Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Gift

Our son Matthew's birthday is tomorrow, December 7th. And because we traditionally give gifts on one's birthday, and Matt is not here to receive this gift, I would like to share it with all my family and friends in Matt's memory. This photograph I took while visiting "Glacier Gardens" in Juneau, Alaska last summer. Gayle spotted this eagle flying toward us, and there it was, magnificently flying over us. I held my breath and tried to get the best picture possible, and in a few seconds, the eagle was gone. Now all is left is this image and a wonderful memory of the place. Our son, Matthew, left us suddenly when he slipped beyond the veil and all we have left are our memories of him and the hope and faith that through Jesus Christ's atonement we will see him, be with him again someday. And so it is my wish to celebrate Matt's birthday, by sharing this image with all. He would like that. We'll place the wreath at his grave tomorrow, and hope that somehow he knows that we are thinking of him. Matt, we all miss you and love you. Happy Birthday, Love, Mom.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Daze

May has come and gone so very quickly and I just want to write about some things that I believe are worth remembering.

May 1st was my first time and my LAST time playing on a co-ed softball game. It seemed like such a good idea, a fun way to get some exercize. Gayle purchased a glove for me, and we warmed up for an hour before we went to the field. In the game, I was a "designated hitter", batted twice and didn't play in the field. I was having second thoughts about playing, and nervous that I would injure myself. In the days following, I developed pain in my arm and shoulder that limit my range of motion. The top of my shoulder is very swollen.

On Friday May 8 Gayle and I went to see Celtic Woman in the Spokane Arena. They put on such a good show it was wonderful to be there. We had terrific seats. I heard them sing a song that I would love to use as an audio background for a new baby slideshow.

May 10 was Mother's Day.
I love being a MOM! I always look forward to receiving phone calls from our children, and talk

on the phone for hours. Cory moved home at the beginning of May for awhile. He is a joy to be around. His dog Rueger smiles as big as any dog as I have ever seen, and he greets me every morning by bounding down the stairs, tail wagging and big smile on his face as he runs to bid me "Good Morning!" One morning I surprised him by hiding in the kitchen and took his picture as he came looking for me.
It isn't the greatest picture as he was moving so fast, but you can at least see him smile!

May 14 was the day that my niece Elisabeth got married to Scott Tracy in the Bountiful Temple. It wasn't possible for me to be there, but I did create a slideshow for them to show at their wedding reception. I am trying to put a link here to open the slideshow but having some trouble with that.

May 16 was the Spokane Valley Camera Club's Annual Salon Awards Banquet. I submitted 10 each to digital and print categories. These had to be images that were judged in the monthly competitions, and were judged in Oregon by a panel of 3 judges. I received two Honorable Mentions for "Mother's Joy" in the portrait category, and "Marigold's Invitation" in the animal category. In addition, I received the "Rookie of the Year Award!" This award is given annually to a person who is fairly new to the club, has made notable improvement to their photography, and given service to the club. I have learned much from some very excellent photographers there since joining two years ago.

Marigold's Invitation

Mother's Joy

May 22 was Lisa's birthday, and we traveled to Kennewick to spend a couple of days with her and their family. They have a new puppy!

Corbyn and Oreo

Paige loves the new piano. Now she practices for her piano lesson without being told to!

And Dakota has learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels!

Newell is busy as ever with homework, Church and school activities.

May 20 I had my shoulder/arm x-rayed as it was still hurting after playing softball on the 1st. Nothing is broken. Then why does it hurt so badly?

May 25 we enjoyed one last meal with Bob, Sherie, and Joe. They are moving from Fairchild

AFB as Bob has a new assignment at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. I am going to miss having my sister here and it is with sadness that I have to say good-bye. Yet I know that she is looking forward to living closer to her children, and I am happy for her for that. Today I also planted a lot of the garden. We are growing tomatoes, green and red peppers, green beans, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, yellow crookneck squash, cantaloupe, acorn squash, and carrots. I also have an herb garden.

May 27 was Bob's Change of Command Ceremony at FAFB and was very nice. Bob received a special "decoration." Being family, we had been given "reserved" guest seating in the front row. After the ceremony, he was required to exit quickly, so we said our Good-byes and they started their 5 day trip across the country.

I am in the process of creating a slideshow with all of the pictures taken. And all the pictures are in my picasa web album.
May 29. This morning I awakened with a strange infection on my left arm: A red ring with a big blister in the center of it. By the time I got to see the doctor at 11:30 a.m., there was a welt that was quite big on the outside of the red ring and was enlarging hour by hour. The doctor did not know what it was and prescribed an antibiotic. I went back to work and worked at a Symphony concert that night, arriving home exhausted.

May 30. The blister and swelling continued to get larger, so I called the base and they authorized a visit to a 2nd doctor. The doctor at First Care took a viral and bacterial culture, not knowing what it was. We'll see what it grows in the next couple of days. I am very curious. He recommends that I do not leave town and must postpone my trip to see my granddaughter. The swelling had increased to my elbow by Sat. night.

