Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lark Rise Winner and Blog Guidebook Giveaway

I loved hearing about all of your favorite things. Thank you for sharing them and for giving me new ideas of things to see, do, and enjoy.

The winner of the Lark Rise to Candleford; The Complete Season One DVD is

I wish everyone could receive a copy of this DVD. We just watched another episode tonight--still and ever will be a favorite.


For more giveaways check out The Blog Guidebook. They are having 30 Days of Giveaways--a giveaway each day this month! Click here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reaching Out

Yesterday I spoke in Sacrament Meeting and shared this story:
(Jane Sutherland as a young woman)
My great grandmother, Jane Sutherland, grew up in a small fishing village in Scotland. As a young woman she chose to leave her home and accompany her sister and her sister’s three small children to Vancouver, British Columbia where they would meet up with her sister’s husband and another young man from their village, Daniel Davidson. While they were in Canada Dan introduced Jane to the Mormon Church. She read The Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of its truthfulness. For 10 months she studied until (in her own words) she was “thoroughly converted” and desired to be baptized. When her sister and brother-in-law discovered that she was investigating the Mormon faith, “they were simply furious and did everything they could to make [her] unhappy.” Jane’s brother-in-law even threatened to kill Dan if he didn’t stop preaching the Gospel to her.  This did not deter Jane, however. She wanted to be baptized and felt that the only solution for her was to go to Salt Lake City, Utah. Dan told her that if she was going, he was going with her.
(Jane and Daniel Davidson on their wedding day, June 21, 1905)
With continuing bitterness against the two, they secretly left Vancouver and arrived in Salt Lake City very early one cold snowy November morning. With no place to go, no friends, no job, and very little money, they waited for the gates of Temple Square to open.

That day Jane met up with a prominent Mormon family who hired her as a live-in housekeeper. Her first Sunday in Salt Lake Jane wanted to go to church. She still had not yet been baptized. The family, however, told her that she could not go until she finished her morning work. When the dishes and other chores were done she hurried off to church. Jane arrived during the passing of the Sacrament. The chapel was packed, but there was one lone seat up near the front.  Jane made her way to that seat and sat down. After the sacrament was passed and the Priests and Deacons returned to their seats, one fellow came up to where Jane was sitting and made it perfectly clear that Jane had taken his seat and he wanted it back.

Can you imagine how Jane must have felt as she got up and walked slowly back down the aisle searching and searching for a place to sit? She passed row after row—no room. She kept walking and walking and as she neared the back of the chapel, a woman suddenly reached out, grabbed her hand, moved over, and invited Jane to sit down. My great grandmother said that if it wasn’t for that woman, she would have kept right on walking—all the way home to Scotland.
(Jane Sutherland Davidson)
I, personally, am so grateful to that unknown woman who reached out to my great grandmother. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints soon after. Today she has over 1000 descendants—most of whom enjoy the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My life wouldn’t be the same without it. I am so grateful for my faith and for my knowledge of God and his plan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A "Favorite Thing" Giveaway

I've been distracted from blogging lately due to the discovery of a new "favorite thing." The blogging community actually brought it to my attention so it only seems fitting that my involvement therein has suffered a bit.

Have you heard of the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford? Oh my my my. . . love it!

Almost every night after the kids are in bed Brian and I watch an episode. At first, all Brian could say was "This is such a chick flick!" But, now, HE is the one who insists we turn it on. We just finished season two, and we are definitely hooked.

I love this new "favorite thing" as much as I love blogging so I am giving away a Lark Rise to Candleford; The Complete Season One DVD to one of my blog friends.

To enter:

1. You need to follow my blog with Google Friend Connect (see my sidebar to follow if you don't already) and
2. Tell me one of YOUR "favorite things" in a comment on this post.

I will randomly select a winner Sunday night, May 29.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Surviving Spring

We're two weeks into a broken arm.
I aged a bit.
Kellie was bitten by this dog while cycling with a friend--luckily no rabies, just a tetanus shot needed.
deceptively cute canine
We're in the midst of Soccer State Cup
and BYU intramural Ultimate Frisbee.
A few of The Deprotonators (an intramural team consisting of chemistry students, faculty, their friends and family)
It's been quite the Spring at our house.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dirt Clod War

As nine-year-old Travis entered his piano teacher's door six years ago he jealously told her,
"You're so lucky. You can have a dirt clod war!"
His teacher, Susan, and I stood confused for a moment until we realized that he had admired her freshly aerated front lawn as he approached the door. We chuckled quietly to ourselves as we caught a glimpse of the world through childlike eyes again.
Lawn aeration was foreign business to me when I moved to Utah. I initially thought the plugs of dirt were the result of an over-active dog doing its "business."

I liked Travis' interpretation better. Why hadn't I seen them as potential ammunition for one amazing dirt clod war?
A lesson was reinforced that afternoon. Look for the positive--the simple joys. Don't let "life's dirt" mar my attitude. Be a bit more carefree and whimsical.

Let the dirt clod wars begin!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Love Note

There's nothing like a spontaneous love note from a 12-year-old to make a mom smile.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I have two sisters. I'm the oldest, followed by Charlene, then Renee--each three years apart.
Julie, Renee, Charlene circa 1972
Miles separate our adult homes so we don't get together as often as we like. I'm in Utah. Charlene lives in Virginia, and Renee has settled in Washington (state). Yet, we are bound by shared memories, our faith, love for our parents and brothers, the East coast, and all things sinfully sweet.
Julie, Renee, Charlene
Younger days found us dressed alike in outfits masterfully sewn by our mother. Here we are sitting on our Stoker grandparents' back step in one of my very favorite dresses. The pink eyelet on the sleeves and hem made this toothless little girl feel so pretty.
Last week, we each left our homes and four kids in the care of our awesome husbands and reunited for Women's Conference at BYU. We briefly met up with our mother and sister-in-law (who was there with all her sisters as well.)

Despite the childhood fights, teenage squabbles, and adult disagreements, we still love each other, forgive each other, and understand each other. It dawned on me that these two are my very oldest friends. So glad we could spend a few days together this week!

Have we changed much?