Saturday, May 30, 2009

Immense Gratitude

I have always been a firm believer in miracles. But after this weekend, there is no doubt in my mind.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One Fine Day

We've spent the past few days in UT visiting Matt and Krystal Tipping!! They are our really good friends from Charleston, and have since moved to GA after she graduated med school as a nurse anesthetist. Their families live in Ogden and they came home to visit for a couple of weeks and we figured since they flew 2000 miles, we could drive three hours to see them. It was so AWESOME!!!! Man, it was SOOOOOOO great to see them again I cannot even begin to explain how good it feels to be with friends from Charleston! Luckily, another family that used to live in Chas and now live in UT as well, were available to visit so us and the Tippings went to Bountiful for the evening to visit Brice and Tawni Williams. Man, they are so awesome, Tawni made us delicious enchiladas and we just chatted and played games all night. I have to admit as soon as we said good bye to the Williams and Tippings, I got teary eyed and cried like a baby. I miss our Chas friends so much, but by far, one of the best nights since being back home! I love you guys so much, thank you for all you've done! And to those still left in Charleston or that have since moved, we miss you and love you to death!!

Sacred Temple Square

We have spent a few days in Utah visiting friends and while there we went to Temple Square. For anyone who has not been, it is definitely something to see in this life and unfortunately I think we (meaning probably most people in general that lives out West) takes it for granted because we live within driving distance. I have been several times before but it's so interesting that each time I go I learn something new, partly due to the fact that the church constantly changes what is on display. The temple grounds are SO gorgeous and immaculately manicured with beautiful flowers and shrubbery. It is so breathtaking! Words cannot describe the beauty and the peace and the power of the spirit in that sacred place.

Lance has never been to the church museum and I want to touch on that for a minute. Downstairs were several black and white photographs by George Edward Anderson, most that were framed were unique pictures and angles of the Smith farm, the sacred grove, Carthage jail, the tombstone of Joseph and Emma's oldest baby that died, the Smith burial ground, the Smith mansion, the hill Cumorah, the Kirtland temple, and so on. These pictures were taken around 1906 and although it was almost 50-100 years after Joseph Smith's time, it is so intriguing to see how and where they lived. (One day after Lance is out of school I desperately I want to go on a church history tour around the US).

Each prophet in this dispensation has an area dedicated to their life and service in the church. I am amazed at the extremely generous and selfless people who donated items from the prophets' lives. For example: Gordon B. Hinckley's temple suit and his medal presented by the president of the US for civic service; Heber J Grant's top hat, white gloves, and white bow tie; numerous journals and other medals presented for patriotic duties for many other prophets; a number of other clothing items worn by them, desks, pens, hymnals, etc. While many of the prophets also did extensive traveling all over the world they were given gifts by members of the church, some of these were also on display showing their culture and their love for the prophets. I was so deeply touched by the selflessness of family members and friends of the prophets who gave these as gifts to the church to be shared by others through out the world. What an amazing and priceless gift this is! In reverence I want to share what touched me the most. The area that was displayed for Joseph Smith left me in awe. There was an ornate rain gutter that was part of the Smith mansion, many journals, letters to Emma his wife, official government documents when he was in the militia and ran as president, his and Hyrum's gun that was used for protection, his sword, a rocking chair, a desk, and many other items used by our beloved Prophet. It's amazing to me that he lived just 200 years ago, sometimes that seems like such a long time but to think of his belongings being preserved for that long it just phenomenal. Especially when I think about the things that came across the plains with the pioneers, and we still have them today as a witness and testimony of our Prophet.

Another section of the museum left Lance and I in tears. It was dedicated to the lives and the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It showcased the original death masks of Joseph and Hyrum, the original pocket watch that saved John Taylor's life, a few breathless paintings of those final moments in Carthage jail, and several original journal entries of the saints who mourned their death. Below is a piece of artwork that was embroidered by a 13 year old girl as she expressed her grief over Joseph and Hyrum's death. It reads:
Sacred to the memory of Joseph and Hyrum Smith
Who fell as martyrs of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
June 27th 1844
Aged 38 and 44 years
Zion's noblest sons are weeping,
See her daughters bathed in tears,
Where the prophets now are sleeping,
Nature's sleep the sleep of years.
When the earth shall be restored,
They will come with Christ the Lord.
Mary Ann
Broomhead's work 1844
Aged 13 years
I want to testify that I know Joseph Smith was and is a true and living prophet of God. I know he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ as he said he did and that he indeed did restore the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he translated the Book of Mormon and restored the correct priesthood keys on this earth once again, so we and everyone can receive all the ordinances and blessings necessary for exaltation. I am grateful for the faith he had to read the bible and to pray concerning the questions in his heart. I am forever in debt to him and all the pioneers and ancestors who have lived and were so faithful to help establish Zion so that I and my family can be blessed with the sames blessings of the gospel.


