Posted in Faith Corner

Welcome 2018 (Themes, Goals & Inspired Words)

I love the start of a new year because it brings with it new themes; at least it does in my church. For Marcus, and all youth ages 12-17, this year’s theme is: Peace in Christ.


For the Primary children (ages 3-11), this year’s theme is: I Am a Child of God. I serve in Primary as a teacher to a very special 4-year old boy. For two hours, I keep him entertained and safe. I take him into the Primary room and our classroom where I try to get him to engage. Sometimes we end up running in the hall, which isn’t very reverent, haha, but he’s a fast little cutie who can get away from me if I don’t force him to hold my hand. My husband often asks me before church if I have my running shoes on!


I bought myself a day planner and I like how it has a place to list three goals for each month. My three goals for January are to create a budget for this year, to develop a daily routine which includes exercise and personal scripture study, and to read more with Marcus. Would you believe, in all my married life, I have never had to live by a budget? So, this year will be a major learning experience for me in that regard. I plan to get back into my Leslie Sansone walking videos, taking advantage of my home gym. My scripture time will focus on The Book of Mormon as well as finishing up the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Marcus and I are reading Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic, which is the second in a trilogy created by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. We really enjoyed the first book and plan to read the third one next. We’re also finishing up the last book from this series, on audio book.

In church recently, I was inspired by a talk given by a return missionary, and suddenly a word stood out to me that I want to focus on this year. That word is, TRUST. And I realize that trusting in the Lord takes FAITH. So those are going to be my two focus words this year, and I know they will come in handy as I trust God to watch over my baby girl as she serves her mission in Peru (which just had a major earthquake), and as we sell our beautiful home of six years to build a new home, moving to a new town and starting over, because we feel led to care for an aging parent.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

♥ I would love to hear any themes, goals and words you have for this new year. Thanks for reading! ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Welcome 2018 (Sending My Missionary Off)

On Tuesday morning, dark and early (haha), we drove the two hours to the airport, listening to Piano Guys the whole way while the kids slept in the car. It was drizzling rain. As soon as we walked into terminal 2, we saw at least three sets of families, encircled about their young missionaries. We knew they were missionaries, even though they didn’t have their name tags yet (they receive those in the MTC), because they were all young men or women, dressed in their Sunday best and their moms were weepy. And we were in the Salt Lake airport where LDS missionaries fly in and out all the time. (It’s fun to watch the reunions- welcome home posters, cameras out, lots of hugging and laughter.)


After checking in her suitcases, we gave Marissa our last hugs for eighteen months. Darcie, her big sister, and I, became emotional at that point. We then watched her go through security, losing sight of her from time to time as she wove back and forth. She’s such a tiny person. Finally, we couldn’t see her any longer and had to assume she’d made it through. On the way home, we stopped at IHOP for breakfast. It was a good morning for Red Velvet pancakes. Marissa then phoned us from the airport, using a calling card, and told us she had met three more sister missionaries, also going to Peru. That was very comforting to know.


She sent me a brief e-mail today letting me know she’d made it and was safe. She told me she directed the other missionaries through the Atlanta airport, which she was familiar with, thanks to all our travels by plane. She also was the only one who expected the humidity of Lima. She said the MTC (missionary training center) was “nice” and that she might get lost. I wonder how big it is? She will be there learning Spanish and being trained in all-things-missionary for the next six to eight weeks. Her p-days (preparation days) are Wednesdays so that will be the day each week when she can write me and others. The sweet thing about being a missionary mom is that we take priority. So if she only has time for one e-mail, I get it! Also, missionaries are only allowed to phone home on Mother’s Day and Christmas Day.

♥ On Monday night, Marissa was set apart by our stake president, with her dad and her big brother in the Priesthood circle. She was given a beautiful blessing and the spirit was so strong in our home. I have a testimony of missionary work and of this gospel. I know my baby girl is going to bless many lives in the next eighteen months as she serves the Lord full time. Thanks for reading! ♥

Posted in Blessings Corner, My 52 Stories

November Blessings- Day 28 (Missionary Mom Moment)


I’m so excited to be a missionary mom again! Marissa leaves for Lima, Peru in early January, where she will report to the MTC (missionary training center) there. After she completes her training, she will serve in Cusco, Peru. Her father served his mission in Santiago, Chile. Her brother, Zach, served his mission in Calgary, Canada.

Marrisa Baptism Firefighter 021
Marissa in her baptism dress

It was special that she was called to serve in Peru because we have lived there as a family, twice. The first time we lived in Arequipa, Peru, for nearly 2 years. Marissa was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while we lived in Arequipa.

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Touring the Maras salt mines just outside of Cusco

The second time we lived in Lima, Peru, for nearly 2 years (10 years after we lived in Arequipa). For our last Christmas there, we spent a week touring Cusco and Machu Picchu as a family. That was an awesome trip.