June 2. The mystery is solved...I have shingles. (That is why my arm has been hurting so severely!) I have the ok to continue to work, just keep the blister, or "lesion," as the doctor called it, covered, and try to keep my distance from anyone pregnant or those with compromised immune systems. I call Heather and Keith, and they and I decide I will not travel to see Kayla, and I postpone my trip by one week.

So maybe when I heal, I'll be able to use that baseball mitt again afterall...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Last week I felt very good about accomplishing two things that have been on my "To Do" list for a very long time - months for one, years for the other.
Don't laugh now, but I am very proud that I actually went geocaching by myself and found a cache that I could deposit the travel bug that I got from Jeff D. last summer. OK, I wasn't totally by myself. I had my son Trevor on my cell phone who was very excited for me and giving me as much encouragement as a new father in the labor room who's wife is about to "deliver!"
The cache was hidden under rocks near the Spokane River Falls. When I approached, marmots started crawling out of their hiding places in the rocks and stared at me. Good thing I had Trevor on the phone to protect me... Never mind that I lost my balance, fell over backward, dropped my purse and my phone, and Trevor is yelling, "What happened?" I am sure the riders in the Gondola overhead were getting more for their money that day in entertainment.
Wow! I hit the jackpot, or the travel bug "hotel" as there were 5 travel bugs in there. OH, I couldn't help myself. I deposited one...and yes, took one. So now, I'm off on another adventure...
Now for the 2nd goal accomplished: We painted our kitchen on Saturday! Yes, Lisa, it's all done! I love love love it! It's cream on three walls, and a nice warm brown on an accent wall. We also picked out new backsplash tile. Our home teacher, who is a contractor, came over Sunday morning and talked to Gayle while I was getting appropriately dressed, and by the time I came out they had decided that we also should get new countertops and a new sink before we put on the tile! Well, it makes sense... I'm kind of sad to see the yellow sink go though...It's sort of grown on me. Anyway, I walk into the kitchen now and say, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh..."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rejoice! Happy Easter

My heart is full of gratitude for our Savior. I know that he is my Redeemer, that he was resurrected, and because of Him, we all will be resurrected. He has made the way possible to eternal life, now the rest is up to us.
A scripture that describes my feelings today is:

"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day Twelve: The Gift

in Bryce Canyon National Park

Come and See The Giver of Every Good Gift
Luke 17:11-19 tells the story of the healing of the ten lepers. Of the ten, only one returned, fell down on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. For a leper, becoming clean was an impossible dream. There was only one who could make that happen, and that was Jesus Christ. I know that, like the leper, I have turned to Christ when I have needed his outstretched hand. And though I cannot fall down at Jesus feet, I can kneel in prayer and vocally show my respect and grateful heart. What impossible dreams do I have? How about you? There is nothing that the Lord cannot help us to accomplish or to fix, or change. Then which of the lepers will you be like? This week we celebrate Easter, and I reflect on the great incomprehensible gift of Christ's atonement. Because of this, we can overcome physical and spiritual death. Our bodies will be reunited with our spirits (be resurrected) and we can return to our Heavenly Father and Jesus, overcoming spiritual death and live with them in celestial glory. This is within the reach of ALL of us! I am so filled with gratitude to my Savior for this wonderful gift.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day Eleven: Calm the Storm

Cannon Beach, Oregon

"Seek the Lord...[for] he be not far from every one of us. - Acts 17:27"
Remember the story of Christ walking on the water? It is recorded in Matt. 14:22-33. Late one evening the disciples were in a boat in the midst of a stormy sea and were fearful. They looked up and saw Christ walking on the sea. He assured them, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Christ's answer was as it always is every time: 'Come.'"

Instantly, Peter sprang over the side onto the churning water. He focused on Christ, and took a few steps, then got distracted. He realized the force of the elements around him, became fearful, and began to sink. In terror, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately stretched forth his hand and caught him.

"Many times we find ourselves in a similar situation, overwhelmed with the path before us. Distractions come quickly in the busy world we live in. Sometimes pressure comes from discouragement or depression that can somehow turn our lives upside down. Often we find ourselves in a whirlwind of demands and time constraints that do not allow us to focus on the Lord. Sometimes the simplest tasks are the ones that become forgotten first." (21 Days Closer to Christ, Emily Freeman)

Simple tasks, like taking time to pray. Read scriptures. Having family time together discussing spiritual lessons. Sounds so easy, yet some have the challange of making them reality. It is a challange, but so worth the effort. I know that if we have the desire to be close to the Savior, he will carry us through our own raging waters when we call to Him. He is able to calm our storms, giving us the strength to endure. He will be more than a painting in our homes, He will be our Friend. He'll listen when there is no one else to dry our tears.
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all Saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowlege, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19
Yes, he can calm your storm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Ten: Stand

From "21 Days Closer to Christ" by Emily Freeman:
"Those who serve in our nation's military regularly meet with a captain who gives needed direction. The soldiers show their respect by standing "at attention" while he speaks to them. It is common, when he is finished, to tell his men to stand "at ease." There is an interesting parallel to this common practice and the scriptures. As "captain" in this spiritual battle, Christ asks us to stand "at attention" in many ways.

