Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Empty Tomb

Here are a few pictures from the tomb believed to have belonged to Joseph of Arimethea. While some believe that other sites are the actual location, President Kimball visited this tomb and said he felt impressed that this was the authentic spot.
The interesting thing about this picture is the track you can see running along in front of the tomb. This is where the stone would have been placed so as to be able to roll it back and forth to cover the door.
This is the empty tomb. He is risen! You can see where the body would have been laid, and I can imagine the Savior's folded linens laying on the rough ledge. The map of the tomb below is helpful.
Have a wonderful Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Garden of Gethsemane

We were in Israel a few years ago, and I was rather surprised by the Garden of Gethsemane. I imagined it away from the city -- like going from Salt Lake into the foothills. But it is right there in the city. I loved seeing the centuries-old olive trees that I have heard so much about. It was much smaller than I imagined. I thought that the Savior left his apostles and went quite a distance from them. Not so! Too small for that. There was a feeling of reverence there. This is one of the most sacred spots on the earth.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Ultimate Egg-rolling Contest

As a child, part of our Easter celebration included a Saturday picnic to "Yoohoo Canyon." It was quite a unique setting where everything you said echoed off of the canyon walls and came back to you. We delighted in calling out "Yoohoo." (echo Yoohoo), "Yoohoo," (echo Yoohoo). Hence the name, "Yoohoo Canyon." We would take our Easter eggs and race them down the sandy hills. But the egg-rolling contest you are about to see was the all-time ultimate egg race for this Peterson family.

We started with a trip to Home Depot where we picked up a variety of tubes, rain gutters, and other interesting-looking objects. The men and the children spent a good half day building "the track." Everything was wet down, molded and smoothed. The grandchildren colored the eggs and picked their favorites for racing. The races began, heat after heat, until the eggs were beaten and battered, some of them reduced to mere yolks. Then the Grand Finale:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Smile that Means a Lot

Two of our sons-in-law grew up in the same ward with Greg Olsen. He was always good to them and to their children. A couple of our young grandchildren each got to paint a stone in one of his Jerusalem paintings (Do you think it's possible he may have "fixed" things after they left?) He autographed a copy of this painting and gave it to our kids for us. It hangs in our bedroom across the bed from where I kneel to pray.

In 1984, the Church held a Young Women's Encampment in Nauvoo. Our oldest daughter was able to attend, and I was privileged to be on the encampment staff. On the last day my friend and I were asked if we could drive Elder Rex Reeve (a member of the First Quorum of Seventy) to the airport in Moline on our way back to Chicago. We had him all to ourselves for two and a half hours. He shared so many interesting things. I recorded pages and pages of his stories in my journal when I arrived home. He talked about their meetings with President Kimball in the temple each week. I can hardly believe that I was so brave, but I asked him if he thought President Kimball had seen the Savior. He said that he didn't know if President Kimball had, but that once when he was in the presence of President Harold B. Lee they were looking at a picture of the Savior and President Lee said, "That's not the way the Savior looks."

Well, I don't suppose the Savior looks like my Greg Olsen painting either, but I like to look at it when I kneel to pray. He has a little bit of a smile, and I imagine that he is smiling at ME. It somehow makes me feel safer in his presence and able to feel his loving acceptance. I'm so grateful for his atonement and for the Easter season when we can focus on Him.

Dyeing Pioneer Eggs

When I was a child we dyed Easter eggs the pioneer way. They are so beautiful, intricate and unique. Like snowflakes, no two are the same. We've passed this tradition on to our own children. It is a fun FHE or a "Saturday before Easter" activity. I wrote the little article below for The Friend years ago, which gives the directions. I've also included some "real" photos because "a picture is worth a thousand words." Have fun!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

He Is Risen!