♥ I’m so proud of my soon-to-be-missionary daughter. She’s going to give her whole self to serving the Lord for 18 months. Thanks for reading! ♥

Posted in Family Corner, Joy

My Birthday Weekend & Exciting News

I was so busy last week that I didn’t get a chance to sit down and write a post. My mother came up for a visit on Thursday evening and stayed ’til Saturday night. That motivated me to thoroughly clean my house top to bottom before she arrived. I am one who works well under a time crunch. It makes me buckle down and tackle items I’ve been putting off on my to-do list. Besides the general housework that always needs to be done, I cleaned out our kitchen freezer, scrubbed the oven, decluttered our den, cleaned the boys’ laundry room downstairs (which was a tornado of laundry), and took a full load of donations to my church’s thrift store, Deseret Industries (or D.I. for short).

Our September craft for our nature club was a sun-catcher mobile.

On top of all that, Marcus and I created and assembled 20 craft kits for our nature club. We had to cut up six colors of tissue paper into 1″ squares, but it was worth it to see happy kids taking home their craft kits and then hear from some of the moms that they were busy making them up that very day.

Marcus, observing butterfly chrysalis at the nature center.

Saturday was my birthday, which was why my mother was visiting me. We celebrated from Thursday night on, beginning with dinner at Olive Garden with my mother and her husband, who dropped her off. On Friday morning my mother joined Marcus and I at our nature club activity. We have just gotten this club off the ground so I was delighted with the moms who showed up and supported our activity, especially because it was raining. Last week’s activity was rained out in fact, but this time the rain was a light, though steady drizzle and the trail I had chosen was a gravel path so it was not muddy at all. Halfway down the trail is a nature center which meant we spent half of our time indoors. I was pleased with the turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Marissa, holding her unopened mission call.

On Saturday after a delicious waffle breakfast, I told Marcus to get our mail. We had forgotten to check the mail on Friday so he came back with a stack of envelopes and two of them were 8 1/2 x 11″ white envelopes. My oldest son, Zach, and I both pounced on Marcus because we knew there was a good chance one of those envelopes was my youngest daughter’s mission call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were right! There was her mission call. Immediately, Zach and Marcus set out to pick her up from her university apartment and bring her home so she could open it with our family.

Looking at all the guesses on a world map.

A tradition for this time is to contact friends and family and ask for guesses for where the future missionary will serve. It could be practically anywhere in the world as we are a worldwide church. Guesses were coming in by text, Facebook and Instagram,  representing several countries and different states in the U.S. It was very exciting and helped to pass the time waiting for Marissa to get home.

Opening her mission call was a thrilling moment!

Once Marissa was home, over four hours later, we had pizza and salad ready for dinner. My mother’s husband had arrived in time to join us. With my husband’s mother on the phone and Zach making a video, Marissa opened her call and read aloud where she has been called to serve an 18-month mission for the Church.

I captured her expression of surprise and delight.

In January she will report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Lima, Peru. Her mission is the Cusco, Peru mission. Having lived in Peru, twice, for a total of four years, Marissa is already familiar with the customs and language (Spanish) which she will learn more fluently. We even attended our church meetings in the chapel right next door to the MTC when we last lived there.

♥ I am a missionary mom again! And we have so much to do over the next few months to prepare her. ♥ Thanks for reading! I have fun posts coming up whenever I get around to them, haha. This week I am busy preparing for a weekend trip to Tennessee where I get to meet my amazing friend, Audria, in person for the first time. I’m so happy! ♥

Posted in Scripture Corner

He Is Risen (Bible Video)

I hope you’ll watch this beautifully done video from the Life of Jesus Christ Bible video series. You can find additional Bible videos here and other Easter videos here. These are great to share with your family.

I have a testimony of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I know He sacrificed for each one of us in a way I will never fully understand. His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he took upon himself all the sins of the world, means we will be forgiven of our sins if we sincerely repent and forsake them. He suffered terribly and died upon the cross, for us. He was resurrected, his body and spirit reunited, three days later. This means we too will live again, our bodies and spirits will be reunited, after we leave this mortal life. We could only have these amazing gifts through our Savior. Someone had to pay the price and He paid that price, for us. Jesus has shown us the way to live here on earth so that we can return home safely to our Father in Heaven. All we have to do is follow His example, be His hands here on earth, and let His light shine through us.

♥ Happy Easter to all my readers. ♥

Posted in Joy, My 52 Stories

The Prince of Peace (and a 52 Story)

Since today is Palm Sunday and it’s the start of Holy Week, I want to share a campaign which my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has launched: The Prince of Peace. I hope you enjoy the video and will take a little time this week to reflect on the eight principles selected from our Savior’s life- Faith, God’s word, Compassion, Gratitude, Prayer, Forgiveness, Repentance, and Hope.


