Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Return to Virtue" (Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President) Ensign May 2009

For my post this morning I choose to add a recent e-mail I wrote to Reebok. Should any of you decide you want to make a comment to Reebok, I have included the link. Hopefully none of you have viewed the commercial referred to below, but be forewarned, if you see Reebok pop up for an infomercial (sp?) you may want to quickly get rid of the sound as well as the picture!

To whom it may concern,
I am a runner, I have five children, all are married and all twelve of us (including my husband) are athletes. My daughter and her husband are triathlon participants. My son and daughter-in- law have been half-marathon runners, another son is a baseball coach at a university in Virginia, I could go on but hopefully you get the message that we buy a lot of athletic products in our family. The purpose of this e-mail is to tell you that I was highly offended by a commercial you ran on the internet during the video "Chuck" (Warner Brothers) It is nothing short of pornographic and I found myself terribly disappointed in Reebok. If this commercial continues to air, as well as any like it in the future, I will no longer be making Reebok purchases of any kind. I can assure you I will send this message on to any who will listen, especially my children, who have a high sense of regard for virtue as well. I urge you to find a more educated and respectful way to sell your product.
Sherrie Mann

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Once Young Boy, is Now a Man

While spending a most wonderful Thanksgiving with Logan, Becca (puppy Roxie), Cory, Melissa, girls; Katelund, Cloey and Hailey (via Melissa's tummy), I learned something about our son, Logan that touched me and spoke of a noble and righteous love. Melissa was asking Becca what Logan had said when he found out she had Multiple Sclerosis. Becca said the minute she heard she went on campus and found him. Understandably anxious, she pulled him out of the class he was in and after telling him, stated, "You know, I could end up in a wheel chair or end up handicapped, are you sure you want to still marry me? You don't have to you know." Logan answered without hesitation, He said: "I am not marrying you for this lifetime. I am marrying you for the eternities and you'll be perfect in the eternities". The quick "Oh," from Melissa was followed by "Isn't that the most tender and romantic thing you have ever heard?" A slight gasp escaped my lips and tears filled my eyes as I felt an overwhelming love and respect for the boy that I knew as my son and now the man I know as Becca's husband.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My little sister Julie, "she's so pretty!"

{Julie and I this last October in NYC. She wanted to pretend like we were homeless.}

Members of our family know exactly what the word "bowtanny" means. But in order to enlighten those that may not understand this bit of verbology (words not found in the dictionary but should be, including verbology), I will explain. This is the very class my sister thought she was taking in college while striving to get her masters degree in social work. She was in the book store hunting down the assigned book for the class. After spending more time than necessary she finally gave up and asked the clerk if they, in fact, even carried the book. Yes, it is as you might have guessed, Julie was looking for the curriculum for her Botany class. But wait, my adorable little sister only gets better with age. Not to be out done by herself, Julie has added one more to what I call her "very strawberry blonde moments". While I was having a conversation with her, she told me with disgust dripping from her tone, "Do you know that I need to go home and take care of a hundred frozen cookie dough buckets? I went to pick up the orders only to find that they come in buckets as frozen cookie dough! ". I bit back my initial response to say, "Well yes honey, what part of the word dough did you not understand but instead asked, "Well Honey just how do think the frozen cookie dough should come?" "Oh, I don't know", she stated, still a little irritated, "I thought they were coming as cookies, not DOUGH!" Julie is proof that you may be able to take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can't take the blonde out of the girl! Life with Julie is just plain fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Appropriate Companionship of Wisdom and Power

In research for a talk I was giving I came across this quote. I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with others:

In 1866, when the Relief Society was reorganized, Eliza [R. Snow] was set apart as president over the entire sisterhood of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-dat Saints]. She received many letters from officers in ward Relief Societies, asking about their duties and responsibilities. In 1869, in answer to such a letter, she wrote these words to Mary Lightener:

“Tell the sisters to go forth and discharge their duties in humility and faithfulness and the Spirit of God will rest upon them, and they will be blest in their labors... (My Favorite part of the quote): ....Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise!!!” 1

Should you want to learn more about how incredible and inspiring Eliza R. Snow was/is, click on the 1 at the end of her quote.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Taught by my Little Ones

