and said "We thank thee for all our blessings."  I guess Heavenly Father  is patient and understanding; I've tried to model for our children enumerating some of those blessings.  Perhaps JET will feel more inclined to do so as a missionary, when many taken for granted blessings are left behind.  This week's letter from Elder PW mentioned his joy at having a washing machine in this new apartment.  So for the record I will list some of my blessings. (in no particular order)

solid built house
hot and cold running water
appliances such as washer, dryer, stove, fridge, freezer, heater
electric lights that turn on instantly
food
clothes
comfortable, warm beds
computers, phone service
tons of books
husband who works hard without complaining
obedient children (rather than rebellious)
a living prophet
a loving Savior and Heavenly Father
the gift of the Holy Ghost
modern scripture to confirm and complement ancient scripture
a testimony of the truth
priesthood in my home
vehicle that runs
colors of the autumn leaves
tools to use to create (sewing machine, scissors, fabric, etc)
calendars and clocks
a paved walking trail
big trees
music cd's
parents
brothers and sisters
grandfathers who completed their life stories

May you be mindful of all your blessings today!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Clothing and Covenant Women

A post on another blog (Scriptorium Blogorium; see list at the right) inspired me to write this.  She is concerned about being prideful and wearing costly apparel.  It's an excellent blog and I enjoyed her post.  Some years ago I studied all the scriptures have to say on the subject of modesty and women's clothing and such.  After all the study I chose Doctrine and Covenants 42:40-41 as the principles to guide my choices.


     And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; and let all things be done in cleanliness before me.


Michaela, over at Scriptorium, asks some wonderful questions to discover our own pride.  I'd like to focus on the part about clothing being plain.  Of the five definitions for that word, the second is the one I believe to be the one meant here.

easy to perceive or understand; clear the advantages were plain to see it was plain that something was very wrong.• [ attrib. (of written or spoken usage) clearly expressed, without the use of technical or abstruse terms written in plain English.• not using concealment or deception; frank he recalled her plain speaking.
From our mode of dress it should be easy to perceive or understand that we are women of covenant.  We dress modestly, not calling attention to our bodies, in ways that express our virtue (cleanliness).
I watched students pour out of high schools in Provo and Midvale, Utah and wondered who were LDS church members and who weren't.  I certainly couldn't tell by their dress or demeanor. They all looked and acted worldly to me.  I wanted the members to stand out, I wanted it to be plain to me by the way they dressed and acted.  It wasn't and I wondered what more we could do to encourage them to be different.
The part about clothing being the work of our own hands seems to indicate to me that when the fashion of the world is incompatible with our covenants that we need to make our own so we can be perceived by others to be followers of the Savior. If that makes us look different, so be it. That is where the pride part comes in.  I remember being persecuted and made fun of in Junior High because I wore dresses to my knees with white cotton bobby socks.  This was 1969-1972, the first time around for the mini-skirts and hot-pants.  I hated going to school; I hated looking different; as soon as the rules changed to allow wearing slacks I got some and wore them every day so I wouldn't look so different; although I still never achieved my aim to look like everyone else. I never did fit in fashion wise.  Now in my adult years I'm glad for that experience because I no longer care what others are wearing.  I don't follow fads.  I like to wear modest, classic styles that seem to always be "in", or at least not dated looking by the next season.
My mother told of working in the temple one day and seeing a bride change into her "wedding dress" for pictures and the dress was strapless!  My mother was absolutely flabbergasted. The workers are not allowed to say anything or criticize the patrons so she had to stand by and just watch.  But she wondered where this girl's mother was, or RS President, or Bishop's wife, or friend; someone who could have advised her on proper dress.  Or maybe they did and this bride was determined to wear what she wanted, when she wanted and to heck with covenants.  I don't know what she was thinking. But I do know that by what she was wearing it was plain she wasn't keeping the covenants she had just made.
I taught our daughter, Noble, modesty by having her wear an undershirt or camisole her whole life.  I taught our sons the same, wearing an undershirt under their clothing.  This helps them not only be modest, but to get used to the feel of wearing undergarments in preparation of temple covenants.  When Noble was in Military Basic Training she felt naked without her undershirts and asked me to send them to her as soon as she was at her next duty station. 
I sure don't believe in a "uniform" such as the Amish wear, although it is tempting sometimes to dispense with all the choices and just have a few things to wear; I do however believe in clothing that is modest and makes it plain that I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, a covenant woman.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Procrastination

