Monday, December 7, 2015

Covenants/Promises

In class we talked about covenants and about how 
we are a covenant keeping people.   I have been 
thinking about the covenants we make and what it
 means to me.  I guess I have always felt that once
 a covenant is made, it is sacred and not to be broken.
  Just like when I tell someone I will do something,
 I feel like my word is my bond.  I shouldn't have to 
sign a contract to ensure that I am trustworthy and 
reliable and that what I say  I will do, I will do.  
(I am not saying contracts are bad, etc. - just that I 
want to be known as someone that can be trusted.)  
Covenants are special promises made with Heavenly
 Father.  President Monson said, " Sacred covenants
 are to be revered by us, and faithfulness to them is a requirement for happiness."  I have made covenants 
with my Heavenly Father when I was baptized when 
I was eight years old.  I renew those covenants each
 Sabbath day as I partake of the sacred ordinance of
the sacrament.  I love being able to renew those 
baptismal promises each week.  Here is a picture of 
Conner right before he makes his baptismal covenant." 
When we are baptized, we covenant to take upon 
ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to always 
remember Him, and to keep his commandments.  
We also promise to serve him to the end." 

Another covenant I have made is the one in the 
marriage covenant in the temple of the Lord.  I hold
the covenants I have made very close to my heart and 
would never break them, they are sacred.  

This is the Oakland Temple where Brad and I made our 
sacred marriage covenant in 1983.  (Sorry no picture of 
us, they are all stuck in a scrapbook and not easy to get to.  
But here are some pictures of some of my favorite people 
after they have made the same covenants.  

Something new I learned as I was learning about 
covenants  is that when we take the sacrament,  we are 
also renewing  all the covenants we have made with
Heavenly Father and not just those from our baptism.  
I love that great reminder each week. Another thing I 
was reminded about in class was the "keeping our 
covenants is not merely a list of things to do but a
commitment to become like the Savior."  

For more information please follow this link: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/07/understanding-our-covenants-with-god?lang=eng&icid=GCA14-R-5B-understanding




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Temple Week

Last week was temple week in the Pasco, WA Stake.  Our stake presidency announced this goal at the beginning of the year and we have all been looking forward to it all year long.  Many have prepared names to take to the temple and many have prepared themselves to participate in this great work.

Brad took a day off last week and we did two sessions.  Brad's dad came with us for one of the sessions and Conner did a baptismal session.  Our stake youth did over 140 baptismal names last week all on one day.  Pretty amazing!

As I sat in the Celestial Room after my second session I sat and pondered the temple.  I remember clearly the day the Columbia River temple was announced and the excitement our whole family felt.  We were practically jumping up and down with the rest of the congregation watching General Conference in our stake center.  As soon as we found out where the temple was going to be built we decided to have a picnic there beforehand.  Our entire family laid out a blanket and ate McDonald's.  It was a great day of celebration.

A few months later was the groundbreaking which we missed but we drove over every week or so thereafter to view the progress of the temple.  We found an excellent place to park the car on the street above the temple  It was a fantastic view.  As they were doing the foundation of the temple we were all invited to put our names on a small temple rock to be placed under the foundation of the temple.  We were so excited to be a part of the temple and eagerly wrote our names and submitted them to be placed as part of the temple foundation.  We felt we were committing ourselves to supporting the great work of the temple and the gospel.  (In later years when we built our home we did the same thing with rocks and with our family - including those names of people not present.  We wanted to symbolize our love and support for our family, just as we did for the temple.)

We continued to watch the temple building and were amazed at how quickly the construction went.  On the day that Angel Moroni was to be placed on the top of our temple (yes, we thought of it as our temple) we cancelled our events for the day and went and parked our car above the temple.  It was a drizzly day but we watched as they unpacked the statue and as the crane hoisted it to the top of the temple.  We watched as the workmen stood on scaffolding to attach Angel Moroni.  There was quite a crowd below us watching, but we had the best seats in the house, and no crowds.

Photograph of the Columbia River Washington Mormon Temple

After that much of our watching dissipated as the construction work was mostly inside the temple.  We still continued to come by but not quite as often as there wasn't much to see.   We were still very excited though.  One evening I received a phone call from our bishop looking for someone to help put together the chandelier in one of the sealing rooms.  Boy did I jump fast.  I was there in a heartbeat.  I stood on a ladder (dressed in church clothes) as those below followed the instructions and handed me the proper crystals to hang in each location.  We wore special white gloves which I still treasure.  The results were stunning.  I have always loved this room ever since and peek in whenever I go by.  Three of my daughters were married for time and all eternity in "my room."
Inside the Temple - Sealing room in LDS Temple

A few days later the chandelier for the Celestial Room was going to be put together and Brad had the opportunity to help with that.  He didn't have to climb a ladder, they lowered it down to those  doing the installation.  Brad still thinks of this chandelier as his.  Our friends had the opportunity to put together one of the sconces in the Celestial Room and whenever I walk by I think of the Yarbrough's.


