Thursday, July 10, 2008

Moon Lit Beach

Driving around the island, alone, with out children, Corrine and Eric, enjoyed the peace, the quiet, the company and the views.

"OH how nice it is to not have kids screaming in the back of our van." Corrine commented to Eric as she peered back as if to check on sleeping children. But it was actually empty, a first in a long while. A good empty that is, children safe at home with a well trusted sitter.

The moon was full and lit the island as if it were noon day. When off to the right Eric noticed a small secluded beach set in a little cove. He pulled over.

"Is something wrong?" asked Corrine as he pulled into some sand and stopped the care.

"No, I thought we could go for a walk rather than hit the movies tonight." Eric answered her. They had been on the island long enough that sometimes the beauty around them had gone unnoticed. Especially when they were running to swim team or off to Hula lessons. Life had already become life rather than vacation.

"Oh it is rather beautiful isn't it?" The both removed their shoes, put them on their floor boards and headed toward the beach. "Honk" went their car as if wishing them well on their little walk, and giving them a little security that the car was locked for the time being.

Hand and hand they walked. Enjoying the moon dancing off the waves. Not much was said. Not much needed to be said. Times of awkward silence were now welcomed moments of peace.

"Do you remember when we were in Florida for Thanksgiving the first year we were married? Sleeping on the floor in your parents house behind the living room couch? Getting up early to sneak off to the beach to watch the sunrise and it was so cloudy we couldn't see it rise?" Eric broke the silence with his memory.

"Yes," Corrine replied with a grin, "I remember that well. Such a carefree time."

SP-A216 Moonlit Beach. Special Ready to ship Painting


Natalia opened the store early, unlocking the door with one hand while balancing a coffee in the other. For a lunch bistro they sure opened too early. It was just a little after nine, and though she was a few minutes late, she figured it would be alright. She could get things prepped for the 10:30 rush.

As she pulled down chairs, her thoughts raced to the night before, performing on stage. That is why she came to New York, to perform, not to set tables and shoe pigeons off of tables. But she had to do something to pay the bills.

She received a standing ovation. It was her first night, with her first lead role. One she had longed for since she was a young girl, performing for the neighbors as she and her child hood friends put on plays. The applause were still clapping in her head. Her cheeks hurt from still carrying her smile.

Her thoughts were brought back to the task at hand, as she dropped a set of silverware to the ground with a great big clank. Too which a set of applause and a "bravo" came from behind here. How long had Dan been standing there?

"Good Morning" Natalia replied as she bent down picked up the silverware and shoved it in her apron. "How are you doing, Dan?" she said to the six foot tall brunette, with the most stunning hazel eyes, and perfect straight nose. She had a slight crush on the 23 year old cook.

"Doing well but not as well as you it appears. The show went well?" he asked.

"Oh Dan it was wonderful. Just what I had always dreamed about. Sure made what I am doing here all worth it." she replied, as she continued to set the tables. She rearranged a few flowers in the vases, making them appear more freshly picked.

The aroma of tomatoes and basil filled the air, causing a growl to roar in her belly, reminding her she hadn't eaten anything unless you count the cream in the coffee. She snatched a roll, and quickly at it.

The chimes of the door let her know time to work.
Your Usual Table Poster by Malcolm Surridge


Slipping falling curving down,
lots of people all around.
Bitter cold, sun burnt nose,
ice is forming on my toes.

I don't like skiing
I tried to let him know.
But this man I can't let go.

Hurry faster, a little snow plow
I am not sure but I do know now,
I'd like to sit by a warm fire,
of this sport I sure do tire.

My feet sure hurt,
you'd think these shoes for their cost
would feel more like my summer galosh.

Watch out below,
I lost control,
crashing falling here I go.
Backcountry Poster by Valiere

Blindly Walking

Coni dressed in her wedding gown, holding onto a little lantern, eyes blindfolded, followed the sweet soft low voice of her new husband leading her through the forest.

"Oh Jared, where are you taking me. I have had this blind fold on for over an hour now. Can I please take it off? It is pitch black out anyway, not that I can see much. Please?"

"Just a few more steps, trust me. Just keep following me." He said as he held branches out of his bride's way.

"My dress is going to be filthy by the time we get to where ever it is we are going."

"Nothing a dry cleaner can't fix."

"Funny. Why didn't you insist on me changing my dress?"