Today I’d like to share one of my 52 Stories which focuses on prayer and a recent answer to two prayers. I have been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life. I honestly cherish my faith because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which brings me immense joy and peace. I love knowing who I am (a daughter of God), and why I’m here on earth, and how I can return home safely to Him.

In my church, each congregation is called a ward and in every ward there are many volunteer opportunities to serve one another. We call these, callings, and we receive our callings from our Heavenly Father through the prayers of inspired ward leaders, such as the presidencies of each organization, and always, the bishopric (the bishop and his first and second counselors). I have held many callings throughout my life, in various wards that I been a part of (in the U.S., Canada, and Peru). I have taught and served children of all ages. I have worked with the youth/teenagers. I have worked with and served the women, or sisters, in my ward. Each calling has taught me different follower and leader skills, and each has stretched me spiritually, growing my testimony.

♥ I  have two personal rules with each calling I receive: First, I always say “yes” to a calling, trusting that it came from my Heavenly Father and He knows what I need in my life at that time. Second, I always give my best effort to each calling, even if my heart is not in it at first. I have found that I enjoy my callings more when my heart is “in it” and the more I give my best effort, the more the heart joins in. ♥

My absolute favorite callings are in Primary, the children’s organization. I love those callings more than any other. I guess you could say, those are my heart callings. My last Primary calling was when I lived in Canada, and it ended in the spring of 2011. For six years now I’ve held callings outside of Primary, which have allowed me to attend Relief Society class on Sundays (Relief Society is the women’s organization). And that has been good for me, but I have truly missed serving in Primary, and for me, it goes a little deeper… I wanted more children, but it wasn’t meant to be, and my kids are now 14, 19, 21 & 24. Sometimes I just miss having little ones in my home. I have been praying often over the past six years for another Primary calling.

As some of my readers know, we move around with my husband’s job, but we have a home-base here in Utah. In other words, we have owned a home here in northern Utah for the past five years, but most of that time, we have lived outside of Utah because my husband’s job is not in Utah. This is the first time we have actually lived here consistently as my husband is working from home for the first time ever. So our ward here never knows whether we are coming or going. I’ve been here since last Thanksgiving and in December I started praying to Heavenly Father for any calling in this ward.

Today I am starting a new calling! I am so happy because I am going to be the Primary teacher to a 3-year old boy with some special needs. We will spend part of the Primary hours in nursery with the younger children, and part of the time with his Sunbeam class (the Sunbeams are the 3-year olds). When a counselor in the bishopric extended this calling to me two Sundays ago, he told me that this was a unique calling and my name kept coming up for it. Later, when I talked to the boy’s mom and the Primary president, and especially when I was set-apart by my bishop (I was given a special blessing to help me in my calling), I could feel my Heavenly Father’s love for me. He has finally answered both of my prayers, but in His time because He knows best. I have a testimony of prayer and know God hears and answers our prayers.Happy Palm Sunday. ♥

Posted in Places We Visit

Places to Visit on Oahu- Laie Hawaii Temple & Honolulu Hawaii Tabernacle

This is my final post in my series, Places to Visit on Oahu. Today I want to highlight two places which were special to me. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my church has beautiful temples all over the world. One of those temples is on Oahu. It’s called the Laie Hawaii temple.

It was rainy and overcast the day we visited.
The public is welcome to visit any of our lovely temple grounds.
There is also a visitor center at this temple.
This sculpture dates back to 1919. This temple was dedicated on November 27, 1919 and rededicated on November 21, 2010

This depicts Lehi blessing Joseph. The account is found in The Book of Mormon and you can read it here.

Along the court wall, there are scenes depicted from the scriptures.

On the last Sunday we were in Hawaii, we attended a Sacrament service at the Honolulu Stake Tabernacle. This tabernacle has a cool history.

This tabernacle sits ten miles from Pearl Harbor. Although it was highly visible during the attack, it remained a secure refuge throughout World War II.

It was dedicated less than four months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, by President David O. McKay, when he was the second counselor in the First Presidency. This tabernacle served as a spiritual gathering place for Latter-day Saint servicemen throughout the war. You can read more about its history here.


A unique feature of this tabernacle is the mosaic of Jesus Christ over the main doorway.

There are over 100,000 Italian glass tiles in this mosaic designed by artist Eugene Francis Savage.
I fell in love with the trees on Oahu. This one with vines hanging down was in the yard of the tabernacle. Children were swinging on the vines.

♥ I hope you’ve enjoyed my series of places to visit on Oahu. Thanks so very much for taking the time to visit my blog. I truly appreciate it! ♥