Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's Tuesdays Tunes Time

Because the 24th of July just past us and they don't celebrate it in the East like they do in the West and because the Pioneer Trek is just 2 days away I think I better stick to the Pioneer theme for Tuesday's Tunes. How grateful I am for those who gave their lives for the gospel. Who can go wrong with these tunes? I really enjoy the videos that go along too. Hope you enjoy too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is Today Really Monday?

Today was about one of the best Monday's ever. I went to the gym for my two hour work out, 1 hour of group power and 1 hour of cycle. I have been going to this gym for over 3 years and taking the same classes. I look forward to my gym time. I have great friends at the gym and I look forward to seeing them. Today I had one ask me what I was doing to get "so thin." By all means I'm not that, but my reply "I doubled my lifting weight, increased my resistance in cycle, and cooking for one means usually not eating much." However after my 4 1/2 hour shift where I only saw a total of 6 patients in my "normal clothes," I went to a drug rep dinner at Maggianos to eat the calories that I burned this morning. It seems like when I help someone out by picking up their shifts that the shift goes by quite nicely, well at least if it isn't at university that is. I actually asked my nurse what day it was, because Monday's are never so good as today was. I have talked to my mom, my cousin Alisha, and the other counselor in the RS Presidency Wendy today. We have all had rather wonderful conversations. And one of the best parts, drum roll...I sent in my cancelation form for my $9000 Perkins Loan, which is now paid off in full without a dime out of my pocket, just 5 years of working full time in health care. So, yea I'm not quite sure what tomorrow will bring, but I'm hoping it won't make up for the lack of patients that I saw today.

I might add, there is an awesome cool, yet humid wind this evening. It feels rather wonderful. And I hear thunder and see a few lightening strikes, I think that means rain for my flowers!

The thought of a song my aunts use to play when I was a kid and they were teenagers comes to mind just now. Yea baby, just another Manic Monday. I hear you all singing along already!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Karston Pictures

As promised here a few of the first pictures of the new addition to our family. Hopefully more will come. Another grandbaby with Grandma Swensens chin. I really believe she sticks that on all of her great-grandchildren so that we will remember her and that she held them first.

Is that not the most precious pictures ever?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another New Nephew!

Our family had a pleasant surprise this morning/afternoon. Karston decided it was time for his mortal journey to begin or rather the doctor did. Not quite sure the entire situation but something about there not being enough fluid and bleeding meant a "your having a c-section now." Come on people, can I get some medical terms here? I received the news just as I was getting ready to see my first 2 patients for the day. It was already crazy busy and I had several people already talking to me when my phone rang with the news. He came a little early weighing a measly 3 pounds 9 ounces, 18 inches long. Talk about tiny. Tenielle sent a phone picture holding him and wow, he looks so little. Thank you to Tenielle who sent pictures throughout the day. He will have to be in the NICU for at least two weeks, but he is apparently doing well. No need for oxygen, he is already eating well, and unlike the twins he had his eyes wide open in each picture I got yesterday except one. He was so ready to come to the world that he keeps his eyes open just so that he can see all of the new and exciting things around him. He looks like a little man from the pictures. I will post pictures just as soon as they come my way.

I'm so excited that when I go home there will now be 5 little boys and 1 sweet, spoiled little girl that I will be surrounded by. Oh, tis a happy time! And I got a plane ticket to go home in a few weeks for a mere $14. Well, I did have a $400 voucher so I guess it really cost a little more than $14, but for me it was the cheapest plane ticket in quite a while.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things I Love About Summer...

I love summer! When I was a kid Grandma Betty would take us the first week school got out and sign us up for the Library Summer Reading Program. I still love this part of summer; seeing how many great books I can read in a few months. However, I must say it took me the first half of this summer to finish the book I started in the Spring, mostly because when I make the time to read at the pool, I usually just sit and chat instead of read. But The Last Song was a great book, a little hard to get into at first but I would recommend it to my readers. So if you have any great reads for the summer, pass them on as I am always looking for something to entertain me in my oh so little time. There are many other things that make summer oh so wonderful. Here are just a few of my favorite things about summer:

Flip Flops
Painted Toenails
Popsicles (The sugar free ones at Aldies)
Fresh Produce
Lightening Bugs
Summer Vacation's
Fresh Salsa...my family knows I make the best. Even my brother-in-law admits it.
Hot, Humid nights in the South
Cool, Dry nights in the West
Thunderstorms and mega down pours
Bare legs in shorts and dresses
Pasta Salad without Mayo
Snow Cones and Snow Shacks on every corner in the West!
The smell of coconut lotion
Lighter Traffic on the way to work
Early morning runs
Late night strolls
Running into long lost friends when home on vacation
The Snake River Stampede and Breakfast, which I am missing this week
Dad's Homemade Ice Cream
Corn on the Cob
Cherries, Apricots, Raspberries...and homemade jam
Sunglasses, but I love these year round
The sound of insects and frogs
My Flowers!!!
Family Reunions
River Rafting
Going to the Cabin, four wheeling, sitting on the porch, and 'smores.
The Beach
Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade
Chatting at the pool with Shelly and Sharon
Babies bare feet and chubby legs
The smell of something being grilled
Summer Matinees
Day's to hot to be in the pool means chatting with a girlfriend in an air conditioned home with a big glass of ice water.
I'm sure there is more to add to the list, but you see what I mean. So much to love about the summer even as hot as it was today, it's still a great time of year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesdays Tune's

I grew up listening to music and playing music from the oldies in dad's truck to Hank Williams and the Oakridge Boys on the record player. The last time I flew home dad picked me up and of course had on the radio. He said, "I came across my new favorite XM radio station, old time bluegrass." Did we ever imagine we could get radio stations without static and 10 minutes of commercials between each song? Now we can with XM radio! Growing up we were always surrounded by good music. This is probably why I have such a love for it still. The words in songs can either lift you up or pull you down, that is why the church counsels the youth and all of us to listen to uplifting music.
I have many favorite songs and every week find a new favorite. I remember as a child we would make sugar cookies and listen to and sing along with our favorite records. We even would listen to stories on records. I remember listening to my mother sing along. She has always had a beautiful voice. Even today when she finds a new favorite song she will put it on repeat and play it over and over again. And every Sunday morning mom still starts the day off with having church music playing. I am sure our love for singing together as a family came from those early days. Every Tuesday of my life was music day. Fiddle lessons and Piano lessons. I even remember mom would usually have a pot of soup and homemade bread made on Tuesdays, because she wouldn't have time for anything else. Every morning and usually afternoon you could come to our home and hear several people practicing. We would each choose a room and practice for a while, especially during the months leading up to contest time. My favorite place to practice was outside, however there were times when there was one of us in the back and one in the front. My parents were such a support to us as we competed each summer and as we performed several times a week. I don't think however that we really appreciated it until now.

This week however I thought I would post songs in honor of my grandparents. Grandpa Randy is going in for a procedure today and we are hoping all goes well. Grandma and Grandpa Young and Grandma Betty and Grandpa Randy have both been together since they were teenagers and have made it over 60 years. They would both say that their love is much stronger today than it was when they first married. My mom always says that she didn't really know the love she had for my dad until many years after they were married. Their love grew as they were challenged, overcame obstacles, and experienced the joy's and disappointments of parenting.

So here goes my first Tuesday's Tunes:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Would I Have Survived?

It is July and with July comes the annual celebration of the Pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley. I remember July 24 being quite the celebration as a child. We would dress our bicycles up with streamers and dress in pioneer attire and have a parade around the church parking lot and end up having a celebration of pioneer activities. Even last year when I was home my parents ward had a 24th of July celebration and we played our fiddles and had the parade. But this year as the 24th of July nears, my thoughts have been on my ancestors as I have been preparing to attend our stake youth conference for a reenactment of the pioneer trek. In my preparations I have reaquainted myself with my great, great, great, great grandmother Amy Kirby Orme. I believe I first heard her story at a family reunion several years ago given by my Grandpa's brother Leonard. I remember it well as we all sat in lawn chairs and benches at our cabin. A few years later I got my hands on a book with the exact stories that he had told and I read them to Tenielle as she drove us back to Utah. I remember both times I felt such gratitude for what Amy Kirby Orme went through for me to have the gospel today. It wasn't until the past week that I realized that they were in the Marten Handcart company which we hear so much about and stories that I have always loved regarding the faith of these people. I feel even more gratitude as I realize what they must have experienced.
And just this week I came across the story of Sarah Cross and her travels to Utah. I loved her story about how she wanted to give up because it was too hot, but she also made it. The following post about Amy Kirby Orme is a bit long, but I hope you enjoy it and also that you enjoy the story of Sarah Cross. (You meaning my handful of readers.)
As I have read and pondered this week, I have asked myself, would I have been able to have done what they did? Would I have had the faith to keep going when my limbs were cold or when my muscles were cramping from heat exhaustion? Would my testimony of the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel have been strong enough to endure another step? I would hope the answer to these questions without hesitation would have been yes, yes, and yes.