In the mean time, Michael graduated from high school and went off to BYU.  What a tragedy - he would be missing out on the Open House of our family's temple.  That was not to be.  We bought him an airplane ticket for the last weekend of the Open House and he was able to participate in that event with our family.  A quick trip, but he made it nonetheless.  A few weeks later was the dedication of our temple.  We flew Michael home for this as well.  This is our temple, he can't miss out.

On the morning of the dedication, November 18, 2001, our family went to the placing of the cornerstone on the temple ground.  One of Michael's friend's, Zach Nelson, was in the youth choir that sang that morning.  Even though the morning was a little chilly, it was still beautiful.  And President Hinckley waved his cane at us. The mortar was put into place and we all went home to return a few hours later for the temple dedication.


For the temple dedication we were privileged to have seats in "my sealing room."  It was one of the most spiritual times in our family's life.  All the waiting and watching the temple being built was worth it.  We bought special handkerchiefs for the Hosanna Shout which I still hold dear.

All this and more I thought about as I sat in the temple last week.  How much I love my family.  How grateful I am that we are sealed together for time and all eternity.  How much I love the gospel and the blessings I have received as I have studied and learned and served and experienced.  I wouldn't give it up for the world.  It means everything to me.

Photograph of the Columbia River Washington Mormon Temple


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spring Break

I know that spring break happened quite a few weeks ago but I have been thinking about this for a while.  I usually write blog posts in my head and then never do anything about it.  I like when people add pictures to their blogs but I am so untech savvy that  I just don't post at all since I think mine will be boring without pictures.  Oh well.  Perhaps one day I will just get over that hang up.

Right before spring break I finished one of my personal progress projects.  Something I had been working on for a long time.  You can read more about that here.   To find out more about personal progress in general you can do that here.

Well, back to spring break:  We decided to go to Utah for spring break to visit the family there and to go to general conference.  We were able to secure a few tickets to conference ahead of time so we were pretty excited about going.  Kaitlin and Conner had never been before and even though the drive is long (at least there was no snow) all the miles are worth it to see family and to go to conference.

We stayed at Erin and David's house - so thank you very much - and tormented baby Tessa.  I think she would wake up from her nap or each morning and hope we would be gone, but alas, there we were.  We had invaded her house and it wasn't until the last couple of days that we were okay.  Not great, but okay.  We went to Thanksgiving Point, to the dinosaur museum, and to the aquarium and were able to watch the penguins get fed.  That and the shark tank and Tessa losing her shoe in the starfish pool, were our highlights.

Conner had the opportunity to borrow Erin's bike and ride to Adobe with David one day.  He kind of didn't want to ride this bike that was too big and he was unsure about the distance but he succeeded.  I appreciate David taking his time and probably being late to work so Conner could go with him.  I am not sure how many miles this trip is but it isn't close and there are a few busy roads too.  Conner had been on a recent ten mile bike ride with his scout troop in order to earn the bicycling merit badge and according to him, he was always at the back of the pack trying to catch up.  They need a couple ten mile rides, two 25 mile rides and one 50 mile ride.  So on returning home and bike riding with his troop he has since always been at the front leading the way.  I think this bike ride gave Conner great confidence, so I appreciate that.  Thanks David.

Conner also got to spend time with his brothers when they went to a video game competition.  Conner always loves hanging out with his brothers.  If he lived near them, he would be really happy.

Kylee and Chas came down from Rexburg to go to conference as well so it was fun to visit with them.  And of course, we ate great food, played lots of games, and stayed up really late.  I got to spend a little bit of time with my sisters and brother and their family.  Wish we lived closer as I always enjoying hanging out with them.

But then to the reason we actually came to on this trip.  CONFERENCE!!!  We had two tickets to the Saturday afternoon session so these two sisters were able to go together:

Of course they are older now, but all their older pictures together it seems like the are making faces. They were excited about going and since Chas had been before, he stayed outside, picked up food for all of them and then escorted them home on TRAX.  Meanwhile, as they were making it back to Lehi, Brad was madly dashing off in our van with these three brothers:

to go to the Priesthood session.  (Another older picture, but it is one of my favorites of my three boys.)  Conner had been looking forward to this for a long time and to be able to go with his two brothers was a treat.  Unfortunately there was an accident on the freeway and the traffic was backed up, but fortunately, they made it to the conference center in the knick of time.  We drove more than 600 mile for our kids to have the opportunity to attend conference.  All worth it.

