Monday, February 23, 2009

I Learned a big lesson

Yesterday was a first for me. I gave a talk in Stake Conference which was held in the Logan Tabernacle. I was asked to speak for 15 minutes about how the scriptures have influenced my children. Stake President Nelson had interviewed three of our children for missions and had wondered if their love of the scriptures could be credited to their parents, . . . or to the children themselves. (Answer: The children themselves!) Hence, my topic.

I certainly learned a huge lesson from the research for this address. I began by making a list of anything to do with the scriptures and my children at the same time. Then, as I looked at the list, I realized that although we as parents got the ball rolling for reading the scriptures in their lives, they are really the ones who taught us! I selected ten lessons we learned from our children:

1) Exposure to the Scriptures: We began, like all new parents, trying to teach them the scriptures through regular scripture study, Family Home Evenings, Flannelboard stories and Scripture Scouts Audio Tapes. What we learned was that little children love the stories. Their love of scripture stories brought back memories of my dear Daddy sitting in his rocking chair when I was tiny, and reading stories to me from the large Family Bible Stories book.

2) Believing the Scriptures: When Kimberly was three years old, we had enjoyed a Family Home Evening about the creation and Adam and Eve. We had used a flannelboard story to show them and the tree and the fruit on it. The following morning, at breakfast, Kim looked at the big, yellow grapefruit on the table. She asked, "Mama, what dat?" I answered that it was called a grapefruit. She put her little hands on her hips, looked at her Daddy as he was eating a grapefruit and said, "Jesus say not posed ta eat da fwoot!!!" We should all believe as a little child.

3) Example of reading the Scriptures: My husband always has a book of scripture open on the kitchen table. (There's one there right now.) Any extra moment or time to eat a snack is spent reading the scriptures. I prefer to have my personal study sitting in my corner rocking chair. Now, we thought we were being good examples to them, but in reality, because they would comment on us reading, we would have to keep reading, . . . because they were watching! So they taught us to be good examples.

4) Learning about the Scriptures: When our children were old enough to attend Seminary and Institute classes, they learned from excellent teachers about how the scriptures affect us practically in our lives. Our children would come home excited and tell us what they had learned and how deeply they felt the Spirit of the Lord.

5) Power of hope in the Scriptures: When Karolyn was 10 years old, our family was in deep turmoil. An older child had become inactive and was deeply into drugs and trouble. We were also out of work at the time and struggling financially. One night after a church fireside, we came home and Karolyn started to immediately place chairs in a circle in the living room. Then she put all of our scriptures on the chairs and called us in. She said, "Our family needs more scriptures-we need more hope."

Romans 15:4 "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were
written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of
the scriptures might have hope. “

6) Diligence in reading the Scriptures: We had nothing to do with this! Katie read the Book of Mormon 13 times BEFORE her mission to Panama, including one time in Spanish, plus she listened through it by tape once in Spanish before she left.

7) Enjoyment in reading the Scriptures: When we bought our current home directly across the street from the Logan Temple, Karolyn and Kyle began walking over to the Temple Grounds on Sunday afternoons to read their scriptures. Sometimes they went together, sometimes alone, and sometimes with a date to find a secluded bench where they could read. They would always come home with a glow and a happiness that was palpable. Their emails from the mission field radiate such joy that permeates our home.
8) The Results and Influences of the Scriptures: For my talk, I called (and emailed) each of our six children and asked them how they were influenced by the scriptures in their lives. These are their answers:
Kimberly and Rob-- “When we read the scriptures every night in our home, the children don’t fight as much, there is much less contention in our home. (Actually, sometimes their is contention while reading the scriptures, but generally, it really helps.) It opens the minds of our children. They have 'Aha' moments about the gospel and about reading and other things. They are better readers, more articulate, have more understanding in general of secular matters, they understand more complex ideas and use bigger words.”
Ken--I decided to ask him the same question even though he doesn't attend church and does not read the scriptures.-- "The scriptures haven't taught me how to be a good person, I learned that from my mom and dad .“ (His parents know it was the results of training him up as a child-from the scriptures.) We'll get him back in the fold someday, there is a promise about that in the scriptures. One time Ken did make a comment about the scriptures. Kyle had been living with Ken and Shiann while working at a job to prepare for his mission. Everyday he studied his scriptures and Preach My Gospel in their living room. One day Ken told Kyle that he was really impressed that Kyle read the scriptures every day and that his commitment and dedication was impressive.
Katie--" You don’t have to read the scriptures every day, just every day you eat! Reading the scriptures is like a muscle in your body. When you exercise it regularly, it becomes stronger. If not, it begins to atrophy. Even the best scripture reader will become weak and incompetent if they stop reading everyday. If this happens to you, you lose."
Kristy--"The scriptures are always there for you—you can depend on them. I’ve learned that I can go to the scriptures for answers. Between the standard works and the discourses of the prophets and apostles, I can find verification for every truth.”
Karolyn--(on a mission in Novosibirsk, Russia--Siberia) "I love to read the scriptures. I just love the scriptures. It’s great when our investigators get excited and read way beyond what we assigned them. The scriptures are the basis of my life, not only in the mission field but at home as well.”
Kyle--(on a mission in Concepcion, Chile)--"The great peace that comes as I read fills my soul with joy and the joy is even greater when a simple scripture touches the heart of an investigator. Through the scriptures I come to know the will of the Lord and receive answers to my many questions. I´ve found my life’s liahona." (Wow, wish I had said that. --Lonna speaking)

