Monthly Archives: March 2016

Signs of Spring


As I walked back to my desk today I noticed a tree outside the window whose buds are really sprouting forth!  They’re not just little buds anymore.

So I walked over to the window to survey the view.  There are some bushes across the sidewalk that also are sprouting forth.  It seems they are enjoying the benefits of our recent snowstorm.

Next a handful of birds caught my eye.  They were leaving a tree further away that still looks quite bare.  So I easily spotted a nest, and a possible second nest, near the upper branches.

The nest made me think of the birds at my house.  Many years ago the birds found an unlikely spot to build their nests, against the house on top of the front porch light fixtures!  With the little box that housed the motion detector, the birds found just enough room to build their nests.

Once we could see that they had tried to start a nest that fell off, and they rebuilt.  The second nest was a success.

And one summer we were in and out the front door so much, causing the bird sitting on the nest to constantly fly off to the tree to wait until we were safely away before returning, that we got a plywood board and put it up between us and the nest/light so they wouldn’t have to fly off every time we walked out.  It worked, and the babies were safely hatched.

I have also seen a couple of flowers in the yard starting to grow.  It was just the green leaves when I noticed them, but the flowers are not far behind.

Yes, signs of spring are coming out all over!

What are your favorite signs of spring?  🙂

Easter, Celebrating Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection


What does Easter mean to me?  It is a time to remember the atonement, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ because these great gifts make possible the greatest gifts mankind has to gain!

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

“We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  Pearl of Great Price, Article of Faith 3 and 4.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to show us the right way to live and to prepare the way for us to return to live with Him and with our Heavenly Father.  His great example has helped me live a better life every day of my life.  When problems arise, or I am unsure what to do in a situation, the stories and the teachings of Jesus help guide me to make the right choices.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have learned the way that Christ prepared so that I and my family may follow in His footsteps, live the principles and accept the ordinances that Jesus instituted for those who desire to know the truth and return to live with Him one day.

Because Jesus was resurrected, everyone will be resurrected – body and spirit reunited once again never to be separated again!  This is a free gift that He provided for all.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all mankind.  This is difficult to fathom, for our minds are so finite and small.  Yet, He accomplished this great price:

“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—”  Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-18.

This great gift is available to everyone, but it is a conditional gift.  To receive it, we must repent of our sins and strive to live a good and righteous life, following the example of Jesus.  We build our faith in Jesus, which allows us to learn more about how He lived and try to make the same types of choices in our own lives.

The reward for that is not only to be resurrected, but also to live with God forever and ever!

What greater joy could there be?

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  • Top ‘O The Mornin’ To Ya!


    Today is St. Patrick’s Day!

    It’s such a fun little “holiday” with everyone wearing green, leprechauns all around, and a festive atmosphere.

    And of course, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!  🙂

    And as I was thinking about it, I remembered a Catholic nun I used to work with.  She sat at the front desk as a volunteer and always greeted everyone with a smile.

    On St. Patrick’s Day, she would greet you with, “Top ‘o the mornin’ to ya!”  You’d find yourself reciprocating, and then she’d say, “And the remainder of the day to yerself!”  I loved it.  What a joyful, friendly greeting, putting you at easy and in a good mood all at the same time.

    Problems didn’t seem quite so big, life didn’t seem quite so overwhelming, and things seemed to slow down just a bit for a moment as you contemplated that quick bit of banter.  Yes, life was good.

    Top ‘o the mornin’ to ya!  🙂

    Discerning Right From Wrong


    With all the choices available to us, can we always tell the right from the wrong?  Sometimes it seems it is a very thin line between the two, and often the line seems rather blurred.

    But to be truly happy, and safe from wrong influences, we want to avoid temptation and stay on God’s side.

    In the Sunday School lesson yesterday was an example that I think can really help us clarify do that.

    It is set up as a demonstration during a family discussion:

    “Have a family member stand in the center of the room. Explain that in this demonstration, the area to the right of that person represents all the good things that can be done in life. The area to the farthest right represents the very best things that can be done. The area to the left of the person represents all the wrong things that can be done in life. The area to the farthest left represents the very worst things that can be done.

    “Explain that Elder Richard G. Scott presented a similar object lesson. Then he observed: ‘In the middle, it is difficult to discern what is right and what is wrong. This middle area is where Satan works with righteous people. … It is easy to become confused here. Live well within the wonderful area of good the Lord has defined, and you won’t have any problems with temptation. If you are not sure whether something is appropriate to look at, to listen to, to think about, or to do, then avoid it. You could be headed for one of Satan’s traps’ (“Do What Is Right,” Ensign, June 1997, 53–54).”

    See?  This helps simplify the process.  I love this!

    When we choose to stay on the Lord’s side, Satan has no power over us.  His temptations don’t tempt us.  And we feel better inside, not all stressed, fearful, and doubtful.

    The more we do it, the more we learn to discern right from wrong, and the happier we will be.  🙂

    Relief Society’s Ward Birthday Dinner


    This week we had the ward (congregation) Relief Society birthday dinner.  It was a lot of fun!

    The Relief Society organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded on March 17, 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith.  The purpose of Relief Society is to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life.  That is accomplished as sisters (women in the Church) increase faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes as they make and keep sacred covenants, and offer relief to those in need, working in unity with priesthood holders.

