I'm sitting on my couch in the quiet early morning hours, trying to transform the peaceful contentment I am feeling into words. Minutes tick by, and I am still basking in the calm, wishing that words were not required to convey the serene sense of security. Drexel awakens, and greets me happily, but not frantically, his tail's soft thump thump thump providing background accompaniment to the morning's natural song.
When I read the quote by President Monson ("Let us open the door of our hearts, that He--the living example of true compassion--may enter") I knew I wanted to create something indici a door. I printed this image on a 4x6 piece of photo paper, with a landscape orientation. Then I folded the sides in, to meet at the middle, and cut the top and bottom, to form a heart. I glued red cardstock on the back of the photo paper, and wrote the quote on the front.
Doesn't that message about sum up Christmas? Jesus Christ came to earth to show compassion on all of us. His mission opened the door to salvation--and if we open the door to Him, we can receive his wonderful gift.
Well, technically only 6 days now, but who's counting? (Ha ha--millions of people are counting the days!) This week's list will be as scattered as my to-do list, and with no time to spare, let's jump right in:
I've been offline a lot this past week, for a very good reason--my sister traveled all the way across the country to come visit me! We did touristy things all week and had a really nice time just spending time together.
Have you ever had the experience of having tons to do in not a lot of time, and yet, time seems to stretch to accommodate all that is required? That has been my experience this week. My thankfuls might read like a to-do list, but I am so thankful that I could accomplish them (with help from above and friends!)
I can't believe I forgot to mention this in Friday's TToT post, so I will mention it now (and count it for 10 thankfuls):
Willow has been matched to a client, and will begin in-home training on December 7th!!!! Most clients travel to the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus to receive their dogs and training, but sometimes, for various reasons, a dog and trainer will travel to the client's home. Such is the case for Willow. I don't know if the client will choose to attend a graduation ceremony or not. While I think it would be fun to attend a ceremony, I'm really just very happy to have been able to participate in raising a guide dog. If the client wants to, I would be happy to stay in touch and hear how Willow does as a working guide.
Here's a photo of Willow taken in March of this year:
Hopefully Deedee can follow in Willow's paw-steps!
Do I need to say that I love Thanksgiving? Though there were only 13 around the table this year (plus a baby), the house was full of love, laughter, and food. Let's jump right into the list for the week:
I was recently contacted and offered a free pair of glasses in exchange for a review of the glasses from firmoo.com. Having recently "graduated" from dollar store reading glasses part-time to wearing progressive lens full-time, I thought, "Why not?"
I've been pondering lately about thanksgiving--not only Thanksgiving the holiday, but thanksgiving, the action or trait. I'd like to start this TToT with some insights on thanksgiving before I move into some specific thankfuls for this week.
Last week, Deedee had an appointment with the veterinarian for her (Deedee's, not the vet's) next puppy shot. She (again, Deedee, not the vet) also was weighed: 24 pounds of puppy! When I got home, I pulled out Drexel's records. While Deedee weighed 24 pounds at 12 weeks, Drexel weighed only 21 pounds--and he is a big boy! I'll be curious to see how Deedee grows, and just how big she gets.
Deedee's insight for this week:
John and Kristi were remarking about how much better I was getting with housebreaking. Do you know what this means? They might expect more of me! I decided to spend the past 8 hours reminding them that I am still just a little, cute, helpless puppy. See? Kristi again: Cute, yes. Puppy, yes. Little? Not really. Helpless? Oh, she'd like me to believe that. Deedee has made more progress forward than backward, and I know that one or two steps of regression is nothing to worry about. She has no idea how much fun she will have once she …
Sometimes events are so overwhelming, so tragic, so emotional, that it is hard to concentrate on anything else and, in fact, it seems somehow wrong to speak of anything lighter or happy. My heart certainly goes out to those who are intimately affected by the recent events in France. As we keep them in our thoughts and prayers, though, and support them however we can, I think it is also imperative that we continue to see the good in the world. We cannot let fear keep us from feeling thankful. And as we share our expressions of gratitude, hopefully the world will seem a little brighter, a little calmer, and a little more peaceful.
The swamp coolers got covered up this week, and the thermostats got turned back on. The heater has been blowing warm air into the cool house, and I have started wearing sweaters again. Summer might make an appearance here and there in the next few months, but for the most part, I think it's safe to say that it is now fall. I love fall!
For the month of November, visiting teachers are to select a message from the October 2015 General Conference talks. Sometimes it is hard to pick just one talk! November is also the month of Thanksgiving here in the United States. I thought, "Why not combine the idea of Thanksgiving with messages from conference?" The result is a Cornucopia of Conference.
It's Saturday night, and I finally have a chance to sit down and write. However, I know that if I sit still too long at night, I will fall asleep. This Ten Things of Thankful post is going to be quick!
When I read about October's Photo Blogging Challenge theme--"closeup"--I went no further than my own backyard for inspiration. Fortunately, the roses are putting on a last-minute show before colder weather sets in. I didn't use any fancy equipment, so the photos are not as closeup as they could be, but I had fun with the challenge.
Thanks for a photo challenge, that inspires me to look at things just a little bit differently.
I heard someone say recently that the older one gets, the faster time seems to pass. That is certainly true! It seems to me that I'm posting every day, but to the younger people out there, you might think I'm only posting about once a week. I have an idea to help me post more frequently--stay tuned to see if I can pull it off!
I'm looking for the Personal Progress book I used as a teenager. (That link is to the current program; the program of my youth has been updated a time or two or more over the years!) I haven't found it yet, but I've stumbled across some letters that my siblings wrote to me when I was in college. You might find them as funny as I did.
