Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom from Dad

Today is that day when we honor our fathers, for the men that they are, the things they have taught us and the people we have become because of them. But as I have been thinking it's about honoring all of the men in our lives who teach us, tolerate us, take care of us and make the time for us. But of course the special man in my life has taught me a thing or two; things that have stayed with me all of these years. I'm sure dad has no idea the impact he has had on my life, but really I'm the person I am today because he has always had the faith in me that sometimes I didn't have in myself. The thing I love about my dad is that he has always had confidence in me in whatever I did whether it was a fiddle contest or passing my boards dad always told me I could do it and you know he has always been right, I did do it and I still do it because he has had faith in me Even though we have all left the nest, my father still presides over our family. I loved when my family came this past May and just as always dad presided in my home as we had family devotional and prayer. Dad has given me pearls throughout the years, here are just a few:

~Always carry a hankie. I've always thought this to be kind of gross, but they never disintegrate like tissues do.
~Always serve with a smile. I've never once heard dad complain about serving. He has just always done it. In fact this very week he went to the church orchard to thin peach trees. He has been doing this for as long as I can remember.
~Always eat breakfast. Dad has always been the breakfast cook at our house. Whether it is milk toast or waffles, never leave the house without eating breakfast. In fact, this morning I called and asked what was for breakfast, pancakes of course. And to honor him this morning I had his waffles that he made while he was here. They tasted almost as good as they would have had he have been here.
~Keep a journal. I always remember seeing dad write in his journal on Sunday's, loose leaf paper, and a black binder.
~Study Scriptures daily, including modern day scripture. My entire life I've seen dad do this every morning, no mater if he is on vacation at my house or home in his office. Not a day goes by that he doesn't do this.
~Be a leader. Anyone can be a follower, but it takes special people to be a leader.
~Find a spouse who will adore you, love you, and care for you under any circumstance. Dad is the prime example of this.
~Always keep jumper cables in your car. Just the other day my neighbor asked if I had any. Of course I did, thanks to dad.
~Keep the sabbath day holy. Dad always taught us that Heavenly Father will not with hold blessings from us if we will respect His day.
~Early to bed, Early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
~Be grateful for little things, little people, little opportunities to learn and grow.
~Talk if you need to, but always, always listen. You never know when a lesson is to be had.
~Never let your guard down and if you get in a sticky situation you can always call dad, no questions asked.
~Laugh when it's appropriate.
~Go to the temple often. I remember as a teenager but especially in college that dad would go to the 5am session on Tuesday mornings. What a great example that was, in fact I remember running into him there when I lived away from home during college as our ward did 6am baptisms once a month.
~Always be prepared for what ever may come your way.
~Keep your chin up even when times are tough. Everything will always be okay, it may take a while, but it always turns out the way it should.
~Save for a rainy day.
~Buy a case of food at least once a month. You will never go without if you have your food storage.
~Walk out of a movie if it isn't appropriate.
~Be modest...speak modest, dress modest.
~Work hard. It brings happiness to one who can provide means for not only themselves but for others.
~Sing in the church choir, even if you can't sing.
~Always say yes to a calling even if it is the ward choir director. And always support others in their callings.
~Share your testimony with others often.
~Pray, Pray, the Lord for guidance in all aspects of your life.
~Have a love for music.
~Give to others quietly.
~Expect to be surprised. Let Heavenly Father be in charge. He will never lead you astray.
Thank you Dad for patiently and gently guiding me along the way.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Great Heritage

Today is my Grandma Swensen's birthday. I always remember her on this day even though she passed away shortly after I turned 1. I often wonder what my relationship with her would be like today if she was still alive. I imagine we would be great friends. I believe she is aware of my accomplishments and has been around on special days in my life. My mother has always said when comparing me to her, "It is amazing how someone can be so similar to someone they have never spent time around." Mom says I act like her, laugh at things she would laugh at, have similar interests and talents, and of course I have her nose, chin, and even her fine thick hair. Grandma was a journal writer, which I am sure I inherited this trait from her too. I imagine if she was alive today, that she would enjoy blogging as I do. The one thing I did learn from her was to write down my thoughts. Grandma never wrote what she was thinking, only what she did. I often wonder what she thought about certain things, but then I read what she wrote, which in some way tells me what she believed and I guess what was important to her; serving others. I know the kind of person she was because she would write things like, "took bread to five different families today...fed the missionaries...spent time at the nursing home today visiting with so and so..." Someday I will meet her and I am sure we will become best of friends. In the mean time, I am grateful that she sent me Grandma Betty as I am sure she had a hand in putting her in our lives, not to take her place, but to be there for us since she couldn't be.

