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Tuesday Travels: Rome Italy Temple and Visitor's Center

When John and I traveled to Italy earlier this year, one of the sites we were most excited to see was the new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our tour was planned around the open house dates, and I believe we were part of the first group tour on the first day of the open house. 

No photos were allowed inside the temple itself, but never fear. The church has produced this very thorough video that takes you on a virtual tour of the Rome Italy Temple. In addition to showing the various rooms of the temple, it gives the best explanation I have heard of the purpose of temples and the ordinances that take place inside the temples. It's definitely worth a watch.




After we toured the temple, we exited to the plaza that sits between the temple and the visitor's center. Olive and palm trees, along with other plants and flowers, grow in beds throughout the plaza.

As we made our way to the temple's visitor's center, the white marble statue of the Christus, w…

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Ten Things of Thankful: General Conference Edition

Last weekend was General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Twice a year, in April and in October, I watch church from my couch, as I listen to four (2-hour) general sessions of conference over two days.  As you might imagine after binge-watching so much, I come away with great appreciation for the messages I've heard. For today's TToT, I'd like to share some of the messages that stood out to me. I'm thankful to have heard:

1. Ulisses Soares' advice concerning those who do not think/act/live like we do:
"It is hard to understand all the reasons why some people take another path. The best we can do in these circumstances is just to love and embrace them, pray for their well-being, and seek for the Lord's help to know what to do and say. Sincerely rejoice with them in their successes; be their friends and look for the good in them. We should never give up on them but preserve our relationships. Never reject or misjudge them. Just l…

Six Sentence Story: Contest

I'm joining in again with the Six Sentence Story prompt, given by Denise at Girlie on the Edge. This week's word: Contest.

Once upon a time, before the days of e-mail, instant messaging, FaceTime, or even text; when phones were corded and attached to walls in homes, and calls were charged differently depending on time of day and distance, a mother longed to stay connected to her oldest daughter, who was hundreds of miles away at college.
The mother, unbeknownst to her older daughter, invited the two younger children to participate in an activity designed to promote family bonding and strengthen sibling ties: letter-writing.
The little brother, dutifully and without enthusiasm started his letter, "Dear Kristi, I wrote this letter becouse (sic) Mom made me." The little sister, on the other hand, wrote, "Mom said to sit down and write five sentences to you. I think I'll write more." 
While both siblings passed the "letter of the law" test, it was cl…

Never Give Up Hope

Twenty-three years ago, a beautiful little girl was born. From the get-go, she was sweet, sensitive, and rather shy. She has grown into a young woman of whom I am so proud. She has worked hard to overcome challenges, and recently told me she is trying to face her fears, and asked me if I would write her story and share it here on the blog, in hopes she can inspire others through their own struggles. Although I offered to publish an auto-biographical piece for her, she wanted me to write her story from my perspective. At her request, and with her approval of this post, I share the following:
The phone rang, and the social worker on the other end informed me that a baby girl had been born 10 weeks early and drug-exposed. She wasn't ready to be released from the medical facility where she was currently staying, but would we be interested in being her foster-to-adopt parents? Of course! When John and I filled out our paperwork, we indicated that we were comfortable with a premature bab…

Tuesday Travels: Pompeii

Prior to arriving in Italy, though I had not heard about Herculaneum, I did, of course, know about Pompeii. After touring the ruins at Herculaneum, I was even more curious to see Pompeii, so I could compare and contrast the two places.

Like Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., but while a mud flow buried Herculaneum, ash rained down on Pompeii. The difference in the way the towns were impacted is evidenced in the ruins: in Herculaneum, wood and skeletons survived, while in Pompeii, no wood remains, and plaster casts provide proof of former life. 




Herculaneum was a smaller city than Pompeii, and the excavated ruins open to the public are understandably smaller as well. As we walked around Pompeii, we visited a large amphitheater, forum and ancient temple site. 



Pompeii's wide streets, as compared to the narrower paths in Herculaneum, allowed carts to pass through the city.  Ruts that were carved into the stone roads by those carts are visibl…

Ten Things of Thankful: A Quick List

I have spent much of this week shredding papers, organizing photos, and generally just trying to make my office look like an office and less like the aftermath of a tornado. I don't just want surface-level organization; I'm after the organizational equivalent of spring deep-cleaning. And, as I'm actually motivated to complete this project, I'm going to keep at it until I'm finished (or, to be honest, until my motivation flits to a different task.) 

This is the paragraph that should be a beautiful segue from above excuse for a quick Ten Things of Thankful list to the actual list. I'm not going to spend time coming up with one, so hold on to your hats, here we go:

1. I'm thankful for my middle daughter, who celebrated a birthday this week. 

2. I'm thankful for my youngest daughter, who has a birthday this weekend.

3. I'm thankful that this weekend is also General Conference weekend. 

4-6. I'm thankful for attentive company responses:

I messaged Territor…

Ten Things of Thankful: Not Quite a Lamb Yet Edition

The way the wind is blowing outside, I can't quite yet say that March is exiting like a lamb. We still have a few days yet, though (at least we did when I started writing this post), so maybe the saying will end up holding true after all. Even with the blustery weather, though, I am thankful.

1. I nearly hit a tumbleweed on the freeway this week. Of course, I'm thankful I did not, but I'm also thankful for tumbleweeds. They just make me laugh, and remind me of the desert of California where we used to live. While I have no desire to return there permanently, seeing the tumbleweed was like a friend saying "Hi!"

2. Apparently California received a lot of rain this past winter, which helped bring about the super bloom the poppy fields are now experiencing. I'm thankful that I have seen the poppies in years past; the fields are truly beautiful.

3. I'm thankful that my grandchildren (and their parents!) will be coming to visit over Easter weekend. They are excite…