Stand by faith (Rom. 11:20)
Stand fast in the faith (1 Cor. 16:13)
Stand and testify (Alma 5:44)
Stand spotless (3 Ne. 27:20)
Stand in the places of our stewardship (D&C 42:53)
Stand in holy places (D&C 45:32)
Stand as witnesses (Mosiah 18:9)
Take upon us the Lord's whole armor, that we may be able to stand (D&C 27:15)
Having done all, to stand for truth, righteousness, peace, and faith (Eph. 6:13)
Caution: "Woe to them that are "at ease" in Zion" (Amos 6:1)"

When I think of Christ's last week on earth and how he was betrayed by Judas, one of the disciples, and how even Peter, the chief apostle, denied that he knew the Savior three times, I have to ask myself: Would I done the same? Would I have stayed awake all night while Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, or slumbered like the apostles did, not able to stand watch? Fast forward to our time. Do I have the strength and courage to STAND as his witness at all times and in all things and in all places?

"I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, No! I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, Until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that He should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day Nine: Ancient Keys

"When Christ was on the earth, He held the keys of the priesthood. He promised these keys to Peter, saying, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19. These same keys were given to Joseph Smith by Peter, James, and John and have been conferred on every prophet who has served since that time. These keys allow our prophet to exercise "the same divine priesthood power and authority that was held anciently" (David B. Haight, "The Keys of the Kingdom," Ensign, Nov. 1980, 73).

If we want to know the Savior, we can look to the prophet who holds the keys who will lead us closer to Christ. These last two days we watched General Conference, broadcast from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City from Temple Square. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's prophet on earth. I am grateful for the guidance that we heard these last two days and look forward to studying the talks that were given more fully and apply their direction in my life.

Today is Palm Sunday. There was much taught about the Savior. I loved Pres. Monson's quote, "The future is as bright as your faith." There is much fear about the global economy, so many people losing their jobs. The world needs to know that Jesus Christ is the source for peace and answers to finding joy and happiness in life. I love his gospel - I am so grateful for my blessings. I love my family so much, my husband, Gayle, and each child, each grandchild are so precious. I miss you so very much.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day Eight: Recognize His Voice

Marigold's Invitation

Come and See: The Good Shepherd
Christ said of Himself, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). As the Good Shepherd, He has promised to lead us, protect us, heal us, defend us, and comfort us. He gave His life for us. In return He asks each of us to "come, follow me". But to follow Him, we must be able to recognize the voice of the Shepherd. That voice comes to us in many ways. It is the still small voice of the Holy Ghost that gently guides and prompts. It is the clarion call from the prophet of the Lord, Pres. Thomas S. Monson, or other General Authorities who are called as witnesses of Jesus Christ. It is the words of the scriptures that encourages us and increases our ability to recognize the voice of the Lord. If He, the creator of the Earth, of all things in the earth, with perfect organization, can provide for a butterfly, than what are we, but a little lower than the angels? "Be still, and know that I am God." Today, I will listen for His voice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day Seven: "The Author and The Finisher"

I'll bet that you thought that I have given up on reading and writing about the book "21 Days Closer to Christ," by Emily Freeman. I've been very busy. I took last Friday off work, and prepared for Lisa, Dave, and their family to come stay with us for the week-end. They arrived Friday night. We bought our new trampoline on Friday, and that was part of the preparation. Saturday morning, we woke up to sunshine which was a surprise, so took advantage of it, and with jackets and gloves on, jumped on the trampoline and later I pitched a wiffel ball to Dakota and Paige, who took turns trying to slug it. Paige used to play on a team, so she did very well. Dakota had to be helped. It was funny seeing Paige prompt her to bend her knees, stick her rump out, and choke up on the bat. Dakota got the hang of it quickly. Too bad I couldn't take pictures and pitch at the same time!

Sunday morning I went to a special Stake Meeting for all those who usually go to Ward Welfare Meeting. It is a new program from the Church and is all about self-reliance. I was asked to play the organ for the hymns. Following that meeting, attended ward welfare meeting, followed by home teaching visit, followed by an hour and a half preparation for my lesson in Relief Society, which went pretty well. By day's end, I was VERY tired.
Monday night was MOVIE night, with Lisa and the girls. Dave left to go back to Kennewick as he had to work on Monday. We watched TWILIGHT, my second time, and their 7th. Yes, they are ape over Edward and Bella.

So back to the book. I have been reading and studying everyday, not only this book, but reading last year's April Ensign on the Savior. Our 2009 April Ensign arrived last week, but I don't want to read it until I finish reading last year's again.

