Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 67: Is it Possible to be Home Alone, Away from Home? Yup.

Aha:
I got off of work early in order to go celebrate my 8th anniversary with Clinton since he was preparing for exams during our actual anniversary.  We decided to drive down to the suburbs of Chicago and "be spontaneous".  We went to a Greek restaurant for lunch, stopped by the house where Home Alone was filmed and then to the Chicago Botanical Gardens.  It was a wonderful afternoon to enjoy each other's company and I feel very blessed to have shared it with my Honey!

Ha ha:
On our drive down to Chicago, Clinton and I were just chatting.  He asked me if I could say his tongue-twister "Unique New York".  I did so successfully.
He: "You have to do several in a row really fast."  
Me: (quietly, and somewhat to myself) "Unique New York.  Unique New York.  Unique New York.  There.  It helps if you really pronounce the 'k's."  
He: "OK, let me hear it." 
Me:"Unique nih-nork!"
Fail.
Here are photos from our trip:
Ahhhh!!  I'm Home Alone!

Clinton told me he thought all the neighbors were probably annoyed that we were "so original" with my pose, so he told me to take a more serious picture.  Does it really make a difference if I'm posed or not?  I'm still taking a picture in front of the house. :)

Clinton: "Okay, let's just hurry."  Me: (eye roll)

Entrance to the Botanical Gardens

These koi fish were everywhere and they would swim right up to where ever you were and open their mouths for food.  We didn't have any and I'm sure we disappointed many-a-fish today.



This is the bridge that led to the fruit and vegetable island

If you look to the left on that little bridge you'll see something tall and skinny...it's a pelican!

Arches on fruit island

This is an apple tree.  I turned to Clinton and asked, "What are those things hanging from the trees?" He paused and then responded, "Apples...".  "No," I said, "those red things."  Ha!  Turns out they are humming bird feeders.  I guess in the future I should clarify which "hanging things" I'm referring to.

We stepped inside a science center and found this smell-tester.  You were to push a button that sprayed a scent of a plant and guess what it was.  Here I am curious to try out the machine...

Pewee!  That freakin' wreaks!  It smells like garbage and rotting vegetables!  What could it be??

Oh.
 Fortunately, one of the other buttons was for roses, so I pushed that button over and over like there was no tomorrow! 

Japanese Gardens







The Logans had a great day today!  Hope you enjoyed yours as well!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 66: It's All About the Walk

Aha:
As I was walking home I was listening to Pandora.  I've been very drawn to hymns and church music lately and a rendition of "I am a Child of God" by Hillary Weeks began to play.  It was like taking a deep breath after being under water.  Everything around me became still as I enjoyed a quiet, tender moment of reflection.  I am a child of God.  Rich blessings are in store.

Ha ha:
1.  As it was nearing the end of the day my coworker and I happened to be passing each other in the Skywalk (she coming down the ramp, and I, going up).  I noticed she was swinging her arms, so I exaggerated her motions and mimicked her.  She did a little dancy walk as I proceeded to lean way back and kick my legs high and out, walking with my arms in a military-like pump.  I announced it was time for silly walks.  We laughed and she said it was a good thing we were the only ones in the hallway.  Well, apparently neither of us noticed the lady walking about 20 feet behind me and as Lissa said that comment the lady shouted, "Well, it looks pretty entertaining from back here!"  Ha ha!
2.  I was walking home from work, messing with my new phone and not paying attention to my surroundings.  Fortunately, I happened to look up and see a MOUSE on the sidewalk in front of me munching on a pear.  I got my camera out and began to record it for posterity's sake.  Anyway, as I finished my recording and looked up, I noticed the man across the street watching the mouse as well.  I asked if he saw it and he said, "Yah, I did.  Is that your mouse?"  No.  I replied.  I just happened to see it as I was walking home.  "Oh," he says, "I was thinking, it looks like that lady is either walking her pet mouse, or (noting my hospital badge) is performing some sort of experiment."  Ha!
Will post a video soon, I can't get it to work now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 65: Working it Out

Aha:
Today was a much better day.  Every time I began to feel a little blue I'd start singing a hymn or focus on my blessings.  Sometimes I think I just need a little reminder that everything is going to work out and I just have to get through the painful parts to more fully enjoy the wonderful parts!
I'm starting to notice a shimmering light as I try my hardest to climb out of my darkened abyss.  The light feels good and is comforting.  I think in this case, I'll go towards the light and enjoy the peace that it gives me!

Ha ha:
What made me think that eating two peaches, a plum and a giant salad at work would not make me bloated?  When I got home let's just say I was thankful for Gas-x and privacy. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 64: BitterSweet

Aha:
It seems that every lesson in church today had to do with faith and trusting in the plan Heavenly Father has for me.
Yah, it's one of those periods of time in my life when I need to be reminded that I'm not exactly in control and that life can be much easier if I just submit to the will of God.
I wish it were as easy as that.  Sure, Father, just lay it all at my feet and I'll do whatever you ask.  I'll bear my afflictions and trials with complete and total submission of my will to Thee.
But it's not that easy.
I have been trying to tell the Lord "I get it", I don't need this trial anymore.  I've come so far already, can't I be done with it?  But in our Relief Society lesson today I heard some pretty great parts of a talk titled, "More than Conquerors through Him that loved us", by Paul V. Johnson of the Quorum of the Seventy.  Although I'm not totally ready to submit, I now have a stronger desire to try to let things be as the Lord would have them, after all, He knows what is best and I must trust that His plan is way better than mine.
Here's some snippets from that talk:
After recovering from serious health challenges, Elder Robert D. Hales shared the following in general conference: “On a few occasions, I told the Lord that I had surely learned the lessons to be taught and that it wouldn’t be necessary for me to endure any more suffering. Such entreaties seemed to be of no avail, for it was made clear to me that this purifying process of testing was to be endured in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s own way. … I … learned that I would not be left alone to meet these trials and tribulations but that guardian angels would attend me. There were some that were near angels in the form of doctors, nurses, and most of all my sweet companion, Mary. And on occasion, when the Lord so desired, I was to be comforted with visitations of heavenly hosts that brought comfort and eternal reassurances in my time of need.”17
Our Heavenly Father loves us, and we “know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”18 Someday when we get to the other side of the veil, we want more than for someone just to tell us, “Well, you’re done.” Instead, we want the Lord to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”19
I love the words of Paul:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”20
I know that God lives and that His Son, Jesus Christ, lives. I also know that through Their help, we can be “more than conquerors” of the tribulations we face in this life. We can become like Them.
Ha ha:
My mom called to tell me this cute story yesterday and I forgot to blog about it then, so here goes.
My mom was babysitting two of my nieces (ages 7 and 4) and was having a little chat with them upstairs on the bed in the guest room.  She was telling them about her grandkids and how David and Sara were going to have 6 kids, their Mommy and Daddy had 5 kids, Daya and Kirk have 4, Anton and Jen are going to have 3, Derek and Carrie have 2 and that Aunt Dani and Uncle Clinton were hoping to adopt 1; giving our family a 6-5-4-3-2-1 grandkid status.  She asked if the girls would keep us in their prayers so we could get a baby soon.  Kyleen, the 7-year-old, turned her little face up to my mom and said, "sure!" as she promptly slid off the bed, knelt beside it and said a prayer right then and there.  Um...Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard?  Chuckling, my mom thanked her and asked them both if they would continue to pray for us each night when they said their prayers and they said they would.
I LOVED hearing that story!  Thanks Kyleen for your sweet prayers for us!  Love you!  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 63: Food, Glorious Food!

