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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Letter - Faith not Fear, Change = Growth, Satan's "D tools"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

My heart has been a little heavy the last week.  There have been some big changes in our ward auxiliaries; we got a new Relief Society presidency and a new Primary presidency.  My good friend Kristen Wilcox, who worked closely with me in Young Women’s as a laurel’s advisor, was called as our ward’s new Relief Society president.  Everyone should have a friend like Kristen Wilcox.  She is amazing.  This was our second time to serve together; she was my first counselor when I was the Primary president.  Shortly after I was called as young women’s president, my head was swimming and the bishop or bishopric let me know that the bishop felt very strongly that she should be a laurel advisor.  Of course I agreed that she would be good because she is such a good friend and has a wonderful testimony.  Now that I look back on things I realize how inspired the bishop was to call her to serve with me.  I don’t think I would have been able to do my calling as young women’s president without her.    She was so fun to serve with and has a “coolness factor” that is so engaging to the youth.  She is so good with the young women because she is so personable, is a genuine friend and breaks the ice in any situation with her wonderful sense of humor.  I’ve learned so much from her.  She did much to lift my load and to help me bear my personal and administrative burdens.  I am surely going to miss working with her, but I know she is what our ward needs as a relief society president at this time.

Also my friends Michele Sorenson and Sharon Miller were released.  Michele was released as a Miamaids advisor and was called to be the primary secretary.  Sharon was release as my 2nd counselor and was called to teach gospel doctrine with her husband.  Each of these ladies is also so dear to me, however I didn’t work as closely with them as I did with Kristen.  Michele is so dependable, gives sound advice and input and was so good with the Miamaids.  Sharon, recently moved here with her husband as they retired from running a ranch in Nevada.  She was a wealth of experience, so kind, soft spoken and classy.  She’s served as Relief Society president five times, YW president several times and in the stake primary.  However, her health hasn’t been good and she’s also been taking care of her Mom who is in very poor health.    

I found out last Sunday right before ward council that these three ladies were going to be released.  Bishop Taylor invited me to come back that afternoon at 4:00pm to part of the bishopric meeting to help discuss and finalize all the callings that would need to be filled because of the women who were going to be called to the new Primary and Relief Society Presidencies.  I was able to choose those who would fill the vacancies in the young women’s organization and was asked to give input on a few other callings.  I was reminded that the changes were to be kept confidential.  That was a neat experience to be there and help pray over the callings.  I’m glad I don’t have to do that regularly though.   

Now I will get to work closely with Amy Merrell, our recently released Primary president, and Shanna Johnson since they were called to be the new laurel advisors.  I really admire and respect those two women.  Melissa Lantz will be my new 2nd counselor.  I’m excited to work with her again.  She was my counselor when I was the Primary president for short time.  She is wonderful.  A new Miamaid advisor will be called too, but she wasn’t called today, probably because she is really new and her records aren’t in our ward yet.

Throughout the week I’ve gone through a little bit of mourning because these ladies would be released. It feels like my security blanket has been ripped off.  At times I would feel fear that maybe things won’t go well with the new ladies—like maybe we won’t work well together so there will be drama, or they won’t like me--but then I realized that Satan was giving me that fear and that I needed to have faith.  I know that this is an opportunity to grow not just for me, but for our ward.  I really feel strongly that my new laurel advisors will be able to help one particular laurel who has been struggling.  I know that change is good and necessary for growth.

Now on to other happenings, Bryant had his last basketball game yesterday.  Marlee and Karalee each played well in their soccer games yesterday.  Spencer’s first three soccer games are next week.  On Friday Spencer’s team has a game in Tucson so we will have a little road trip to go watch him.  Heather and Elliot moved really close to us!  Their friend’s house that they moved into last month sold and so they had to move again already.  They knew that house was for sale though and that it was a temporary spot.  Heather and Elliot are now in our stake and Tilly is excited that they live close enough that we can ride our bikes to their house and that they have a park right out their front door.  Chad ran a little bit yesterday!  I’m so happy for him that his recovery is almost over.  It’s been a hard thing for him to bear.  He hasn’t totally been cleared to run by the doctor because he was sick and missed his appointment, but he thinks he would have been given permission to run at that visit from what his physical therapist said to him at his last physical therapy appointment.  He still can’t play basketball yet though.  Our whole family got to go to a nice steak dinner at Steak on a Stone, owned by Todd Gillespie from Snowflake, with Art and Jace and Macaia and their family a week and a half ago when Art was in town.  Thanks Art!!  It was fun to see how Jace’s and Macaia’s kids have grown and notice that Porter’s voice has changed.  Last night Chad and I went out with several friends, Heather and Elliot included, to a fun restaurant in Phoenix called The Duce.  Chad ate there a few weeks ago as part of a work conference and raved about the delicious food so we decided to get a group together to go eat there.  The food was awesome and the company was very fun.

