“As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise.” Elder Richard G. Scott.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I know, the title sounds so bad, but I really didn't know what to call it so I called it that.

As a kid, I experienced only a few deaths but often viewed them as "The circle of life"
The one that I remember the most was when my uncle N died.
He was young and married with a wife and 3 kids left to mourn his passing.
He and his wife had already buried 2 little children who passed away together while they were cracking ice on the pond on their farm.
I still remember to this day the look on his wife and 3 childrens faces.
I don't think I will ever forget it.
I was in grade 5 and had worked so hard all year to get 100% attendance at school.
I had to leave the last 2 days before the end of school.
Mr. Campbell, the principal at the school knew how hard I worked and gave me the award anyways knowing that it was something really beyond my control.
That was the kindness and compassion I saw in death.
I remember the first time someone in our ward passed away.
It was once again a young father with 5 little children.
I remember feeling so sad for the children that they would not have their father, but more sad for the mother who would not have her companion.
I know the Lord has blessed the.
I saw our ward really rally to help her and the children.
I saw compassion and love in action.
I buried FAR TOO MANY friends in high school.
Some family, but mostly friends.
Their funerals were so sad.
So final.
I hated going but felt the pull to say goodbye.
It has been a while since I had to go.
Now, it's been 2 in 2 months.
2 young really amazing men who have helped shape me and who I am.
THAT is what makes me the saddest.
The first was our really good friend from Edmonton.
Mr. Miller and him lived in the same "big house" along with so many other guys.
Sometimes I look at some of the crazy things we did with him and think of how greatful I am that he just let us help him live.
He always said he wanted to live to live, not live to die.
He did that.
He had Muscular Dystrophy.
He was not supposed to make it out of his teens.
ALMOST made it to 31.
His 4th child was born 5 weeks later on what would have been his 31st birthday.
The tender mercies of the Lord.
He was blessed with an amazing wife who is strong and will continue to raise them in the gospel.
The next fine gentleman was my cousin, J.
34 years old.
I have been trying to figure out how to describe him.
He was different and knew it but didn't really care.
He accepted people as he wanted to be accepted.
He loved you for who you are, not who you wanted others to think you were.
He loved you unconditionally.
I do not think I have EVER SEEN HIM MAD!
I know, pretty amazing but really true.
He could have probably felt like he had every right to be mad.
We all feel that at some time in our lives.
Nope, he would just smile that wonderful smile and say Thank-you and go about his day.
That was who he was.
I remember being new in the young adult ward in Edmonton, not really too sure if I wanted to be there or not.
Who do I see but J, talking to a girl, trying to get her to go out with him.
Most people would go about their day and wave kindly.
Not J.
J looked at the girl and said, "Just a minute" came over to me and said
"Hey cuz, I just wanted to say hi and I miss you" and gave me a great big hug.
I was thinking that of all people who really would understand how nice and important what he did, it would be him.
He didn't get the date but as he said,
"anyone who don't have the patience for that, I don't have the time to get to know them."
FAMILY was important and I was family.
He LOVED women.
Loved but respected them.
Never married.
I have been thinking alot the past week about the time I have spent with him in my life and how richly blessed it has become.
Now, as I go on, they are memories that one cannot erase, but know that I will not be able to make any more memories with him.
I have been thinking of how unfair death is to those left behind.
YES, I do know I will see him again, I am greatful for my saviour Jesus Christ and his sacrifice so we can see each other again.
It's really hard for us as we go thru the stages of mourning his death.
It is hard as I wonder if he knew how important he was to me in my life.
It is hard as I wonder if I was nice enough to him.
It is hard as I wonder if I did enough for him.
I am sure I will get to hear him yell (if it's allowed in heaven) a great big, "CUZ!"
I just miss him.
His death has affected me more than I thought it would.
I am not sure why, but it has.
I think it's because when one was around J, you KNEW you were loved, appreciated and important to him.
My cousin J is also the youngest son of my uncle N.
I feel for my aunt, who has now buried more than half her children and a spouse.
I am greatful for her strength and faith as I saw her at the funeral.
I am greatful for her and having J so I could have a great cousin who I love and who loved me back.
I only hope he knows how much he means to me.
That he is really special in my life and has helped influence me.
I thank him for his life and who he was and the strength and confidence he had as he went thru life.
I thank him for being an amazing cousin.
I love him and will see him again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. 
The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered 

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and 
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. 
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. 