9) Dedication and Commitment to reading the Scriptures: Kimberly had a memory of one night that she was visiting us in Logan. Karolyn and Kyle had stayed up really late playing games each night, way after midnight. But then she would always watch them get up and do their chores--dishes. And before going to bed each of them went to their room and read their scriptures. They taught their older sister something about dedication at that time.

10) Knowing our Savior through the Scriptures: Our children have been examples to us as they have often talked about knowing the Savior better because of the scriptures. We have experienced this as well. There is a scripture in D&C 18:33-36 that states:

"And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it. These
words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man; For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them; Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words. "

My very favorite scripture that has always touched me, clear since high school, is in 2 Nephi 25:26:

" And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. “

I know that the scriptures are the voice of my Savior and that they are definitely the source to which we may all go to look for guidance in our lives and in finding the way to return to the presence of God. They are truly our "life's liahona".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Demolition time . . . takes more time!

So far Max's job hunt is only turning up possibilities outside of our area--way out. We have decided to do small things to fix up only the real eyesores in our house in case we have to sell it quickly. This first project was only going to take one week. I carefully planned out all the needed steps to remove the carpet from my back stairs and redo them with vinyl tile. I figured out all the time necessary for each task. LOL
I don't know who would put white carpet on a stairway that is a back entrance to the house and also an entrance at the bottom from the garage! Anyway it was turning black and impossible to clean.
Week #1
I grabbed my handy pliers and pulled at the carpet, but it took a crowbar to get it all up. Then, surprise, there had been another rust-colored carpet sometime in the past, and under that was old-fashioned linoleum that was yellow and curling. So it had to be pried up as well. Underneath that were several layers of cardboard backing that had to be soaked off and then there were thick black globs of petrified glue. I tried solvent, but ended up doing better with just applying soaked towels and scraping forever. So that one day job took a full week.

Week #2
Another week was spent pulling out the 3/4 inch long staples that had thrice been applied to the wooden staircase (two carpets and one linoleum). I mostly used a pair of pliers. Max calls them dikes (dykes?) If that wouldn't do it, I used a hammer and screwdriver to get them up high enough for the funny looking pliers to pull them. (Correction: Max says that dikes are really wire cutters. Well--they worked really well as pliers.) Regretfully, I have both carpal tunnel and arthritis in my hands. (Not to mention all the little rips and tears they just suffered due to sharp staples.) This job wiped out another week and thoroughly damaged my hands. I had to take a day off every other day because they froze up (no movement) and throbbed so much. But the stairs were finally clean and free of pokey thingys.

I spackled over the holes they left because we decided that the wooden stairs were so old (1920's) that they were warped and had many divets and holes, not just from the staples either. So it had to be patched. This was time-intensive as well. So my sweet hubby did the final sanding for me.Week #3
This week I also overcame my fear of heights and painted the walls a nice dark cornflower blue (darker than the picture shows). I had to go to the top of a 10 foot ladder to reach the ceilings, which I left white. Then came the second coat and lots of touch up around the two electrical boxes and all the exterior electrical cables and pipes and such. The second color was a warm chocolate brown, painted on the risers, or vertical parts of the stairs, the lip of the stairs and eight-inch sides on each side of the staircase. That also needed another coat and touchup. Yay, almost done. :) Time for the finishing touches. This shouldn't take long, right?

None of the steps was the exact same size of any other step, so each vinyl tile had to be measured and cut and placed three to a step. The cutting part was pretty easy on my hands. It went fairly fast and it looked so good. In fact, it was lovely. Just what I pictured. But then we quickly figured out that water and snow from the back door would likely cause these self-stick (cheap closeout) tiles to get unstuck. First I bought some of that pewter-colored metal-step-edge-covering-stuff. I cut it by myself with a jigsaw and hammered 60 little nailscrews down on the 13 edges. I had some ceramic tile sealer left over from putting in the front entry tile, so we going to try that out. (But I'm not up to it yet.)


Final Note: Not bad considering I put in three weeks time for a one week job! But I can keep it clean now. :)

On to the laundry . . .

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 random things

My friend Judy tagged me and now I must reveal 25 random things. I'm not a very random-type person, so this could induce some thought provoking moments. Here goes:

1) I was born on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953. The doctor told my mother that my birthday would land on Easter every seven years. Well, I'm closing in on 56 years and it has never, ever been on Easter--not even once.