Today also marks my Grandma and Grandpa Young's 67th Wedding Anniversary. Can you believe that? 67 years with the same person and they are as much in love as they were the day they got married, that is what they say, but I imagine there love is at least 67 times what it was then. They are always together. In fact last time I was home grandma was telling me that they never go anywhere without the other except if grandpa goes to the gas station to get a soda. How cute is that? My grandpa adores my grandma. He always has. You can tell by the way he takes care of her. He even still opens the car door for her. And up until a year ago they would go to the temple every Wednesday to do sealings. I imagine that as they would do this, they would think of the day they were sealed and the blessings of the covenants they have made to each other and the fact that they will be together forever. I was a bit saddened that I wasn't able to attend the surprise party that was had for them today as I am sure it was great fun to have 9 of their 10 children there, many of the 55 grandchildren, and several great grandchildren running all over the place.
One of my greatest memories of my grandparents is that every Sunday we would all go over to their home for cake and ice cream. I always loved the summer time when we would have ice milk and jello gelatin pops! And once when grandma had gone to visit one of her sisters, grandpa let all of the grand kids stay the night. Some of us slept in the camper outside, but by morning, we had all come inside because we were scared. Grandpa still to this day makes breakfast. Not cereal, but the real deal. However, I always remember them having peanut butter captain crunch even though I never remember seeing them eat a bowel of it. How grateful I am for the wonderful heritage that I have; it's truly a blessing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aidree Lin at 9 months

I really don't have time for this, but I got an email today from my sister with current pictures of Aidree. She is so darn cute. It sure stinks sometimes being so far away and having to watch the grand kids grow up in pictures. Don't you just want to kiss those cheeks? I sure do. When I see her next in August, she will be almost a year. What a spoiled one she is...5 grandsons and one granddaughter, you can only imagine.
I would much rather be out at the pool enjoying the sunshine today, but instead I will be stitching kids up, prescribing PCN V K for tooth pain even though they don't need it, seeing broken bones, and doing STD checks, since that is what the ER is all about. Hope you get to do something more exciting today than I do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Comminuted Finger Fracture

So today as always on my drive home from work, mom asks how my day was. My reply is always the same, busy...nothing too exciting. When she asked the same question tonight I said the same thing but then I said, actually...then I proceeded to tell her that I got a call from my dear friend about 4pm at work. I can't disclose her name as that would be a HIPPA violation. Anyway, she tells me she thinks she either dislocated her finger or broke it. She was winding down an umbrella while at the pool when wind came up and somehow her finger got caught up in the whole mess. Well, I of course used my authority, but then actually felt bad about it and told my nurse she could wait, that was until I saw her x-ray. Poor thing. She had several fractures in her little finger. We call them comminuted fractures. She will likely have to have a pin put in it sooner than later. The funny thing was she was devastated that it was going to impact her beach trip which she takes every father's day. The worse thing was my nurse was putting a splint on and I went into make sure it was right, well, it wasn't and I had to actually straighten out her fingers causing some pain. I really felt bad. I hope she is going to survive tonight. I am sure she is in quite the pain even though I gave her Lortab. It kind of felt weird prescribing my friend a narcotic. But I am sure she is thanking me tonight.
On another note, Nick had his gallbladder removed yesterday. Do you know he went in at 6 and was out by 1030. And last night when I saw him he wasn't down and out of it, but up working a puzzle. I actually thought he would be worse off today, but at noon he tells me he is out shopping. That doesn't happen to people in my family. The first day we all are puking and Tenielle said she was out for a week with hers. He didn't even puke once. He even went into work for a bit. Craziness, however it again strengthens my testimony and I am sure his too of priesthood blessings and lots of prayers. How grateful I am for the gospel in my life that gives me direction and knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father who hears our prayers. I don't know how He does it, but I know He does.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Welcome Summer 2010