A few years ago I learned about an Easter custom in Greece. Beginning on Easter and for the forty days following, people give up the traditional greeting of "Hello," or "Good Morning," and replace it with "He is Risen." The person who is greeted then responds, "It is True!" In a society where "true" Easter lasts a few split seconds until the Easter baskets are discovered, wouldn't it be nice to lengthen that celebration out a little. I think I'm going to make it a tradition to study the Atonement for 30 days prior to Easter and then remind those I greet that "He is Risen" for forty days after Easter. It won't be an easy habit to establish, so call me after Easter so I can practice.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Good morning, bloggers. It's been a busy week. Three weeks ago our singles ward instituted a program to study the Atonement for 30 days before Easter. They invited Randy and me to participate with them. Every night they email us the reading assignment for the following day. Sometimes it is a conference talk, sometimes a scripture block. It can even be a chapter from a book such as Jesus the Christ or Infinite Atonement. This morning I read President Hinckley's beautiful Christmas message, "A Testimony of the Son of God."

It has surprised me how doing such a small thing as spending 20-30 minutes reading and reflecting on the Savior's life and Atonement each day could make such a huge difference in how I feel, in the choices I make, and in the love I feel for Him. During this last week leading up to Easter I want to share some of my feelings. If you're not interested in Jesus Christ, Easter, or his amazing Atonement, check back a week from now. BUT, you should know that I prepared one of these posts more than two months ago and have been waiting patiently to post it. It's WAY fun and I don't think you will want to miss it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Proud, and proud of it!

I've been writing my personal history over the past couple of years. Here's a little paragraph about my introduction to the violin.

"In the fifth grade, Eugene Hellend (band director) came into Mr. Bauer’s class and, using a set of drum sticks, tapped out a series of rhythms which we were supposed to clap back. Shortly thereafter, Roy Halverson called my parents and told them that they should consider starting me on a string instrument. My first violin, borrowed from Etta Leigh’s attic, was taken to the violin shop, and after an incredibly long week of waiting, was finally ready to be taken home. I was most impressed by the inside of the case with its apple green velvet pile and the long satin ribbons where the bows were fastened. Our beginning violin class later formed the nucleus of the Second Ward string orchestra and included some of my best friends—Trudy Knell, Linda McFarlane, Linda Carpenter, and Sherry Leigh. After three or four days of playing, I arrived at our violin class one morning with each of my sore fingertips carefully covered with adhesive tape. Mr. Halverson assured me that within a few weeks my fingertips would be toughened. He was right." I took private lessons and played with the University orchestra until I left Cedar. That is where I learned to love the music of the masters.

By contrast, this is my granddaughter, Elise, last year when SHE was in the fifth grade. No tape on her fingers. She's playing a concerto (from memory) and doing a pretty dang good job -- good bow control, good intonation, playing in the upper positions, double stops. I used to love playing with her, but since my stroke she can play circles around me. You go, girl. You've got a great future ahead of you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Divine Tutor

Randy and I have had some conversations recently about the direction my life is going, which often seems like it is nowhere, and very slowly at that. We find ourselves on a bit of a teeter-totter. I am alone so much of the time and long for the days when he would eventually come home from work and we could do things together. He hardly ever has time to himself and longs for the days when he could come home from work and do nothing. And our conversations have confirmed to us that there is no way we can change things right now. But I have been praying that Heavenly Father will help me see ways that I can fill my life with more meaningful and satisfying things so that I can serve and grow in ways that are commensurate with the ways that Randy's calling is helping (or causing) him to grow. When his service as stake president is over we hope that we will have some service opportunities together in which we will be prepared to be equally yoked.

How grateful I am for a Divine Tutor who led me to this story and for the insights that followed--specific ideas that came into my mind about ways that I can make a difference. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Have Mixer, Will Travel

One of the young mothers in our ward asked if I would teach her how to make rolls when she gets a mixer. I remember that stage of life well -- a long list of needs and another list of wants. It could be a long time before those "wants" make it to the top of the list. Since Randy has been out of the country all week, I offered to bring my mixer to her home for a lesson. I also offered to let her use my mixer in the future until she is able to get one of her own. One of her friends joined us and I so enjoyed being with them and feeling their great energy and enthusiasm for life. I think we made about 40 dinner rolls and 20 sweet rolls. I resisted eating one until I left. I took a sweet roll "for the road." It was the perfect amount to satisfy myself, but right now I really wish I had another one. Dang they are good!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Walking for the Cure

I've posted before about our four-year-old granddaughter who has Juvenile Diabetes. Difficult things happen in all our lives that require adjustments, patience, effort and sometimes help from other people. My stroke was like that. For a few weeks it consumed my life, but two years later my only thoughts about it are gratitude that my life is pretty much the way it always was.

