Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon
"In your language you have a form of poetry called the sonnet."
"Yes," Calvin said impatiently. "What's that got to do with the
Happy Medium?"
"It's a very strict form of poetry,is it not?"
"Yes"
There are fourteen lines, I believe, all in iambic pentameter. 
Thats a very strict rhythm or meter, Yes?"
"Yes" Calvin nodded.
"And each line has to end with a rigid rhyme pattern. And if
the poet does not do it exactly this way, it is not a sonnet, is it?"
"No"
"But within this strict form the poet has complete freedom to say
whatever he wants, doesn't he?"
"So what?  You mean you're comparing our lives to a sonnet? A
strict form, but freedom within it?"
"Yes.  You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet
yourself.  What you say is completely up to you."
from: A Wrinkle In Time
by: Madeleine L'Engle  


Mayci my love...you are a generous, peaceful soul. ...qualities that both your folks also possess.
A perfect example of your parents generosity happened 14 yrs ago when they invited me to attend the blessed event of your entering into world.
(you know what I think...I think baby doctors may be some of the luckiest people on the planet. Everyday they get to be instrumental in the birth of babies! It must  be a magical experience.)
I know it was magical for me when I was included in that day. It was a gift and an honor and now my heart is bound to you  forever. To witness your parents becoming mom and dad to a beautiful daughter was a sacred gift that I will always treasure.
You should know and might find it interesting to know  that I have loved your dad from the very first time I met him...which happened at Grandma Stephenson's  home, at the dining room table which had  so many chairs around it that I was confused!!  So MANY Stephensons!!???
Bob brought me down from USU to 'meet the family', and your dad was just a young whippersnapper teenager, just a few years older than you are now. Truth be told...he was just a younger, male version of me as a teenager too. He was a handsome, restless, young man, who happily listened to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and yet was a Stephenson thru and thru...with a heart of gold and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. We could relate to one another and we had much in common. He most certainly had to have been blown away by the impossibility that   his older, straight-laced brother had fallen in love with a wild and somewhat rebellious California girl!!  The friendship I have enjoyed with your dad is something I cherish even after all these years.
And then there's your mom. A beauty both inside and  out..and with more class than I'll ever dream of possessing!! I love her with all my heart. I love that your dad was inspired to marry her and bring her into the family. Truly I love her as a sister! Plus...I love that the two of them chose to marry in one of my most favorite places on the planet...Zion!! It was a sign that we were going  to be fast and loyal friends!!

I suppose Im telling you all of this random stuff because its been fun for me to remember the good ol days. Days gone by... about 14 yrs ...when you were born. And to look at you now and see so much good, so much sweetness..so much beauty and love, makes my heart sing.
There was so much love in that hospital  room when you arrived Mayci.
And now..all these years later, there are so many people that love you so very, very much now.
You are easy to love my dear. Kindness, thoughtfulness and wisdom beyond your years are just a few of the great qualities that you seem to be blessed with.

And now...Now that Im headed your way for the summer, I look forward to spending some time with you..and to get to know you even better. If you'll let me that is.
We can hike. I can watch volleyball. Or...we can eat Pringles and drink Diet Coke and suck on Gummy Rings together and remember our counterfeit corruption of sweet Benjamin!!
You'd put hiking shoes on for me...right!!??
Just like I'd eat donuts and cheer like a mad woman in the bleachers for you!! ( and I bet you wouldnt even be embarrassed by me!!!??)
Love you Mayci!
Stay true to you!!  And to your hip dad and your amazing mom!!
Reserving judgement is a matter of infinite hope.
 from: The Great Gatsby
 by: F. Scott Fitzgerald




My Builder asked me ..."if you had a magic wand..what would you do...how would you wield it?"
The very first things that came to mind were...

Susan Seeley wouldnt be dead.
God would be 'Heavenly Father' again...
We would own a home....
and travel with the kiddo's.
My Builders back breaking work would pay off.
People in the world would be nice to each other.

I suppose, if I could possibly get item #2 straight in my mind, then maybe the rest of my "magic" would more easily fall into place...
But I cant...
God is unalterable and aloof and domineering. This life is a test. There is no cheating..and no outside help. God rules with an iron fist.  It is up to us to make the best with what we are dealt.

There is no magic wand.
Just ones' resolve...
and attitude.

They say that trials will either make ya or break ya...
The jury is still deliberating for me and about me on this one.