Welcome Summer! Well, it isn't exactly quite here on the calender, but when the kids get out of school (even though I am kid-less), it means summer has officially started. And today was their last day of school, so alas it is summer time! Because I only work 15-16 days a month I get to enjoy the other 15-16 days that I have off, so I have decided that this will be a summer that I stay busy. Not like I usually am not busy, but it is going to be a fun busy. So the last two days I have been off and I was thinking, wow, they are almost over but what have I done with them. Well lets see, the gym takes up 2 hours of my day, but really about three because I always spend a little time when I get back pulling weeds or watering plants. Yesterday I went to Costco only to return something and then I drove to Columbia, SC to the Temple. I spent 40 minutes in the little LDS book store, the only thing close to Deseret Book within hundreds of miles from here. I bought a few CD's, a piano book, a book, and my Ensign from May and June, since I was delinquent in renewing my subscription, but have no fear, because I have payed my dues in time to receive my July edition.
I had a wonderful time in the Temple. I went with the only reason in mind to serve someone else. That person being Hannah Rock; born in 1770 in Kentucky. The amazing thing was that just as I was going to leave the Celestial Room some great counsel was given to me as I read from D&C chapter 6. I have read this chapter over and over again because it has become one of my favorites in the past few weeks, but something new caught my eye, which gave me new insight and hope. A few weeks ago the following quote by John A. Widstoe was read in Sacrament meeting, "I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will leave his problems behind and in the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and quite as large a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly, because it is a place where revelations may be expected." If that doesn't make you want to go more to the temple, then I don't know what else will. I have a testimony of this and have seen it play out over and over again in my life, but even more so in the past 6 months. The thing I love about having to drive 90 miles to the temple is it gives me plenty of time to ponder and listen. Which sometimes, we need. But the sad thing is we too often find ourselves too busy to take the time to listen. The time there and back makes my temple experience so much more.
A little tangent...So this summer is going to be all about fun. I am told that I am too serious. Forget serious. I'm going to be more relaxed and just have fun while enjoying the ride! So to celebrate the kids getting out of school or the start of summer, I spent the morning and mid afternoon searching for a new community bank and talking about refinancing my home. Yes, I know it's about time so you don't have to tell me. I met some pretty great people and almost felt like I was back in Nampa where everyone knows your name. Then because it was 93 degrees and felt like the middle of August, I made my way to the Middlebrooks pool, where Sharon and Shelly were already hanging out there. Not 30 minutes into my enjoyment it started to sprinkle and a few seconds later we had ourselves a true southern storm. It down poured for a good 30 minutes giving us 1/2 inch of rain according to Allen's rain meter. Well, by then we had had ourselves a lovely chat inside of course, before the sun came back out and we continued our sunbathing pleasures. I left Sharon's with a bag of goodies meaning squash and cucumbers. I have never been a fan of squash until this year. I'm not quite sure if that is because my taste buds have changed or if I have just been introduced to the southern way of cooking it. Nick's grandmother makes this amazing squash casserole. I know my western friends only do it with brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter...can you believe they have never heard of such a thing out here...for reals. So I came home and made me some western style squash, cucumbers and vinegar and an old recipe of chicken, salsa, cream cheese and bread crumbs. It was pretty much to die for and the first dinner I have cooked in about 4 weeks. I know, shame on me, but us single girls don't find enjoyment eating by ourselves. Eating to me is a social event.
So of course I can't stay home for long. Always have to be going, so I called Sharon back up and we went to explore Rita's. Now my sister Tristen rang me recently to tell me that we had a Rita's in Charlotte. I didn't know what she was talking about, but then vaguely recalled her telling me about this place she visited in DC. Well let me tell you, Sharon and I will be going back at least once a week during the summer, which means I might just have to add an extra spinning class to my week or just eat the sugar free. So Rita's has Italian all time favorite. But they also have Frozen Custard. Not quite as delicious as Nelsons in Bountiful, but close. So we had custard on the bottom then I had mango and lemonade Italian ice, then more custard. Sounds, big and bad for you, but really it was like maybe 6oz. I think next time I will stick with just the Italian Ice. They rotate 12 of 52 flavors at a time. They even had pumpkin pie. I think I will save that for the fall and enjoy all of the flavors of summer. I tried banana and watermelon with real fresh fruit. They were okay, but I love sour, so I think Lemonade will be my favorite for now. I forgot to add that Rita's is next to Trader Joe's. So of course we had to stop in to see what we could find. Sharon had never been there and found herself some gluten free pancake mix. And I found me some creamed honey, since I am out of Grandpa Randy's whipped honey. I am sure it will not add up to his, but at least I will have it for my English Muffins that I pretty much live on, until I can get mom to send me more. I did do a load of laundry and I really need to clean the mold from the toilets, which I swear I just did, and now that I have my new Dyson Vacuum cleaner that I absolutely adore, I need to do some more vacuuming, and I am sure there are other things, but for now they can wait while I enjoy the start to what I am sure will be the best summer ever with or without you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Nickalaus