Amy Kirby Orme

This history was prepared by Amy Orme Vowles, whose ancestors, great grandmother Amy Kirby Orme and grandfather, Samuel Washington Orme were members of the Martin Handcart company.
Amy Kirby was the daughter of John Kirby and Charlotte Reddles and was born in England (likely Burbage, Leicestershire) on January 13, 1804. She had seven sisters and five brothers. She married Samuel Orme of Sileby, Leicestershire in 1823. It seems that they moved around somewhat as their children were born at several different places. The first, Sarah Anne, was born at Lee Lais, England, in January 1824. About the year 1831 Amy with her husband and three small children, emigrated to America and settled in Ohio where her father and mother and several brothers were. It is likely that a number of the Kirby family came to America about this time.
On July 4, 1832, her only son was born. All the people were talking about and celebrating the birthday of the nation. It was suggested that the new boy be named George Washington Orme. The mother said he must have his father’s name so he was named Samuel Washington. This was at a place which she pronounced Menta, but as that is not found in Ohio records, it may have been Mentor or Mantau.
About the year 1833 or 1834, she and her husband decided to return to England. They likely lived for some time at Mt. Sorrel, Leicestershire, as their fifth child was born there April 14, 1835. They later moved to Coalville where the husband was a bookkeeper at the Bidland Rail Road Office.
Her husband died February 10, 1842. She was left with a family of eight children. The oldest girl had very poor health and the only son was not yet ten years of age. It was now quite a struggle for existence. As the name of the town would indicate, coal mining was the main industry. It was decided when Samuel W. was old enough he should be a blacksmith. After serving seven years as an apprentice, he began to earn enough to support the family comfortably. In the meantime, however, she had the sorrow of losing her two youngest children and a few years later a daughter twenty-two years of age. All this was a great grief to her for she was very devoted to her children.
She was a very devout member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and her husband had
somewhat irritated her by telling her while they were yet in America that their Church was not correct. He had been away from home one night to another town in Ohio and had heard two men preach a new religion and he said they have got the truth. He did not remember the name of the Church. After their return to England, he told Amy prophetically that the day would come when she would hear that religion preached and she must join it. He said that she would have a different feeling than she had ever felt before.
Shortly after her husband’s death, she heard that there would be two strange men preach at Whittick, just about two miles away and she said to some of the children, “Let us go and hear them.” When the meeting ended she told her children, “This is the religion your father heard in America because that feeling has come to me and I know it is true.”
In a short time the whole family applied for baptism. The ordinance was performed by James or John Bowers. They hardly got acquainted with the gospel principles and learned of the wonderful prophet Joseph Smith when they heard of his cruel martyrdom. They were anxious to emigrate to Zion and join the main body of the Church, but it was hard to get means together under the circumstances.
Her second daughter, Eliza, married in 1847 and she and her husband started for Zion February 7, 1849. They wanted one of her girls to go with them so it was decided that Caroline should go. The other two girls and the only son struggled on. Mail came very seldom from one country to the other. When they did finally hear from the daughters in America, they were much shocked to hear that Eliza had died of cholera at Grave, Missouri. She left a small baby girl who was still living January 20, 1851. Her name was Jane Holden Knight.
This was grief indeed to Amy and yet thousands of miles separated that tiny baby from her. Caroline had work in St. Louis and the son-in-law was making his way across the dreary plains. He had to entrust the tiny baby to friends no better situated than himself.
In 1856 Amy, with the son and other two daughters, started for Utah. Many weeks were spent in a sailing vessel between Liverpool and Boston. They journeyed from there to Florence, Nebraska, which was not so bad, but now they had no money. There was no chance of employment and winter would soon be upon them. There had been a hand cart company go to the Valley, but this was a little late to start. However, the Church authorities decided that the only thing they could do was to go on. Under the leadership of Captain Martin, the large company started on. Mostly young men and women from Scotland and England were the ones to make up this company that was
ready to face danger. Happily, they went along with their hand carts. As they got into the mountains it became very cold and progress was very slow. Captain Martin decided that the flour must be budgeted, or they would not have enough. Four ounces of flour a day per person was allowed. That meant one pound of flour per day for the Orme family. As the cold increased many died because of lack of food. Very often it was the ones who at first seemed the strongest. Amy seeing her only wonderful boy weakening and noticing that the men died more often than the women, proposed to the girls that they each cut their own rations of food in order to feed Samuel more. It was done. They were terrified one day to find themselves snowed in on the Sweetwater River in Wyoming. They were unable to move. They were hungry, out of food, and hundreds of miles from supplies.
Deaths were frequent and those left were too weak to dig graves for their comrades. A few oxen that were brought along to haul the heavy luggage began to die. As was said years after in a joking way, two or more men would try to hold the oxen from falling over while the others would hurriedly shoot it. They would then divide the animal up into small pieces and distribute it to the hungry crowd. Everything was eaten except the hair and the horns.
One day from the west came a dark spot moving toward the camp. As they eagerly watched the object, they saw that it was a man leading a horse. On arriving he told them he had killed a big fat buffalo and had put on the horse all the meat he could for them. All got a piece of the meat. Just why that animal had not gone with the rest of his kind to winter range will never be known.
The man was Ephraim Hanks, the advance scout of a relief party sent by Brigham Young to meet them. The news cheered them up. They took on new hope, but several days passed before the toiling rescuers reached them. Finally they reached them. Now they began to move slowly on. Finally they reached Salt Lake City on November 9, 1856. Miraculously, this Orme family, consisting of four adult members, came through this ordeal without losing any of its members or having any frozen limbs, they were one of the few families to do so.