My quotes for today come from speakers at our amazing Stake Relief Society Meeting yesterday. 
  • President Derrick said, “There is an alignment of great trial with great joy. … There is opposition in all things.” 
  • Sharon Miller said, “Sin, misery and children help create the context for experiencing true joy.”  
  • Sharon also said, “If our greatest goal is a mansion in heaven, why would we invest in a shack in the slums where Satan uses his 'D tools'—Depression, Discouragement, Disobedience, Despair, Desolaiton. 



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Personal Progress – Good Works Value Experience #3

February 12, 2016

Personal Progress – Good Works Value Experience #3
Read Mosiah 18:7–10, and in your journal list three ways you can comfort others or help them bear their burdens. Do the things on your list, and tell a family member or leader about the experience and how your attitude and understanding have changed.

·         Massage Bryant’s sinuses, head and neck since he has a headache and sinus trouble today.
·         Check in on Sharon Miller to see the results of her chest x-ray since she is dealing with some health challenges.
·         Go to Snowflake this weekend so we can be with my Mom over Valentine’s Day so she won’t feel quite as lonely without my Dad on Valentine’s Day.

February 16, 2016

When I massaged Bryant’s sinus, head and neck it helped me feel good that I could bring him a little relief from his sickness and I had hope that it would help break up the infection so he would get better faster.  It helped me care for him more and be more considerate of his condition.

When I checked in on Sharon I felt like I was a good friend and I hoped that by checking in on her she felt support through her burdens.  It helped me have a desire to be a good friend to more people.

It was a neat experience to be with my Mom on Valentine’s Day.  As I was there trying to help her feel less lonely, I was able to witness service and companionship that my family members do for her on a regular basis and on special days too.  It helped me want to do more for her even though I do not live close by.  I will have to think about good things that I can do for her.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Letter - New Beginnings, Trip to Snowflake, Profound capacity for blessing the lives of others

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day from Snowflake!  We are having a wonderful visit with my Mom and other family members this weekend. 

Monday I had several errands to run to get a few last minute things ready for our ward’s Young Women’s New Beginnings.  Tilly and I stopped to have a lunch date at Chick-fil-a in between stops at different stores and had a nice lunch together.  She is such a fun shopping partner.  For FHE that night we had a dinner at Heather’s with Chad’s mom Brenda, and his siblings Heather, Devin and Anna and their families.  Bryant gave a good lesson about how serving a few people can encourage others to serve so you’ll never know how much good you can do by being kind and serving others.  Brenda also gave a nice lesson about confident body language.  Several of the kids recited poems or sang.  It was a fun evening.

Tuesday was the day I had been planning for and praying about for weeks.  It was our ward’s New Beginnings.  Tilly got to go to Grammy Days that morning while I met several other young women leaders at our church building to set up chairs and our minimal decorations.  Our theme was the mutual theme for the year, Press Forward and Come unto Christ.  We decorated with some cute arrows a woman in our ward made for us and we set up a path made out of paper arrows taped to the floor that we all followed to a picture of Christ.  There were three stops on the path.  Each stop had a speaker who gave spiritual thought about Pressing Forward.  That afternoon I made cookies for the kid’s after school snack and for new beginnings dessert.  Marlee had soccer practice that evening, Bryant had a band concert and Spencer had a school science fair.  Tuesdays are such crazy nights lately, but we manage to make it all work out.  I love my friends from my ward family who help me out with carpools and I help them out by driving their kids in carpools too.  Carpools are my favorite.  I was so relieved when it was finally actually time to have the New Beginnings program.  The highlight of the evening was when we had the parents of the girls who will be entering young women’s this year introduced us to their daughters by telling us what they loved about their daughter.  It was such a good way to get to know those new girls and to feel of their spirit.  When I came home that evening I was tired.  I didn’t go play volleyball, mostly because I’m still resting my knee from hurting it last week.  It is still a little bit sore.  I hope I didn’t tear anything! 

