“Service for the Savior”

My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was putting straw into a manger for baby Jesus for every good deed I did.  I don’t know if it was truly a tradition for my siblings, but it was to me, & I took it very seriously, & as Christmas approached – if the manger was low on straw, I would do as much service as possible!

I tried to do this with my kids, but after my stroke (which occurred when they were only 2, 4, & 6 years old) it faded. 

In primary, we wanted to do “Service for the Savior” in December, & as we discussed how to do it, this memory popped into my head.  Later, I was on Etsy, & ran across this manger kit:

I got sooo excited – I had done it with small mangers, but a manger like that allowed me to do it in primary! I could still do “my favorite tradition” & witness the children’s reactions as they did it!

In talking to the sweet store owner, I discovered they had varying sizes of the manger that could fold & possibly fit in our closet!  My husband is a woodworker, so he built me a manger like theirs, & the store owner sent me bags (& their book) free! 

I then made a sign to go with it, & a page of service ideas ( – which came from another idea that I just “ran across”)

This is just one example of how the Lord is in my life, & directs me to those who will help me!  I feel like I’ve been flooded with His love as I serve Him & His children!  I can’t get over it! 

I know that as we serve, we will be filled with His love!

& I want the children to feel that, too!

Halloween book

I was avoiding things I should be doing, & decided I needed some “me” time, so I created this fun Halloween book about a week ago:

Now I’m procrastinating more by writing this post &  sharing my book!

BTW, I forgot to label 2 pictures: one I was (obviously) a hospital patient (in 2016), & the next year, I was a pig in a blanket (2017)

Happy Halloween!

 This year I was the mama oyster from the story that Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum tell Alice in the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland. By some miracle, my husband agreed to be the walrus who eats the baby oysters (I think I caught him on a good day, cuz he rarely dresses up!)

We are all different

My old iPad would randomly turn off whenever it wanted to, & I’d lose whatever I was typing unless it was in the cloud.  At 1st, this was very irritating: typing is hard enough as it is, & to lose a huge text that I was typing was infuriating! But in time, I learned to type all my texts on the notes app.  I made a folder called “finish texts too…” & it actually helped me with another problem I was having, where I’d forget to text people back!  This was a welcome solution & it solved my issues for quite a while, but when I tried to copy & paste it into another app & it didn’t work, I  again wanted a new iPad.

I thought getting a new iPad would solve all my issues.  But it didn’t.  My new iPad just has different quirks & is a new kind of annoying!  HaHa!  I realized that every iPad I have owned has something different to get used to, & some are easier to adapt to than others.  There’s no “perfect iPad!”  (as nice as it would be!) 

People can be that way.  We are all different, with different quirks to get used too. 

On October 23rd the Bee Cave ward (12001 Bee Caves Rd.) will have its primary program at 10:30.  This is a wonderful opportunity to hear the children’s testimonies through word & song & let them share what they have learned this year – all are invited!  I was fortunate to assemble the program this year.  I won’t lie – it stressed me out.  But when I wrote the program last year, I learned that I like to involve the children in the process by asking them questions.  So I did that again this year, & it was very uplifting to read their responses. If u would like to hear it, but can’t come, even though the sound quality will be better in person, it will be available on zoom:

Passcode: 632442

Scan the QR code for the bulletin

It’s so good to be home!

Last month was a LOT of travel: 1st was a week in Utah for Jessie’s wedding, then almost 2 weeks in Europe (Italy & Switzerland – shout out to Guili, our foreign exchange student from a few years ago, who we got to see & spend some time with in both countries), & then (after 2 days at home), back to Utah for the 4th of July festivities Travel is not easy for me & involves a lot of anxieties, so it is good to be back to where I can be more independent & communicate & do more through Wi-Fi.

I’m a fairly healthy eater, but after all that travel, we didn’t really have fruits & veggies, & I wanted some variety, but that meant there was a lot more fresh food than I could eat, so I got an early birthday gift: a Vacuum Sealer by ZWILLING.  Oh my gosh, I love it (the best part is that I CAN DO IT)!  It keeps food fresh so much longer & helps decrease my anxiety to hurry & eat it before it goes bad.  I make fun of my mother-in-law cuz she freezes EVERYTHING, but now I’m going to be the mother-in-law/grandma who uses her vacuum sealer for everything!  

That said, my trip to Europe was beautiful & I loved being with family. I loved being with all 3 married children & their spouses, & with my grandbaby  – what a wonderful stage of life!  I love seeing them all so happy! I wish I could put a pause on life!  Or put them in a vacuum sealer!  HaHa  Totally kidding!

One thing I’ve learned is that life is unpredictable! When I was my kids age, I had my life mapped out, & according to that plan, I’d either be teaching right now, or I would be serving a senior couples mission. But neither are possible now…which I could be sad about (& I was at first), but I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life, & He has made my life better than I could’ve imagined.

(I paused writing this post to read Donald L. Hallstrom’s article “Has the Day of Miracles Ceased?” in the Nov. 2017 Ensign or Liahona: It applies so well to what I just said!)

Back to our trip.

I was carried A LOT in all our travels (but the most in Italy), so my left ear got something like a rug burn, & my shoulders got sore (my muscles are pretty weak now). But by some miracle – seriously, it was a miracle  – I ran across this medication called “Heal & Soothe” that I could try for free. It is basically a bunch of supplements, & seemed harmless to try, so I decided to get it.  It said it was for arthritis, so I initially thought I’d see if my mom wanted to try it (since she has arthritis), but I noticed one of the ingredients is turmeric, which I use for my shoulder on a daily basis – my shoulder gets sore from over-use, & turmeric decreases any inflammation that causes pain.

When the medicine bottle came, the picture shows a sore shoulder, exactly where my shoulder gets sore! So, when my shoulder started to hurt after the wedding, I tried it & it helped! I swear that w/o it, my shoulders would be killing me right now! But it was manageable the whole time. Good thing too, cuz after almost 2 weeks in Italy & Switzerland, we went to Utah again!

Little miracles like this happen all the time. It’s a miracle that my husband stayed healthy & strong the whole time.  It’s a miracle he took care of me the whole time (I’m not easy)!  It’s a miracle that I can even go there!

I’m so grateful for small miracles, for my wonderful family, & for the ability to still see beautiful places in the world.