Today is Nicks Birthday. Here are just a few things that I like about him:
His eyes sparkle when he is happy.
He has never raised his voice at me, even when he is mad at me or frustrated or irritated with me he still keeps calm.
I love to watch him in the kitchen. He is so proficient and confident when creating something to enjoy.
A gardner at heart, how fun it is to see what he can grow from a few small seeds.
He has a testimony of the gospel and has planted such strong roots in such a short time.
He always looks hot; in gym shorts, jeans and a polo, shorts, or a suit.
He is financially smart.
He is humble.
He is independent.
He is tall, dark and handsome!
He can do laundry and keep a house with a very clean bathroom.
Any man that can teach himself to play the piano and enjoys playing and working on developing his talents has my heart.
I like it when he calls in the middle of the afternoon for no reason other than to just say "Hi" and when I'm on my way to work to tell me to have a good day.
I love it when it's late and he gets this glimmer in his eye and says, "Do you want to go for ice-cream?"
I think it is great that he isn't lazy, that he is an early to bed, early to rise kind of man.
He magnifies his calling and has a desire to serve.
I love to hear him laugh, especially when watching Modern Family.
He is a good listener.
That deep southern drawl, brings this western girl a smile!
I smile more because of him, when he texts me, when I get an email from him, when he calls me, when I think of him, and when I'm with him.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Little Glimpse of Heaven

Yesterday I experienced a small glimpse of Heaven. Our stake has been planning for months to have the Columbia Temple be open and run only by our stake members on Memorial Day. What an amazing experience it was. I had been scheduled to work 10-10 but was able to switch to work 6p-330a so that I could go. Even though I had planned months ahead, the night before my friend had called to see if I wanted to ride down with her, but Satan and his tactics always try to get in the way. Let's just say he didn't get his way this time, even though he tried. Sunday night I left Nicks with the most amazing peace and comfort. As I drove home I kept thinking is this for real and as I went through the day yesterday I continued to have this same feeling of peace. So with 5 hours of sleep I went to the temple. I really thought I was going to have a difficult time keeping my eyes and ears open and my emotions under control, but I had no problem at all. I just kept thinking this must be what Heaven is like. Brother Johnson the High Councilman over temple work was standing outside the temple doors welcoming everyone in. At the front desk was a brother from my own ward. Every where I turned I saw people from my ward and stake that I knew. We had gotten there an hour early knowing that if we didn't we wouldn't get in the session and we were right. They filled the room to capacity with 62 people. Now that may not sound like a lot, but for that little temple it was packed.

Our Stake President was on the other side of the veil when I went through which was pretty neat. I imagine when we get to Heaven the voice on the other end will sound just as familiar. What an amazing experience that will be. The Celestial Room is always such a peaceful place for me. And again most all faces looked familiar. It was just like Heaven will be I'm sure. As I sat there I picked up the scriptures and turned to D&C 6 and read verses 19, 23, and 36, "Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope and charity...Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?...Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." Over the past week I have turned to this section several times to find peace. It has been an answer to my many prayers. And again as I sat and read it in the temple that same sweet peace was present and I could not doubt again the personal revelation that I have been blessed with over the past several months. Heavenly Father is in charge and when we let Him, He will create for us amazing experiences. As I made my way towards the exit, My friend Jared Blacker's wife (from Nampa who I grew up with and lives in Concord) came into the Celestial Room. As I was talking to her, Sister Larson the Patriarch's wife came up to talk to us, but just as she was approaching me a brother from my ward came over and whispered in my ear, "Always remember, you are a Diamond." I don't know what came over me, but it immediately brought tears to my eyes. He tells me this all the time, but for some reason it had more meaning and reassured to me that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me. It was fun to talk to these sweet ladies for a very short time.
Just as I was leaving the Celestial Room a lady who looked familiar to me came in. I had seen her several places in the temple, but couldn't put it together. I don't know her name. But it finally occured to me that I had met her once on Valentines day. We actually met at the bank. Nick had taken the tithing to the bank and the counselor in the bishopric had also been there. It was his wife who had come up to the car to introduce herself to me. She stopped me and out of the blue told me things that I really needed to hear. It was totally unexpected, but again was another tender mercy that Heavenly Father gave me. As I was waiting in the dressing room my friend Loren Belk was also in there. She said almost the same thing to me that the sister in the Celestial room said. It goes to show that Heavenly Father is in charge and sends messengers to be answers to our prayers. The interesting thing was that I ran into several sisters who were in Nicks ward and each one came up to me to tell me what a wonderful man he is. That he is. And that was all I could really say when they wanted more information from me.
On the way out of the temple I ran into Jared Blacker who had actually been in the session. He stopped me to give me his new phone number and said, I just feel better with you having it. It really is interesting how someone you grow up with can still make it feel like your little piece of Nampa is with you when you are together. I had seen him earlier in the week at a Stake Meeting and felt the same way.
I have a testimony of temple work, that families can be together forever, and that our ultimate goal is to make it back to our Heavenly Home knowing that we did our very best. Sometimes I stumble and fall. And sometimes I don't want to get back up again and keep going, but I eventually stand up, brush off, and keep going. That is what this life is about. How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who knows my fears and hears my prayers and who loves me inspite of my weaknesses.