Wednesday I took it easy all morning because of being worn out from all the stress about putting New Beginnings together.  I even went back to bed until about 9:00am after getting the kids off to school.  Tilly laid down with me for a while and then she watched a movie on the iPad for about 30 minutes or so.  Bryant was sick that day and stayed home from school.  Tilly had her music class that morning.  I walked while she was gone and then picked her up and we walked home together.  I cleaned up all the leaves that had blown into our front yard that afternoon.  There were 2 big black garbage bags full of leaves that had blown off our neighbor’s tree into our front yard.  Our neighbor’s trees are beautiful though and provide great shade in addition to their beauty.  They are worth the work it takes to clean up the leaves.  I love yard work.  Wednesday evening Brenda took the kids out to frozen yogurt and they were so excited to go with her.

Tilly with her bird on our walk home from music class.
Thursday Tilly and I went out to lunch with my good friend Emily Lines and other friends to celebrate Emily’s birthday.  I took a birthday gift to one of my laurels after lunch.  Bryant had basketball practice and Karalee had soccer practice that evening.  Sadly I don’t have carpools for either of those practices so there was a lot of driving back and forth, but luckily both practices are quite close.

I found this beautiful large framed photo at Fry's marketplace on Thursday.  It was a closeout.  Since it was such a good deal I snatched it up.  I got it for $37.50.  Normal list price was $250.00.

Thursday Chad got clearance to start jumping!!  He's now working on increasing his vertical.  He still can't run or cut so no basketball for a few more months.  He's so excited to start playing again.
Friday Bryant was feeling sick again and stayed home from school again, missing his school Valentine’s party.  My kids are passing around a sore throat that turns into a fever and a headache but the sore throat goes away so it’s not strep, at least I think it’s not strep.  Bryant’s better now, but Marlee’s got it.  Friday afternoon we got all packed up to come to Snowflake if Spencer’s team lost his basketball game.  Spencer’s game was at 6:00.  Heather and Elliot and their kids came to watch too.  Spencer’s team played very slowly and the other team had a guy who hit 5-6 three pointers in the first half.  Spencer didn’t come out very aggressive and didn’t get to play much during the 2nd half of the game, which is fine; there are many more important things than sports.  His team ended up making a good run and only lost by about 5 points when the game was all over.  My girls were so excited Spencer lost though because that meant we didn’t have to wait until Saturday night to come to Snowflake.  We grabbed a quick bite to eat on our way out of town after the game was over and got to Snowflake around 10:30.

Karalee and Marlee wanted hearts in their hair for their Valentine's party.

Tilly set up a little throne for herself.  She cracks me up.
Tilly wanted heart hair too.
I think Bryant forgets that his head is supposed to go on his pillow instead of his feet.
We’ve had a very nice stay here in Snowflake.  Late yesterday morning I stopped to visit Uncle Steve and Aunt Sharla and Uncle Dean and Aunt Nerita on my walk.  Aunt Nerita even joined me on my walk for a while.  My Aunt Nerita is very wise and I love visiting with her.  It meant a lot to me to get hugs from Uncle Steve and Aunt Sharla and to have them say come in and visit for a while, to have my Uncle Dean call me beautiful and to have my Aunt Nerita tell me she was proud of me after we finished walking together.  I have wonderful, faithful Aunts and Uncles.  It was a privilege to grow up near them, to be around them often and in their homes regularly.  Yesterday afternoon Chad, Spencer and I watched Weston, Trevin and Trey play basketball.  My best friend from high school Mistie Ramage was at Trevin and Weston’s game watching her son play so I got to visit with her.  That was a treat.  On the way home from the games we stopped in at my niece Jewel’s home to see her new son Calvin.  He’s so cute.  After we got home, I played with the kids in the yard and in the barn.  Then Travis called us and told us he, Tyler Ann, Taden and Spencer (Spencer got to go riding with them!) had the cows gathered at the corrals because he knew Marlee wanted to see the baby calves.  My Mom drove us out to see them.  Tilly, Bryant and Karalee decided they wanted to come too.  Travis and crew had loaded up two cows in the trailer and then Spencer got to continue riding because they needed to drive the cows across the five mile draw to a different pasture.  Last night Chad and I went out to dinner at Eva’s with my Mom, Crystal and Darrel, Penny and Dean and Travis (Teresa was out of town).  It was sure fun visiting with each other.  My siblings (Chad’s siblings included) are my best friends. 

