Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Beautiful Time of year

Last Saturday the scouts had a fund raiser in our back yard. There were over 60 people here for the chili/dessert dinner and scout program. We put in a lot of time getting the yard neat and clean from the mailbox to the dock. Though it rained lots earlier in the week it was beautiful that day and everyone had a grand time. My biggest challenge for the day was putting the step 2 yard toy that Will and Mindie gave us back together. The slide was detached from the tower base. Jeff Fry had all his boys here during the afternoon and they tried to help me but couldn’t figure it out. Left alone with the puzzle I succeeded with the help of inspiration from Heavenly Father and some extra muscle from Steve and Brady Geier, who arrived early to set up the Dutch oven cook site, which they used to heat the chili. David and Fatima came with their girls and twin boys from their school class. The boys looked as different as Adryann and Brynneé. David took Brynneé, the boy twins and a couple of other children out in the rowboat, while Adryann was content to swim and glide around on the surfboard.
Sunday was ward council and Daddy B.J. encouraged everyone there to take a tour of the building with their families. So I went home and invited David and Fatima to bring their girls and join us on a tour Monday evening for family home evening. Since Adryann and Brynneé are preparing now for their baptisms next month we spent most of our time by the font and talking about our conversions. One of Fatima’s neighbors when she was growing up in Brazil was Mormon. When the missionaries in Florida tracked her out they gave her a Book of Mormon in Portuguese. They are having the girls baptized in the font in our building where David and I and my parents were baptized, which makes four generations.
Speaking of generations, Daddy B.J. and I met with Sister Hendrickson Sunday morning during Relief Society time. She took us to the family history center on the top floor and we hooked up to the Internet and We were able to get one more name, Ralph Korb, ready for temple work. I learned lots about Sister Hendrickson I never knew before. She joined the church when she was sixteen and started doing family history when she was nineteen. She took all the genealogy classes she could at BYU and became a certified genealogist. She even had her own business helping other people to research on their family lines. Wow. What a resource she is for our ward!
It was our Sunday to have speakers from the High Council. Brother Herbold and Katz spoke. Whoever used to murmur about high councilors being boring certainly would have had that opinion trashed. Brother Katz joined The Church when he was a young adult and went on a mission about a year later. He said he was comfortable just following and doing whatever his companion asked. Then about half way through his mission a pregnant sister phoned the missionaries because she couldn’t reach any of her leaders and she felt she needed a blessing for her baby. They went and Brother Katz’ companion asked him to seal the anointing and pronounce the blessing. Elder Katz froze, prayed fervently, and proceeded. He had no idea what he said. Later the woman called and reported that she had been to her doctor, who said the baby had been dead for three days and that it was a miracle she hadn’t been poisoned herself from that. Elder Katz apologized. She asked if he remembered the blessing. He felt terrible but didn’t remember anything. She said, “You didn’t mention the baby once. You told me that I would blessed with health.” Gratefully Elder Katz realized that in fact he had not given the blessing at all. It was from Heavenly Father just as it should have been and said just the right things because Heavenly Father knew everything about the situation. Brother Katz said his testimony of the genuine power of the priesthood originated then and there. I got goose-bumps from the story. You do know that goose-bumps can be another way of the Holy Ghost bearing witness to the truth of something, right?
We have spent a little more time at Will and Mindie’s Vena place. Tami Mann phoned Daddy B.J. and told him that they were getting rid of things they had stored for her father-in-law including a working washing machine and dryer. We picked them up and took them to Vena. The washer hoses were there but we needed a piece of dryer vent ducting. I was blessed to find one
at builders bargains for $1.69. In case you wondered, yes, that was another little blessing from Heavenly Father.
This week I am doing ¾ of my visiting teaching but squeezed in some yard work too. I really enjoyed the camellia bushes this year and seeing their blooms through the living room windows. They had grown so that they were about ten inches higher than the back of the couch when viewed from inside. You couldn’t see anything between the bushes or anything but the top of the chimney from the yard. That was just too much. So I pruned them extremely.
Did I ever mention that Daddy B.J. accepted the Hohnholz’s cat when the mom’s doctor said she had to get rid of their pets because of allergies. Well we have had Abby for a few weeks. We say that she is Patrick’s and he takes car of her the most but she really is quite shy and will only come to him if she chooses. She is quite a climber. In the basement we saw her on top of the bookshelves and heard her on top of the furnace. Outside she climbs up to the rafters in the breezeway and then out onto the roof where she walks around freely. Now that the weather is getting nicer, she spent the night outside and didn’t cry at all last night. Patrick in his childlike way loves her when she is nice to him and says he hates her when she runs from him. Since he is very forgiving his spells of rejection are short-lived.
Things are blooming.