Paul the Apostle has counseled us, "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." (Heb. 12:1-2)

In the race of life, it is very easy to get off-track by not maintaining balance. For me, the challange and opportunity is to make choices wisely about how I spend my time. There are many distractions in the world that pull at our time and energy. Time is a precious commodity not to be taken for granted. I want to finish the course - this race of life - successfully, and so daily invite Christ to be my "running partner." I am so much better when He magnifies my abilities. I am stronger, faster, smarter, more spiritually aware. One example of this, are the times that I have prayed before retiring about something, and then when I wake up, all these ideas flow into my head about what I have prayed about. It's wonderful. I am humbled. And I pray, "Run with me this day."
See more trampoline pictures online in my picasa web album.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day Six: When Hope is Gone

"When the apostles asked Christ why the blind man was blind, He answered that it was for one reason, "that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (John 9:3). Never underestimate the purpose of a trial. It is through adversity that we experience the sweetest parts of the Atonement. Enduring our trials allows us to experience the healing power of Jesus Christ. This process stengthens our testimony of the reality of Christ and enables us to eventually help lift the hands of another.
Pres. Heber J. Grant gave this sweet promise: "The Lord will always be near you. He will comfort you; you will feel His presence in the hour of your greatest tribulation." He will give us the hope to move forward when hope is gone."
21 Days Closer to Christ by Emily Freeman

Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Ordinary Day

I really tried to look with a grateful heart all day and see the tender mercies of the Lord in my life. I am grateful for the bus driver who waited for me before taking off; thankful for a comfortable place to work, food to eat, and warm home to live in. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the Spokane Temple tonight with my ward. I learned tonight that the angel Moroni atop the Spokane Temple is a new one as of a few days ago. The prior was replaced because of bullet holes. The new Moroni is facing the front of the temple, or West, not East like it was before. A temple worker escorted me to the van as I was by myself, for safety. I am grateful for the blessings that I was given today, including the unseen, unrecognized blessings.

Day Five: Who is this Jesus? - Discover

"If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it, and [it would] draw to itself the almost invisible particles, by the mere power of attraction! The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings; only the iron in God's sand is gold." (Life Thoughts Gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, 116)

  • What heavenly blessings can we discover in every hour? I will begin my day today with a thankful heart, and search. I invite you to do the same, and share what "gold" we have found.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day Four: Never Stopping, Ever Searching

"The cultivation of Christlike qualities is a demanding and relentless task-it is not for the seasonal worker or for those who will not stretch themselves, again and again." -Spencer W. Kimball

"Sometimes our search to find the Savior can be complicated. We seek Him for direction and advice, searching through the maze of our everyday life to feel His spirit."

In a few instances in my life, the Savior found me and I have felt a particular feeling that I can only describe as intense joy and a feeling of rejoicing. That feeling came over me when Matthew passed on through the veil and it stayed with me for a long time. I was reflecting on that feeling recently, wishing that I had it every day, but it is not something that I can control. It is as if a big bucket of joy and happiness gets poured into my head and it permeates every fiber of my body and spirit, and I realize that it is no earthly feeling, but is Heaven-sent. This feeling returned to me a week ago while I was preparing for my endowment session in the temple. Oh, what joy!

Last night I was reading my scriptures, and I received an understanding I did not heretofore have:

"And after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy..." (Mosiah 4:2-3)

I can testify that I know what it feels like to have the Spirit of the Lord come upon you, and it is worth searching for. "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." All I can say, is, all other feelings I have ever had pale in comparison to this. I am filled with gratitude to know from whom this feeling of intense joy and happiness came from.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day Three: A Common Thread

The keeper at the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there. - 2nd Nephi 9:41.

The goal for this day (and going forward) is to keep a journal of my relationship with Jesus Christ. To write about the attributes that I admire in Him, lessons He has taught me, or moments when I have felt His love. Nephi recorded a promise the Lord gave to him in this regard, "that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved, and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled...For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ." (2nd Ne. 25:21, 23)

Oh my, this is big. I am flooded with the memories of times when the Savior has blessed me with his love. I'll just write about one today. When I was in active labor, laying in a hospital bed, pregnant with one of our last children, it was Jennie, I think, I decided that everytime I had a contraction, I would focus on the Savior. I wanted Him to be with me through the pains of this birth. Gayle and I had gone to Lamaze classes and learned the breathing techniques, and so all our seven children were born naturally, with no pain meds. Such was the case now, as I focused on a spot on the ceiling, and breathed, and thought about the Savior with every contraction. Birth was beautiful, and it was afterward that I had a truly spiritual experience. After Gayle had left, and I was alone in my room, I had to continue with a pitossin drip (yes, I had been induced), and it was awful. The drip made my uterus contract, so it felt like I was still in labor, and they get stronger with each pregnancy, so, after 7, you can imagine how painful it was, and at this point, I just wanted to sleep. Plus, the delivery staff was extrememly busy with other deliveries, so I was given the assignment to "ring" the nurse when my IV bag ran out of it's fluid. What? Were they kidding? It was the middle of the night, and I wanted to go to sleep. I prayed to my Heavenly Father about my dilemma, and of course, thanked him for our new beautiful baby He had just sent to us. Feeling very calm, I fell asleep, and awakened just as the last drips of fluid were flowing through the tube. I called the nurse. She came, took the IV bag, and hung up a new one. What! Another! I prayed. I fell asleep, and the entire scene was repeated again. I woke up as the last drips were flowing through the bag. I was overcome with gratitude. I called the nurse. She came with a third bag and replaced the 2nd. Again! Again I prayed, and fell asleep. And a third time, I woke up just as bag was emptying. I know that it was nothing short of a miracle that I could have been awakened just as the last drips were going. I knew that I was not alone. I prayed with gratitude for this experience, and I heard someone say my name. "Nancy." My spiritual ears and heart heard this. Do Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know us personally? Yes, I know they do, and they love us so much...more than we can comprehend. So much, that Jesus gave his life for us in Gethsemane and Calvary. Do I have a personal relationship with my Savior? Yes, I do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day Two: Take His Name

