Tuesday, November 16, 2010

9 years and counting

Nine years ago today the hubbby and I were married for time and all eternity in the Bountiful temple. The day was absolutely beautiful, in so many different ways. The weather was definitely perfect. But the best was being in the temple together with our family and friends. One cannot ask for anything better.
Here is a picture from our first date...when it all started:
I had a list. Yes, I did. It is sad to admit but I definitely had made a mental checklist of things I looked for in a future husband. Among other things, I wanted someone who took good care of their feet. Its true. I will spare myself (and the hubby) further embarrassment but I will also admit I wanted someone who could make me laugh. The hubby does that. He definitely can make me laugh like no one else. So the secret is out: the hubby is super funny and has really nice feet.
We knew it was meant to be when we saw this car, on our way out of the temple, in the parking lot:
And what a better way to celebrate our anniversary than to get P90X for each other. Nothing better than to look back and realize we are fat and desperately need to get in shape. Well, not only get fit but be healthy. Through thin and thick, literally, we still love each other, no matter what....with our sense of humor intact. That is a blessing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

splat the cat

We have loved getting to know Splat the Cat. If you haven't had a chance to get to know Splat, you must! It is one that you and your kids will definitely enjoy reading together.
In Splat the Cat, Splat has his first day of school. He is very reluctant to go but in the end, has a great day and is very excited about returning to school the next day. The illustrations are detailed and very amusing.
In Love, Splat, Splat is making Valentine's for his whole class but has made a very special Valentine for a special cat in his class named Kitten. He is so tied up in knots about giving it to her and is discouraged when he finds out that another cat in his class, Spike, also has made a special Valentine for Kitten. Splat is just too loveable a character to not cheer him on. Again, the illustrations bring the story to life.
We don't have this story yet. I have ordered it for Christmas and am really looking forward to another Splat the Cat adventure.

Monday, November 8, 2010

amazing race

The Amazing Race is one of our favorite shows. Not sure what it is about this show but it is so much fun to see these different teams race around the world, complete tasks and try to check in to the pit stops before everybody else...or risk being eliminated. Each season has been so much fun to watch and this season has been no exception. This episode where Claire took a watermelon to the face is absolutely classic:

But the last two episodes have been my favorite. They flew to St. Petersburg and had to run all over the city to complete different tasks. I'm sure the hubby got sick of me pointing out all the places and enthusiastically saying, "I've been there!" or "I would walk past that on my way to school everyday." I'm sure so much has changed in the 13 years since I was there and what I wouldn't give to return!! Thinking back, I realize how lucky we were to be in a city with such a rich heritage. I regret not studying more or learning more about the city when I was there. How naive I was and young. But I also realize how many friends I made there whom I am still in contact with today. People I would have never met otherwise.

Unfortunately, I can't embed the video on my blog but click here to watch it. You won't regret it!

Anyone else love The Amazing Race?

Sunday, November 7, 2010





All that is going through my head right now is, "Dad is great...gives us chocolate cake!" "Doo, doo, doo...do do..do do..do do."


I was impressed and moved by the lessons I learned today. How often I have attended my church meetings only to leave feeling exhausted from wrestling with kids and feeling drained rather than filled. Not sure what was different about today. I still spent an hour wrestling with the kids. I attended the same classes and meetings as before. My attitude was different today and I'm grateful for that.

Our lesson today in Relief Society was definitely inspired. I loved the talk that was chosen to focus on, "The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword" given by Elder Marvin J. Ashton back in 1992. It is still very relevant to our day as it was 18 years ago. Maybe even more applicable with the constant changes in our society and the turmoil that is building. And I can't help but ask, "How much of this turmoil would cease if we were a more charitable, Christlike society?"

"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.
None of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short. Most of us are already well aware of the areas in which we are weak. What each of us does need is family, friends, employers, and brothers and sisters who support us, who have the patience to teach us, who believe in us, and who believe we’re trying to do the best we can, in spite of our weaknesses. What ever happened to giving each other the benefit of the doubt? What ever happened to hoping that another person would succeed or achieve? What ever happened to rooting for each other?"

Because we are human and are not faultless, we categorize each other, we judge, we place ourselves above others. Buy why? Why are we not rooting for each other, wanting success for one another, like Elder Ashton says. And how do we shove off the natural man to become more Christlike? More loving? More charitable?

"During an informal fireside address held with a group of adult Latter-day Saints, the leader directing the discussion invited participation by asking the question: 'How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?' For forty-five minutes those in attendance made numerous suggestions in response to this question, and the leader carefully wrote down each answer on a large blackboard. All of the comments were thoughtful and appropriate. But after a time, this great teacher erased everything he had written. Then, acknowledging that all of the comments had been worthwhile and appreciated, he taught a vital principle: 'The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people.'
Would you consider this idea for a moment—that the way we treat the members of our families, our friends, those with whom we work each day is as important as are some of the more noticeable gospel principles we sometimes emphasize."

