Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Big Birthday Month!

Not that any are better than any others, but July is the hostess with the mostest:

Lucy July 1 - turning four!
Jewel July 2 - turning 29 ... and holding!
Janeil July 2 - turning 74!
Raygen July 6 - turning three!
(And there are others, of course, in my sisters' families.)

My testimony of the atonement (continued):

Part of the atonement is the acceptance of vulnerability.  We ought not and cannot hide from nor deny the hard part.  He suffered, not for any sin of His, but for obedience.  It is an honor to do likewise, in small measure; to accept that life can be hard but there is purpose in it.  Only when we are submissive does the atonement work, purifying us.  Not only does the atonement become functional, His rewards for our obedience help us override ongoing weaknesses.  The challenge is to find strength in Him instead of ourselves.  We may never fully understand all the things that happen in our lives but we can be sure God will use even the worst situations for His glory and our weaknesses as His strengths.  The story of Joseph sold into Egypt, case in point.  So what is the key? obeDIEnce.  Dying to our own will.  Doing that, daily, helps keep our humility on the warming burner, enabling the fire of the Holy Ghost to come into our lives.

[Jewel and I were talking about favorite scriptures ... I think I'll report a few of mine in future.]

Utah is burning.  Not that we are alone, or even the worst, but it's the worst for us!

(Provo Thursday @ Freedom Blvd & University Diagonal)

As of last night:

Herriman Fire - 15% contained, several homes lost.  Caused by a burning car which spread to dry grass.  Had another area fire in 2010 caused by machine gun fire at nearby Camp Williams.
Clay Springs Fire (east of Delta):  68,309 acres, 15% contained.  Unknown cause.
Wood Hollow Fire (Birdseye and surrounding):  46,402 acres, 35% contained.  Suspect copper stripping thieves caused this fire.
Seeley Fire (Huntington/Fairview area):  15,790 acres, 0% contained.  Lightning-caused.
Church Camp Fire 9NE of Price):  5,600 acres, 10% contained.  Unknown cause.
Pole Creek Fire (NW of Vernal):  1,868 acres, 0% contained.  Human-caused:  fireworks.
New Harmony Fire (NE of St. George):  1,826 acres, 90% contained.  Human-caused:  water pump malfunction.
Wolf Den Fire (in the middle of nowhere, eastern border):  1,000 acres, 0% containment.  Lightning caused.

Prior to that, and has been contained:

Dump Fire (Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain):  burned over 6,000 acres, caused by target practicing, 2,500 were evacuated.

Others, before that.  It has been reported that 20 fires this year so far were caused by target practicing.

Fireworks have been banned in P.G. @ Murdock Canal and above.  (Also only on limited days pre/post the 4th/24th, but so far has been ignored by many.)

Humm.  Maybe we should add to the list, "You know you are a Utah redneck if ....)

On a lighter note:  Got my new keyboard.  Mac stuff is worth buying ... just for the super cool packaging!  Also happy to see Norma's flowers blooming each year!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Killed the Keyboard ... and other Confessions/Observations ...

I try to do all my personal stuff on the Big Mac the district will sell me when I retire. Well, I killed the keyboard (yes, wetness was involved), so now I am on my (according to the district) obsolete any-moment-crashing MacBookPro, and I'll just have to remember to download the pictures on the Big Mac. And, blessed that I am in spite of myself, the mouse still works so I don't even have to risk forgetting before acquiring a new keyboard!