"By partaking of the Sacrament, we covenant that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus, and always remember Him, especially in our daily walk and conversation. (see D&C 20:77). Think about the past week. Were you able to always remember Him? How did you represent His name?"
King Benjamin said, "Therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ...And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ." (Mosiah 5:8-9)
Today, I will remember Him. My actions and conversation will be a reflection of what He taught us.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

21 Days Closer to Christ

I have accepted an invitation from our Bishop, with my friends Tamy and Jen, to read the book "21 Days Closer to Christ," in preparation to speaking on Easter Sunday. He presented us each with the book last Sunday. Emily Freeman, author, invites us to embark on a 21 day journey toward a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you to do this with me.

Day 1: Come and See

Two Thousand Years ago, two fishermen left their nets and walked away from everything that would hold them back from coming to know Jesus Christ. Heeding the invitation, they followed the Savior and were blessed to experience incredible events, which burned an undeniable testimony upon their souls. They asked "Rabbi,... where dwellest Thou?" The answer was, "Come and See."

What fills our nets today that keeps us from completely following the Savior? Can I make more time for the Savior?
Mark 1:16-18 and John 1:38-39

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Cory!

Happy 31st Birthday, Cory!

Bob and Sherie


Cory's birthday was today. We actually celebrated last Saturday due to my work schedule. Sherie, Bob, and Joseph joined us for dinner. Sadly, they will be moving to South Carolina in the near future and then I will have no siblings nearby. Sad for me, good for them. They'll be much nearer to several of their children, so it will be nice for them.

Even though I was at work today, I couldn't get my mind off of Cory. How fast the years fly by. It seems like just yesterday he was a darling little toddler, our 5th child out of seven. Those years were so very busy for a mother, now a little sentimental thinking back on so many memories. Being a mother has been the best thing I have done with my life. And the love just keeps growing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

East Valley Ward's Melodrama

Every year our ward does a Melodrama, and last night I photographed the dress rehearsal. That is, when I wasn't laughing! They have done an outstanding job! What fun it will be for the audiences of one of the three performances: Friday night, Sat. Matinee, and Sat. night. I am told that people come from Montana to see our Melodramas! What, with free popcorn, candy, and pop, I would think there would be "sold out" performances! Kudos to all who are acting, directing, working lights, sound, and music. It's a fantastic performance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dad and Mom
At the Evans Family Reunion, July 2008

March 1, 2009

While driving home from work on Friday night, I heard a commentary about a show playing in another city about the life of Kirk Douglas, starring Kirk Douglas, now 92 years of age. Much of the stories of his life are also in his autobiography, but, of course, without the interaction of an audience present. This segment I heard told a story about his father, who left them when he was quite young. His father did attend, however, Kirk Douglas’s first acting gig, which took place when he was about 6 years old and in the first grade. Afterward, his father didn’t say a word, just brought him an ice cream cone. At that moment, Kirk thought he’d reached the moon, and knew that he that he wanted to be an actor when he grew up. At the end of the senior Kirk Douglas’s show, his son, Michael Douglas, surprisingly appeared on stage with an ice cream cone for his Dad.

This story was endearing to me, and it prompted me to think about my own father, John F. Evans, Jr. and the wonderful home that I grew up in. Dad, you have always been a hero in my eyes. You have always been one to promote peace in the home I grew up in. I cannot recall one time when I ever heard you raise your voice in anger or complaint. Do you know how important that is in a growing child? I liked to cook, and though the details are a little vague to me now, this is what I remember: One night I made “French Toast” for dinner. I made a mistake in reading the recipe, which called for a ¼ tsp. of salt, and I made it with ¼ cup of salt. It tasted badly, but Dad, you were very pleasant and never made me feel like I had done something terrible, or ruined your dinner. In fact, you ate it anyway! Now there is an angel.

