Monday, October 5, 2015

Ponderize - Week 1

Our whole family LOVED this talk by Devin G. Durrant at LDS General Conference this last weekend. We all have jumped right into his challenge. For this first week, Michael wanted to ponderize a verse together. He and I chose Doctrine and Covenants 13:1

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

What's your verse?

A few other verses being ponderized at our house this week - 
1 Nephi 1:12
1 Nephi 3:16
2 Nephi 4:28

Friday, September 18, 2015

Feeling Sentimental

Sometimes I can't believe how fast time is going, and how fast the kids are growing. I feel like it was just a moment ago that they were all tiny, then I blinked and have two teenagers and two nearing the end of their time in elementary school.

I am scared to blink again because I know that it isn't long before they will be leaving home, going on missions, getting married, having kids . . . and I can't think about this too long or I freak out a bit. 

Don't get me wrong. I love that my kids are growing up! They are independent, confident kids. They are eager to learn, they have so many talents. They are kind and they strive really hard to do what is right and make good choices. They love each other and enjoy being with their siblings. I count my blessings every day. I feel so lucky that Heavenly Father saw fit to send this little crew to our home and family.

But sometimes I let myself indulge in a little sentimentality. Last May I made this video to help me do just that. It has pictures of my kids at similar stages in the first five years of life (newborn, blessing, infant, 3 month portraits, annual portraits and a picture from during each year of their life) as well as some of my favorite shots of the four of them together. 

Truthfully, I had forgotten I made this video, but found it this week as I was in another moment of remembering the past in order to help me more fully appreciate the present. 


Monday, August 31, 2015

Fun stuff

Towards the end of our trip to Maine, Megan told this to her Grandma Call. Speaking of her cousin, "Me and Maddie have developed a fondness for each other." She and Maddie were indeed good friends during our trip.

Michael came down the stairs with his homework sheet, and with a sad voice said, "Math is really hard today." When I asked what it was, his face broke into a grin, and his eyes widened and he said (his voice oozing with joy), "Prime factorization!" Later as he worked he said, "too bad we can't use exponents. It would make it so much easier."

The other day Liz was telling about memorizing some of the scripture mastery verses for seminary. Joking, Nathan said, "1 Nephi 2:15 should be a scripture master." (He likes tat it is so short. "And my father dwelt in a tent.") I said something like, "It is short, but it must be important because Nephi included it."
      Liz then said, "I always thought it was interesting that Lehi could live in a tent, and it was probably really small, and he had some really spiritual experiences there."
      Nathan followed with, "I thought about it a different way. I always thought it was to show how much Lehi was willing to give up. He left a big house and riches and was willing to live in a tent in the wilderness."
     I hate to admit how old I was before I thought about this verse enough to learn these same lessons.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . 

WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . 

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. . . . 

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Here are a few excerpts from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This inspired document was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley at the General Relief Society Meeting in September 1995, nearly 20 years ago! And I think it is easy to see that this document full of true principles, stated with boldness and clarity, is vital. Perhaps we need it more now than ever before.

Our family has been working for years to memorize the entire Proclamation. Over the last few weeks, since the Supreme Court decision, I have had the words of the proclamation floating through my head, giving me strength, and reminding me what is true. It helps me to remember that we can build strong families even when the world is in turmoil.

After the Supreme Court decision we sat down and had a family council. We explained to the kids what had happened. We talked about how God's law is firm, no matter what man may say. We talked about the confusion that surrounds us, but how we can know truth. We reminded our kids that God's law states that marriage is between a man and woman. We asked them how we know this, and they all pointed to the wall, where a copy of the Proclamation hangs.

A few days later we listened to the last verse of Follow the Prophet.

Now we have a world where people are confused.
If you don't believe it, go and watch the news.
We can get direction all along our way,
If we heed the prophets-follow what they say.

Afterwards Megan said, "Our world is confused. They think it is OK for two men to get married or two women. The prophet teaches us what is right." I was grateful that she knows where to turn when things are confusing.

