Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brylee and Friends

Brylee has been blessed with some wonderful friends. These girls are impressive. Not once have I heard them gossip or back bite or criticize. They are sweet, good mannered, adorable friends. Lucky for me I get to coach some of them in cheer!

Good friends are some of the best joys life has to offer and I am so grateful that Brylee has them. Makes my Mamma heart so glad!

True friendship is like the asphalt of life, it fills in the potholes and makes the journey smooth.
 -Richard G. Scott  

Monday, November 28, 2016

But If Not

When I look at Brylee I sometimes feel like I am staring into my own face. We got to spend a super wonderful weekend away together at Time out For Women and I loved every moment.

Brylee is Sunshine and she makes everything better and happier. I love her so very much.

The same weekend that Brylee and I went to TOFW was Kaden's last weekend of swim team. To say that Kaden's High School swim season did not end on a high note is a humongous understatement.

Swim season is like running a very long marathon for our whole family. But especially for Kaden. He gets up very early, he has massive (MASSIVE) amounts of homework for all of his AP/dual enrollment/honors classes, he has a job and he is the prelude organist for our ward...his plate is full. So to add in 3+ hours of swim practice everyday plus all day meets on Saturdays made for a killer swim season. Many a-nights I stayed up far past the wee hours to keep him company while he finished homework only to have to wake him up 2 or 3 hours later to start again. I thought we might DIE through this process.

So to have a major disappointment come crashing down on him at the last was not fun. At around this same time I was studying the story found in Daniel 3 of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. 
 This is without a doubt a story worth reading again and again and I knew that this was what Kaden needed to hear and we had a fabulous FHE centered around this story.

King Nebuchadnezzar built an idol of Gold and commanded the people to fall down and worship it. Those who didn't would be cast into the burning fiery furnace that same hour. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego would not:

There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

The King then had the three men brought to him and he questioned them again. I love the answer these brave men gave. They told the King that they knew their God could save them from the flames BUT IF NOT they said...

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

So their faith wasn't based on being saved! Their faith was there if they were saved and their faith was there if they weren't. BUT IF NOT! We STILL will not worship your golden image. The furnace was heated to 7 times its usual temperature and the men were thrown in the fire, the heat from the fire was so immense that the guards that threw them in died on the spot. The King was shocked to see the men unharmed and a 4th man in the fire with them:

Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
The men were brought out of the fire and they had been so protected that they didn't even smell like fire!

And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

I wanted to have a camp fire before FHE so that our clothes would smell like fire but instead I just asked them if they had ever stood by a fire and NOT smelled like smoke. Of course they never had so when we got this this part it was really amazing to them that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not even smell of smoke.

 Man! I sure love those boys! I have added the phrase But If Not to may prayers. And it was a great experience to teach this to my family and to Kaden who learned to continue to ask in faith for the blessing that you need and want knowing that God can do these things but that sometimes He doesn't. and to say But if Not I will still be faithful.

I love the scriptures!

Friday, November 18, 2016


I'm so sad that I have only written 35 blog posts this year. I'm not sure why blogging has lost some of its charm for me after all these years but writing sure hasn't. I love to journal and record and so even though I've slowed to a drip I will press on with the blog!

We have had a lovely few weeks since the intensity of football/cheer/swim season ended. Sure, cheer is an ongoing commitment for me but it has definitely slowed down which gives us these awesome little windows of relief before the winds of crazy start blowing again.

We spent a wonderful week in Utah for October Break. We attended conference as a family and I loved it so much. I was quite aware that the chances of getting all 7 of us together in a session again were probably pretty slim and so I soaked up all those wonderful feelings of joy in that happy moment.

We hiked, toured Pioneer sights and museums, stopped by national parks, did temple work, visited cousins and went to Antelope Island.

and also had family pictures done. This was the easiest photo session ever and for once in my life I wasn't sweaty through the whole process. In fact it was a beautiful 65ish degrees and we were in Fall Heaven.

The whole trip was glorious.

Before we left Scott and I purchased a series of lectures called Joseph Smith a Prophetic Ministry. We listened as we drove and I have continued listening on my morning runs. I have learned so much. One of the talks led me to a speech given by President Kimball called Peter, My Brother. This speech was somewhat life changing for me and taught me so many things.

After listening and studying this talk about the great and heroic Apostle Peter I felt impressed to share it with Kaden. He sat in the chair in front of the computer and I knelt next to him while we read through the talk and discussed its purpose and meaning and the example of not just Peter himself but also President Kimball in his teaching. More than once tears rolled down our cheeks as we filled our hearts with gratitude for Prophets and Apostles and all we can learn from their faithful but imperfect lives.

It was such a blessing to be able to take the kids to Utah, the time together was priceless. I am so thankful for living Prophets and Apsotles and for Joseph Smith, Hyrum, Brigham young and so many early Mormon Pioneers that lived and sacrificed and were heart-and-soul devoted to God so that I can live my faith.

We came home to Halloween

And now BAM its November! Time runs so fast I just cant keep up. But life is so good and I am so thankful for all the wonderful things life has to offer!