Thanks, Janeil, for posting your testimony as it involves your mission. Look forward to more as you feel moved upon by your experiences there. Thursday night was a pre-ward-conference-leadership-gathering with the stake. The HCman over the stake singles is really gung-ho and asked that the adult singles ward leadership attend. Our ward is the first in the stake to be up-and-running with the adult singles "presidency"*, and this Thursday-night added event is new to every ward this year. First we heard testimonies of a few in the stake presidency. Then we ward people were paired up with a stake counterpart and we went off to conduct a home visit, bear our testimonies and invite the person visited to also (if they wanted to). All the visits were prearranged by each ward auxiliary lead. We were to offer to everyone we visited, a call-back from the HCman if a blessing was desired. Then we met back at the stake center, in our individual groups. Ours had six - the HCman over singles, two stake sisters and we three, and all of us bore our testimonies. It was amazing. The best part for me was recognizing the faith-building sincerity of it all.
(*Stepping stone for an eventual adult singles ward in P.G. ... and then I'll get a new calling ... not too old for the planning stages but too old to attend....)

Reminds me to share the testimony I wrote down the summer of the best/worst time of my life.  (Not an uncommon combo to most anyone, I'd bet.)  I'm going to dish it out in pieces over the next few posts:

For a lot of my adult years, I thought the atonement was for 'sins' - that was what Christ suffered for.  So it was with great relief and comfort that I came to understand that Christ suffered for everything, every emotion and every experience.  Only then did I realize that He KNOWS me and also OWNS me.  What comfort it is that I am fully understood and that He can compensate for any weaknesses I have.

It's been awhile since I've posted, but that doesn't mean it has been down the easy river with nothing to report!
"Had" to attend our state Child Nutrition Program conference which this year was in Layton.  Last year I took the trip to Orlando.  My boss brought up going this year and I said I figure I'm done going to them, but her reaction to that instantly changed my point of view!  :-)  It was excellent.  The closing session, Merrill Osmond sang, and brought tears when he closed with The Impossible Dream, one of both his and my Dad's favorites.

Jewel and Johnny and Raygen arrived in my absence, Jewel then joined up with the Ragnar team in Logan, and Saturday morning we packed up in a flurry, meeting her at the end of her last leg, rated "hard", 7.7 miles, from Francis heading to Heber, checkpoint at the Jordanelle Dam overlook, which is where the road turns south.  (We were worried about the traffic, but got there in plenty of time - most cars were headed north on into Park City where people were then shuttled in to the finish line.)

 Yes, this was the check point, but you won't find Jewel in the picture!
Cars blocked our view just as she arrived.

    On the left, an earlier leg.            On the right, Raygen happy to have Mom back.
We then hit the road headed for a cabin at Swain's Lake,
which took us through Cedar Breaks.

The whole interior of this cabin was done by Johnny's grandfather.
(He has a table saw in the basement.)

 His grandparents bought the land in 1984, started building in 1985.
 Every year they added to it, under a pay-as-you-go program.
 Back deck.
(I did take a picture of the wonderful owners,
sitting on the front porch, but it came out too blurry!)
Johnny took this one.  (Why it isn't fuzzy.)  ;^)

Didn't have phone service there, which I didn't expect,
but that did contribute to the peacefulness of it all.
(Johnny had a highfalutin Droid phone Jewel gave him for Father's Day -
which actually made his workaholic version of this vacation better for him -
he was able to easily/quickly log in and fix various gas station computer problems.)

Johnny's grandmother took great care of us - she is a go-getter at 80!
Saw a lot of deer, butterflies and pretty birds.  We took a walk every day.
They know everyone, partly because they've been there
every summer for the last 28 years,
but mostly because they are such warm and friendly people!
Most grateful to be included in their hospitality!
Johnny must be very proud of his heritage.

Oh, yes, and the final confession ... I have gone downtown to the Strawberry Days festivities,  twice for strawberries and ice cream base, once for candy cotton, and I just may ....

(Too bad they don't sell those ice cream bars any more, the ones they dipped in hot chocolate and rolled in peanuts.)

Friday, June 8, 2012 al. ...ibid. ...Ruth, op. cit.

The fence is done!
Haven't talked to Ruth, but can't you just picture a climbing rose across that arch.
The rolling driveway gate.

The gate from the street.
My first crop from the grow box.
(Radishes are done now.  Peas will be next.)