Hope you have a great week. We love you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Wonderful Mother's Day

May 15, 2009
I had a splendid Mother’s Day. All our children greeted me with loving wishes. At church the ward gave every sister over the age of eighteen a copy of the new Gospel Art Book. It is the best present imaginable. “This book contains 137 pictures that are organized into 6 sections: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Church History, Gospel in Action, and Latter-day Prophets. These pictures can be used for learning and teaching at home or at church. Descriptive titles as well as references to scriptures and other sources for learning about and discussing the pictures are available in the Gospel Art Book index.”
Besides the book and the greetings I received a pot of six tulips from Ruth and Tim’s family and an apron and the softest, cushiest socks imaginable from David and Fatima’s family. They also invited us out to dinner and Fatima made a delectable chicken casserole.
We are still working on filling the area above where the culvert was repaired. Daddy B.J. would like to have the ground level raised so there won’t be quite the valley. It will look better and be easier to mow. Last Saturday a man from our ward and Patrick were both out assisting him. Sidi is from an African country and studying English as a second language. In his country French is the national language. They made progress but it is slow. Yesterday evening I weeded in the area around the picnic tables and back yard swing set and noticed a lot of loose soil that could rather easily be moved to provide more fill. Daddy B.J. looked at it this morning and agreed. Monday he said it was time to put in some flowers, so I picked up marigolds. There are many different varieties and I chose some of each that were offered. It will be interesting to watch them grow and see how they look mixed together in the flowerbeds.
It's a good thing I read my calendar early this morning. At 10:00 it was time for the monthly book club meeting led by Crystal Sutton at her home. I started going because a sister, who is elderly and frail, on my visiting teaching route said she would like to get out of her home more. She wasn’t able to go this morning but I enjoyed it a lot. Crystal and her sister Carol, who is visiting from California, and their stepmother Jenny, and I were the only ones there. We laughed a lot and enjoyed our discussion of “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Crystal asked for Benjamin's address. She said he sent her a mother’s day card that she appreciated. I gave her the addess byt told her it would only be good till the end of June.
Then I came home and started work on T.J.’s and Ashton’s birthday cards. It takes me a long time to put cards together and print them up but I feel the time it takes is a present too. Now I am writing Benjamin and blogging.
I have talked to my sister a couple of times this week. She reported that Grace and Dorian did well in the play they were in last Saturday and that Justine was one of the eight soloists chosen for the Salt Lake Valley pageant for the two temple dedications. Yee Haw! Sis flew to Colorado yesterday to stay with Korb’s family during his first trip to England. I suppose he is renting a house for them there and getting familiar with his new work responsibilities. During her flight she sat next to a man and as they talked she learned he went to law school with the 2nd Counselor in our bishopric. He asked that Lavina get his phone number to Brother Wentz and let him know about a job opening up within the year here in Washington with his firm and the Department of Social Security.
A couple of mornings ago I was awake in the wee hours and came down and got two names – my Aunt Margaret's and my father’s cousin Anna Mae's – ready to take to the temple. I was pleased to see that so many deceased family members are having their work done for them. My sons and daughters have been anxiously engaged in a very good work indeed!
Yesterday I went to Will and Mindie’s Vena house, while workers installed a hot water tank. Then I went to Lowe’s and bought the adapter to hook up the water for the icemaker in the refrigerator that Leah gave us for the house. It is only two years old and very nice. It was a blessing that we were there when a man from the electric company came by or he would have turned the electricity off. We are grateful that a re-connection fee won’t be charged.
Adam and Nathan drove to Utah and visited with Uncle Buck. It was wonderful for all of them. Nathan is officially two-thirds finished with law school. He finished out his year as president of the J. Reuben Clark law club and passed the torch to a young woman, with whom he had classes at BYU a few years ago. He called us last night and is at peace with turning so old “28” next Monday. Adam will be taking a couple of quickie classes during summer school.
I love to look at the blogs my kids put together. This past week in Pahrump it was warm enough to run through a sprinkler; but, cool enough to need to ward up on the pavement afterwards.

