Thursday, December 22, 2011


Twenty-Six years ago, the Steele family welcomed a beautiful baby daughter into their lives. A little over six years ago (?), we welcomed that same beautiful Brittney into our lives, and consequently, into our hearts. It was a very easy thing to do. I knew she was one of us when she found a blanket and a corner of a bedroom and was perfectly satisfied to call it her bed and then got up in the morning and poured herself a bowl of cereal for breakfast! No fuss...she was a perfect fit.

Not only does Brittney fit it, she elevates us. She is responsible for the annual "Rusty Whisk" cook-off which has become a family tradition envied by many. She is a gatherer of family. It is magical to experience things through the eyes of Brittney. I will never forget our first Christmas with Derrick and Brittney. My heart melted when she opened her presents and she let out a squeal. She was a kindred spirit and I fell deeper in love with her that Christmas morning.

I am in awe of Brittney and here are just three of many reasons why:

1. Brittney is highly intelligent and so well-rounded in her knowledge. She compliments Derrick's intelligence....never competing with it. I love her security in who she is and what she knows and even what she doesn't know. I love that she loves to learn and has instilled that God-like attribute in Molly.

2. Brittney is a seeker of purity and goodness. I have always thought of her as someone who truly understands what it means to be a daughter of God. I love that crassness and vulgarity are offensive to her tender spirit. I love that she desires a home free from the stains of the world. I love that she is a protector of of her temple covenants and understands their value and worth. I love her love of the gospel and the Savior. She is a daughter who has sought to do everything right in her life and continues to do that.

3. Brittney is a mother and wife who operates under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I can honestly say that not one time, not even for one second have I second guessed Brittney's mothering skills and decisions. In fact, I have often marveled at what she has taught me. As a mother-in-law and now grandmother, I offer nothing by gratitude and thanks to my Heavenly Father for the righteous influence that Brittney has on Derrick and Molly. I only hope that many other children :) will have the opportunity to be 'gathered under her wing' and benefit from all she has to give.

And so today my dear Brittney, I give thanks for you, your birth, and your life. You are amazing. You are talented. You are good. I have been blessed to be loved by you and to love you. From the first time I talked to you on the phone before you and Derrick were even engaged, I loved you. It is a love that is strengthened every day as I pray for you morning and night and for your desire of a wonderful life, a Christ-centered family, and true, eternal joy. Thank you for giving all of that to me. I love you so much. Lorri

Monday, December 12, 2011

How Do You Hold A Moon Beam in Your Hand?

The week or so before my actual birthday blog is written, I ponder that child who's birth we are celebrating, over and over in my mind. I think of experiences, feelings,talents, trials, characteristics, my hopes and dreams for them, their hopes and dreams for them selves, and every other aspect imaginable concerning that particular child. During this pondering time I laugh and cry; I agonize and rejoice as thoughts and memories flood my mind. And then begins the process of determining (hopefully with help of the Spirit) what I write so that this child as well as their siblings can know what I know and love about them.

I tell you all this because over the last week and half of contemplating Noelle,the following words of a song from the Sound of Music, have kept coming to my mind.

"How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?"

It really is the perfect question to describe my amazing, beautiful Noelle. A moon beam changes darkness into light. That is what Noelle does. Darkness really is foreign to Noelle. She does not allow for "dark" moods, thoughts, surroundings, or anything like unto it. She brings light where ever she goes. People of all ages are drawn to the warmth and comfort she has to offer. I love to see her in action. She takes a very awkward situation or person and brings about an amazing transformation of light and happiness.

Even her words are words of light. I rethink every sentence that comes out my mouth when I am having a conversation with Noelle. I never want to be critical or negative around Noelle. I really believe it is because Noelle desires to be a positive, cheerful influence on everyone she comes in contact with. AND SHE IS!!! SHE OFFERS LIGHT BECAUSE SHE IS LIGHT! Such a Christ-like characteristic mastered at such an early stage in her life.

