Friday, February 25, 2011

The Scales of Education

I think that the little good I may be doing as a teacher is being greatly outweighed by the heavy hand of the system. Sigh.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Temples of My Life

I follow several blogs but one stands out among the rest - Monserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium. I love her wisdom, her depth of spirit, how much she shares. I love her testimony and example of marriage and motherhood. I check her blog almost daily and always, always come away uplifted.

Today, tears dripped down my cheeks as she shared about temples. You won't be disappointed. Take a few minutes and go watch it. Make sure to watch all of the clips - they are all so good.

As a youth, I got to participate in 3 Dance Festivals. Two occasions I danced in the Ukrainian dance. One of the steps was so hard for me to learn - it took me weeks, maybe even months, to learn the step. It is the only step that I can still do 25 years later. I cried as I saw their costumes - exactly like mine was so many years ago. I felt such a kinship and love for those wonderful youth in the video. When I first danced the Ukrainian dance, the cold war was still going strong. To think of the miracles that have happened in my lifetime, truly humbles me.

I love the simpleness of her words about the temple, and especially the words of others in the clip "Why Mormons Build Temples." I have so many layers of testimony and experience with the temples. I went to the temple last weekend and the blessings of that morning keep rippling out. I cherish the temple. I wish I was a powerful and articulate writer who could paint the emotions, the spirit, the joy, the promises, the revelation, the peace of the temple. I wish I could make you feel how thin, how transparent, the veil between mortality and immortality are in the temples. Instead, I leave with you my testimony of temples. I cherish the temple. They are the House of the Lord, built to His holiness.

For my grandchildren, these are the temples of my life:

Idaho Falls Temple: My first temple experience. My family was sealed together in this temple. I remember it still. I remember us all kneeling together around the alter, my mom holding my baby sister Cindy. I remember the feeling of love and eternity. I was 6 years old.

(I also attended this temple while at Ricks College for two years.) 

Seattle Temple: I remember the surprise, excitement and pure joy when this temple was announced. I remember saving money to help build it and all of the service opportunities for the open house. I remember going through the open house and the long lines waiting for hours in the rain to tour the temple. All of my youth years were at this temple. Some of my earliest lessons in symbolism were learned here. One last thing - there are many life size statures on the grounds of this temple that I love. So beautiful. For years I said I would be married in this temple - maybe one day. 

Portland, Oregon Temple: I was so surprised when they announced this temple and while thrilled, I felt a twinge of guilt. We had a temple close by (it was only 5 hours to Seattle) when so many of the world did not. I loved the Seattle temple and was not ready to move on. I soon learned that love for the temples increases, it doesn't transfer. This temple is amazingly beautiful. The grounds, the building, the doors, the arboretum, the art work, the rooms inside - one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. A couple of tender memories with this temple - just before the open house, our ward had a display of all of the things members had made to donate to the temple. It was so sacred. There were hand crocheted alter cloths, art work, blankets for children, shawls, tissue & scripture covers, linens, white clothing for all, especially children. All of it done by hand. It touched my heart deeply to see so much love expressed for the Lord and for each other.

This temple is where I remember my mom. She was with me the first time I went through as an adult. She was there for my wedding. I remember helping her (she was in a wheel chair) at my sisters wedding. I have felt her there so many times.

This is also the temple where all of my family have been married. So many memories of weddings at this temple. Lastly, this is the temple where I took Ryan for his 'first' temple trip. (another post sometime)
Salt Lake City temple: My parents took me to this temple the day before I entered the Missionary Training Center on my mission to Santiago, Chile. While I have only been inside a couple of times, I have walked these grounds countless times. This temple is steeped in symbols, sacrifice and devotion and for that alone, I love this temple. 

Provo Temple: I attended this temple weekly for 8 weeks while in the missionary training center. A HUGE part of my love of the temple was developed during this time. I learned to feel so comfortable in the temple and my eyes were opened, just a bit, to the mysteries of God. I learned some questions that have taken years of study to find answers. How grateful I am for that journey. 

Santiago, Chile Temple: I attended this temple twice. Sweet, rich experience to hear the temple sessions in Spanish. The last time I went through, I was shocked at how many members from all of my areas came to go through with me before I left for home. I cried A LOT. So many emotions. The sisters called me "La Llorona" - the crier. Said with much love and smiles. :)

Ogden, Utah Temple: I attended this temple while I went to Weber State University. Many times Tim and I would attend together, both while we were dating and after we were married. Many decisions were taken to the Lord in the temple. This was the temple were I participated in a Temple Worship day - we were there from 6 am - 2 pm and in that time participated in every ordinance of the temple. It was amazing. I want to do it again sometime. 