We drove home on Sunday and was able to listen to the Sunday morning conference as we drove. This was on a radio station from Salt Lake. For the afternoon session we weren't quite so lucky.  We were able to find a radio station from Rexburg and listened to the first half but then we got too far away - Boise - and we weren't able to get the last half.  Conner was not happy and had me search all the stations a number of times.  At least it was recorded so we were able to watch it upon returning home.  I am glad that my kids enjoyed conference so well and that they were able to spend that time together.  It brings great joy to me.




Monday, March 3, 2014

Destination Imagination

Conner has been a part of Destination Imagination for 4 years now.  I am not very good at explaining or defining what that is but I will try.  The kids are given two kinds of challenges, one is an instant challenge that could be anything but they know absolutely nothing about it until they are in the competition.  The other challenge they can plan for and is in various categories.  There are building challenges, acting challenges, etc. The kids must come up with their own solutions without any adult interference.  They meet every week and practice, build, plan, etc.  Last year Conner's group did well and competed at the state level after winning first place at districts.  This year we had districts just last week-end and placed first again.  The challenge they boys picked was to do an improvisation.  During the year they had to research various historical time periods and vocations during those time periods.  They had to research stage make up styles and how those characters would act.  Then they had to prepare for various kinds of pandemoniums that could occur as well as contemporary characters.  They don't know any of the exact things they will be given until right before their performance and they are given three of the elements at the beginning and they have four minutes to plan a skit and apply make up to one character.  After that they are given the contemporary character and one minute to add that into their skit and then they are to perform.  Here is their skit and if it doesn't work then you can view it on youtube.com with the title Destination Imagination 2014 SOS. 



















Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quilting

For Personal Progress I began a project that I have really made more elaborate than required but have really enjoyed.  The project I had picked out was to read two of my older Ensigns each week and glean lessons I need to learn from them and put that in my journal.  I figured it was pointless to read the Ensigns and then do nothing about them.  I started this project a couple of years ago and instead of taking 15 hours I have done this for countless hours.  I decided to read every single one of my old Ensigns and do this instead.  I am coming close to completion, but it will still be a few months for that as I have about 25 more to go, but that is a long way from when I started and had 30 years worth of Ensigns saved.

Periodically I will e-mail an article or two to my kids but I would imagine they might get tired of that and so I decided to share one on my blog.  I was really excited about the title of this article "Mending Quilts Mending Lives" by Carolyn Rusch.  I love to quilt and wish I had more time to do that and this article was really good so I was not disappointed.  Even if you don't like to quilt or have never quilted, this is a great article.

As I was preparing to speak to a group of Young Women, I caught myself reflecting on quilts. I wanted to help the girls understand that each of our lives is like a quilt. Just as every quilt has a unique pattern, so too our lives have a pattern uniquely ours. Each piece in our quilt represents a challenge we’ve had, a blessing received, a truth learned, a talent nurtured, or an experience that has helped shape us into the person we are today—and the person we can become. Some quilts are orderly and have a precise pattern; others are crazy quilts with oddly shaped pieces and mismatched colors randomly sewn together. Although both types of quilts can be used for the same purpose, each is wonderfully unique.
As these thoughts wandered around in my head, I was reminded of the graduation quilt my grandmother had lovingly pieced together for me. She had used a sunbonnet design made of scraps of fabric left over from previous sewing projects, both hers and mine. After my grandmother had sewn all of the pieces together, quilting her work of art became a family project. I remember sitting for hours around that quilt with my grandmother, my mother, and an aunt as they taught me the art of taking tiny stitches—making sure each one went through both layers of fabric. We had worked on the quilt for several days when an unfortunate thing happened. One of us asked my aunt to pass the scissors, which she quickly did. But much to everyone’s horror, as she slid them across the quilt point first, they went into the quilt, leaving an unsightly hole. We were all upset and just knew the quilt was ruined. I remember my grandmother telling us not to worry because with iron-on tape and some careful “finagling” she would be able to make the hole almost invisible. Sure enough, she fixed it, and although a patch now covered the unsightly hole, we had to look closely to find it.
The night before I was to speak to the young women, I decided I would take my graduation quilt, now 37 years old, with me. The girls would be able to see how each square was unique and how each added to the beauty of the quilt. I could tell them about the hole in the quilt, how my grandmother had patched it, and how I treasured the memories sewn into the quilt with every stitch. I also wanted to remind them that just as the hole had been mended, we too can be mended when we do something wrong, not with iron-on tape, but through the gift of repentance and the great atoning sacrifice of a loving Savior.
As I finished my preparation, I decided to mark the patch in the quilt so I could quickly point it out to the young women. I pulled the quilt down from the shelf and began looking for the patch, but much to my amazement, I couldn’t find it. I even laid the quilt on the floor and went over it inch by inch on my hands and knees but still could not find the L-shaped scar. I began to wonder if my memory was failing, yet I knew the incident had happened and there had been a hole in the quilt—but where?
I searched for some time but the patch was not to be found. Then I was reminded of the words in Doctrine and Covenants 58:42: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” I knew then what I needed to share with the young women. They needed to know that they are beloved daughters of our Heavenly Father, each unique and different, with individual talents, trials, weaknesses, and triumphs. They needed to know that repentance is available and forgiveness is possible. Just as I had been unable to find the patch in the quilt, so it is with our lives—if we truly repent, it can be as if a sin had not been committed and even the Lord will remember it no more.
I had caught myself reflecting on quilts but found my testimony of the principle of repentance and the power of the Atonement strengthened. That night I added one more piece to the quilt that is my life.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Newest Members of the Anderson Family and Other Stuff

