Sunday, April 3, 2016

General Conference April 2016

It always amazes me how fast time goes - especially between General Conferences.  As a teen newly converted to the gospel, general conference was interesting in the fact that we were able to see and hear from  a prophet of the Lord.  In my late teens and early twenties General Conference was a long, long weekend sitting on the most uncomfortable of chairs.  Children brought in a whole new challenge of attending General Conference...and we didn't attend much when they were small.  As they grew and as I grew spiritually General Conference took on  a whole new meaning.  I now look forward to it with eager anticipation.  What topics will be spoken about?  What questions that I have will be answered?  Will the spirit speak to me in the gentle way that it does letting me know that truth is spoken by these men and women called of God?  It is interesting to me the number of things I have been taught by my own children.  My son taught me that I should contemplate specific questions I need answered before watching conference.  To pray about them and ask for divine help to guide me through life's difficult waters.  I have done this now a few times and I have heard in my heart the voice of the Lord answering those questions.  I would like to record what I learned this weekend so I remember the counsel I have been given:

Henry B Eyring, 1st Presidency
We choose to either soften our own hearts or harden them.  When we find ourselves questioning "is my faith intact?" Why do I not feel as strongly I once did?" "Is God really there?" we need to examine our hearts.  Are we allowing the quiet teachings of the prophet in?  Are we stopping the spirit's general whispers at the door of our hearts?  Doing those small and simple things like reading our scriptures and praying with real intent allows our hearts to hear what the spirit has to say.  Before long, we will remember the feelings we had, and truth will once again prevail to us.

Mary R Dunham, Primary General Presidency
How do we keep ourselves from drowning from the weight of the world?  USE THE HOLY GHOST.  This simple, yet truthful answer reminds us that the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion, our shield from the ugliness that sometimes surrounds us.  Pray with real intent, and often. 

Donald Hallstrom, 70
Do not forget to our connection to God. Feed it by keeping a conversation with Him always in your heart.  Toss your distractions away.

Gary Stevenson, 12
Go to the Temple - a reoccurring theme this weekend.  Without the priesthood keys we will not reach our full potential.  Always prepare for missionary service.

Kevin Duncan, 70
The Lord is responsible for all judgments - we are responsible for forgiveness.  Every tear we cry due to hurt that we have received will be returned 10 fold as joy by the Lord in the next life.  We need to see each other as God sees us.  We do not know the burden others carry - forgive.

Steven Snow, 70
Our general concern should be for the success of others. A little humility goes a long way.  Sometimes people are changed by physical ailments (Traumatic Brain injury).

Dale Renlund, 12
The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver gives the receiver a greater sense of entitlement. Murmuring is the scriptural equivalent of childhood whining.  The covenants we make each Sunday are personal.  Partaking of the sacrament is vital to securing our foundation built upon a rock.  It is interesting that this reference came up in during conference as I just read it in 3rd Nephi.  I must've read this passage a dozen times or more....but this time it really struck me.  Just like Elder Renlund said, the Lord doesn't say IF the rain will descend, or IF the wind will blow, or IF the floods will come HE SAID WHEN.  We must be SURE that the foundation of our lives is based on the Lord's teachings, otherwise our house will fall - and great will be the fall of it.

Ronald Rasband, 12
Reach out and lift one another so no one goes his way alone.  This was a specific answer to a question I had.  Elder Rasband said "Jesus asked Peter to leave the boat and walk on water to Him".  Then he said "That was a bold statement"  Made me think of when David says "Bold Strategy".  Peter did leave the boat and ended up needing the Saviors help - like we all do.

Mervyn Arnold, 70
How do we rescue our brothers and sisters that need our help?
1. Do not delay.  Move now - do not wait.
2. Never give up.
3. Strengthen the Weak
4. Do not let your station or age in life keep you from rescue attempts.

David A Bednar, 12
How can we obtain and RETAIN a remission of our sins?
1. Baptism by immersion by priesthood authority
2. Be given the gift of the Holy Ghost
3. Attend sacrament meeting and prayerfully take the sacrament

M Russell Ballard, 12
Have family council - listen to one another.

Thomas S Monson, Prophet
The choices we make determine our destiny

Bonnie Oscarson, YW General President
Choose Faith over Doubt.  Realize that discipleship is a m.iracle and we should treat it that way.

W Christopher Waddell, General Bishopric
Learn of Him, Listen to the Prophet, Walk with Him

D Todd Christofferson, 12
Fathers play a vital role in the family.  Their importance cannot be discounted or replaced by another.
Challenges are indications of the Lord's trust in you.

