Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Mrs. Heaven"

Many years ago I was helping in one of the 2nd or 3rd grade classroom and one of the little boys kept calling me Mrs. Heaven. The teacher noticed it and corrected him after a few times and he apologized. I thought it was pretty sweet.
I have thought about that a few times since then and how kind and respectful this young boy was to me.

One of our children brought it up again yesterday and we all smiled and my heart was once again touched. I remember it with fondness and it always brings a smile to my heart.

It reminds me of how good people are and how important it is to be kind and respectful. It also reminds me to be pleasant so that if someone does once again call me Mrs. Heaven I will be worthy of the name.

(The image of those heavenly hearts above comes from HERE)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paper and Pencil for A Grateful Heart!

I am so glad that we have an easy and fast way to record things in writing. The fabulous pencil & paper way of doing things is still my favorite, though I do love the computer options too. But, what if the power is out or the Internet is down or I'm not by a computer? I still need paper and pencil! I keep a planner pretty close to me, a tablet and pen in my bag, and a notebook and pencil by my computer. Paper and pencil often serves as my memory.

For me, a fine point clicker pencil just can't be beat! Second best is a pencil sharpener to keep a regular pencil pin-point sharp. I like a fine point pen too! Colored pencils are pretty sweet! And crayons! And markers ... !

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Have Medical News Today!

It's not really special news, but we have an update on Terry's health. Though it's not special, it is good.

WBC = 3.2(L)
RBC = 3.86(L)trending upward
HCT = 36.8 (L) trending upward, it hasn't been this high in a long time.
Platelets = 53(L) they keep bouncing around lately, anywhere from 48 to 61 the last 5 weeks.
Neutrophils = 1.8 WOW! It's not low..., well it's the lowest number you can get before it is low, but it is in the normal range (normal is 1.8-7.8) so we'll take it.

Terry is getting a cold again. Just a couple days after he stopped the meds to clear up the last cold I noticed he was sniffling again and wondered how long it would be. By the end of the week he's feeling it coming on strong and we don't want to let it get worse so today he got another prescription. We are going to stop it in it's tracks!

They took extra blood today to send over to SCCA for a chimerisms test. Dr. Smith said that they just keep talking about him over there. We aren't sure when those results will be back, but we know it is over one week and it could be two, so we aren't expecting anything soon. We'll post when we hear from them.

We are grateful for the little bit of good news with the blood work ... small climb as it is, it is still a climb.

We are loving the sunshine!
Have a great day!

Games

Board Games or Card Games or the like - playing games with family and friends.
Our family played Eye to Eye last night and we enjoyed our time together.
Another game we like is Turtlemania. Those two games and many other fun games, like Somethin' Fishy, Sneaks, and Walk the Dogs can be found at Simply Fun.

It's fun to watch our children play games together. A couple favorites are Settlers of Catan and Nerts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

Talk given by Elaine for Sacrament Meeting,  27 November 2011
Topic: Enjoying the Journey or Finding Joy in the Journey.


Just above my computer is a calendar page that says 
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with what happens to you.” 

I had an experience this week that really brought that quote front and center in my mind.
Wednesday morning I found myself in a sad way. I had gotten up late that morning, I was feeling sluggish and my whole “game” was off. My morning routine could not take place as normal.
I was feeling hurt and a bit sorry for myself because of some things that had happened previously - though I‘ll not share those details. I’ll just say that there were some silly things running through my head and selfish feelings attacking my heart. 
;) And, just to put you all at ease, it involved no one in this room.

I decided to not work on my talk that morning even though I knew it needed more attention. I just wasn't in the right mood to make it work, so I spent a couple hours wasting time and having my own personal pity party as I searched through some favorite blogs. I just kept waiting for me to kick myself up and away from the computer to work on the pies I needed to make, but it wasn't happening.

I came across a blog that I have been watching and I have often wondered if this gal was a member of the church. That day she wrote a post of 50 things she was thankful for, and half a dozen of those things told me that she probably is a member. At least she is thankful for “getting to serve a mission, her testimony of Christ, her calling in her church, for the Spirit and feeling guided, for Christ‘s Atonement, and for her family.” 
As I read through her list and thought of my own, something all of a sudden touched my heart and I was okay. 
And just as suddenly, my pity party ended! 

It was around that time that I realized what had taken place that morning, or not taken place, creating a great atmosphere for my pity party.



Problem number 1 - 
I had forgotten to say my personal prayer. When I pray I always feel peace and that makes me feel better. Always!
Prayer does not remove me from the trial or sorrow or problem of whatever kind it might be, but prayer always makes me feel better.