"Because you look so beautiful and it isn't every day that you get to wear that dress and hike through the mountains." He said with a smirk.

"True, are we there yet dear?"

"Almost. Take three steps up. There you go. Careful." He encouraged her as she stepped up the stairs, holding the light with one hand and the other holding her dress, as she tried not to trip. She thought how great he was being so surprising and romantic but at this point she'd rather not break a leg or something. She got to the last step.

Jared opened the door to a beautiful victorian home, kind of out of place in the mountains. The decks wrapped around both levels, the paint was fresh and wait, and the sent of it proved it.

"Stop, please." he told his bride, as he swooped her up in his arms, and carried her over the threshold. He gave her a kiss, set her down and took off her blind fold.

With another kiss on the cheek, he whispered in her ear "welcome home, Mrs. Johnson. Welcome home!"

"What do you mean, you are kidding me, no really this is our home? How....but...Oh Jared, I love it."

"I love you too." He said and the two embraced.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Paper Clip

Frantically Jill pulled open each an every drawer, moving around papers and pens and pencils, trying so hard to find a paper clip. Her final paper was do, she was out of staples and had to find something to hold her report together. With five minutes until her class, she had no time to run to the book store. Why hadn't she cleaned out her desk last night? More importantly why did she wait until twenty minutes before class to print up her project? What was she thinking. She didn't like to be late.

Prompted by a quiet voice in her head, the one she usually ignored, she lifted up the unused organizer to find a paper clip stuck in the edge of the drawer. She quickly fastened her 50 page print out, grabbed her back pack and headed out the door. After the door slammed shut and locked on her, she realized she didn't have her car keys. Man, this day sucks she thought to her self.

With her running shoes on, she hoisted the back pack on and took off running. Huffing and puffing her whole way up the hill to school, she thought about how she should have picked an apartment closer. Noticing the filled parking spots, she thought it ended up being a good thing she was running. Making a mental note to do a few more minutes on the treadmill this week at a little faster pace to help her get to school on time.

The campus was fairly empty, meaning only one thing, classes had started. When the McKay Building was insight she took her pace from a run to a fast walk so to catch her breathe and wipe the sweat off her brow. Even though it was only 50 outside, the quick race to school left her pretty drenched.

She entered the building, ran up two flights of stairs, and into her classroom. "Please pass your papers to the left and then forward" said the professor.

Jill found her seat and reached down into her back pack to pull out her paper, that she had shoved in on her way out. As she pulled it out, the paper clip popped off, flying into the air and landing who knows where. All the while the papers fanned out and spread their way onto the floor. As fast as the papers fell, her cheeks reddened. She bent over to gather her papers, while doing so she passed gas. And we aren't talking the silent and deadly, we are talking the loud and proud. If the other students hadn't been staring at her already, they were now.

She kept her head down, slowing down her gathering process, to avoid eye contact and any further embarrassment. Under the seat in front of her, her paper clip rested. She tempted to reach and bend further, only to have the chair slip out from under her, landing her smack on the floor, head under the chair in front of her and feet stretched out behind her, surrounded by her papers.

At this point the professor stopped talking and all eyes were on her. She didn't know what else to do. Proudly she picked up the paper clip, organized the papers, attached the clip, stood and took a bow.

Look Up!

The whole town looked up in awe. Wendy Dow Asher teetered above as she did her job. Dogs barked and tried to warn the on lookers.

Ms. Fanny Noitall dressed in purple and her fanciest Sunday hat bewildered that it was happening, reached into her purple purse for her phone to call Ms. Nancy Tailtale to let her know what was going on. But Ms. Nancy Tailtale was standing there watching as well, from across the crowd.

Helicopters began to circle the area. The crowd grew larger and larger to see the spectacle fifty floors up.

Little Johnny and Jacob Myers dressed in matching yellow shirts and overalls, were playing by the statue when their attention to running around in circles was stopped by the "oh no's and oooohh dears..." of the crowd distracted them drawing theirs eyes upward.

Mayor Seymore Buns with his traditional Hawaiian Lei attempted to calm the crowd. "It is ok. Please remain calm." he said with arms up, patting the air, as if he were patting each and every back. While Officer Darrin Fort Ruble stood with his arms crossed paying more attention to up above rather than the crowd he was suppose to be controlling, the wind blew. The crowd 'eweed.'

"Oh don't" screeched Sally Sue Somebody, as she lifted her hands to cover her eyes. The wind blew stronger.