Sarah Cross

The following year, 1857, Samuel’s young sweetheart, Sarah Cross came to Utah in the Israel Evans handcart company. This company left Florence, Nebraska on the 20th of June, arriving in Salt Lake City on the 11th or 12th of Sept. It was a very small company of 149 people—31 handcarts and just one wagon to haul the heavy baggage. While the Martin handcart company had suffered much because of the bitter cold weather, the Israel Evans company had to endure the heat of summer. Many times Sarah would lay down in the shade of her handcart feeling that she just could not go on any farther and that she would die by the wayside. However, the cool of evening would revive her and she would decide that she would go on to where the company was camped and at least be with friends when she died. Some food to eat and a night’s rest and she would be ready to continue the journey the next day. What faith she must have had, the only one of her family to join the Church and come to Utah at that time. When she got to Salt Lake City and heard the Prophet of the Lord, President Brigham Young speak, it thrilled her through and through and she never regretted the long, tiresome journey. She was reunited with her young man, Samuel and they were married in October 1857.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My kids will never act like this...

Today was about the best day I have had in a very long time at work. I believe the good Lord is mindful that I really wanted to quit my job earlier this week and that I really needed a break. I think I maybe saw 18 patients and most were pretty quick and easy, except for one little or rather chunky 6 year old. He was running from a brother who was chasing him and caught his little nipple on the corner of something, which in turn got him a visit with me. So this kid is screaming and yelling and foaming at the mouth even before I touched him. I knew this was going to be quite the treat for all of us. Before we even tackled the kid down he was literally yelling at his mother that he hated her and she said nothing. When did we allow children to talk like this and get away with it, especially to the woman who carried him for nine months? Mother couldn't handle the blood or maybe it was her way of ignoring the behavior so she stepped out. When she did he continued to yell even louder. The mother instinct in me stopped what I was doing and said in a very stern voice, "Listen to me. You may yell at your mother, but you will not yell at me." That's all it took and I got a little respect, well, not really but he did stop yelling. As I was sewing him up I proceeded my little lecture in telling him that he was being disrespectful to his mother in yelling at her and telling her he hated her. And when I finished my job, he was instructed that he would apologize to her and tell her he loved her, which he immediately did when she walked back in the room. My nurses were quite surprised, but impressed at my lecturing. I'm sorry, but I won't take that kind of behavior from a 6 year old or a 60 year old, especially when they are in my ER. I don't understand people these days that they don't have any respect for other's, especially those that take care of them. Hopefully however I made somewhat of an impact on this little guys life, I mean he should remember me the rest of his life every time he looks at his chest and sees his irregular nipple; that wasn't very easy to sew back together I might add.

