Thursday, December 31, 2009

People with Kind Hearts

Sara is the wife of a man I work with. She has sent me treats on all the holidays this year. Their family Christmas card is adorable (I'm keeping in my "to steal this idea" file). I blog stalk her. We've met a couple of times, but never really talked.

Today she sent in a hand-crocheted kitchen wash towel with a darling message for the new year. I said to her hubby, "When does she do all of this?" He said, "Sometimes she has a hard time sleeping."

I think Sara has a giving heart. Because if I had trouble sleeping (which I don't--I overslept my bus stop this week), I would get up with a book, not a crochet hook.

I heart Sara and her giving heart. Thank you for the towel and the example, Sara!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're Going to Boise, Idaho!

Spencer bought a used recumbent bike yesterday. We are going to try to get back into shape INDOORS during this goopy, nasty, inversion season. Then we'll get back to running.

We're considering the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon in Boise, Idaho, in May. We could stay with Spencer's sister, so the trip would be inexpensive. The registration is only $35. And we will get a Famous Idaho Potato t-shirt after the race!! Admit it--you wish you were going to have a Famous Idaho Potato t-shirt.

Mark Made Me!

Mark invited me to lunch with some of our people and a vendor.

I said I would check with Karleen. Oops, she's not here.

Dave? Not here.


Jared--you guessed it.

Mark said, "That's it. I'm taking charge. You're going to lunch with us."


Old or Stupid?

This morning I left plenty early to get to the bus stop. We're having a doozy of a snowstorm today. I waited for a bit in the car, then got out to wait at the stop itself. Just as the bus was pulling up I thought, "Gee, I guess I oughtta pull out my badge." Which is also my bus pass.

I want to interject here that I am very good about my badge. I always put it right back in my work bag as soon as I leave work so that I always have it. This is why I only have one work bag.

My badge was nowhere to be found. Thanks to my adorable, very distinctive winter hat that our beautiful daughter made for me, the bus driver recognized me. I got on the bus, and took the front seat so that WHEN I found my badge I could beep in. It was not anywhere in my bag. How can that be?

So I got on the phone and texted Briana, asking her to see if she could see my badge anywhere at home. On the table? By our bed?

And five worry-filled minutes later, it hit me. My badge was clipped onto my skirt and tucked into my skirt pocket. Because that's what I do when I wear this skirt.

I promptly texted Bri and told her I found the badge.

And now I'm wondering. Am I getting old? Or just stupid? Isn't that a cute hat?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spotlight On...Landon

Today Landon gets to speak in sacrament meeting. Here is a copy of his talk:

Hi, I was asked to talk about my experience in singing in the priesthood session in October 2009.

As many of you know, a lot of us young men in this ward got to sing in the priesthood session. The practices were long and boring. They lasted for about 1 to 2 hours, two days a week. We practiced for around 3 months.

When it came day to sing we sang on the bus. We made the spirit so strong that some of us cried. We had at snack. We practiced for a long time that day. A lot of us felt good. We knew that we were doing the Lord a great favor.

As I went into the Conference Center I could feel the Spirit more than I could ever feel it before. Also it was the most scared I have ever been. There were about 22 thousand people looking at me live, but millions looking at me on TV. But when we started the meeting I said a prayer in my head to help me know the words to the songs. We did great in the first song.

Elder M. Russell Ballard was the first speaker. He was my favorite speaker. He talked about the relationship with fathers and sons: how fathers should listen to their sons and sons should listen to their fathers. Sons should talk about how school and friends are and tell their dads all about it. Fathers should talk to their sons about how to be a good father and respect all girls and children. But as he went on, I thought he could be talking about earthly fathers. But what if he also meant Heavenly Father as well? So that got me thinking a lot. Maybe we need to pray more. Maybe we need to pay tithing more. Maybe we need to read the scriptures more. I think we should do all of these things.

