Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Peek into Michael's brain

Last week Mike came home from school. I asked how his day was. He shrugged and said, "Okay." I asked why it wasn't great. He said, "we didn't have math today, and we had to watch a movie.' I couldn't help but smile.

Last night as Brian and I were heading to bed I heard noise coming from the boys' room. I peeked in to see Mike sitting up in bed with papers. I asked what he was doing and he hung his head and said, "math." (I think he thought he was in trouble.) I asked if it was homework he forgot to do. "No, I was just writing out big numbers and dividing them." Can't get mad at a kid for doing math by the dim light that comes from the hall. In order to help him know I wasn't angry I told him about the math stuff I used to think about as I was trying to fall asleep. (It also kind of reminded me of when, as a little girl I would climb in my closet and read with the door closed so I wouldn't disturb my sister.)

I don't think Mike's brain ever stops working. I can't wait to see what he does when he gets older.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fasting for Water

For a Faith in God requirement, Megan wrote this story about a principle of the gospel. She chose the principle of fasting.

Fasting for Water
by Megan Chantry

         There was a girl named Megan who lived in Utah. That winter they didn't get very much snow. She got to play outside. It was fun not to wear a coat. In the winter she got to swing, play basketball, play baseball and other fun games.
         People got worried because there was not much water for the summer. We need water to grow plants, to wash, to drink and to take care of animals. The stake president asked everyone to fast for water. Megan chose to fast for water.
          She fasted for water and her family did too. It rained that very day. Then the next day it snowed. And the next day it rained again. It was a lot of rain. Megan learned that Heavenly Father and Jesus will listen to our fast and will give us what we need. 

She read this story for us for Family Home Evening last night. It reminded me of the Sunday night that we had fasted. It was after dinner and the kids were getting ready for bed. Megan ran downstairs and said, "Fasting for water really did help!" What a wonderful lesson to learn.

This is a picture taken the day after our fast. Every snowflake and every raindrop, whether in the mountains or valleys was an answer to fasting and prayer. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gratitude for Family

December was a really special month for us. With the holidays and related visits we always have the chance to see lots of family, but this year was particularly exciting because within a two week period the kids were able to see all four of their grandparents, and all of their great grandparents.

Grandma and Grandpa Call were here in mid-December for a fun visit. We love spending time with them and are grateful that despite the distance between our homes we are so blessed to see them frequently.

We have been very lucky to live near great grandma and grandpa Call from the time we were married. The kids have grown up visiting them often and getting to know them well. It is truly remarkable that the kids have not only met so many of their great grandparents, but that they have a chance to really know them. 

Great Grandma Houghton joined us for Christmas Eve dinner and a little program afterwards. We have lots of memories of Grandma Houghton too because we have also lived near her since we were married. 

Despite the fact that Great Grandpa Chantry lives in Ogden, it has been a while since we have seen him, longer than we want to really admit. We were so grateful that he joined us at Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas celebrations. We were so happy to see him!

We see Grandpa and Grandma Chantry a lot, but we don't always take the time to get a picture. We took this one the day after Christmas while we were at their house.

The main purpose of our California trip the week after Christmas was to see Great Grandma DuVall. It has been over three years since we have seen her and we wanted to see her again. Last time we saw her on our way to a wedding, so it was only for a short time. This time we were able to see her some each day for three days in a row. 

We are so grateful for our family. We love to share and hear memories. We love the chance to remember the wonderful people who have come before us. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


We finished the Book of Mormon as a family in late November. We did it in about ten months this year. It was fantastic! We have had some great discussions as we have read this time through.

We decided to read from the Pearl of Great Price until the end of the year before we start the Book of Mormon again. We read about the creation. Megan stopped us at one point and said, "How could Jesus be born on the earth if he was the one that created it?" We simply reminded her that He was a spirit when the earth was created. She said, "Oooooooh, that answers a question I have had for a long time."

As we read about Adam and Eve partaking of the fruit and the Fall, Nathan stopped the reading and said, "I think it is so interesting how Satan was trying to ruin God's plan, but he couldn't. He was actually helping the Plan move forward." Yep, nothing will frustrate God's plan for his children.

We were listening to Christmas music. Michael said, "Halloween music doesn't really make you feel very excited for Halloween, but Christmas music sure makes you feel excited." We got to talk about how any good music that talks about true things helps us feel the spirit. Of course, the songs that celebrate Christ and his birth will bring the Spirit, but I love how even Christmas songs that are less religious, yet sing about love and joy and goodness can touch our hearts too. We must never forget the true meaning of Christmas, and any good music can help us remember!

At tithing settlement our Bishop thanked our kids who had not only paid tithing, but had given to fast offerings and other donations. Nathan commented that he didn't give much, and with tears in his eyes Bishop talked about the widow's mites. We talked more about that story of sacrificing everything. We talked about the story of the rich young man who wasn't willing to sell his possessions and follow the Lord. We talked about Job who was faithful though everything he had was taken from him. In January as the kids were preparing their tithing slips they each added some to fast offering. While the amount doesn't matter, I was particularly touched by Liz's generosity. Without second thought she gave substantially from her gifts from Christmas to donate to those in need. When I was helping Megan I asked if she wanted to give something. We talked about how fast offerings help people in our neighborhood who may not have enough to eat. She simply took much of her own money and handed it too me. My heart was so full. I felt at that moment that I need to remember to be like little children.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A lesson from the Christmas story

Isaiah writes of Christ's Birth from

I was invited to speak as part of the Christmas program at church. I was given the first paragraph to read, then was invited to share a few thoughts about the topic. 