Though not so little any more they will always be my little ones and today I have been taught by them. As I spoke with my daughter Amber this afternoon she said "Mom I need to go, I think the children's mother is here". Though she is pregnant with two daughters of her own, (the youngest just turned one) Amber tended a set of 19 month old twins for the day in order that their pregnant Mommy could visit the doctor. Then, not but a few moments afterwards I was speaking with Melissa, (who also is expecting) and she said "Mom I need to go, the family we are having dinner with is here". In an effort to help a struggling family they had them over for dinner. It is one thing to serve others when you have an empty house but everyday I see young mothers, whose plates are already full yet find the inner strength to serve someone else. I am constantly humbled by their goodness. While being taught by others is vastly rewarding, there is something richly fulfilling for a mother to be taught by her children!

Alas, my tutorial was yet to be finished, as my daughter Stefani called, excited because she had aced a test! That in and of itself is wonderful but her continued explanation touched my heart. Stefani was concerned about her grade in this class as she had not done so well on the last test. When receiving her paper back for the test she took today she noticed that the aide who had graded it had given her credit for an answer she didn't deserve, as it was only half right. In the attitude and principle of integrity Stefani took the test back to point it out to her Professor. To give the professor credit (which was why Stefani told me this story in the first place), he gave her the point because of her honesty. Whether he had or not, is not my lesson learned here today. Her honesty will be measured far beyond her term grade and I am reminded that one act, one little point is not worth the honors of men. Our acts of righteousness honors God and in turn bespeaks of our desires towards our Eternal home.
I am so grateful for the lessons taught to me this day while glancing through the windows of my children's lives.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I love my son-in-law!

Still in mourning from the last BYU game (if we can even call it that), my son-in-law found a way to help bring a smile back to my face when considering this season's BYU football experience. He took me back to the moment when euphoria was high and expectations were the same. Thanks to Vaughn, I am reminded that in the midst of bad times we tend to forget the good times. If you are a BYU fan and need a lift from this past week's depressing loss, click on the link below and you will understand what I am talking about AND if you wait until the end of the video you will see one or two familiar faces...wait for us...wait for us...wait for us... honest you will see us, just wait for us. However, don't blink you may may miss us:)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My New Favorite Bumper Sticker...

It was on the back of a not- so-new passenger van;

"Don't let the car fool you, my treasure's in heaven".

Kind of puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dishwasher Heaven!

You may be asking there such a place? I can attest to you there is, and if you ever want to visit such a place you need only visit my kitchen!
Yesterday when my husband came home he ushered me into the bedroom... no, don't go there, I was left alone with my curiosity. I knew he was up to some birthday something. A moment later I could hear a noisy partial-disclosure of the act at hand, something was being rolled on the kitchen floor. My mind frantically began to wander, searching for anything that he might have bought me for my birthday. (Remember, it is not nice to consider me dense simply because you have figured it out, after all, I gave it away at the start of this post.) Oh no, could it be a bike? Certainly bikes have wheels...bikes can roll... in fact...just this morning I had told John I was going to use birthday money received to either fix my bike or purchase a new one. Suddenly I became worried...worried because I did not want to hurt my husband's sweet and thoughtful feelings let alone be ungrateful. However, to be honest I felt my bike purchase was going to take much research and consideration before signing on the proverbial line. Not like the Christmas when he got me two coats and I wished he would have done his homework, even if it took a little deceit to get a sense of my fashion taste, so as not to ruin the surprise. Personally I think it was a bit of impulse buying but .. back to dishwasher heaven. Much to my relief, as I considered the rolling noise it was way too heavy for a bicycle. Now I was worried he'd spent too much money. (I am really not that hard to please, I am just thinking prudent here.) As I rounded the corner into the kitchen I asked him if I was going to be mad? He just kind-of shrugged and smiled (he is so cute when he does that). To my utter joy and surprise he had purchased a new dishwasher. It is a beautiful stainless steel top of the line dishwasher. Believe me if a dishwasher can be considered sleek and lustrous, this is the one! And as I know you are all on the edges of your seats with this topic, I will post pictures tomorrow of what dishwasher heaven actually looks like. Until then... may the women of the today find accolades in knowing that we have something in common with a dishwasher. (Okay maybe the word accolades is a stretch) But after all, isn't it a nice thought to know we can be beautiful and useful at the same time?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

As for the wedding, the wedding, the wedding...

