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Monday, December 20, 2010

Motivational Monday: "Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes"





Edited from: Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Seeing Christmas through New Eyes," 2010 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, (December 5, 2010).  This was my favorite talk during the Christmas Devotional. You can read the whole talk here and see the message given by Elder Uchtdorf here.

The Grinch, that memorable character from a classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss, had a heart that “was two sizes too small,” and he hated everything about Christmas. Through the course of the story, however, he undergoes a dramatic transformation when he learns that there is more to Christmas than decorations and gifts. 

Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him. Who among us has not felt concern over the commercialization and even greed of the Christmas season? Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by the packed calendars, the stress of finding gifts, the pressure of planning meals and events? In fact, psychologists tell us that during this season of cheer and goodwill, many feel sorrow and depression.
We know what the Christmas season ought to be—we know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch: “Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?

While it’s true that we can find materialism and anxiety in Christmas, it is also true that if we have eyes to see, we can experience the powerful message of the birth of the Son of God and feel the hope and peace He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.
Rejoice in the Birth of Our Savior. We celebrate the birth of the Son of God, the Creator, our Messiah. We rejoice that the King of kings came to earth, was born in a manger, and lived a perfect life.
  When Jesus was born, the joy in heaven was so great it could not be contained, and angelic hosts parted the veil, proclaiming unto shepherds “good tidings of great joy, . . . praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Wise Men “rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when . . . they saw the young child with Mary his mother, [they] fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts. 

It is only fitting that we—like the Wise Men, shepherds, and angels—take time to rejoice and celebrate that glorious first Christmas Day.
If we look for what is wrong with the Christmas season, we can surely find it. Like the Grinch, we can grumble and complain, becoming cold and cynical about what we see around us. Nevertheless, if we look for the good, we can see this time of year with new eyes—perhaps even with the eyes of a child. 

The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”
Our heart may not grow three sizes as the Grinch’s did, but our heart will change. Our eyes will open to the miracles all around us—at Christmastime and throughout the year. 

I pray that during this season and always, we will see the purity of the story of the Savior’s birth and feel sincere gratitude for His life, teachings, and saving sacrifice for us. May this gratitude cause us to renew our determination to follow Him. May it also lead us to draw closer to our family, our church, and our fellowmen. And may we look steadfastly forward to that blessed day when the resurrected Christ will walk the earth again as our Lord, our King, and our blessed Savior.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our House was T.P.'ed

 I guess you "arrive" in high school when you wake up in the morning and find that your house has been toilet papered.
 Saturday morning I opened the blinds and turned on the Christmas tree lights, looked out the window and saw that our house was toilet papered. I told Brady to come and look - because this is all his fault - LOL! He looked and laughed. I told him he had to clean it up (of course).

He put on his shoes and coat and cleaned up the toilet paper - AFTER I made him take pictures :-D. It rained a few hours later - and I was really glad it was all picked up. I am really glad we don't have any big trees.
 Brady felt "LOVED"... Oh, I don't know... maybe noticed. He posted on facebook and hoped someone would confess or tell on the culprit - but it's still a mystery who showed Brady love.
 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winterland Parade

It is time for Meridian's Winterland Parade!! It was held on December 4th at 10 am in the morning. This year we were smart and took sleeping bags to sit in. We were warmer this year even though it was snowing during the parade. Here is Brady waiting patiently for the parade to begin, with some characters in the back ground. We always wear Santa hats to the parade - very festive.
 Here is the beginning.
 Lots of fun floats.
 Stuffed animals.
 Cars that look like Santa.
 Singing and dancing.

 Spiderman??? Not sure what this has to do with Christmas... but he was there protecting the streets in Meridian.



 Beautiful Princesses with Reindeer horses.

