Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The year that Randy and I were married we were students at BYU. Most everything in our lives was diminutive -- our apartment, our car, our income, and yes, believe it or not, even our bodies (Randy was a whopping 155 pounds and I tipped the scale at 120. I hope that is the weight on record when my body is restored to its "perfect" state). We drove a little green Volkswagon Beetle, which could go just about anywhere. One night as we prepared to go to bed we noticed out the window that it had begun to snow -- big lacy flakes. Clad only in our PJs, we tucked ourselves into the car; no coats, just slippers on our feet, and our new wool car robe spread over our laps. (What were we thinking?!) We drove up Provo Canyon and turned off toward Sundance, anxious to see just how far our little beetle bug would make it. Once we turned off the main road we entered a virtual fairyland. Every twig, every branch, every pine needle was coated with snow. Not a tire track anywhere. Not a sound of any kind. Like the Energizer Bunny, our little car could have gone on forever, but when we reached Aspen Grove we got to thinking about what might happen if we slid off the road. We sat and watched the snow fall, then inched our way back down the canyon, through the dark streets of Provo, and straight into bed. We both remember this magical adventure with clarity and detail. It never crossed our minds that some day we would spend an idyllic week enjoying Aspen Grove with Emily and Adam. Gotta run -- it's lunchtime!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I was born and raised a Mormon. My ancestors crossed the plains with the ill-fated Willie Handcart Company in 1856. I have loved and believed in this Church for as long as I can remember. My parents served faithfully in everything they were ever asked to do. No sacrifice was too great. I owe everything that is good (and there is a lot of it) in my life to the teachings and practices of this Church. I would love nothing more than to have opportunities to explain its beliefs to anyone who might listen. Although the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are as close to “perfect” as is possible, its members are not. While members are generally known for their high standards and genuine concern for others, misinformation occasionally lead to criticism or misunderstanding.
Something that has been bothering me for the past few months is the very bad media coverage relative to the topic of polygamy. In April, authorities raided a polygamist compound in
Here are two short video clips I’d like you to watch. They will help you to understand why it is offensive to us when people wrongly associate these people with us and our beliefs.
In this month’s Ensign magazine (the official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Russell M. Ballard (who is one of our 12 Apostles) wrote an article entitled “Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet.” If you are interested, you can read the full text of his message by clicking here. He points out that while the internet, if misused, can expose you to unthinkable pornography and sleaze, it can also be a tool to help spread the message of the gospel to the world. It can explain gospel principles, demystify the teaching and practices of the Church, and illuminate the blessings that come through living the truths of the gospel. I’m not foolish enough to think that my little blog is reaching a significant number of people. But, if my ideas and thoughts could be combined with those of hundreds of thousands of others who communicate through the “new media”, our combined effort could be a significant contribution.
Among the expressions of my random thoughts and ideas there have been precious few which have spoken of things of real importance to me. At Elder Ballard’s suggestion, I intend to do better. And so I have decided to periodically post the “Ruminations of a Mormon.” You can look for the first of such posts tomorrow.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I don't suppose that many people get excited about looking at other people's yards. But this blog is for me, too. I spend such a significant amount of time doing yardwork that it is fun for me to chronicle what is taking place there. Besides, I do get excited when the zinias I've planted from seed are 30 inches tall and begin to bloom. I get excited when my Annabelle hydrangeas are as big around as basketballs. I get excited when birds build nests in my birdhouses. Last year our blue spruce was getting so big it scraped the car when we backed out of the driveway. So we cut the bottom branches off and created a woodland shade bed. I get excited when I see how it has filled in and flourished. Sometimes I go across the street to visit my neighbor just so I can enjoy the view of our yard from their house. Our yard looks great from across the street. I get excited when people stop their cars and call out how much they enjoy watching our yard as it changes throughout the spring and summer. I get excited when I learn something new about gardening. For instance, I heard on the radio how to get rid of Japanese beetles. DO NOT put out those beetle traps. That just attracts more beetles. Early in the season when you see the first ones on your flowers, fill a number 10 can with water containing dish detergent. Hold the can underneath the flower. Gently tap the flower until the beetle drops into the water. Good-bye beetles! It really worked for me. Since the beetles are attracted to each other, when you get the early ones they quit coming. I get excited when I hear it is going to rain. I get excited when the breeze rings our windchimes. I get excited when I see birds splashing around in the birdbath outside my kitchen windows. Believe it or not, I also get excited when I hear it is going to freeze.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