Over the weekend I went with Lance's family to decorate graves in remembrance of past loved ones. This is going to sound absurd but I never really knew what Memorial Day was all about until this year. My family generally goes camping or to the movies or four wheeling and I guess it's because the cemeteries that my ancestors are buried in, are 3 hours away and I've never had anyone close to me die. All of my grandparents are here and my last great grandparent died a few years ago. So I don't think I've ever in my life decorated graves (besides during family reunions) until this weekend. I have to say I think it's an excellent tradition and I'm already looking forward to next year. I've always been intrigued by Lance's family history and by giving flowers I heard more stories from his parents about the family. I'm grateful Lance is going into mortuary science for school, I've always found his job extremely fascinating and well, if he didn't major in it then I probably would. I'm so thankful for the legacy and the heritage that we have both as individuals for our own families and the legacy and heritage that we will bring day. I'm so thankful for family history work and temples. Having the temple only 10 minutes away is such a special blessing! I look forward to the day I get to meet my ancestors as well as Lance's and learn more about our families.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Four Years

We celebrated our fourth anniversary this past Thursday. Since we just purchased a new car (new, meaning new to us as in a 2006) and we have tuition to pay for the summer semester, we really had no money to spend at all. But we were together and that's all that matter. I made a lasagna dinner and while it was cooking we went for a ride on the scooter together. The weather was gorgeous and it was so nice just to go for a ride and be in fresh air. After dinner we went out for blizzards and it felt so good to be together and enjoy the evening.

I don't think I express my appreciation and gratitude very well or often enough so Sweet Cheeks, here are the top 5 things I'm so thankful for you:

1.Your sense of humor. You may find this one surprising given that the last four years I hardly ever laughed at your jokes. But it's you that I find funny and hilarious which makes you so fun to be around.

2. Your strength. You have always been my rock and my one source of strength and comfort. Not to mention you dragged that really heavy garbage can that I loaded full of weeds, all the way to the back yard for trash pick-up.

3. Your knowledge. No matter what question I may have, you always know the answer. Your brain is like a giant sponge that soaks up everything it learns, and never ever forgets anything. You explain things in a very simplified manner that's easy for me to understand and just when I think I've learned everything you have, you open an entire new chapter for me.

4. Your spirit. You remain close to Heavenly Father and I constantly use your faith and testimony as a source of comfort and strength.

5. Your goodness. You treat me so well and I always feel at peace when I'm with you. You have a gentle compassion about you for others, especially those down on their luck. I can't count the times in Charleston when you told me stories about stopping on the road (while you were on call at night) to help someone stranded, gave money to someone that approached you in a parking lot, or gave extra food to the neighbors that I never went out of my way to get to know.

Thanks Honey for everything you do for me. You make me so happy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A lot of people have been asking when we are moving, when school starts, etc so I'm going to explain things. We are not moving. Lance's schooling is all online through the Arapahoe college in Colorado. He'll have to travel there once a semester for labs, tests, boards, interviews, etc. He's in it full time so he'll have 17 credits per semester with a full time apprenticeship on top of that. But since he's full time, the program is shorter and he'll graduate in August of 2010. (I've been telling people December, he's been telling people August and it turns out I'm wrong. Sorry to those I lied to, I promise it wasn't on purpose). Right now he's in the summer semester, finishing up the last two general classes he needs. When August comes around it'll be really busy and tiring for him but at least he'll be done in a year!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Waiting Game is OVER!!

For the past several months we've been waiting to see if Lance has been accepted into the Mortuary Science Program in Colorado. The deadline for acceptance letters has come and gone. Today Lance came down to my work and showed me the envelope that holds the good or bad of our future. I didn't want to look, I couldn't! What if he missed the deadline by one day or the program was filled up and we were on a waiting list?! Of course I had to open it because Lance wouldn't tell me and the results are.........................drum roll please......................................HE WAS ACCEPTED!!!!!!! Wahooo!!! No more waiting, no more what ifs about school, no more anxiously waiting for the mail to arrive. He's in and we couldn't be more happy about it!!!! Congrats Sweetie!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Craft Day in May

I know I've explained that my family has craft day once a month but I have one aunt that lives in Layton, UT so every May anybody that can, heads down there for four days to craft, shop, and eat. The craft we made is a wood board that has interchangeable plexi glass plates and it talks about the seasons. It's really cute but I'll post pictures later when I actually have energy. We also did a tiled craft about chocolate and made a stand for it out of a fork - very inexpensive.