This Makes Me Happy

Today I will have a great day, because I woke up to new pictures of the twins. Technology is so great!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wandering, Lost, Redirected...Whatever You Want To Call It.

There is a framed picture I have on my bookshelf across from where I sit that has a picture of a guy on a road with different forks which reads, "It is truly said it does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide what to do." From time to time in my life I have felt like I was wandering or kind of stuck in one place and not moving or not quite sure which path to go down next or maybe which path to continue down. That seems to be where I have felt lately. It is nice to know that I'm not alone in these feeling. Today at work surprisingly I had a few minutes to sit and chat with a coworker that I also consider a friend. We actually don't work with each other very often because she usually works at another hospital and only works 6 days a month, oh what I would give for that schedule. Anyway, she was telling me how she felt exactly like I have been feeling the last few weeks. She is married and has an 18 month old son and said that she use to feel like she had something to always look forward to. I agreed, like when you are in school and you know the semester will eventually end and another one will begin. But once 8 years of school or rather 22 years of school are over and another semester won't start and end you feel like you are doing the same thing over and over again and it isn't changing and really, it can be rather boring. However, Tuesday's quote of the day has continued to stay with me all week. It said, "Each of us possesses moral agency and we have the capacity, through our choices, to determine our destiny. On the other hand, our Heavenly Father is as intimately involved in our lives as we will allow him to be, as closely tied to our daily walk and talk as we permit him to be. Who would not delight in being led and encouraged and empowered along the path of life by One who knows the end from the beginning and can counsel us with perfect knowledge? One great sign of spiritual maturity is the extent to which we strive to be led by the Spirit" Uncle Lloyd aka Lloyd D. Newell. I have pondered over the line Heavenly Father is intimately involved in our lives...That is a pretty powerful statement and such a comfort to me in knowing He won't let me make any major mistakes. I have seen this time and time again as I have looked back on my life when it has come time to make a big decision. He won't make the decision for us, but I know that if we make the wrong decision prayerfully, He will quickly redirect us.
When I was in my undergrad I really wanted to get into the cytology program. I literally suffered through cell biology reading the entire book at least twice, rewriting my notes daily, going to tutoring sessions and actually not even passing the class. It wasn't that I didn't know the information, it was just Heavenly Father's way of letting me know that wasn't what he had planned for me. He knew then that I wouldn't be happy staring in a microscope for 8 hours a day. (I actually kept that book to always remind myself of this learning experience.) At the time I was devastated that I was an alternate to the program and that I was going to have to spend my summer at BYU repeating the class, which the first day seemed 10 times harder than the class at BSU. I can now look back and see that even though I thought I knew what I wanted, Heavenly Father was intimately involved in my life in many more ways than I ever imagined. I quickly realized my first day at BYU that something needed to change so I completely changed my major, enlisted in a 100 level nutrition class which I scored the highest I think I ever did in a class and had one of the best summers of my life with my sister Tenielle and my dear friend Aubrey.
So now when I'm feeling that I need to be redirected, or need a change, or what have you, that I remember the scripture's in D&C 6:19 & 36, "Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope, and charity...Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." He won't let me make a wrong decision, but He will teach me and gently, and I might add patiently, guide my ways. I have also learned that my time isn't necessarily His time. It is during these times I have heavily relied on the scripture Jacob 4:10 "...Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy over all his works." And then I remember He knows best and I have to be patient, accept His counsel and trust in His plan for me...I came across a quote yesterday that I believe will become my new motto, "Sometimes on the way to our dreams we get lost and find a better one." And so I continue patiently, ever so patiently...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can You Really Learn A Lesson From A Movie?