 Pretty girls. Lots of candy was dropped in our laps. One of the things about being bundled in sleeping bags, you can't get up and get candy off the ground. I think because it was snowing - the crowd was smaller and so people dumped candy in adult laps. It was fun.
Santa!!! It really is Santa and Mrs. Santa... and the end of the parade.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Motivational Monday: "M&Ms" (GIft Idea/Devotional)

As you hold these candies
In your hand,
And turn them,
You will see.
The M becomes a W.
An E and then a 3.
They tell the Christmas story,
It's one I'm sure you know.
It took place in a stable.
A long, long, time ago.
The E is for East,
Where the star shone so bright.
The M if for the Manger,
Where Baby Jesus slept that night.
The 3 is for the Wisemen,
Bearing gifts, they say they came.
W is for Worship, Hallelujah,
Praise His Name.
So as you eat these candies.
Or share them with a  friend.
Remember the meaninig of Christmas
It's a Love Story that never ends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Real Meaning of Christmas

My Niece shared this on her blog and I loved it.

It made me laugh and cry at the same time. Such a sweet little voice.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No Shave November

During November it is a tradition not to shave the whole month - No-shave-vember. Instead we have scruffy looking boys who get to enjoy having whiskery faces.
 Here is Jason's fuzzy face. He's pretty cute, but Sharon doesn't like kissing these whiskers - LOL!
 Now on to my 16 year old. All of the high school boys didn't shave this month either. I thought Brady would win over Jason, but his whiskers are blonder and harder to see. But, WOW - he is a hairy 16 year old.
 You can hardly notice his whiskers in the photo, but he had quite a good beard going on. To bad you really can't see the blonde whiskers.
Neck action. He sure look scruffy. It was funny sending him for Thanksgiving and all the teasing my family gave him. My brothers and nephews don't grow hair like my boys. Both of my boys take after their fathers genes. I don't know if that is a good thing, because they have to shave every day :-(.

Now that it is December, Brady is clean shaven again. I like him better - not so scruffy. Jason has decided  not to shave all winter, much to Sharon's demise.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Motivational Monday - "Christ the real gift of Christmas"

By focusing on your loved ones, enjoying or building holiday traditions, and following the Savior's example of service, you can give yourself and your family true, lasting Christmas gifts.
 Simplify your Christmas by embracing the spiritual side of the season.
The gift of Christmas isn't wrapped up in presents or parties. The gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Son of God. As you follow Him, you put people first. You may spend less time in lines and more time serving others. You may spend less money on - and more time with - the people you love. You may lose yourself and you may find everything else that matters.
Replace some holiday decorations in your home with reminders of Christ.

Politely decline requests that will take you away from family.

Play more Christmas music.

Donate gently used items to a thrift store.

Go Christmas caroling.

Avoid “mad rush” shopping times.

Say thank you as often as possible.

Schedule a night to help another person or family.

Call someone you normally wouldn't to wish him or her a Merry Christmas.

Delegate some holiday preparations to children or other family members.

Trim the gift list.

Simplify a traditional activity.

Find quiet time to pray.

Write down great memories as they happen.

Set and stick to a holiday budget.

Forgive a grudge.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It is easy during the Thanksgiving Holiday to reflect on all the wonderful things in my life to be thankful for. I thought I would list some of the things I am grateful for.

My Heavenly Father and the knowledge that I am his daughter, my elder brother Jesus Christ who is my Savior so that I can live with Heavenly Father again, and the Holy Ghost who gives me guidance through out this earthly experience while I am far from Heavenly Father.

I am grateful that I have the gospel in my life. That I know the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness, and what my purpose on this earth is. I am thankful for a living Prophet and Apostles to lead and guide us in these days. I am thankful for local leaders and teachers who serve me, teach me and encourage me to live as I should.

I am thankful to have been born to good parents. I am thankful for my brothers and sisters. I am thankful for a wonderful childhood. We had enough to eat, a good home, a great neighborhood with lots of friends and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been a great life.

I am thankful for my children, Jason and Brady. I am thankful for the fulfillment I feel at being a mother. These boys have brought such joy to my life. I am proud of the men they have become and I love them.

I am thankful for the education system, and that I was free to attend school. I am thankful for the friends I had while growing up and the activities I enjoyed. I am also thankful for the education my children enjoy, for teachers and schools.

I am thankful to have been born in the United States of America. I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy in this country. I am thankful for law enforcement officers and our military that keeps us free. I'm thankful for a  government that this country was built upon.

