I Wish…

This is our third Sunday of Church at home. It was a little over three weeks ago that the self isolation began by many. Ignored by many as well. Interesting times we live in. Whether this virus was engineered by man, sent by God or just another virus I do not know. I found this in my reading that I wanted to share. Brigham Young was not the only one to offer prophetic warnings of the last days.

Do you think there is calamity abroad now among the people? Not much. All we have yet heard and all we have experienced is scarcely a preface to the sermon that is going to be preached. When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given, and the Lord says to them, “Come home; I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth,” all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightnings, and fearful destruction. What matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulfing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations, and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 123, July 15, 1860 – Read entire discourse)

Spent some time reviewing The Family Proclamation delivered to the World in 1995. Who would have ever imagined the changes coming when this was first revealed? Just this past year we have witnessed the greatest evil of our time in legalizing full term abortions. I remember talking with Keith and expressing my horror at such evil. God has allowed us all our agency and has withheld judgement and given us time to repent. As the World has embraced greater evil and ultimately last year the most abhorrent, I fear God will suffer our arrogance no more.

General Conference is a week away. Hope is that our youth will wake up from their apathy. The Church has lost a whole generation in these past 25 years. If all the suffering and pain results in this generation coming back into the fold perhaps it will be worth it. I have no doubt the message will be one of love, but a chastisement. Not sure we will hear such bold words as condemnation like in Ezra Taft Benson’s day as Prophet. The people are far too easily offended by hard words. However the message is delivered may it wake us all up.

Wednesday was a time of reflection. Arrived home from Star Valley in a very somber mood. I felt lost and unsure of what to do. Always nice to get loving counsel from friends. Thursday picked myself up and scheduled some calls with business partners. Don’t know what comes next, but we are preparing. In some ways the words of “we have been waiting for you” both stung and empowered at the same time. Strange how six simple words can carry such a jolt.

I saw this pic on Thursday morning and it filled my heart with Hope as our Tribe went back to work. The brainstorming and strategizing were inspiring. There is healing in doing.

Saturday took a break and enjoyed a long run, hoagies for lunch, racquetball in the afternoon. Wrapped up our day singing Karaoke. My two numbers were 3 AM by a Matchbox Twenty and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. Our oldest son had us laughing so hard when he sang Come and Get Your Love from Guardians of the Galaxy. I was in tears it was priceless.

Looking forward to testimony meeting today with our family. Asked the kids to read their patriarchal blessings after Church. Our youngest hasn’t received his yet, but he was excited to read mine with me.

Closing thoughts for today. Time is a great asset and companion. Mastering patience to let time serve you and the wisdom in how to spend time may be some of the greatest gifts life grants us.

Star Valley, Wyoming

I love this part of the country. Beautiful, peaceful and very quiet. More quiet than normal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. It has been a nice escape for a couple of days.

Saturday after we arrived and unpacked there was exploring to do. The snowshoeing turned into snow racing, which is not easy to do. I did not win any races. I sure was hungry for lunch though. After lunch prepped the horses and went on a ride. A beautiful afternoon, then the snow/rain came. Grilled some steaks, corn on the cob and pineapple. Add baked potatoes and dinner was pretty delicious. Finished the night watching The Fellowship of the Ring. Figured we had time to watch the Lord of the Rings on this trip!

Sunday made fried bread scones, a fruit plate and hot chocolate for breakfast. Kids went to check on the horses and help feed them. I got a quickie with Keith in the shower. ♥️ Church was at Noon. Similar program as last week. Opening song The Spirit of God. Followed by the Sacrament administered by our three sons. Youngest was our speaker. Watched the Book of Mormon video of Enos. Went out again snowshoeing after Church. Peaceful. I still did not win a snow race. Totally not cool! For dinner warmed a few pizzas up and and settled in for The Two Towers.

Monday arrived and a new week. Keith was up early on the phone. Wanted to invest in the Stock Market again but decided to hold off. I think like most people, he is too nervous to jump in. Volatility is a scary thing. Interesting comment from Keith this morning that money has become slippery. The kids went to feed the horses then we got another ride in. For FHE there was a great and terrible game of Spaz. Normally you want a bigger group but we made due with the six of us. No one got hurt but it was insane. Finished up the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with The Return of the King and warm iced brownies and homemade cinnamon ice cream. Yummy!

Tuesday started with an early drive-by of the Star Valley Temple. After a late breakfast, our snowmobiling adventure got us into the mountains west of the river. So very beautiful up there. The weather was overcast all day, then the snow finally started to fall. It has been snowing since. I have always found Peace being outside in the falling snow. Planning on heading back to Idaho Falls tomorrow if the roads are clear.

I know this has been a trial for all. This pandemic is always on your mind. Hard not to be worried about family, friends and others. I am grateful for some laughs and smiles this weekend, these moments have been mixed with naps, tears and reflection. I mentioned to friends today that this COVID-19 virus is like the perfect storm. It has come in and smashed society how we are most vulnerable. The days and weeks ahead will be unlike nothing any of us have ever experienced. Pray for mercy, enjoy the simple things and love without limits. God Bless!

Joy in Isolation

Love, Love, Love Horses

I hope you are all doing well as this storm of life slowly rages. Here is our continuing account of finding Joy in Isolation. Like everyone it hasn’t been easy but we are adapting. ♥️

Thursday after a morning run I had a team call. It was nice to check in with peeps. Those I know are self isolating as much as possible. A connection to the outside I believe is vital to ones mental health. After the call had a chance to catch up with my Tribe. My advice, take the time to call those you love most. Everyone is feeling the effects of isolation. It can be depressing.

