Monday, October 17, 2016

Yo Momma Has Spoken!

Since I have had more than three of you children ask about my political stand, I thought I would share with all of you my mindset, as of now, regarding this very crazy and heated election.

Deep down inside, I have always loved politics and standing and supporting something or someone.  I  have never taken the process lightly and have done my own bidding, not someone else's, as I have cast my vote.

Several months (long before the famed Trump/Bush lewd commentary appeared) I tried to reason who I would vote for.  In the Nev. caucus, I vacillated back and forth with Trump, Cruz, Rubio,  And when it was down to just Trump and Clinton for the the R/D Presidential, I vacillated between Trump and Johnson.  I never felt good or settled or comfortable in casting that ballot for either one.  I would pick a candidate, feel somewhat settled about my choice, pray, and have total stupor of thought, frustration and a lack of clarity about my choice; thus putting me right back at square one.

When McMullin came on the scene, I watched and read everything I could.  And if I were to be perfectly honest, yes, the fact that he was LDS played a huge part in me taking interest; not necessarily voting for him, but learning  about him.  I am okay with that.  The more I read and heard, the more I like.  I was still in angst regarding the "a vote for Evan is a vote for Hillary" argument and the vacillating continued as a result.

Then came the Trump conversation.  Yes, it made me sick and mad and totally defensive towards him.  BUT!!!!!!   I am not naive enough or so misinformed that I equate his lewd, offensive and even telling statements in that commentary, with the degree of evil that I feel Hillary is.  Since that commentary, I have research other disgusting videos and interviews regarding Trump; there is plenty out there.

I made this all  a matter of significant prayer.  I pondered it over and over as to who I should support. Then the First Presidency sent out 'the' letter that is sent out every election year.  I know it well.  But I read, and reread and ponder their counsel and statements.  I hope you know this about your mom.........I know we have a prophet that leads us today.  And he is Pres. Monson.  I know he knows the will and the mind of God the Father and Jesus Christ.  So I take his words very serious!

It is the following two sentences from the First Presidency letter that have directed my thinking and my stand.

"We also urge you to spend the time needed to become informed about the issues and candidates you will be considering."   *I have done this for Trump, Johnson and McMullin because they are the candidates I have considered. 
"Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles." *The Republican party (at this particular time) and certainly it's candidate does not best embody the principles I have.  And I don't feel the  need to even address the Democratic party or Hillary.   But as I listened to McMullin's views, some  of which I am still up in the air about, it is his conservative thinking and policies that best embodies my principles and views.  His thinking brings me a degree of peace that I have not previously felt concerning this election.
I do not feel that I am wasting my vote, or worse yet, giving it to Hillary.  What I believe I am doing, is exactly what I feel  the prophet has asked me to do.  If Hillary becomes president, then it will be because she was voted IN   office.  My support  is for who I want IN  office as President and who aligns most with my views and thinking.  That is how I see the process of  this specific election and voting for me. I totally support how you feel your voice should be heard and am in no way saying my thinking and actions are for you.  
This blog post really is in response to those 4 of you who have asked about my stand.  And I totally love you for asking!  One thing our family is, is diversified and free thinkers.  I value that in us!
I do want to say this:  I love differences and I am okay with disagreements as long as they are kind and dignified.  I am not okay with mockery of any type or accusations that I am misinformed or naive in my thinking.  I am not.  Dad has different views than I, but he loves me and respects me enough to listen to me share those feelings and views with him.  He does not try to sway me or make me feel silly in any way with how I think or feel.  I adore him for that.  And I want to add that I have never felt that any of you have done that to me either in any way.  I love our differences and that we can talk and laugh and still love each other deeply.
Carry on dear children.  I write that you may know I have opinions that may be different than all of yours and maybe not different, but I so love and respect your amazing minds and abilities to think for yourselves!!  I am in awe of you all!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A pair of sunglasses, a fence and a bicycle....just because she loves.

This past Friday I, along with Mindy and Darren Leavitt,  a few other parents and grandparents,  and the finalist players on the boys and girls tennis teams, were all huddled together in the shade (it was a muggy 95 degrees) on the far west sidelines of the very first tennis court  (not the courts that have the lights) watching Lindsey demolish  her competition.  As great as it was to see Lindsey win her matches, it is the following experience that I hope never to forget.