This month's visiting teaching message topic is one of my favorites. It's really the heart of the gospel, the driving force behind everything. When Jesus Christ was asked, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" he answered, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22: 36-39)
This month's topic is charity and love as a divine attribute of Jesus Christ. Charity is the pure love of Christ.
We are taught in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that charity is the greatest of all. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says: 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.Moroni 7:46-47 supports Paul's writings: 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave un…
Today marks the 20th anniversary of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. As readers have commented throughout this series of posts, occasionally the comments have been of the ". . . but that's not how things actually are in some families" variety. The final paragraphs of the proclamation acknowledge that truth.
Over the past few months, I've been writing posts based around The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This week marks the 20th anniversary of that document. In honor of that anniversary, I'm going to finish my series of posts about the proclamation this week.
Today's topic explores the roles of women and men.
She forgot to pack shampoo, so she washed her hair with bar soap. His tuxedo was misplaced, so he was late for photos. The order at the restaurant was mixed up, so the waiter was apologetic. The drive to the reception was long, so they were nearly late. The bouquet to toss was overlooked, so a quickly-picked, foil-wrapped handful of pansies sufficed. But truthfully, it was a perfect wedding day, so the couple started their happily-ever-after.
Today's post focuses on a portion of the proclamation that provides a blueprint for a happy family:
Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
I seem to have misplaced my blogging groove. I'm hopeful, though, that I will find it again soon, like I did my lost diamond. I know it's around here somewhere!
Posts yet to be written are piling up in my brain. Ideas are swirling around, waiting to come to fruition. This past week was going to be my settle-into-a-routine, catch-up-on-blogging week, but life doesn't always cooperate. Like the proverbial camel, one little thing after another has required my attention and slowed my progress. (And let me make it clear that I'm talking about things, not people! Time spent with people is time well-spent.) The straw that really slowed the blogging down was the demise of my computer, and the subsequent efforts to revive and ultimately replace the laptop. Then the replacement was reluctant to connect to the internet, and I fought frustration. I didn't even make it to all of the TToT posts last weekend before my computer died. I apologize if I didn't comment on…
This has been a week of contrast, but that lends variety to life, and helps me appreciate the routine weeks more.
Last Sunday in Relief Society, I suddenly realized that my wedding ring was missing its diamond. I slipped out of the room and went back to the Sunday School room, but I didn't find the diamond. I retraced my steps, checking the chapel, hallways, and library. No luck. I thought maybe I'd find it in the car, or at home, but still no luck. I thought I might have lost it for good, but on Monday, we decided to go back to the church building and try one more time to find it.
Youngest daughter asked if I had prayed about it. I told her that I had, but it never hurt to pray again. She asked me to join her in a prayer. She offered a simple prayer of faith that we would find the diamond quickly. About 2 minutes after she prayed, John came into the chapel with a smile on his face. He had found the ring in the Sunday School room! (The seminary class had met in the r…
I really enjoy participating in the monthly photo blogging challenge hosted by a 'lilhoohaa. This month's challenge was "Rule of Thirds." Apparently this is a basic rule in photography composition. It was different for me to think about a rule, rather than just eyeballing the photograph. I'm still not sure I followed the rule precisely, but here are five photos that might at least partially comply:
This next photo could have followed the rule of thirds better, but I still liked the shot: Another shot that should have been more off-center:
Be sure to go visit a 'lilhoohaa to see the other photos in the link-up!
Two weeks ago, the minivan had an oil change. Today, it's due for another one. The past two weeks have been a massive western states road trip: California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California. I already told you about the first week, which I spent in Utah for Education Week. That accounted for the California, Nevada, Arizona (just a few miles), and Utah part of the trip. This week's thankfuls will cover the second half of the trip, the leaving Utah, then Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Oregon again, and back to California part. So grab a seat and enjoy (?) the 2015 version of the vacation slide-show of yesteryear!
The challenge for this post: to limit myself to ten things. The only way I will succeed will be to not count each thing individually, but instead combine my observations into broad categories, and count the groups.
The latest data I found on the CDC website says that 40% of births in the United States are to unmarried women. There are numerous studies that show the disadvantages children have when they are born to unmarried parents. Princeton and Columbia Universities formed the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and, after extensive research, determined: In conclusion, children born to unmarried
parents are disadvantaged relative to children
born to married parents in terms of parental
capabilities and family stability. Additionally,
parents' marital status at the time of a child's
birth is a good predictor of longer-term family
stability and complexity, both of which influence
children's longer-term wellbeing. (link to source) Before I continue, please let me say that this post is not intended to condemn unmarried parents. I am not speaking specifically to anyone's individual situation, nor would I want to judge anyone. I have known unmarried mothers who have placed ba…
I am rather strange. Whenever there is a deadline, or a significant marker in time, I feel the need to have everything organized, in place, completed. August/September is back-to-school time. Granted, I no longer need to pack lunches or buy backpacks, but there is still a part of me that thinks, "OK. Changing of the seasons. I need to settle into a better routine, and it needs to be done now." Never mind that August is one of my least "routine" months of the year; August is the month that my brain tries to remind me of all the little (or big) tasks that are "desperately important". I should: organize the foods in the freezer, and write out a month-long meal plan; make home-made Christmas presents; have my walk-in closet look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens; run harder/longer/faster; have blog posts pre-written and ready to post daily. . . . That is just the short list.
Fortunately, I've been around long enough to realize that lif…
Previous posts in this series have prompted some readers to point out that some children do not live in the best of circumstances. The Family: A Proclamation to the World has something to say about how family members are to be treated.