In the afternoon worked a bit more in the Greenhouse gathering vegetables. Keith and I went to Smiths to pick up some essentials like milk, eggs and bread for some of the Ward members. Dropped the groceries and the vegetables off and spoke with them a few minutes.

Friday after a run paid some bills. Thought it might be nice to get them out of the way. Today was supposed to be our Ward Youth Snowmobiling Retreat. The youth were looking so forward to this weekend. It has been on the calendar for months. I have had a chance to contact each of the young women and you do your best to put a positive spin on things. I am feeling bummed about it like they are. Working on a Summer Retreat for them. Fingers crossed! Finished the evening with a game of Catan Settlers of America.

Saturday up early. Packed the SUV and taking the family to Star Valley. Decision made late last night. There is enough gas and no interaction required with anyone on the way. The property is available as we had it scheduled for our other plans. Our older kids haven’t seen it yet so it will be a good break for us all. Planning on some horseback riding and snowmobiling while there. Most likely will come back Monday or Tuesday. The dogs are very excited!

Parting thoughts. I am looking forward to the Sabbath. I find Peace in having the Gospel as a constant in our lives. I am grateful for the Come Follow Me Program. It has been a game changer for so many. I encourage you to find a way to bring a moment of Joy to someone. It will lesson your own worries and elevate their Spirit as well.

The Waiting Game

The most difficult part of this whole thing is the isolation. Yes the kids are here and easy to connect with others via Zoom, Google and Facebook. Normally I am doing my things and happy, but your always thinking about what is going on out there. Out in a World that feels so distant. Know what I mean?

Monday morning we slept in. It was a late night with the Infinity Movie Marathon. Made it through three of the movies but not the fourth. Blueberry muffins and pineapple juice for breakfast. Keith and the boys made up some homemade Rootbeer. Monday was kind of a chill day. Made homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade bread for dinner. Love warm bread and butter. Dinner was very good.

Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t want to sit around again and chill. Got up early and played some racquetball. After lunch spent a couple of hours in the Greenhouse. Keith put together an activity for the kids. Printed up ten shamrocks ☘️ and hid them around the Homestead. The boys used a map and compass to track down the shamrocks, Their treasure was the use of his debit card to order a couple of Nintendo Switch games. A win for Keith in that they were busy playing video games and he was busy playing with me. ♥️ I treated him to a very good time!

Wednesday I woke up sore. Not really used to sleeping in so much. Spent part of the day updating our 72 hour kits. Keith and the boys took vehicles to the gas station to top off the gas and to fill up the 5 gallon gas cans. For dinner tried something new. Omelets in a bag. A couple eggs with your favorite ingredients mixed in. Boil in a big pot for 14 minutes and your very own gourmet Omelet. Add in a side of bacon, slice of Celestial toast and OJ!

As much as you would like to pretend this is a Staycation, it isn’t. There is an ever present awareness that things are messed up. Staying busy helps but earthquakes, the stock market collapse, peeps you care about both near & far. My mind doesn’t stop. I’m just wired that way I guess. Faith and Hope I do have, my lack Patience at times is my weakness. Tonight’s thoughts are the promise of Peace. Perhaps Peace is the gift despite our lack of Patience. ♥️

Ides of March

March 15th, also known as the Ides of March, was the day known as the deadline for settling debts in Roman times. Also known as a day of unfortunate events that William Shakespeare warned you about. In our lifetime it is the only day where Church has been cancelled worldwide.

This morning I slept in until 8:20 am. Started a breakfast of donuts, OJ, a fruit bowl and some scrambled eggs and bacon. Kids and Keith joined about 9:00 am. Love homemade fried donuts with cinnamon sugar!

Noon is when we normally have Church, so we stayed on that schedule. I printed up a program for everyone to put in their books of remembrance. As we sang the opening hymn I was touched by the Spirit. The feeling of Peace is a powerful witness of truth. It was present today with our family. I have no doubt many of you experienced that Peace as well.

Opening Prayer

Hymn We Thank Thee oh God for a Prophet

Administration of the Sacrament

Youth Speaker

Adult Speaker

Book of Mormon videos from Come Follow Me. Jacob 2-3 and 7.

Hymn Families are Forever

Closing Prayer

Church lasted an hour then I caught a much needed nap. Like a couple of hours worth. For dinner a fan favorite, personal mini pizzas. All the ingredients on the counter, make them as you like them. Kind of figured it was a fun way to enjoy the Pi Day Weekend. 😂

My daughter challenged me today in a Dance Dance Revolution showdown. It’s on. Tonight at 6 pm. I don’t lose often. 😎

After the showdown, begins the Infinity Movie Marathon. Organized by the boys in response to our cancelled skiing/snowboarding plans. In viewing order Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man & The Wasp, Avengers: End Game and Spider-Man Far From Home. I am not sure why I agreed to this, but I’m in 110%! The news today that Big Sky, Sun Valley and Jackson Hole Resorts all closed in response to COVID-19 was disappointing. I have really enjoyed the skiing this season. Honestly wasn’t ready for the season to be over. As for tonight I’ll see how long I can last! No plans tomorrow.

A departing thought. In these troubled times remember the Gift of Peace offered to us all. Make time to be still. It may be the greatest part of your upcoming experience. In a world full of noise moments of quiet can be an oasis. Love ♥️ to you all!