During the match, Darren Hardy (Senior tennis player) called his younger sister Camille Hardy (Junior) and asked if she would bring him his sunglasses.  When she got there Camille walked up to the high fence that separated her from her brother.   The gates to the courts were locked and the kids told Camille to just throw the glasses over the fence and someone would catch them.  Both she and her brother were concerned that her throw would not be adequate and the glasses would fall and get scratched, or worse, broken.     Without hesitation Camille scaled the fence and when she saw Darren, she gently dropped the glasses into his hands. Her climb, genuine concern for his glasses, and kindness in responding to her brother's request, were impressive to all who were watching this scenario unfold, but not nearly as impressive as what happened next.

We all assumed that Camille had driven  a car over to the courts; so when we saw her hop on a bicycle and  peddle back towards her home (again, it was a muggy 95 degree day) we were all a little taken back.   Exclamations of: "Did Camille really ride her bike all the over here just to bring you your sunglasses?"  and "Are you kidding me!  She really did that for you?" were directed to Darren. Then Darren Leavitt  asked Darren Hardy if Camille was always that kind. Darren Hardy assured us that his younger sister had indeed hopped on her bike and trekked on over just for that purpose and yes, she was always that kind.  Darren Leavitt followed up with:  "Is that kindness reciprocated?" Darren Hardy sat silent for a few seconds, thinking, and then sheepishly replied: "No, not quite.  I ask her what I can do for her all the time, but she doesn't tell me anything. And I try to think of ways I can pay her back for but I never do." Those of us who were listening  to this little exchange had looks of disbelief as well as awe on our faces.  Darren went on to tell us that Camille does things for him simply because he asks her too. No pay backs.  No guilt motivation.  No doing it for something in return.  She acts because she loves.

I write that my children may know that I desire for Camille's example to not just have  a reflective impact on me, but an impact that causes me to emulate her actions. To act just because I love.

Friday, September 2, 2016

It's A Girl!

I have wanted to share this endearing little exchange that took place last Monday as Dad, Hannah and I were driving into the valley after a 4500 mile, 2 week, trip.  But a little history first.....

Dad had planned on renting a car for this trip and had been looking into finding the best deal.  It would cost us around $400.00 but felt a little security in doing so, due to the fact that the only car we had to take was old, getting horrible gas mileage and in need of new tires and repairs.  So that was the plan.

I am not sure when the plan changed, but it did.  Dad decided to put the money set aside for the rental into getting our car tuned up, new tires, etc.  Even up to the day of departure dad was working on the car.  I really totally trust dad with his expertise and auto skills, so I didn't give it a second thought as to if the car would hold up on our trip or not.  And I didn't think dad did either.  But I was wrong.

Monday night, as we were ascending into our little valley, so tired and so ready to be done with driving, I witnessed dad patting the dash of the car and saying:  "You did good ol girl! You made it."  It was so sweet.  I must admit that I was a little taken back that our car was a girl, but I was touched as I thought of how dad must have worried about his decision. I thought of how he not only exercised his skill and labor in preparing the car, but also his faith, in hoping it would be enough.  It was enough.  In fact it was more than enough.  For me, it was a great reminder of his goodness, his talents, his hope that his faith and work was sufficient for his family.

That little experience was not wasted on me.  It has occupied my thoughts and my heart for  the past 5 days.  I love you Jared.  Thank you for loving and caring for us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thoughts of Shelby and Brighton

My thoughts, prayers and heart have been very occupied this week with Shelby, Tyson, Brighton, Kellee and Tom.   Last Sunday, Shelby was admitted to the U of U Medical Center to have her first child.  All night long I checked my phone for messages.  I kept checking my phone all day Monday, Monday night and Tuesday.  Finally, Tues. afternoon, the message came that Shelby had delivered a little baby boy via C-section.

