Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring 2009 begins

Aunt Lavina’s lump on her thyroid in her throat is benign but the doctors do want to have an ultrasound check on it every year. She is wise to check on anything unusual . That way if she ever needs treatment, it can be done immediately. She and Cliff are in Utah now and will be till the day after Easter, which is April 12th, when they head back to Bremerton.
Monday night we had a terrific family home evening. Brenda Holmes loaned us a copy of the DVD “On the Lord’s Errand” a biography of President Thomas S. Monson. It is beautifully done and very inspiring. We have a great prophet and the Lord worked at training him for the calling for his entire lifetime. I am slowly reading “A Disciple’s Life” a biography about Elder Neal A. Maxwell, who was an apostle with a unique way of saying things. One quote of his I love is: “Since a real sense of belonging matters, one of the great things we can do for family and friends is to contribute regularly to their storehouses of self-esteem by giving deserved and specific commendations and encouragement.” Another is, “God does not begin by asking our ability, only our availability, and if we prove our dependability, He will increase our capability.” Anyway I have bumped into a slight snag in keeping the details from President Monson’s life and Elder Maxwell’s life straight in my mind. I think I will have to look things up if I ever want to talk about either man. For now I just grateful to know that we have latter-day prophets, who are inspired as Abraham or Moses.
Tuesday night as many of the activity committee members as could met here at 6:30 for an assembly line packing of the Easter bags (125), which we will pass out at our Easter Egg Hunt and coloring activity on April 11th. Four sisters joined me and we placed two pieces of candy in each plastic egg and two plastic eggs along with a small toy into each bag and then used the self-fastening top to close the bag. The fun thing about it was the chit-chat and laughter as we enjoyed the various egg colors, sizes, and patterns and the toys. I think one can always have fun working with friends.
That night Patrick was at the church during mutual and Daddy B.J. took him to the home where he has been staying and dropped him off about 9:30. Close to midnight a phone call came from Leah. Patrick found that he was locked out and he called the police. The family was awakened to policemen with pistols drawn and spotlights on. The woman said that was the last straw - a humiliation before neighbors. She said that Patrick knew a house rule was to be in by 7:30 PM before the doors were locked because she has to get up really early in the morning for her job. Daddy B.J. helped Patrick gather his things, which had been deposited on the porch, that night and returned the next night for the rest of his things. Fortunately Daddy B.J. had been lead to scriptures that talked about serving the needy among us and understood that as a direction to take Patrick in again and simply be as patient as possible with him.
Last Sunday was our ward conference. Our speakers were the bishop and the stake president. Daddy B.J.’s talk encouraged us all to show Christ-like love for each other. Also as individuals to lay hold on the joy of the gospel by daily scripture reading – if only one verse, morning and evening prayer, and looking for ways to serve. President Anderson touched on many things but I especially enjoyed his challenge to be people of integrity. He told a story about his great grandmother receiving too much change after buying a ticket, returning the extra money, being observed in the act of honesty and that leading to her being chosen from among 500 applicants for a job at a bank. One opportunity led to another. She worked as secretary for Ezra Taft Benson, when he was over agriculture in Idaho. She eventually met the wonderful man she married. All these blessing flowed from one act of honesty when her friends were tempting her to just keep the money and spend it. After that meeting I went to primary where I was substituting. Have a great week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Is Half Over - A Unique Season 2009

A recent email was in cartoon form showing people dragging their personal crosses through life. One man prayed several times for the Lord to reduce the size of his cross. Each time he took out a saw and cut a piece off the tail end the thanked the Lord for making his way easier. There came a ravine and the others with their full-size crosses were able to use them to bridge the gap. The man with the shortened cross could not make it. An explanation accompanies the cartoon. It is, “We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot.” It sort of boils down to trusting the Lord all along the way.
It has been a unique week. Saturday was our ward activity, the Un-Olympics. It was fun but also a relief to have it over.
Gold Medal – Daddy B.J.
Silver Medal – David Gent
Bronze Medal – Graham Hall Bishop B.J. racing Bro. Hall Adryann and BrynneĆ©