Another quote is brought to mind. It is my most favorite quote. My sister shared it with me a long time ago and it is something I have never forgotten. I cannot remember the exact circumstance I was in at the time but these words uplifted me and made me realize I am more. I am someone. I am important. I can be a light to others.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Who are we not to be? Who are we holding ourselves back from becoming? And why does it scare us to be powerful and share our light with others?

Have you ever thought about that? So I pose that to you. What have you done to overcome your fear of fulfilling your true potential and becoming "powerful beyond measure"?

Friday, November 5, 2010

fanatical friday

A good book is such a treasure. When I find one I like, I find myself becoming very enthusiastic about it and sharing it with everyone.

Back in June I read These Is My Words and liked it so much I felt compelled to write and tell the author. Believe it or not, she actually replied to my message. Though I am absolutely embarrassed by my amateur letter, I will post it here, along with her reply:

Dear Mrs. Turner,

I am sure you recieve thousands of emails and hardly have a chance to reply to each but I just finished your book, "These is My Words" and felt compelled to write and tell you how much I loved it! I realize it was first published over 10 years ago (actually the year I graduated from high school) but I had not heard of your book until I noticed it on my mom's nightstand over a year ago. The title was different and captured my attention. I had just recently finished a book and was looking for something new to read when I came across it again while searching my mom's book shelves.

May I tell you I bawled my eyes out when Jack died? You have a way of making each character come to life and I truly felt like I was witnessing the death of a dear friend or close relative. I love how you put the story in diary form. I felt like I was reading someone's personal diary from long ago and it absolutely drew me in. It only took me three days to finish "These Is My Words" and one very late night (2am). I could not put it down. I was too enthralled with the story.

I love reading historical novels and absolutely find your research fascinating. How cool to read old territorial newspapers and to picture what life must have been like back then. I live in Utah and grew up here. My dad is very much into history and we spent many a family vacation visiting historical sites around the state and also neighboring states. There is an American West Heritage Center here that my dad has spent many years helping put together and developing. I love to visit there and try to imagine how life must have been like. How wonderful would it be to actually go back in time and see for myself.

I also must mention that I too LOVE the actor Sam Elliot. My sisters have always teased me of how I have always found him attractive and wonderful. I didn't marry a cowboy but I always pictured the perfect cowboy being something similar to that of Sam Elliot. He is one of my favorite actors and I actually thought of him as Jack while reading the book. So I found it funny you mentioning him in "Set the Record Straight" at the back.

I have now ordered the other two books in the Sarah Agnes Prine series and anxiously await their arrival! Thank you so much.

Here is her reply:

Thank you so much for your lively email! I could hear the enthusiasm between the lines. It's always nice to hear from people who have enjoyed my novels, but your letter was so heartfelt it really caught me -- sounds like your whole family loves history. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have had only sporadic internet service until this last Monday.

I'm working on a new novel set before the Revolutionary War. It's going slowly.... slowly.

Best Wishes,

Nancy E. Turner

Another book I loved reading this summer was The Silence of God by Gale Sears. And guess what...I got to meet her. In the flesh. It was such a neat experience too. My family and I lived  in St. Petersburg so to read her book and have her mention different locations around the city made me miss it. She came and spoke at my aunt's Relief Society meeting. My mom and I were invited to attend. We got to meet with Gale Sears beforehand and told her of the connection we have to Russia. My dad had even written her an email after reading her book and she had remembered him from the email. She asked my mom if she wouldn't mind coming up during the meeting and sharing the Lindlof family's connection with an experience my dad had during the time he served as mission President there.
For those of you who haven't had a chance to read the book yet (because you MUST read it) it is about the Lindlof family who were the first members of the LDS church to be in Russia. In fact, they were the only members in Russia and were present when the land of Russia was dedicated in 1903. They were very hopeful regarding the growth of the church there but then the 1917 Bolshevik revolution happened. They were baptized in 1895 by an Elder Hogland who was a swedish elder. The Lindlof family had contacted the Swedish mission office requesting information about the church and asking for missionaries to come to Russia to teach them. So he went, taught and baptized their whole family.

In the early 90's any church could come into Russia to teach and set up there. But then in 1997 the Russian government, mostly persuaded by the Russian Orthodox church, passed a law saying that any religious group who wanted to be in Russia had to prove its existence in the country pre-revolution. In trying to secure the LDS church's place there, they came across the Lindlof family and was able to then prove of the church's existence in Russia. This is what Gale Sears wanted my mom to share with everybody.
The whole meeting was awesome and we felt such a connection to her. She signed our copy of her book and even added her email address for us to keep in touch.

Sometimes when reading a book I don't think much of the author. But with these two experiences, I will think more of who the author is and what they must be like.

Next book review: Prayers for Sale.