And at this juncture it looks as though we are going to take matters into our own hands.   At the risk of appearing selfish..wish is highly possible..and dare I say also appearing hopeless...my Builder and I are taking a new tact, we are taking control of our/my happiness.
I am heading South again. With my Builders blessing Im going back to my idea of paradise and hike once again for Desert Cliffs. I am giddy with excitement, and riddled with guilt. Im a mess.  I am determined to make the best of what we've been dealt..or with what has befallen us. 2 years in Logan has felt like 4...and its time to switch it up. Im too old to just make do.  Bless my GOOD Builder for getting it!!

For those of you who may now be concerned for my eternal welfare...please dont. I give God ALL due credit for ALL the blessings in my life. I do.  He is wiser and grander than I can begin to comprehend. I am grateful. But also hardened... and marred by life.  A  domineering "Father" has been  a hard pill for me to swallow right now. So I'll be looking for warmth, sunshine and fitness..both in body and spirit back in Southern Utah!!
Wish us/me luck.


Two Wills Make a Right

Will these two be forever cemented in each others heart? If I were a bett'in woman I'd put a lot of dough down on this pair and their adoration of one another.  If I havent already told you... My Builder is the 'Grand Whisperer.'  All who know him and observe him with the little ones he adores would agree. But these two seem especially connected.
Im wondering if this bond is all the stronger due to Popa being in the very next room with only a bedsheet  hanging in the archway flimsily  dividing them for one another and the singular, miraculous, laborious experience of William coming into the world...on the couch that Popa bought.  I suppose having the same first name couldnt hurt the bonding experience either.

Favorite daughter, grand and Popa firmly bonded forever.
Its a splendid  thing...a beautiful man with a beautiful grand!!

eASTER i WILL rISE

 

"I Will Rise"

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise


Lachlan

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung
 into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
 Jean Houston


I've got Lachlan on my mind.
I think all the grands would be surprised at how often I think about them in a day. Not once, not twice, but more often than I can fairly count.
But today Lachlans name rose to the top..to write about.
Lach was our first grand. He was the one that introduced us to what being a grandparent felt like. For of course  it is all about feelings. Feeling old. Feeling joy. Feeling worry. Feeling pride. Feeling hope for the future.
We were in our glory days when L joined the family. All was right with the world. St George was home. Hiking was keeping me sane, happy and fit. Everyone was still in the nest...or at least in close proximity to the nest. The pool in the backyard was the gathering place.
 We couldnt wait to meet the little boy with the unusual name ..the name that now fits him perfectly.

He was the start of a whole new chapter in our lives...in fact, a whole new book! A book that will keep us enthralled for years to come as we watch him grow and learn about all his exciting adventures that are bound to happen to such a talented and active boy.
First he was Bubba...or Sunbeam...now he's Lach.
First it was balls that enthralled...oh wait..its still balls...any ball attached to a sport. Or a skateboard.
First it was diapers, shorts and t-shirts..oh wait..its still shorts and t's..but now add to the list, athletic shoes and just the right brand of socks to go with them.
Oh how we love this boy!
The future looks bright for this guy!!
"...for one of the nicest things about mathematics or anything
else you might care to learn, is that many of the things which
can never be, often are."  You see," he went on, "its very 
much like your trying to reach infinity.  You know that it's 
there, but you just dont know where-but just because you
can never reach it doesnt mean that its not worth looking for."
from: The Phantom Tollbooth
by: Norton Juster

Two Times Doth a Tradition Make?

