Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blessed are the Peacemakers

I was substituting Friday when another teacher came into my classroom. I knew who she was because I remembered substituting for her the month before. She didn't see me at first, so I made a point to say hello. She immediately recognized me and told me that the children she works with liked me as their substitute. I was pleased, but I also thought it was interesting when she said, "The children said you were . . . PEACEFUL." I could tell by the way she said it, that she thought peaceful was an interesting description for a substitute. I was a bit surprised too, it was in that classroom a little boy said I was abusing him. I'm grateful that the children felt peace in spite of that disturbing interaction.

"While those around us may not choose to taste the sweetness and peace of the fulness of the restored gospel for themselves, surely they will be blessed by seeing it in our lives and feeling the peace of the gospel in our presence. The message of peace will grow and expand through our example." - M. Russell Ballard, “The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom,” Ensign, May 2002, 87

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Last Pinewood Derby

Sam and Hugh at the final event.
It was a fun evening and the end of an era for our family. Sam raced his last pinewood derby car at pack meeting tonight. He was good at being the best of sports. He was sure his car was getting faster as the evening wore on. His theory is the graphite takes a while to circulate around the wheels. I told him he needs to remember that tip when his son participates in a pinewood derby.
The Magic Wolf

Children are one third of our population
and all of our future.
~Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981

Monday, April 20, 2009

Janna and Jake

Janna celebrated her birthday with the requested dinner of lasagna, tossed salad, and crusty bread. We also had cake and ice cream. Too bad the working mom didn't go the homemade route, I was even home today. I ended up serving store bought lasagna and cake in the interest of time, YUCK! In spite of the food downfall there were a few highlights, like the Peruvian hat Jake gave Janna. She's 17 years old today.

"...Happy Birthday Dear Janna..."
It's also our last meal with Jake before he leaves to see Cassie tonight. He's going to Disneyland tomorrow and then heading to Provo on Wednesday. We're glad he came to visit and stayed for Janna's birthday.
"Miss you."

"It was fun!"
“The great gift of family life
is to be intimately acquainted with people
you might never even introduce yourself to,
had life not done it for you."

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Jake, my nephew, my sister Beth's son, pulled in late last Sunday night. He's essentially homeless until April 25th, that's when his BYU housing becomes available. He decided to take the opportunity to come our way and spend some time with us and visit Grandma and Poppy.

We've been busy with everyday living and haven't spent a lot of time entertaining Jake. He blended right into our family routine. He just finished a semester in Peru and had some assignments to finish up. He's been puttering around the house trying to keep things in order for me, doing the dishes and such. I really appreciated it because I've been working, same with Hugh, and Janna has been gone with school and musical rehearsals. Becky and Sam have been sick all week, but they're on the mend. Anyway, I was grateful for his help during our busy week and he made a point to be particularly attentive to his grandparents.

One of the activities Jake participated in was a service project for the city of Lancaster. Members of the Church from all three stakes in the Antelope Valley joined together, Saturday, April 18th from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, picking up trash in the Amargosa Creek bed.

Getting ready to get to work.

Jake, Hugh, and Janna
in their Mormon Helping Hands vests.

Getting the job done.

"Service makes us strong in our faith and useful in His kingdom. Service gives us purpose and courage in life. It brings us closer to God and helps us refine our divine nature. It teaches us to love and understand our fellowmen, and it helps us forget about our personal desires, eliminating selfishness, pride, and ingratitude. It teaches us to think of the needs of others, which allows us to develop the virtues that the Savior possesses.

"Kindness, love, patience, understanding, and unity will increase as we serve, while intolerance, jealousy, envy, greed, and selfishness decrease or disappear. The more we give of ourselves, the more our capacity to serve, understand, and love will grow.

Carlos H. Amado,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Tommy worked for Steven's Construction before he went on his mission. Cindy, the secretary for Steven's, and her husband are both originally from Texas. They recently made a trip home, sadly for a funeral, but happily they rendezvoused with Tommy. Elder Blair and his companion, Elder Fiefia, were able to make arrangements to have lunch with our Lancaster friends. They met last Monday. We're so grateful to Cindy for sharing these pictures and giving us a firsthand report.