I am thankful for my health. I'm also thankful for emergency response teams, fire fighters and medical personnel. I am thankful for doctors and nurses and the fine medical care I have received in my life by skillful people and healing hands. I am especially grateful that we have access to medical services.

I am thankful for my home. My biggest dream in my life was to own a home. I am thankful for the stability it provides for me and that it keeps me safe and protected. I'm thankful for the warmth and comfort it gives me and my family. I am thankful for beds, kitchen, bathrooms, washing machines, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, light bulbs, TV, chairs, carpet, windows, pillows, blankets, and on and on. We are so blessed to have all of these conveniences and comforts.

I am thankful for music. I am thankful we can carry it around in teeny tiny Zunes and iPods. I am thankful for the talented musicians who share their talents. I love singing in church (love it!), especially in Primary (just singing out loud). I am thankful for our piano and Brady's talent to play it. I'm thankful for my sister Cindy's singing - it is beautiful and it opened up a love of music in my life. I am thankful I can play the piano and sing a little too.

I am thankful for my business and my customers. I love not having stress and pressure that comes with a regular job. Being self employed ROCKS! I have been very blessed in my career through my life. Very blessed! It has been great to have been able to provide for my children and myself. Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I have been in my life. Heavenly Father sure has blessed me!

I am thankful for this beautiful world we live in. I am thankful for 4 seasons of beauty. I am thankful to live in the beautiful state of Idaho - it is beautiful! I am thankful for trees, flowers, grass, vegetable gardens, animals, birds and butterflies. I am thankful for the sun, for rain, and for snow.

I am thankful for food to eat. I am thankful I am a pretty good cook (at least my children think I am). I am thankful for my food storage. I am thankful to be able to taste. I am thankful for chocolate.

I am thankful for my body, my eyes that see, my ears that hear, a mouth that can speak, laugh and sing. I am thankful for hands that can do many things. I am thankful for legs and feet that lets me be mobile.  Even though I am not as thin as I would like to be - my body works and lets me do the things I enjoy.

I am thankful for my talents and abilities. Being a good mom, a good teacher, having an artistic eye, ability to decorate my home in beauty, that I can garden, that I can draw and paint a little, that I can scrapbook, and that I can have an happy loving life. 

I am very blessed! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Change of Plans for Thankgiving

In Idaho, we have been experiencing snow storms, blizzards, cold temperatures and wind. I knew the weather was going to be pretty bad for the drive from Meridian into Pocatello Idaho. A week ago I called my Mom and told her I didn't feel like I should go and that I shouldn't send Brady. She talked me into still coming. I also spoke to Brady and he still wanted to go. I told him I could get him a round trip airplane ticket, but he got sad that I wasn't going to be there with him. I decided that I would go anyway. I've had major anxiety attacks all week - then the storm came in and my anxiety only increased.

I watched the news reports on the weather and the roads and finally made the decision to stay home and get an airplane ticket for Brady to return home.

Below is a map of the road conditions in Idaho today.
_____Driving Conditions Good

_____Driving Conditions Fair

____Driving Conditions Difficult 

 Closures/Blockages
There have been lots and lots of slide offs and major accidents.  
Tuesday afternoon when I finally made the decision to stay home, I had a calm, peaceful feeling come over me. The first time I felt calm in over a week. I know the right thing for me to do is stay home.

I will be making Thanksgiving Dinner here. Brady flies in Friday afternoon and Jason and Sharon are off work. We will have a nice feast and enjoy the day together on Friday. That gives me Thursday to make pies and other goodies, plus a little more time to thaw out a turkey.

I am really sad that I won't be seeing my family and helping my mother make dinner. It is nice to know that I am the glue that holds the family together or as they say "the life of the party" and that I will be missed. I always love being with my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. We always have a great time together. Plus, they love my homemade dinner rolls. This year Mom will have to make the rolls - she can do it!