Dad, you had a sense of humor that sometimes I didn’t appreciate. I remember one time you thought it was pretty funny to chase me through the house with a dead goldfish sticking halfway out a hamburger bun, and to play tricks on Kay and I by putting a bloody mannequin arm (catsup) on the floor sticking out from under the couch. When we came home from school, we heard an anxious cry, “Hurry and help me get your mother out from under here!” Once I lifted up the toilet seat and found the mannequin arm sticking up from the hole! It is a wonder I turned out normal. J We had a lot of fun, most of the time. I loved how you would flood the backyard with water and make an ice skating rink every winter, hand swings from the weeping willow tree in the backyard, take us to shoot bee bee guns, and fly kites we get so high I felt like it would nearly lift me off the ground. I feel blessed to have been able to spend vacations in Big Cottonwood Canyon at Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Phil’s Cabin in the mountains. I can’t believe that I used to go exploring Doughnut Falls and the mine! I am sure Kay must have been with me, though I don’t remember. I just remember that mom and you let us go, and we had a wonderful time. When we would drive back home to Iowa, secretly I used to cry as I did not want to leave the mountains.

Thank you for your positive outlook and pleasant disposition. Being greeted with a smile and “Good Morning!” is a wonderful memory that I have.

Dad, you have always been a worthy example of the life of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that you taught mom the gospel, and together you built a home filled with love, music, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know that you tried earnestly to follow the latter-day prophets, and taught us the importance of living close to the spirit. I know you and mom did this, and both of you were spiritual giants of great faith. I have to mention mom, because you were unified in all you did. You have held many callings in the Church. It didn’t matter what calling you had, I saw that you took each one seriously and fulfilled it the very best you could. Many times we would wait to eat until you returned. I saw how supportive Mom was in all that you did, and she was a very good example to me of how a wife should act and support her husband. Now that you are in your senior years, and have health issues, I see how you continue to put the other first and show in whatever way you can that you still support and love one another. You continue to be my example.

In honor of your birthday today, Dad, I just want to say that I love you so very much. Thank you for being a perfect Father to me. I could not have had a better one, and I am grateful for all you have taught me, for your example, for your love and devotion to Mom, for your love to the Savior and for living his commandments. Thank you for providing me a safe and loving home in which I could grow up in.

You should be proud to look back on your life and see the many noble things that you have accomplished. Thank you for writing your personal history, a gift that I will always cherish. But most of all, I am grateful that you are my father, for time and all eternity. I am grateful for temple covenants which bind us together forever. I am grateful that Jesus Christ has atoned for our sins, broke the bands of death, and rose from the grave. And because of Him, we all will live when we leave our mortal bodies, for we will be resurrected too; I know that you will live in Celestial glory, and that is where I want to be too. Thank you for showing me the way.

With all my heart,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tess's Baptism

What a nice time we had in Utah recently, spending time with family. The culmination of the week was attending our granddaughter Tess's baptism into the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't photograph the sacred ordinance of baptism, so instead I have chosen to post pictures that were taken afterward at a brunch that her Grandma Deamer hosted.
Highlights of my week:
Spending time with Hailey: I can't believe she let me take so many pictures of her! Tyler wouldn't hold still long enough!
Watching the production "Burden's of the Earth" at BYUI.
Visiting Heather and seeing her pregnant for the first time. OH, she looks so cute, I just want to pat her tummy. I am grateful she was well enough to join us.
Photographing Temple Square...
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Dad & making cinnamon rolls...
Being at Eric and Penny's for Tess's Birthday, eating spagetti, (comfort food!)
Going to the Children's Treehouse and watching the kids play.
Going to Mary and Jeff's on Sunday.

I love my family so very much! More pictures coming soon...
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Surprise on the Centennial

Have you ever wanted to photograh something, but never been at the right place or the right time to do it? I have always been intrigued with Canadian geese - the way they fly in formation, The "honking" sound as they fly above, their wings so beautiful. I have always wanted to photograph them, and my results of earlier attempts were pitiful. Yesterday I was at the right time at the right place. I decided to get some exercise and sun (after about 6 weeks of fog) by taking a walk on the Centennial Trail, which parallels the Spokane River. I walked about a half hour from the trailhead, and then heard that familiar honking sound, very loud. I left the trail and walked down to the river in the direction of the noise, and found many geese, probably hundreds. I watched them for a little while and was intrigued. They were in groups and each would loudly announce their departure by honking, and then took off in flight. After all this time, finally, to witness this was very special and I got a few good images. And all I wanted on this walk, was just a little something to brighten my day. My prayer was heard, and I got a whole lot more.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Screaming Fans at the Fox

Screaming fans? Yes, last night at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox: We presented David Byrne and his "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno". This near sell-out performance was a fun, high energy show that brought a new audience into the theater, and shows that even in times of economic stress, people will part with their hard-earned dollars to enjoy the music they love. We experienced success on many levels last night, and I am proud to be part of that process.