The shopping was fantastic! I was getting a little worried because of all the places we went, I couldn't find anything to buy and I specifically saved my money for this trip. Ugh, that's the worst feeling knowing you have money burning a hole in your pocket but you can't find anything worth paying for or a deal good enough. Luckily we made it to.......not sure what town I think Murray or a little store called Wood Connections. I won't tell you the amount of money I spent there but this place has crafts galore! I mean they are so dang cute and I can't wait to put all 5 or 6 crafts together so you can see what I'm talking about. They have anything you can imagine and do custom orders. Click HERE to check out their gallery (scroll down and click play) and get some ideas for yourself. They have a few locations and a lot of furniture, however the only store I went to was the actual craft store with the unfinished wood products and metal plates. SO CUTE!!!

We also went to a store called Rod Works that has home decor and tons of iron work and well, rod work. Very unique and cute ideas, go HERE to check it out!

So with all the shopping, crafting, and eating, I'm exhausted by all means and beyond ready for bed. I seriously don't know how I'm going to go back to work on Monday. It was such a fantastically fun trip, thank you SO MUCH Aunt Nancy for letting us all stay in your beautiful home and show us your neck of the woods. Everything was wonderfully done and I cannot say thank you enough!

Friday, May 8, 2009

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. - Unknown

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Lance and I went to the Magic Valley Chorale concert, as his brother sings in the choir. They were singing Handel's Elijah and it was great! After the concert we were chatting in the lobby with people we knew and I saw this young kid circling around us and kind of staring us down. I tried to forget about it and push it to the back of my mind.

About 30 minutes later he came up to us and asked if he knew us. Then it hit me - it was Elder Hurst!!!!!! No way, it can't be, I thought I was dreaming for sure but it was him and I couldn't believe it. Last year Lance and I drove upstate SC to Union and Newberry to visit some people he baptized and other members of the ward he served with on his mission. While in Newberry we took the missionaries out to lunch and hung out with them for the afternoon. Elder Hurst was one of those missionaries along with Elder Robison. Man, what a small world!! I could not believe my eyes and it made my entire year! It was SO GOOD to see him and just be reacquainted with people from SC. I love Charleston, I don't think anything else in this life will ever fill the void.


This past fast and testimony sunday I was deeply touched by the words spoken by Brother Coleman. He spoke about a life long friend who became ill in the hospital and requested a blessing. The friend shortly passed away and Brother Coleman spoke of being reacquainted with loved ones in the next life and how unbelievably sweet it will be to see those we've not seen in years.

I was moved beyond expression. I lost all control of my emotions and wept like a child. Oh how I long to be with friends in Charleston and the members of the ward who are like family to me! I miss them all SO much, words cannot even begin to describe my aching and longing to be reunited with them.

With Lance's new calling (music chairman) he chooses the songs we sing in sacrament meeting and I had to glare him down as he was directing the music: the closing song was God Be With You Till We Meet Again. Don't get me wrong it's a great song, but it made me cry even harder. I could not stop nor control myself, I was tempted to walk out and regain composure in a different room but I was sitting in the very front and didn't want to pass everyone with my red, puffy face.

Thank you Brother Coleman for your words and testimony. Sometimes we never know how things we say or do affect other people, but this time it really did deeply affect me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

Good Bye Time

Whew!!!!! I have been so incredibly, ridiculously busy it isn't funny in the least bit. I've had laundry piled up for the past month, dishes piled in the sink (heaven forbid we'd ever have a dishwasher!), dust caked up on everything, etc. My house has been a total disaster not to mention the outside. I purchased some seeds and bulbs two months ago to plant but still haven't found time to get outside. The grass needed to be mowed 2 months ago and don't even mention cooking, it's beyond out of the question.

Two weeks ago my brother went on a trip to Mexico and I was the lucky one to watch their three kids while they were away. Of course I still had to work (because I do like food and electricity) so the kids went elsewhere during the day. My sister in law warned me that the little one was ill, he wasn't eating very well, and I'd probably be up all night with him. Ugh....seriously??? How am I supposed to be up with a one year old all night and then try to work during the day? Needless to say I wasn't looking forward to this. I don't mind helping out but because I'm not a mom nor have any experience with overnight babysitting (slumber parties with Aunt Becky don't count) I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it. But alas, it was a huge success! The little sick one didn't give me any problems, he ate well, and they all slept well (whew!) I dreaded having to drop them off at their other aunt's house because I wanted to stay home with these angels all day. I couldn't wait for 5:30 to roll around so I could finally leave work and play with them all night. Oh and tucking them in - what a treat, loved it! If it's even possible, my love for them quadrupled, they are such good kids and I love being an aunt. It's the best thing in the world. I just have to quickly mention the thing I loved best about this whole experience: I loved waking up in the morning. To hear them open the squeaky door and lay in bed and snuggle with me - oh it was divine! Such sweet kids, I love them so much.

All last week I've been busy working on my mother's day project. I would explain what it is but my mom occasionally checks this, so I'll divulge details later. But lets just say that every waking minute for the past four months I've been working on it. I'm surprised Lance hasn't kicked me out by now because he's so sick of feeling like a bachelor. But it's finished, probably won't get here by mother's day but at least it's done.