Tuesday, September 27, 2011

October Comes Knocking....

I can't believe that September is almost gone and October is knocking at the door.  It's wasn't that long ago that summer was making an exit and snapping us back to the reality of early mornings and unyielding school schedules.  And now here we are a few weeks away from fall break. Incredible! 

A little about school this year....

Jacob is in his senior year. All kidding aside, how did this happen? I remember vividly his wide, blue eyes dancing with excitement to begin Kindergarten and now, with only one year left, his still wide, blue eyes are dancing with excitement as he looks to his future and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Jacob September 2011

And Abigail, the once timid, teeth clinching little girl who was afraid to start school because, as she said, "someone will get in love with me!" is now stepping undaunted into her first year of high school!  Yes, we are inching ever closer to someone getting in love with her.

And Annah, our timid as a mouse little girl, (who couldn't even say "here" when attendance was called until the end of the year in pre-school) is now in middle school and growing up before our eyes!  And no, she is no longer terribly shy, thankfully.

  Annah, Jen, Abigail and Julie
September 2011
As October comes knocking we have more than just fall break to look forward to. October also brings Jordan home from Brazil after two years on his mission!

It is a lovely time of year with both the change in weather and the change in *where* Jordan calls home. Just two more weeks to go! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Looking Forward....

Elder Ferri, Diego, Ludmyla, Elder Valenta
Baptism of Ludmyla, September 2011
Bandeirantes, Brazil

Each week when I write to Jordan in Brazil I send him two emails.  One e-mail is the news from home and the second e-mail is a "Q&A" and it contains only questions for him.  I decided to do this so that he didn't have to sift through letters to answer the questions I would ask. Jordan has been so good about answering each and every question I have sent him.
This week in my Q&A one of my questions was, "What are you looking forward to this week?"The answer he sent back made us smile as we glimpsed both his spiritual focus and his "natural man"......

"I'm looking forward to meeting an elect that has been being prepared by God to be baptized on the 2nd of October and help them enter into the path to one day be exalted in the presence of God with their eternal family. Also I'm excited for lunch on Saturday because the family makes really good dessert."

BWHAHAHAHAHA!  It's good to have things to look forward to! :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Tim!

Today is a special day... it is Tim's birthday! I, for one, am very glad he was born. :) I have never loved anyone more that I do him. He is my best friend. He is dependable. He is committed. He is compassionate. He is honorable. He is funny. And he is really good at helping kids with homework! ;) 

I love my life with him. 

This is Tim at the MTC in September 1983.  He served a mission to Argentina.

Happy Birthday, Tim!
I love you. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Back in September 2008 my blog was born.  My friend Patty and I had talked about blogs. She asked me what I knew about them and my answer was absolutely nothing! :)  As we both learned about blogs I thought she should start one and she wanted me to start one too.  I wasn't on board until I attended the Relief Society General Broadcast that September evening and heard the talk that is highlighted here....

I am sure that there isn't anyone alive that would label my blog as "creative" but
when I began my blog I had no way of knowing that just a few short months later Tim would be diagnosed with cancer and that our family would begin a journey that would change us forever. Because I acted on the words of Elder Uctdorf and did what was "creative" for me, I have in turn created for my family a record of our journey these past 3 years.  It is a record that will forever stand as a witness of the unmistakable and undeniable hand of God that we saw, and continue to see, in our lives.

Seeing this video clip of that September 2008 talk reminds me all over again of the importance of creating. I hope that each of us can find within us the desire to create something beautiful, worthwhile and fulfilling with our lives...whatever that may be.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 ~ Ten Years Ago

September 11, 2001.

~19 terrorists

~4 passenger jets

~8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center North Tower.

~9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 crashes intothe World Trade Center South Tower.

~9:37 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

~10:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashes into a field near Shanksville, PA. but it is believed to have had an ultimate target of the Capitol or the White House.

~2,977 people dead (not including the terrorists that were on the planes that day).

~Millions of lives changed forever.

It is a day in our nation's history that will never be forgotten, nor should it be. 

Last year on the 9th anniversary of 9/11 I published a blog post titled "9/11 Nine Years Later". Now, another year has passed and we are marking the 10th anniversary of that tragic day. 

The following article appeared in the Washington Post on September 8, 2011, written by Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I wanted to share it on my blog because it is a reminder of the need to return to God. 

9/11 destruction allowed us to spiritually rebuild

By Thomas S. Monson
There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.

Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.

If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.

The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.

It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm.

Thomas S. Monson is president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Begin Again....

Oh, it has been a long time since I have written.  I think about it but for various reasons my fingers have not made it to the keys.  I find the longer I wait the harder it is.  The thing about not writing for a long time is that it makes me feel like I should go back and catch up on what happened in the time lapse but then it is that very feeling that makes me not want to write. It's too big of a job.  But I miss writing so I will jump back in and begin again.

I am so thrilled that cooler temperatures have finally come knocking on Kentucky's door!  Today it is a cool 57 degrees with overcast skies and pockets of rain.  The cool air is refreshing and rain is so very needed. Our grass is screaming for water as it has turned a very drab brown color. The grass matches nicely with the dying garden plants so at least the backyard is in the same color scheme.  :)  

The garden...yeah, that's a sore spot this year. I had high hopes for our garden. We had planted a few pots of tomatoes last year but it had been 2 years since we last planted an actual garden. Cancer sort of took over our lives for a while and a garden was the last thing on our minds.  But, this year I was excited to begin again.  We decided to plant green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash and even threw in a watermelon plant for fun. We dug, we planted, we watered, we watched, we waited.  We don't know what went wrong but whatever it was, it was wide spread.  In the end we got a few tomatoes and a few more peppers.  The squash plants flowered beautifully but produced not one single squash!  The green beans were bumpy and tough.  I could go on and on but I won't. 

I am still pouting about the garden.  I give it a sneer and murmur under my breath each time I am in the backyard.  Right now I am feeling like there will be no garden next year. Maybe I will change my mind come spring when I walk through the garden center and see shelves of such lovely young plants that are full of promise begging me to take them home and give them a try.  Right now I am not in the mood to be fooled again.  We will see come spring. 

Right now I am focused on fall.  No gardens to water, no weeds to pull, no scorching temperatures.  And it's always a plus when the grass is near dead so it doesn't need to be mowed.  Yeah, I am loving it. :)