Then my good brother and I are well on our way to forming a fun tradition. Why didnt we start sooner!!!?? Come rain or snow..we wont be deterred!!  And yes there was snow this week...two days of it.
For 2 months now my bro and I have made the time for a lunch date. Its a wonderful development. We've enjoyed 2 great meals plus fun and interesting conversations. We catch up, we compare notes.
The first time I took the shuttle to him..in So Salt Lake. We went to one of his favorite Mexican restaurants..and it was delish!  We downed  a lot of cold Cokes and faitias and talked for two hours!!
This week we met "1/2way" which turns out to be in Layton,  where a friend recommended  we try Gabors-an Italian Grill. May I just say...we will trust KC's recommendations every time...it was divine!!!  This was GOOD pizza, plus some really yummy soup which warmed the cockles of my cold bod..for yes..remember.... it was snowing in March. We even shared a dessert ... "Better Than Sex"chocolate cake.  Bliss!!
I learned that my brother loves being a bishop for  a BYU student ward but that he's going to love not being a bishop too.  His time is drawing closer to its finale.
Meagan has a boyfriend....and a dance coming up soon. Meagan is beautiful and is loving her CNA class.
Amber is going to Washington DC with her mom..a Mother- Daughter tradition.  Amber is just about fluent in Chinese...she can read it, write it and speak it. Awesome.
I learned that Josh may have a bum shoulder...but it wont stop him from playing basketball and that  Jordan is a devoted big sister to both Meagan and Amber.
I learned that Debbie doesnt really like to garden..and that sometime in the future she wants them all to move back to California. Who can blame her...on both counts!!
I meant to ask Joe if he misses the Navy.  I guess I'll wait till next month to ask...for we have this lovely new tradition...and we'll be sharing lunch again soon!!
Of course we talked about my wonderful family as well..I gave him a rundown on all the kids. We talked about the rabbit food business and about my new hopes for Isagenix.
We enjoyed our waitress. Arent good waitress just great!!??  Our Cokes never ran dry.  She warned us about the grouchy business owner next door..."no parking in his spaces!!" She made the perfect food recommendations and wished us a speedy return...all with a great smile and a sense of humor.  Arent good waitress GREAT!!!
The rain and snow had subsided by the time we were ready to head out.
Lunch dates are the best and so are road trips... hour long road trips even qualify.
Sometimes I blare country music as I drive and sometimes I want only the peace and quiet that being in a car alone can bring.  Wednesday it was Rascal Flatts crooning on the radio and a sense of gratitude for all of my family as I sped home and back to reality.
 I hope its 'fair' to choose a picture from my file that is years old...its my blog..I guess I can do as I please...but I like this picture..so Im using it!!
....this attitude of concentrated meditation is the highest
activity there is, an activity of the soul, which is possible
only under the condition of inner freedom and independence.
from: The Art of Loving
by: Eric Fromm


Dear Mary,
Already Im treasuring the memories of the 'bugs view' in my mind of the two of us with our faces smashed into our smelly, shabby yoga mats as we try to maneuver into the Locust Pose or the Plow Pose!! Oh the giggles and grunts!! Good times my friend!!
Things are amusing at the Grill...because you are on the team. The world is better because you grace it. Logan, Utah is tolerable because you call it home too. May you always have places to visit, dogs to love, people to inspire, and someone to laugh with my friend! Thank you for your steadfast friendship and wisdom.

For fun, I 'interviewed' your 'colleagues" at work. May you feel the love!!

Colby- (your adorable, and gentlemanly son) said this about you: "She's a strict mom, but somehow she's pulled off being the best mom too!! There are so many good things about her. There is so much love and she parents with ease."

Steph:."..hummm...its so hard to put into words!!! One thing for sure...she is always willing to give up her most valuable possession...her time!! She pitches in without hesitation!! "

Mindie-I love that she is always willing to help, that she is such a "free spirit", that she isnt afraid to be who she really is, that she has a heart of gold, and her goofy personality. Just to name a couple

Ari- I love her laugh!!

Shelby-She always says she has the best karma and that when the universe is off and  she has bad karma, she always drops everything at work. I like when her karma is off the best because it makes work much more funny!

Mikey- I call her Mom. She's REALLY happy when she's happy. But if momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy. She always has the most understandable and most solid advice. She treats me like she really is my mom. Her laugh cracks me up cause its so funny.

Jessie-"She gives her best advice to everyone that asks and she cares about others."
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened
or drawn to someone new, that persons name suddenly
pops up everywhere you go?  My friend Sophie calls it
coincidence, and Mr Simples, my parson friend, calls it
Grace.  He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone
or something new, one throws a kid of energy out
into the world and "fruitfulness" is drawn in.
from: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by: Mary Ann Shaffer




We dont know how good we've got it...until we dont.

We used to saddle up to you parents counter in the kitchen and visit...
We used to have you bobbing in our pool in St George,enjoying all the other paddling cousins when you came a visiting.
We went to some volleyball games....and cheered as crazy relatives do.
We've watched you grow up.
And now you've found yourself a most handsome and honorable man..whom you wisely married,...and he's moved you across the country..and is keeping you all for himself...or at least thats how it feels.
Now and again we enjoy glimpses of you via your blog. And fortunately  your family is lucky enough to   visit  warm, sunny Florida and catch up. But for me it feels like years since we've had time to catchup..your wedding  day is vivid in my mind???? Could it be that that  was the last time we saw one another. Im sure this aint so....Im sure you've been home...and the timing has been such that we have hugged since then, right!!?? Im just complaining that it doesnt happen enough!!
I miss your quiet, soothing voice and your random outbreaks of squealing joy for life.... your enthusiasm and your mellowness. Truly you are a perfect mix of both your dear mom and dad.
And may I just add my name to a long, long list of fans that must be applauding your darling bangs!! (random but true!!!)  Moviestars dont carry off bangs the way you do!! The older you become the more gorgeous you are my dear niece!!!
You are missed. You are loved...and deeply admired!! Keep doing what your doing my friend for it is agreeing with you!! Im looking so forward to our next visit!!

