Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ahhh! I love General Conference

I am always a bit sad when General Conference weekend is over. I always feel so inspired and this weekend was no exception. There were several talks that were VERY poignant to me. I loved Pres. Monson's talk on service and Elder Eyering's talk! I did have some favorites. One being Elder Hollands talk on the Book of Mormon! Wow, what an amazing, courageous, testimony and a HUGE example to me. I am determined once again to read that book and feel my testimony grow stronger! Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon will be a classic in our home, listened to and studied over and over again.

My VERY favorite talk would have to be Elder Todd D. Christopherson's talk on morality!!!! I loved this ENTIRE talk. It is very hard for me to pick out some highlights but I'll try: "For positive out comes, moral agency must be accompanied by moral discipline. By moral discipline, I mean self-discipline based on moral standards. Moral discipline is the consistent use of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard. It rejects the self-absorbed life, in favor of developing character worthy of respect and true greatness through Christ like service." "The societies in which many of us live, have for more than a generation, failed to foster moral discipline. They've taught that truth is relative and that everyone decides for himself or herself what is right. Concepts such as sin and wrong have been condemned as value judgements." "As a consequence self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try and maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments." Police man and laws can never replace customs, traditions, and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance upon laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we've become." "There can never be enough rules so finely crafted as to anticipate and cover every situation, and even if there were, enforcement would be impossibly expensive and burdensome. This approach leads to diminished freedom for everyone." "In the end it is only an internal moral compass in each individual that can effectively deal with the root causes as well as symptoms of societal decay." In reference to teaching moral discipline to our children he states: "Each must be persuaded that service and sacrifice for the happiness and well-being of others in love are far superior to making ones own comfort and possessions the highest priority. President Henery B. Eyering expressed the vision we try to attain: 'The pure gospel of Jesus Christ must go down into the hearts of our children by the power of the Holy Ghost. It will not be enough for them to have had a spiritual witness of the truth and to want good things later. It will not be enough for them to hope for some future cleansing and strengthening. Our aim must be for them to become truly converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, while they are with us. Then they will have gained a strength from what they are, not only from what they know. They will become disciples of Christ." "We cannot presume that the future will resemble the past that things and patterns we have relied upon economically, politically, socially, will remain as they have been. Perhaps our moral discipline, if we will cultivate it, will have an influence for good and inspire others to pursue the same course, that we may thereby have an impact on future trends and events. At a minimum moral discipline will be of immense help to us as will deal with whatever stresses and challenges may come in a disintegrating society.

I love this Church, I love our Prophet and his counselors, I love the Quorum of the 12, I love my Savior!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Grandpa, Benjamin Noyes

Late last night we were on our way home from Colorado when we recieved word that my dear old Grandpa had passed away. It is hard for me to put into words the emotion that this news effected in me. We all knew it wasn't long. For several weeks now he has been a real trooper and such an example to me. Well, what am I saying, he has been a huge example to me all my life. I was relieved for him, heart broken for our family and my sweet grandma. And although I was crying and I felt like a piece of my heart had been taken from my chest I was blessed very strongly to feel Granpa's spirit. It was not a spirit of sadness, nor of worry. There was no anger, or pain, just simply peace. I felt like he, yet again, was giving me a gift. A final gift of peace.


My children's hearts have been hurt badly. I tried to get them to open up and feel this gift of peace that Grandpa so wanted them to have. After getting home from the hospital at around mid-night we were able to have a brief talk and cuddle on the couch. Karl said a family prayer and told our loving Heavenly Father to tell Grandpa how much we loved him. The sweet spirit of peace came again VERY strongly and even my children were more calm after that prayer. I think they, in some small way, were also able to recieve Grandpa's gift.


I love you Grandpa Noyes, with all my heart. There have been countless times I have gotten down on my knees and told my Heavenly Father how thankful I am to be your grandaughter. You are one of my biggest heroes. For 33 years now you have been a very special part of my life. My mind is filled with memories of you. You have taught me so much. Thank you! I love you, and I will miss you dearly every day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

This family is friends of ours. They could use any help and all prayers!

Vittoria is a sweet little girl who is the daughter of friends of ours. She went in for open heart surgery and has had a very tough time recooping. Needless to say her parents, grandparents, and the rest of her family would be grateful for any prayers or help. If you could take the time to read her blog, you will be very inspired with their faith and testimonies!

http://vittoriascorner.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Christ Centered Easter and Elder Holland's Talk!

What a wonderful weekend it has been. Not long ago we finished listening to the last session of the 179th General Conference for our church. It was so special, and many of the talks touched my heart. One imparticular was by Elder Holland and it was such a touching tribute to our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.