Aha:
I always thought that Clinton and I would get our year's supply of food storage after we moved into our first home.  We figured it would be easier to not have to move and we'd be in a better financial situation to purchase it.  Well, about a year ago I attended a Relief Society interest group activity and happened to stumble into the Food Storage class.  The teacher asked what we'd each like to get from the class and when she turned to me I said, "Well, we'd like to get food storage someday after we finish school and settle, but I thought I'd come and see what I can learn about it today."  She looked me right in the eye and said, "Food storage is not difficult to move, anyone can have it and it's not that difficult to build.  If you make the choice to start your supply the Lord will make it happen."  That got me thinking about something I'd never really thought of before: starting now.
I went home, looked up how to buy food storage on a budget, got a book and got to shopping.  I added $10/week to my grocery list to get extra food items to store.  I told the Lord I was trying to be obedient to the counsel from the church to build a year's supply of food storage but if I were to actually get everything I needed, I would need his help to have the extra money to do so.  I looked up what it would cost to buy my canned goods from the storehouse and it was going to cost about $550!  I was determined.
I kid you not, once I made the decision to save and build my supply, the windows of heaven opened and ways were provided to make extra money.  My hair business at least tripled (and has stayed that way) and I gained two voice students and a piano student; increasing our monthly income by about 20%!  I put all that money in a ziploc bag and saved and saved and saved!  When I thought I had saved enough, I put my order together only to find out prices had increased by almost 30% on many items.  I was devastated!  I told my mom and she told me she was putting some money in our account and that some of it was to be used for our food storage order.  The amount she set aside was exactly what I needed to place my order!  Awesome, eh?
I scheduled my day at the cannery three months ago but as the day approached, no one was available to help me (needed at least 3 more helpers).  I emailed the cannery yesterday to tell them I'd need to reschedule.  Well, I got a call late last night stating there was a group of three coming and they were willing to help me pack my order if I still wanted to come.  What?!  What a miracle!
Well, today was the day for me to drive (thanks again Haley for lending me your Jeep) down to the cannery and can my long-awaited supply.  My helpers were Ron, Jennie and Joyce (as well as the Dewitts, the couple that runs the cannery).  We pumped out all of our orders in about 2.5 hours!  They even helped me load my car!
I feel so blessed and am absolutely amazed at all of the many miracles that occurred as I tried to be obedient to the counsel from the Lord and obtain my year's supply of food storage.

All geared-up and ready to can!

 There is at least one more stack on each side that couldn't fit in the picture

 It doesn't look like much, but there are about 8 more boxes hidden plus, those selves behind me extend about another 4 feet to my right and they are stocked with more food, as well as some toiletries.

Ha ha:
When I got home I laid on the floor (cause that's about all I had energy for) to play with Peter.  As Clinton and I were rolling the ball back and forth I stopped paying attention for a minute and didn't notice that Clinton had rolled it back to me.  My hand was resting palm-down and the ball literally rolled right into it, as if I had caught it with my hand.  I have no idea how that happened but I just started laughing.
Right after that, Peter was laying in front of me and Clinton rolled the ball; it went straight into Peter's mouth!  We both started laughing and Clinton commented that it looked like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos (gulp!).  Peter didn't even have to reach for it.  Ha! 

Day 62: You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

Aha:
I am so very thankful for the caring and compassionate people in my life.  I had a particularly difficult day on Friday and I received nothing but love and support from everyone around me and from my family back home.  I know the Lord is mindful of me and I'm thankful for the people who helped me remember that yesterday.
Loves!

Ha ha:
I called Clinton to tell him about my tough situation yesterday and started crying.  He asked what was wrong and after I finished explaining everything I said, whilst both crying and laughing, "...but I'm handling it pretty well."  I guess you gotta find the humor in all things, right?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 61: Long Overdue

Aha:
I turned in 3 library books at one time 3 weeks ago.  I got an email stating that one of them was overdue and I was being charged $.25/day.  Long story short, after being told that if the book could not be found I'd have to pay a $7 replacement fee, I was transferred to the circulation manager.  I relayed what happened and told her I didn't think it was fair to be charged for a book I returned.  She asked if I was sure I had in fact returned it and I confirmed I had.  I stayed very positive and friendly and told her that if I found it at a garage sale I'd donate it to the library.  She laughed and said she'd waive the fee and "clear my record"!