While a picture of Anna Kate says it all for Washington lately. I just like the picture of Anna Kate in orange.
What can little girls do when moms wash windows?

Life is good for Daddy B.J. and me. We love and are loved. What more could we ask?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Begining of May 2009

Thursday May 7th
Last Sunday at the beginning of Relief Society I was walking around talking to various sisters. I saw a woman I didn’t recognize. When I started to introduce myself, she said she knew me from when she dated Benjamin. Her name was Amber Hardee and she lived on Callow. Memories slowly resurfaced. She had twin sisters, who were on a cheer squad. I guess the twin think caught my interest and forged the memory. I made a point of being at her baptism that evening.
Daddy B.J. was conducting Sacrament Meeting last Sunday and talking up our next activity. He said that he got a cornet at the last white elephant auction, but that when he tried to play it his lips weren't strong enough. He then quipped "I guess my wife should kiss me more." He said he would take the cornet back to this white elephant auction.
Speaking of conducting, Joseph phoned and said that conducting was nothing new to him but he had just had his first experience presiding. When the bishop and 1st counselor are absent, it falls to the 2nd counselor to preside. The difference is not great but Joseph was quite nervous about it. He asked the high priest group leader to sit on one side of him and a brother, who had served in a couple of stake presidencies to sit on the other side of him. Joseph told one of his siblings not to come since he felt it would make him more nervous. The extra-experienced brother beside Joseph leaned over indicating a man in congregation and asked, ”Did you know he is Robert Wells, an emeritus general authority. He was one of the of the seven presidents of the seventy?” Joseph’s stress level went up.
When Daddy B.J. and I attended BYU Ed Week in 2006 we went to a class taught by Jay Parry. His talk was about the wonderful blessings of grace provided by Jesus Christ. He used Brother Wells as an example. When Brother Wells was a pilot serving in a church calling in South America, he taught his wife to fly. Both flew plane loads of members to a conference. She crashed into a mountain on the return and he blamed himself. After suffering a lot he was blessed with the understanding that Jesus Christ suffered for our mistakes as well as our sins.
Returning to Joseph, his experience ended up being very positive. After He opened the testimony portion of the meeting by bearing his own testimony, Brother Wells bore the 2nd testimony. It was so beautiful and fervent that it brought a very special spirit that shaped the whole meeting. Joseph said it was without a doubt the best testimony meeting they ever had in his ward.
Recently a UPS driver making a delivery said he knew Joseph and Michael from high school. His name was Dennis Stoddard. He wrestled with our guys and he had a sister (I think) who graduated with Mike (I think). I love it when people tell me they knew one of my family.
I complained to Debbie and Jay about not receiving good pictures of them. There are usually plenty of the children. Anyway, they attended a party over the weekend and the hostess took pictures. Viola! –smiling Debbie and Jay without sunglasses. T.J.’s school play well very well. Debbie said as a part of the chorus he was on stage a lot. In fact she felt they saw more of him during the performance than they usually saw of him in a whole day at home. Nick loves his fire-fighting training. He recently asked if he could take donuts to class to help him “win friends and influence people.” He decided to break up with the girl he had dated for over a year. He thought he should get to know a wider range of girls. Hurrah! T.J. surprised everyone by announcing that he too had a girlfriend now.
Our son Nathan put a lot of effort into applying to participate in the mediation program at law school next year and he has been accepted. Adam is wondering about proving our Indian heritage because he hears financial aid funds are available to Indians.
Oops, I just looked at the clock. I have to get the chainsaw chain out to Silverdale to be sharpened.
Friday, May 8th - I just had a call from Jernon. One hundred and eighty auditioned for solo parts in an upcoming Youth Temple Celebration inspired by the dedications of both the Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples. Justine is one of the eight remaining for final tryouts tonight. Jernon asked for us to remember her in our prayers. What an honor she has already achieved to make it so far.
I also had a call from Benjamin. His case-worker let him call from his office. It was good to talk. He is being moved to the Ogden Adult Probation & Parole facility on June 30th. He will be allowed privileges after they assess his capabilities and make sort of an individualized parole program for him. They will assist him in getting a job and from the wages give him a portion to cover personal needs. We will have to apply anew to visit him. We will need to wait till he is actually there to learn more.
We love you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Brand New Sunny Month of May - 2009

