November Blessings (Day 27)


Yesterday was a huge success! We had every single member of my husband’s side of family, except for two, a young couple living in Oregon who won’t make it out ’til Christmas. So, we’ll photo shop them in and then Grandma (and all of us) will have an updated family picture. I think we had around 40 family members altogether. Everyone was laughing and having a great time. I got to hold two of the four babies, belonging to two of my nieces and one nephew (he and his wife had twins). :)


I did have an emotional moment yesterday. It hit me that I won’t be having this kind of holiday gathering with my side of the family and that makes me sad. I haven’t seen my dad in five years or so. He’s all the way in the Philippines with his fifth wife (who is a year younger than me). I’m really missing my dad right now. As for the rest of my family, well, that’s another story and it’s not pretty. BUT, tomorrow my baby brother and his family are coming over to watch the BYU-USU football game on our big screen (we have a theater room) so that will be fun. :)

Today we dressed up and took our family Christmas pictures (I’ll save them for a later post) and that was a lot of fun. We had a light dusting of snow which was nice. And then we picked out our live Christmas tree at a tree lot and brought it home and set it up. Now we are letting the branches settle. It really is a lovely tree. It’s so nice to have both of my college kids home for a few days. So, we’re getting in some Christmas decorating while we’re together.


How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was nice.

November Blessings (Day 25)


I promised myself to write a post each and every day this month, even in the midst of preparations for Thanksgiving tomorrow. We will have a full house with nearly all of my husband’s family coming and going. Grandma is here (my husband’s mom) and settled into my daughter’s bedroom. We took her out to eat last night and our dog got into her bag of shortbread cookies and ate all but one! I didn’t even think to tell her to close my daughter’s bedroom door before we left the house.


My heart is full of gratitude for all my many blessings. I am deeply thankful for a loving Father in Heaven and for His Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer. I am thankful for His gospel here on earth and for my testimony. I am thankful to be married and sealed to my best friend for twenty-three years and for our four amazing children. I am thankful that we are a close, loving and supportive family and that we enjoy spending time together. There’s so much for which to be thankful. :)

November Blessings (Day 24)


Whatever our circumstances, we can find a lot to be grateful for, even amidst our trials and tribulations. We owe everything good in our lives to our loving Father in Heaven. He gives us trials so that we will remember Him, and to teach us faith, patience and gratitude. Our trials can strengthen us, if we let them. They can teach us about our strengths and weaknesses, which can help us be a better version of ourselves.


I am thankful for my trials. Someone once said that if we could put our problems in a great big pile, we’d quickly draw ours back out again. I have faith that I have been given trials that I am strong enough to endure. It helps to know that I don’t have to endure them alone. My Savior, Jesus Christ is there beside me. He has already experienced my trials (and yours). He alone knows exactly what each of us are going through. So, with God and His Son on our side, we can’t lose!


November Blessings (Day 23)


Today is International Day of the Bible and at noon we are invited to share a favorite scripture verse or something from our hearts about the Bible, on social media, using the hashtag #BibleCelebration. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, but for those of you who are, go for it! (Maybe I’ll figure out how to hashtag on Google+ or Pinterest.) But, in honor of this event, I’m posting about the Bible today.


All this year I’ve been reading, studying and pondering The Old Testament in depth. I’ve been reading one chapter at a time, using this study guide and keeping a scripture journal. It’s been a wonderful experience so far and I plan to keep going until I have read the Old Testament from cover to cover (which will take me all of next year at the rate I’m going). I have studied the Old Testament before, but have never read it from cover to cover as I’m doing now.

I love the truths and gospel that the Bible contains. I love the stories. I love the prophets. I learn so much from their examples, both good and bad. The Bible helps me to know my Heavenly Father and my Savior on a more personal level. The Bible inspires me to be a better person, more loving, more forgiving, less selfish. As the Christmas season is upon us, I wanted to share this favorite verse from Isaiah:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

November Blessings (Day 22)


What are you thankful for? I’m thankful to be home in Utah, to be with my oldest daughter again, to have my husband on vacation for a week or so and to have this time to prepare for a family gathering in my home this Thanksgiving. I am especially thankful for the gospel and for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Tis the Season for Giving



I know we give to others all year round, but at this festive time of year there are opportunities we can take advantage of to help someone’s year end on a high note and their New Year start on a bright ray of hope. Here are some ideas to bring out our giving spirits-

Many grocery stores and some organizations are holding food drives right now. Make it a family activity by taking the kids shopping for non-perishable foods, letting them help pick and choose, and then (after paying for them of course) dropping the bag of groceries into the food drive box.

Find a giving tree, such as the Salvation angel tree, at a mall or store near you. Choose one child (or more as your budget allows), go shopping for their gift and then drop it off (unwrapped) where specified. Do this together as a family.

Participate in a toy drive. Buy a good quality toy (or two) and leave it unwrapped.

Ask your bishop or local church leader to give you the name of a needy family in your congregation that you can “adopt” this Christmas. You could help by providing them a delicious hot meal or by playing Santa in secret. (Giving in secret is always more fun!) We have done this in the past and it is very rewarding, especially when we involved the children.

Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood. If you know an elderly neighbor, make sure you stop and carol at their home. Take them a plate of Christmas cookies, too.

If you know a missionary, send/give them a little Christmas care package. We like to give missionaries Christmas stockings filled with Christmas candy, cookies and even a Matchbox car just for fun. If you are mailing a package, make sure you do it early so they get it in time for Christmas.

In place of Christmas presents to their siblings, my brother and his wife give to their favorite charity (Samaritan’s Purse) on behalf of each family and then we get a Christmas card letting us know what was donated in our name.

In one of our wards (church congregations) the youth participated in a twelve days of Christmas where they secretly gave a less-active family one piece of a nativity set each night for twelve days leading up to Christmas Eve.

I’d love to hear ways you have served or plan to serve others this season. By serving others, we are truly embracing the spirit of Christ and after all, He is the true reason for the season.