Meeting my new great nephew Calvin.
Spencer and Chad love babies!

Playing in the barn.

Today Chad and my kids woke up to the Valentines I had set out for them and for my Mom and Kari’s family.  Chad wrote me a nice Valentine and slipped it in the pocket of my church jacket.  He’s so good to me.  I’m looking forward to Sunday dinner in a few minutes and visiting with family here at my Mom’s house this evening.  I better go help prepare dinner.

My cute Valentines.  Marlee came and crawled in bed with us around 7:30 this morning.

My quote for this letter is about love in honor of Valentine’s Day.  “No matter what circumstances you sisters experience, your influence can be marvelously far-reaching. I believe some of you have a tendency to underestimate your profound capacity for blessing the lives of others. More often than not, it is not on the stage with some public pronouncement but in your example of righteousness and the countless gentle acts of love and kindness done so willingly, so often on a one-to-one basis." --James E. Faust, "You Are All Heaven Sent," Ensign, Nov. 2002, 110



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Personal Progress - Good Works Value Experience #1

Started - January 26, 2016
Finished - February 11, 2016

Personal Progress - Good Works Value Experiences 1
Learn why service is a fundamental principle of the gospel. Read Matthew 5:13–1625:34–40Galatians 6:9–10James 1:22–27Mosiah 2:174:26; and 3 Nephi 13:1–4. Others often give service you may not notice, such as preparing meals, reading to or listening to younger children, repairing clothing, or helping a brother or sister. For two weeks record in your journal the quiet acts of service your family members and others perform. Acknowledge their service in some meaningful way.

Why service is a fundamental principle of the gospel
As we let our lights shine by doing good things for others it brings glory to Heavenly Father.  (Matthew 5:13-16)

When we serve others we serve God.  (Matthew 25:34-40)

We should not get weary of serving others and doing good things to them.  We will reap the good things that we do if we don’t give up.  We should do good unto others every time we have the opportunity, especially to those of faith.  (Galatians 6:9-10)

It is not enough to hear the word of God we must do it.  Pure religion is serving and visiting others. (James 1:22-27)

We have wisdom when we learn that when we are in the service of our fellow being that we are in the service of our God. (Mosiah 2:17)

Serving others—“ imparting of our substance to the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants”— allows us to retain a remission of our sins. (Mosiah 4:26)

It is important to serve others without desire to be seen or them or for recognition.  Service should be done anonymously if possible.  Those who tell everyone of the service they have done are hypocrites and their reward is the glory of men.  Those who serve in secret are rewarded openly by Heavenly Father who seeth in secret. (3 Nephi 13:1-4)