Just as there is no possible way to hold on to a moon beam, I feel there is no way to hold on to Noelle. And I would never want any one to try. As I think of Noelle, I am reminded of what President Hinckley said of his dear Marjorie when asked about their relationship. He said something to the effect that he just gets out of her way and lets her fly. I am so grateful that Noelle has the courage to fly. As a result of her courage and hard work, she has accomplished things beyond what I even dared dream about at her age. She does not allow herself to be "grounded" or thwarted in any way. Once the goal has been set, and her mind if ls fixed, she takes flight. Such beautiful, fitting imagery of who she is and what she does. In fact I really feel that Heavenly Father was "giving her wings" when he gave he specific trials to overcome. As as she conquered one trial after another, she has been allowed to soar higher and higher.

Happy Birthday Noelle. You truly are an amazing person. I know Heavenly Father is so mindful of you and your wants and desires, because you use them to bless the lives of others. I have a desire to be a better person because of you. Because of you, I want to focus on the good in people instead of what I perceive to be their faults. I love how you desire our family to be a family of kind words and loving actions, free from negativity and fault-finding. You have taught us to desire and work towards a Christ-centered family and I am so grateful for your understanding of such godly attributes. Thank you for wanting us to do and become better. Thank you for your example and light in showing the way. I love you Noelle. You are a moon beam that will continue to radiate love and light where ever you fly too. Thank you for the light you have given to me. May the Lord bless you, especially in Peru as you bless others. Love you again. Mommy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Daniel Boosie

Dear Daniel,

Tomorrow dad and I will joyfully make the snowy 10 hour drive to Rexburg,Idaho to see you perform at the BYUI Christmas Concert which fittingly, will take place on your birthday. And I am looking forward to every minute of it. If I could only tell others one thing that defines who you are, I would tell them of your diligent pursuit to cultivate your divinely given talent of music.

Music flows through you. I remember when you were 8 years old, you came home from school with a flier that advertised an early morning violin class available at school. You were adamant that you needed to be in that class. I must admit that I was a little taken back with your request and honestly felt that you would soon forget about it....but I was mistaken.

One of my fondest mother/son experiences I have had was when we drove up to Provo for you to audition for the BYU music program. I will never forget going to the music building and seeing all the other students dressed in tuxedos and formals. They were accompanied by their music instructors and carried expensive instruments. I was so embarrassed and even a little humiliated as we showed up in wearing jeans and totally unprepared for what I felt was obviously out of our league. I felt such guilt and sadness because of what you had been denied. It was then that I realized that I was the mother of a very special person when I saw you were totally "okay" with the "humbleness" of the situation. In fact, not only were you ok, but you were happy and calm and made me feel that way too. I learned so much from you that day. That has got to be one of my most cherished experiences.

One of your greatest attributes is when you have a desire you sets goals and work hard to make it happen. And it always happens! I remember when you started working at Radio Shack and came home from work and announced that you were buying a car. Again I thought, "yea sure you will". Within a couple of days you had found a car, signed the papers, and began making your monthly payments. I soon learned that when you told me you were going to do something, you were going to do it regardless. I LOVE that in you.

I love watching you interact with people of all ages in all situations. You seem to sense when people are uncomfortable and can do or say something to put others at ease. You are a social genius and I have learned by observing you with others. I love how you makes a person feel special and wonderful regardless of who they are and what they are do. As a result, everyone wants to be your friend. That speaks highly of you.

I must admit that I never dreamed that you would be such a people person. When I think back to when you were a toddler and the pain both you and I had in trying to understand each other, I honestly thought that you would never be able to confidently stand in front of anyone, much less carry on a conversation. But again, you proved me wrong. I am sure that at some point in your very young life, you made the conscience decision to overcome those painful traits that were holding you back. And once again, you succeeded.

Daniel, you are an amazing man. I love to talk to you as you eagerly share your passions, triumphs and even concerns with me. I have learned so much while raising you and I continue to learn as I watch you plan for your future and carry out your dreams. You inspire me. You make me want to do better. I often am amazed that I was given the tremendous blessing of being your mother. And I do count it as one of my greatest blessings.

Happy Birthday dear son. Thank you for the honor and love you have given me as your mom. You have accomplished amazing things so far and I look forward to seeing what amazing things you will accomplish in the future. Love you so much. Mommy