*** Im sure that the above pic may still cause you some tenderness of heart...we miss dear Theo too. May your memories of the little tyke bring you joy.
"I'm touched by the idea that when we do things
 that are useful and helpful - collecting these shards of spirituality - 
that we may be helping to bring about a healing."
 - Leonard Nimoy


Dearest Brother in Law, healer, physician and friend,
We all have the notion that doctors receive phone calls at all odd hours, and at times of inconvenience...but now that we have a patient, loving doctor in the family...I see that the same applies to calls from family members. (Im sure that My Builder and I are not the only family members  that feel free to pick up the  phone to ask you medical questions?! ) If I think about it too much Im sure I  should blush at the personal things you know about me. 
My gratitude for you and your beautiful family knows no bounds. The support and encouragement you lend to  my family seems limitless. You and Kelly are the hosts with the mostest!! And oh how I love your beautiful children...like my own.
Your gentle ways, your warm and calming smile are gifts to all that know you.  There's no judgement  found in your heart...only encouragement for the betterment of all.  Plus you are a well-spring of good advise to all that ask. Your quiet testimony is more powerful than any speaking from a pulpit can convey. Do you think I could someday grow up to be like you?

Go Cougars!!!

Love you!


All of Lincoln's plans were both simple
and complicated.  They were tempting,
but at the same time they made you
feel doubtful before you even got started.
from: The Higher Power of Lucky
by: Susan Patron

Dearest David,
If only you could have been in on the early conversations that Anna and I had about you, when the two of you were dating and falling in love.
We would call one another and ask questions of each other as we pondered the vast and unique qualities of t this tall, dark handsome man with a brain the size of Toledo  and ideas that would fill volumes. A man with the will and knowledge to live as most people only dream of living.  What would it mean for my daughter? What would it mean for his bride? She wondered what life would be like with such a passionate, brilliant and talented man...a man who thinks differently about most everything than the rest of the human race.
We wondered if you'd go to a doctor if one of you got sick? We speculated about the prospects of her having to learn to make her own soap for washing and spinning her own wool for the clothes you'd both wear. She wondered if she'd ever wear store bought clothes again or have sweet smelling shampoo on the shower shelf....(would there be a shower...or a trough out back!!!!??)  Would their house have electricity? Would they be living miles and miles from the nearest grocery store, movie theater or Dillards or even a Walmart? Would she have to milk cows or goats?  Would their children be immunized or circumcised? Would she have babies on the couch or grind her own wheat and knead her own bread? Would you have neighbors to borrow a cup of flour when in need?
Could she embrace all your philosophies? Would you listen to hers? 

May I just say...True love is a beautiful thing....and a privilege to behold.
The world is your oyster my friend. You and my daughter are a force to be reckoned with. You learn and grow together. The bread is homemade...the boys are uncircumcised...babies are born on couches...but my daughter is blissfully happy. And she smells sweet from store bought products and buys cute clothes both online and at the trendy stores. She's as passionate about the things that you are...and is as healthy and happy as one has the right to be. 
Gratitude isnt an adequate word. Blessed. Blessed to call you son. Blessed that our daughter is so well loved. The world is a better place because of you...as you do your very best to improve it. 
Thank you David...for adoring and honoring our daughter.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for the super dad that you are to your adorable boys.
Bless you.
We so look forward to watching what the future has in store for the two of you. It will be amazing. Of this I am certain. 

Love you!!

I've been longing for a spark... a flicker of my writing life to ignite again.
I've been hunting for inspiration. Or a muse.
I've determined that my family is my best hope .
So here we go.
There will be random posts, in no particular order, about the people I love and call family.


First up...
my handsome nephew Matt.

"What's a philosopher?" said Brutha.
"Someone who's bright enough to find
a job with no heavy lifting," said a voice in his head.
from: Small Gods
by: Terry Pratchett


Dearest Matt,
I feel bad that I dont know you as well as I once did. Growing up and growing old has it perks and its drawbacks. You can surmise which is which in our case. Your life is full of perks and mine is filling up with drawbacks. Just know that when I do have the lucky opportunity to enjoy your company..it is always a pleasure.  Its been a joy to watch you grow up.  You were a most adorable child...and now you have become a handsome man, and an upstanding citizen. Really. You make your parents and family proud.
There arent too many adventurous souls in the family...but you definitely possess  one of them. I suppose we can blame your good parents for this...their wanderlust and spirit of their younger days has been passed on to you. And I now even I  live vicariously through your adventures my friend. 