Easter is my favorite holiday. I found a book several years ago that has been a HUGE influence on the way we spend Easter. It is called A Christ-Center Easter By. Janet and Joe Hales. Click on the picture for a link. It is subtitled: Day-By-Day Activities to Celebrate Easter Week. Easter Activities for Latter-Day Saint Families. We have incorporated many of these ideas into our Easter Holiday and it is soooo amazing! My love of the Savior and an appreciation of his life and sacrifice have been deepened thanks to these activities and I pray that they will do the same for my children as we repeat these activities each year.



I feel it very appropriate to share at the beginning of this Easter week, Elder Hollands talk. I will not print the whole thing in it's entirety however it is so touching that I will print most of it. So be sure and read the whole thing when they have it posted at lds.org. Please enjoy:




We know the divine plan required Jesus to be Crucified, but it is wrenching to think that one of his special witnesses, who sat at his feet, who heard him pray, and watched him heal, and felt his touch, could betray Him and all that He was, for thirty pieces of silver. Never in this world has so little money purchased so much infamy. We are not to judge Judas' fate, but Jesus said of his betrayer, 'good were it for this man, if he had not been born.'

Of course, others among the believers had their difficult moments as well. Following the Last Supper, Jesus left Peter, James, and John to wait while He ventured into the Garden of Gethsemane alone. Falling on his face in prayer, sorrowful unto death, the record says, 'His sweat came as great drops of blood,' as He pled with the Father, to let this crushing, brutal, cup pass; but of course it could not pass. Returning from such anguished prayer, He found His three chief disciples asleep; prompting Him to ask, 'could ye not watch with me one hour?' So it happens two more times, until on his third return he says compassionately: 'Sleep on now, and take your rest' though there would be no rest for Him. Moments later after Jesus' arrest and appearance at trial Peter, accused of knowing Jesus and being one of His confidants, denies that accusation, not once, but three times. We don't know all that was going on here, nor do we know of protective counsel which the Savior Himself may have given to his apostles privately, but we do know Jesus was aware that even these precious ones would not stand with him in the end and he had warned Peter accordingly. Then with the crowing of the cock, the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered the word of the Lord and he went out and wepted bitterly. Thus, the supporting circle around Jesus gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller, giving signifigance to Matthews short verse, 'all the disciples left and fled.' Peter stayed near enough to be recognized and confronted. John stood at the foot of the cross with Jesus' mother. Especially and always the blessed women in Saviors life stayed as close as they could but essentially his lonely journey back to his father continued without comfort or companionship.

Now I speak very carefully even reverently of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically, but which he may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually. That concluding desent into the paralyzing despair of Divine withdrawal when he cries 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?' The loss of mortal support he had anticipated, but surely he had not, apparently, comprehended this. Had He not said to his Disciples: 'Behold, the hour is now come that you shall be scattered, every man to his own and leave me alone. And yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. The Father hath not left me alone. For I do always those things that please Him.' With all the conviction of my soul, I testify that He did please His father perfectly, and that a perfect father did not forsake his son in that hour. Indeed it is my personal belief that in all of Christs' mortal ministry the father may never have been closer to his son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Never-the-less, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus, the comfort of His spirit, the support of his personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central, to the significance that this perfect Son, who had never spoken ill, nor done wrong, nor touched an unclean thing; He had to know how the rest of human kind would feel, us, the rest of us, when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically, but spiritually. To sense what it was like, to have the Divine spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone. But Jesus held on! He pressed on! The goodness in Him allowed Faith to triumph, even in a state of complete anguish. The trust that He lived by told Him inspite of his feelings, that Divine compassion is never absent. That God is always faithful, that He never flees, nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christs determination to be faithful was as obvious, as it was utterly invincible, then finally and mercifully it was finished. Against all odds and with none to help or up hold him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God restored physical life, where death had held sway. And brought joyful, spiritual, redemption out of sin, and hellish darkness, and despair. With Faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph 'Father into thy hands, I commend my spirit. Brothers and Sisters one of the great consolations of this great Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long lonely path utterly alone we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company to us for our little version of that path, the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, Prophets and Apostles, teachers, leaders, friends, all of these and more have been given us as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone or unaided even if we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said 'I will not leave you comfortless. My father and I will come to you and abide with you.' My other plea brothers and sisters at Easter time is that these scenes of Christs lonely sacrifice laced with moments of denial, and abandonment, and at least once out right betrayal, must never be reenacted by us! He has walked alone once. Now may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without aid and assistance. That He never again will be found unresponsive or see unresponsive on-lookers. In our present day as we approach this holy week.....may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not in the word only, and not in the flush of comfortable times, but in deed, and in courage, and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always may we stand by Jesus Christ at all times and in all things, and in all places that we may be in, even until death, for surely that is how he stood by us, when it was unto death and when he had to stand entirely and utterly alone.