Dallas, TX temple: This was our temple for the two years we lived in Oklahoma while Tim attended Law School. Luckily, we had friends living in the Dallas area as it was a three hour drive. We would stay the weekend with them, they would watch Ryan for us, and we attended the temple together. While only 3 1/2 hours away, attending this temple became a large test of our faith. Our car broke down every. time. we. went. And I mean serious break downs. Stressful, but we have really good memories of those times. We always had the money to cover the repairs, just barely (like cents left over. )

Oklahoma City temple: I was again surprised to learn of a temple being built so close to us - it felt like the gospel was spreading by leaps and bounds. This temple became special in that we were close enough to watch it being built. Every other Sunday we would drive out to the construction site and sit for a few minutes searching to make out the layout, the next steps and marveling at the miracle springing up before our eyes. I love the cobblestone bricks out front and the coziness of it. We helped with the open house as ushers - I loved how people would catch their breath at the beauty of the celestial room. 
We left for a family reunion the day before the dedication and then moved to Oregon. We helped build this temple but did not attend a session for over three years. This temple played largely in our answers to return to Oklahoma and it was a sweet experience to attend for the first time. This place was my safe haven during the divorce months. I felt the Lord so close at that time and have heard his voice. 

 Ryan and I had the privilege of cleaning out the flower beds and landscaping the grounds one spring. Ryan wasn't too sure of this 'privilege' but after was so glad that we did it. I had a hard time getting him to go when it was time. 

This is also the temple that Ryan first entered. It was an incredibly sweet experience for my dad to baptize me and then Ryan for some of our ancestors. 

Nauvoo, Illinois temple: I get teary-eyed just seeing this temple and remembering. I remember walking on the ground where the temple now stands at a 10 yr. old when there was nothing but grass and a faint impression of the foundation stones. I remember seeing a model under glass of it and looking at the remaining sunstones. Ryan and I drove into Nauvoo at about 6:00 in the evening July 2009 and the summer sun was lighting the temple as you see in this picture.  As we drove up the hill, we turned the corner and there it was. It took my breath away. It still does. It was magnificent. Gleaming. Amazing. I cried. I couldn't believe I was seeing it. So much healing has taken place in this sacred spot over the last two years. So much strength given. 

As part of the Nauvoo pageant, we build the temple on stage and at the end, spotlights light the temple in the background. Our first year in pageant, I got to be one of the sisters who keeps the temple banners from touching the ground as the temple is raised. I loved the emotions and spirit I felt as I sang with all of my heart Praise to the Man while the temple banners raised from my outstretched hands. After it was built, Ryan would find me in the crowd and we would spend a few minutes together gazing at the temple, tears silently drifting down our cheeks. Then, we would pack our bags and with one last look at the temple, leave for Utah. I loved that Ryan and the girls in our family would always step out from the wagon train and have one last look at the temple - no one ever told them to do it. Every night, when the temple was about to be lit, all of the kids would stop what they were doing backstage to look at the temple. 

Ry and I walked the grounds that first year, looking at all of the carvings in the rock and I was able to attend a session with the adults. 

Last year (2010) was even better. This time Ryan was old enough to help his grandpa (my dad) and the men built the framework of the temple. I was in the RS sewing circles sewing shirts for the workmen. This year, I was a runner, actually carrying a temple banner and hooking it into the framework to be lifted up. I watched my dad and step-mom walk through the temple on stage. Again, Ryan found me each night and put his arm around me as we gazed at the temple. This year, Ryan was 12 and my dad baptized Ryan and my step-sister Heather. This year, I attended a temple session with my dad, step-mom and sister. This year I saw artifacts preserved at the temple I had never seen before. I learned about the miraculous hand of God in rebuilding the temple. 

I wish the pictures could do it justice, but they don't. You have to experience Nauvoo. 

There they all are. The temples of my life so far. I cherish each of them. They are the House of the Lord. His spirit dwells within their walls. The work there is sacred, the blessings eternal. The mysterious of God are unfolded - numberless layers of understanding. The eternal mingles with the temporal in the house of the Lord. Go and hear his voice. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who is this Kid?

Oh, just the kid who will be going to the State Inventor's Exposition with his solar paneled cell phone recharger! And the kid who made his school baseball team! Have I mentioned how much I love this guy? Congrats Ryan! You rock!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day!

Legend says that today is the anniversary of St. Valentine's death. He was put to death for disobeying the Roman Emperor by marrying soldiers to their sweethearts. The tradition of notes of appreciation came from the newlyweds slipping notes of gratitude through the bars when he was in jail. Notes of gratitude - love that. 

I left Ry a couple of notes for him to find throughout the day. We went out to eat at Chen's Buffet (I ate TONS of shrimp and salmon!) At home, we had our first dance lesson in the kitchen, talked about girls and dating, read scriptures together and then watched Princess Bride together. He hadn't seen it in a long time so it was really fun to crack up at parts of it. Friends delivered cookies which were awesome! 

Appreciate your loved ones!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


"A afriend loveth at all times..." Proverbs 7:17

A friend brought us a treat last Sunday with this quote. Loved it. 