Chris & Cindy picked up Elders Blair and Fiefia for sushi. Afterwards, they came back to their apartment complex, took some pictures, read the scriptures, and shared testimonies.
They also sang - Elder Fiefia on the guitar and "what a voice!"

Cindy also said Tommy looked great. They got to hear about some of the experiences he has had serving as a missionary.

Tommy is loving Texas and doing well! We pray everyday for him, Elder Fiefia, Sister Kate Reynders, and all the missionaries every where. We pray for their safety. We pray they will serve valiantly, and we pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go forth throughout the world.

"And I saw another angel
fly in the midst of heaven,
having the everlasting gospel
to preach unto them
that dwell on the earth,
and to every nation, and kindred,
and tongue, and people"

Monday, April 13, 2009


This little girl makes me think of my Cassie as a child. She came to visit this weekend with her children. We went to the Ercek's Annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning. We decorated Easter eggs, cut hair, and watched movies.

We had our own Easter egg hunt Sunday morning. Hughie spoke at Church. Later we had our Easter dinner. We've talked and spent time together. Cassie left last night. I'd say we had a very busy and fulfilling Easter weekend. It was nice.

Janna with our visiting Cassie.

Janna holding Ammon with his new haircut.

Sammy with his three nephews,
on the hunt for Easter eggs and treasure.

Our Real Treasure

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Did I say "HATE"?

Subbing has been good, but this week really didn't start out very promising. It seems like I've been sick ever so long. Spring is that time of year when my allergies become so unbearable. At times I can hardly talk let alone sing. I use to just hunker down in my house and try and cope with my condition, but I'm employed now - exposed to the public. I take lots of medication trying to keep the weirdness at bay, but I still find myself overwhelmed by pollen.

I get discouraged when I'm like this. I woke up Monday morning and dragged myself out of bed to get ready for work. Later Hugh was sitting at our dining room table reading a magazine while eating breakfast. As I prepared to leave, I stood in front of him mournfully. I did not want to go to work. I took a big breath and let out a sigh. With my head bowed I quietly said, "I hate subbing." He looked up at me wide-eyed and said, "You don't have to do this, you know?" I shook my head. I did know. I told him that it wasn't that I "hated" subbing. I don't really hate anything (except . . . maybe split pea soup). It's just that when my sinuses get so hampered and I'm so miserable that it's hard to keep upbeat functioning through the daily rigors of a classroom let alone life. Ugh!

You're probably wondering why I'd even go to work feeling so terrible. What you don't know is that I am the Allergy Queen. I always have a sinus issue! The debate is - how bad am I today?

It was a second grade class I would be facing for the next two days. I already had them once the week before. I wasn't feeling good then either so I was by no means excited or motivated about the coming prospects of the week. Anyway, as my workday began I wasn't greeted by the usual school secretary, but one of the office clerks who was filling in. I introduced myself and told her what class I was taking for the day. She talked in a confident happy tone, as if she didn't need an introduction to me, "I know who you are," she said. "You're the Singing Sub." I was surprised at her declaration. I had never heard of such a thing. A smile came across my face as I thought and wondered about the accuracy of the statement. In conclusion I verbalized my agreement and said, "You know, I guess I am the 'Singing Sub'." I took my key and walked to class. Even though I had been trounced by an allergy barrage, becoming aware of my new designation lifted my burden. My countenance became a little brighter and my step a little lighter. What can I say, "I love substituting!"

"He who sings frightens away his ills."

Friday, April 3, 2009

ORANGE Promotion



Sam happily received his orange belt yesterday.
April 2, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I have a distant cousin working on his master's thesis. I say, distant, because he currently lives in New York; distant, because he's not my 1st cousin, but one of those 2nd type, removed or whatever, a kind of kiss'n cousin; and, distant, because I'm really just related to him by marriage.

Anyway, his current schooling endeavors are in publishing. He's doing a survey and could use your help with his research. If you fit the following parameters, click on the link below and take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey. He needs mothers who have children under the age of 14 to participate.


You may have tangible wealth untold:
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a Mother who read to me.

from "The Reading Mother"
by Strickland Gillilan