Sunday, February 24, 2008

dad's turn

I've been thinking about young Jackson this Sunday. In December, he gave a talk and told of the time they got locked out of their car at Mammoth, home of the ornamental lawn elk, and that he offered a prayer that his Dad would be able to get the key without breaking the window, and that Heavenly Father answered his prayer. Our Father in Heaven does answer prayers, and thereby our faith in Him is increased. These are not inconsequential matters. To learn something of the spirit world, the one we do not see, the one we came from, and to have contact with that world, makes a deeper impression on our minds and hearts than just about anything else can. The great seer, Joseph Smith, wrote, "Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject." And believe it, Joseph knew what he was talking about. Answered prayers, it seems to me, are a way of gazing into heaven. They are miracles, and not small ones. Thanks for teaching these sweet children to have faith. I hope I can have the faith of a child.

Barbara and I were in a temple session a few weeks back, and I started to get that familiar tickle in the throat and began coughing, and it wouldn't go away, and I figured I would have to leave. I offered a silent prayer that the cough might be taken from me so I could finish the session. It didn't stop, however, and I thought, well, that prayer wasn't answered. I started to leave, but I noticed the brother sitting next to me fidgeting around in his pocket. He pulled out a Hall's cough drop, nicely wrapped, honey-lemon, and handed it to me. I whispered a thank you, and it took care of my problem, and it tasted pretty good too.

A cynic might say that this was a happy coincidence, that the man who happened to sit next to me, happened to have a cough drop, and would have given it to me, prayer or no prayer. I'm one to believe however that the man carried a cough drop that day, and sat where he sat, because God knew that another man would need it, and would offer a prayer, and that simple prayer would need an answer, and the man with the cough would have a spiritual experience that day in the Temple, and, more importantly, a brother in the spirit world would have his endowment completed.

I remember losing my glasses at our reunion in Idaho, and my brother, Clark, suggesting that we pray, and when he finished the prayer, the glasses were found within minutes. Clark is a man of great faith, I hope you know, and he teaches me spiritual lessons. Over the years, I have had many such experiences. These are the kinds of things, seemingly small things, that stay with us, that build our faith.

Now on the lighter side. We were blessed to hear Bishop Edgeley of the Presiding Bishopric speak in our conference yesterday and today. He told of a man, a C.E.O. and a Stake President on the east coast, a very busy and important man, who consented to accompany his wife to a small town in Idaho to her 30th high school reunion. He was, after all, interested in seeing some of the folks she was friends with in school, especially one male friend of hers, an old boy friend. He was secretly delighted to discover that this fellow was bald and pudgy and had never left this small town where he now owned an ice cream parlor.

On the flight home, he asked his wife if she was happy that she had married a C.E.O. and Stake president, rather than the small-town, ice cream guy. She looked him in the eye, and said that he just didn't get it. If she had married that fellow, he would have, no doubt, turned out to be a C.E.O. and a Stake President, and that the guy sitting next to her on the plane would probably have not amounted to much. We all had a good laugh at this story, but we priesthood brethren in the audience knew there was truth in it.

So, ladies, thanks for making us all that we can be. We'd be lost without you, and likely wouldn't have become the fine fellows we are today. What do you say to that, Sisters? And by the way, if any of you, men or women or children, have had spiritual experiences you would like to share, I would like to read them.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. Love, Dad a.k.a. Grandpa.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Man alive, I thought we had a lot of snow the last time I posted pictures! A week ago we had 8 inches, then the middle of the week we had 10 inches, and then Sunday we had almost 20 inches! That's all in ONE WEEK! So here are a bunch more pictures.

Here's Dad, Sunday morning, starting once again to clear the front walk. By the way, they canceled Church! It snowed all day. We were really blessed---We had 3 different neighbors at 3 different times, clear off our driveway! So Dad only had a couple of inches to finish off this morning!

Sunday night I took this out the dining room window. It's a little blurry because it's a timed exposure, and I was holding the camera. But you can see the mounds of snow--everywhere. Dan's car has about 16 inches of snow on it.

This is our mailbox, looking at it from the street.

Front door--somewhere.

This is the sidewalk on the driveway side of the house. I put the sled up there to try to give you an idea of how high the snow really is.

Dad just cleared off Dan's car, and is snow-blowing it away. Look how deep it is where it's landing.

Here's the roof that we're worried about. Look how thick the ice is. We pray every day for the safety of our home.

The sun finally came out today!!!!

