Saturday, February 27, 2010


The art of love is God at work, through you.

Wilfred A. Peterson

It only takes one person to make a difference--small tis true, but a difference it will make. Look for a way to give service today. Smile, say a kind word, be more gentle than usual.

I am going to try to make this a fun weekend. We are off to wash the car....mmmm....Is there fun and joy to be found at the carwash??

Friday, February 26, 2010

In Everything Give Thanks

I have a friend that passed away this week. Catie Dunn Stubben. She was a young mother with 3 small children aged 2-6. I had her children in my pre school and grew close to the family when Catie was first diagnosed with cancer. She was pregnant with the youngest at the time, that is how they found the cancer. Sarah was born 3 months early and thrived. She had such a desire to be a part of this sweet family.

Last year Catie brought me a sign that hangs in my front room so all can see. It says:


Catie always had a giant smile on her face. She found joy in everything that she did. She looked for the good in all that came her way. She and Steve were such a good team as they took care of the children and kept Catie on her medical regiments. Her mother would come from Tennessee every other week to take care of the children and then take them back with her and return again--truly an angel on wheels.

My prayers are with the family as they weep for their sweetheart and mother. May God's loving arms surround them with peace and may they be filled with hope as they remember how Catie lived.

I know that Steve with his children David, Mary and Sarah will think of Catie's wise counsel when they reflect that they are an eternal family. May we all try to remember a big smile and sweet face glowing with joy in the most difficult of circumstances and try to remember that there is always a reason for thankfulness.


Thank you Catie for your good example. Till we meet again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I received an email from my friend Shelley Burnette and she had this thought by her signature

Smile More, Pray More, Complain Less

It is snowing today. We live in a area where snow is rare--except this year. My mother in law HATED the snow (maybe because she was single, had to go to work and lived where it snowed regularly--maybe history makes a difference in your perspective?). One year she was visiting us when a rare snow storm came up. She was so angry, but we were so happy with the prospect of a day off and time to go and play with the children in a new and fun way.

It really, truly is your own choice in a given situation whether to smile or complain. Quite often I find that prayer is just the tool needed to change my attitude. Thank you Shelley for today's living instructions:

Smile More, Pray More, Complain Less

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

road rage

I find that when I try to find good in others--even when there does not seem like there is much --I am soon feeling better about a situation and myself.

To illustrate: I am driving down a road we all know (or so I think) that will soon turn to one lane. Everyone needs to get over but one creep goes roaring up the vanishing lane and then tries to zip in in front of me causing me to stomp on the brakes. (of course this stretch of road is on my way to church and the doctor and I am trying my hardest to be on time) I try to think that maybe they are from out of town, coming to visit the grand children for the first time in their new house and it has been a long drive--the bathroom is calling, and that is why they do not know how to be polite causing me to loose my cheerful disposition for a moment.

I like this thought from Wilfred A. Peterson

Love is the perfect antidote that floods the mind
to wash away hatred, jealousy, resentment, anxiety, and fear.

Trying to be patient and kind to others is a life long pursuit. I find it is best to start at home, with those that I live with, then it is easier to stretch it to friends and neighbors and eventually to all that we come in contact with. After all, aren't we all brothers and sisters?? Just one big happy family can start with me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Me all by 'meself'

We have our grand daughter staying with us right now. Eden is 3 and a joy to have in our home. She is quick to remember thank you and please. She likes to count every thing and wants to help. Yesterday she washed a sink full of dishes--truly an automatic dishwasher if ever I saw one--I didn't even have to load it I just ran some water and watched her go.

When our second oldest was the same age her favorite words were "Me all by 'meself'" At that time I had 4 children aged 4 to newborn. No one was really old enough to put on their own shoes let alone bathe themselves. My life was filled with diapers, runny noses and the ever growing pile of unmatched little socks.

As I watch Eden struggle to do something she has declared she could do without assistance I think of all the times I too have declared that I could do it all by 'meself' when really truly I did need help.

Young in life I learned that two sets of hands doing a job is much more pleasant than struggling along on your own. When the children were all so little I was thankful when my sweet husband would come home and help with dinner, baths, stories, prayers and bedtime.

I guess the trick is to recognize when we need help. Not necessarily just the physical tasks but the emotional and spiritual tasks. Remembering to go down on my knees and pray about a situation rather than to keep trying to do it all by 'meself'.

I have learned that women solve their problems by talking about them--not desiring anyone to really fix the problem or do the task for them, but just allowing me--us--the opportunity to talk and see the bigger picture. I have also learned, after 37 years of marriage, that my husband is not a mind reader--darn--sometimes I don't even know what I want--how can I express it to him??

How do I know when to do it by 'meself' and when to ask for and accept help?? Does humility have something to do with it??

Today's thought comes from John Greenleaf Whittier:

Thee lift me, and I lift thee, and together we ascend

Gotta go--Eden is calling me to share her tea time....

Monday, February 22, 2010


Virtue is one of those old fashioned words that I do not hear very often any more, only when I get out my Jane Austin books and treat myself to a dreamy day full of Sensibility and Pride--or something like that.

Yesterday at church the theme was virtue. One of the speakers gave this equation that stuck with me and bears more thinking time.


That would be: Lingering leads to Lust which leads to Loss of virtue

That would be in more ways than the oft remembered lingering that King David did on his roof top verses Joseph of the fancy coat who ran from Potiphar's house.