I cannot begin to express how absolutely wonderful it was, but I will try. To see my children serve one another was so amazing. I have said before and state it again: It took a whole family to marry Stef and Nate off. Stefani had five mother of the brides and it was awesome to share that role with her sisters. Each one played a specific role in helping get where she is today, not too mention, through out the whole wedding festivities. Her brothers (we have no -in laws in our family) were Amber's right and left hand, Cory, Sean, Vaughn and Logan, we could not have done without one of them! In case you didn't get the memo, Amber was the CEO and wedding planner of this huge event. I tried to come in and take over and instead almost got demoted. By whom you might ask? I would say by the self appointed wedding planner but that would simply not be fair. Amber stepped into the role of maid of honor like I have never seen anyone else do. She worked and planned in ways that I wouldn't have dreamed of. Stefani was living with her as this was all happening. It was a perfect place for Stefani to be, it was the right place. I cannot say thank you enough to both she and Vaughn. However the gratitude does not stop there, as I said it took a whole family (and lots of friends and extended family) to pull off what Logan deemed "the perfect wedding".

Stefani's face said it all as she rounded the corner into the celestial room and saw her whole family waiting for her. Though we can put a price on the reception, the temple we cannot, it is a lifetime of blessings and it is priceless.

...But enough of the wedding... the wedding.... the wedding..., Let the pictures speak for themselves.
If you want to see more go to the site below (the photographer's) you will have further view of our destination's end.
(you will need to scroll down to Nathan and Stefani)

"Destinations are Where we Begin Again..."

Many of my sweet and caring friends have asked me how I feel about having an official empty nest. The above words taken from Josh Groban's song 'Believe' have given me new understanding and purpose. For the most part I am happiest around my children and grandchildren (Having John beside me of course). I love them, they are my best friends. So to have them all married and away from me is difficult and yet fulfilling. Perhaps I should explain. All through their little-teenage-young adult life I prayed that they would one day find themselves within the sacred surroundings of the Lord's house, hand in hand with an eternal companion. To know that each of my children have received that blessing allows me to know that John and I have indeed reached a destination in our lives. It is a goal and dream that has reached its fruition and now, as I hear the words "trains move quickly to their journeys end" I testify it is true but...."destinations are where we begin again" Though my nest is empty, my dreams are not and it is time for new goals... new destinations.

It is time to add those same prayers for each of my grandchildren. (Actually I stated that the day I knew they were coming)
It is time to go back to school.
It is time to clean out the closets (ewwww)
Apparently it is time for a new calling for both John and I:).
It is time... well, for anything I deem worthy.
Seeing one dream come to such a beautiful end feels me with excitment to begin anew.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Way too far from the tree...

A query about the newlyweds led my father and I reminiscing about the old BYU days or rather his old BYU days. What I gleaned from our journey down memory lane was something that I felt deserved posting, if only for posterity sake.

With five daughters and one more on the way my parents started back to school, I say parents, though my father was the only one in full matriculation, make no mistake, it took two to get his graduate degree! However, for now I will share some of my fathers efforts of what it took to start and finish a BACHELORS AND MASTERS degree in five years being the father of (now) six girls. We lived in Payson, Utah and dad would drive everyday to BYU (via no freeway) a drive which took about an hour. Prior to college dad had been an iron worker so he took on welding jobs there at BYU to help get through school. When the last of the three, five story high-rise dorms had been completed his boss said okay were done, but with unshakable determination my father's quick response was, "Well, I am not" (done with school that was). His boss told him if he could get to the University of Utah (probably another 75 minutes north of BYU) then he would have a job for him. Because of union rules and the company not wanting to pay over time my dad devised a plan with his boss. He was to work 12 hour days on both Saturday and Sunday (driving to and from the University of Utah from Payson, not counting the drive each day to BYU) and his boss would work out the other details. So my father, in order to complete his master's degree took on the work. Mind you, back at home he still had cows to milk, gardens to weed, orchards to tend to (that was the only way my parents could put food on the table) and six daughters who claimed his attention, not too mention, his beautiful wife, my mother. (On a side note about the cows; my grandfather, told my father he could go and gather hay along the creek beds on his land to feed our milk cows). In order to get to his classes on time, my father would bring a change of clothing and change in a dusty old room. Utilizing every minute and every resource he had, dad completed his education.