We weren't sure the mailman would deliver our mail today, but he did. Tomorrow, Dad will take the snow blower and try to get it dug out so the mailman can drive up to it, like we're suppose to do.

Dad's working on the front walk again!

My friend Karen's house. She's 2 blocks higher up the bench than we are, and she gets a few more inches every snowfall.

At the bottom of our driveway.

Can you believe this!!!!

I feel like I'm living at a ski resort or something! I've never seen so much snow in Utah. We're suppose to get some more snow on Wednesday, and then it's suppose to warm up to 40 on Friday and Saturday. Just so it doesn't melt too fast!

Come see us---and our snow!


Here's Dan's cute puppy. He really has been a lot of fun to have around. But then Dan has to do all the work, so that's been really nice!

Poor little puppy had to get neutered, and, without going into details, had to have 2 incisions. Here's the contraption he had to wear for 2 weeks!

At first, he would just stand there with his head down--it was so sad! But Dan got him another collar which was a little smaller, and clear blue plastic so he could see through it, and that worked much better.

However, the incision got infected, which required some extra care. We're glad he's better now! He got the collar off last Friday, and he came home and just ran and ran!

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Happy Birthday Isaac!
Happy Birthday Michael!
Happy Birthday Kati!
Happy Birthday Haleigh on Wednesday!
Happy Birthday Jackson on Saturday!

I love you all so much! Each on of you has added many wonderful things to my life, and my life is much richer because of you. You are always in my prayers, and always in my heart. With much, much love, Mom

dad's turn

I am enjoying your blogs, ladies, and Daniel and Spencer's as well, although I haven't figured out Spencer's stuff yet. I look at them every day, and in Kati's case, I listen to them every day. Those are some fine tunes, Kati dear. I enjoy finding out what's going on in your lives, I love the photos, and the creative art work, and learning more about those grandkiddies and those kids in far off Philadelphia. Somehow, I don't see a blog for Keri and Shane, hint, hint. And I'm thinking that we men, meaning me, and Michael and Matt and Shane and Isaac, ought to make maybe a weekly contribution. So that's a challenge for us.

So, to lead out, a few thoughts this week from your old Dad.
1. Please stop praying for snow. We seem to have plenty right now, and, by the way, thank heaven for the old snowblower. We have some three feet on the level and it's piled higher than my head in many places. We hope the roof holds and we hope for no sudden melts, unless it's ham and swiss.

2. We have all felt bad for Sara and Isaac, but we have all admired their courage and determination to have a child. It seems to me the principle of atonement is operative here, that is, we do all we can do, then the Savior of mankind steps in to make up the difference. It looks like they have done all they can do, so it will be interesting to see what happens now.

3. Matt and Kati, I feel your General Motors pain. I put two engines into a G.M. van out there in Madison, the first time by an outfit that installed an engine with two bad cylinders, then the outfit went broke and I was holding the bag. Very expensive, frustrating stuff. I hate to say it, but American made autos are trouble. Maybe they're getting better, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it, if I had a farm.

4. I have been reminded that it is scary business sometimes, this child-raising business. We pray that Aaron is alright, that these seizures will be temporary events, and that this sweet little boy will be A-O.K. Your Mom and I pray daily for all the grandkids, and for all of you, kids, too, just so you know.

5. I, like many of you, loved President Hinckley for his wit and wisdom and humility and kindness, and the entire Church will greatly miss him. I remember the night I saw him at L.D.S. Hospital where he was visiting his dying Marjorie, and the feeling that came into my soul, "There goes the man of God." He has served the Church and the Redeemer his entire life. Surely I ought to do the same, in whatever capacity I can. One day I shall part the veil and return home. I believe it would be best to be prepared for that day.

6. One more thought. This retirement deal is something I'm still sorting through. I have need to repent of some things, namely, my daily scripture study is not what it once was; I get to bed later than I should and so does your mother, shame on her, and I get up later than I should, shame on me, and I think I need more to do. Your Mom and Daniel and I do read the Book of Mormon pretty regularly, so that's good. I am writing, working on a book, with some 450 pages finished, and I do exercise fairly regularly, not that I like it much, and you'll find me in Church on Sunday, which I do like, and I pay my tithes and offerings, and I love my wife and family, and I do my home teaching, and I teach Gospel Doctrine, and I still go fishing . . . but still, I could do better. I could go fishing more often.

So that's a public confession. Anyway, I love you all. May our Father in Heaven smile down upon you and yours.