Quiet acts of service I’ve seen family members and others perform:
  • Tilly took her siblings clothes baskets to their room for them while they were at school.
  • Mothers (or maybe fathers or other caregivers) brought choir uniforms to their children at BFHS when they forgot their uniforms for choir pictures.
  • Andrea Taylor gave me a heads up this morning, Jan. 26th, that the parents of 11 year old YW who are turning 12 this year did not get notified that new beginnings was changed from today, Jan. 26th, to Feb. 10th.  That allowed me time to apologize and to let everyone know of the change well before they went down to the church.
  • Tim Reed offered, without me asking, to pick up all the laurel’s tickets for the ASU family devotional with Elder Andersen while he was picking up the priest’s tickets and he delivered them to my house.  This helped me SO much not to have to go down to Tempe to pick them up on such a busy day.
  • Karalee opened the front door for Spencer to signal to the carpool that Spencer would be out in a little while.
  • Karalee got Tilly’s boots from out in the yard and brought them in the house.
  • Shon forwarded Molly’s missionary letter to me and other family members and friends.
  • Doug forwarded Lindsay’s missionary letter to me and other family members.
  • Chad and the kids, Devin and family and Anna and Tyler helped Heather move.
  • Brenda had Grammy days for Tilly and her cousins her age.
  • Spencer babysat while I took Bryant to basketball practice.
  • Several people cheered me on when I posted my resolve to lose weight on Facebook.
  • Robert Skouson told me about a good supplement I should use to help regulate my hormones.
  • Celeste helped me pick out which brand of supplement was a good brand.
  • Karalee unlocked the door for Spencer so when he came home he wouldn’t have the ring the bell.
  • Marlee and Tilly threw away my crochet scraps of yarn for me.
  • Bryant brought me scissors while I was crocheting.
  • Spencer brought me a drink of water while I was crocheting.
  • Chad, Spencer and Bryant helped the Patterson’s move.
  • Chad installed a new cord on Heather’s dryer.
  • Mom and Shon wrote a letter to me and to the family.
  • Theresa Schenck volunteered to take our ward’s laundry assignment at the temple.
  • Jessica Carr, Brittany Call, Kathy Walker and Chelsea Snell offered to make a dessert for our upcoming Stake Relief Society activity.
  • Bryant got all his sisters vitamins this morning.
  • Tilly put Karalee’s scriptures away for her.
  • Lindsey Bowen took Spencer to and from his game last night.
  • Jenny Reed called and offered a ride to Karalee to activity days.
  • Nicole Rudd had Jorsyn Taylor over to play with Emmie while her Mom was working.
  • Marlee picked up Karalee’s sunglasses.
  • Natalie Sandall offered to watch Tilly so I could go help in Marlee’s class.
  • Spencer sat and listened and helped Marlee do her reading homework.
  • Chad went out back and shot baskets with the boys and taught them skills and tips.
  • Courtney Rae offered dinner to members in the ward when she made too much.
  • Tilly helped clean up the older girl’s forts.
  • Brenda wrote a letter updating us on her life.
  • Mom wrote a letter to the family.
  • Brenda emailed a great article.
  • Karalee took Bryant’s scriptures to him at church when he forgot them.
  • Marlee picked lemons so we could have lemonade with Sunday dinner.
  • Spencer went to church early to set up chairs and prepare the sacrament.
  • Marlee and Bryant went early with Spencer to help with the chairs and hymnbooks.
  • Sherry Sedillo made arrows for New Beginnings decorations.
  • The YW leaders planned, made cookies for, decorated and executed the new beginnings program for the young women.
  • Jensen Bailey conducted the music for the closing song.
  • Liv Wilcox accompanied the YW special number and the closing song.
  • Jenny Reed let me borrow white table cloths for New Beginnings.
  • Natalie Sandall, Kristie Kerr, and Kathy Walker shared a spiritual thought at new beginnings.
  • Spencer prepares a come follow me lesson for our family each Monday morning, Chad prepares a come follow for the family every other morning before school.
  • Tena Moore picked up after school sports carpool when it was my turn.

Meal Planning - Personal Progress – Good Works Value Experience #2

February 11, 2016

Personal Progress – Good Works Value Experience #2 
Service is an essential principle of family living. Help plan your family’s menus, obtain the food, and prepare part of the meals for two weeks. During that time help your family gather to share mealtimes. Report to your class what you have learned.

I have learned that in meal planning it is helpful to plan ahead.  I choose 5-8 dinners to shop for at a time.  In addition to that, I try to always keep things for breakfasts and lunches and quick, easy dinners on hand in my pantry.  When I have chosen my 5-8 dinners I make a list of things we will need to buy to make those dinners, I also add lunch items, breakfast items and fruits and veggies that we are running low on to the list.  Then about once a week, I go to the store and purchase those items.  Each morning I decide which of the meals on my list I will make for dinner that evening.  I make a mental note of how long it will take to make dinner and what activities we have going on that evening so I can try to do as much prep ahead of time as possible.  When I am cooking if I notice I am running low on spices or condiments I put that on my shopping list right away so I won’t forget to buy more.  I try to do this with cleaning supplies as I am cleaning and every other type of household good too.  In addition to that, I try to keep at least two of each spice, canned food, cleaning supply, etc. on hand at all times and then when the one I am using runs out I have a backup on hand and then I replace the backup right away.  (I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I don’t know how to explain it better.)  Planning ahead makes things go much more smoothly.  It helps my life go better because dinner becomes less of a hassle...most of the time anyway.  If I'm able to keep food, fruits and veggies, and snacks on hand I don't hear my kids grumble about be "starving" quite as often. ;)  Sometimes I love cooking, sometimes I don't love it, but I feel it is a necessary skill when raising a family.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Letter - Earning Playing Time, Those Who Resiste Temptation Know How Strong It Is