Sunday I arrived at church at 7:00 AM to join the ward council meeting. It seemed to be starting to snow. Several minutes later Brother Stan Palmer arrived with large snowflakes on head and shoulders. By the time that meeting finished there was about an inch of snow but the Bishop decided to proceed with sacrament meeting. We had four of Justin Stailey’s out-of-town family members sleeping at out house. They and many others came to Bremerton for the blessing of Justin’s son that morning. The first announcement cancelled the other meetings. I was certainly grateful the snow tires were still on my car as I drove four of the visitors to their family celebration in about three inches of snow. I used my extra time at home that day to work on the new ward phone list. The snow was gone by morning
Monday evening the four full-time missionaries in our ward came to dinner. I had a ‘missionary moment’ to report. A new couple moved in up the road from us across from Diana Purdy. He is a pastor and starting a new church here. I met him a couple of weeks ago as he was performing the service to taking folks’ garbage cans from the street to their houses. Monday morning I stopped at his house to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon. First he said he already had a copy on his bookshelf. When I opened it to show him our family picture and explained that I had marked this copy so he could read throughout it in about an hour-and-a-half, he said since I went to that work he would accept it. He said some neighbors objected to his retrieving their garbage cans so he changed service strategies to picking up roadside litter.
Yesterday Adam emailed me a web address for a beautiful slide show. Its title slide is “Here Are Some Tips That May Bring You A Beautiful Life! “ The quote from one slide says, ”Dream more while you are awake.” The accompanying picture is of a doll lying at the side of a street with a dream bubble by her picturing her between dad and mom stick figures. I looked at it several times before I understood it. Anyway there were thirty slides with wise suggestions. I liked the slide show so much that I copied it to my computer as a power point presentation. I get excited when I learn something new for using my computer and I did in this case. I also enjoy sharing computer hints. Yesterday Brenda Holmes, who helps at Daddy B.J.’s office, asked me two questions about excel spreadsheets and I was able to show her how to perform both tasks. All told I had several computer-growth-highs yesterday.
This morning I have been on the phone with T-Mobile to set up Daddy B.J.’s new cell phone under Nathan’s Loyalty Family Plan. Daddy B.J.’s cell number will be ported over from Sprint to T-Mobile and it will save us lots of money. Saving money is another thing that is dear to my heart and gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

Friday, March 13, 2009

An exciting second week in March 2009

You will recall the opening lines of a hymn, “Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, Uttered, or unexpressed…” It always amazes me to note how Heavenly Father answers those prayers. Over the last couple of winters we have used a heating pad as a feet warmer for Daddy B.J. That faithful source of comfort “died” about a week ago. Now we certainly didn’t make a new pad a matter of formal prayer but there were some unexpressed wishes –especially two nights ago when Daddy B.J. said he was freezing. With the residual pain from his gums healing and the need for pain medication, his coldness may have been just a by-product. Yesterday after running errands I felt impressed to stop by Vinnie’s. Guess what I found. Not just one but two heating pads. I bought them both and Daddy B.J. was truly comforted. That was yet another tender mercy of the Lord.
Now, on to more trivial matters. I have been hustling all week to get things ready for our upcoming ward activity. An Un-Olympics needs a lot of props. I made gold, silver, and bronze medals – 48 each and a stand for keeping the three separate and easy to present. I checked a great march music CD out of the library for playing during the opening ceremony. I’ve searched our attic, carport, and finally our closet at the church to track down the event signs and posters prepared for the September 2007 event. I found them yesterday morning! I looked through the pictures from ’07 to add a few to the email reminder that goes out to all ward members with known email addresses. I printed up our family flag again. I’m grateful I saved it on the computer. That is far better than having to be creative this time. I prepared the record sheets for events – six each for the respective groups of participants and started gathering the materials needed for each event. I’ll finish that round up after getting a letter off to you.
I had a nice visit with Michael. He was impressed by man’s talk in his stake priesthood meeting. The man said the only regret he had was not telling his father how much he cherished him. So Michael phoned to tell us how much he cherished us. Pretty neat, huh? He also mentioned that he had given a talk last week in his Sacrament Meeting. I asked him to email me his notes and he did. I printed up his notes and will include it with this letter. It actually was a tribute to Daddy B.J. and me. It said he had learned to give service by growing up in a home where much service was given.
Debbie’s son Nicholas is training in how to be a fireman. Debbie sent me a picture of him in his full fireman’s outfit. She also sent a picture of herself and Amy laying on a blanket on the lawn. It was interesting because Amy had on a swimsuit and Debbie looked like she was dressed for cooler weather. Speaking of weather, we had small amounts of snow again last week. Well the first day of spring is just one week from today on March 20th. I’m just glad we still have snow tires on my car. The sun is out and it warms up nicely – well the mid-40s anyway – in the afternoon. But, the clear star-filled sky at night is a hallmark of cold temperatures and the roads are icy of a morning. I found the rock salt in the member custodial closet last Sunday morning and Brother Sorensen sprinkled it on the patches of ice outside. David said it was 17o a few nights ago. What a bizarre winter it has been.
Did I ever tell you that Mikel and Amy Anderson bought the house that Wayne and Jan Bales owned. It is right across the street from David’s office. Mikel stopped in a few days ago and spoke to the girls working for David. Since Mikel is David and Fatima’s Silverdale 4th ward’s stake president as well as our own, it gives you pause to know that he knows where you are.
Will called and told me how much he enjoys the emails that I forward to him. I try to be selective since I myself delete hate to be swamped with emails. Will said his work is going better for him all the time.
Joseph called in excitement over The Church’s new family history website . He asked from the death dates of my mother’s siblings and when he had them he was able to get their names “temple ready” in just a few more minutes. I think he must have emailed or called a lot of other family members because Adam called me a day or so latter and had been on the website and reserved several names to do the work for. Since he and Nathan are only a few minutes away from the Las Vegas temple, I hope they can get them done. It is exciting.
We love you. Keep the faith. Let us know what’s happening with you.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The 3rd month of 2009 Marches in.

