Saturday, June 28, 2008

Splish, Splash!

Fun Family Day!
Blue sky, warm water and family! What more could you ask for? Maybe a few more people, but that's coming! Yes, it is as much fun as you remember. Don't you love the photo of Dad down the slide? Eberly, Sara, Katie and Jimmy had to show us what they learned at swim lessons. They did great!

What a week!

So glad it's over! I just finished up 2 funerals for sisters in our ward! I couldn't believe it happened so close together. Both were because of illness, but both were unexpected. Can you believe I have done 12 funerals since becoming Relief Society President almost 5 years ago. I have actually put together a checklist (6 pages) of what to do for a funeral (especially good for RS Pres). I will send to any who need it. This is not something that you are naturally able to do, it is by experience that you learn.

One of the best ideas I had was for the second funeral. This was a very poor family, just husband and wife with limited mental capacities. Only one brother; so I knew there would not be many flowers at the service. I asked the women of our ward to bring a bouquet from their gardens if they had any flowers blooming. Well, the result was a chapel overflowing with flowers. The smell was unbelievable. The service was beautiful.

I was touched with the knowledge that each individual, no matter their personal circumstances, is important to our loving Heavenly Father. My understanding of life after death has increased by the witness of the spirit that we live again, love again and can always enjoy one another. I put this quote on the program, it is by Rossiter Worthington Raymond, "Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horison is nothing save the limit of our sight."

It was a week with many touching experiences, but now I am ready for something else, hopefully a little more fun!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just call me grammy.

OK, OK, I'll admit it! I am a great-grandmother. I didn't really want to sound that old, but I love them too much to leave them out! Since I am so young, they really are more like grandchildren too me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Up At Last!

Wow! This was more difficult than I ever imagined! But it is now good to go! It has taken me 2 weeks to get going. I should have just used the basic template, but that would have been way too easy. To add to the fun, my computer also crashed! I had a new hard drive put in and it failed, so they replaced the old one which is working just fine. Over the next few days, I will try to get a little better organized.

This is a wonderful project I learned about from Lauri Sue. Once a week share something you are most grateful for. This gives us a chance to reflect on the good things we have to be grateful about. It is impossible to feel both gratitude and gloom at the same time.
Love begins with gratitude.

This week I am grateful for fathers.

Before it is just a distant memory I wanted to share some of my thoughts on Father's Day. I was asked to speak at sacrament meeting (just 5 minutes) and this is the talk I gave. Read it if you want to take the time, I just wanted a record of it. I had many tender memories as I prepared it.

Father's Day - June 15,2008

When I was born my family didn’t know where my father was. It was near the end of WW2 and all my family was told was that he was on a Naval Ship “somewhere in the Pacific”. I still have the telegram announcing my birth which he carried in his wallet throughout the remainder of the war.

If my father was filling out a resume and listed the honors he had received, he probably could not think of any. He loved sports, but was never all-state in anything. He worked as an electrician; they don’t receive recognition for a job well done, just a paycheck. He was never elected to any office. And yet, he could write the word Husband. He was worthy of the honor of having a woman love and respect him. And he could write the sacred word, Father.

Father. There is no word which describes a greater honor, a higher title, for it is by the name Father that God has chosen to be known.

My father began as an ordinary man. He accepted the responsibility of fatherhood and fulfilled it and became a great man. He was the kind of father a child deserves. His deepest desire was to be a great father.

My father was a large man, with a big voice. When he called, I could hear him a block away. All of the neighborhood kids were afraid of my father, which was confusing to me. To me he was as gentle as a lamb and a pushover.

The greatest gift I ever received from my father was that I always felt loved. I can never remember a time when my father didn’t love me. I never questioned his love for me. We never went to bed without a kiss and saying, “I love you”.

My dad was an avid fisherman. He loved to surf fish. All summer my family would spend many evenings at the beach while he fished. He fished long after the sun went down. He and my mother would spread out a blanket and we kids would fall asleep on the sand listening to the sound of the waves. At the end of the evening he would carry us, all five, one by one to the car and then when we got home he would carry us one by one into bed. I can remember being so tall my feet almost touched the ground, but he still carried me to bed and tucked me in.

I have never doubted that my Heavenly Father loves me, individually and personally, because I felt such deep love from my own Dad. With his example, it made faith in Heavenly Father so easy to understand and accept.

The second greatest gift I received from my Father was a family tradition. I didn’t know it was a tradition, until my 8 children were grown and married. It was then that I saw the tradition being carried on in their homes. That tradition is that my Father loved my Mother. I think the most important element in raising happy, well- adjusted children is for children to perceive that their parents love each other.

A husband and wife who are as one because of a deep love make successful parents. They may not understand all that child psychology teaches, but they succeed anyway. They can be strict with their children and it will bring good results or they can be less strict and that will also work.

The best thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Such things cannot be hidden. Nor can a lack of love go undetected by the child, who sees with his heart. Along with the undercurrents of love that can be felt by your children, you should also say out loud to your wife, in the presence of your children, “I love you.”

My father never had the opportunity of hearing the gospel message. He died at the age of 42. But the legacy he left was passed on to my husband, and then to my sons and son-in-laws.

He loved his children.
He loved his wife.
He was honest in his dealings.
He shunned filth in its every form.
He served others.
His family was his first priority.

My life has been greatly blessed because I am the wife, daughter and mother of great fathers.