I hear his words and all but hang my head in shame.... To think that I am trying to decide if signing up for a class on line will be too difficult! Boy, just how far did this apple fall from the tree?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Could It be Any More Different than the First Time, Really?

Stefani was 18 months old, Cory was 11 years old, with three other children in between the two of them. (In case you lost count that makes a total of five.) There were about 15 or so deacons and teachers running around my house. Literally. You see, scout camp started the next morning at 4:30 AM and John, who had been serving as the young men’s president, decided it would be better to wake up one household rather than 15. There wasn’t a quiet corner to be found, let alone room. So much so, that when President Pickering stopped by to speak with the newly called bishop (my husband) they had to go out to his car to discuss some much needed church business. I remember after a noisy goodbye, which probably woke up every surrounding neighbor (so much for the 'only wake up one household theory’. After all, have you ever been around a bunch of deacons getting ready to leave for scout camp? Well, if not I can tell you they are as giddy as girls, they just do it louder.) But I digress… After every door had been slammed (each about 20 times)and every enthusiastic scout had been strapped in, I dragged my ever so tired feet to the bedroom. It had been a long end to a very emotional day. As I finally laid my head down the clock read 4:45 AM. That was almost exactly 20 years ago and now, the comparison is shouting at me in silent realms. John has once again been called to be bishop (he is hoping the third time is the charm). I have been home from church, about an hour it almost 8:00 PM. The newly called bishop (my husband) is at a stake youth fireside. It is dark outside and the only sound to be heard in my home is that of my keyboard as I type. To add to the ambiance of my solitude, it is raining outside. Instead of a baby Stefani in my arms, a grown Stefani is in Hawaii on her honeymoon, in her husbands arms. My once then deacons are now 29 and thirty years old, in addition, a sister who is 27 and a brother 25. All are married, all live far away from us and now I look at the walls and dare them to talk, shout, say anything but they look at me in mocking silence and dare me to complain. Mind you, complaining I am not, just trying to decide which is better. Actually, there is no deciding. The household full of deacons and unattended children because I am busy trying to save the lamp or the flower vase that just got knocked over by the deacon who is running from the teacher, is the kind of silence that is golden. It is the kind of "silence" I prefer.

But alas, memories only speak so loud and for so long. It is still quiet…and I am still alone. Really, could it be any more different…Note to self: get on Skype, turn the volume up on the computer as loud as it will go and enjoy the sound of grandchildren. Life just keeps on giving doesn't it? Could it be any more better, really?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What more could a mother ask for?

In one short week from this morning John and I will stand with all of our children and their spouses in the holiest of places, the temple of the Lord. All of our grandchildren, will be waiting outside the temple doors (with the exception of our perfect Clairisa, whom I am certain will be with us in the sealing room), having parents who sacrificed much, so that their children could see first hand the expereince and promise of eternal families, our family! I have prayed for this day since the moment a tiny baby boy was laid in my arms nearly 31 years ago. As each new child came into my life the same sweet prayer was whispered in their behalf and has stayed a part of my thoughts and prayers ever since. Notwithstanding the beautiful daughter that has brought this culminating dream to fruition. Our Stefani.

I have been a witness to selfless charity throughout my stay here as I as watched Stefani and Amber work together. Amber's constant wish to have Stefni's dreams and desires met for this cuminating event has touched my heart and taught my spirit. She is every bit the sister anyone would want and need! I have seen them laugh together, I have seen them serve each other, I have seen them move on to the more important tasks at hand when communication or exhaustion may have caused a stressful moment (or two). I have listened to prayers that are too sacred to share as their love for each other has been expressed.

I give thanks to my Father in Heaven, an ever loving Savior and my children for allowing me to know the joy of having each of them walk in the ways of the Lord.

The love that each of our children have for one another is beyond my ability to express, the only thing that comes to mind are the words "by their fruits ye shall know them".
What more could a mother ask for?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Majestically Speaking

Yesterday as I went out for my morning run, I faced the mountians and stopped for a moment to take in the view. The morning air was cool and refreshing with a touch of cloud cover. As I looked up at the mountains that frame the Utah Valley I wondered if the word majestic was formed foremost to describe such a scene? Their magnificent beauty touched my soul, almost calling me back to my one time home. I savored the magicstic moment, or rather magestic. I pondered upon their creator and marveld anew at Him, surely as the creator of such a miracle, imagine His magnificence?!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty...Nice Kitty Kitty

Let me make a disclaimer right up front, I never actually saw the kitty, but since I tend to live in world of what if"s, I voice my concern.