Quentin L Cook, 12
See ourselves in the temple.  Do not allow anything to keep us from going.  Never underestimate the power of the assistance from the other side of the veil when doing our family history work.

Dieter F Uchdorff, 12
There is no life so shattered it cannot be restored.  God will not force anyone to Heaven.

Robert D Hales, 12
The Holy Ghost allows us to have personal revelation.  Remember this is a gift and not one to be take lightly.  The Lord does not expect us to take every little decision to Him for an answer.  Remember to search out in your mind, and in your heart the weighty decisions you need to make.  Then make a decision and bring it to the Lord.  He will not allow you to go too far down a wrong path.

Gerrit Gong, 70
Always remembering Him - how is this accomplished:
1. Have confidence in all of His promises.
2. Gratefully acknowledge His hand in our lives.
3. Trust we are forgiven - trust in the repentance process.
4. Remember the Lord wants us to come home - that invitation is always there.
5. Prays
6. Remember he always remembers us.

Patrick Kearon, 70
He spoke of refugees and the assistance that has been extended to them by the church.  He told us that a significant portion of refugees are educated - doctors, nurses, teachers - that have been driven out of their country by a war they did not start or want.  We need to have compassion on those people and help where we can.  My dad was a refugee.

Dallin H Oaks, 12
Opposition is necessary in the plan of salvation - and necessary for our growth and progress.  Some things can only be learned by faith.  Not all answers can be found in history books or records of the past.  God promises to consecrate our trials for our good.

Kent Richards, 70

Paul V Johnson, 70
The power of the Atonement rescues us.

Jeffrey R Holland, 12
After you have been spiritually fed, it is normal to experience trials making it hard to remember the peaceful feelings of the spirit.  Satan tries to convince us we cannot change, we cannot grow, so why listen to council?  He does this because he CANNOT CHANGE, he CANNOT GROW..he wants what we have and are promised to have in the next life.  The Lord blesses us for even wanting to try to better ourselves....He blesses us when we try and are not successful.  He is there every step of this mortal life, to hold us up when we are weak and to rejoice with us when we are strong.

Great ending to a great weekend!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

One persons trash is another persons treasure

I've been trying to write this post for awhile now....but for some reason I cannot upload the picture. I finally gave up - maybe someone can help me upload it later.

Dan and I love to shop at thrift stores.  We especially like the Habitat for Humanity stores.  You can go in there several times a week and they will always have something different.  It is sort of like Goodwill, except more for the handyman.  Lots of building supplies, some appliances, cabinetry, old doors, flooring, paint, and furniture.  Oh yeah, and MORE.  And the good thing is that if stuff doesn't sell in a week they drastically reduce the price...and continue to do so until it is sold.  We've gotten lots of really good deals.  Anyway, recently we went in to check it out.  The first thing we saw when we walked in was two upright pianos.  We went right over and saw immediately that one was in good shape and the other not so much.  We noted the name of the one in better shape "Behning" and that it was an upright grand.  We had never heard of such a thing so I started doing research on my phone.  Technology comes in SO handy sometimes...and in other times so infuriating when you can't download a simple picture.  I digress.  We found out that this brand of piano was a good buy, and the upright grands were especially well made.  We walked away and did our normal wandering through the store.  I kept thinking about the piano....and awhile later Dan met me in the furniture section and we both sat...looked at each other and said "I can't quit thinking about that piano." We had always wanted to buy Sami an upright piano.  She has a digital, but there is something about owning your own "real" piano....and it was a GRAND PIANO.  We decided that if we could find people to help us bring it home we would buy it.  Oh yeah, it was priced to sell - $150!

We put a "hold" notice on it and left.  On the way home I started messaging everyone I knew that might be able to help.  I had three of the four people we needed by the time we got home and a trailer to haul it with.  Dan couldn't help at all because he was still recovering from his kidney stone blasting.  By the time we got home we lost two of the three people due to a timing issue.  I began messaging and call again...we finally rounded up 4 people and all were supposed to meet at the church to carpool up to the store on the westside.  2 of the people were late, and 1 couldn't stay long...Dan called me at home and asked me to start calling again.  We ended up with enough  people and finally the left for the store.  We had rented a piano dolly...which they couldn't figure out how to make it work....and then brought it home.  We got it in the house and into David's room with little trouble.  We did have to take part of the door frame out.  We did all of this without Sami knowing!  We asked her and Robert to go out for awhile (and gave them $) supposedly so Dan and I could have some quiet.  We got home from taking the trailer back with five minutes to spare!  When they got home Dan asked Sami to put something away in David's room.  She walked in and a minute later we heard "tink tink tink" of the piano keys and then "IS THIS MINE??"  Then she screamed.  It was a great ending to a great day.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


My guess is that my faithful readers (ok, Sami) thought I would never blog again.  Life got in the way and became busy.  I originally started this as sort of a journal, then kept going for my kids when they were away at college.  I  have been thinking about blogging again lately though.  Life is so fast and so unrelenting sometimes that often a whole week will go by and I cannot remember what I did.  Not that I do anything super exciting, but when trying to put together a letter for Elder Carruth it is hard to remember what transpired the week before.  So I'm going to try to do this again.  So someday I, and my descendants will actually know a little bit about our life in 2015 and beyond.