Sunday, February 07, 2016

This week has been great.  On Monday I had to go to the Post Office and the MVD, back to back.  Those are two places I don’t usually like to go, but it wasn’t too bad because Chad worked from home so Tilly stayed with him and I caught up on Facebook and relaxed while I waited.  Chad finished working as the kids came home from school so he got to hear all their news from the day and help with reading and homework and listened to me give Bryant a piano lesson.  It felt like an idyllic afternoon being all together on a workday afternoon. 

Tuesday was Ground Hog’s day.  Since I’m a Snowflake traditionalist of course we had biscuits and gravy for dinner.  It totally blew my healthy eating for that day, but I’ve been good every other day since deciding to lose twenty pounds so it didn’t put me off my goal to badly.  Marlee had soccer practice that evening, Bryant had scouts, Spencer had a basketball game, Karalee had activity days, I had mutual and Chad had a late work event.  Luckily I have several people I carpool with so everyone was able to get to all their activities, but I was a little late to mutual so I could get the kids ready for bed before I left.  I played volleyball with my friends from 9:00-10:30pm.  It was a good way to work out all the stress from such a busy evening.  It was really good, competitive volleyball that night so it was fun, but I tweaked my knee and it has been hurting a bit since then.

Wednesday Tilly had her music class.  I don’t remember anything else from that day.

Thursday morning I donated blood and then Tilly and I went grocery shopping at Walmart.  Bryant had basketball practice at 5:00 and Karalee had soccer practice at 6:30.

Friday I went to Zumba.  My knee didn’t hurt too much while I exercised, but it was really sore the rest of the day.  Tilly got to play at her friend Elsie’s house and I got to go help with an art project in Marlee’s first grade class.  Chad and I attended the temple for Ward temple night and then we went out to dinner.

Saturday was full of good basketball games.  Bryant had a game at 10:00.  His team barely lost in overtime.  Spencer had his first 8th grade basketball playoff game at 1:30.  They beat that team pretty easily so they advanced to the next round.  His next game was at 5:00pm.  That was such a fun game to watch.  The teams were both pretty evenly matched.  Spencer started the game.  He and the other starters played the whole game except for about 2 minutes in the 2nd quarter when the coach gave a couple of other boys a chance to play and the starters a chance to rest.  Spencer scored 7 points and had some great assists and rebounds.  The game was pretty close the whole way.  Spencer’s team ended up winning by 8 points when it was all over.  Chad and I had so much fun watching Spencer play.  We’re excited for the many years of watching our kids play sports that are ahead of us.  It is great entertainment. 

I felt Spencer earned so much playing time because he has worked so hard this season and has put in a lot of time in our back yard improving his game.  However, I felt badly for the boys who didn’t get any playing time, I’ve been in that situation before.  I also felt badly for the parents of the boys who didn’t get to play at all.  However, I think in school sports it is important to coach to win, not to play everybody equally … especially in the playoffs.  I think that lights a fire under the kids who don’t get much playing time and helps them improve their game so they can have more playing time and it builds everyone’s talent level.  That’s just my opinion.  I’m pretty competitive though.  I’m sure other people feel differently and that’s ok.  

Today has been a nice Sabbath Day.  It is super bowl Sunday, but we don’t watch TV on Sunday and we don’t follow football any other day of the week either so we didn’t watch the big game.  We periodically asked Siri on our phone what the score was though.  Chad recorded the game for Bryant who is interested in it so they can watch it tomorrow.  Chad rarely watches sports on TV, but when he does he likes to fast forward through most of the game only watching the highlights.  I’m sure they’ll check out the commercials too since they are always funny for the super bowl. 

Spencer and three of his friends decided to sing a quartet in our ward talent show on Feb. 20th.  They are going to sing “Barbara Ann.”  They practiced this evening in our home.  I’m glad Spencer took my suggestion to sing with his friends and is developing into a well-rounded young adult. 

My quote for today is from C.S. Lewis, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”