Early morning exercise in Las Vegas can cause a lone woman to factor saftey issues in while planning her early morning workout. However, I did not factor in the latest scenario: Walking a bike home that you gave a flat tire to because of sheer ignornace (or stupidity, whichever you choose to think) while a tiger is on the loose. I don't even think pepper spray would render the cat harmless, but then who carries pepper spray?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lance Armstrong I am not!

Donned with Amber's helmet, gloves and biking shorts I climbed upon her bike and with a few minor instructions from Vaughn, set off for a morning workout. However, have any of you ever used clip-on pedals before? Hmm.... not so easy to get used to. At least for this biking guru. Actually, after a few trial stops and starts I felt I was doing pretty good. I still was a little uneasy but felt if I was careful I would be fine. I was having such a great time! In fact I set a new path in my mind, changing from the one Vaughn had instructed me on because I wanted to bike further. Stopping, starting, I was kind of getting a handle (or rather pedal) on it all.

Feeling confident I stepped onto the bike to cross a major intersection after the light change and got about two feet and fell. I just tipped right over because there wasn't anything I could do about it, my feet were locked in and I hadn't enough momentum to keep me going. Fortunately, they popped out (I don't know how?). I quickly jumped up and walked my bike across the rest of the street before the light changed back. Embarrassing??? Well, not as much as when I looked up to see waiting for me at the other side of the street was a policeman/car. lights and all to check on me! Yea, now THAT was embarrassing! As quickly as I could, I reassured him that no, I didn't need him to call someone to check me out and yes I was fine and thank you very much, yes those pedal clips are difficult to get used to. All too soon, I headed back to my challenge at hand; getting on the proverbial bike after the fall. Perhaps getting away from the kind policeman was just the motivation I needed.

I continued to do great until my return back, apparently that street corner became my nemesis because not long after crossing it I found myself making a split decision to either stay on the road or get up on the side walks. (Even as I type this I can almost hear the Lance Armstrong wannabe's groaning, but I can only plead ignorance because I didn't know my expensive borrowed bike was meant only for the road.) Anyway, my decision at hand came a second to late and I caught just a small piece of the curb but enough of it to find myself...well Amber's bike with a flat tire. Urgg... And I was having such a good time too! Now I had to face humility at its worst and call Amber and fess up I needed a ride home. I would have walked the remaining six or seven miles home (apparently I am that prideful) but I was worried that I would ruin Amber's clip-on shoes and or the rim of her wheel. So I hung my head and placed the call. She was so sweet and did not make me feel like the idiot I was. In fact she took most of the blame stating, she should have given me more instruction. Now, she and I both know that probably would not have helped given my inability to follow directions properly, but just the same it did help to bring balm to my wounded pride. Thanks to you Amber.
The good side of this? At least Lance Armstrong wasn't around to witness my humiliation of the sport.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Clairisa,

One year ago today, you came into our world and left footprints on our hearts and our lives have never been the same. Those words borrowed from some unknown author seem to define your very purpose on this earth. I wonder...Did you know all that your little life would change? Did you know that your existence on this earth would reach so many lives? Did you know that our family would strive harder to become all that God intended us to be because of you? Oh, the difference your tiny little life has made...

Today we celebrate your short yet perfect life. Perfect through Christ and because of this knowledge along with the promise of eternal families we can find joy in this day, rather than sorrow. If you were here I would whisper my love for you, whisper of my gratitude to your mother and father for making the choice to bring you to this earth. I would tell you of their love for you and all the sacrifices they made to bring you here. I would tell you of the many times your sisters speak of their desire for your return. I suspect these things you already know, but I would speak them just the same.

Today on your birthday, my birthday wish for you is that you will always know how much we love and miss you and that the promise, so beautifully spoken by Elder Richard G. Scott that "Sunday will come" is ever present in our minds when we think of you. However, until that day comes, for this Sunday, may it be enough that we had you for a moment.
All my love,
Grandma by the beach

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Promise of a Ladybug

Like the promise of the rainbow, the ladybug is symbolic to our family, one that reminds us of the eternal promises awaiting us. Anyone who is familiar with the loss of our granddaughter, Clairisa may know this already but for my sake, for posterity sake, I am writing this now. The ladybug has become our constant reminder of our angel Clairisa and the promises which await us after this life.