Thursday, February 19, 2009



Monday night I left Camera Club feeling disappointed - ok, pretty upset, that my images submitted for Print Judging did not receive any merit. I took two images I really love and hoped that the judge would love them like I do, and would say wonderful things. Ha! Not so. This judge, looking at "Solitude," said, "I don't know what you want me to look at in this picture. It looks like a picture that simply documents that you were there." What? He can't see the bench that bids you to imagine yourself sitting there, in solitude, perhaps contemplating whatever is on your mind or feeling the peace that comes from a quiet place with a gentle wind, the only sound an occasional songbird? Ok...This is what I see and imagine...The words to Janice Kapp Perry's "Strength Sufficient for the Day:"

"Evening shadows softly fall, Peace and Calm lie over all.
Nature's beauty seems to say Heaven is not far away.
God has sent once more today Strength sufficient for the day."

So when I look at this image, this is what I think of. And the moral of the story is, so to speak, be careful who you put your trust in. The judge clearly did not have the same perspective that I have and so he cannot see that which I can.

"And also trust no one to be your teacher..., except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments."
"Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God."
Mosiah 23:14, and 7:19

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Last night I was very happy to have my image receive an "Honorable Mention" at Spokane Valley Camera Club's digital judging. I took this picture on our first visit to Rialto Beach in the Olympic National Park, on August 28th, 2009. I was amazed how misty is was; it wasn't raining, it was, mist! No wonder the forest is so lush and green, and plants grow to amazing proportion! It may be winter cold outside, but in my mind I can feel the mist as we walk along the beach and I long to go camping...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Comforting Words on Death

Yesterday was the funeral of my cousin, Jeanne Jackson. She passed away unexpectedly in her sleep a few days previous, on Thursday, January 29, 2009. Jeanne was the only child in her family, she never married, and consequently her family line will have no perpetuity. I wish that I could have gone to the funeral to show respect and honor her and to see extended family members I have not seen for many years. Our family provided some flowers for her funeral and I understand that my sister Kay gave a talk. My sister Mary and my parents were there also, so our family was well represented. I shall look forward to seeing Kay's pictures.

Having some experience with death when our son Matthew passed on in June 2006, I just wanted to share my favorite quotes on death. These quotes were of great comfort to me then, and continue to be today.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Life Is Eternal,” Ensign, Aug 1991, 2

"Life is eternal. We are eternal beings. We lived as intelligent spirits before this mortal life. We are now living part of eternity. Our mortal birth was not the beginning. Death, which faces all of us, is not the end.

As we travel through this topsy-turvy, sinful world filled with temptations and problems, we are humbled by the expectancy of death, the uncertainty of life, and the power and love of God. Sadness comes to all of us in the loss of loved ones. But there is gratitude also—gratitude for the assurance we have that life is eternal; gratitude for the great gospel plan given freely to all of us; gratitude for the life, teachings, and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank God for the life and ministry of the Master, Jesus the Christ, who broke the bonds of death, who is the light and life of the world, who set the pattern, who established the guidelines for all of us, and who proclaimed: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26.)
There is the ever-present expectancy of death, but in reality there is no death—no permanent parting. The resurrection is a reality. The scriptures are replete with evidence. Almost immediately after the glorious resurrection of the Lord, Matthew records: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matt. 27:52–53.)
The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us.
The prophet Brigham Young asked, “Where is the spirit world?” and then answered his own question:

“It is right here. … Do [spirits] go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:369.)

“When the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things . … If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes.” (Journal of Discourses, 3:368.)

“Chapter 37: Understanding Death and Resurrection,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 273
"At the funeral services of Elder Thomas Williams on 13 July 1874, President Brigham Young spoke on the subject of death: “What a dark valley and a shadow it is that we call death! To pass from this state of existence as far as the mortal body is concerned, into a state of inanition [emptiness], how strange it is! How dark this valley is! How mysterious is this road, and we have got to travel it alone. I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn round and look about upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence, where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my heavenly Father, by the power of his Spirit. I want to say to my friends, if you will live your religion, live so as to be full of the faith of God, that the light of eternity will shine upon you, you can see and understand these things for yourselves” (DNSW, 28 July 1874, 1).

I am filled with gratitude to know that our Heavenly Father loves us SO much, that he has placed prophets here on earth to give us knowledge and guidance. He also blesses us with the Holy Ghost which can teach us things of the spirit. "REJOICE!" That is what the spirit has taught me. We should not fear death, but look forward to it with gladness.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mozart's The Magic Flute

Spokane Opera presented Mozart's Opera on Thursday through Saturday this week in the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. I invited my sister Sherie to attend with me on opening night. I was told that the opera would be approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Guess what! It was 3.25 hours long! Mozart composes great music! Wonderful arias are in this opera. It is obvious he had a good sense of humor. The set was great, the lighting fabulous, But it was SOOO long I kept dozing off. On Saturday, they presented the "Family Version" which had children pricing and was condensed to 1 1/2 hours. They added narration to fill in the storyline in between acting/singing. It was well attended. My recommendation? If you ever go to an opera and have a choice? Be sure to choose the "Family Version!" On Friday I ran into the Queen of the Night as she was having the finishing touches of her make-up applied. I complimented her on her performance and asked her if she'd mind if I took her picture and she graciously agreed.
My assistant, Marissa, brought her 4 year old on Saturday, and she actually sat through the entire 1 1/2 hour opera. With characters like the Queen of the Night, and a Magic Flute, a Prince, and Princess, even a 4 year old could enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Very Busy Week