I've learned that your friends call you tinder.
Your an engineer with the heart of an outdoors man.  
Your blood runs red....UofU red.
Mexico and Lake Powell are your home away from home...as are the challenging mountain bike trails of Utah.
If I need a brainyac, I want you on my team!
If I want action figures or Legos, I know where to go.
Proud to know ya Matt.
May 2014 bring you all the happiness and success you deserve.
May you find a wife and bring her with you on all your exciting adventures!! Double the fun my friend!!!

Love you!
Fear is strange soil. Mainly it grows obedience like corn,
which grows in rows and makes weeding easy. But
sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.
from: Small Gods
by: Terry Pratchett




There's nothing like a loved ones trial to smack ones self across the head and give one perspective.
My dear brother in law has a T-R-I-A-L.

I feel unfit and powerless to help.
Then I had an idea.
What better way to encourage  and show love  and support than to share with him loving words from people who love him!!?

I had an opportunity this last week to be with a lot of family in Salt Lake..so I conducted some interviews.
Here is what I heard  about our good brother...Spencer.

Kelly: "He's gentle, open and always willing to talk. He's grounded in the gospel and the salt of the earth."

Brent: "He's calm, and when he speaks its well thought out. Plus he's a BYU fan!! That cinches the deal!!

Lauren: He's funny.  He has very strong values. He knows what he's doing.

Clark: Spencer is an excellent listener, really! He's super charitable and disposed to help.

Jenna: He's kind and friendly, a strong priesthood holder who has raised  amazing kids!! Supportive, loving, genuine and interested in our lives. He makes me laugh!! I appreciate your hugs! All in all an amazing dad and uncle!

Bob: he's dedicated to his family. Dedicated to his work, and is a good example of a team player. He's a sincere and thoughtful brother in law.

Anna: He's very observant and kind. And he seems very tender hearted too.

Me: What I think I know about you: First--You've been gypped all your life...for you were born on Christmas Eve. Enough said. (you definitely should have half birthdays...officially!!
You hate the heat as much as I love it.
I know I would have loved having you as my bishop.
You have a laugh that lights up a room.
You love me...with all my crazy foibles attached.
You are the quintessential family man.
Grandparenting is your gift.
With all your tests and trials...you are the pearl to be cherished and have so much to share with the rest of us dust mites. Though you'll never preach.

Dearest Spencer, I cant imagine what it must be like to be you right now. The thoughts that must go through your head as you lie in bed before sleep.....
May knowing that we love you help in some small way I pray.

Hang tough my friend. I cant wait to hear what you've learned from yet another curve ball that has come your way.

Love you!!!

Gray is the sky color here, the dove-breast clouds
louring so upon the hilltops that sometimes you feel
you could just reach up and bury your hands in their softness.
from: Year of Wonders
by: Geraldine Brooks



Introductions are due.
This is Alfredo...a white ringnecked dove.
He's my "band-aide" for the longing I feel for wanting a puppy.  A puppy anit happ'in anytime soon....maybe in the spring Im told.  And thus I have sweet, handsome Alfredo.
He's a legitimate band-aide, for he is debonair, and peaceful.  He wont chew things up. He doesnt eat much, and his morning and evening cooing melts my cold, cold heart.
I've decided that the soft cooing of a dove is a gentle reminder of summertime.  I need reminders of summertime, when windows are open and the sounds of morning doves are heard from the eves.
Now I have Alfredo to do this for me every day of the year.
Im told its unusual for a dove to happily perch on a finger.  He seems to prefer it...especially when we go to the couch in the front room and bask in the sun together.   Im looking forward to getting to know him better...and for him to become accustomed to me too.  (this morning he flew away from Lucie and took a short turn around the room and came back to land on my finger!!)
Im being grateful, once again, for My Builders generous and slightly guilty soul, for allowing me to bring another handsome fellow into my life.

P.S.- I case you were wondering...how I came up with the name Alfredo...its because he's creamy white, AND because he came into my life on the evening that we were to meet Clark and Jenna for dinner in Salt Lake. Alfredo was tucked nicely into his take home box from the pet store..and I knew he couldnt be left in the cold, cold car while we enjoyed dinner and conversation with C&J...so I brought him in with us to THE PIE.  We discussed names throughout the night...but nothing rang true...until...as we were readying to leave I had everyone make a last ditch effort to come up with a suitable name.   We brainstormed at the door..of a pizza joint...Thus Alfredo!!! Perfection!!! ( Probably will be shortened by some to Alf or Alfie.)
You will go out in joy
and be lead forth in peace;
the mountains and hills before you
will burst into song,
And all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn
will grow the cypress,
and instead of briars
will come up the myrtle.
This will be for the glory of the Lord,
for an everlasting sign
which will not be destroyed.