We are reminded to be chaste and pure, steering clear of bad music, literature, shows and web sites. Often we accidentally end up some place where we know or feel we should not be. Our virtue depends on how long we linger thinking no one will know. But one thing leads to another and then......

I am thinking that for some the shoe department or cake pans in the kitchen cupboard should be on that list too.

When I fill those pans with batter and bake is that lingering?? How about when I spread on the butter cream frosting--or chocolate cream filling?? Am I lingering now?? I know I baked it for the family, but the number of people who live at home is shrinking and still the cake seems to disappear--or does it. Maybe it is following me around on my hips for the world to see what I do when nobody is looking?? Gotta think more about that equation.

Lingering + Lust = Lots more of me

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday

Two people special to me have their birthday today--my mom and my daughter in law, Cheri. My mom taught me many amazing things over the years but first and foremost she taught me how to be a wife and for that I am most thankful.

Cheri has taught me to smile when it rains.

Cheri is married to my youngest, Brian. Brian studied to be a welder and got a job not too long before they were to get married--just before the economic crunch hit. They got married in October 2008 at the peak of the big drop. Unfortunately you know how it goes--the last one hired is the first to go. Well Brian received that devastating news the week they were to get married so they had to move out of their cute apartment before they even moved in--so sad.

On our property we have a shed we call the guest house--a 10x15 room that has electricity and no plumbing. Our 20 something aged boys liked to stay out there to prove that they were on their own. It has a refrigerator and microwave, TV, dresser, bed and minimal hanging space. While Brian and Cheri were on their honeymoon my mom and I worked to turn the guest house into a honeymoon cottage. We cleaned it out of boy junk and arranged it for newly weds as best we could for a room without plumbing.

Cheri has been living in the cottage now for a year and a half. Every night in the middle of the night--rain, snow, sleet and heat--she trudges in to use the plumbing the big house offers. She has never complained, never grouched, never been upset. She just smiles.

Last week Brian and Cheri had to cancel their trip to Tennessee to visit her family because of the snow. I heard Brian say to her that he was sorry he wasn't able to take her home like they had planned. Cheri kissed him and said "I am home".

James M. Barrie had this to say:

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes,
but in liking what one has to do.

Happy Birthday Mom
Happy Birthday Cheri

I love you

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yesterday I went to the Doctor. He said that this weekend or whenever my foot swelling goes down enough to get a shoe on I can do it. Yippee!!! So I tried my loosest shoe--my big old comfie crocs--just to see how we were doing-- they didn't fit. I tried my husbands comfie, loose really big on me crocs and---they did not fit ;o( Guess me and the big ole boot will be friends for yet a while longer.

I guess I have two choices about the situation--be happy or cry. When I was younger and things did not go my way, I would cry and try to force fit my will on any situation that came up--well maybe that was just yesterday, but I digress--

Now that I am older I hope I am wiser and can realize that when things do not go my way, there might be something in the situation for me to learn.

Abraham Lincoln once said
"We are as happy as we make up our minds to be."

I find this thought to be true--happiness is a choice--I choose to be happy. I can walk--slow and wobbly it is true-- but I can walk.

Maybe I should tie a big red bow around that ole boot??

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Every Day

Most of you that know me know that for a few years--25--I have been quite ill. When they removed my thyroid they also removed my parathyroid. Your parathyroid helps you manage calcium which along with other things helps you manage stress. I have 6 children--enough said!! Now after 25 years and a great doctor I have finally come to a regiment of living which helps me go about life fairly well. I have learned that I need to:
  • eat balanced meals
  • take prescribed meds
  • get enough sleep

A few years ago, as the children started to become more self sufficient, I was at a cross roads. As I prayed for direction I felt this overwhelming inspiration for healthy living that would help me personally continue to live a healthy life as I began to age. It was quite simple, 3 things added to the three basics I already needed:
  • Read scriptures every day
  • go for a walk every day
  • go to the temple weekly

I have tried to stay on that regiment for 10 years. Last Sunday at Church was our ward conference. As our Stake Relief Society President--Stephanie Daniels spoke I was struck by her simple counsel for happy living: Say your prayers morning, evening and night, read the Book of Mormon at least 5 minutes every day and SMILE--The Holy Ghost cannot dwell with a grump!!

I remember about 25 years ago when we were in the throws of my illness, My youngest was a new baby and I had 5 other children under 10 years old. We were so poor we only had $25 a week for groceries to feed us all, we had just moved across the country and I was COLD. Something happened and I started laughing--I realized that it had been quite a long time since I had laughed. What a difference it made. Laughter and smiles lighten your load and brighten your day. So now I add to my list of every day li

  • SMILE--The Holy Ghost cannot dwell with a grump!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I had surgery last week on my foot and have been laying here thinking ever since--not much else to do with your foot up in the air. My sweet husband rented a movie for us to watch together--Julie and Julia. I laughed and laughed. My kids all have blogs, my friends have blogs. I have thoughts and a life full of experiences to share--why not blog as well.

I searched my heart and wrote down a title--denied, tried again--denied, and again, and again and again--guess everyone is now blogging and thinking up the same thoughts that I had--gotta get more original. Got out a favorite thought book and tried a few more--FINALLY a title I liked and blogspot liked too!! So Make Living Sweet is born. Hope you enjoy and I can figure out how to do this thing.