And then she did it. No one could believe it. Everyone held their breath as they watched. Windy wiped the windows and left a streak.

Sugar Bowl

Please dear come sit down with me and have some tea. Would you like a little sugar? aske Ms. Lucy Mack.

"no thank you." replied, Emma. "I prefer it plain. I know it is kind of bitter that way but I just don't like the sweet."

"To think a young gal as your self not crazy about sugar as are the other young kids of today." Ms. Mack commented, as she lifted her little tea cup to her mouth to take a sip. At that moment her young son Joseph came into the room with a hop skip and a jump. Wearing his white knickers and stripped shirt, all covered in dirt, it was obivious his baseball game was a successful one.

"Mom, mom, I got three home r....oh excuse me, I din't realize you had company." Joe said as he saw Emma Long sitting on the floral arm chair. There she sat with golden hair, all in perfect ringlets resting on her shoulder. She made eye contact with a nervous smile, as she then tilted her head down looking back down at her untouched tea in her hands. "How are you doing Emma?" the young handsome man asked.

"Very well thank you. I just stopped by to see if I could borrow some sugar for some cakes we are baking. Your mom was kind enough to invite me to sit down with her and have some tea."

"Well it is great to see you again." He said as he turned to his mother and as quickly as he came in he left the room as he said "I am going to wash up."


During our Christmas break this year my Husband and I had the distinct feeling that we needed to put our home on the market. Unsure as to the reason, we faithfully obeyed. We knew we were to sell our home, we didn’t know where we would be living afterwards. So we began the preparations of selling the home, repainting, carpet cleaning, cleaning out and staging. We thought the Lord was helping us and encouraging us to get closer to Eric’s work, save money on gas and get our children in to a better school. Well a week or so before we listed the house, Eric’s company approached him about coming to Hawaii for work. We felt the calm assurance that this is what Heavenly Father was preparing us for. It wasn’t the easiest of choices, leaving behind friends, family and most of our worldly treasures. But we knew that the Lord had begun to prepare the way for us, and that we’d have faith that He would make it all work out for us.

It has been a wonderful experience so far for us. We have enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the many out door activities we have been able to do. Coming from Texas we are enjoying the cooler weather as well.

As my family and I hiked Diamond head yesterday. I was quick to call out instructions to my kids, stay to the left, watch out for the other hikers, slow down, keep going, hold to the rail. I didn’t say that all because I am a bossy mom, well maybe I am but to protect my children from hurting themselves and others around them. I wanted them to be safe and to enjoy the hike. As well as a long the path there were signs, warnings to stay on the trails. My kids would ask “why can’t we go there, or why is there a fence there?” I would remind them that the safest place for us was on the path that had been set out before us to follow and stay on. There were hand rails to grab a hold of in case we lost our balance. And there were many others a long the path that were there giving us encouraging words as we were going up and there were others that appreciated our encouraging words as we were heading down.

Such is life. We have our Heavenly Father setting out rules, commandments, not because he wants us to be miserable, but for our own safety and happiness.

In Moses 1:39 we read: 39 For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.

He gives us guidelines and warning signs. As we hike through life, with its many ups and downs, Heavenly father gives us spiritual hand rails and spiritual warning signs to help us make it safely to our destination. But with all the warnings and commandments if we don’t obey we run the risk of falling off the path, either getting lost or hurt, or even worse.

“President Ezra Taft Benson has stated that “obedience is the first law of heaven.”
How do we show obedience?

I have been thinking a lot about obedience to the commandments of God. And came up with a few ideas of how we can be obedient or more importantly how we learn obedience:

1. From the scriptures the written laws
2. From the Holy Ghost
3. From others like our parents, leaders and friends.

Thinking back on our hike to Diamond head the first thing to which we show obedience to was the written guide, and the signs posted for all hikers to read.

Heavenly Father has given us written guidelines and signs, our scriptures, our ensigns. These written words have been given to us to guide us in our hike of life. As the guide book gives us directions, information and instruction so do the scriptures and words of the prophets. We have also been given a written law of basic commandments to which we are to obey.
From the scriptures, from the words of our modern prophets, we are warned, taught and reminded of how we should be living. We gain the knowledge through their words of how to be obedient. We learn what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and with our faith we follow those teachings and obey.