-Isaiah 55:12-13

Lovely Sabbath To You...
....I know nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of 
the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in bed at night
with anyone I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring.
These with the rest, one and all, are  to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with
miracles,
Every foot of the interior swarms with miracles.

-Walt Whitman

Happy Sabbath friends
Hearts will never be practical until 
they can be made unbreakable.
from: The Wizard of Oz
by: Frank Baum



Im learning, again, that along with a healthy dose of lack of self control..ie Pepsi, tumblr, etc, I come up lacking in the technique of  'worrying.'
People worry.
Parents really worry.
Chickens worry.
Warts worry.
I do not worry...not like most people I know.
In some future life I may regret my lack of worrying...but for now its just what it is.  Though in the future I can see that I may beat myself up for not being more vigilante ..in fact there are a few things I can think of right now that I regret not being more on top of... now and then...but worrying about it would not have helped me.
I do not worry. Not compared to the vast majority of folks I know. 95% of the people I know worry to the point of loosing sleep, fingernails, and even clumps of hair from their heads as they contemplate possible trouble.  Many a stomach lining has been masticated by worry acids. Tempers flair or silence settles in when worrying raises its troublesome head.  Worrying seems to be a malady that cant be helped. Are we born with it...or is it learned? Once a worrier, always a worrier?!
 People do all sorts of things in the name of worry and protectiveness.  And I think its safe to say that parents are guilty of worrying the most. I read a Grimm fairy tale the other day.  Briar-Rose/Sleeping Beauty.  This time I read it as a metaphor for worrying parents....parents who do all they can to protect their principessa daughter from evil and peril. And do they succeed!? Of course not. For we truly cannot protect our loved ones from all heartaches and danger. Worrying has no form of
protection attached to it. We can teach, preach, and live our lives by example. We can pray, bribe, cajole or be domineering...but alas, it is worrying that helps the least of all.
At the end of the Grimm tale I  asked myself this question, "What do parents most worry about for their kids?"
My pathetic list looked like this:
1. Hoping for their spiritual centeredness-for the good times as well as the bad.
2. Wishing them financial stability
3. Hoping for the blessing of good health
4. Finding and being a good mate.

All of these things are big issues...but I can see that worrying about them for my kids wont help a thing.

I thought it would be fun and interesting to ask family and friends this same question.  To learn what others worry about for their kids.
The responses are telling.
No one is alone on the worlds worry track. (though I truly do feel isolated on my lack of worry track.)
Below are the unedited, unabridged answers from those I love!!

Judy:


Worries about her childrens'  health, their making good choices (religion, partners, job), and being productive citizens....


















Christy:
Worries that her children will get hurt-emotionally, physically, spiritually, or die That she will not teach them enough or correctly so that they gain a testimony and understand the Spirit. That her relationship with them won't be open and trusting enough so that as teenagers they will come to her with troubles and worries. That they won't know how intelligent, beautiful, special, and of great worth they are as daughters of God.
(Okay, she's not gonna lie, she's worried that they'll get kidnapped or tricked by a trafficker, but she also  realizes that that fear is prompted by the volume of  work she does with this issue and she  tries to fight that one down, lol.)  Not being sure when to step in as a parent and when to let them handle it on their own...there you go, my inner parenting fears!  

Debi:
I worry about their happiness - altho they all seem to be pretty happy with life.
I worry about their marriages, altho they all seem to be good...
I worry about their children's health.
..and safety.
And I worry that they might have challenges someday that will challenge their spirituality.







Chelsea:
Hmmm 1. That they will be healthy and strong and never have to suffer through cancer.
 2. That they will love school and that we will be able to pay for their education when the time comes.
 3. That we will be financially stable so that when they want to play a sport, take karate or gymnastics I can give them that opportunity.
 4. That they will be confident and know how special they are no matter what. 
5. That in the future they will choose to serve a mission and be married in the temple and raise a family in the gospel. 
  It makes me cry to think they DO have their free agency and they are going to be hurt and tried and I hope we can teach them the way so they will KNOW the way that will make them the happiest.

Jackie:
 1.  That they and their children will retain their testimonies.
2.  That my grandchildren will be able to go to college (because of rising costs.)
3.  That they all live where they will be physically safe from idiots in the big, bad world.
4. That they can afford to own their own home.
5.  I worry that as the world gets worse, they will lose hope.  I want them to always have hope.