Cory in his inspired wisdom decided that he would surprise Melissa by preparing the nursery, while Melissa was in the hospital awaiting the birth of their daughter. He chose a ladybug theme and then went to great lengths to prepare the room late night after night but only after visiting Melissa in the hospital, so that she wouldn't guess. He called everyone in the family and invited those who wanted, to go online and participate in a long distance shower, so to speak, by purchasing any items that fit the theme. Melissa's sister Andrea and her mother threw a baby shower way down in Texas, all within the theme of the Ladybug. When Melissa came home without baby Clairisa her father gave she and Cory some sage advice, he told them to not turn the room into a shrine but to use it, play in it, make it a room that the family will enjoy and that is just what they did. They moved Katelund and Cloey over into 'the Ladybug room' and told them they were going to share this room with their sister. Melissa found some wall adhesives of ladybugs, they consisted of a Daddy, Mommy and three little ladybugs! I find great joy in this memory as I was grateful for the opportunity to be with her when she put them up. To this day if you ask the girls whose room it is they will tell you it is Katelund's, Cloey and Clairisa's, even pointing out the names of all the ladybugs on their wall...this is daddy, he is looking back to check on us, this is mommy, this is me and this is Cloey and our baby sister Clairisa, she is with Jesus. Thus began our ladybug miracle. You see each time we see a ladybug we are reminded of the eternal promise that we will one day be with our perfect little Clairisa. Hold her, laugh with her, grow into eternity with her, forever, if we but live worthy of those blessings.

A few months ago while John and I were out visiting Cory and Melissa we had plans to visit the graveside of Clairisa, we first stopped by the park to play and while Melissa and I were sitting on a bench, what flew and settled down between she and I, but one lone ladybug! While at the beach with Amber, Stefani and two of my beautiful granddaughters, Brooklynn and Callie Clairisa... who decides to make her presence known? That is right, one lone little ladybug somehow finds her way to the beach right where Brooklynn had been building a sandcastle. Coincidence, I think not. This past Sunday a sweet little girl climbed upon my lap and what was on her dress? That's right, ladybugs. I was so thankful for the opportunity I had to reflect upon Clairisa as the sacrament was passed. I whispered a grateful prayer for the promise of eternal life and the power of the resurrection.

A close friend of mine had a blanket made for Melissa and Cory with the thought of Clairisa's upcoming first birthday (this Sunday, July 26, 2009). It is covered in ladybugs, with Clairisa's name embroidered in the middle. Now Melissa wraps herself up in the warmth of the thoughtfulness and goodness of someone she has never met! This is an act filled with the miracle of the Love of God in all of us. I could go on but I will close with one more (but certain not to be the last) miracle. This Sunday on Clairisa's birthday, Stefani will speak in Sacrament meeting. Can you guess what topic the Bishop has asked her to speak on? Though unaware of the significance of the date, he asked her to speak on preparing for the temple and the blessings of eternal families. As Stefani is preparing to go to the temple this may seem the very reason for the topic (which I am sure is part of it) but given the date...coincidence? I know it is not.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Fishy Experience or Sushi Reversal?

Any way you look at it, it was Crazy!
With plans to visit the Patterson's over the fourth (long time family friends, soon to be in-laws:) Linda called me to ask how I felt about the three of us, Stefani, Linda and myself getting a "Dr. Fish's" pedicure while we were there. 
Though I must say I had my reservations, I found it to be an experience of a lifetime. Let me explain, and before you jump to the phone to make your reservations, plan for a trip to the DC area, as that is the only place in the United States you can get one.

Should you feel inclined to try it, I will walk you through the steps.
1. Sit down on a couch atop your personal fish tank.
2. Put your feet up on the top of the tank, while a warm cloth is laid over your legs/feet, then gently have them wiped down.
3. Timer is set for 20 minutes
4. Put your feet in the tank and hang on with all the self discipline you can muster while the fish swarm to your feet and begin what I would like to call a feeding frenzy!