Ha ha:
I have to laugh at myself.  I ordered a new mannequin head and some other beauty supply products for my hair business at home.  Clinton sent me a text telling me they'd arrived.  I couldn't wait to get home.  Then, my coworker (who's also an esthetician) brought me some products to start using and I couldn't wait to try them tonight.
When I got home from work and saw all of my goodies in one place, I couldn't help but squeal for joy!!  I ran into Clinton's study and with a huge grin on my face shouted, "It's like it's Christmas!".  I'm in Product Heaven!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 60: On That Note

Aha:
As I was walking with Peter this evening I ran into a lady from my neighborhood whom I regularly see walking her dog.  I felt like I should stop and see how she was doing and invite her to the church activity we are having this Saturday.  I caught up with her and asked how things were going.  I found out she's been out of work since January, has been rejected at every job she's applied for, she's been depressed, has no health insurance and has been feeling a bit hopeless.  I asked what her job experience is and it is in health insurance.  When I told her I work at the hospital her eyes lit up.  I told her I'd keep an eye open for jobs and that there's a better chance of her getting a job if she knows someone who works there.
I am so glad I followed the prompting to talk to her and if nothing else, I got her name and phone number so I can check on her regularly.  She will be busy with a class on Saturday and therefore unable to attend the service project, but she said she might like to go to one in the future.  I feel so happy to know I may have brought some cheer to her day!

Ha ha:
I called my nephew to wish him happy birthday.  As per my usual, I sang him an exaggerated, operatic rendition of Happy Birthday.  I closed with a loud, "Happy Birthday!" and he was quiet for a moment before saying, "I can honestly say I've never heard anything quite like that before."  Ha!  The little fink!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 59: Would Ya Stop Bugging Me?

Aha:
Let's just say, I'm thankful for fly swatters, my husband and the fact that I'll probably only be in Wisconsin for two more summers....(shudder).

Ha ha:
I feel like its the Apocalypse over here!  In the last couple days, I have seen more bugs, bug exoskeletons and bug guts than I ever hope to see again for the rest of my life.  These are too good not to share with my squeamish friends!  Enjoy!

The Cicada (makes a really loud buzzing noise all. day. long.)





  The House Centipede
I have no idea what this was but this is its exoskeleton...it ain't tiny
 

The House Centipede
video

The Killing of the House Centipede
video

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 58: Our Own Romantic Comedy

Aha:
Well, this post will be an easy one!  I am happy to say that today is our 8th wedding anniversary!  I can't believe that eight years ago today I married the man of my dreams!  I know everyone says that, "the man of my dreams", but Clinton truly is!  He promised me that he would make me laugh every day and he has done just that.  He is completely loyal to his responsibilities as a husband and provider for our family.  I can really say that I am more in love with him now than I have ever been before (and I've always been head-over-heels)!
We have truly been blessed as a couple.  I really feel like the Lord knew what He was doing when He helped us find one another.  Clinton is my perfect match and I feel so blessed to have him in my life and in my forever!
Happy Anniversary Honey Bunny!


Ha ha:
I woke up several times last night and each time I woke up I noticed that Clinton was cuddling me.  I'd smile to myself and then fall back asleep.  When my alarm went off this morning he was still cuddling me!  Anyway, I got up to get ready for my day and when I went in to kiss him goodbye and wish him a Happy Anniversary I asked if he cuddled me all night because it was our anniversary or cause he had no room.  He said, "I had no room.  I tried kicking you over to your side of the bed but you wouldn't get out of the way, so I had to make do."  How romantic.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 57: This is What My Talking Gets Me

Aha:
Okay, this will be a LONG post, but I thought I'd post my talk that I gave in Sacrament Meeting today.  Here goes:  Music Invites Revelation/Revelation Through Music – August 21st, 2011

   Think about any scary movie that you have ever seen.  Consider the most frightening part of that movie and everything about that extremely terrifying scene.  Now consider this, what would happen if you removed the music that is playing during the scary parts?  What happens to the movie?  It suddenly becomes far less frightening.  It’s the music that makes the moment. 
David Tame, a musicologist, spoke of music in his book the Secret Power of Music in these ways:
  . . . Music affects the body in two distinct ways: directly, as the effect of sound upon the cells and organs (in other words, physiologically), and indirectly, by affecting the emotions, which then in turn influence numerous bodily processes.  In other words, for each type of music listened to, a particular emotion is created.  And with each emotion felt, our bodies experience change, for better or worse.
In one study reflecting the interesting and powerful effect of music, researcher Dorothy Retallack looked to see if plants responded to music similarly to how they respond to light. Plants respond to light in an interesting way. If a plant is placed on a windowsill where direct sunlight will shine, its flowers, after a period of time, will turn in the direction of the window and toward the sunlight. If the plant is turned so the flowers face away from the window, after a time, the flowers will again turn in the direction of the sun. Certainly many things are involved here, but one thing is certain, the plant seems to have a preference for sunlight.  They respond positively to the light. Dr. Retellack wanted to see if the plants would respond in a similar way to types of music.
Six separate chambers were used with music speakers and similar plants in each chamber. Each plant received the same amount of water, light, and nourishment.  The only difference for each plant was the type of music that was played in each of the chambers. 
The first plant chamber had country & western music playing for a period of time. The plants exposed to this type of music didn’t appear to respond at all. (No offense to those who love country, but the lack of response comes as no surprise to me, but that’s beside the point.)  The second chamber of plants had the music of Claude Debussy playing continuously. The plants in this chamber responded by leaning away from the speakers by about 30%. The plants didn’t appear to have a preference for this type of music. The plants in the third chamber were exposed to Jazz music. They responded by leaning toward the speakers by about 10% (Again, another surprise, I didn’t think anybody listened to jazz). The fourth chamber had Indian Sitar music playing. The plants in this chamber were reported to respond by leaning toward the speakers by about 75%. These plants appeared to show a great preference for this type of music. The next chamber had adagio movements of baroque music continuously playing (in other words, the typical classical pieces by composers like Beethoven, Bach, Pachelbel, etc). The plants in this chamber responded the same way as those exposed to the Indian Sitar music. However those plants that were closest to the speakers actually wrapped some of their branches around the speakersThe final chamber of plants was exposed to the music of Led Zeppelin, a rock and roll group from the 1970’s. The results showed that these plants, after a short period of time withered and died.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is she bringing up all of these examples of scientifically researched studies on the effects of music on plants?  What the heck does any of this have to do with me, and what I choose to put on my iTunes or Pandora account?”  Or even more, “What does this have to do with the gospel?”  Well, whether you did or not, I’m glad you asked.
I’ll answer that question with another.  If different types of music can affect the growth and very survival rates of plants, how much more can and does music affect the emotional and spiritual progress of humans? 

Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explains, “Music can be used to exalt and inspire or to carry messages of degradation and destruction.  It is therefore important that as Latter-day Saints we at all times apply the principles of the gospel and seek the guidance of the Spirit in selecting the music with which we surround ourselves.”  We have been further taught by President Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve, that worthy “music can set an atmosphere of worship which invites [the] spirit of revelation, of testimony.”  It is on this powerful and life-saving principle, that being revelation through uplifting and worthy music, that I would like to focus the remainder of my talk.

I’d like each of you to think about the last time you felt the spirit.  It could very well have been just a moment ago while Chemene was playing so beautifully.  If it was, why was it so much easier to feel the spirit while listening to a hymn vs. when we are listening to the radio?  What is the difference?  Jay E. Jensen, of the First Quorum of the Seventy explains that, “Hymns…invite the Spirit of the Lord…[they] create a feeling of reverence…they often do this quicker than anything else we may do.  President J. Reuben Clark Jr. said, ‘We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer.’”  And we learn in Doctrine & Covenants that “the song of the righteous is a prayer unto [the Lord]”, so really, you could say that music is the best of both revelatory worlds. 

I am sure that if I were to ask for a show of hands of those who have been touched, inspired, uplifted or even moved to tears while hearing a hymn sung or played (especially when they're performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or the Orchestra on Temple Square), most everyone’s hand would go up.

I have always loved music.  I remember the feelings of love I felt from my parents as they sang to me when I was a little girl.  They sang to me about how I was a Child of God, about how someday I could go to the temple, that my family was a forever family, that Jesus loves me and died for me, and that there were trees that could actually pop corn!  The simple words of the songs from the Primary Songbook, put to beautiful music, provided the perfect atmosphere where the Spirit of the Lord could testify to me of the truthfulness of what I was being taught (excluding of course the popcorn song…I think that one was meant for wholesome fun). 

Growing up, I listed to two types of music: referred to by my husband as “old people” and “churchy” music.  I’d list some of the groups and singers I love, but probably only a handful of people in this room would know who I was talking about!  I specifically remember going to youth dances and only knowing the words to a few of the songs.  However, if you sat me in front of a seminary video, I’d know every song sung.  Most teenagers would blast the radio, but I?  I blasted my “churchy” cds.  In fact, the more I sat in my room and sang along with them, the more I grew to love the messages shared; they became a part of me and have given me comfort, peace and inspiration when I needed them most. 

As many of you may know, my husband and I are in the waiting stage of the adoption process.  It has been a long road and an emotional journey, especially for me, and there was a period of time when I was not handling it well at all.  I believe it was September (about 4 years ago) and I had just received the 36th baby shower invite (that year) when my sister-in-law called to announce they were expecting their second baby.  Needless to say, I lost it.  I felt so alone and so hurt.  I didn’t understand why God was denying my righteous desire to be a mother, or why my forever family was taking forever to start or why I was suffering so much if I was so loved by Jesus.  All the principles in the songs I had loved growing up seemed to be betraying me.  I prayed for help.  My heart began to feel lighter, however, it wasn’t until that next Sunday during the Sacrament hymn that my heart was softened and my eyes were opened. 
Reverently and Meekly Now (Hymn #185)

Rev'rently and meekly now,
Let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one;
Think what I for thee have done.
With my blood that dripped like rain,
Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree
I have ransomed even thee.

In this bread now blest for thee,
Emblem of my body see;
In this water or this wine,
Emblem of my blood divine.
Oh, remember what was done
That the sinner might be won.
On the cross of Calvary
I have suffered death for thee.

Bid thine heart all strife to cease;
With thy brethren be at peace.
Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be
E'en forgiven now by me.
In the solemn faith of prayer
Cast upon me all thy care,
And my Spirit's grace shall be
Like a fountain unto thee.

At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.
The words of that song touched my heart like no scripture had been able to do alone.  I got on my knees and turned to the Lord in prayer.  I told him I couldn’t deal with the pain one second longer.  I was “casting on Him all my care”.  As I knelt by my couch and cried my weight in tears, His spirit flowed into me and healed my totally broken heart.  I felt freed.

President Packer said, “Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings. “  The First Presidency Message (found at the front of the Hymnbook) states, “Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings.  The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord. 
“Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns.  Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end.”
Elder Nelson said, “Music has a sweet power to promote unity and love in the family.  “Music has power to provide spiritual nourishment.  It has healing power.  It has the power to facilitate worship, allowing us to contemplate the Atonement and the Restoration of the gospel, with its saving principles and exalting ordinances.  It provides power for us to express prayerful thoughts and bear testimony of sacred truths.”

I testify that the hymns of the church, or other uplifting music, can and will bring us revelation.  That beautiful sacrament hymn changed my life.  In just four verses I had confirmed to me that Jesus truly did die for me, that no matter what struggles I am dealing with, He has felt my pain and knows how to succor me, and that if I try to do my part He will be my advocate with the Father.

Brothers and sisters, these moments of spiritual enlightenment are not just limited to Sacrament meetings.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks has taught that, “We need to make more use of our hymns to put us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.”  We can take the hymns with us everywhere we go.  We have been encouraged to play them in our homes, sing them with our children and make them a part of FHE.  “Worthy music is not only a source of power but also of protection.” (Russell M. Nelson)  [They] can bring families a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity among family members. (Jay E. Jensen)

We too are like the tender plants I first mentioned.  Our spirits are sensitive to all that surrounds us but if we cling to that which is uplifting, we can be fortified and receive knowledge.  I echo the wise counsel of Bro. Jensen when he said, “I pray that we may eliminate any inappropriate music from our lives and follow the counsel of the First Presidency: “Brothers and sisters, let us use the hymns to invite the Spirit of the Lord into our congregations, our homes, and our personal lives. Let us memorize and ponder them, recite and sing them, and partake of their spiritual nourishment. Know that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto our Father in Heaven, ‘and it shall be answered with a blessing upon [your] heads.’” 18 Of these truths I also testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Ha ha:
I had just gotten home from a walk with Peter and I was on the phone with my dad.  My hands were full but I needed to drop Peter's "unmentionables" in the garbage.  Whilst holding my phone, my keys, his "unmentionables" and the trash lid, I tossed the bag into the garbage and along went my keys!  Fortunately my new phone has a flashlight app on it and I could easily see where they were but that cool app didn't make the situation any less gross! (shudder)

Day 56: Self-Serve

Aha:
I have been asking the Lord to help me find opportunities to serve those around me.  I pray for it every day and today my wish came true!  I got a call from a friend who needed me to come over and sit at her house during an overlap of them leaving and her mother arriving from the airport.  I sat at their desk and wrote my talk while Clinton picked her mother up and brought her back to the house.  I feel grateful I could help my friend and I hope more opportunities to serve happen more regularly--cause I felt great!

