Sunday, December 7, 2014

High in the mountains where the air is crisp and the water is very clear lived a family in large estate.  They had servants, large gardens, and a very large house.  This family had a little girl and she did not like the large house.  She was the only child in the family.  Her Mom and Dad would leave the house for many days to attend parties or go on long trip but would not take her.  He would stay behind with the servants.  She was home schooled by a teacher who would visit and her Mom and Dad didn't give her any opportunities to meet other children.  She would spend her time reading great books, painting, and singing.  She would take long walks around the estate enjoying the large flower gardens the caretakers worked on.

One day she felt very lonely and took a walk through the gardens to try and feel better.  She came across a rose garden that had many different color roses.  She did something she had never done before.  She picked a flower.  She chose a beautiful pink rose and cut it from the bush.  She wanted to take it home hoping it would help her feel better.  She put the rose in a crystal vase with some water and settled down for a nap.  She sleep very deeply.  When she woke the rose was no longer in the vase.  The girl looked around and noticed a little girl sitting in her reading chair.  She was very pretty and pink cheeks. She was reading a book.  "Who are you", asked the girl in bed.  "I don't know" she replied.  She then asked, "What's your name?"  The girl in bed replied, "My name is Jani, what's yours?"  I don't know she replied.  Jani began to understand what happened.  She told the girl what she did with the rose.  The little girl began to giggle.  Jani suggested, "Why don;t we call you Rose."  The little girl scrunched her nose which made her cheeks even pinker.  The girl asked for other flower names.  Jani listed many of her favorite flowers from the garden.  "How about Liliac, Daisy, Hollyhocks, Poppies . . . Lilli."  "That's it", said the girl.  "I will be Lilli the Rose."

Jani and Lilli became great friends.  Jani was very happy to have a friend.  She has never had a friend to play with in her home.  Jani's Mom and Dad were gone for many days so the girls got a lot of time to play.  Lilli the Rose suggested they have a sleepover in a different part of the Estate.   Lilli the Rose told Jani about a smaller building that is on the boarder of the property.  It is were the gardeners stay when the eat lunch or take their naps.  Jani and Lilli the Rose gathered all the blankets, pillows, candy, popcorn, soda pop, and movies they could carry and made the long walk to the gardeners resting spot.  when they arrived they scattered all the ggodies and blankets and began to watch a movie.  A few minutes later they heard a door bell.  lilli the Rose went to find the door and she came back giggling.  Jani was focused on the movie and didn;t notice.  Soon the doorbell rang again.  Lilli the Rose went to the door and came back giggling again.  This time Jani heard her giggling and asked her what was so funny.  She said there was a Princess, a Scarecrow, and a Clown at the door.  Jani thought that was strange but then the doorbell rang again.  This time she went with Lilli the Rose and saw a large number of kids at the door.  they all yelled "Trick or Treat!!!"  Jani didn;t know what that meant so she asked.  The kids at the door explained Halloween to Jani  and Lilli the Rose.  It sounds like a lot of fun but Jani did not have any costume to where.  She had never thought about wearing a costume or dressing up.  Lilli the Rose had an idea.  "Why don;t we have a party right here in the Gardner Resting Spot."  What a great idea.  When anyone rang the doorbell they were invited in to attend a Halloween Party.  Jani was as happy as she has ever been.  She was able to make a lot of friends.  All of these kids lived in her town but she had never met any of them.  She was happy to finally have friends.  They played games, watch movies, told stories.  Jani was able to get all of their phone numbers so she could set up play dates. 