Another part of our conversation with our kids was that we need to be kind and respectful to others, no matter there choices or opinions. We can, in fact, be firm in our standards and still reach out with love, kindness and concern for those around us. I am so grateful for the example of the Savior. He was also firm and never condoned sin, yet he always showed love, care and compassion for the individual. It is possible.

I am grateful that we have truth from the Lord to anchor us in this world of storm and turmoil. I am grateful for the hope that I receive, that it is possible to raise children who will be firm in the faith.

Monday, June 22, 2015

My heart is full

This morning I took a bath. While I was relaxing in the warm water for a bit I heard my teenagers (the ones from the last post). They were working together to bake banana bread. They had Piano Guys music playing and they were chatting and laughing together. I can't even express how grateful I am for these two kids. They are amazing, and even though they can bug each other at times, they really get along well. And that good relationship blesses our whole family.

About a month or so ago I was talking with my grandma and grandpa. We were talking about kids and instruments. They asked how everyone was doing on the piano and we talked about Liz's flute and Nathan's violin. Then, knowing how my grandpa loved playing the trumpet, I told him how Michael was looking forward to starting the trumpet in 7th grade (still a full year away). A little bit later he said, "I have a trumpet that I bought after high school that I would like to give you." He asked me to make sure MIChael knew that if he changed his mind, Grandpa would not be disappointed. When we brought it home and opened the case, Michael's arms went straight into the air in a gesture of victory. I wish I could describe how Mike's eyes light up whenever he is working on the trumpet.

Saturday we had a BBQ with all of the CHantry family. Don and Sue will leave this week for a 23 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are serving at the MTC in the Philippines. It was so good to be with family. We got some nice pictures, and had the chance to be silly too. We added it to our bank of wonderful memories.

Yesterday was Fathers' Day. My dad had a lot going on this weekend. I was so grateful for the chance to talk to him for a few minutes and to know that all went well for him and mom the last couple of days. I am so grateful for them both. Together they created a wonderful home for me to grow up in, and now that I am married I better understand what the example of their relationship has done for me.

Fathers' Day at our house was a simple affair. The kids made cards and wrote notes. We had dinner together. Brian was able to be at church with us after filling some other assignments. He sat with the kids at church, while I sat on the stand because I was speaking. I was so grateful to know that he was there to support me(I was more nervous than I thought I would be.) There was not any big fanfare for him, which I know he prefers, but I wish there were words sufficient to express my love and gratitude for him. He is so good. He works so hard and teaches our kids to do the same. He wants nothing more than to serve God, whether that is at home, or in church callings and assignments. His service brings a wonderful spirit into our home. He helps me to be better every day.

Oh, how important family is.

Friday, June 12, 2015

We have teenagers

Something happened on Monday with Liz and Nathan that I really wish I had on video, but I don't. I do want to try to remember it though because it was so funny.

Nathan was leaving to a week away at a scout leadership camp (Liz would be leaving the next morning your YW camp). We had read scriptures as a family, then had family prayer, and the kids were giving Brian and I their usual hugs. Nathan was also giving Megan and Michael hugs. Then he put his arms around Liz. Liz gave him a bit of a sideways glance, put her hand on his chest and straightened her arm, slowly pushing him away until he was an arm's distance away.

Nathan flashed a big smile and open his arms wide, silently asking, "Can't your brother give you a hug before he leaves for a week?" Then Liz reached out and patted him on the head, which was even funnier because he had his boots on and was a good inch taller than her.

I looked at Brian and we just laughed. Yep, we have teenagers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Megan's note to dad

A few weeks ago Megan was so excited. She had made a neat card for Brian. The card was more of a little book with several pages. There were pockets with little pictures in them, pages with borders, pages with notes. One of hte notes said,

Dear Dad,
I love you! You are the best other than mom.
Love, Megan

We loved this note and couldn't help but laugh.