But I think that we should put all these things together. My family as three boys in it. So we should do all of those things. Get all 3 of us and read the scriptures, pray, and do everything to get our love for one another. I have the best dad in the world. He helps me do almost everything. Like he got me a dog, just for keeping my room clean for two months. He gave me the best room in the world. And he loves me very much. I also have a very, very, great, outstanding brother. At the time when I kept my room clean for two months, he went right along with it. He helped me get the best room without being asked. And he also loves me.

I looked up father in the topical guide, and it brought up Mark 7:10.

“For Moses said, Honour thy father and mother and whoso curseth father or mother let him die to death.”

That could go either way. If I curse my dad or Heavenly Father, I will be sorry. So please don’t let down your father or Heavenly Father. And talk to them daily and talk about everything that is on your mind. And love them with all of your heart.

Now moving on. My favorite song was Rise Up, Ye Men of God. All of the songs we sang great. I loved every minute of it. When we finished Rise Up, Ye Men of God, the Spirit was stronger than ever. I was in tears. I was so glad that we could do a once in a lifetime experience.

I know that my testimony got stronger that day. I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith lived and was a true prophet; that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet and that he does talk to God and everything that he asks us is God’s will. I know that the Lord did give me my family for a good reason, and that he let me sing in the priesthood session for a great reason. And He loves me very much, too. I love him, too. I am thankful to live on this earth at this time. And I leave this with you today in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love Landon!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

This has been a sweet Christmas season for me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I made a conscious decision NOT to stress about Christmas (as much as possible). A lot of it is due to the fact that our children can drive themselves around (believe me, this is WONDERFUL).

But mostly this is because of you, our dear ones. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas cards you sent. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas cards you blogged. Thank you for the merry greetings, the funny greetings, the joyful greetings, the reverent greetings. Thank you for the treats and kind words. Thank you for sharing your family traditions (both old and new). Thank you for sharing the ward activities (this is a big help to me). Thank you for blessing our lives in so many, many wonderful ways. Thank you for sharing the Spirit of Christ.

We love you. I love you!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Day Before Christmas

'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature is resting, from parent to mouse.

With work and with school and with choir gigs galore,
It hardly seems like we live here anymore!

The shopping bags are stacked in the preschool with care.
And we hope that our children don't sneak into there.

And food? Just the candies and cookies and bread.
We're hoping Santa brings some real food on his sled.

Neighbor gifts we delivered. More shopping? How merry!
Green salad and pasta and pies made of berry--

All ready for Grandpa and Grandma's to trek.
Mom's getting all stressed. In fact, she's a wreck!

But tomorrow's a day filled with family and fun,
As we peacefully celebrate the birth of the Son.

So we'll drop into bed with that sweet thought in sight.
Merry Christmas to you, and to you a good night!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Remember the story of the Christmas orange?

For the rest of my life I will never hear that story without thinking of President Monson, who sends boxes of oranges to various people and places--including Headquarters Facilities via Dave Clark--as a Christmas thank you. Have you ever eaten a prophet orange? I have. :)

(Incidentally, Spencer's Grandpa Hill used to give them a box of oranges for Christmas each year, so he remembers his grandpa when he hears that story.)

Ten Days of Giving Thanks...Day Ten

It's been a busy, busy time; but not too busy to continue thinking about what I am thankful for. (Just too busy to blog!)

I am thankful for Jesus Christ.

How to you fit all of that into one little blog? Without details, and without completion, I guess. Actually, even if I had all the time and space in the world, it would be impossible to say all that I feel.

Because of Jesus Christ, life is full and rich and meaningful and joy-filled. It all hinges on Him.

I am the oldest child in my family. This has given me the opportunity to be the leader in many ways (though each child is so, so important). This week I considered what it meant to Jesus when Father presented his Plan of Happiness in what I call the Big Family Home Evening. Jesus understood the Plan in ways that maybe some of the younger siblings did not. He knew that it would take courage and SO. MUCH. LOVE. to be the Savior for all of us. Perhaps He stood still, looking around at all of us and wondering if He was up to such a task. But in the end--and for all eternity!!--He did it. He volunteered to be our Savior, our Redeemer, our Advocate, our Exemplar. And then He completed the task, something that is completely incomprehensible but oh, so important to me. He did it with courage. He did it with love. He did it to completion. He did it perfectly. He did it for you. He did it for me. He did it for everyone. Ever. His atoning sacrifice is infinite and eternal. For eternity, I will never be able to repay or adequately thank Him for what He did--and does--for me and the people I love.