After the party was done Jani was exhausted.  She and Lilli the Rose curled up in the blankets and pillows they brought and they both slept.  When Jani woke up she could not find Lilli the Rose.  She looked all over the small building she was in.  She was was beginning to get worried and sat on a reading chair and noticed a small pink rose in a vase on a lamp table.  Jani began to be sad until she remembered all the good things taht Lilli the Rose taught her.  Lilli the Rose taught Jani how to have fun and how to make friends.  thanks to Lilli the Rose, Jani had many new friends.  She now has everything she has always wanted.  Jani took this pink rose and took it back to her rose garden.  The left the rose in the vase close to where she took the rose from.  The next day she went to the rose garden with her new friend, Mari, who she met at the party on Halloween.  She noticed that the Rose and the vase were no longer there but in there place was a large rose bush full of large pink roses.  These rose looked like a gold trim to them.  Jani then told Mari about her experience with Lilli the Rose.  Mari knew exactly what she was talking about.  Mari told Jani all about Rose Fairies.  Lilli the Rose was a Rose Fairy.  Rose Fairies make themselves available when someone is sad and need to be taught how to be happy again.  They have the ability to understand the greatest desires of those in their garden and find ways to teach them what they need to know at that time.  Jania nd Mari became good friends.  Jani talked her Mom and Dad into letting her go to school with her new friends so she would not be alone so much.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Yesterday was a very busy day.  It was a Sunday that did not feel like a day of rest.  Many meetings and little down time.  It was all good things but little rest.  Regular meetings, choir practice, Triathlon recap meeting, Girls Camp fireside.  I don't think it would have felt so long if the Primary class was not misbehaving.  They are good kids but if 2-3 of them have a bad day it carries to the rest of the class.  Tiffany is a good example.  he seems to never tire of meeting a good things of Sunday.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We had a very busy day today.  We started the day with football weigh ins for Hyrum.  He weighed above the max amount so he will have an "X" on his helmet.  He was hoping that if he didn't have the "X" that he might get to be a wide receiver.  I explained to him that he will likely not get off the line due to this being his first year.  Tiffany, Mari, and Eve went to the Fidelity 5K race they had before the start of the Summer BBQ.  Emma was at dance lessons.  We met up for the BBQ with Nate, Eliza, Kimberly, Rachael, and Sammie.  Mark was there too but he was busy assisting with the food.  After that we went to a swim party for Hyrum's football team.  It has been a challenge to get to know the parents on this team.  It seems like most of them are not LDS and they seem reluctant to reach beyond their tight nucleus of parents who have kids that have played football int he past.  I left the family at the party to help Carrie and Dean unload their belonging into storage.  They are looking for a new home.  They have moved from Idaho back to Utah but they have not found a place to live yet.  After that we gathered the family to go take family pictures in Herriman.  Emma's dance instructor Andrea came with us to snap the shots.  I then took the family to Cafe Rio for dinner.  I was too tired to think about fixing dinner.  It was a very tiring day.  we finished the day watching TV as a family.

We complete a Triathlon last weekend.  President Saunders asked the sport committee to create a sprint triathlon for the Stake.  We had three Stakes involved.  We thought we might get 30-40 people to show and we had around 240.  It went well and everybody seemed to have fun.  I was in charge of the run.  I made a bunch of signs to mark the run route.  There was a lot that went into the race.  Tiffany, Emma and Eve ran the race.  The race went from the South County swimming pool (swim 300 meters), along the Jordan River parkway and up 13th West (bike about 5 miles) and the run from the church by the city cemetery down Lover's Lane and back (about 2 miles).  Now on to volleyball and and soon basketball.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Eve had a great end of year party a few weeks ago.  She had her friends over for a food fight.  we laid painters tarps on the grass to try and keep the mess on something we could clean up.  I made a slip and slide for the kids using PVC pipe.  They were talking around the fire pit and watching a movie when a group of boys (Chandlers) gave with masks on (nylons over their heads) and sprayed silly string ont he girls.  the girls did not react the way the boys thought they would.  Rather than scream and run they chased after the boys.  Eve made it back to their truck and went on a ride with them.  Once the girls came back they wanted to get revenge so we planned to attack them with water.  We filled water balloons and put them in a tote.  When the girls got impatient they started to cut up some over ripe bananas we had purchased.  I asked James to get the boys outside.  He pulled his truck out so the boys would play basketball in the driveway.  It was really dark which allowed the girls to ninja up close and drill the boys with water.  the boys all ran.  when we got back tot he house we and expected the girls to all be there.  Nobody was at our house and the parents started to arrive to collect their kids.  He had to chat with them a bit until the girls came back.  Eve said it was awesome.