Tonight was movie night with the girls and a husband. I was thinking this was going to be a chick flick and he would be like are you serious. Wow, was I totally wrong on this one. I think I will pass from renting from the red box for a while. I don't seem to be choosing very good movies lately. Throughout the entire movie I was thinking this has got to be the worst show ever and if I was home watching it by myself I would have turned it off at the beginning and even voiced this to my friends. However we kept watching it and I think that I learned something very important from it, with the main point being in the last 2 minutes. I'm not quite sure what to do with what I gained, but it did really get me thinking about what is most important in our lives. I know you are asking which movie it was, it was Remember Me. I encourage you to rent it and watch it without your children. I will warn you the language is not good and there is a bedroom scene, but it was PG-13 surprisingly, which isn't an excuse. There were some great lines in the movie some of which follows:

"Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it because nobody else will. Like when someone comes into your life and half of you says: "You're nowhere near ready". And the other half says: Make her yours forever."

"Love's involved with spending time together, but spending time apart, can lead to loving even more."

" If you could hear me, I would say that our finger prints don't fade from the lives we've touched."

"Caroline asked me if I knew what I'd say if I knew you could hear me. I told her I know: I love you. I miss you. And I forgive you."

But the best line was at the end and because I don't want to spoil the movie for you I will just have to say, watch it until the very end and let me know what you will change about your life now...Hopefully you won't need to change anything, but it will at least get you thinking about how very precious our time is and how we should treasure every moment with those that are most important to us. Because in the end the number of hours we work in a week or the amount of money we totalled up on our W-2 at the end of the year will never matter as much as the relationships we make today with the ones we love.

Today my mom informed me that my 84 year old honey bee grandpa has taken a terrible turn for the worst in the past few weeks. Up until a year ago he was in perfect health, but over the past year he has been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes, Prostate Cancer, and mom said today he has "fluid on his brain." Grandma Betty is a health nut and has always done everything for him including having a perfect healthy course for each meal. When he was diagnosed with Diabetes she made him stop eating sugar cold turkey, even though I know mom has snuck over some of dad's homemade ice cream, which is Grandpa Randy's favorite. He has worked at least 60 hours a week his entire life and traveled the world except for the past few months. I really hope that he hangs on until I can be there the end of August. I never imagined it would happen so fast and makes me want to stop what I'm doing and just go home, but I know that I can't so I will continue to hope and pray something changes for at least another few months. But then again, what is most important now?

Happy Birth Day Bridger and Beckett

I should have posted 6 minutes ago so it would have still been July 7, 2010 but I'm a few minutes late. I'll just think of it as still July 7, 2010...Today was a very exciting day for our family. We welcomed two new addition's to our growing clan. I really never felt so much love in my entire life until I started having nephews and a niece. I wonder if it just has to do with being an adult and having some maturity. I mean I love my family, but the idea of these spirits coming right from our Heavenly Father's arms just is so absolutely amazing and precious to me. I wonder of the potential these children have who are born at this time and why they were saved for the last days. I'm sure they were saved for these days because they were valiant and strong and willing to be warriors in the war between evil and good.
I admit, I actually had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited for the event today. And when I woke up this morning it was all I could think about and the fact that I really wished I was home. But, Troy was good to his word and sent pictures! It was funny to hear Troy talk about the births. I mean Troy always acts like he is this macho man, but when it comes to the births of his children he is such a softy. He said, "The first one came out screaming and they said, wow this is a big baby, then the other one came out screaming too and said, wow this is an even bigger baby." Yes, big babies indeed for twins at least. Bridger was 6 pounds 12 ounces and Beckett was 7 pounds 2 ounces. I bet Becky felt a lot lighter after all of that. All are healthy and strong and doing well, which is all we really asked for. It's humbling to me how over the past few months I have been praying and fasting for this and how my faith has been strengthened in knowing that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and He answers them too. Not that I don't already know this but sometimes it's nice to be reminded.

Mom says Gavin isn't quite sure of all of the attention the twins are getting and the fact that he has been the only one for the past 3 years, but I'm sure he will soon adjust. Apparently he cried when they dropped him off this morning and he cried when they left the hospital and he didn't even want to go to his favorite outdoor store Cabella's. He really must have been mad to have turned grandpa's offer down...Oh, he will be loving on them very soon I am sure.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"There is no true forgiveness without forgetting"

"So many of us are inclined to say we forgive, when in fact we are unwilling to forget. If the Lord is willing to forget the sins of the repentant, then why are so many of us inclined to bring up the past again and again? Here is a great lesson we all need to learn. There is no true forgiveness without forgetting." President Gordon B. Hinckley.