And all because He did what He said He would do--what He volunteered to do!--we have the tools for a beautiful today and the promise of a beautiful eternity with the people we love. We can return to our Heavenly Parents (this is meaningful to me because of the incredible love I have for my earthly parents); we can be sealed to our spouses and children (!!!! infinity) for eternity; we can continue to learn and progress forever; we can overcome the things that are difficult or painful or that hurt us; we can see beyond the diapers and the dishes and the other daily duties to something better.

And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God—I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. --Bruce R. McConkie

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Proof That I Have the Coolest Husband in the World!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ten Days of Giving Thanks...Day Nine

I am soooooooooo thankful for my husband!

Who gets out of bed before everyone else.
Who turns up the heat just before I get out of bed.
Who puts up Christmas lights and earns bachelor's degrees WITHOUT the help of his wife.
Who uses his wife as a guinea pig to practice the things he's learned in massage class.
Who is the best cook ever.
Who worthily holds and exercises his priesthood.
Who listens to my stories. Till late at night. Even when I've promised to be quiet now.
Who encourages me to dream, dream big, and go for it!
Who is a friend to our children after he's done his job as their father.
Who always made sure that the dishes were done when I worked nights.
Who has never balked at changing a diaper, giving a bath, or cleaning up vomit (but might have balked a tiny bit at the middle-of-the-night feedings).
Who is going to school so that his daughter can taste success.
Who loves his family, sometimes in spite of themselves.
Who blows the snow out of the driveway and off the sidewalk. Every time.
Who qualified to run in the Boston Marathon!
Who willingly admits when he is wrong and sincerely apologizes.
Who hits a brick wall late at night but will keep going clear until the wall has hit.
Who is handsome and wonderful and mine!

I love you, Spencer Hill!

John Jones was a 27-year-old medical student who died in Nutty Putty cave (in Utah) while visiting family for Thanksgiving. He left behind a beautiful wife and daughter, and there is another baby on the way.

Do you want to help? Check out this auction! There are memorial funds set up at three different banks if you'd rather do it that way. See the link above for details.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ten Days of Giving Thanks...Day Eight

(I figure, since I've missed so many days in between, it's OK to post twice in a row.) :)

I'm so thankful for the bus!

The bus was very late this morning. The newer bus was already full, so I climbed on the older bus. The heat on the older busses is not that great, and the walls/windows stay very cold. It took an hour or more to get to work.

But I did not have to drive--someone else did the driving. The bus did not slide around in the snow, and I did not have to drive. I got to work safely, without having to drive in the snow.

AND I did not have to drive. Thank you, UTA!

Ten Days of Giving Thanks...Day Seven

I'm thankful for the snow.

There's actually a little story behind this. When I was in high school, I DETESTED the winter. I hated being wet and cold and miserable. It was so awful that I felt blue all the time. So when I was a senior, one of my Personal Progress goals was to try to find the beauty in each day during the winter.

You already know that I hate being cold. And I get cold so easily that it would be really easy to be miserable throughout the winter (and I admit it--I want to be a Snowbird when I grow up).

This morning Spence woke me with, "Get up and get going, Babe. You're going to need to leave early. We have 6 or 8 inches of snow, and it's still snowing." It's a pain to drive in. I worried about each family member as they made their way to work, school, or home. But it is a beautiful, marshmallow world outside. And we need this snow so badly for the coming summer months. And people are going to have a blast throwing snowballs and skiing and sledding and making snowmen. Forget the snowmen; it's too powdery for that. But kids will try, guaranteed! :)

I'm really thankful for the snow.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Point

Check this out!