Friday, April 25, 2014

Baby Owls

 Near our farm there is an owl's nest that we have been watching all spring.  
It is close enough to the road and the baby owls are getting big enough that you could see 
three little heads bopping up.  
We have taken the binoculars out to see them, but yesterday we finally got our spotting scope and tripod out and to our surprise there are four little owls in the nest.
It is such a tight fit with the babies and the mom.  
I' m so surprised one of them has not toppled out.
The fourth little baby doesn't look great.  It is much smaller and less active than the others.
They are all adorable.  
They are growing big but they are still covered with fluffy fir instead of feathers.
I love nature.  I could watch them for hours.
Occasionally the littlest one would snuggle closer to the mom, rubbing his head against her.
Families are wonderful, even bird families.
In the evening the father owl usually flies in and the mom leaves for a while.
The leaves are beginning to fill in on the trees.  It is getting more difficult to see them.
Some days there are several cars stopped watching them.
Serious photographers with huge lenses have been there.
 Jeff found an attachment for the scope so he can take pictures through it with our small camera.
It is awesome.
I love my husband and I'm so thankful that we both enjoy watching wildlife.
The world that we live in is fascinating.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guardians of the Hearth

Jeff and I were asked to speak at our Stake Relief Society Conference on Strengthening Marriage.
We were called several months ago and I have spent hours praying and studying about the subject.  
It was intimidating to me knowing that there are so many different types of marriages and
many not married for various reasons. 
I didn't want to offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable.  
I finally based by message on these three wall hangings from our bedroom.
                                                            The involvement of the Savior in our marriages is so important.  
This picture symbolizes to me His love for each of us no matter where we are at on our path.I mentioned that if your husband is not willing to participate in activities to bring the Savior into your marriage, do it alone and your relationship will still be blessed by His Presence.
Since we all have our agency a husband who chooses not to do these things, should not be criticized but loved even more as the wife draws closer to the Savior.  
Everything we do needs to be centered in Him

This particular painting of the Salt Lake Temple is a watercolor depiction of the temple during a rainstorm.  It is entitled "Refuge from the Storm"  
We need to attend the temple often together to renew and remember those Eternal Covenants we made there.  
If someone hasn't made those covenants they need to life to soon receive them.  
Because of these covenants we should have a greater commitment to our marriages 
and a stronger desire to be true and faithful to one another.  

The remainder of my message was based around this common cliché.  
It is my mantra for facing each day.  
Satan is on a rampage to destroy Righteous Marriages.  Because of his premortal choices he will never have a body so he can never have a relationship, or be married, or have a family.  
He wants everyone to be as miserable and lonely as he is.
His attacks against the family will continue to increase in intensity, frequency and sophistication.
We need to LIVE each day by Christ's example, emulating his attributes into our lives.
As I was preparing this talk I felt so strongly to include the attribute of Meekness in our Marriage.
Meekness is not weakness or being a doormat to someone.
True Meekness means living with kindness, tolerance, patience and forgiveness.  
There is no room in any marriage for harsh words, criticism, unkindness or cruelty. 
We need to be SUBMISSIVE together to the will of the Lord.
Next I spoke on the word LAUGH. 
We are all plagued with challenges in our lives, no one is free from them.  
Elder Bednar in April Conference told us that these trials are necessary to enable us to return to Him.
Pres. Gordon B Hinckley said
"In all of living have much of fun and laughter.  Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
In the Book of Mormon we are taught:  "Men are that they might have Joy."
The important word in that scripture is MIGHT.  It is a choice.  
We need to choose to be happy, choose to stay close to our spouse, 
and choose to be optimistic in all things.  
Finally LOVE.  
Jeff and I were married because we LOVED each other.
Now many years later we need to nurture that love every day.  
We never part for the day without a kiss and an "I Love You."
We always sit together at church, movies, sporting events.  (No children small or grown between us)
Our relationship is number 1.
We try to take time for one another, strive to enjoy each other's interests, and have a weekly date.
I mentioned how important physical contact is in a marriage.
Be tender and affectionate with each other.
Touch lots and touch often. 
The importance of marital intimacy should never be overlooked.
It is a time to become one, physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.
You are united in overcoming whatever mountains you need to climb.

I mentioned the idea of serving one another selflessly is the key to happiness in a marriage.
Of course I closed with my Favorite Scripture which I always use.  It is found in Helaman 5:12.
I changed a couple of words to fit closer this message on marriage.

And now, my sons (Daughters), remember, remember that it is upon thearock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men (Marriages)  build they cannot fall.

