Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Light the World Through December

A great idea:  use a Christmas calendar starting on December 1st.  Below is where you can print some for you and your family.

Mormon.org has a calendar for adults, teens, and children that can help "light the world" with good deeds and keep the spirit of Christmas within our hearts.  The link is below for the children's calendar


Have a wonderfully enlightened holiday season!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Eleven Super Heroes Graduate from Canyon View

My grandson, Bridger, age 22, has earned his Weber High School diploma!

On May 20, 2016, 11 super heroes graduated from their various high schools at Canyon View School in Ogden. This special ceremony wasn't announced in the newspaper with the times and places for the local high school graduations that were taking place this month, yet these young adults have spent four years beyond high school earning their high school diploma in the Life Program course of studies offered at Canyon View. For those of us who have earned higher education degrees, we know how difficult it was to finish high school and go on to complete four more years of school,  but we still didn’t experience anything nearly as tough and challenging as these young people have during their education; what they accomplished should be called a Master’s degree in life.

Canyon View's graduation ceremony was one of the most heartfelt, amazing graduations I’ve ever attended.Tears welled up in our eyes and we chocked back our emotions as the graduates took their turn standing bravely in front of the audience while their individual accomplishments were highlighted.  No one in the room could explain what it felt like to see these fine young men and women reach the monumental goal of graduating from high school. Every parent in that room knew the effort it had been to teach small and simple things to their child who had disabilities—the patience, the love, the persistence, the endurance, the every-fiber-of-their-being strength required to get them to where they stood on this special day. The teachers and aides knew, too, and experienced the same feeling of pride for a job well done. The investment in these wonderful human beings, these unsung heroes, was worth every sacrifice, all the tears and sorrow for their struggles, and everything else. There they stood as examples of true courage and great accomplishment.

As each graduate was presented, these are some of the individual accomplishments that were mentioned:  “He learned to advocate for himself,”  “She came to the United States four years ago and learnedEnglish and is working on her citizenship,” “He can now communicate with a device that helps people understand him,”  “She can take the UTA by herself and is looking forward to begin independent living,”  “He has learned to say, ‘Excuse me’ when he needs to do something and people are ignoring him as he stands by patiently, waiting for them to acknowledge him,”  “When he started school here, he  did not communicate, but now has learned to interact with people comfortably and effectively,”  “She can now speak and be understood,”  “He found every educational challenge very difficult, but he hung in there and worked hard and learned,”  “He was recently complimented for being the best custodian the school has ever had,”  “He has expertly managed the school’s recycling program,”  “He has held a job at Smith’s Marketplace,” “She has done a good job as an employee at Deseret Industries for the past two years,” “He has learned to drive his wheelchair safely,”  “He is able to demonstrate proper social behavior and will soon live in a group home,” “She was very shy at first, but can now express herself with confidence.” The list of large and small accomplishments was long and impressive. They each should have received a standing ovation.

These students’ family members and friends will keep this special moment in their hearts, knowing that the world hasn’t been the kindest to people with disabilities. Yet, they go forth into the world now with hope for the future, just like any other high school student. They have dreams and goals. They will achieve much. They will remind us all to be grateful for what we have, and, most of all, to be grateful for what they have taught and given us. They will, indeed, continue on, making the world a better place.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Truly Loving Christmas Gift

My husband hates cats.  Seriously, he doesn't like anything about them, mainly because he sees them as vicious killers who destroy things just for fun.  He says, "The only good cat is a dead cat."  Well, he talks big and bad, but there is something less of a grinch in his heart because he has done an unselfish act for me today, on Christmas Eve, that is a sign that he loves me very much and will do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g for me.  He is always doing special things for me, but this one takes the cake!

You see, I am a cat lover, but am allergic now that there hasn't been one in my home since I married this man who won't have a cat in our household.  He is a tried-and-true dog lover, but he couldn't get away from felines, since our neighbor, Mack, had, literally, hundreds of cats over the years that often hunted for mice in our field.  Most of them were wild, but he fed them well.  When he died last February, I became worried about those cats that had become dependent on his shelter and food.  So, I contacted Best Friends and was supplied with traps to catch the cats and have them spayed, neutered, and given shots for rabies (all free).  The sick ones were taken to the animal shelter so they wouldn't infect the healthy cats.  They others were released back to their feral colony.

Well, here is the miracle--my husband has helped me maintain the feral cat colony.  At first, I didn't let him know I was feeding the cats.  Then, he knew I was trying to save them because of the trapping operation, but he still didn't know I was going to take responsibility for their care (I was a bit afraid to say anything).  I hid the food on the property and would sneak over to feed them.  Eventually, I had to confess I was feeding them and needed to hire someone to feed them when I was going out of town.  He seemed okay with the fact that I felt the need to have cats even if they weren't mine.  Over the months of my reports about the cats and how one of them was becoming my kitty because it let me touch it, he has softened and is supporting me in this project.  He has assisted me in winterizing the coal shed where we feed them, and fed them when I've gone out of town.  Now, he has done the most amazing thing.  These pictures tell it all.  Love.  Christmas.  Giving.  Gifts.  Sacrifice.  Love.  Love.  What a dear, precious man!

He plowed a path on the abandoned property across the road from our home.  

It goes through the yard of the empty house (see my shadow in the glass?)

He plowed a path right up to the cats' shed.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Brighten Your Hope This Christmas

In a world gone topsy-turvy with suffering, violence, and dark days, there is peace and hope to be found in the goodness of people and in the inspired promises Jesus Christ has given us in His Gospel.  Truly, good will always overshadow bad, and light will always penetrate darkness.  We just have to seek Him, find Him, and follow Him.

Take time, above all, to let the Christmas Spirit lighten your heart.  Enjoy pondering the good things in the world as you read the scriptures, gaze at Christmas lights, and find joy in the many festivities surrounding this glorious season of celebrating the birth of the Son of God--The One who has made all the difference of how our world will turn out.

Gather your family around you and reminisce over those favorite Christmas ornaments you've collected over the years and the traditions you all enjoy as December rolls around each year.  Be glad of life!  Build new memories with your loved ones.  Reach out and give of your own warmth.  It costs nothing but time to cheer another's heart, or put a smile on someone's face.  Life is short.  Make it a loved-filled one.

And . . . don't forget to enjoy the music that, for me, makes the Christmas season especially meaningful and bright.  One of my favorites Christmas songs is the link below.  I usually prefer male voices singing most songs, but this rendition is sweet and brings the joy of the Christmas season to my heart.

Oh Holy Night

P.S.  Just sitting next to my husband in church today, listening to him singing, made me especially grateful to have him near and to feel secure in his caring presence.  I treasure the opportunity to be with him and my family members yet for another Christmas season in my life.

Thanks to God for giving us not only this life, but the opportunity for eternal life all because of our Savior, Lord, and King!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Guaranteed Happy Holiday Start

This is a gift for you.  If you haven't heard Alex Boye and his African tribal versons of familiar music, you're missing some truly happy moments in music.  Kick start your Christmas season right here with one of his songs:
Little Drummer Boy