I am experiencing something in my life that I have never experienced and to go along with this, I am having a very difficult time gaining understanding. (However as I am re-reading this maybe the understanding that I am looking for comes in the following message.) I have learned that my way of dealing with these kind of issues for myself is to write about it. Does it make things better? For me it does and so I write. Five weeks ago words were exchanged at a late hour, probably too late to be rational and because of it my heart is aching more than I ever imagined; the hurt stems from the fact that the words that came from my mouth will not be forgotten even though I uttered those simple, yet profound humbling words,"I'm Sorry." My intentions that night were to not cause hurt feelings, anger, or irrational decisions or behavior, but it was taken as such and for this I am sorry for both of us. However, for me today as I partook of the sacrament, I could sense the love that our Savior has for not only me, but the person in my life that seems to be having some difficulty accepting my weaknesses and also my apology. I partook of the bread and water knowing that the Savior not only forgives both of our imperfections and sins, but that he doesn't remember them either. I love the scripture that says, "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord, remember them no more." Why then do we as human beings have such a difficult time not only forgiving each other, but forgetting or as the Lord says, remembering them no more? Growing up my mother always taught me to forgive, but as an adult I have learned to not only forgive but to forget. The above quote by President Hinckley sums up what I am feeling and gives me the perspective that all need to have when dealing with the disappointments others or ourselves have created.

I've never ever been a grudge holder, but I have according to my mother never been able to verbally apologize. She would be proud to know I have over come this fear of the verbal apology. I have learned that I feel as if the mistake, sin, or what have you is off of my shoulders, when I can truly tell someone that I am sorry for the feelings of hurt that I have caused. I learned years ago that if I am angry or unforgiving, that I am only hurting myself. Joseph F. Smith said, "I believe it is our solemn duty to love one another, to believe in each other, to have faith in each other, that is our duty to overlook the faults and the failings of each other, and not magnify them in our own eyes nor before the eyes of the world. We ought not to harbor feelings one against another, but have a feeling of forgiveness and of brotherly love and sisterly love, for another." President Spence W. Kimball said, "He who will not forgive others breaks down the bridge over which he himself must travel." And Jeffrey R. Holland said, "By dismissing the principles of repentance and forgiveness, we foolishly choose to make life more painful for ourselves."

Last weeks RS lesson has been with me all week. I have been so focused on it and my desire to follow President Monson's councel, that a week later I can't stop thinking about it. It was actually a talk given in the October 2009 Priesthood session. I could try to summarize, but President Monson says it so well that I will just quote some of my favorite sections of his talk instead, “Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.”2

We’ve all felt anger. It can come when things don’t turn out the way we want. It might be a reaction to something which is said of us or to us. We may experience it when people don’t behave the way we want them to behave. Perhaps it comes when we have to wait for something longer than we expected. We might feel angry when others can’t see things from our perspective. There seem to be countless possible reasons for anger.

There are times when we can become upset at imagined hurts or perceived injustices. “A man’s a fool who takes an insult that isn’t intended.”3
The Apostle Paul asks in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 26 of the Joseph Smith Translation: “Can ye be angry, and not sin? let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” I ask, is it possible to feel the Spirit of our Heavenly Father when we are angry? I know of no instance where such would be the case.
From 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, we read:“There shall be no disputations among you. . . .For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”4

To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible...

Anger, Satan’s tool, is destructive in so many ways.

Apropos are the words of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier: “Of all sad words of
tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’ ”7 May we make a conscious decision, each time such a decision must be made, to refrain from anger and to leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things we may be tempted to say."

I've learned from President Monson's remarks to be more in control of my tongue, something I wish I had learned years ago. I am learning slowly and surely I will get it one day, but until then those who encounter my imperfections will just have to remember that I'm human, I make mistakes and from them I grow and become better. "Mistakes are not only an acceptable part of life, but they may even be beneficial. The intelligent use of our mistakes helps us learn and grow; past failures may be guideposts to future successes. But our failures and mistakes can be constructive only if we analyze them, gain what profit we can from them, and forget them." Elder Kenneth L. Higbee

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kids Say The Darndest Things