Kip:
1.Quality education
 2.Future jobs
3. Safe country
4. Want them to enjoy life
5. Remember what is important in life
I am optimist on the future.  It will go well for them.  It may not be easy but they will make it and the U. S. too.

Natalie:
Hmmm...I worry about when they start school and what they'll be exposed to there, I worry about then being made fun of (kids are mean these days!), I worry about their safety, I worry about their health. I think I worry about everything  I don't know about their future. If things continue with our country the way they are right now, I don't think their future looks too great. I just want them to be happy and find someone who loves them as much as their dad loves me!













Joan:
Kids? Worry? All the time! (1)I worry about their health. Carly has had tummy problems for years and no doctor knows why despite all the tests.Bill was in a car accident in June and hasn't been able to work since. Looks healthy but a concussion and damage to his dominant hand. He was just finishing a Millwright program and now that job is on hold. (2) I worry about him driving now...? (3) I worry about them finding happiness with a spouse and family one day. I want them to have what I have, a great marriage and children.(4) I worry that Allison and her husband will finally settle down thousands of miles away. She is my best chance for grandchildren!(5) I worry that she won't be able to get pregnant ( been trying for a year)(6) I worry that they will have healthy children.(7) I worry that they make enough money to support themselves and a family.(8) I worry that they will never be able to own a home in todays economy. Man! I'm officially a worry wart!!! Kids! They are a life sentence!!! I wouldn't change a thing about having kids though. Love them so much!! Big hug to you my friend Cindy. ( I worry that we won't see you again hiking in beautiful St. George) xoxox



Amanda:

Wow... That is tough. I don't really think about it like that. I anticipate a changing world. But, so did my parents and their parents. There will be things we can't control and things that are scary and undesirable. But, those things help us shape our character so I am not sure I would say that I worry about it. Each generation has its own trials and tribulations. I don't worry about broken hearts. Everyone needs to experience a couple so they can appreciate Mr. Right. I don't worry about what most people do. I have raised my daughter the best I could with values that were mine. At some point she will decide to hang on to them or let them go because she is her own person and I am glad of that. I just don't worry about her like that. I worry about things like kidnapping and disease andthings that are way out of my control or hers. I am no good to you. You wanted a list but I don't really have one. I don't like to think about those things. Bit I am super glad you thought of me to ask. I miss and love you dearly




Ashley:
Most worry about… 1. That I'm not teaching them everything they need to know 2. That they are getting all the nutrients they need 3. They are going to see me doing something wrong and then do it and then they will be messed up for the rest of their lives (i'm dramatic) 4. (this is a church one, I hope thats okay) I hope they feel the spirit in my home. I want them to be able to know it and understand it and want to have it in their lives. 5. I'm worried that sometimes he doesn't listen to me enough… I don't want him opening the front door and walking outside when I'm not looking
Future… 1. I'm worried my kids will get picked on 2. I'm worried the world is so bad it is going to be very difficult for my kids to have a strong testimony with all the bad things going on around them. 3. I'm worried that they will be easily influenced 4. I'm worried that one day my kids might not like me… (I don't like my mom, so maybe they won't like me) 5. I'm worried they might be like me
so it was kind of hard coming up with those and honestly I know some of them sound silly, but I know you love me and won't make fun of me

Barbara:
1. Health 2. Safety 3. Future in our country and what that means to them and my grandchildren. 4. Job security 5. Relationships with spouses and their own children...and people around them.
One thing I don't worry about is their spirituality .....I feel each one is pretty blessed in that area.

Rob:

Health, success, friendship, confidence, love. Hope that helps. Thanks for making my wife cry doing this. Haha.






My Builder:
My prayers for our kids include: staying healthy, being safe, staying(getting ) close to the Spirit, to have them fulfill covenants, to love their spouse and kids.




Jenn:
I'm having a hard time coming up with answers to these questions because most of my worries revolve around my own insecurities. I feel like whatever worries I have if I have enough faith Heavenly Father will help me overcome them so I try not to worry too much. We'll, I try.
This grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere;
the dew is never all dried up at once;
a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.
-John Muir


Blessed Sabbath everyone.
In the 1950's Canadian psychologists implanted electrodes
deep within the brains of rats and connected the electrodes
to levers that the rats could press to stimulate the pleasure
center of their brains. Left to their own devices, the rats 
would repeatedly press the lever-up to two thousand times
per hour. They ceased almost all other normal behavior, even eating.
from: The Geography of Bliss
by: Eric Weiner