Although plans have changes, it will be a nice Thanksgiving holiday with my children here and good food. We have been very blessed this year and I have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm especially thankful that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost and know that a calm peaceful feeling is a prompting from the Holy Ghost. I just need to recognize it earlier. I am safe and not out on those dangerous roads. I'd rather be safe then sorry.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families - especially my Family. I love you all!

Seminary Thanksgiving Devotional

Friday November 19th Brady had a seminary Devotional. He did it on Job from the Bible and being grateful for the things we have.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes senses of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. --Melody Beattie
These were the cute turkeys I made for his Seminary Class devotional.

Here is his devotional - he came up by himself (I made him).

(Ask the class if anyone knows the 9 B's)

• Be Grateful
 Be Smart
• Be Clean
• Be True
• Be Humble
• Be Prayerful
• Be Positive
• Be Involved
• Be Still
Who gave us the B's? (President Hinckley)

Should we obey church doctrines given by Prophets? (Of course)

What is the first B? (Be Grateful)

Since Thanks Giving break is right around the corner, what do you think my lesson is on?


This next quote is from the Lord, it is found in D&C 78:19. He said:
"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."


One of the things that I love to see are God's promises at work. Thankfully, I know a good story that has this promise fulfilled. (Read Job 1:1-3) (then Job 1:6-12 and recap).


• Servant comes and tells Job all his oxen and dinkies were stolen by thieves and all his servants working there were slain.

• Then another servant comes and tells him that a ball of fire came out of the sky and killed all your sheep and servants working in that area.

• Then another servant comes and tells him that some other robbers came and took his camels after slaying those servants.

• Then another servant comes and tells him that as he was out here, and his family was feasting in the house, a great wind blew down the house and killed all of his family.


After all that has happened, what do you think Job does. (Give a wrong example) (Read Job 1:20-22) After that, the rest of Job is pretty much how things only went downhill from there, but he was never ungrateful and never foolishly blamed God.


Now who can remember the promise that the Lord gave about being thankful? (If you're thankful, the things of this earth shall be added unto you) So what do you think has to happen to Job for the Lords promise to be fulfilled? (He has to be given an increase).
(Read Job 42:10-17)

I know that the Lord does fulfill his promises and that if we are thankful, and grateful for everything that the Lord does for us, he will give us more then we could ever ask for.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Canceled Flight

We planned that Brady would fly into the Pocatello (Eastern Idaho) this week to spend extra time with family for the Thanksgiving Holiday (since I am working).  He doesn't have school all week and we thought he would have more fun spending time with cousins, then sitting around here. I will be driving up Wednesday to spend the holiday with my family.

There isn't a direct flight into Pocatello or Idaho Falls from Boise. The flight had to go through Salt Lake City and then on to Idaho Falls.

Brady was scheduled to arrived in Salt Lake City around 3pm today and was suppose to leave at 4:50pm to Idaho Falls.

The Flight was CANCELED and he is stuck in Salt Lake City. BUMMER!

Thanks goodness his father lives in Salt Lake City.

We are trying to get him out on a flight this evening to Pocatello since nothing is available into Idaho Falls.

Unfortunately it leaves at 9:50-10:45 this evening. I hope it doesn't cancel.

More hours to sit in an airport waiting for the flight. If it is canceled, at least Maurice can get him for the night. Poor little Brady!

This is such a Bummer!

Update: He made it! The flight left at 9:50 pm as scheduled... It's been a long, long day. It is hard to ask family to venture out on the terrible roads and weather to pick Brady up at the Pocatello airport. Thankfully, Cindy and Kelly will pick him up from the airport at 10:45 pm and let him stay with them tonight. They are the best!

I've been a nervous wreck all day long!! It was nice to know he would be safe in any outcome that happened.

Now, I just hope the roads are clear by the time I leave on Wednesday and that I make it to Pocatello OK and back to Boise. I hate snowy weather and icy roads! So far it looks like it will be super cold, but the storm should be over by Tuesday night through next Sunday. At least I won't be traveling in bad weather and hopefully the interstate will be cleared of snow and ice by the time I start driving.

Honestly....it's times like this when I wish I had a husband to lean on AND let drive - ha ha! Oh the joys of being single ;-)!

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