Yes, Brighton finally came into the world, and brought with him many concerns.  He was born with  club feet, very short arms with  only a thumb attached, and a very abnormal, faulty heart. His head was enlarged and his esophagus was under developed, just to name a few of these concerns.    It wasn't a surprise to Shelby and Tyson.  They had been somewhat aware of Brighton's conditions as early as when Shelby was 20 weeks pregnant.  No, they weren't surprised, but I am sure they were still shocked.  I really think we were all shocked.  It seems that if you pray hard and frequent enough, fast with a sincere heart , and exercise every ounce of faith you have, then perhaps you should be able to call upon a miracle even of this magnitude.  But that was not the case.  Faith was  exercised in Heavenly Father's will and we  accepted  that will, trusting that He knows best for  little Brighton, and his parents.

All Tuesday evening and well into the night, and all the next day,  my thoughts were centered on Shelby.    I would never experience the pain that Shelby experienced bringing Brighton into the world, let alone the pain that would continue in the days, weeks and months to come.   I would never be asked to sacrifice in the way that Shelby has had to sacrifice.  As I pondered over and over these thoughts,  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's Apr. 2015 Conference address, "Behold Thy Mother"  came into my mind.  Elder Holland, in only the way that Elder Holland can, expressed the beautiful doctrine of Motherhood being a similitude of the Savior.  Shelby experienced pain, she had laboredsacrificed, and  shed her blood so that another could  be delivered and progress.  Shelby is a similitude of Jesus Christ.  Her role is divine.  She has already given Brighton the greatest gift that she could ever give him whether he continued to live or not.  Praise be to Shelby for selfless love and devotion to her son.

On Thursday as I drove into Vegas to attend the temple,  my thoughts turned to Brighton.   Why did he have to go through this?  What is his mission?    Even though he came with a broken body, he also came with a strong, mature spirit; untainted by the world and completely pure. And even though he would only live for just two short days, he was already about his Father's business.  How could he have not made a positive impact on Tyson and Shelby?  He is perfect! He is theirs!  A family was born Tues. afternoon.  Brighton's mission is one of  rescue; giving life eternal in a sense, to his parents.     Undoubtedly, his short existence  has planted seeds of a  forever family in the hearts of Shelby and Tyson.  Brighton's influence and love will continue, leading them to make and keep covenants that will bind them all together forever.

I write that my children may know, the Lord is so merciful and wise.  And though his ways and will may be painful and beyond what we think we can endure, we just need to trust  Him.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

18 years of Hannah!

A funny thing happened at church today.   Hannah, Jared and I were all called up to the stand by Bishop Holyoak, so he could present Hannah with  her Young Womanhood medallion.  The bishop immediately gave me the necklace  to put around Hannah's neck.  Major problem..........I am blind and I didn't have my reading glasses..  I fiddled around for what seemed like an eternity (probably 30 secs or less) and then turned to dad for help.  His vision wasn't the best either and by the time we both fiddled with it, her hair was tangled up with the chain and the clock was ticking and it was dreadfully silent and every eye was fixed on us and.........ugh!  Finally Hannah said that she would just do it.  Easy enough.......NOT!   Just as Hannah reached up to grab the chain, the medallion slipped off  and went right down Hannah's shirt. Hannah immediately turned and walked off the stand with Jared and I close behind her, leaving the bishop up there by himself.  No necklace, no congratulatory embrace or handshake, no explanation of  how and what she had earned. With heads down, we shamefully walked back to our seats while the bishop tried to salvage whatever he could of the disaster.  He tried to share some sweet things about Hannah from the pulpit, but they could not be heard above the snickers in the congregation. It wasn't our best moment to say the least.

Don't worry.  No harm! No foul!  And no biggie!  It certainly wasn't any ones fault.  It was just a funny experience that I thought you might like to hear about it.

 My real intent for writing this post is to let Hannah's siblings, siblings-in-laws and nieces and nephew know a little about Hannah from my perspective.  I  am not writing from her point of view, but from mine and what I have perceived and witnessed over the past few years regarding Hannah and her family.

Hannah adores her brothers!  She is proud of each one of them and when her friends come over and see their pictures, she is vocal about her love for them.  She will tell her friends their name, what they are doing and where they fit in the family.  It is very tender for me to witness that. Sometimes I feel bad that she doesn't know them or visa versa and that makes me a little sad.  But it doesn't matter that she didn't grow up with them.  She loves them as her adult brothers and the awesome men that they are.  I find it so endearing on her part as she writes little texts every now and then to them.  She loves being connected to her bros! And she loves them!