As you can guess it was the most unusual pedicure ever known to this Mann:)
We giggled, we laughed. It tickled, it caused grimace at the mere thought of what they were doing, let alone the feeling! I grabbed onto Linda's arm when they seem to be extra hungry and going at it. We pursed our lips as if to help us gain greater self mastery over the desire to shake the fish away from their breakfast. I must confess I gave in a few times but not too worry, they found their way back as soon as my feet settled. To distract my thoughts I found myself gazing at the large pictures on the walls of infamous people who had given into curiosity themselves. There was Diane Sawyer, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Lee Gifford, Hota Kotb, I suppose one could say I was rubbing feet with the big fish.
A fisherman's dream indeed; a place where one can be assured the fish are always biting. 
Bon appetite!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coincidence? I think not.

This past Sunday President Mooring, our current Stake Patriarch (and our previous Stake President) spoke about the Prophet Joseph Smith.  As President Mooring closed his talk he bore testimony of the Lord’s hand in the work of the restoration and the life of our beloved Prophet Joseph. As he did so, he repeated over and over again the words, Coincidence? I think not. It was a powerful testimony and since then I have found these words fill my mind as I see the Lord’s hand in my life. As such was the case further on that day. I was conducting in relief society and had asked if any one had good news to share? Since no one had responded I shared my good news, that our Melissa was once again pregnant. The room was immediately filled with oohs and awes of joy and gratitude. It then quieted down and with perfect timing, little one year old Aaron McCormick, clapped his hands together and shouted yea! 
  ... even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; (3 Nephi 26:16)
Coincidence? I think not.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Wedding...The Wedding... The Wedding

This title comes from an experience John had with our oldest grandson, Kade. While he was visiting with us, (he was five at the time) Grandpa was trying to talk him into going to Walmart with him, which Kade wanted no part in. John had offered (well actually bribed) him a shopping spree with grandpa, still to no avail.  John then resorted to psychological tactics and said, well, pretty soon Amber will be here with baby Brooklynn and I'll bet she will go with me. To which Kade immediately responded with disgust, the baby..the baby..the baby. Perhaps we had spoken of the baby one too many times in his presence? 

Since then, in our family when we are sick of hearing about something or feel like one aspect in our lives is encroaching brilliant glare, without allowing us to see anything else, we respond the baby the baby the baby.
I suppose that anyone talking to me for longer than a period of oh say, 5 seconds, may want to respond in such a way. The wedding...the wedding...the wedding. 
My appologies to those who may relate to this comment.

August 15th is the wedding the wedding the wedding!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Better Than Yesterday.

Last night as John  and I closed the day with prayer, he prayed that tomorrow we would find ourselves better than we were today. I have reflected upon those words wondering if indeed, I am and if so how and why?

I believe I am. Why? Not because of anything I did but rather from being blessed by others faith and goodness. Yesterday Niki Decca (a counselor who serves with me in the Relief Society) and I went on what we call shepherding visits. We were trying to visit sisters we don't know whose names are on our records yet don't come to church. The last sister we went to see, (after the first two not being home), was an older woman whose faith has strengthened my own. She spoke about the Savior and her love for Him. Her humility was apparent from the moment we met her. She openly discussed her weakness of smoking and yet spoke from heart the Lord's Prayer and the Lord is my Shepherd (psalms 23). Before we left we asked if there was anything we could do for her. She didn't shake her head quickly like some usually do (myself included) but pondered for a moment, then said yes, there is something you can do for me. I always get these two prayers (the two afore mentioned) mixed up, can you tell me where they are found? Though I couldn't recite the reference from memory then, because of her, I can now. As we prepared to leave she asked if we would bless her. She then held out her hands and asked me to pray. So there in a circle, united in faith we prayed.

There have been times when I have been visiting someone and know I should ask if we could pray and felt a little hesitant to ask. Yet, here was this sweet sister, asking with assured faith, two sisters she had just met, to pray for her and with her. I left her home better than when I entered it. 

How I am or rather will be better than yesterday, depends on if my actions will reflect my newly strengthened faith.

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
   He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
   He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
      Yea, though I walk through valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The dawning of a new day!

Yes, it is true, a new day, a new blog, a new way to keep up with the ever changing "techy" world we live in. My children will be so proud. I welcome myself to the world of blogging!