In our last General Conference President Monson reminded us that 
“Communication with our Father in Heaven - including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us - is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life.” (p82)
Oh how I know this to be true!



Problem number 2 - 
I had forgotten to read my scriptures that morning. 
When I read the scriptures I always feel better! Always! 
Even though I am not removed from the trial or sorrow or problem of whatever kind it might be, reading the scriptures always makes me feel better.

We must “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:3)
I testify that in them we find strength and joy. 

Pres. Leavitt’s counsel during Ward Conference was to read the BofM and give of ourselves to others. His promise to us if we did this was that we would find “a way out”, we would find “peace, and the ability to overcome.” 
Following his counsel will help us enjoy our journey - that is why he gave this counsel to us.



Problem number 3 -
I forgot to give of myself and think of others - to serve. I was feeling a bit self-centered that morning… it was all about me!
Charity is what this gospel is all about! We find joy in serving others. 
When I remember to think of and help and serve others I am always happier! Always!
Doing so does not remove me from the trial or sorrow or problem of whatever kind it might be, but it does make me feel better. 

Mark Twain said “Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

President Monson told us that “We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”


Problem number 4 - 
I had forgotten to be grateful that morning.
I was totally saturated in my pity party and couldn't - or wouldn't - see the Light.
When I remember to be grateful I always feel better! Always! 
Even though I am not removed from the trial or sorrow or problem of whatever kind it might be, having a Grateful Heart always makes me feel better.

Every day this month I have been writing about something I am grateful for. I've been trying to "...live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessing which he doth bestow upon [me]." (Alma 34:38)
It has been a wonderful and enjoyable experience for me, and I've decided to continue with it, at least for awhile.

But, Wednesday morning (back to that pity party I was throwing) I was feeling not so grateful for anything. Not because I had nothing to be grateful for, but because I had forgotten to be grateful. For a short time that morning, I had forgotten the important things in life…and I was kind of miserable.

Sometimes we get caught up in wishing for something different and hoping that tomorrow will bring greater reason to be happy. 

But we must realize that 
“It is not happy people who are thankful, It is thankful people who are happy.”
and
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

President Monson said; 
“I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are the lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey - now.”

We must choose to not focus on what is missing from our lives at the moment, but instead be grateful for what is present in our lives. 


Often times the title of a book is the only thing I read. They are like Capsule Sermons, and I sometimes get as much out of them as I do the whole book. Here is one I like - “Pain is Inevitable - Misery is Optional!”
Things don’t always turn out the way we hope, but we can still enjoy the journey.

“What we see mainly depends on what we look for.”

I’m reminded of Elder Wirthlin telling about his family taking a trip, only to find out after hours on the road that they ended up in the wrong place. They laughed about it instead of getting upset. He then encouraged us with these words - “Come what may and love it!”

Let us cheerfully do all things. (D&C 123:17) 

The Lord has said, “ ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along [your journey]” (D&C 78:18) 



During the last General Conference Elder Cook shared with us his experience. 
He was just finishing his first week as a General Authority and was heading down the elevator with an overloaded briefcase and a heavy heart. His head was down as he stared blankly at the floor.
The door opened and someone walked in, but Elder Cook did not look up. 
As the door closed he heard someone ask, “What are you looking at down there?”
He recognized the voice as Pres. Monson, and quickly looked up to respond, saying “Oh, nothing.”
President Monson smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, “It is better to look up!” 
He repeated that counsel before leaving the elevator - “Now, remember, it is better to look up.” (P33 Nov 2011 Ensign) 

Looking up would not have taken Elder Cook’s problems away, but it would have made them seem lighter. 
”lift up your head and be of good cheer.” 3 Ne 1:13 


As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are truly blessed to know the great plan of happiness, to know who we are and what our destiny will be, and to receive the blessings that come when we follow His plan. 
We know where to find joy. We know that finding joy is a choice. 
We know that joy doesn't come from doing what we want, unless what we want is the same as doing what we should.

Working at righteous tasks and pursuing righteous desires allows the Lord’s Spirit to abide in us. The scriptures tell us that “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23) 

Doing what we should does not mean that we will be free from sorrow or pain, but it is the Lord’s way, and the Lord’s way is the way to joy, happiness and peace, and it has been since the beginning.


Adam and Eve had a wonderfully beautiful garden to live in, but in that state they did not recognize the beauty and goodness of it. 
They were “in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.” (2 Nephi 2:23)

But, there was a plan. The Plan of Salvation, a Plan of Happiness.
“All things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” (2 Ne 2:24)
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne 25)
and
Joy is doing “all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command.” (Abr. 3:25)

Obeying the commandments does not remove us from the trials or sorrows or problems of whatever kind they might be, but when I obey I always feel happier. Always!