I can hardly even comprehend Clarissa's life (70, 80, 90 years) managed and controlled by diabetes. Our greatest source of hope and comfort is the possibility that through research and medical advances that will occur during Clarissa's lifetime, she will be able to lead as normal a life as possible. For five years, her dad (Quinn) has studied cancer research. He will be finishing his PhD within a few months and has been accepted to do his post doc at Harvard where he will be switching to diabetes research. We are so thankful that he will become a small part of the solution we are hoping and praying for.

Randy and I are planning to be part of this year's Walking to Cure Diabetes event on April 30. We'll be walking with Clarissa's Crew. If any of you would like to donate toward Diabetes research you can read more about it and donate online here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Killer Bees

I remember as a young mother how Conference Saturday was a day filled with soccer games, grocery shopping, music lessons and errands. When we lived in Utah we could sometimes catch a talk or two in the car. After moving to Illinois we listened on a special side-band radio or had to go to the church for each session. At this stage of my life I look forward to every session of conference and enjoy being able to receive it at home through sattelite. I still enjoy going to the stake center on Sunday to watch it on the big screen.

Today might be a good time to tell the story of my friend Gayle. In 1990, she and her husband gathered their family together a week before conference and promised them that by praying for the brethren and listening carefully they could receive answers to any concerns they might have. With a magic marker and a flip chart they invited their children to make a list of concerns: getting good grades, reducing contention at home, finding good friends, earning money for college and missions, understanding more about the gospel, how to get answers to prayers. Their seven-year-old son was learning in school about killer bees coming up from South America or Mexico. That's what he was concerned about! His parents wrote it on the list with a heavy heart knowing it would not likely be discussed in conference.

For each session of conference, the family gathered to listen, and as each topic was discussed it was checked off their list. One speaker discussed the "Signs of the Times." They tried to convince their son that Killer Bees could be one of the signs. No dice. How about being prepared? If we're prepared, with won't have to worry about killer bees. No way. What about faith, or praying for protection. Absolutely not! He wanted to hear the words.

Finally in the last talk of the Sunday morning session, President Hinckley said, "Our generation is affected with critics in the media who think they do a great and clever thing in mercilessly attacking men and women in public office and in other positions of leadership. They are prone to take a line or a paragraph out of context and pursue their prey like a swarm of killer bees." Blessed are the Merciful, Ensign, May 1990, p. 69

One little boy is completely convinced that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers through our living apostles and prophets who speak to us in conference. I am convinced too, and hope that we are all listening for answers to our concerns this weekend.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Morning

Wow, my day got off to a great start! Before I even realized that Randy was up, he appeared at my bedside with a breakfast tray for Her Majesty. It's not my birthday. It's not our anniversary. It is April Fool's Day and I wondered for just a moment if . . . . . But no, he hasn't had time to think about April Fool's pranks. He's just a wonderfully kind, thoughtful man to everyone, but especially to me. He loves to serve others, and it is evidenced by the life he has led. William Shakespeare said, "To business that we love we rise betime, And go to 't with delight."

To a man who rubs my feet without even being asked; to a man who still helps me in and out of the car; who is still working when he would prefer not to; who thinks "the best" is good enough for me; who polishes my shoes; who is never in too big a hurry to kiss me good-bye; who praises every meal as though it were a feast; who turns on the light, brings my study books and glasses to me, and plumps up my pillow each morning; who saves part of every little treat to share with me; who takes credit for everything that goes wrong and gives me the credit for everything that goes right, I love you!