Hannah loves her sisters!  She loves being included in their adult lives.  She is grateful for the example they have set for her regarding school, dating, make-up, style, future plans, and love of the gospel.  I sense that it is really an honor to be the caboose to this family sub-set of four girls.  She desires to be like them,;to serve a mission, to gain an education, to marry a righteous priesthood holder and to be a mom.  She really wants to be a wife and mom!  Thank you daughters for shaping her life by your examples.  As much as Hannah wants to forge her own path upon high school graduation, and to a great degree she will, I sense that she is so very  proud of the paths her sisters  have forged and gladly walks in your footsteps! You have created a safety net of sorts for her because she is the little sister and is so welcomed into each of your lives.

To Brittney, Emily and Honey (Eric).  She adores all three of you.  You are more like siblings to her than in-laws.  She is comfortable around you and is so proud of all of you and your contributions to our home and family as well as your own little families.  She loves her title of aunt and is smitten by her Molly, Avonlea, Hallie, Claire, and Oliver!  Your children only enhance her desire to be a mother.  Your examples of parenthood are watched and revered by Hannah and tucked away for future reference.

Hannah is a glorious person!  She is loving and so kind.  She voiced to me this week that one of her desires is just to be a kind person.  I love that in her. And she really is kind.    Happy 18th Birthday daughter!  Your presence is so felt and needed in our family.  I love you!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My People

I was saying my morning prayer and discussing with Heavenly Father what I hoped for in 2016.  As I did so, I had a very specific thought enter into mind: "Write in your blog".

After I concluded in this particular interaction with Heavenly Father, I opened up an unmarked, cheap copy of the Book of Mormon and started reading, still with that particular thought that had been impressed upon me concerning my blog.

* I have missed  my daily readings from the Book of Mormon.  I have been consumed with the Old Testament for the past 5 months and although I have enjoyed it immensely, I have felt the nudgings of the Spirit to include the truths and teachings of the The Book of Mormon in my daily study.  And so this morning, I began my study with 1 Nephi 1:1.

I did not have to read very far to have the spirit open my mind and heart.  Verse 5:  "Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people."  My eyes and mind focused in on  the phrases: "with all his heart" and  "in behalf of his people" and I circled them. As I contemplated those phrases for a few seconds  I thought back to my morning pray with Heavenly Father.

I had prayed in behalf of Derrick & Brittney, Daniel & Emily, Noelle & Eric, with all my heart, thanking  Father for their wisdom, goodness and love as they continue to raise their sweet little children, I expressed gratitude in knowing my grandchildren are nurtured and cared for by amazing parents, all who are my people. JOY!

I had prayed in behalf of Travis and Holly, my people who are far from me.  With all my heart, I asked for Heavenly Father to protect them, bless them, and bring them back home to me when they have accomplished what they have set out to do.  I thanked Heavenly Father for their goodness and soundness of mind  to make those decisions that are best for them in a land that is far away.  I prayed in behalf of them as I thanked Heavenly Father for those good people who have opened their homes and hearts to them.  PEACE!

I had prayed in behalf of Brandon and Natalie, again my people, who I perceived, have been abundantly blessed with success and new beginnings of sort at this time in their lives.  With all my heart, I thanked Heavenly Father for blessing them with progression, newness and a desire to do hard things to bring about a great future and life.   GRATITUDE!

I had prayed for Hannah and dad and myself, thanking Heavenly Father that we still have our Hannah at home to help dad and I transition to what will be a new phase of our lives.  During that prayer, I spent a few precious moments thinking of my Hannah, how I loved her, trusted her and found so much joy from her.  I told Heavenly Father how blessed I was to have  Jared and reiterated what Hannah had told me late last night concerning her dad and how he had cleaned up the kitchen and had bought New Years Eve food so that she and her friends could celebrate at our house. She expressed her love for him to me as she shared her thoughts. Such a simple act, but so far-reaching in what it meant to her.   With all my heart, I expressed my love for him and his goodness and thanked Heavenly Father that he and Hannah are my people and still with me. HOPE!

And so today, at the beginning of this new year, I write that my children may know that your mother, me, will continue to go forth and pray unto the Lord, even with all my heart, in behalf of each of you. You are my joy, peace, gratitude, hope and people!!  How I love each one of you!