Happy Easter all of you!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Lady and the Lion

Announcing a fun new blog that will help keep you updated on an activity my kids are participating in! It's called the.......


CASTLE VALLEY ACTING COMPANY


The first play they are doing is called The Lady and the Lion and Kenzi got one of the leading roles! She has been working hard and is very excited. Jax and Jacee both have several roles they are playing. They are having a good time. When their director sent this email with a new blog address I thought you might be interested in keeping up with them.

Hope everyone is having a nice day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A little update, if anyone is still around!

It has been a very long time since I updated this blog and I'm on the verge of giving this blogging thing up, I just keep asking myself is this the BEST thing I can be spending my time on. LOL I'm probably just making excuses because I feel bad whenever I don't get the thing updated for so long.
Things have been going very well for us. I am very excited that things have started to change from winter to spring. I love all the seasons but I'm always so excited when the cold starts to be overcome by the warm. We have been enjoying the outside air and I am dying to go to the Arches. It seems as if that is going to be pushed off for about three weeks more however. SAD!
We have had lots of birthday celebrations going on around our place. Jax and Luke both had birthdays in January and Kenzi in Feburary. Jacelin's birthday is on the sixth. Kenzi turned 12 and started Young Women's. She is loving it and I am trying to adjust to the fact that she is that old! SAD! But she is a beautiful girl and I often marvel at how I was blessed with such a good girl, and one so strong and steadfast in her beliefs. I'm so thankful for each of my kids.
The end of January, actually right during the two boy's birthdays we got SICK. Man we got strep throat and then the flu, which turned into RSV in my baby and he was soooo sick for about three weeks. We avoided the hospital by the skin of our teeth and because we were blessed to have resources at home that most don't have. It was a heart wrenching and stressful three weeks, but we have all recovered and Luke is back to his little rambunctious self. HAPPY!
We are looking forward to our first trip to Colorado with Karl on Monday. The first trip out in the camp trailer is always a happy occasion for us. We are going to the Draper Temple open house on Friday for Jacee's birthday and then Karl, I and Kenzi are going to the Thomas Jefferson Education Forum on Saturday. We are very much looking forward to this. It always gives us more inspiration and a great reminder of what we are doing! HAPPY!
Homeschool is going good. My younger children have both taken an interest in animals and have been studying away. Jax has learned all about fish and has earned the money to buy a fish tank and supply it with fish. Unfortunately he has lost several of them but this keeps him reading and learning. He told me today if he was to set up another tank all the things he would do differently. Jacee is learning all about bunnies and has pulled at her Uncle Chase and her Grandpa's heart strings enough that they are actively helping her set up a rabbit cage. She is constantly doing chores so she can earn money to buy pellets (that is what she tells me they eat) and she wants to have a bunny birthday party! (This could be lots of fun!) Kenzi is still writing stories and reading, reading, reading! That girl puts her mom to shame when it comes to the amount of reading she does. It has been fun however, we both share a love of Anne Shirley, we get talking and giggling quite a lot about her. She is now up into the series where she is married and so the tone of our talks will change a little I'm betting. It will still be fun though! Luke is talking up a storm and makes us laugh constantly. He can tell you the sounds of several of his letters thanks to a little secret we have! LOL
I hope things with your families are going well. We love you all!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful New Year and I hope you all did as well! It was the first time in a long time that my whole family was able to just get together and hang out. Not all of us was able to be around for Christmas. We had some fun activities:


Several of us shot some hoops!

We had a lot of snacking going on, of course!




We just hung out and enjoyed one anothers company!




Some of us played games, while grandpa pretended to read a story!

We pulled Honey candy! That was some fun!






video

During the time we got to spend with our family, someone asked Kenzi what her goals were for the next year. I was interested to hear what she would say because we hadn't talked about any thing like that. She thought about it for a while and then replied: "I'm going to read through the Book of Mormon." "Oh thats a good goal," says Uncle Chad. "Yeah, I've already started." She said. What more can we ask then that our children 'walk in faith'.

I was reading an incredible talk by Pres. Uchtdorf. I liked his thought:

"You have agency, and you are free to choose. But there is actually no free agency. Agency has its price. You have to pay the consequences of you choices."