Isaiah spoke of the event more than 700 years earlier: Isaiah 7:14. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Mosiah 3:8. King Benjamin prophesied, “He shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”

From the very beginning, Heavenly Father promised to send His son. And from the beginning prophets have taught us that the Savior would come. Not only was his birth foretold, but also much of what he would do during his life. Prophets taught that he would go about doing good, healing the sick and afflicted and even raising the dead. Prophets taught that he would suffer for our sins and pains and that he would die, and rise again. And through prophets we know that all of these things, from Christ's birth to his resurrection did in fact occur.

For me, the Christmas story is a reminder of a Loving Father who fulfills his promises perfectly. He promised to send his Beloved Son, and he did. Heavenly Father promises us that Christ will come again, and we can know with a certainty that He will.

I also think of promises the Lord has given that are more personal. I think of promises we receive in the temple, and promises we hear in priesthood and patriarchal blessings. These promises may be fulfilled in a different time or way than we expect, but if we are faithful they will all be fulfilled. 

I shared the experience of Liz's birth. I told about how early on in my hospital stay I was given a Priesthood blessing, and in that blessing the Lord promised that I would hold my baby in my arms. I told of how this blessing gave me incredible peace at a time that could have been really scary, and I told how after I had sufficiently recovered from her delivery, I was wheeled to Liz's bedside. I could barely lift my arms, but with them resting on a pillow the nurse placed Liz on top of my arms, and the Lord's promise had been fulfilled. 

I was so grateful for the opportunity to speak on this special Christmas Sunday. When the invitation was extended to me, the Spirit touched my heart and tears filled my eyes. I knew that this invitation was coming from my Heavenly Father. At that time I was also led right away to what I should say. I am grateful for this opportunity and the lesson I learned from the Christmas story.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Something I am grateful for . . .

In Nature
  Dad and Girls: Animals (Megan)
  Mom and Boys: Delicate Arch

that makes a beautiful sound
  Dad and Girls: Flute (Liz)
  Mom and Boys: Violin (Nathan)

that tastes good
  Dad and Girls: Chocolate milk
  Mom and Boys: bacon

that smells amazing
  Dad and Girls: vanilla
  Mom and Boys: cinnamon

That has been hard for me
  Megan: goalball ("It is fun, but sometimes it hurts.")
  Michael: allergies ("I have learned things because of them.")
  Nathan: Jumping off the diving board for the first time ("I was so scared to jump off hte diving board for the first time, but once I did I had so much fun in the pool.")
  Liz: goalball and school
  Mom: vision ("As hard as it is sometimes, we have received many blessings; a closer family and we have been blessed by the service of others." The best part of sharing this though was when Liz said, "I didn't even think of that." This is just another example of how she faces challenges with optimism and joy. Something that is a definite challenge doesn't feel hard to her because of her attitude towards it.)
  Dad: callings ("They can be hard, but they help us learn and give us the opportunity to serve.")

that I would like to share with others
  Dad and Girls: The Gospel
  Mom and Boys: The Gospel

that is older than me
  Dad and Girls: Parents (Family for Megan because she is the youngest)
  Mom and Boys: parents

that I recently discovered or learned
  Dad and Girls: math (Liz learned to make cool designs based on math principles)
  Mom and Boys: math (Nathan learned things that he can easily apply to his every day life), American History (Mike loves what he is learning about the founding of our country.

that shows a vibrant color
  Dad and Girls: the sky, the sunset
  Mom and Boys: Christmas lights

that has words on it
  Dad and Girls: scriptures
  Mom and Boys: books, scriptures

that makes me feel strong
  Dad and Girls: Adrenaline
  Mom and Boys: The Holy Ghost (what a powerful response from Nathan.)

that makes me laugh
  Dad and Girls: Dad
  Mom and Boys: Dad (all kids, in both groups, said this without hesitation)

that makes me cry
  Dad and Girls: Our Savior (Megan says that she cries when she thinks about Jesus dying on the cross for us.)
  Mom and Boys: hymns

that represents my country or culture
  Dad and Girls: flag
  Mom and Boys: "Old Glory" (Mike wanted to make sure it was in quotation marks.)

that is someone I love
  Dad and Girls: grandparents
  Mom and Boys: Jesus Christ

It was a wonderful opportunity to take time to think about what we are grateful for. I love how the list include the big, important things, and it also included the little everyday things that bring us joy. It was special to have some insight into the kids thoughts too.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Lesson Learned

I wrote several months ago about a significant experience relating to Michael's peanut and tree nut allergies. This experience taught me a lot of lessons. I still consider it mostly my fault, but I was so grateful to see some of te good fruits that have come out of this experience.

On Friday Michael had an event at school. Afterwards cookies were served. He came home and told us, "I didn't have any cookies because I saw they were the kind with macadamia nuts, and I didn't wan tot do that again." He went on to tell us that a friend told him about normal chocolate chips cookies and how his friend said he would get one for Michael. Michael told us that he told his friend that he didn't want one because they had been on the table with the nut cookies. It was wonderful to watch him be confident in his decision, and seeing how well he handled it without feeling left out or liked he missed out.

But the best part was knowing that he, with no mom or dad there, made a good decision for himself.

I have talked about trials before, and specifically how, as a mom, I wish I could remove some of the challenges that my kids face. But sometimes I realize that I am grateful for trials, because of the lessons they teach. And even more amazing than watching lessons be learned in myself is watching my children learn lessons for themselves.