I just was promoted to a Senior Account Executive.  It is a 20K raise for doing the same work I'm already doing.  I had considered trying for a different role.  It would all be for less money but something different.  I decided to stick around for a while before I try to move on.  So far it feels right.  I'm having a good quarter so that makes a difference.  I hope it is a good thing for a while.

Tiffany and the kids are considering moving.  I'm not sure anything will come of it but it has been interesting to consider.  We like where we are we just would like a little more room.  A newer place would be nice too.  We will see.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Post made on Granddaddy Lincoln's Family search profile.

Towards the end of his life, Grandfather Lincoln was ill and had started to use a walker to assist him in getting around.  This was a challenge for me to see because I always thought of my grandfather as being invincible.  He had always been a hard worker.  We have always been told how grandfather worked hard to build the church in Moultrie.  He would proselyte door to door after work to try and assist the missionaries in building the branch.  He held many callings in the church that required travel and long hours.  I’m sure his limited mobility was a frustration to him.  

About a year before grandfather passed Tiffany and I visited Moultrie to spend some time with our grandparents.  Emma was less than 2 years old.  Tiffany went to the door to greet Grandmother Mildred and to show Emma off.  I stayed behind to gather our luggage.  When I got to the door Grandfather was trying to get to the door as quickly as he could.  Before I could give him a hug he asked if I would be willing to assist him in his home teaching the next day.

We started very early and left in his car.  He did not want me to drive our rental.  We visited around a dozen homes that day and it took almost all day to complete the visits.  Most of these locations were in very humble areas.  It didn’t take long before I began to recognize that his car was known in these areas.  Once we parked, many children would run over to say hi.  Most of these children were not members of the church but knew him from the many visits he has made.  He was greeted at the door with an immense love and respect.  These families welcomed him in with reverence.   Grandfather told me most of these families do not go to church often.  Many had not been for over 10 years.  I wondered if he was assigned to all these families or if he had an interest in providing them a message.  Grandfather told me that when his health started to fail he would ask these families to come and visit him so he could share the home teaching message.  Not all would come but some would.  

This has always been a great example for me in my priesthood responsibilities.  When I think I might be struggling I think about my elderly, ill grandfather who had lived a life of service in building the church and towards the end of his life was concerned about completing his home teaching.  He is a perfect example of “enduring to the end until you are safely dead”.  We were told when we were young that we need to be better than those who have come before us.  Granddaddy Lincoln set the bar very high.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

“how do you hope the young women your son is around influences him?”
I hope that any young women that are around my son understand the power they possess as women.  As Daughters of God they inherently have the ability to influence young men for good or evil.  In the history of the world there have been many example of this influence.  From Cleopatra to Helen of Troy there have been many wars fought and thousands of men died because a girl smiled at a boy.  It is not fair to expect the girls to be responsible of all wrong doing of men.  Young Men are required to respect themselves enough do what they know to be right.  It is much easier to do what is right with encouragement from a girl.  I would hope that the young women would encourage my son to be worthy of his inheritance as a Son of God.  If a young woman dresses modestly it will be easier for my son to respect them for who they are and not their clothes.  If a young woman is positive about life this will not only influence my son but all around them to be happy and positive about life.  I would hope a young woman would point out the times when son is doing what is right as this will help remind him that he is being watched and recognized is doing what he should.  Many young men have gone on missions because a girl said she wanted to marry a return missionary. Bottom line is if a young woman tells a young man he looks good in blue, guess what that young man’s favorite color just became?  If she comments on his shirt, guess what just became his favorite shirt?  You wield a tremendous influence on the young men.  Please use this influence for good.  

