Mission to Cape Verde...

We received our Mission Call to Cape Verde!!!  Little islands off the west coast of Africa.   What a wonderful experience.  If you have a moment, peek in on some of the amazing people that we are getting to know and love.  http://capeverdessays.blogspot.com/



Oh, the JOY of watching our youngest child with her amazing husband holding their one hour old son...such a MIRACLE!!!   I tried to look up and swallow the tears quickly before I blinked.  Heaven touches Earth in these precious moments. They are at once exultant and exhausted.  We have been blessed tonight.


Life has a way of changing...

Leelou Blogs   Transitions are difficult.  Changes quiet me.  Though it is a common thread in my life to move again and again and to meet more wonderful people...it makes me weep for those who I have already met and loved and will miss so much.  We found out last Monday that we will move in two weeks for 3-6 months or so... or less or more.  Tiny tender mercies that whispered ahead... calm me now as I pack boxes and memories and begin again.  Sister Hinckley must have moved before!


Thanks for Three Marvelous Days!

We painted masterpieces, crafted, read stories, watched Tangled, had carameled apples, made play-dough cookies, ate, stayed up too late, and just when we thought of new things...it was time to go home...and now it is quiet and we are missing them like crazy...

because they took their amazing mother with them....

Thank You for the Wonderful Visit Elisa!  What a trooper your are to be growing their little brother and still drive the distance to stay up with us for games and talks and things.  We already miss you all...call us when you get home...drive safely!  It went by way way way too fast!




(photo from our back deck)


Favorite days of the year!

Conference is my favorite time of the year!  Living Prophets and Apostles teach us and give us a blueprint for our next six months of living!  What a wonderful two days.  Feeling very thankful tonight for their inspired words and have two new goals to work on.  They have a way of challenging us to be better, but in such a loving way, that we look forward to trying!


Elisa and Ashley Recipes!

(Click on these cute recipes to see them better) 
I love reading these cute recipes from Ashley and Elisa from years ago.  They are both wonderful cooks now!  They can follow and easily understand the most difficult of delicious recipes. 
Sometimes I wonder if we live our lives much like a child writing a recipe without experience or a knowledge of which ingredients, and how much of those, will make a life worthy of our time and efforts in the end.  I have a point of view and you have a point of view...but how wonderful that Heavenly Father has a VIEW. 
And what delicious JOY when we follow His recipe!



I will go back for color, soft lyrics and music...for kind words, true stories, a child's laughter and a grandfather's tears. I will go back for inspired books, fancy paper, puppies, 3 by 5 cards, and quiet thoughts. I will go back to try on pretty nightgowns, to plant a tomato, to smell the sidewalk in rain, to read poetry and storybooks, to buy long skinny sticks of multi-grain bread in brown wrappings.  I go back to words and memories that feel like love. I love going back home after a long day.
There are a few things in our lives that we go back to just because they make us smile.  A painting, the scriptures, a pen in a shoppe window, an art museum, a forrest place, a note, a friend.  I've wondered why we are constantly searching out things that make sense to our souls. Does it make us feel more at home in this borrowed world? 
What are a few of the many things in your life that make you smile?  What draws you back again? 



I love the Seasons!  The variety of color, crispness, warmth, calmness, each Season has its own sunsets, sunrises, smells, sounds, and thought. Each season brings her gifts and challenges. Life also has its seasons.  Each one has been my favorite so far.


Just a few short weeks!

Moments, of spring's sunshine touch, awakens new hope and glad-ness.
Only a few short weeks til' conference and carameled apples!  Then the baby season begins!  Ashley-May, Tiffany-June, Elisa-July.  Life is so good!



It is difficult to say good-bye to friends.  We learned that Jamie and Lynn are moving...we loved visiting their elk farm, their ranch, their paintings, mostly... them.  I think the next life will be more user-friendly.  No more long distances or good-byes.  I will like that alot!


Valentine's Day!

I remember being 58 years old and coming home yesterday to a candle-light dinner in the living room, nice blue and green design dishes on a tablecloth, wonderful salmon alfredo over fettuccini, salad with colored peppers, Concord grape juice, even the dressing in its own little blue bowl, and a home-made valentine next to my plate.   Ahhhhhhhh!  I love this handsome young man!


Nine Years Old

I remember being nine...using my skate key to tighten my skates every 16 cracks in the sidewalk or so, wanting a horse...please, please, please... wondered if John Thompson ever climbed trees or played softball as I sat on the piano bench glancing at the red book, looking at the clock. I remember birthday parties and reading horse books, Beverly Cleary, and Nancy Drew. I remember the diving boards in Ephraim's swimming pool, mowing lawns to earn allowance, the pastel candy hearts in glass bins at Lee's five and dime, and hurrying to my desk after recesses of jumprope. tag, marbles, to peek in my Valentines' box. 



Storybooks and Grandchildren
make otherwise slow Days
run faster than me
As I try catching
to slow them down
While I memorize dimples
in tiny hands and
smile sparkles
in child eyes.

I didn’t cry when they left
this time
I am becoming quite a normal person
I gave hugs and waved
and Told them to hurry back.
I watched until the cars became dots
on the horizon and thought
how very controlled I was
To tuck this memory into
My heart and still
Go back into the house
With a snippet
Of dignity
At the sight of tail lights
Disappearing down the drive.
(Unlike times before)
when I required A bath towel
and a timeout…

In fact I was like a normal
Person for most of the day.
Folded laundry,
straightened a Few things
Thought about dinner
could use the leftovers
should call so and so
About such and such…
But later in the day
I pulled out one of the dining room chairs
to vacuum
under the table,
My insides burst
into a flood
that carried all resolve
and normal and okay and fine... away.
Tears came trickling
from as far away
as the cars and flights
that have taken my grandchildren...

and all at the sight
of one



a whisper wave
we must take for granted
or it would crush us
in the wake of understanding
just how fragile we are.