Ha ha:
Clinton and I went out to dinner last night to celebrate our anniversary.  As we were walking out of the restaurant and back into the mall, we passed a gelato place my friend had recommended.  We already had plans to try Dairy Queen's Nutter Butter blizzard (I'm CRAZY for Nutter Butters), but I wanted to try the Sea Salt Caramel flavor that had been recommended to me.  So, we walked in, tried the flavor and I asked if they had it regularly so I could come back and try it another time.  He said I should try it now since it's not a regular flavor and only a little was left for today.  Instead of being quick on my feet and saying something polite like, "Oh, well, we just ate and I need a little bit of time for everything to settle, but we'll be back."  I was totally honest and said, "I just wanted to try the flavor today, we already have plans for dessert elsewhere, but thanks!" 
I didn't really think anything of it till Clinton pointed out that that probably wasn't the kindest thing to say after getting free samples. :)  Don't worry Gelato Guy, I'll be back soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 55: Is that Right?

Aha:
I was asked to give a talk in church this Sunday and I finally had a chance to sit down and kind of gather my thoughts.  I had some ideas I was throwing around in my head, but nothing seemed quite right - I felt stuck.  As I was reviewing some of my notes, a comparison jumped out at me that I had not noticed before.  I now have a great idea for my talk!!  I'm so grateful for personal revelation and I'm thankful that the Lord saw fit to help me out!  And now, you'll just have to wait till Sunday to read it!

Ha ha:
I shared this joke at work today and thought it worthy enough to share with all of you...


Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet 
became quite thick and hard.  He also was quite a spiritual person.  
Even when he was not on a hunger strike, he did not eat much and 
became quite thin and frail.  Due to this diet, he wound up with very 
bad breath.  Therefore, he came to be known as a the. . .

Super calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 54: A Diamond in the Rough

Aha:
I am amazed at the tender mercies from the Lord.  I've been feeling a bit blue lately and was really needing a boost.  I got an email out of the blue from the chair of the Illinois Chapter of Families Supporting Adoption just to see how I was doing and asking if I'd like to be a part of the committee! I asked her to call me this evening and after a 40 minute phone call I feel like I've found an old friend!  Her contacting me could not have come at a better time!!  She was definitely inspired and I thank the Lord for wonderful people in my life who, when they feel a prompting, follow it!

Ha ha:
I have tried a couple attempts at using the Fart Machine on one of the doctors I work with (Sach).  I've wrapped it in my sweater then stashed that twice in his office (if you want to call it that...I refer to it as "The Disaster") but somehow, he's managed to actually see it amongst all his mess.  Anyway, he brought it out today and was asking who's sweater it was and why it kept showing up in his office.  I couldn't get to him in time to grab my sweater and he started digging in the pockets.  He pulled out the Fart Machine, said, "What's this?" and then started laughing.  He called me crazy and I told him that although he'd ruined the surprise, I'd get him eventually!  As my coworker said, "It ain't over till Sach farts!"

Just after a commercial for Rimmel masara, I asked Clinton if he had an "Aha" moment from today that I could share and he said, "Um yeah.  When I realized they pronounce it 'Rim-elle' in Canada but they pronounce it 'Rimm-uhl' in the States."  I think his idea of "aha" is much different than mine. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 53: Misfits

I am going on about 4 hours of sleep and a non-stop sorta day.  This will be quite brief. :)

Aha:
Went to bed with a headache, woke up with that headache but felt fine while I was at work.  My mind was clear and I was able to get a good amount of work done even though I was outta my prime!

Ha ha:
This was from the other day actually, but I'm just remembering it now...
I saw a corporate woman walking up the Skywalk the other day wearing a pant suit that was so tight on her legs it pulled her butt-seam deep into her butt-crack.  I don't know how she walked around like that all day.  I've heard of underwear wedgies, but pantsuit wedgies??

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 52: My Dream of Being a Professional Iceskater Will Not be Happening Any Time Soon

Aha:
It is rare to work in a place that is cheerful and positive.  I realized today just how much the Lord had a hand in placing me in my current position.  He knows what I need and I feel very blessed to see that!  I have been blessed with great coworkers.  Even after what I did to one of them today (see below) they still love me! 

Ha ha:
At some point this afternoon I heard my coworkers mention Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.  I came around the corner and asked if I'd ever shown them my Nancy Kerrigan impression.  They said no, so after I had their full attention I proceeded to perform an on-land triple lutz.  My arms and body bounded across the office floor so gracefully, but as I was about to stick my landing, my arms made contact with the 9"x13" cake pan on the counter in front of my coworker's desk.  In a matter of seconds, all the cheerful, entertained faces of my coworkers turned into ones of fear as they realized the pan was now flying.  There was no time to prevent the catastrophe, and my impression of Nancy Kerrigan soon turned into Tonya Harding as the cake pan flew on to my coworker's desk, knocking over her water bottle and spilling cake and water all over her pants!
Oh man!  I was so embarrassed but we were all laughing too hard over the shock of it all to really think about that.  I think one of the funniest things about it was that EVERYONE saw it cause I made sure I had their attention before my "performance".  No hiding that one!  I have been laughing about it all afternoon.  When I told Clinton about it I was laughing so hard it took me about 5 minutes to get it all out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 51: S"pun" Around Like a Record, Baby

Aha:
1.  Both of my students had to cancel their lessons tonight which gave me an entire evening to get some things done that I would not have had time to do otherwise.
2.  I took Peter for a walk and had a chance to enjoy the quiet, peaceful evening.  I found that as I was walking a particular song from my youth kept playing through my mind like a broken record,
"Choose you this day, whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.  I'm accountable for everything I do.  I'm accountable for all that I pursue.  For I have the right to choose, to take or to refuse.  I'm happy when I choose to serve the Lord."
In such a quiet moment the words really sank into my mind and heart.  I felt like they were brought to my memory for a reason; giving me an opportunity to further reflect on my dedication to the Lord and to strengthen my resolve to choose the right.