I am not a facebook fan - I rarely post and have never cared much for the wall feature. But I do love facebook for the one reason I use it - as a 'phone book' of my life. I have loved finding and catching up with friends that I haven't seen in years. Today I had a friend request from a sweet young woman that used to go on splits with me in my first area in Chile. It has been over 15 years and she found me. I loved catching up on her, her mission (yeah!), her marriage and family. Absolutely made my day! So today, I LOVE facebook. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


" When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams. "
-- Dr Suese

Friday, February 11, 2011


"I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you."
--Roy Croft

I stopped by my friend Alisa's for a few minutes yesterday. We visited for a bit and kids played through out the house as some friends were over. I didn't say much to the kids and was surprised to see one of her kiddos run to the front door to wave good--bye as I was leaving. The smile on his face was huge. Such a simple, silly thing but it squeezed my heart. Kids have the power to make me want to be better. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This scripture is near to my heart.

Your words have been astout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
 14Ye have said, It is avain to serve God: and what bprofit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
 15And now we call the aproud happy; yea, they that workbwickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
 16¶Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a abook ofbremembrance was written before him for them that feared theLord, and that thought upon his name.
 17And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my bjewels; and I will cspare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
                                                                                                   Malachi 3: 13 - 17

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Let us not love in word, aneither in tongue; but in bdeed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Random Acts of Kindness week is next week (Feb. 14 - 21). Check out this post - that is loving in deed and truth. I love the idea! I love that she will never forget this birthday. I have done some of the ideas that she did and I have LOVED it. It was so fun, crazy and made my heart grow. 
I have consciously worked since the divorce on not becoming bitter. I had borrowed a mantra during my secondary infertility days that became my mantra after the divorce: "Better not Bitter." I especially notice that many singles struggle with February, the month of love. I too laughed when my sister wished me a happy Single Awareness Day on Valentine's Day a few years ago. But as I started this idea of sharing quotes, scriptures, videos and ideas about love this month, I have LOVED it! I have felt so much more love for all around me, so much excitement for loving opportunities, so much more compassion and patience. I want to shout that February isn't about a date, it is about beauty that you love, people that you love, dreams that you love, truth that you love, memories that you love, deeds that you love. 
I challenge you to do Random Acts of Kindness. Create love.
(For some simple ideas check out this post - I love it!)

Monday, February 7, 2011


Today is my parents 42 wedding anniversary. I love that my dad remembered even though he is remarried. I love that my step-mom feels comfortable with him remembering.

My parents had a true whirlwind love story. They were married 80 days after they met and a few days before he shipped out with the navy. I love their faith and commitment to each other. I love that my mom followed my dad in the navy and supported the decision to leave their dream farm for a better career. I love that my dad supported my mom through years of illness and premature death. To my knowledge, neither ever waivered. I love my parents. I love their marriage. I love their example. I love their testimonies. I love the family they created.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Food Inc,

Ryan and I watched half of the documentary "Food, Inc." last night. I will finish it today sometime. I may never eat again. Seriously. Definitely not for the faint of heart.


But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;
3 Nephi 12:44

Friday, February 4, 2011


"The life and love we create is the life and love we live."
--Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, February 3, 2011


"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
--Helen Keller

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"The answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts. It's falling in love with God."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything." 
~Katherine Hepburn

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening has been a hard thing for our family. It has been difficult to make it work for us for many reasons. For a few months, I have been thinking and praying about it. How to make it work for our unique family dynamic? I wanted FHE to be something we looked forward to, something different than the rest of the days of the week. I hit upon an idea and implemented it last night to success.
FHE is now our pizza night! I picked up pizza last night and after dinner we each shared a short lesson. Ryan prepared some thoughts from the Duty to God booklet on scripture study and I prepared some thoughts about recognizing the Spirit from Preach My Gospel. Ryan ended the evening with a long and thoughtful prayer (I think he asked 6 times that we wouldn't loose power in the coming storm - our week without power a few years ago really made an impact on him.) We cuddled up on my bed for the lessons and guess what? It worked! It was fun, short, thoughtful, different and really worked for our family.
More than anything, I am grateful for promptings from the Spirit to work on this and even more grateful for the inspiration that came. Make family time a priority and make it work for your family - whatever that looks like.

Well That Turned Out To Be A Win-Win!

Lately I have been so tired at night that I have left the dishes at night until the next day. I thought about it and came up with a solution that would help me. First of all, I don't like doing dishes by myself, but my kitchen is too small for someone to dry and put away while I am washing. Also, growing up, my dad would read aloud to us while we kids did the dishes and I LOVED it. Thinking of this, I told Ryan my new plan. After dinner I wanted him to sit on the washer and read aloud to me while I did the dishes. He needs to read more and I need the dishes done, win-win. Well, I came home yesterday with Pizza for dinner (more on that in the next post) and all of the dishes were done. Ryan had done them all so that he wouldn't have to read to me. Yes, I will have to be more creative about how to get him to read more, but voluntarily doing the dishes?! And I don't have to do them?! Win-Win!

Step by Step

Day 20 Stumbles - Temptations - For a while I've wondered about personal temptations. It has felt like Satan wasn't really worri...