Our excitement this weekend is something I never really thought would happen.  We are expecting!! No, not a BABY...a kidney stone.  Dan has a 7.5 mm kidney stone lodged in his innards.  It started with a stomachache Thursday night.  Friday morning he was fine, then by Friday afternoon he was in agony.  Stabbing pain around his kidney area in the back and then wrapping around to his stomach.  He took awhile to "decide" he needed to go to the ER.  Robert gave him a blessing of comfort and we took off for the ER.  I was very conscious of every bump I hit, every time I hit the brakes too hard.  It was a long, long ride.  There were lots of people ahead of us in ER...we were triaged pretty fast though where they took blood.  We then had a 2 hour wait for the blood tests to come back.  It was agonizing to watch him in so much pain.  Sami, Robert and Mike Shupe came and Robert and Mike gave Dan a blessing of healing.  Finally I had enough.  I went to ask where we were with the blood tests and we finally were seen again shortly after that.  Good news: no infection, no aortic rupture, clean appendix.  Bad news: probably a kidney stone.  He had to give a urine sample to rule out UTI for sure, which he was unable to do.  That led to a catheter.  That was the only time I cried that night.  I hope to never see him have to go through that again.  They then took him away for a CT.  Sure enough, big ole bad kidney stone.  They gave him pain meds after the catheter, so at least he wasn't in any pain any more.  They released us to go home around 1 am.  We have to check in with a urologist tomorrow and hopefully they'll get him in soon and blast that thing into bits.

What I learned from this:
1.  Be an advocate for your own health and medical care.  If someone you love needs to go to the ER make sure they have someone with them AT ALL TIMES.  Make sure the ER is aware of medications the person takes and their health history.  Often times ER staff will move fast because, after all, it is an emergency.  Make sure you know what they are doing at each step.  For instance, Dan was given medication for pain, but the only question we were asked is "are you allergic to anything".  The answer was NO, but there could've been an interaction with some of the medication he takes on a regular basis.

2.  Don't be afraid to ask questions in medical situations.  Make sure you understand what the instructions are.  This is another good place to have someone with you to make sure what you heard is what the doctor said.  In this case, the doctor said NO ibuprofen or aleve...but the written instructions say to give it for pain.  I asked the doctor twice, so I know that his instruction is what we should follow, but had I not been paying attention Dan's kidneys could be damaged while we dosed him up on something he shouldn't have.

3.  Be aware of what you are putting into your mouth.  The older I get the more I realize that the more processed our food is, the farther away from actual "food" it is. Same with liquids.  I'm not on a soapbox here, I am not perfect in this area at all.  I'm going to try to do better though.  I never want to have the pain I saw on Dan's face, ever.  I know I would've been on the floor - his pain threshold is much, much higher than mine.

That is all for today!  Go - Do - Be.  That is my motto.  Go = get started, do something positive.  Do = be actively engaged in life. Be = be your best.

Love, Melinda

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Yes it has been a long time since a post.  Yes I have been gently reminded (nagged). So here I am!

It isn't a secret that this is my favorite time of year, and October my favorite month.  I love harvesting my garden and seeing the fruits of my labor.  I think this year was a resounding success! I planted: broccoli, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, miniature pumpkins, cucumbers, raspberries.  I let the lettuce go too was bitter.  I didn't pull it all, however, and now I have nice lettuce trees.  None of my tomatoes had blossom end rot, which means they had plenty of water.  That is always a hard thing for me to do.  I grew two kinds of tomatoes - Early Girl and some sort of cherry tomato that was orange. Sun Gold I think...oh my- yum!  I had lots of cucumbers, but didn't eat many because how many can one eat?  And they got mushy in the fridge really I thought I would leave them on the vine til I was ready to eat them and the occasion just didn't come.  SOMETHING ate my biggest watermelon...and the cantaloupe is still growing.  I grew the peas in a different location and they grew three times as tall - taller than me!  The raspberries went wild too - I was able to eat a handful everytime I went out to the garden.  I'm planning soon to buy the black plastic, clean up the leftover foliage, trim the raspberries, and lay the plastic til spring.  Love it!

