Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am looking out my bay window to snow falling lightly on the ground. Although the sun is shining. I see shadows from the trees, the car parked in the driveway and Carlston rock perched right outside our front door. Shadows and snow, what a day.

It is beautiful to watch but I am tired of snow, cold, wind, drab landscaping. I need warmth not only to warm the earth but to warm my bones. Warmth will help my garden grow and warmth will help me grow. I grow more when the earth is warm. I have more energy, happiness, strength, joy and motivation.

I love to watch the earth come to life. That is what I feel like. I come to life.

The flowers blossoms, the trees bud, the grass grows furiously and I am in heaven. This is what I imagine heaven to be like. Everything in bloom all the time. Fragrances floating on the air. Colors everywhere. Slight breeze.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

He knows me....

I look at her face, silently she looks back at me. Looking deep into my eyes as I look into hers. No words are exchanged nor do they need to be.

I feel the love eminating from her very being. I hope she feels my love for her. I kiss her nose and it wrinkles. A giggle slips from her throat while a smile spreads across her face.

Brushing back stray hair that has fallen onto her forehead I press a kiss to her brow. Warmth spreads into my lips.

As I rub her back to ease the pain I search my mind for anything that may come to it to help her. Quietly, prayers slip from my own lips pleading for God to ease her pain and in turn ease mine.

I am so blessed. Blessed because I know Heavenly Father hears my pleas. He may not answer me at this moment but I know He is listening and He will.

Things are complicated right now. He knows this is hard for me. "It is a refiners fire" I hear Him whisper so quiet it is barely audible. My heart quickens as I recall other times when I have heard these exact words.

"I know this is what you have layed out for me but Father, when will it end?" I listen. Nothing. I knew there would be no answer yet. He knows I am a fighter. He knows I can do it. He knows and in turn I know because He wouldn't just let me deal with this if He knew I couldn't handle it. He knows me better than I know me.

I am grateful He knows me.


Over the course of a week I have been thinking about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Cliche - ish I know.

With so many things going on with our family sometimes I don't feel like I get enough me time. You know that time. The time when you wonder about life, ponder your dreams, read a book that had nothing to do with anything but take you away on a fantasy trip to a land some days you wish you could get to. I am not sure how I fit it all this in when I was working full time.

This weeks I doing enough. Not just enough for my family but enough for me, enough for God, enough for my neighbor. How do we gage that?

My first ponder was keeping the commandments. Am I keeping them to my best ability? Wait a minute...what are the commandments? Besides the big 10, what have we been commanded to do? Pay our tithing, journal, follow the Word of Wisdom and serve others.

In talking with my sister-in-law, Anne, she recommended this scripture:

2 Ne 9: 25-29
"Wherefore he has given a law (or His gospel); and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation and the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them....But wo unto him that has the law given (or knows the gospel and the commandments) yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation for awful is his state!

So, if we are concentrating on keeping the 2 Great commandments (Love the Lord, Love your fellowman) and wanting to put the Lord first in our lives that pretty much every commandment falls under those.

My thoughts now.....If I keep my eye on God and my neighbor (which not only includes those living in my neighborhood but my family, and those I come in contact with) I will be able to accomplish all I want to. And all I want is living my life to be able to attain Celestial life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Problems with graphs

Over the past several weeks Nicole has had more and more open spots and they are taking extra long to heal.

Today she went to wound care and had Dr. Saffel examine her. His conclusion is her body is rejecting some of the graphs. So what does that mean? It mean she will be in for more grafting. He gave her some medicine to try and help. They are going to watch it for the next month to see if it helps. If not they will have to take off the skin that keeps opening up and put new donors there.

I have wondered if that was the case because the same areas over and over open. I guess this is a new phase for us.

I am grateful for the technology we have in this day and age. I am grateful the doctors have come so much further even in just the last 10 years regarding burns and grafts.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flight Park

Very close to our home in Lehi, UT is the flight park at South Mountain. Each side of South Mountain has a flight park. The para-sailors and the hang gliders fly off the Utah county side in the morning and the Salt Lake county side in the evening. We watch them from out front porch in the morning. I love to see them floating above the minescuel cars driving by on their commute into the city.

They look so free up in the air, dancing one with another on the cool winds. How I wish I could do that. Maybe one day.

Night Visitors

We are so lucky to have nightly visitors. Each night the deer come out from the sleeping burrow to eat and meander in our neighborhood. We have encroached on their habitat and so I feel it their right to encroach in my yard. It is not like I have a huge garden or many great flowers that they come to eat. Which is good or I might not like my nightly visitors.

