Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stars & Stripes FOREVER!


When we stumbled across this 'stirring' rendition of the STARS and STRIPES, it became IMPOSSIBLE to restrain ourselves from sharing this with everyone we love!

(Of course, we realize some of you will think that we hate you in posting this, but that's far from the truth!)

We hope you'll laugh as much as we did and enjoy the Muppet's Tribute to America on her birthday!

Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY FOCUS comes from THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR and a collection of their CD's: 
"Spirit of America"  - Includes the following tribute from Charles Osgood:  "Over my many years of broadcasting, I've had quite a glimpse of this land we call America. And I can tell you that there is a truly American spirit which pervades the many facets of this diverse people and country. Its origins lie in the spirit of faith that led to the founding of the nation and it is renewed in the basic principles of equality, liberty, and freedom we all take so for granted every day. Portraying that American essence—whether in an essay, a photograph, or a piece of music—is no small task. But I believe this recording by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square captures and celebrates the spirit of America in a truly remarkable way.

From early folk songs and beloved hymns to patriotic fanfare of yesteryear to stirring new pieces written just for the Choir, you'll find music that will touch your heart, lift your spirit, and tickle your fancy. All your favorites are here—"God Bless America," "America the Beautiful," the National Anthem, "Battle Hymn of the Republic"—as well as music by some of America's favorite composers, such as George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, John Williams, and the Choir's own Mack Wilberg. There's even a piece by yours truly, which I hope you enjoy.

I think you'll find that Spirit of America by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will take a special place in your music collection. Its celebration of the American spirit will nurture and strengthen present and future generations of Americans and freedom loving people everywhere." —Charles Osgood



"AMERICA's CHOIR"  - Music for this album is drawn from the PBS documentary by Lee Groberg and the accompanying DVD which herald this remarkable organization and its lasting imprint on the music world. (See also the book by Heidi Swinton, author of the documentary). Featured are the arrangements of Mack Wilberg, associate conductor of the Choir, who also scored the film.




"Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing: American Folk Hymns & Spirituals " - This recording honors the enduring vitality of folk hymns and spirituals and their ability to anchor the soul in faith. From the sturdy strains of “Saints Bound for Heaven” and the fervent entreaty of “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” to one of the most popular folk hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace,” these songs and hymns gave comfort, hope, and confidence to the early American pioneers. Their power and simplicity still inspire us today.



"Encore Collection: The Many Sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir " - Featuring four full-length CD's, the Encore Collection showcases the versatility and breadth of one of America's most beloved ensembles, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. From the inspiring strains of Consider the Lilies to the majestic patriotism on Spirit of America, to the Broadway and Hollywood classics on Showtime! to the stunning artistry of Requiem, the many sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Encore Collection make it a must-have for every music lover.

We just love being an AMERICAN and knowing that America's Choir is one of us!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mormon

Mormon
The Book of Mormon. Another Testament of Jesus...Image via Wikipedia
Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...Image via Wikipedia
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America The Beautiful - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL -- GOD BLESS AMERICA -- THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE  -- all sung by AMERICA's Favorite Choir!!Sorr
y, we didn't know beforehand that the Mo-Tab had placed restrictions on their property and won't allow you to view the video unless you Click to see it on their channel.  HOWEVER, it's worth the Clicking to feel that amazing sense of patriotism, love of God, and love of country that ONLY comes from the MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR!  So, take the
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 5:  The Mormon Ta...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
time to listen! Enjoy! And even Click on some of their other fav
orites!
Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Templ...Image via Wikipedia
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The pledge of allegiance - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

WOW! The PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE  -- AMERICA, the BEAUTIFUL -- GOD BLESS AMERICA -- ALL sung by AMERICA's FAVORITE CHOIR!!   So sorry that you can't listen in the Blogger viewing pane as the CHOIR has asked that it NOT be allowed. BUT, the GOOD thing IS that they are allowing you to Click to watch and listen on their channel! AND, you can choose several great and wonderful favorites that will warm your hearts!!
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God Bless America - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

HERE IT IS!!  GOD BLESS AMERICA -- THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE -- AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL -- ALL SUNG BY AMERICA'S FAVORITE CHOIR!!!We are soooo sorry that you can't watch and listen to THE CHOIR in the Blogger viewing pane! (The CHOIR has not allowed their videos/music to be embedded.) HOWEVER, they DO allow you to click and watch and listen on their channel!!  It's well worth the extra clicks to hear the sounds of heaven!!  AND you can also click to watch and listen to the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, the MARINE HYMN and several other wonderful hymns that will help you to fire up that patriotism in your soul!  ENJOY!
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

FISH STORY

Is it a log?? Is it a crocodile??  A shark??     NO!!!  It's some of the GIANT fish we now have swimming in our lake!!

Fish and Game, in conjuction with the Stansbury Park Service agency, planted about 800 of these fish in the lake.
These GIANT fish are suppossed to eat the moss growing in the lake,  which will make the fish grow longer and bigger!   Some are already over 3' in length with a fat bodies and wide mouths.
They rarely come up to the surface, so today was most exciting for our grandson - and us!  There were about 25 fish in their school.  These fish can swim quite fast and they were swimming as if in a water ballet.  Each seemed to have it's own position in watching out for the group, which was scattered across a large portion of the lake.  (I tried to get a picture showing the 25-30 giant fish, but when I zoomed out to fit the group inside the photo frame, the fish just looked like dark dots in the water.


I expect the grandkids will have great fun keeping a watch on what's swimming in the lake from their picture window!

Is there possibly a FAMILY INSPIRATIONAL FOCUS with this post??   