“how can the young women impact your son’s Priesthood now and in the future?”
You will one day be a wife and a mother and young men will one day become husbands and fathers.  Together you will be responsible for keeping the momentum of the gospel moving forward.  In order to do this you must respect one another, your role in the Gospel, and the Priesthood.  You are currently in “training” to become the woman you need to be to make this happen.  You will have many opportunities to assist the young men in honoring their priesthood now and in your future family.  In order to do this you must be strong.  You must be strong spiritually and emotionally.  You must not listen to the world as it attempts to evaluate you on things that do not matter to your Heavenly Father.  As you become strong you will become focused on doing what is right, building your testimony, and becoming closer to your Heavenly Father.  Currently you can assist the young men in honoring their Priesthood by keeping yourself worthy and helping them stay worthy.  This is can be done by following the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  You can help honor the Priesthood that will bless your future family by becoming strong and independent of inaccurate evaluations the world, magazines and all media will try to convince you are real.  As you do this you will be ready for the challenges you will face in life and be prepared to rise up a a Queen for your future family.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Region basketball is over.  I remember why I struggle with Region ball.  I saw one of the worst broken noses I have ever seen while working the table.  The next season we have is dodgeball.  The Stake Presidency has decided we need to have a Tri Stake Triathlon.  The Draper region has been running a triathlon sprint for a few years.  They have asked the Stake Sports committee to assist with the event.  I have been given the Run.  The Swim and Bike are assigned to others.  This feels like the Stake Harvest Fair again.  Something I don't have any interest in but being in charge of a significant part of it.  I'm trying to have a good attitude about it.  I have a lot going on right now so it is hard to focus on it.  I need to find a path in 2 weeks for our next meeting.  We just finished up the Men's Basketball.  The womans Region begins this week and i will likely be asked to assist in part of it.  We have Dodgeball.  i just had a Primary Breakfast party.  We are resigning our garden and need to get it in before we can plant.  We will also be redesigning our firepit.  I'm trying to break up the concrete around our basketball hoops so we can put in new hoops in a few months.  We are in desperate need of a new refrigerator and oven.  Work is going well but I have some new opportunities that are coming available.  I need to decide if I want to go after them.  They are all less money and unknown skill set.  I'm concerned about moving into an area and making less money and not being good at what i do.   One top of all that I'm going bald and my teeth feel like they are getting more crooked every day.  ha. it is not that bad but I do have a lot on my mind.  We had a great Stake Conference today.  It has helped to put things into perceptive.  We had a great meeting today and I took a 2 hour nap.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yesterday was a busy day.  I got a lot done.  I think it helped that Tiffany was not around.  she was at Youth conference and a Relief Society Breakfast.  When she is around I want to play but when she is gone I just keep working.  It was good to get some items checked off my to do list.  I replaced an outside light fixture, fixed a leak in the bathroom sink, worked on some pictures for scrap booking, helped Mom and Dad with their finances, and started preparing for Missionary Month.  I get to give a presentation as a return missionary this year.  Mari is not feeling well.  Hyrum looks like he is catching whatever she has.  I tried to take them to Subway for dinner but MAri barely ate anything.

Today we went to Rocky's blessing.  Nate did a great job.  They fixed up their home nice.  I was really run down when they first moved in but they have worked hard to get the place as good as it is.    Tiffany stayed home with Mari and Hyrum while I went to the blessing with eve and Emma.  they made good friends with one of Eliza's nieces.  She seems like a nice girl.  Dad chatted up one of Eliza's brothers who lives in the Taylorsville North Stake.  Dad was able to catch up on news of old friends.  Most of which have passed away.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Very Berry Barlow farm and the Squirrel Riders

There was a family who owned a beautiful piece of land.  They decided that they would be farmers.  They grew many fruits and vegetables for the surrounding area.  The youngest child in the family was named Mari and she focused all of her time on growing berries.  She loved berries and with the help of her mother she became one of the best berry growers ever.  She especially liked to grow strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  She loved it when her mother would take these berries and make a smoothie or cover the berries in yogurt. 