David has put in his papers to serve a mission. We are just waiting for one last interview and then they will go to Salt Lake.  There he will be prayed over and will be assigned a mission.  We are very excited, nervous, and on pins and needles.  To prepare David and I have been walking every morning.  It is so nice to get out and move again.  I don't know why I waited so long to start.  Hopefully my next post will announce I am down a size and ready for my new Christmas dress!

Sami is finishing out her college career and will graduate in December - woo hoo!  She has been dating a wonderful young man (Robert) and they are having fun together.  Am I hearing bells in the near future???

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One Lone Potato - Or in other words "Gardening"

 Last fall I actually cleaned out the entire garden.  I usually just let things die and then leave it until spring.  Then it takes a week or two to clean out all the fall stuff, PLUS the new weeds that have grown waist high.  Last fall after harvest I cleaned out everything...and then put black plastic down over the entire garden, except the strawberry patch and the new raspberry patch.  It was an experiment to see if I could keep the weeds down.
This is my new raspberry patch.  LOVE raspberries!  I transplanted some from a friend and prayed they would grow - and grow they did!  This is the new growth so far this year.
Two years ago I planted a potato crop, which come that fall I believed had failed.  Last year I had a bunch of volunteer potatoes!  I thought I had cleaned them all out last fall, but this lone potato plant, struggling to reach the sun, lived.
When I pulled back the black plastic, a lone potato had grown above ground.  It is small, but seems to be good to eat!  No worm holes or anything.

Strawberry plants.  Seems like sort of a small patch, but it really produces a bunch of small berries. Someday I want this whole corner filled.

And voila!  It worked!  I was SO excited to pull the plastic and find nothing but brown dirt ready for planting.  The green you see at the right are the dahlia bulbs David bought me several years ago.  I pulled back the plastic from them earlier this spring so they would grow.

This year I put in forget-me-nots (Sami's favorite flower), sweet williams (my favorite), small pumpkins, melons, cukes, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, broccoli.  We'll see what happens!

Thought for the week:  Don't judge.  Even if you think you know what someone else is going through you don't.  You can't, because you aren't THEM. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Poo Patrol

 Our local government (city or county?) decided that all of us living in the Nisqually Watershed Area needed to have our septic checked on a regular basis.  Fair we decided that instead of paying someone to do the checking, Dan would take the 6 hour class to learn how to do the checking.  He actually learned a lot - and made his own "poo stick".  David and Dan successfully discovered the septic needs to be pumped. Ick.
 Newby thought it would be great to roll around in the grass while the poo patrol was working.   He couldn't get enough of rolling back and forth...crazy dog.
 This flower keeps on coming back.  I tried to transplant it, but it didn't live.  Instead it returned in full glory, bigger than before.
Spring is definitely here.  The rose out front has bloomed and is a beautiful red color. The temperature has been mild and the rain has started to fade.  The dahlias in the garden are coming up, the strawberries and raspberries are growing like crazy.  Love this time of year!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day May 11, 2014

Each year about this time I think about getting flowers for the boxes out front.  I don't always manage to - some years I don't have the money, some years I don't have the time.  I didn't last year and was disappointed mid summer when I didn't have pretty flowers to look at.  There is something about digging in the soil that doesn't have rocks that is SO satisfying...Anyway, I decided to get flowers this year. A few weeks ago I saw that Costco had flats of petunias - one of my favorites - for $10 a flat.  By the time I got there on Saturday there wasn't much left - so I grabbed two flats, a purple and a white. I dropped by Home Depot and picked up different colors of petunias and some pansies and then hunted for some type of small bush I could put in the middle of one of the planters.   I almost bought a rose, but wanted a different color so I didn't.  I didn't have time to plant them yesterday, so I lined them all up next to the planters to be planted later.  THEN this morning Dan and David  surprized me with a dwarf lilac bush!  I was so excited because I've always wanted a lilac but didn't think I could have one because of their size, and the aforementioned rocks in the yard (makes it hard to dig a hole deeper than a teaspoon).  This afternoon I planted everything.  I am excited to have these beautiful flowers all season long.  I took a picture of the rose because it has sprouted a whole bunch since the last picture - and we have rosebuds!  I think this is the first time it will bloom since we bought it.

I am also excited for work tomorrow - all due to Sami's thoughtful mother's day gift.  She has seen me day in and day out with the phone tucked between my ear and shoulder trying to type at the same time.  It is hard, and I often end up with a sore neck and back.  This morning I received the holy grail for people like me - a blue tooth for my phone!  I am SO excited to try it! 

Happy Mother's Day everyone!