First off, I am a terrible blogger.  I always vow to do better but never seem to as the computer and I really aren't the best of friends as I have better things to do than hang out looking for my pictures or files or whatever seems to have gotten lost on the computer.  I guess it is really an organization problem an not a computer error, but it seems much nicer to blame the computer.

Last August we added a new grandchild to our family.  Courtney and Will had their third little girl and named her Megan.  She is really cute and the big sisters seem to love her so much as well.  They are a great family and I especially love that they only live about 30 minutes away so we can see each other fairly often.
This is their family just a few days after Megan was born.  They came up for Labor Day week-end.

A few later I drove Kylee to Rexburg where she has been going to BYU-I.  It was the first time I had ever been there so it was quite an adventure.  The thing that was the coolest, was before we left Pasco I asked Kylee if she had stuff to do in the car as we drove there as it would be a long and boring drive.  Instead, Kylee and I talked the whole entire time.  She didn't read any of her books or play any of her games or music and I didn't listen to books on tape or turn on the radio or anything.  We spent the entire trip talking and laughing and just having a good time.  It was so much fun.  Different story on the way home though.  Sad, long, boring.  



These are pictures of Kylee's new home for the next two semesters in Idaho.  The temple is close by so she can go often.  Campus is pretty much across the street and the grocery store is a few blocks up the street.      
Here is a picture of Brad as we often see him.  I figure the kids will remember all the pictures of him sleeping on the ground on our RV trip or after weddings.  
And now to the next newest members of our family.  Yes, we have crickets.  Isn't that the most exciting thing ever!  No, we don't have an infestation problem, thank goodness.  They are the food for Conner's new friend who he has named Gary the Gecko.  
 And here he is.  He actually doesn't run around the house.  He has a vivarium that he lives in but we take him out and let him run around.  Kind of creepy !
Conner got Gary for Christmas.  We had the whole crowd come home this year and had the best fun.  Brad challenged Kaitlin to a race so here is a picture of that.  It was freezing cold but we all went to watch.
 While everyone was here we held Kaitlin's Young Women's Recognition which is similar to the Boy Scout Eagle as Kaitlin worked hard to accomplish all of her goals.  This is a picture of one of her projects:  She made a modest dress.  She actually picked out two different patterns and combined them to make this dress that she then wore to Homecoming.
 And last but not least our latest family picture.  But unfortunately, or rather fortunately, it will be out of date by the end of the summer as Erin and David announced that they are expecting their first baby at the end of July.  We are so excited for them.  Little cousins for the Keelers and more grandkids for us.
I have been inspired by Allison and my daughters who have earned their Young Women's Recognition and some are even working on it for the second time that I am going to re-commit to doing the same and thank Allison for setting up the blog for us to all report back to. Personal Progress and Duty to God   




Thursday, April 25, 2013

Survivor










You know your raised your children right when you are sitting out in the garden with your grandchildren on a Wednesday evening around seven o'clock pulling carrots up and digging in the dirt and little Whitney looks up at you and asks, "Are you going to watch Survivor?"