They had a lot of success growing berries until the rains stopped coming.  When the rain stopped all there berry bushes stopped growing new berries.  Mari was very worried.  She did not know where she would get the berries she needed.  Many people are expecting to buy berries from Mari.  She did what her Dad taught her and she started to pray.  She had a feeling that she needed to go on a hike with her family.  So she talked to her Mom and they packed up the picnic basket and blanket and most of the family when on a hike into the mountains that bordered the farm.  Hyrum had to stay and finish his work.  Mari decided that he needed to come to.  So we all waited until Hyrum finished his work.

The hike was super fun and really long.  They kept hiking and hiking until it got really hot.  They decided they should stop for lunch.  It was then that Dad got really still.  Mari asked what was wrong and Dad told her to be very quiet.  He started looking around and decided that they could keep looking for a place to stop for a picnic.  It was not long before Dad frozen in his steps.  He told everyone to stop and be very quiet.  Mari looked around and saw that they were surrounded by hundreds of squirrels.  There were squirrels in the trees and all over the ground.  When Mari looked closely she saw that they were not just squirrels but squirrels with little people on their backs.  One of them asked what they were doing.  Mari told them we were looking for a place to eat.  Mari's Dad told her to stop talking and to be still.  Mari tried to be still like her Dad told her.  The same little man asked Mari's Dad why they had come but Mari's dad did not say anything.  the little man asked and again and Mari's Dad still did not say anything or move.  the little man started to get upset.  Mari told her dad to say something to the little man but he looked too worrid to say anything.  Mari realized that Mari's Dad did not hear the little man. He wasn't even moving his lips.  Mari heard the words in her mind.  the little man was speaking to her mind.  The little man again asked what they were doing.  Mari said they were looking for a place to eat lunch.  The little man introduced himself as Binlock King of the Squirrel Riders.  He told Mari to follow them.  all the squirrels started to move away in the same direction.  Mari's Dad looked confused.  Mari said to follow her.

They walked until they came to a large meadow with a large lake and waterfall.  It was the most peaceful and beautiful area Mari had ever seen.  They all sat down had a great lunch.  The squirrel riders did tricks and played games for Mari's family to see.  When they were done Binlock spoke to Mari again.  he said they he could tell the family had a big problem they are trying to  figure out.  Mari told them about their farm and the great things they would grow.  Binlcok was very impressed.  he loved all the things the Very Berry Barlow Farm grew.  He shared with them a secret that they use to get rain.  He had 4 squirrel riders create a bundle of herbs and flowers and tied them together with some long grass in the meadow.  He told Mari to she needed to have the family bury the bundles in the 4 far corners of their farm, gather the family in the middle, and sing their favorite garden/farm song.  The bundles where beautiful.  They were so beautiful that Mari's Mom did not want to bury them but decorate the home with them.  Binlock knew that would happen so he had his riders make larger bundles that are meant for decorating.

When they returned home they choose the place to bury the bundles and gathered in the middle of the farm.  They then tried to decide what they should sing.  As they discussed this the wind began to blow.  They stopped to listen and their was a faint melody that carried among the trees on the far bonderies of the farm.  Mari began to sang along with the melody, "The Prophet said to plant a garden, so that's what we'll do . . ."  The rest of family joined in.  When they were done they all had dinner and went to bed.