I'm working on overcoming a life-long bad habit--procrastination.  This week I decided that I had put off washing the windows for long enough (a whole year!) and would do it.  Do you ever put off something that seems to be overwhelming and then when you buckle down and do it you wonder why?  We have these wonderful tilt-in windows that are so easy to clean!  It took just minutes, not hours.  And the difference in my outlook, literally! The world is a better place with clean windows.  Now I'm encouraged to tackle other seemingly onerous jobs.

This bad habit has been on my list of New Year's resolutions for the past couple of years; and while I make some progress each year it is difficult to overcome all at once.  Small changes are easier than big changes.

By the way, I'm asking Santa for a digital camera this year so I can SHOW as well as TELL with this blog.

Go ahead, brighten your day, wash a window or two.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let Your Light So Shine

I washed the dining room windows.  'Nuff said.

An Eclectic Life - Does that make me a Renaissance Woman?

In 1985, while working as a bookkeeper for a small manufacturing firm, my employer offered to pay my way through school if I'd major in Accounting and then stay on as their Accountant.  I accepted the offer and began.  I lasted about 9 months (at one of those universities for working adults where you take one class a month) before deciding that accounting had no scope for creativity (this was pre-Enron) and I was bored and feeling stifled.  So I changed jobs, colleges and apartments.  It was the beginning of a new life.  


I declared a major in Art History, which had been my favorite course at the previous school and began taking general education classes.  Working full-time it took me four years to complete about two years worth of work.  I changed my major a couple of times and then just left it thinking that as I got closer to graduation I could decide.  The problem I encountered was that I LIKED EVERYTHING!  Art History, English, Logic, History, both world and US, Cultural Anthropology, Geography, Spanish, just everything.  I would take a class, enjoy it and think "I'd like to explore this some more."  (Which is one of the purposes of general ed classes.)


The same holds true today.  I love so many things it is difficult to narrow it down and concentrate on just one (or two).  Should I be a writer? I have two incomplete novels. Should I design clothes and sew? How about travel?  My list of places to visit gets longer all the time.  Should I pursue a business?  I have several ideas.  Should I concentrate on my goal of making a wardrobe of historic clothing representing the decades since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth?  How about taking my cooking skills to the next level?  And designing and building furniture?  (I never can find just exactly what I want, and my husband is, after all, a shop teacher with all the tools I could need.)  


Here's another tidbit.  Back in the "starving student" days at BYU, we took in an exchange student from Korea.  He was a fairly nice young man, except he lied about his smoking habits and was less than cooperative in certain things.  Consequently I didn't like Korea or Koreans.  Fast forward eight years (it seems longer ago) and Noble begins an obsession for anything Korean.  At first I was skeptical and didn't want to see or hear anything.  But she persisted and her enthusiasm was contagious.  First it was Korean food, then K-Pop music videos, then Korean Dramas on Hulu, then teaching me words and phrases.  (Of course in retrospect we can see that the Lord was preparing her for her assignment in the Air Force as a linguist.)  Guess where I want to go?  I just finished a Korean historical drama about a couple of their most famous painters. Fascinating!! I now have a better understanding or their art and culture.  And the women's clothing is so beautiful I now want to make a hanbok.


This is the story of my adult life.  I'm interested in everything.  Once I dated a man of Armenian descent and took time to learn about their history, even finding a book of poetry I enjoyed so much that I copied my favorites into a journal (had to return the book to the library).


Whenever I hear someone say "bored, boring" etc. I wonder what is wrong with them. I don't have enough time to explore and experience and create all that I'm interested in. (It makes me long for servants to take care of all the mundane tasks so I can indulge in all my interests.  Fat chance. *sigh*)


May you have time and energy to pursue your passions and explore this wonderful world God created for us.