I know its not Lent. And everyone knows Im not Catholic.
And by now everyone  knows Im a weak woman.,, and I suppose Im a little bit obsessive compulsive too.
But I do love a good challenge.
so....starting today...Im putting the computer away. For 30 days.
I will continue to blog.
I will continue to maintain the Sherwood Forest Facebook page.
 And I will need the internet to study for my Sunday School lessons.
But nothing else.
Nothing for 30 days.
This is a character building exercise. For I need more character and to acquire more self-discipline. Even at my age its a battle of wills and of practicing restraint.
Just what is it about Pintrest and Tumblr that hypnotizes or sucks restraint from ones body?!?!  What is it that makes one succumb to its power?!!?
Anyway...Im logging off. Figuratively pulling the plug.
Tumblr opened a vein...and all my self-discipline has drained away.  It affects my sleep pattern. I dont get  things done that I need to get done. Important things are being neglected.
What's interesting is is that I know I can do this... till January 13th.  But what'll I do after that? Open the vein again; pick at the scab?  I will miss it.  It truly is a creative outlet for me. Why does it have to be all or nothing with me?!!?
Sigh
Over and out for now friends.
Lets talk again on this subject come January 13th shall we?! And wish me luck and fortitude!
Expect everything I always say, and
the unexpected never happens.
from: The Phantom Tollbooth
by: Norton Juster


(like me---lumps on the couch)


I missed the bottom step this morning.
I was rushing about, getting ready for work.
I was distracted.
It was 6 degrees BELOW zero outside, and the hallway was unlit.
I toppled like the love affair with Obama.
I was laying face down on the ugly teal carpet before I knew what happened.
I stayed down, without moving for a handful of seconds, mentally going over each member of my unsupple body to see how I fared after such an ungraceful fall.
My wrist will be sore tomorrow.  I got off easy.
Mostly I was grateful that it happened indoors...and not outside where my face would have frozen to the ground on impact.  I was grateful I  didnt have an audience.
Im dismayed to admit this...but just a blink ago I wouldnt have fallen with such a minor mis-step. I was agile and limber not so very long ago, feeling younger than my age. Now Im feeling older than my years.  My flexibility is gone. Im stiffer than dried old leather. (or Obama without a TelePrompter...te he.)
Therefore..I have a resolution!!
Yoga come January!!
Yoga 'till I can touch my forehead to my knees!!
Yoga 'till I can squat without holding on desperately to some unmovable object to haul myself up again!!
A reasonable goal to ward off the relentless march to old age!!
Remembering to turn on the light in the stairwell is a reasonable rational too!!

Peace my friends!

Mimi Monday

I've been to see a doctor about the cessation of
my monthly illness... Then he asked a number of
questions.  Are my breasts knotty (No!!) Have I
experienced a feeling of fearfulness? Anxiety?
(Yes! Yes!) Do I suffer from toothache? (All my
adult life) Do I desire to ear loathsome and 
unwholesome foods such as carrots, raw turnips,
roast pig? (I confess I loved carrots)  Do I fear
dying? Do I have forebodings and gloom? Am I
overtaken by a fear of undefined evil?  Do I suffer
from heart burn? 
"Excellent, you will carry to term," he said,apparently 
satisfied with my answers.
from: Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe
by: Sandra Gulland


Just when you think it might be some time before another adorable grand will join the family...we receive grand news!!
I referenced this news earlier ..here...but I want to make it official!!
Logan, Liam, and Beckham and their fine parents are expecting a baby!!!
Another Stephenson will be joining us come July!! ( a girl is in order...but it never really matters...they are perfection any way you look at it!!)
Oh happy, happy day!!
That'll make 11 grands!! How wild!! How wonderful!!
How blessed we are!!
How grateful we are...for Joe and Natalie are wonderful parents. And all we do is reap the benefits of all their hard work and the dedication required in parenting, as we easily love and adore their offspring!!
Life is good!!
no...Its GRAND!!!


SUNDAY MUSINGS



“The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested
 the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which
 prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight;
 they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the
 day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful
 anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of
 this our day."
-Joseph Smith


Already Im missing sitting out there in the backyard at the patio table...
I studied best out there in the warm sun.
Its a yard full of peace and warmth..in the summer.
Sunday School lessons seemed to come easier there.



Next weeks Sunday School lesson is on Zion.
I wish that meant that I'd be teaching a lesson about Zion National Park. That would be a cinch!!
Instead it means that I'll have to teach a lesson on something that means many things to many people.
Thus far I have seen that Zion means...
....a state of mind.
....a dwelling place where God resides.
.....a pure heart.
....a journey and a destination.
....having one heart and one mind.
.....unity

(and Zion is NOT in my back yard this day)