I think deer are so majestic. Their movements are fluid. The turn on a dime. Unlike horses or another animals similar, deer when they run actually bound. I wish I had leg muscles as strong as theirs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sandy Aquarium

Nicole and I joined the Sandy Aquarium. Salt Lake county is lucky to have this aquarium. It is not very big although it is nice and has great exhibits.

We loved the first exhibit. All things relating to Utah. Fish, wetlands, water and environment.

One thing I learned that really got me thinking was; if everyone turned off the water when they are brushing their teeth each day it would save enough water to fill Jordanelle! Now that is a lot of water.

In the next area we saw eels, moon jellies, octopus and sea horses. This sea horses picture is deceiving. These little guys are only about 1.5 inches long.

The aquarium has a penguin exhibit. Check it out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clean Garage

Well....I have had it in my mind to clean the garage for months. Biding my time for the weather to be clear and warm. Today is the day!! 75 degrees.

Christian and I with the help of Christian's friend Junior took everything out of the garage. As each item was taken out it was put in one of 3 piles. Deseret Industries, Dump or back to the garage.

After sweeping, cleaning the floors and putting together gorilla shelves Christian and Junior organized each shelf. Shelves for garden stuff, shelves for tools, even shelves for all the Powerade Christian drinks.

I was surprised how fast everything went. Christian was on a mission. He was happy John wasn't around to keep every little thing.

As soon as we had the shelves done the boys switched out my washer and dryer. Boy, was I happy to have my washer and dryer hooked up. We have had a washer and dryer but it was a smaller capacity set. It sure makes a difference.

Now I can get 2 cars in the 2 car side. The third car garage still has a few things from my Uncle's home that is awaiting distribution to relatives, consignment and my parents home. When that is done all 3 cars will fit perfectly. I don't think in all my years we have had 3 cars fit in a 3 car garage.

Goes to show when you put your mind to de-junking your life, miracles can happen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Church Training Video

I wish I had some pictures for this post.

Today, I went to welfare square and was in a film for training others who are going to go to the cannery whether here in Utah or other parts of the world.

It was really a lot of fun. Each scene depicted some aspect of cannery safety for example: wearing ear plugs. Even washing our hands. My favorite was when we changed our shoes. We were asked to bring shoes that were not appropriate to wear to the cannery. I brought flip flops. It was so funny because those of us with the wrong kind of shoes were given rubber boots to wear. I know that is not funny. the funny part is they were about 10 sizes to big and that would be even more hazardous then the flip flops.

I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve at the cannery today to make this film. There was a sign on the wall that stated the time you spent at the cannery was likened to the time spent in the temple.

I hope everyone gets a chance to serve at the cannery. It is an awesome place to help the temporal needs of others.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Welfare Square

Nicole and I are seeing and doing things around Salt Lake City. Today we went to Welfare Square to have a tour. For years I have driven past this place, thinking I knew all that went on here. I am of course a member of this church and I have been thought what goes on here but in reality I had no clue ALL of the ins and outs.

First, when you arrive a film is shown. It is about 10 minutes and reflects the spirit of Welfare Square. When it is over, a pair of sister missionaries starts the tour. To our surprise, Sister Taufa from Tonga, was our guide. We met her on one of our flights back to UT. She was being transferred from Denver to Temple Square. She was lost and the Elders were not there to pick her up. We helped her get to the right place and waited with her until they came.

First, we went into the Bishops storehouse. This is like a small grocery store. The necessities people may need are here. Basic food needs, hygiene needs as well as laundry and cleaning supplies. There is even a small clothing area that has jeans, shirts, socks, fabric to make clothes and other items from. These are all items received at no charge. It is our churches welfare system. People in need go to their bishops to be assessed for their needs. He in turn gives them an order to take to a nearby Bishops storehouse where the order is filled. Most often, those needing church assistance do other service in return for items. They may volunteer at the store house or soap factory. If they do not have a bishop and need assistance they can come to welfare square and sign up to work in the cannery, dairy, Deseret Industries in return at the end of the day they are paid in food. The churches mission is not just to its members, it is for everyone. It is not a hand out rather a hand up.

Next, we went to the warehouse that houses all the items. We learned that our church produces most of what is given at the Bishops storehouse. It is either grown or raised by members of our church on what is church owned orchards, fields or ranches.

When we lived in Texas, our family would go to the apple orchard about an hour away to help with pruning and harvesting the apples (which in turn went to a nearby Bishops storehouse). The kids looked forward each year to be able to go there and participate. Great service but also great learning experience and memories.