The wonderful thing about Heavenly Father is he knows us his children. He knows we all have different learning styles. We may gain the knowledge from the scriptures, and sometimes we read and re read and well we keep relearning, it is part of life. But Heavenly Father knows that. And for that reason he has given us The Holy Ghost to help us along the way to be obedient and make the right choices.

A few weeks ago we moved here from Texas , and a few days later, we went to the park. My son Gregory was playing on the monkey bars. I had been talking with friends and felt I should look for Greg. There he sat at another table with his head down. He wasn’t crying but my first impression was he was feeling a little lonely. I asked him what was the matter. To which he replied. “I fell and broke my arm.” Mind you he had just got a cast off his other arm. After talking with him, trying to really figure out if it was broken or not. He said to me “Mom I know it is broken.” And I asked, “are you sure?” To which he replied, “yes because Mom I was playing on the bars and Heavenly Father told me to get down because I was going to get hurt doing what I was doing. Mom I didn’t listen because sometimes I get those feelings and don’t listen and nothing happens. But He told me I was going to break my arm. And I did.” Sure enough he did.

I know he didn’t break his arm because he wasn’t obedient, but that if he had followed the promptings of the spirit, he would have avoided breaking his arm. What a hard lesson to learn at such a young age.

We have been given the Holy Ghost to warn us and remind us of the things we should be doing, to avoid getting hurt, both physically and spiritually, at times. The Holy Ghost not only warns us and reminds us to be obedient, He also teaches us and testifies of Christ.

The apostle Paul teaches us that after Christ Acts 1: 2 Until the day in which he was taken up (taught the people), after that he through the Holy Ghost had given acommandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

He does the same for us as He did for his apostles in his day, teaches us through the Holy Ghost.

The third way we are encouraged to be obedient is through others, like our parents and leaders, and others around us. As we were hiking yesterday people would say things like “it’s a little steep around this corner.” Or “just a few more feet.” Or watch your head around that. Some people even commented that we were brave and amazing parents to be bringing our kids up the hill, I was holding Timmy and Eric held Emily’s hand.

A great thing about this life is we don’t have to do it alone. Heavenly Father has sent us here to live in families, and be surrounded by people, people who love us and want us to succeed. As our fellow hikers were nudging us along, giving us smiles, encouraging us to reach our goals, so are those around us, at least they should be.

Growing up in Northern California we practiced monthly earthquake drills. We even experienced a few small ones often. But one year 1989 we were hit pretty hard. My family lived a mile from the epicenter. The Sunday before this quake we had had a Sunday school lesson on obedience. The day of the quake, my friend Maren just ran up stairs to grab a snack and then headed back down stairs to do her homework. Just after she sat down and started doing her homework, her mom called to her to come back up and help her with getting dinner ready. Maren mentioned that she sat there and thought I should just let my mom know I need to finish this assignment, and then I will go help. But then she thought about the Sunday lesson, and started to hum “when my mother calls me quickly I’ll obey.” So instead of finishing up what she was doing, she ran upstairs. As soon as she reached the kitchen, the quake hit, and her house collapsed to one floor. Had she not been obedient to her mother’s call, she would have been trapped under the house.

Not every time we are obedient to our parents, will we be saved from a major earthquake or other natural disaster, but we will be saved from spiritual disasters. We are promised in the scriptures that if we honor, obey and follow our parents are days will be long upon the earth. It is important for us to obey our parents in the scriptures we read:

Eph. 6: 1
1 aChildren, bobey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Col. 3: 20
20 aChildren, bobey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

We will be blessed as we obey the teachings of our parents, as well as our leaders in the Gospel. We show our obedience by faithfully following them and obeying them.
How as parents and teachers do we teach obedience?
Elder Joseph B. WirthlinOf the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a conference address to the aaronic priesthood he shared the following story on obedience.
“I observed a marvelous display of obedience during a recent visit to a large cattle ranch in Argentina . Early one morning, the gauchos brought forty horses into a corral to select their mounts for the day. Gauchos are like cowboys in the United States . Each gaucho went into the corral and whistled softly like this [whistling]. This established their presence. When the horses heard the soft whistling, they lined up quickly near the fence, facing the gauchos. The horses held their heads high, kept their eyes constantly on their masters, and kept their ears forward in an alert, receptive stance. They gave complete attention and appeared to be anxious to serve. They quickly organized themselves into a line as if for a full military dress inspection or review. The gauchos stepped back out of the way and whistled again. The horses circled quickly to the other side of the corral and lined up facing the gauchos. They looked as if a drill sergeant had called them to attention. Each gaucho chose his mount for the day’s work and walked up to the horse he had selected. The others stayed in line waiting for their assignments.
When I asked how the gauchos taught the horses to be so obedient, I was informed that their training started when the horses were colts. Each one learned from its caring mother and from other mature horses. The gauchos began training the colts when they were young, with kindness, never using force of a lasso or a whip.
Watching this display of obedience, I thought of you Aaronic Priesthood brethren and how you are taught by your mothers, like the two thousand stripling sons of Helaman, and by caring fathers and priesthood leaders. I thought of you following their good example, disciplining yourselves, and keeping yourselves alert—willing to serve your Lord and Master as He chooses and calls you.”