Ha ha:
I couldn't think of anything funny from today and neither could Clinton, so I'm going to post a punny joke instead.
"There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did."
Ha!  We love a good pun!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 50(!): Say What'cha Mean, Mean What'cha Say

Holy crow!  I can't believe it!  I have been blogging now for 50 days straight!  I don't know if anyone even reads this anymore, but I am thankful that I have this record for myself and my family.  I read on another friend's blog that they are printing theirs to keep as a family scrapbook and I decided I'm going to do the same thing.  Here's to another 50 days!

Aha:
I was asked by a friend to sub in her Primary class today and although none of the kids were there, I had in fact prepared a lesson and learned a bit from it.  The topic was on the "Betrayal of Jesus Christ". 
Here is a very Cliff"s Notes version...In the garden of Gethsemane, Judas kissed Jesus cheek to show the Jewish soldiers who he was and they took him away to be tried.  Jesus was taken to Caiaphas and was tried and found guilty of breaking the law by saying he was the Son of God.  Those that Jesus worked with daily in the temples shouted that he should be killed and sent him to Pontius Pilate for authorization.  Pilate found no fault in Christ.  Witnesses were called and no one defended him, even one of his close friends and disciples denied knowing him three times.  The people wanted him dead.  During the trial Pilate discovered Jesus was from Galilee he sent him to Herod.  Herod too found no fault and sent him back to Pilate.  Again Pilate found no fault in him but the people were insistent that He be crucified, so Pilate told the people they could do so, but the sin be on them.
This was an interesting lesson for me to prepare because it seems so crazy that these people would actually deny everything they had seen the Savior do.  These people were around when he performed miracles.  He even healed one of the soldiers, who had had his ear cut off by one of Jesus' disciples, at the time he was taken from the garden!  Yet they would deny all these things and sentence him to death?  What surprises me even more, is that Peter, one of his closest friends, would deny him three times!  Why?
It makes me think about what I would say if I were questioned about the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Would I have the courage to bear testimony of Him, or would I too deny Him? 

Let it be known now.  I have a testimony of Jesus Christ.  He is my Savior and He is my friend.  I have not seen His face, but I have felt him close to me and have seen His influence in my life.  He has been there for me and helped me through my struggles.  He knows who I am, who I can become and what I need to do to get there.  I love Him and want to do all that I can to return and live in His presence again some day.  He is the Begotten Son of God and came to this earth to fulfill His father's will, to be the Savior of mankind and atone for the sins of the world.  His Atoning sacrifice was for me.  I know he felt my pains and because of that he knows how to succor me.  I have felt His love and understanding more times than could be coincidence and continue to feel close to Him as I try to do what's right.  I know He lives!  I know He loves me!  I know He is my advocate with God and is rooting for me each day.  I hope to learn more of Him and that my relationship with Him can continue to grow stronger and stronger till I, hopefully, one day see him face to face.  He means so much to me and I love so very much!

Ha ha:
The topic in Relief Society was "The Law of Chastity".  The teacher did a great job teaching and discussing physical intimacy to such a large group of women, but the lesson was humorous for a couple reasons.
1.  With each successive comment, the levels of diversion and creativity to say anything but the word "sex" got more and more extreme.  I heard "sharing something special", "being together", "tell your kids about...it", "symbol of love", "when you talk to them about (blank stare, but no words were said)", and "sexual intimacy".  I realize people were just being sensitive to what might be kosher to say in church, but I just thought it was funny that no one ever actually said "sex" even though that was the topic.
2.  The teacher had asked for people to share situations when we had discussed intimacy with their children and the usual stories were shared.  However, this lady in the back raised her hand and said, "When we don't discuss it at home they will learn from school.  My sister's kids came home and loudly announced in front of others that 'Girls have a (whispered) vagina, and boys have a (whispered) penis.'"  It literally took all I had to not bust up laughing.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 49: Tempers and Temples

Aha:
Clinton and I went down to the temple today.  It was so nice to be inside the House of the Lord where I could enjoy the quiet reverence that can only be found there.  I had time to think about my relationship with God; where I need to improve, where I am doing okay and how much He still loves me regardless of all my faults.  I felt, even for just a small moment, that He knows I'm trying my best and is pleased.  I have just felt so inadequate lately and I really needed that reminder today.  I'm thankful for a husband who took time out of his studies to take me to the temple, it made me feel closer to him and closer to God.

Ha ha:
As I mentioned this last week, the Premenstrual Witch is ba-ack and she's uglier than ever.  I've had a really crazy day and have just felt a bit off.  I told Clinton, "I don't feel right", to which he responded, "You're not right.  If you were right you'd be a man."  Seems I've got myself a clever one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 48: Rootin' Tootin' Good Time

Aha:
I have had two very happy and playful days in a row.  I didn't realize just how much I needed these days until I'd had them.  I have had a couple of really great dates with my H.B., great laughs with friends and several special reflective moments that have provided me an opportunity to recognize and ponder on all of the many blessings in my life. 

Ha ha:
Today. Was. Hysterical!  I brought a Fart Machine to work.

My first victim was my coworker, Michelle.
I had been waiting ALL DAY for one of my close-by coworkers to get up from their desk so I could plant the machine.  When she got up for lunch--I planted.  I put the machine under her purse so it was nice and muffled, and then I told my two other coworkers to not react so we could really get a good reaction outta her.  For some reason,  my machine kept responding to other signals in the office and was going off on its own, but when Michelle came back to her desk, and the room had grown real quiet...it went off.  Michelle turned around and said, "What the?" and started frantically looking around under her desk.  Lissa, Kelli and I were literally shaking back laughter till Michelle spotted the Fart Machine and busted up laughing.  We all "let loose" and were "cracking" up.  By the time we stopped laughing, Michelle was crying, Kelli was snorting, Lissa was choking on her drink, and I never really stopped.

2nd Victim:  Christine
Christine is around my mom's age and was raised in a fairly proper British home.  As she was walking by my desk to say "goodbye" at the end of the day she mentioned something about being filled with cream puffs and I couldn't resist.  The machine went off and she turned around and said, "What was that?"  She started looking around with a concerned look on her face while all the rest of us were dying with laughter.  I don't think she thought it was as funny as we did.