The men and women that over see quality control have an office here. They test each production run to make sure it meets or exceeds the standards put forth. The standards the church has for food it produces is some of the highest in all food industries.

The bakery was very busy today. It is most days. The smell was heavenly. When we strolled by the workers were cutting and bagging bread.

Next on our tour was the employment building. Here, people come to get more training as well as work on their resume, get help in interviewing skills and maybe even help others with skills they already have that will be beneficial.

Off to the cannery we go. John and I have dry packed many things over the years for our own consumption. Wheat, dry milk, apple slices, beans and many more things. At this facility they wet pack food. That means anything that is wet. For example, beef chunks, jam, many varieties of soup, vegetables, honey and on and on.

There is a Deseret Industries on the square also. This is like Good Will. People donate clothing, furniture, books and other items to be resold.

Next, the dairy. The most fascinating fact of the dairy I learned was about the milk the church farms produces. Only about 40% of the milk is used by the Bishops storehouse for bottling, making cheese, ice cream etc. (this includes the ice cream for BYU creamery) The other 60% is sold on the open market. WOW! That is a lot of milk that is produced because there is a lot of milk making items being made.

Another amazing thing our church produces...ATMIT. This is a product that is sent to 3rd world countries where they are starving. This product, Atmit, an Ethiopian porridge mixture based on a centuries-old recipe, is a nutritious blend of oat flour, powdered milk, sugar, salt and supplemental vitamins and minerals. Atmit has helped millions of people from starving.

At the end of touring we were able to taste the cheese being made as well as chocolate milk. Both were delicious.

What a great day Nicole and I had. Not only did we get to learn many new and exciting things but we also were able to see our new friend, Sister Taufa.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I have been learning the art of making rolls. I am sure my sister-in-laws, Anne and Sarah are laughing right now because they both make the best rolls. They are known for them. Well, I have never ventured down this path before.

I make all kinds of sweet breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, etc but, real bread and rolls I want to master.

So, Easter morning, I decided I was going to make rolls for dinner. I have to say they were pretty tasty. They might not have looked the best, they were not all the same size, but, they did have taste.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


(This edifice is 'a beacon set high upon a hill for all the world to see as a testiment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.'

Dreaming of spring and all that it offers I thought I would share some pictures from a not so distant trip we took to Nauvoo, IL.

The temple is amazing and the grounds are beautiful. Our family has been there several times and love the atmosophere there. I hope you enjoy the pics.

Jazz Fever

Christian loves the Jazz. I am not sure how many games he has been to this season but it is a bunch.

This season he has become friends with Thurl Bailey.

Thurl currently is announcing Jazz game but in his glory years he was a Jazz player himself. A great one, too. Pace Mannion.

Jeff Hornecek is also a hero of Christian's and he has been able to hang out with him this season too.

Of course the topping on the cake is Deron Williams. He was invited to a private meet and greet with him and was able to have his picture taken with him. Hanging on his wall is a signed D. Will jersey both Jazz blue AND Old school green. On his nightstand a signed D. Will Basketball.

Gotta love it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mopars at the Strip

Christian and Maggie (Christian's Magnum SRT8) were invited to Mopars in Vegas. What an amazing weekend he had.

First the crew met in Sandy and did a crawl to Nephi and did a short show. But on the way down Christian had a rider with him.......Lou Santiago from Muscle Car. Lou rode with Christian for the majority of the way to Las Vegas. How sweet is that?

Then on Historic Cove Fort ( ) for another short show. In the afternoon on to St. George for yet again.....a short show. They all rolled into Vegas in the evening just in time to get their cars cleaned and shined for MOPARS at the STRIP.

The first day was Friday. Getting the cars lined up and in their spots by opening was a feat. You know how guys are with their toys. They can't display them until they are perfect. Well, perfect they looked that day.

So perfect that Christian's Maggie was invited to a special show that night. One where they invite 20 cars from all the cars at the show to show off their stuff. Mopars puts on a party with a live band, barbecue, dancing and fun for all. Yes Christian's car was there.

Saturday, they had the pony wars as well as other cars racing. Christian was able to stay in the pit and take pictures of all the cars racing. What an exciting thing for him to be able to do. "Nothing like it", he says.

Saturday night walking around the strip also brought its own adventures.......

On to Sunday....The highlight of the weekend. Mopar Enthusiast magazine shot Christian's Magnum for an upcoming issue. A dream come true for a car loving guy like him. He has put his heart and soul into Maggie and to get such a payoff.

Well done, son.