The next morning MAri was woken by a loud BOOM.  She was scared.  She rain downstairs and saw her Dad sitting at the kitchen table.  He was looking outside.  Mari snuggled  up next to him as they watched the biggest rains storm they had ever seen.  Their was lightening and thunder and water everywhere.  The rains topped around dinner time.  They whole family went out to see the farm and they were amazed at what they saw.  Every plant and bush had berries.  not only did they get rain but they got rain that gave them berries on the same day.  They were very excited to start harvesting.  They had miore berries than they could eat or sell.  They decided to take some the Binlock and the squirrel rider.  Binlock was impressed by the size and quality of the berries.  They had a berry celebration.  They decided that they would come back every year and have a Berry Celebration to remember the time the Mari and the squirrel riders saved the Very Berry Barlow Farm.
I took Hyrum out to have "The Talk" on Friday.  Tiffany had the Beehives over for an activity to counter the Youth Conference happening for the older kids.  It seemed like a good opportunity to have a guys night.  He planned the whole night.  We went and got steaks at Texas Roadhouse.  We then went to Nickelcade and won as many tickets as we could.  We ran a few errands I needed to take care of for my Stake calling.  We talked at the Stake Center.  Discussed what it means to be a man, a priesthood holder, how to take care of girls.  He was impressed and a bit overwhelmed when we were done.  We went to Redbox to get the new Thor movie but they did not have it so we went to Walmart and bought it.  We went in the basement and watched the movie until the girls went home.  I enjoyed the chance to have this discussion.  I have always felt that ensuring he understands what is expected of him ans what it means to be a priesthood holder is one of my biggest responsibilities as his Father.  He is turning out to be a good kid. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I still don't have all the rosters I need for the Stake YM Basketball.  It has been very frustrating. I have made many requests and have found that this calling requires a lot of hand holding.  So far the games have gone well and nobody has been hurt.  I have started a facebook page for the Stake Sports which is helping to raise some awareness.

Primary has been challenging this year.  We have two boys that have significant behavioral problems.  Another boy that seems to have split personalities around Primary.  The girls are all wonderful.  The presidency is considering splitting the class to make it more manageable.  I have begged hem to give us time.  I think Nate Rigby and I can make it work. 

We went to a Jazz game today with the family.  We received tickets from Hyrum's Jr. Jazz.  We had enough tickets for the whole family to go.  We were early enough to get Jazz mugs that gave us $1 hot chocolate and Dunkin Donuts and a free donut.  Good times.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Started my new Stake calling today.  I'm the YM Stake Sports Director.  We sat through 7 hours of basketball this morning.  It is a fun calling but it takes a lot of time.  It is not hard watching a bunch of basketball games.  it is challenging trying to get the Ward Athletic Directors to care enough to complete the Ward rosters.  I have many calls to make to find out where the rosters are.  I also coached Hyrum's basketball game today.  I'm an assistant coach for his team and needed to step in to be the main yeller.  It was very frustrating.  I went from watching 12-18 year olds playing to 9 year olds.  It is hard to make the transition and not have big expectations for the 9 year basketball skills. 

I have a new Primary class.  I get to teach the 7 turning 8 year olds.  i always considered this class to be the best class to teach.  We have had a hard time releasing teachers from this class int he past.  we had one sister refuse the release.  she told us we got it wrong and refused to leave.  we had to involve the Stake Presidency.  I still teach with Nate Rigby.  He has been a great partner and has been very consistent.  Teaching Primary has been a fun calling.  we have some new challenges with this class.  Last year I taught kids that i coach soccer so it was very easy to teach them in Primary.  This year I have many of thier younger siblings.  I have two boys who have been problems for past teachers.  I'm hoping we can have success with them without having to try and break them.  Last sunday as a bit of a challenge.  I think we need to change our teaching options.  Thye responded very well to video not so good to questions and testing for understanding.

I took Tiffany on a date tonight.  We went to go the a movie, "Saving Mr. Banks".  It was about the making of the movie Mary Poppins.  It has changed how I see the movie.  I have always seen it as Mary saving the children but it is about Mary Poppins saving a family by helping the father recognize his true role.  Tiffany was sobbing at the end.  I wondered if it hit a little close to home.  She has had some challenges of having her parents unload their problems and challenges on her.  they call and complain about their situations and leave the conversation feeling better.  Tiffany tries to help them and internalizes their problems.  I try to help her to not do that but it is hard to hear those problems and not get bogged down a  bit by them.  Tiffany is extremely kind to her parents and takes some abuse because of it.