As parents and leaders it is important for us to lovingly guide and direct our children whether ours by birth or calling. We need to encourage them to obey, not force them to obey. We need to teach them obedience through our own examples. And through our obedience we will someday return to live with our Heavenly Father which is our end goal.
As we hiked yesterday, to our goal of reaching the top, we stopped took some breaks, talked with other hikers, and did our best to stay on the path. We made it without too many tears, and lots of sweat. But the views from the top, were so worth the effort to get there. And so is it with life, if we continue to be obedient to the commandments our blessings and rewards are as sweet and as beautiful as those that we saw yesterday.

We will be blessed if we remain obedient to His commandments and teachings.

1. --Mosiah 2: 22
22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

As we are obedient to the commandments we find in the scriptures, when we are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and when we are obedient to our parents and our leaders, we are promised to be blessed in our lives.

I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who gives us several ways to help us stay obedient. I am grateful to a Savior who helps us when we aren’t always obedient. And to which I leave my testimony in His name, Amen.

Sunday Morning

"Come on kids we need to get going, or you will miss Sunday School." said mom as she marched out the door with her three little kids in a row like baby ducklings. Tired of bringing them alone, she ignored her lounging husband reading the paper in the recliner. "Why can't you ever just get yourself dressed and help me once with Sunday mornings. It sure would make my life easier." she murmured to herself, almost audible to her husband, who surprisingly replied, "I am sorry dear did you say anything?"

"No dear. Have a nice morning." she said smugly not even looking at him, dressed in his most comfortable pj's, robe and fuzzy slipper. He was chuckling at the funnies as they shut the door.

Jr. asked as they got into their silver mini van, "Can I stay home with Dad next week? It isn't fair that I have to go to church and he doesn't!"

"Oh be quiet" quickly responded Priscilla, "Dad is the one missing out not you."

"That is so not true. I could be home playing dinoquad or the WII instead of listening to Sister Hairy Mole Face teach the same old lessons over and over again."

"Kids, kids, now please, lets keep this a happy sabbath." Mom chimed in.

"But it's just not fair." Jr. replied.

Oh if they only knew, mom thought, they have no idea of whats not fair.

Gridlock- writer's block

Gridlock, live stock, aren't they both the same?
Stuck in the same spot, surrounded by others,
close together, trying to go somewhere, going no where.

What the heck am I talking about....I don't really know...
Maybe this makes more sense for someone in Idaho.

I haven't slept much, but saw much fuss on the email with more chimming in this week. So I thought why not finish my prompts before I just take a peek.

Don't you love this, my kids are playing and have a friend over, I want a nap. My husband is in traffic...and well I think my time is up.

Hey Diddle Diddle

Adam, Corrine and Alyson sat for hours on end in their bedroom playing with their toys. It was amazing the relationship these three siblings shared. Even at night the three of them slept sardine style in Corrine's twin bed.

In the corner of the red heart wallpapered room, sitting on top of the green shag carpet was a white doll bunk bed. The dolls were snug under their covers while Corrine and Alyson encouraged Adam to repeat the nursery rhyme painted on the end of the doll bed.

"Hey Diddle Diddle de cat an de fiddle de cow dumped ober de moon. The wittle dob bark, such joy de dish ran away wif de sboon." Adam said, with is cute little two year old lisp.

"Again." encouraged the little blond girls all giggles.

"Hey Diddle diddle de dish ran way wif de sboon." Adam shortened the verse as he still received a captive giggle and applause from his four and six year old sisters. This went on for several minutes. Adam sang, the girls clapped and giggled.