A moment
we must trade and vote with
Or we will lose it, unused.
Every minute decides us
Un-choosing… we still choose.

A dandelion fluff
We watch and wonder as
puffs of time have flown
The wise forgive and learn to live
The proud must cry alone.



Thank You Roses...

In springtime, Momma would send me to school with a fresh cut rose for my teacher.  With celebration in my step I smiled out the front screen door and slowly scanned our little bush for the best bud of all. While momma bent down to make the diagonal cut between thorns, she taught me the value of sun, rain, and soil. Even in white winter, I remember the rosedew smell and velvet feel of gratitude. Her lesson has not lessoned with time. 

On quiet afternoons, my mind gathers names of people who have blessed my life with their nurturing.   At times, the lessons have been cut carefully between thorns.  Mostly, the memories are of liquid sunshine that I have danced in!  My life has been abundantly blessed; yet not sufficiently suffoncified, because there is much left to learn...and while I yearn to understand more...I hope armfuls of roses for the teachers in my life.  


Happy New Year!

For Christmas, our family decided to send books to each other. We will read them together and email what we like and wonder and think and don't like and muse and choose and respond about the words in the books.  We have three amazing gifts that are still on their way!!!  Ashley and Toast are due in May!!!  Jason and Tiffany are due in June!!!  Elisa and Bruce are due in July!!!  This has to be the Best Christmas Ever!


PART of the GIFT...

My mind wanders to all of my daughters and nieces and mom-friends and you...(and my sons too, but with school, work, building, etc. they may be too busy to check the blog!) and I think of how very busy you are baking and making and working and cleaning and wrapping and shopping and explaining and teaching and rocking and running and building and visiting and buying and trimming and mending and buying and planning and laundering and budgeting and thinking and fixing and changing and cooking and wondering...and I remember when my lists of things to do was bigger than me or my budget or my energy!

And so in the middle of all of your celebration and saturation...I want to share a little story with you that a dear lady shared with us this morning.

Once there was a boy who wanted to give the gift of a shell to an older friend. But the sea was a distance from where he lived. Nevertheless, he decided to walk the miles to the sea and chose a beautiful shell. Then he walked the great distance back and gave the beautiful gift to his friend. His friend was full of joy: "Oh, but it took you so long to walk to the sea and bring this all the way back for me." To which the young boy responded: "The walking is part of the gift!"
As I watch you serve your families and observe your patience and tryings and all of the time and energy that you spend to make this Christmas time special in your homes, I hope you know that the doing of all of it is definitely part of the gift. It does not go un-noticed no matter how tired you may be. I love each of you so very much and admire all that you do. The lists may be longer than our lives at times...but the love that you share in all of the doing lasts past time.

I wish I lived close enough to come babysit or rub your feet or make you a meal and give you some time off to take a warm bath or read a book or take a nap! Just wanted to tell you that you are amazing and that I am very blessed to know and to love you. And I do!


A Winter Wonder...

My memories don't hold winter much.

I remember rolling snowmen;
my father lacing up my iceskates;
and marshmellows melting in my cocoa.
My mind still reaches for the sweater that my mother knit just for me;
smiles at the thought of climbing back up, with our heavy wooden sled;
and the taste of pulling icy mittens off with my teeth once the school bell begged us to crunch and wade frozen for home.

Funny... it must have been cold.

Yet, somehow, I remember doing all of those things between gathering dandelion bouquets; building cities in the sandbox; and checking to see if the new kittens had opened their eyes.

Perhaps, 'wonder' make us warm?

I wonder.

Learning the SECRET again...

The best part of life is learning new things. There is always one more idea to think, one more skill to explore, one more process to try, or one more new day to be had! I really like that. Some of the best ideas are ones that we already know and just need to remember here and there again!

With the building of Jason's home...Dad and I have definitely tried new things. Dad did alot of the electrical with Jason, and has put in the speaker systems, and learned to put in wood floors with Jason. I have learned to do the rockwork on the outside of the house (even two stories up on scaffolding while repeating over and over to myself: Don't Look down...brenda, just don't look down...), and I got to lay all of the tiles in the two main bathrooms! I chose the placement of colors and Jason cut them and I put them in. I may have put more mud on me than the floor, but they turned out beautifully! I'll have to take more photos! Anyway, two new things! Kinda fun.

Some days...we get so busy that I think Stan would think my making a meal would be new and different! ;)

Double click to see the happy surprised face of Tiffany when Jason showed her the new wood floor (almost done!) He couldn't wait to show it to her!

I have learned alot by watching our son build this home for his sweet wife and children. Seems like a man will do amazing things to make his family happy.

And if that is so, then to be happy is a wife's kindest secret.

I have watched Tiffany's appreciation for even little things that he does, and her patience! Oh My! Because he is gone so much doing it. (sometimes til' the wee hours of the morning) plus work, plus church, and she laughs at his jokes and she admires the details, though she is full time busy and tired too.
The other night after doing tile...I was following Jason in our car and he stopped and pulled over, So of course, I stopped to see what he needed. He got out of his car and came back to my open window, and said, "Thank you Momma-Love. I really appreciate all your help. You and dad have been great." and then he got back into his car and turned left for home and I continued straight until time to get on the freeway for home.
Their appreciation makes me want to lay tile and do rock-work (....even on scaffolding! ;)

Thank you Jason and Tiffany...for reminding me again tonight...about the secret.

Tomorrow night I will make a nice nice dinner for Stan. I may even use candles! ;)