2) Max was born on Conference Sunday, October 5, 1952. I came along exactly six months later, also on an LDS Conference Sunday. Our birthdays are pretty much always on one of the days of conference.

3) I was a girl scout for 10 years, from Brownies to Seniors and earned 56 merit badges. A boy scout teased me about this, saying that their merit badges are tougher. So I took him my book and we compared requirements. Guess what? The girl scout badges are harder. I credit my creative abilities to my girl scout years where I learned that I can do anything if I just put forth the effort to learn how.

4) One night in high school, I was sneaking out of the house to go toilet-papering with my friend Terri. My mom caught me and it took awhile to convince her that I would be fine and to let me go. About three a.m. we were going down a street when a car turned at the corner. We hit the ground to hide. Suddenly we heard my mom's voice yelling "Lonnie!" So she ended up driving us to all of our toilet-papering destinations. Funny thing was that we never went out doing that ever again. Not fun anymore.

5) I love being in the mountains. I have a secret dream that Max and I will build a log cabin high in the Uintas, surrounded by lakes and pines and wildlife. We'll enjoy campfires and moonlit walks and live on fish and homemade bread. Max nixed that idea because he doesn't like log cabins
Spoil sport.

6) I'm a cookie dough freak, especially if it is chocolate chip or peanut butter. When I was pregnant I used to make a batch of cookie dough and never end up making any cookies because I'd eat the dough. (Ooh . . . so sick) I have a hard time passing the Macey's bakery, not because of all the doughnuts and cookies and cakes, but because they sell fresh cookie dough in perfect little eating containers. (I only gave in once!) Anytime one of my daughters makes cookies, they bring in a spoonful of the dough to me . . . and then they hide the rest of the dough while they are making the cookies.

7) I had a two-timer boyfriend in college, who led me to believe he was only dating me. However, he was also dating a blond that lived right across the quad in my same housing complex. She also thought she was his only girl. One day I met her and we became good friends. We decided I would have a party with a lot of people and we invited James. When he walked in the door, he saw the two of us sitting side-by-side and his facial expression was priceless. Needless to say, he never dated either of us again. That's OK because later in life, he ended up serving a prison sentence. Good save.

8) My father passed away of a heart attack when I was six years old. It was the day after Christmas. From then on I was writing poems about fathers and crying about being fatherless. Finally when I was thirteen, my mom remarried. She said that my father came to her one night and told her that my sister and I needed a father. My stepfather was a great man. I called him Daddy, which wasn't easy to start at age thirteen.

9) My husband asked me for a date first. But I couldn't go that night. He never asked me out again. Finally, in desperation (after three months), I followed him until I came up with the nerve to tap him on the shoulder and say, "I just have a question for you. Why is it that when a guy asks a girl out and she legitimately cannot go, he doesn't believe her and he never asks her out again? " It worked . . . I got the date and I got the guy!

10) When we bought our new station wagon, I had been used to a standard transmission in a truck that had huge pedals, spread far apart. The first time I drove the wagon, I couldn't find the brake. Turns out that I had the clutch. I was later accused of trying to put a drivethru in the Post Office wall.

11) I've had eleven pregnancies with six live births. That means five miscarriages and one twin (Karolyn's) that died in utero.

12) I'm a world champion yo-yo dieter. I figure that in the last 35 years, I have lost a total of 420 pounds and have gained 440!

13) I'm obsessed with the organ. I can play for hours and not tire. I try to go to the church to play it seven days per week. I play until my carpal tunnel or my back injuries make me stop.

14) I am allergic to bees. Just hornets. Honeybees and wasps can sting me and I'll live.

15) Once I was in an assembly line where I put the lettuce on 800 chicken salad sandwiches for Hill Cumorah cast members.

16) I always loved the color orange--my wedding colors included orange. Then I changed to peach and from peach to rust to burgundy. Now my favorite colors are greens and purples. Does that mean I'm inconsistent?.

17) I hiked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. A highlight in my life.

18) I'll take a meatloaf sandwich over pizza any day.

19) I LOVE sweet pickles.

20) I attend Presbyterian services once a month when our Bell Choir performs in their church.

21) I have the most adorable eight grandchildren in the world--6 boys and two girls.

22) My daughter Kimberly let me deliver my first grandchild, Jeffrey, while the doctor sat next to me.

23) I've lived through toxic shock syndrome.

24) I'm real handy with a saw, hammer, screwdriver and pliers. I'm at my best when I can start demolition on a project in order to redo it. Creative juices flow.

25) I've been pulled over by the police for speeding 15 times and have never received a speeding ticket. Many years ago, one cop ticketed me for not having on my seatbelt, but not for going 60 in a 30 mile per hour zone. (Down a hill--the car just got ahead of me.)