3rd Victim:  Hema
Hema is one of our fellow doctors.  She is a pretty reserved Indian, but can have a good sense of humor.  As she was walking out the door, I pushed the button.  Her eyes got as big as a deers and she exclaimed, "What was that?"  I pushed it again.  "What's happening you guys?  Where's that coming from?"  Again and again.  "Who's doing that?"  One of the other fellows came out and asked, "Are you farting Hema?" and just kept on walking in the other direction without waiting for a response.  We were dying!  Hema pulled open the door to leave and said, "I'm just contributing to nature's gasses."  HILARIOUS!

Our last encounter of the day was with one of the attending physicians.  As he walked by, I "let it rip".  He wanted to know why were were laughing, so when we told him he asked, "Have you heard my iFart?"  Hearing him ask that was funny enough, "butt" then he brought out his iPhone and played us a few toots and we were in absolute stitches.

After letting the machine rumble through all of its many sounds, Lissa said, "Sadly, all those sounds remind me of my grandma, God rest her soul!" to which I promptly replied, "And her bowels!"

I probably laughed harder and longer today than I have in quite a while.  What a blast, and oh-so mature!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day : This was MY Fair, Lady!

Aha:
Today was a good day.  I got to leave work early, get some lunch with my husband and our friends, come home and read for a couple hours/rest, take Petey for a little walk and then go to the Fair (at a discounted rate and in perfect weather to boot)!
Days like today are a reminder to me that the Lord is mindful of our needs and is happy to provide us happy situations.  I'm sure much of what played-out today was simply happenstance, but the fact that it all happened to me in one day?  In my book, that counts as a blessing!

Ha ha:
Clinton and I had the pleasure of attending the Wisconsin State Fair today.  There is some amazing people watching to be had there!  We saw; a women whose bosoms hung down to the bottom of her shirt, made it look like she was carrying some footballs under her shirt, a woman sleeping sitting straight up (probably had too much of the beer and brauts!), a young woman who was literally orange from too much tanning, a "performance" by an elderly woman with imitation eagle wings strapped to her arms who "danced" (walked slowly waving her arms and occasionally turned in a circle) around on the stage to the longest. song. in. the. world and, another dance group consisting of old women (aged 60-80 years young, as they said) called the "Jazzy Jewels".  All these things, and so much more were an absolute hoot to observe!
We also enjoyed some Wisconsin State Fair delicacies.  We ate; cream puffs the size of your face, fried butter (it's not what you think, it's a pat of batter that's been wrapped in like a flour tortilla or something, then fried...but if you were thinking it was gross...you'd be right), fresh-squeezed lemonade (delicious!), and my personal favorite--fried Oreos!  Fried Oreos are UNBELIEVABLE!!  They take an Oreo, dip it in doughnut batter, fry it, then sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  Pure artery-clogging bliss.  And I had three!
Anyway, here are some pics to enjoy!  More to come!





Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 46: Silence and Inappropriate Laughter

Aha:
Totally fell asleep on the couch while writing my blog...so this will be very short.
I had a small moment during my day where I stepped into a very quiet room, got on my knees and prayed that God would hear my prayers and provide me the answers I'm looking for.  Although they have not yet come, I felt comforted kneeling in that quiet room, and if nothing else, knew that God heard my prayer.

Ha ha:
I was reminiscing with my coworkers today about funny things that have happened at work.  Here are a couple of mine...
1.  One time I was laughing so hard at something and then the phone rang.  It's my job to answer it.  I answered like this..."Pediatric bwah ha ha ha, Hematology ah ha haha...I'm sorry...ha ha...just a...moment."  After a moment's composure, I came back on the line to excuse my giggles only to end up laughing again.  Fortunately, the listener was kind about it and had a good sense of humor themselves!
2.  I called what I thought was the right phone number for a contact over at the hospital.  A woman answered on speaker phone.  I asked if so-and-so was there and she replied, "Nope.  I think you've got the wrong number.  This is a conference room and you're on speaker phone with about 12 other people in the room."  Laughing, I replied, "Well.  Nice to speak with all of you.  Hope you enjoy the remainder of your meeting!"  We all had a good laugh!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 45: Dictators and Diction

Aha:
There is someone that I work with that really intimidates me.  They rarely make eye contact but when they do, it's usually because they are staring me down to show how disappointed in me they are...not that they have a reason, they just aren't very easy to please.  Needless to say, I don't feel comfortable around them.
Today...I got eye contact.  My abilities to keep an accurate calendar were being questioned.  Instead of absolutely freaking-out on the outside, I stayed very calm and said, "Let me look through my notes to see why things were done the way they were and I'll get back to you."  I quickly pulled my info together (I was in no wrong, btw), conferred with one of the other people who helped create the calendar and returned with answers/solutions to The Intimidator.  They were quite responsive to my thoughts/reasoning and I didn't end up getting "pulled into their office".  Woohoo! 
I definitely felt the help of the Lord today to stay calm, find my notes for referencing and then presenting my information to The Intimidator.  This could have gone so badly but instead, it went oh-so-well! :)

Ha ha:
As I was coming back to my desk from the above-mentioned situation, I was apparently still a wee-bit flustered.  One of the girls from another office was sitting in my desk chair and started to say she was leaving as I approached.  I tried telling her that she could just take Lissa's (sounds like Melissa, but without the Me) chair since she was out of the office, but that would have been too easy.  Instead, I said, "You can have Leeza's sheet...Lisha's share...Take Liza's seat...Oh my gosh...Lissa's sare...never mind!  You. can. take. Lissa's. chair."  I started to laugh but she turned to me, with a concerned look on her face, and with a somewhat monotone voice said, "Wow.  You really are having problems."  I laughed so hard!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 44: We Women are Fickle

Aha:
1.  I made it through the workday without eating everything in sight.  Confused?  Read this post.
2.  Managed to have about an hour to work on my callings for church.  I also did my first Rodney Yee yoga session, made my lunch for tomorrow, talked with my mom on the phone, played with Petey, gave a voice lesson and am going to bed at a relatively decent hour!!  I feel somewhat accomplished today!
3.  Before things got too ugly, I "realized" (thanks Honey) that the PMS Witch is beginning to show her warted-face again.  This "realization" gave me time to kind of gather a plan to douse her ugliness during future witchy-periods (no pun intended).  I think I am going to use my process from week-before-last's posts regarding using the Atonement.  This week (and next) I plan to refocus my feelings on the Savior and plead for his help when I find (or my husband finds) that I need it most!  We'll see my pretties!! (evil cackle)