Elder Costa said “All who seek happiness can find it in the Gospel of Jesus Christ taught in His Church.” and “True happiness comes from keeping the commandments of God.” 


I love this paragraph in the introduction to the Bible - “But among all our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts, than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God’s sacred Word among us; which is that inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth; because the fruit thereof extended itself, not only to the time spent in this transitory world, but directed and disposeth men unto that eternal happiness which is above in heaven.”

[No joy more filled our hearts than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God’s sacred Word.] 


In the book of Mosiah we read that “King Benjamin [taught] his sons the language and prophecies of their fathers.” (chapter one preface) He taught them to “search [the records or scriptures] diligently, that [they] might profit thereby…” and to “ keep the commandments of God…” (Mos 1:7)

Just as king Benjamin taught his sons, he taught his people the principles of the gospel that would bless their lives and help them enjoy their journey if they lived those principles.

We too have a prophet who has taught and continues to teach his people principles of the gospel that would bless our lives and help us enjoy our journey if we live those principles.
They are much the same as what king Benjamin taught his people, and these principles are always given with a promise.

This is a joyful religion, one of hope, strength, and peace. 
Pres. Uchtdorf reminded us that “The Gospel is the only way to happily ever after.”

I testify that living the gospel can be accomplished with the help of the Lord, through personal discipline, as we remember to make wise choices.

I also testify that when we find ourselves not living the gospel as we should, having transgressed any law and taken a wrong turn in our journey we can quickly correct our ways and step back on the right path. 
I did quickly repent of my misstep Wednesday morning. I said my prayer and read my scriptures, and began to remember those most important things. And Wednesday became an enjoyable day.

Elder Christofferson reminded us that “Repentance is a divine gift…, [that] points us to freedom, confidence, and peace.”
“The divine gift of repentance is the key to happiness here and hereafter.” (p38)

We enjoy life more when we are “clean” and temple worthy. Remember that repentance can take place any time in life.
Repenting may not remove me from the trial or sorrow or problem of whatever kind it might be, but it will always make me happier. Always!


In Luke 2 we read that the angel came to the shepherds saying “Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” and then announced the birth of our “Saviour, Christ the Lord.” 
This was not only good tidings of great joy to those shepherds, it was good tidings of great joy for all of us. This news should make us joyful in our journey. 

May we remember our Savior this time of year as we celebrate His birth, but let us not forget Him when the season is over. He is our reason to rejoice and He is our reason to enjoy the journey here on earth.

“for in this world your joy is not full, but in [Christ] your joy is full.” (D&C 101:36)
“the Lord will direct thee for good” (Alma 37:32) and
“His Spirit…shall fill your soul with joy” (D&C11:13)


“Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good,” and it “shall fill your soul with joy” (D&C 11:12–13).

Pres. Uchtdorf said “Our journey toward perfection is long, but we can find wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in that journey.” (p120 )

My hope today is that we never loose sight of the things that bring joy to our lives, and I testify that those things that bring joy to our lives are Christ and His teachings.




First posted at  http://waitingpatientlyonthelord.blogspot.com/2011/11/enjoying-journey.html


Finding Joy in the Journey

This is Terry's sacrament meeting talk given 27 November 2011


The journey through life has a handrail. That handrail is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is there to give direction, comfort and stability to all who choose to use it.

When we are very young the handrail is set at the height of our mother’s hand.  As we get older it is elevated slightly but easy to hold on to.  In our primary years it begins to become more important to us.  As youth our handrail offers instruction as well as support. These gospel instructions are in the For Strength of Youth, the Church magazines, parental counsel, the scriptures, YW and YM, Sunday School, Sacrament meetings, prayer, seminary and all wholesome and proper activities and all things that the gospel offers.

A little bit later this handrail leads to the temple, missions, sealings, baptisms for the dead, joyful family life, and in the end to eternity. The handrail provided by the Savior is the most sure way of finding joy in this our journey through mortality.

It has been said “Life is not about the destination, but the journey.” We know that the proper journey is the most important for it leads to the proper destination.

Have you ever been hiking in the mountains knowing you’re on the right path?  Doesn’t this give you peace and comfort and allow you to see your beautiful surroundings, rather than worrying where you are headed?  Being on the right path leads to a joyful journey!

This does not mean we won’t get tired sometimes.  Jesus himself was weary from His journey and sat down at that ancient Jacobs well to rest.  He wasn’t tired from His assignment from His Father, but His physical being needed rest.  It was here He met the woman to whom he introduced Himself as the Messiah saying; “I that speak to thee am He.”

