Wednesday, November 30, 2011


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
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

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


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:
cool nights
eye candy
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


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!


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.