That is a quick and short version of my message.  
How grateful I am for the opportunity to study and ponder on marriage for the past few months. 
As I have observed others and their interactions with one another, 
I realize that all marriages are unique.
The basic principles will always remain in force.
We need the Savior with us, we need the strength of the temple, and most importantly
we need to show respect and love for one another.  
I am eternally blessed to be married to Jeff.  I love him dearly.
Best decision I made 36 years ago was to marry him.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Celebration

I love Easter.  It's like a breath of fresh air to me.
The beginning of Spring, a spiritual awakening, gathering of family, 
It is the Perfect Holiday.
We had the kids over on Saturday for a small party.  
We of course began with an egg hunt in the back yard.
 Jessi and Stefan were on hand to help with finding those elusive eggs,
especially since they might of been the ones who hid them.
 Only two of our grandchildren were there so they were able to get LOTS of eggs.
 We made the cutest little birds nests complete with little Cadbury birds eggs.
 I just used the recipe for regular rice krispy treats but used chocolate rice krispys and a spoonful of peanut butter to add some color.
They turned out pretty cute, without much work, 
and the kids liked getting their little hands in there to mold them.  
 Obviously we had to eat them before our barbecue,  
Dessert first is always where it is at.
Sunday was a quiet day for Jeff and me.
Everyone was at in-laws or out of state.
It was different being alone for Easter Dinner but in a way very refreshing.
Thankfully Jeff and I enjoy being together and it gave us time
 for contemplation  and discussion about the Savior and his sacrifice for us.
What a wonderful way to spend our Easter weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Girl's Trip

I did something different this past weekend.  
I went out of my comfort zone and normal routine.
I went on a Girl's Trip, just for fun.
Many times I have gone away with friends to scrapbook, to a conference, to do something.  
There has always been a purpose, a goal and it is usually with one friend.
This time I went with five other women, three of whom I had never met. 
There were ladies from Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.
We went to Palm Springs to enjoy the weather, shop, swim, or whatever?
I was told we would have plenty of time to read, which is why I probably consented to go.
Not much reading occurred because when that many women get together there is lots of talking and not lots of reading.

It was fun.  I'm glad I went. I would go again, so it must of been a success.
The friends I met and relationships that were strengthened were priceless.
I love meeting new people, enjoying their ideas and thoughts about life.
It was uplifting, no husband or children bashing, which was refreshing.
Life is good, especially when you can learn from others.
Robyn, Jerilee, Cindy, Rachelle, Chris, and me after church

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Cowboy Man

This is my man, my cowboy man.
Don't you love those pants tucked in his boots?
It's a good look, for a cowboy.
I often tease him when he is sporting this attire, He says it is to keep his pants from getting muddy.
I understand, I'm just not willing to do it myself.
That is why he is a cowboy and I'm not.

I do love him, cowboy look and all.
At times, like now, I'm so grateful for him and all that he does for everyone.
His plate is so full right now yet he never complains.
He just keeps steadily going forward doing what he needs to do.
With the passing of his mom there are incredible responsibilities he must take care of.
Our own family has some issues that need to be addressed.
His business, our farm, our yard, our taxes, church callings -- it adds up so quickly.
I love him and appreciate all that he does. 
He is a saint, a cowboy saint at that.  
I love every inch of him.
Marrying him is a decision I have never regretted or looked back on.  
Best decision, actually, that I have ever made.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Where I Will Stand

General Conference was as incredible as I was hoping it would be.
Whenever they say the last remarks I am so sad it is ending, I want it to go on for several days.
I always feel like I have been infused with enthusiasm to work harder,
commitment to try more, 
and courage to stand stronger.

I feel like we are being prepared to withstand many whirlwinds of unrighteousness.
Keep the commandments, read your scriptures, pray with real intent 
was the counsel repeated over and over.
I can see that we are moving into turbulent times with the church.
They are not going to relent, nor should they, to the pressures of change.
If they did it wouldn't be Christ's church, it would be man's church.
Each of us are going to need to decide where we stand.
The battles are coming.  They have been prophesied.
I want to be ready and willing, prepared physically as well as spiritually.
I will always stand on the Lord's side. 

 Some of my favorite quotes from this conference.