May 1, 2009
I was visiting with Anita Parkhill, a sister in our ward, last week when she mentioned that she had been a ward librarian. That sparked a memory for me about my mother, Ruth Korb. I told Anita that when the church first decided to have libraries in the meetinghouses, my mother was called. She worked with other sisters and they looked for pictures to help illustrate lessons. Some they found in old magazines. Some belonged to members. Some they found at stores – including thrift stores. The librarians used cardboard boxes for filing. On several occasions my mom drove to Olympia, where the Olympia beer brewing company offered free blank scrap poster board. They used it to mount pictures. The Church eventually provided numbers to categorize the pictures so that teacher manuals could refer to them by number as well as description. Then the librarians painstakingly put numbers on the top back of each picture. I hadn’t thought about that for years. Mom spent many hours as a labor of love going the second mile in a calling, which looks ordinary today.
Anita asked me if I had recorded the memory in my journal. She is a family history consultant and recognized a golden nugget to save for future generations. It reveals some of my mother’s devotion to the gospel when she found it. Now I have shared it with you and will print up a copy for my journal too.
The weather has been beautiful and I have been outside almost daily. I did more weeding. I moved three wheelbarrows of rock – it barely covered the bottom since it is a lot heavier than weeds or rakings. I moved some of the fill from under the cedar hedge to the place where our washout used to be. I also mowed the top half of the yard. Patrick did the bottom half. Boy, he was proud of himself. He commented, “You could lose weight doing that!” That is wishful thinking, but a rather nice wish.
This afternoon I will be picking up Adryann and Brynneé from school. Daddy B.J. and I are heading over to the temple and will be taking the girls along till we pass them over to their parents, who will be finishing at the temple when we arrive. On the 29th we phoned Will to wish him a happy birthday and he and Mindie were heading in to the Las Vegas temple that day. Ruth and Tim were going there later in the day and meeting Nathan and Adam to attend a session. Do you know how happy it makes me to realize that five of my children and spouses, for those who are married, have been to the temple within just a few of days of each other?
Our prophet has counseled us to seek the protection and peace that temple attendance will provide. We are striving for obedience. I am smiling.
Debbie left a message asking us to remember Jay in our prayers – at his special request because he has the “biggest deal” he has ever worked on in progress. We love to hear that he knows the power of added prayer. Besides remembering him by name in family prayers we will put his name, indeed the names of all our children and grandchildren on the prayer roll this evening. We do pray for each of you to reach the greatest possible growth in your lives.Lavina’s foot surgery went well. I saw her later the same day and she looked great. She called yesterday to ask if I could recommend a LDS realtor, since she wants to sell the property at Ollala. I gave her Kathy Olsen’s name. Kathy (Perkins) was one of my seminary students years ago. She married a sailor, Hap – whom we also knew. Ruth gave her collie dog to Kathy who later made a business of teaching dog obedience classes. Now real estate is her part-time job. Of course, Kathy is full-time at being a mother and homemaker.
Benjamin told us that he was being sent to Ogden on June 30th for sure. He and many of us have been praying that things would work out in the best possible way for him, so we feel it will.