So many times I live my life, day in and day out, and then look back, and it all seems like a blur; later wondering, "What did I do with my time?" This past week was a good one with almost every minute in my day planned out. Here are some highlights:

Thursday 1/22/09 - I had my Annual Review with Brenda, my boss, the Exec. Dir. for the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, after filling out an indepth questionaire about accomplishments from this past year and goals for this next. It was very positive. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a fine woman, full of integrity and professionalism. Here is a picture that I took of the theater last May.

After dinner, Anne Koepsell, my visiting teacher and long-time friend, took me out to dinner since Gayle was sleeping (he had to work his usual graveyard shift that night). We enjoyed Mexican food at the Golf Course Restaurant in Liberty Lake, and afterward I went home and talked to almost all my children, just what I wanted to do, of course!

Friday 1/23/09: Today was the kick-off for Spokane's 5 week Lincoln Festival which will include music, drama, dance, and visual arts, presented by the Fox and Spokane Symphony, celebrating Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. These events, which are sanctioned by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commision on the National Level, will culminate with a symphonic work called "Letters of Lincoln" by Michael Daugherty, commisioned by the Spokane Symphony. Thomas Hampson, internationally acclaimed baritone, will perform this world premiere on Feb. 28 and Mar 1 with the Spokane Symphony. I was fortunate enough to leave work for an hour today and photograph this kick-off which started at the Lincoln Memorial Statue in Spokane. West Side High School Band performed, then lead the procession to City Hall where we heard Students creatively recite the Gettysburg Address. Afterward, we viewed a few displays by local artists on Lincoln.

When I got home from work, Gayle had dinner ready, the table set, and served delicious spaghetti! Ah, comfort food. I had about a half hour to eat, then left to pick up a friend I visit teach, and we went to the cannery. It felt good to be there with other ward members all working together at such a fast pace. Much was accomplished in an hour, and I came home with 2 cases of dehydrated stuff and wheat.

Saturday 1/24/09: Early this morning we went to the Spokane Temple to enjoy the peace and joy that can only be found in such a holy place. This was our 4th Saturday in a row to attend an endowment session.

Afterward, Gayle and I cleaned the house, did the laundry, went out to eat for my birthday at that same Mexican Restaurant (my choice), then helped a sister in our ward with her family history. Or rather, Gayle did. I sat nearby on the couch and dozed off. It was nice spending the day with Gayle.

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009: Today we went to Church at 1 to 4 p.m. This late meeting schedule is not our favorite time to go to Church, but oh well. Afterward, we went home teaching and visited with Sis. Perrenoud, then fixed a salad, ate, and Gayle went to bed. I had 13 phone calls to make to some sisters in our ward about Visiting Teaching, and took my entire evening.

Monday, Jan. 26, 2009: My sister Sherie and I had lunch today at Red Robin and I enjoyed my favorite onion soup! I will miss Sherie when she and her family move to Australia in April! Sherie started exercizing after 5 years of NOT when her husband promised a trip to Mexico if she earned enough exercize points to earn the trip. Well, the trip to Mexico is off now, but she is still exercizing, and I am PROUD of her!

Monday night I went to Spokane Valley Camera Club, to which I am a member, and listened to a fine fellow photographer present his workshop on photographing Wildlife. His presentation was good, and the images he showed were astonishing. Here is one of my images I took at Wolf Bay in January 2008.

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009: Today three of our employees were out and the volume of work was too much for Donna and I to handle! I went home feeling exhausted, but tried to keep a positive attitude. I had told my dear friend Tamy that I would make some rolls for our Annual Board Dinner at her house and I did not want to back out on my commitment. I got the rolls made, but found myself in bed the next morning only half undressed with the lights in the house all on!

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009: Tonight was our 3rd annual Relief Society dinner at Tamy Wilkinson's house. I have had the priveledge of serving as Education Counselor with Tamy since June 25, 2006. Tamy is an excellent President and a dear friend. I love the way she makes everyone feel so important. She loves everyone she meets unconditionally, and never judges anyone. Her husband Karl is a great cook, and he again decided on a menu, cooked, and served us. They are very generous people, and I am blessed to have such good friends.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

My Birthday is today and I am giving my body a gift...
I promise to exercize 5 days a week.
I promise to eat healthy.
I promise to give up sugar.
I promise to take my calcium.
I promise to drink more (water).

I have given this a lot of thought. I do eat healthy, but
realize that it is not enough. Exercize must be a way
of life, and I'm getting serious now.

Serious, and Lookin' Good.

Rejoice! - A New Day