"Even if 'Everyone is doing it'...Wrong is NEVER right."
Elder Russell M Nelson

"Pure Christ like love can change the world"
Elder Jeffery R Holland

"Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load.  But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness.  Because our individual load needs to generate spiritual traction, we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that matter most."
Elder David A Bednar

"How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the Rainbow before thanking God that there is rain."
Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"These are your days--To stand strong as Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ"
Elder Neil L Anderson

Friday, April 4, 2014

Come Listen To A Prophet's Voice

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year.
We actually do get to hear a Prophet's Voice.  
Actually many prophet's voices as we also listen to the Quorum of the Twelve.
I love to sit for two days, with no distractions, 
and feast on the words of every speaker at every session.
How blessed we are to get to watch them on TV.
Two of my children and their families will watch them via the computer
I am ready for the weekend.
Temple Attended.
House Cleaned.
Treats Bought.
Notebook and Pen in Place. 

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Horticulture Lessons

I Love New Experiences
If someone asks me to do something different, exciting or educational I'm in all in.
My dear friend called to see if I wanted to go to a nursery in Willard and make planters.  
We would go and choose the plants, plant them and then the nursery would lovingly care for them
until it is warm enough for them to go outside..
When we pick them up they are supposed to be beautiful baskets of flowers.
Of course, I wanted to do this.
I had never done it before and how fun would that be.

I'll have to admit it was a little overwhelming at first as I had to decide how many planters to do,
what size did I want them and then what flowers did I wish to plant in them.
So many questions and I was a total novice at this.
I always plant the same impatients, petunias, and lobelia every year.
There were hundreds of plants to choose from.
I'm sure they noticed the panicked look on my face and took pity on me.
I was taught how I wanted to combine tall plants, mounding plants, and trailing plants in my pots.
There are multiple colors of blooms to be chosen with each plant.
A purple flower should always go in a pot to make it "Pop".
I did realize there are shade plants and sun plants, but there are also
plants that can be in shade or sun if they have enough water.
Or plants that only need a few hours of sun and it can even be early morning sun.
So then I had to decide where I was going to put each pot that I did.
The decisions were overwhelming!!
Luckily they weren't life changing decisions for me, only for the plants.  
Here's some of my baskets when I finished planting.
There are tall plants, mounding plants and trailing plants all included.

My friend Rachelle hard at work. She had done this before, she was like an expert.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spiritual Empowerment

After Blogging yesterday about my feelings of Empowerment I began to reflect on an
Empowerment much more essential.


I'm so proud to belong to a church that provides numerous opportunities to be 
infused with this empowerment.
I love attending conferences, firesides, and meetings where sisters in the gospel
can meet together and feel of His Spirit.
I want my daughters to have every opportunity to experience that also,
so I bring them with me to Time Our For Women, BYU Women's Conference,
General Women's Meetings, Stake Relief Society Meetings and any place I can find.
They are always gracious to enough to go with me.

This past Saturday, Amy, Jessi and I attended the General Women's Meeting
in my stake house.
I will have to admit I was hesitant when they decided to include the younger girls in these
General Women's Meetings.
I thought the speakers would need to speak on an eight year old level
and it might be a little juvenile.
As the meeting began and I watched these multi-generation families participating together
I knew that this was exactly what needed to happen.
I'm now excited that in three years my granddaughters can begin going with us. 
The messages were incredibly inspiring and timely.
I loved it and I especially loved being there with Amy and Jessi.
(We missed having Carrie and Carly with us.)

I do feel a new surge of empowerment, a renewed desire to go forth with Faith and Commitment.
I love the Gospel.
I love knowing that I am Daughter of My Heavenly Father Who Loves me and I Love


Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Jeff and I recently returned from spending four days at Front Sight in Neveda
doing handgun training.
Awesome is the only word that describes it.
It is intense and invigorating.
The facilities are impressive, the quality of instruction is top notch.
Safety is their main consideration along with respecting your weapon.
The days are long and exhausting.
One day we were hot and sweaty 
and the next day we were dressed in coats and braving serious wind gusts as we shot.
They never stop, never apologize for the weather, never cut it short.
It is by far the most empowering thing I have ever done.

I am a woman, an older woman I must admit,
but now I can handle a handgun.  
I can shoot a handgun accurately,
and I understand the ramifications of using it.  
I am Empowered!!

 We would shoot, check our shots, tape them and shoot again.
 The 1911 Boys
 Our partners in "Crime"?
 Not a bad shot for an old lady!! (It is a one inch square)
Jeff shot incredible the entire four days!!!
 The last two days you conceal your weapon with a jacket or vest before you draw to shoot.
They just want to add one more thing to think about to make it more complicated.
 Jeff rescuing me from the hostage takers.  I had no doubt he would save me.
Unfortunately when I was rescuing him I clipped his clavicle.  It was not life threatening.  
Our instructor, Rena.  The range master and line coaches were all male
so it was nice to have a female instruct us.  
We made good friends with her so we could get a little extra help.

I will be back!!