I guess you could call it a moving week. Monday I babysat for the baby of the Wood family, who are moving to Port Orchard. Wednesday I went and helped the missionaries load a moving van for the Hickam family, who are moving to Shelton. Friday Daddy B.J. took our van and helped the missionaries move Rhonda Rameriz and her children, who are moving within our ward boundaries.
Monday was Debbie & Jay’s daughter Amy’s 8th birthday. The whole family went to an inn on the beach for one night and enjoyed the activity facilities there the weekend before. Of course, Debbie took cupcakes to her school for her. Each treat had a little toy ring on top. Then for her party Debbie cooked up lots of ribs, which Amy favors, and had all the traditional birthday festivities. Amy is a fan of a musical movie series called “High School Musical”, so Debbie found a large poster of the stars of the part III edition and posted it on their wall of mirrors. Nathan & Nicholas used a helium canister to blow up fifty balloons. Amy went from that fun to a pajama day at her school. Debbie frequently calls me as she is chauffeuring the kids around. I could hear the smile in her voice as she watched Amy heading into her building and plumping up the collar of her fluffy bathroom as she went.
Travis’ birthday was Wednesday and he turned eleven. Daddy B.J. and I were able to catch him before he left for school to sing our birthday wish to him. I had mailed off his birthday card along with those heading to Amy and Joseph (March 1st) and Mindie(also March 1st). Then I remembered that I had committed to writing each grandchild a personal letter for their special day when they were between the ages of eight and marriage. I enjoy touching their lives this way and perhaps impress them with how much we love them. Travis’ only took about a half-hour, but I stewed over what to write Amy. I ended up piecing together a picture letter. I made the mistake of leaving a picture of Monica off. Fortunately Debbie called so I could redo the page and email it. Debbie printed it up and it turned out to be a real hit. Jay’s favorite part was my using a picture of a deer in place of the word “dear” in the greeting.
Ruth’s husband took the Nevada bar exam for three days at the end of February and then the whole family headed up to Utah to visit his cousin Charity’s family and unwind. Daddy B.J. and I know he passed it, but the true release of pressure doesn’t come till he receives the letter of acknowledgment in the mail in about three months.
David calls most mornings while he is driving to work and he has also stopped by a couple of times this week. His wife and girls all suffered a bout with the flu but they survived. David gets to hear first hand about all the aches and pains that afflict us as we grow older. He does all he can to stimulate health.
Nathan has included us in a wonderful cell phone package with T-mobile that will allow us to save a lot of money every month. Hurrah! You know a buck saved is like two earned – because of taxes. Speaking of taxes, we were surprised to receive a tax return this year. True, it would be better if things were going so well that we had to pay even more taxes, but in the current recession we are just glad for the modest blessings. We know a lot of workers who are losing their jobs or having their hours cut back.
Adam chatted quite a while yesterday with his father and then called and talked to me too. He has decided to really focus and getting his Bachelor’s degree as soon as possible and should have it by the end of this year – yes December 2009. He has also carefully looked as his time, energy, and financial budgets and decided he can leave his job at the casino. Actually this is part of the focus. Go Adam! At football he is practicing at starting positions on several defensive plays. Look out you ball-carriers!
From Aunt Linda Goodman’s blog: “Truth be told, we really didn't do too badly. Out of 214 teams we came in 74th; we were 26th out of 94 teams in our division. The fastest time was 20 hours and 29 minutes; the slowest 36 hours and 27 minutes. Our time was 29 hours and 28 minutes. I am proud of our effort, and so proud to be included with all those young, fit athletes. What could they do? My son was the team leader!” Shaila and Nick Jr. were on her team.
I visit all all my children’s and relatives blogs as I prepare entries for my own blog. It is wonderful to see and hear what is going on for them.