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 
'We must do something about father,' said the son he had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.' 

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. 
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. 
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. 

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. 
Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. 

The four-year-old watched it all in silence..

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. 
He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 
'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. 
' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. 

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. 

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. 
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, 
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chokecherry Jelly and Syrup

SO, I never knew it until this summer how much my family likes chokecherry syrup. So, when we had our family reunion, some people were talking about it. My mom made some just for my siblings. My friend Jaime let me go to her mom's house this summer and pick chokecherry's and even helped me! Thank-you ever so kindly. I think next year, I will have to pick twice as much! Yuppers, my family LOVE chokecherry's!

So, for those of you keeping count, 5 pints and 1 half pint of chokecherry syrup and 13 pints and 1 half pint of chokecherry jelly. That is if the jelly sets! Fingers crossed. Remember EMAIL!!!

Apple Rhubarb Jelly

So, in the summer, I juiced apples and Rhubarb together, but forgot to label it. SO, yesterday when I was opening jars, I opened the big 2 quart jar of juice thinking it was Chokecherry and it was not. SO, I decided to make Jelly. IT was darn good. I just threw in some pectin and sugar, lemon juice and it all worked out. 10 pints and 4 half pints.


So, I got 250 lbs of tomatos. The end product... 106 pints of diced and stewed tomatos and 36 quarts! I better be done FOR A LONG TIME! I am so GREATFUL for very cheap produce that I can can and my fmaily ignoring me for a few days so I can get it done!!!!
I really LOVE canning. Is it hard, yes, but I really love it! I am greatful for the strength I have been given this canning season. Man, I am beat. I pretty much have potatos left to do. I will use that time to SCRUB every inch of my kitchen as well. It has been cleaned but not really cleaned. Then, on to making Christmas goodies!!! I bought my stuff today. Let's hope this season goes better than last time. Last time I bought my Christmas goodies ingredients, I had a fire. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I don't want my kids to work for it

This may sound diffrent than what the title is. Actually, I think quite diffrently than the title. It is a saying I hear all the time when I am out and about and it drives me CRAZY! Really, should kids not have to work for it anymore? SHould they really have everything handed to them on a silver platter? No, is MY opinion.

I remember being a kid and working for my wants. My needs were provided for, and if there were extra's that I wanted, I earned them. I think I was 8 years old when I started doing extra jobs. I didnt mind it. There were 7 kids in our family. We as kids made sacrifices. I remember when I got my first pair of acid washed jeans. I earned the money for them and let me tell you, I really took care of them! I loved them. It started a trend. I took care of what I earned.

I was 10 when I got a paper route and 14 when I started working at Dairy Queen. I had to work hard to just get the job. I went in every day for 3 weeks to let the boss know I wanted the job and was really happy when I got it. It paid, $4.25/hour. I was stoked! It was nice to be able to earn my wants.

It drives me crazy when I am out and I hear parents say, "I just don't want my kids to have to work for it." Have I done it ever, unfortunately yes. I don't think kids have to work for everything, but I do think they should have to work for more than they do.

We have recently started having the kids help with dinners. They each have to plan 1 meal/week, write out what ingredients they will need on the shopping list, and do the prep for their dinner. It has to be healthy, have a protein, carb, vegetables, they have to help make it and they are allowed to make 1 dessert/month. I am not a big dessert girl (I know, it does not seem that way just by looking at me), but I really wanted them to learn a few things. I really wanted them to know how to cook. I wanted them to have more responsibility. I wanted them to realized supper does not magically appear on the dinner table each night. It helps them with their reading/spelling and their math skills. We are still very much in the honeymoon phase of this, but it works not too bad. It gives me mommy/child time that I have felt likeI am missing with them. It gives us time to talk and bond.

I have been trying to find morethings for them to do, to make them work more. I do not think they have to work for it ALL, but I do think they have gotten a bit spoiled and I want them to learn life is not handed to them on a silver platter. I love them to bits and pieces, and because I love them so much, I am willing to do this. It will not be easy, but i know it's worth it. THEY are worth it.