Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Epiphany Quote by Richard Peck

"In fiction writing, the epiphany is a sudden breakthrough of understanding, of self-awareness. It's that moment of change that changes every moment after. It's the lightbulb switched suddenly on over somebody's head. Novels tell of epiphanies acted upon. A short story tends to turn upon a single epiphany, sometimes in the last line. The change to come is to play out in the reader's mind.
     "In real life we have epiphanies all the time. But we wait for them to go away. Change is too hard, and threatening. That's why we have fiction. Stories are better than real life, or we wouldn't have them. Stories for the young present the metaphor of change upon the page to prepare the readers for the changes coming in their lives. Non-readers will never be ready." - by Richard Peck in Past, Perfect, Present Tense

Thursday, November 14, 2013


From Stake Conference, the Friday night session:

     Sister S. went on a mission with her husband and while they were gone there was a death in the family, two grandkids were born and a grandson left on a mission. She said, "If you are thinking of going on a mission: pray about it, then GO!"

She went visiting teaching with her companion and they went to visit a new sister in the ward. They asked what they could do for her and she said, "Find me a husband," and so they did, and it was wonderful and she was happy.

Sis. S's nine-year-old granddaughter wore a dress with sparkly buttons to school and other kids liked them and pulled them off, but fearful of getting in troubles, threw them on the playground. She went home and asked Grandpa to go back and find them with her. He said the playground was two blocks long and how could she find them? She said, "I prayed, Grandpa!" So, they went. It was a cloudy day, but every time they got near a button, the sun shone down on it. They found all three.

Cherish the role that is uniquely yours.

     Bro. P talked about having a balanced life: Family, Church service, Career/Education, Personal/Hobbies.  When he was trying to figure out how to find balance in his life, he went to the scriptures and studied the lives of Lehi, Noah and Peter... (all people who gave up everything in their lives for church service)... Maybe God doesn't want us to have a balanced life?

But, then he talked about balanced flavors, like that in a chocolate chip cookie: we don't need the exact same amount of every ingredient, like 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of baking soda, 2 cups of salt, 2 cups of vanilla, 2 cups of chocolate chips; but the right amount of each item makes a delicious cookie.

Don't compare our life to the life of others. Each person's balance is different - we are each our own recipe, our own story. The recipe is always changing.

Sometimes finding balance means sacrificing something good for something that is better, or something better for something that is best. (Here is an excellent talk by Dallin H. Oaks on that subject.)

What is best will change as our family changes. We can start simply, small and simple means bring about great changes. Do what God wants us to do.

Yard by yard, life is hard.
Inch by inch, life's a cinch.

     Pres. E asked, "Are we having fun, yet?" That was a theme for him growing up. He was always looking forward to the next thing. It used to drive his wife a little nuts that he couldn't enjoy whatever stage they or their kids were in at the time, because he was always looking forward to what was next.

In the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 8 talks about the Tree of Life.  Happiness is something we choose - you have to reach up and take the good fruit.
Someone did him an injustice that day and he wanted to be mad, but he knew he was giving this talk tonight, so he just smiled and he wasn't mad anymore.

Heavenly Father knows you and he loves you; all the heavens and stars and he knows your name.

Charity is having patience with someone who has let you down, including yourself.

When he was in Primary, he was a hooligan eleven-year-old. He and his friend made up rude words to the "Hello" song that is sung to welcome visitors: "Hello, Goodbye, we hope you die and never come back again."   He would climb out the window while his teacher was teaching.

Then, he turned 12 and received the Priesthood. He and his friend were cornered in the bathroom by 2 Priests (Young men that he looked up to), who told them, "You have the Priesthood now. It's time to start acting like it. When you pass the Sacrament, have respect for the Savior."

He talked about other leaders that also had a positive impact on him like those two young men, who helped him grow into a good leader.

When the Savior visited the Nephites, he said, "Thrust your hand into my side." (3 Nephi 11:14)
Pres. E. followed that with "I know a lot of you and have a great love for your, but you haven't touched my side, and I'm not going to let you, but the Savior loves us and had them thrust their hands into his side first and then his hands and feet."

We worship a God who rejoices when we repent. Don't get down on yourself when you make mistakes. Learn from them.

We worship a charitable God who loves us and forgives us and rejoices when we repent.

He said one of the scariest phrases you hear as a kid is, "We need to talk." Sometimes he would use his ominous voice and say to his teenage son, "Son, I want to see you now," his son came he would say, "I just wanted to say, I love you." That is how it will be like at the Judgement bar of God.

Reach up and take the good fruit.

Hope is..


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Day! A Baptism!

At the beginning of the month, we celebrated Dexter's 8th birthday followed two days later by his baptism.  His older brother, Christian, who is 17 and a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, was able to baptize him.

Here they are just before the program began.

Small people like small places

She fits in the spot between the two bookcases.

We moved the recycle bin from this spot in the kitchen and turned it into a parking place for some small appliances instead... and a happy spot for the small girl.

I believe she has a stuffed animal in her shirt.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Now you see it: 

Now ya don't:

We woke up early last Saturday and drove to our old stomping grounds to watch the implosion. I told the kids it's not every day you get to see a building go down like that. I took a video, but I missed the first few seconds and it was over so fast, I don't know if it's worth posting.
Here is a link to someone else's video.

Then, we spent the next half hour in traffic trying to get back out of town.  Lots of people turned out for the demolition of that landmark.

I remembered to get a picture of the kids,
so that they can remember how old or little they were when it happened.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Days

Summer is for lazy days at the beach.

This is the beach we went to last week. I hadn't been to it before. 

It had ripcurrent and backwash warnings, so it wasn't swimmable.

It had fine sand and pretty waves and tide pools if we were willing to walk. It was overcast and a bit chilly, but some kids still got wet. Some more than they wanted, one wave tackled Trevor.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died way too soon, so those were all the pictures I got of that beach.
But, this week, we went a little further south and found sunshine. Trevor stayed a safe distance from the waves this time.

Geneva dug a couple of holes connected to each other.

Little Z loves playing in the sand and when someone filled the purple bucket with water, she sat next to it for a long time and put sand into the water.

I was trying to capture a picture of the dolphins we saw swimming past.

But, with the sun shining, I could pretty much only see my own reflection in my viewing screen.
Here is a fin!

We also saw some seals popping their heads up and an otter, but I couldn't get pictures of those.

I couldn't talk Christian into wearing shorts.

Dexter asked me if I knew where his hands were.

This is inside the little yellow bucket (above). We found these two living sand dollars with live barnacles on them. This one started poking out to find something to eat.

Venna put her phone in plastic to protect it from the sand and found she could still control it,
so she was happy with her earphones.

My friend likes to put shells on top of the sand like a mosaic.

I didn't get a really good picture of Spencer. He's in the green shirt on the far patch of seaweed.

Dexter usually starts playing in the water by the time it's almost time to go. He was jumping to make an imprint of his feet and then tapping each foot print with his little plastic rake, making four little holes in a row.

We watched these far away clouds get closer as the day wore on.

Sandy baby toes:

Z babe just looks so little walking next to her big sister.

Dexter doesn't think we should go to the beach too often, because he knows it costs a lot to buy gas and snacks, but I told him once a week isn't too often.

Pretty much as soon as we get there, Christian starts asking how long we are going to stay.
I tell him time does not exist at the beach.
He says that is not a valid answer.