Ha ha:
My grandma told me to shut up today!
I called to ask what her address was so I could send her a letter.  I told her I was drawing a blank and that I couldn't quite remember, but I knew her PO Box number was similar to my in-laws but I didn't want to mix them up.  As I was rambling, she got a word in edgewise and said, "Shut up!  It's 1167."
I'd like to say I was totally surprised, but I wasn't.  Love you Grandma!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 43: Blogging My Blessings and Bust-Ups

Aha:
I'm not sure what to write today.  I keep thinking, what do I have to write about?  I went to church, came home, took a nap, ate dinner and watched some ABC Family with my husband as we enjoyed some bomb brownies (thanks Jenna!).  We got to enjoy our new grill and some amazing steaks!  But what from my day was especially spiritual?  Where did I recognize the Lord's hand in my life today?
As I sit here typing I'm looking at my little sleeping pup beside me and I can't help but smile.  I am so blessed.  There it is!  The Lord's hand is pointing to all the things with which I have been blessed.  Here are a few that are most prevalent to me today...
1.  My husband.  He is so funny and so happy and he makes me laugh every day. 
2.  My pup, Peter.  We got Peter when I was just beginning to feel especially baby-hungry but couldn't have babies.  He is the best little companion for me.
3.  My family.  I have been quite homesick lately as I've had a new nieces and nephews added to the mix but have been unable to meet them.  My family is ever changing but am so thankful for technology that helps me to keep in touch with them on a regular basis.  I know they pray for me and my little family here in Wisconsin and I am so thankful for that!
4.  Good friends.  My girlfriends throughout my life have been such an anchor for me and especially now that I live far from home.  I don't know what I'd do without good girls in my life to support me in my struggles and to lift me up when I'm feeling down.
5.  Home, Job and Extra job.  I have been blessed with a great job and several other jobs (from my home) that provide well for my family, keep a nice (air-conditioned) roof over our heads and have made it possible to save/obtain my year's supply of food storage!
I have truly been blessed!!

Ha ha:
I was laying on the bed asking Clinton to tell me something funny to put on the blog.  He started telling me a poem but when I began typing it here, he told me it was too embarrassing.  As, I laid my head in shame thinking I would have nothing to write, he pulled on my ponytail (which is held up by some hair pins) and I exclaimed, "Ouch Honey!  I have hair pins in there and they jab me in the head when you pull my hair."  His response?..."Oh.  Careful!" 
Clinton was quizzing me on questions for his pediatrics exam.  Questions like, "At what age do babies sleep through the night?  At what age do they sit up?, etc".  I was doing fairly well and then he asked, "What is the best way to get a child interested in potty-training?"  I replied, "By having them watch you."  He said, "Yes.  But I find it helps if you urinate on them as well."  Ha ha!  Where does he come up with this stuff?? 
P.S.  He does not/nor would he EVER actually do that, he was just being funny!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 42: Longings

Aha:
Our bathroom sink has been extremely plugged basically since we moved in two years ago.  We've poured about 10 bottles of Draino down that stinkin' pipe with very little relief.  Our landlord came a couple weeks ago, snaked the pipe but left before really checking to make sure it was clear.  Sure enough...still completely plugged.  I emailed him and he came back today (that's not the miracle) ;).
Anyway, as he was looking at the same pipe with the same problem, he said he wanted to look at one more thing.  That "one more thing" was the very opening of the drain, just below the stopper/plug.  There was a wad of something unrecognizable, probably the size of a gooey golf ball, lodged in the pipe.  He used an old t-shirt and ran it up and down through the pipe like someone would run a towel across their behind to dry it off in a sing-songy way.  He put the sink/pipe all back together and it is running like a charm!!!  I feel very blessed to have a bathroom sink that works and doesn't fill to the brim with my toothpaste, face wash or hand-goo every time I use it!  Yipee!

Ha ha:
Clinton and I FINALLY got a barbeque.  This is something I have been longing for, for quite some time.  We got all the fixings for it, including meat and vegetables for grilling....and then we went to Olive Garden for dinner!  Mmm-mmh!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 41: Guardian Angels

Aha:
I am amazed at the power of conversion.  I visit teach a sister in my ward who has had a rough life.  She has been hurt by her own family and suffers many physical pains as well.  I mention this because as my companion and I were visiting with her today we had the opportunity to talk to her about the healing power of the Atonement.  I shared with her one of my favorite quotes from the prophet, Joseph Smith (which also happened to be from the lesson):
     "Speaking to the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph emphasized holiness, explaining that as sisters became pure and holy, they would have a marked influence upon the world. He explained: “Meekness, love, purity—these are the things that should magnify you. … This Society … shall have power to command queens in their midst. … The kings and queens of the earth will come unto Zion, and pay their respects.” Relief Society sisters living their covenants command the respect not only of noble people, but “if you live up to your privileges,” Joseph promised the sisters, “the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates."
The Spirit was there and she felt comforted to know she was not alone and that help would be there whenever she needed it.  The Lord knows her pains and will help her overcome/bear all things.
This all came out of my mouth, the words meant for her...but I knew they were reminders for me too.

Ha ha:
Clinton and I were playing fetch with Peter in our living room.  Clinton kept throwing the ball (instead of rolling it) as he was saying "here it comes", giving me no time to prepare...it would hit me in the head or the chest every time.  I got rather tired of this, so I waited for the prime time when he was looking away and I could "get him back". 
The moment arrived and just as I was arching the ball I shouted, "Here it comes!"  He turned and looked at me just as the ball landed right on his bal...crot...nard...his...his...no-no-private-zone.  FORTUNATELY (for both of us) the impact was reduced by the way he happened to be sitting, so no damage done.  However, the whole situation was hilarious because, first of all, I have terrible aim (I was aiming for his chest) and secondly, the way it landed just so resolutely (with a muffled "plopping" sound) on his "lap" was priceless!
I shouldn't be laughing, but it was just perfect!