I have a friend who when we talk always brings up his family.  Our last conversation he said, “I have a good wife and my kids don’t disappoint me!”  This is similar to what John said to Gaius by letter stating; “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  (3 John 1:4)  Knowing and walking in the truth brings joy to the journey.

There are many journeys discussed in the scriptures.  Even the Plan of Salvation was instituted to help us on our journey.  All Christ does in Heaven and on earth, both as a Spirit and then born of Mary, is to allow us to return to Him and our Father in Heaven.  Adam and Eve initiated this earthly journey.

Moses led a vast group of Israelites for 40 years as they journeyed in the wilderness.  Who supported them in their wanderings?  Who provided the manna?  Who provided the water from a rock?  Who gave them the Ten Commandments?  It was Jehovah, the Spirit son of Heavenly Father!  Who provides for us now?  Who delivers us from the grave?  Who extends His forgiveness that we may repent and be clean and come unto Him?  Jesus Christ, as the physical and spiritual Son of Heavenly Father.

We on this earthly journey can find joy in knowing we are not alone. Knowing God knows and understands and loves each of us brings joy to the journey.

There are many other scriptural accounts from which to learn. Joseph who was sold into Egypt journeyed with a band of Ishmaelites, was re-sold to Potiphar, was put over his whole house, was imprisoned and eventually, through never losing faith or sight of who he was, saved the entire nation from famine, and his father’s household as well.

Ammon, our great missionary friend and a true Nephite, journeyed to the kingdom of Lamoni.  Through his strength in the Lord and his own diligence Ammon found favor in the eyes of Lamoni and taught him and his whole kingdom the gospel.  Ammon was such a great representative of the Lord that Lamoni contended with his father. Then Ammon defended him with the sword and so great was the power of the Lord in Ammon that later Lamoni’s father and all his household were converted.  This conversion was because Aaron helped king Lamoni’s Father understand the gospel.  The king had a similar experience as his son and was truly converted.  The king said in prayer; “I will give up all my sins to know thee.”

Both King Lamoni and his father were thinking everything was fine in their kingdoms.  They were the top dogs, period!  But they learned they were in error.  They had the faith and the strength and courage to change. There is great joy in the journey through repentance and coming more fully unto Christ. 

As many of you know, Elaine is the author of an internet blog.  She keeps many informed and encouraged through her “We are Family” site.  I know several of you are nearly addicted to her writings.  This seems to be an important help to those who want to know of the goings on in our house.  Even though this, at times, is a nearly daily responsibility, Elaine finds joy in helping others. There is joy in the journey through being of service.  Those who help others be happy are usually happy.

We each have our own journey.  Many times we experience things we never thought we would.  Sometimes we feel all is well. Sometimes we feel like the top dog in our own kingdom or career or livelihood or family or whatever.  There are seasons of life when we know we are not.  No one is immune to hard times or difficulties. The only choice we have is how we will handle them.  With the handrail of the gospel we know we can make it through gracefully.

I would like to share a personal experience of someone who I believe handled life well.  On my very first chemo treatment my body was not used to receiving such strong foreign materials that were being introduced into it that day.  When this happened things got sort of rough and I threw up.  After some medication and time to settle down, the elderly lady to my left asked,  “What are you in for?”  It sounded like a question from a prison inmate; but I knew what she meant.  I told her and she asked, “Are you willing to accept some advice?”  I said “sure, to which she said, “You have to remember three things. You have to be positive, you have to have faith, and you have to pray.”  I said, “I believe all of that!” and she said, touching me on the arm, “You’re going to be fine!”  She knew because she lived it, and I could tell!  She’s right.

Partly because of her influence on March 2nd 2010, just prior to going to the cancer center, the following was written; 

I’m Fine
 

Having cancer is like the throwing of a rock into a peaceful pool.  In many instances it can be very unsettling and disruptive.  Many times the cherished peace no longer remains.
 
There are times though that the scene can be a thing of beauty.  Perhaps the rocking of the gentle waves can set a floating leaf to dance, lively and delighted and made happy by the new found energy.

To the observer the ripples may extend clear to the ponds edge where they may seem to be an harassment to a slumbering frog, seeming to be a never ending teasing at which he wants to smile but never even blinks.  Is he pleased by this?  It’s hard to say.  He stays.
 

In other ways this cancer rock penetrating the calm becomes a nuisance, as to the fish who lurked below just ready to dine on a mosquito now no longer visible nor available for his favorite lunch.  If that rock had not entered the water things could be different.
 