2-3 Quarts Half n Half
3 cups sugar
1 12 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
juice and zest from 3 limes
6 oz. pkg. lime jello
Dissolve the 3 cups sugar in 2 quarts half n half. Combine the limeade concentrate, lime juice and lime zest in sauce pan and heat to lukewarm. Add the lime jello and stir until dissolved. Pour into the cream and sugar mixture. Put into freezer and add the additional quart of half and half until the freezer is 2/3 full. Freeze. Enjoy!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
During the four or five days mother and baby were in the hospital, Elise was dressed in the routine and very practical green or yellow sleepers the hospital provided. The day she was to go home, other parents preparing to take their babies home brought similar green or yellow sleepers to adorn their babies. But not our little Swiss Miss. She was dressed in an adorable pink flowered outfit. She had ruffly little white socks with little pink shoes. Topping things off was a sweet white headband with ribbons and flowers tucked inbetween her long dark hair.
The word spread. Nurses from all over the hospital came to ooh and aah and say good-bye to this little American princess, the likes of which that hospital had never seen before. Each one wanted to hold her and examine every little detail before saying good-bye. I wonder if that hospital has ever experienced anything like it since. Happy Birthday, Elise!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Ron Keller was the band director at our children’s junior high school when we moved to Naperville 31 years ago. His great grandfather was a member of the original band. Ron began playing with the band in 1951 and became the director in 1966. He’s been the director of the NMB for 42 years.
The Fourth of July is always the most popular concert of the summer. Thousands of people bring their kids, their folding chairs, and their dinner. Those who are serious concert goers fill the benches. Teenagers and families with children spread blankets on the lawn at the back where kids can run around, play on the playground equipment, and babies can fuss without anyone being bothered.
The highlight of the Fourth of July concert is the 1812 Overature. It is more than exciting to be a participant in that experience. There are canons shooting off rounds, the bells from the four churches on the neighboring corners are ringing their bells, all somehow synchronized perfectly with the band. Hats off to the NMB for another outstanding performance! What a great start to the Fourth of July weekend!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I had a roommate in college who came from an affluent family and had never done her own laundry until she went away to school. She told me that when she lived at home she loved laundry day. She would stand in front of her closet and touch each freshly ironed shirt and think, "Oh, I can't wait to wear all of these." Now on laundry days she would stand in front of her closet looking at all the freshly ironed shirts she had ironed and think, "Oh, I wish I didn't have to wear that one. Oh, I'm never going to wear that one again!" I know exactly how she feels.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Today is a perfect summer day. Randy and I got up early and spent a couple of hours in the garden. We’re now on our way to Starved Rock State Park to do some homework for our family reunion. Days like today should be spent at a place like Starved Rock, Centennial Beach, or Six Flags Great America. Can I just share my favorite Great America story?
As I have previously mentioned, Quinn is a genius. In addition, his Creativity Quotient (CQ) is off the chart. I learned years ago to stop trying to figure out how his mind works, and to simply rejoice in the knowledge that the way it worked was preparing him to become a scientist who would be able to think about things in ways that no one else would.
When Quinn was about 12 he was invited to go to Great America with a friend. He was supposed to take his lunch. I had somewhere to go the evening before, but as I left I told Quinn to make his lunch and put it in the fridge to keep it cool. The next morning I got up to fix breakfast. I opened the fridge. No lunch. I, of course, thought he had forgotten, so I went up to wake him and told him he better come down and fix his lunch. He said, “It’s already made.” I looked in the fridge again. No lunch. I looked behind the milk jugs. No lunch. I looked in the crisper. No lunch. “Couldn’t be,” I thought, but I opened the freezer. Not only had Quinn kept his lunch “cool,” he had provided a way to keep it cool for the whole day. He froze it inside a gallon-sized ziplock bag filled with water. That’s my little genius!