So I am on a wild card (5 days off in a row) this week, spending my days in Montgomery Alabama with my cousin Emily and her family of 4 children. Hannah age 25, I mean 12, Ella age 9, Macie age 7, and Carson age 5. Just yesterday my first day here I wake up to Carson saying, "Mom, Spiderman is so cool. He can do anything." So as I'm waiting for the troops to be rounded up to go to the zoo, Macie comes up to me and says, "Why don't you have a husband?" We go to the zoo and the kids act like they have never been there even though they have a year pass and were just there a few weeks ago. It should have been me acting that way, as I can't tell you the last time I went to a zoo. We had a great time though.
My favorite parts were the giraffes, elephants and jaguar. We even got to take a train ride through the zoo. Ella keeps asking for hand sanitizer, which Emily doesn't have and it bothers Ella that Emily is so unprepared and shakes her head like she is a disappointed parent. She is so worried all the time about germs; she's nine.

Macie was running and fell. She turns around and has blood streaming down both knees and can you believe not a tear fell from her eyes?

But Emily came to the rescue with her yes, Maxi Pads to soak up the blood saying, "That's what they are meant for, to absorb blood and she had a handy dandy first aid kit in her large mom purse.
It is so hot here that every so often there are misters that the kids would run through. The day was quite cool, maybe in the high 80's but by the time we left the zoo, we were all dying of heat and humidity. So of course we had to stop by the nearest sonic for 1/2 price drinks. So while actually waiting in the Sonic parking lot for 7 minutes for 2pm to arrive Ella says only about 12 times through tears, "Mom, I am starving. I can't take it any longer." So we got this fried sampler of tator tots, cheese sticks and onion rings to go along with our diet drinks. We only ordered 2, well Ella wants her own because of her new found fear, GERMS, so she starts crying and jumps in the back seat, not for long though she realizes, she is hungry and will share after all.
So of course by now we are hot, hot, hot and want some sun. I put on my bathing suit and am reading my book by the pool when Carson comes out in his swim trunks and says, "Come on get in." I say, "I'm tanning, I'll get in in a bit." He puts his hands on his hips and says through tears, "You mean I got my swim suit on for nothing?" How can someone resist that? So we swim for a while and the children fight over splashing each other and Emily and I are trying to not get our hair wet. Yea right with kids in the pool? So in the midst of my time outside, Macie has swam, went inside, changed and watched tv, and came out again in another bathing suit. That girl went through at least 10 outfits yesterday. I'm standing in the kitchen watching Emily do dinner when Macie comes up to me and says again, "Why don't you have a husband?" My reply, "I'm fat and ugly." She stands back and with a wrinkle in her forehead says, "No you're not." It was so cute. Keep in mind, Macie was not quite a year when I moved in with them when I was in grad school. It has been so fun to see them grow up, but scary too. When Hannah dishes up her 4th helping I make a comment and she storms in to the other room to eat by herself. I'm so glad I was never a moody teenager.
After dinner I'm sitting out with Macie and the cat on the porch swing, watching a southern storm and reading my book and watching the crazy kids across the street 4-wheel in the pouring rain, when the neighbor girl rides up on her bike. She is 6. Keep in mind it is pouring. I say to her, "Where are your shoes?" She puts her hands out and in her southern voice says, "hey, I don't wear shoes, I'm lucky if I wear them to school." With that she rides off in the rain. It was so funny. But what was probably more funny was that I was sitting outside with a coat on. Not a few hours before I was dying of heat.
This morning I'm siting on the couch with Carson and I say, "So what are we going to do today?" He just starts laughing. Now how would it be to not realize that you have to plan your day, to get as much jammed into it as possible? But in the past 24 hours I have come to realize that Nick is so right when he says that I'M TOO SERIOUS. I told this to Emily last night. I need to act like I'm on vacation all the time. It is so much more fun. I wish He could see me here with the family, relaxed, laughing and stress free having a grand ole time with no worries. Emily and I laugh a lot when we are together, something I need to do more when in my regular life. But kids make things so funny. Emily is my therapist this week and says, "The problem is you two are adults with responsibilities having a dating experience with married peoples responsibilities. It's not like when I was young and dating when my parents were paying the bills and I was going out all the time." You know what, she is totally right. So maybe I will go back with the thought of vacation always on my mind. We shall see. And we shall see what today brings. I'm sure it will bring more fun, laughter, and lots of surprises. As I'm writing this I'm hearing Emily say, "Oh no my oats are kicking in and then Carson did you pee on the wall again." And I am laughing my head off...