For many the hope is that the rock will settle on the ponds floor, being seized upon by the mud and debris and for ever there remain.  Probably for all who have cancer this is the wish.  Out of sight but never out of mind we wish for its demise in obscurity.
 
In an odd way though, many of us as owners, are grateful for this rock. For though the disruptions and loss of calm, we become enlivened by the goodness of the constant ripple of kindness that seems to never end.  We have loved ones and care givers and other good people whom we never expected to ever know who have brought hope and help and faith and prayer and a positive attitude. We have doctors and nurses who never blink, who keep their eyes fixed upon the goal of making us well.  There are many through unseen efforts who are working to ensure that the rock remains submersed. If my rock should ever resurface I hope it won’t recognize me.

Sadly for many the splash is only the beginning and the rock is seemingly on a string, and those who know this fate awkwardly keep having it return to them.  We all wish this not to be the case.  But good can come from bad and happiness from sad strength from difficulty and experience from all.  So we seem to need to just make the best of it and trust in God.
 

We know that He who created all nature is the cure.  That He can fix our bodies.  That He can fix our spirits.  That He knows us.  That He loves us and that we will be alright, and that it will turn out better than we think. I’m fine!
 
 Written by Terry, 2 March 2010 (4:51 am)


There is another special journey of a lady on a donkey, who came to Jerusalem to be taxed.  On this trip the Savior of the world was born.  In a stable He drew his first breath.  Having descended below them all He came to earth in the most humble of circumstances.

Perhaps on that same donkey Joseph led Mary and Jesus to Egypt to save the Savior from the vicious and homicidal jealousy of King Herod.  When Herod died an angel told Joseph he could take his family back.  They ended up settling in Nazareth.

The journey of this extraordinary man would continue. His efforts were wholly for the betterment of others.  He blessed, He healed, He extolled and exhorted, He fulfilled the law, cleansed the temple, set up His Church, called the apostles, performed many miracles, did all that He was sent forth to do.

On His final earthly journey, once again upon a donkey, He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  From there the scene erodes until the whole earth is threatened with darkness.  Only Christ Himself could overcome and supply the world with eternal light. From there to the resurrection, to today, He continues to give His all.  Is there a better example to follow?  Has anyone been more selfless, more loving, more divine?

It is by following Christ that we find joy in the journey. Maybe this joy is eternal and maybe our journey never ends.  Maybe we will always be learning and growing and progressing and helping others. Maybe as the pre-existence prepared us for earth life, this life prepares us for exaltation if we’re willing.    I’m sure this is so.

This is my testimony – the handrail extends to Heaven - in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen



This was posted first at 
http://waitingpatientlyonthelord.blogspot.com/2012/08/finding-joy-in-journey-terrys-talk.html



I Love to Read the Scriptures!

"...feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." 2 Nephi 32:3

My days go so much better if I read the scriptures. IT'S TRUE!
I am so thankful that we have them available to us - our own book to read, and underline, and write notes of inspiration in.
I do love to read the scriptures.
I also love to listen to these videos about the scriptures.


The Miracle of the Holy Bible
video
Try this link if it doesn't show up on this post.


God's Words Never Cease
video
Try this link if it doesn't show up on this post.


A Book with a Promise
video
Try this link if the video above doesn't play on this post.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for Food!

Oh Ya, Good Food!
The list of good food is almost never ending, and we had a lot of it for our Thanksgiving dinner. However, this is the only mention today because I promised family I would post this recipe before the end of the week (and it takes up enough space all by itself). It is yummy!



Danish Apple Bars

Ingredients
Crust:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 egg yolk (white used later)
about 1/2 cup milk

Filling:
1 cup crushed cornflakes (I don't always crush them, and I also add an extra handful)
8 large apples, peeled and sliced (my favorite for apple pies are Granny Smith or Rome, I used Rome for Thanksgiving)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar (I add a little more because I like it a little thicker)
3 Tlb water
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Sift together flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly. Add enough milk to egg yolk to make 1/2 cup. Add to flour mixture, blending until moistened. Divide dough almost in half, making one section slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger portion; cover bottom and sides of jelly roll pan (15x10 inch).

Sprinkle the bottom crust with cornflakes. Arrange apple slices over top. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples. (Sometimes I mix the sugar and cinnamon with the apples before putting them on the crust.)

Roll out the remaining dough. Fit over top of apples. Moisten edges of the dough with water; seal. Cut steam vents in top.

Brush with stiffly beaten egg white.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 min. to 1 hour, depending on your oven - until golden brown.

Combine confectioners sugar, water and vanilla, mixing well. Spread over bars while still warm.