    It was a delightful evening.  Dinner was a waffle bar – with freshly made waffles and a large variety of toppings to choose from.  Personally I love to have breakfast for dinner.  There were assorted fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and bananas, yogurt, as well as chocolate chips, powdered sugar, butter, maple syrup, jams, whipped cream, sausage, and bacon.  It was delicious!

    After dinner the fun really started.  We played “speed getting-to-know-you” where half the sisters sat in one row and the other half in a second row facing the first row.  Our leader had come up with 10 questions per person in the first row, and every person had different questions!  I believe she had about 200 different questions prepared to help us get to know each other a little better.

    Row two had a minute and a half with each person in row one to pick a question between 1 and 10, hear that question, talk about it, and have that sister tell about herself in response to the same question.  We then moved over to the seat on our left and visited with the next sister.  So each of us talked with half the sisters there.

    A sample of some of the questions are:

    • Would you rather eat your favorite meal for every meal for the rest of your life, or never for the rest of your life?
    • Do you like flying in an airplane, and why?
    • What was your favorite book when you were growing up?
    • What would you like to do before you die?

    It was great discussing things that you’d never think to ask in normal conversation, and quite interesting to see some of the tangents the answers lead to, like:

    • All the food in Germany was wonderful!
    • I want to serve another mission for the Church before I die.
    • Why I dislike flying.
    • Records we listened to in our youth.

    I suggested to a couple people that they ought to pass this activity on to our Young Men/Young Women program.  I think they’d have a blast with it!

    It was such a nice evening.  I got to know several more people than I’d met before, and you find the greatest women in the Church.  They have real issues with health, family, jobs, and other things, but they stand fast for the truth, know that Heavenly Father loves them, and strive to help, love, and support each other and the world around them.  They make you feel good when you are with them, and I am always smiling as I leave their presence because it is such an encouraging and joyful experience!  🙂

    Visiting Teaching Wows!


    I’ve been learning a lot about Visiting Teaching lately.  Visiting Teaching is part of the Lord’s program for taking care of the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Between my mother’s visiting teaching companion (since we are usually sent out two by two, this is her friend or “side-kick”), and my own feelings attending a new ward (congregation), visiting teaching is taking on a whole new meaning for me.

    My mother’s companion knows my mother well enough that if my mother isn’t in church, her friend knows that she is not feeling well.  So she’ll call after church and say, “You are sick, aren’t you?”  Then she finds out what is going on with my mother.  I love that!

    And being in a new ward, I found myself going to church after a week or two, wondering “Who will be my friend?  Which of the ladies here are similar in age and interests and will befriend me? or can I reach out to?”  And when I was made a Visiting Teacher, I thought that I would get to know my companion and the sisters (our word for other women in the Church) we were assigned to visit, so we could become friends.

    Reaching out to them seemed only natural, and trying to contact them and get to know something about them so we could meet their needs was what occupied my mind.

    So last Sunday when they announced in Relief Society (the women’s organization of the Church) that this Wednesday evening would be a dinner in honor of the birthday of Relief Society, my immediate thought was, “Hmm, which of my visiting teaching sisters and companion are not here and how can I get word to them of this special evening so they can attend if they’d like to?”

    Realizing that I only saw one of them in the room, I determined to contact the rest to ask (thanks to my mother’s visiting teaching companion) if they were ill and to let them know about the special dinner.  So Monday I called all but one.

    The phone number I had for the final one doesn’t work.  She doesn’t live all that far from me, and as I was driving home from work the thought came to me to go stop by her home and drop off an invitation.  So I did.

    Talk about inspiration from God!  She was home, was very nice, and we had a nice long chat.  She would love to go to church more often when she feels well enough, but doesn’t drive.  So I quickly volunteered, and told her any time that she felt well enough to go, to please call me and I would come and pick her up and take her with me.  It was as natural as could be.

    I have been a visiting teacher for many, many years.  And I have tried to visit my sisters regularly, sometimes with great success and other times with little success.

    But somehow, now it feels different.  It feels like simply reaching out in friendship, and getting to know women who are individuals and have various strengths and needs, and determining how I might be able to reach out in love and kindness to help, love, and support each one.

    I am so grateful to have opportunities to learn and grow even after all these years, and for the inspiration of the Lord to help me know how to love and help others, and for this program of the Church.

    Visiting Teaching, wow!!  🙂

    Never Take Your Husband With You To The Caucus!


    If you are smart, you will heed my advice:

    Never take your husband with you to the Caucus!

    No one warned me that this could be a problem.  So very innocently, and unknowingly, I went to my Caucus taking beloved hubby along with me.

    Big mistake!

    It was bad enough when he “nominated” me to be secretary, and of course all the 30 or so people there almost jumped out of their seats for joy when approving the nomination, just so they wouldn’t have to be stuck doing it.

    Next, he nominated me as an alternate delegate.  And once more the crowd fairly leaped in excitement to make it so!

    He continued getting me voted in as an alternate for two more rounds – all the way up to State!  Good heavens!  By now the room had become a conglomerate in their eagerness not to be “the one”!

    I could barely breathe as they filed, quickly, out of the room and left me behind.  I was so discombobulated I could not figure out the money the delegates had paid, along with the donations, and get the numbers to add up properly!  I am not that bad at math!

    Luckily, an accountant had volunteered to be treasurer, so was able to take care of the whole thing.

    Like I said:

    Never take your husband along with you to the Caucus!  🙂