 Yes, there is!! 

We refer you to the following great FISH STORIES:  

When Jesus called His Apostles, He said they would be “fishers of men” Matt. 4:18-22Jonah and the great fish—Jonah 1–2; feeding the 5,000—Mark 6:33–44; the tribute coin—Matt. 17:24–27;  “I go a fishing”—John 21:3–6; broiled fish and honeycomb—Luke 24:36–43.  When we think about ALL of the various colors and sizes of fish, we can remember that the gospel is for “every nation, kindred, tongue and people” (1 Ne. 19:17).   Indeed, we find great joy when we are “fishers of men” and share the gospel!    
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

INSPIRED LEAPS TO GREATNESS!

We  felt so INSPIRED in viewing our sweet niece leap through the sprinklers with her young son!!
We were INSPIRED to "SEE" her legs extended as a graceful ballerina!  We were INSPIRED to "REALIZE" that the body really can defy the laws of gravity!   We were INSPIRED to "VIEW" her as she really is:  a DIVINE DAUGHTER of our Father in Heaven!

We hope that you can see the amazing leaps of Faith as our young mother-niece nurtures her son through the adversities of life and teaches him how to jump through the challenges by holding tight to the Iron Rod - (and to Mom's hand)!




We were INSPIRED to remember that as we seek to be more like our Savior, we are gifted with the abilities to "see" and 'think" as He does.


We hope that as you choose to see the Grace, Beauty, Faith, and Divine Nature in those around you,  you'll end-up seeing Ballerinas everywhere!

Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY FOCUS is from Pres. Henry B. Eyring, when he said, "It is clear that for us to have that gift and to be given that trust, we must be transformed through making righteous choices where that is hard to do. We are prepared for so great a trust by passing through trying and testing experiences in mortality. That education can come only as we are subject to trials while serving God and others for Him..[and]..Then our spirits will be changed.

 "We will become able to want what God wants, to think as He thinks, and thus be prepared for the trust of an endless posterity to teach and to lead through tests to be raised up to qualify to live forever in eternal life."


(PS.  We didn't ask for permission to repost our niece's photos, as we wanted it to be a surprise! But, her mom knew!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Sister, My Friend

We rode our bikes across Stansbury Park to see if my daughter needed some help - but, it wasn't my idea. I hadn't initiated us going over, because my sister was my guest.  I wanted her to have fun and a great time during her visit and didn't want to dampen her stay with work. 

My sister insisted on vacuming my house before we ventured outside.  She was concerned about the strain on my joints and cheerfully vacumed floor boards, under counters, and corners while lugging the heavy central-vac hose from room to room.  Then, she asked if we needed to go to my daughter's.

I hesitated. I wanted to go, but was still worried about my sister's vacation time. 

We began our bike-ride and while riding down the street, I suggested we go to my daughter's house.  Of course, my sister was happy to do that. 

When we arrived, we found my daughter and her family worn out from all the stresses associated with packing, cleaning and moving.  My sister asked her what she needed us to do and went right to work.  I followed. 

Completing our tasks, we left to ride our bikes some more - but, not before I collapsed into my sister's loving arms as the reality of my daughter and grandchildren moving away ripped through my heart. 

This 'ode to my sister' is a tribute filled with love for my sister and my friend.  I want to do so much more to repay her for her lovingkindness to me, my children and my grandchildren.

I hope she views her BEDAZZLED family photos with smiles and laughter and feels the love that comes from my heart.

Seeholzer Fam BEDAZZLED


Seeholzer Fam BEDAZZALED Christmas

Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY FOCUS comes from Sister Sheri Dew: "Where may the people of the world look to find women of virtue and integrity—[SISTERS] who are beacons of goodness because their countenances radiate the light of Christ? To us, the SISTERS...This is not hyperbole. It is our mandate. There is no group of [SISTERS] anywhere whom the Lord is relying on more than us—[SISTERS] who can hear, and who will heed, the voice of the Lord. The Lord loves the [SISTERS] of this Church! And He is counting on the [SISTERS] of this Church, all over the world, to make the difference that only we can make."
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good Things to Come

Our dear friends, Dick and Sandy Merrill, currently serving back in Madrid sent us their testimony experience that relates with Elder Holland's video. We are grateful that the Merrills have given us permission to post their story here on our blog:

"This video brought back a memory of a similar experience we had back in 1964. I had the same kind of feelings that Elder Holland expressed in this video.

We were returning to Utah after completing pilot training in Del Rio, Texas. It was November, 1964 and somewhere south of Price, Utah our car Fiat ( tinkertoy ) burned up and we were stranded in the middle of nowhere.

 I finally found a country home right on the highway after an extended run and was able to call for a tow truck from Price. He took our car and us on into Price where we were faced with the problem of what to do. Our car needed major repair and we didn't have much time because I was due very soon in Stead AFB near Reno, Nevada for a 3 week survival course in the snowy Sierra Mountains of Nevada and California.

We checked in to a motel and knelt down that night and offered a prayer of thanks and requested advice on how to proceed. We were both impressed with the same thought that we should get a more reliable vehicle. Sandy and our first born were taking this all very well inspite of the fact that she was expecting our second in March.

When I think about some of the things we have been through together, I am reminded of how much I cherish and love her. We found out the next day the block had been cracked and that the tiny engine was pretty well destroyed. So we asked to speak with the Car dealer there, who was a Mr Read and see if we could get anything for our car and use it to trade for another. All I had was govt. ID from the Air Force and an un-expiring Phillips Petroleum credit card and a promise of good faith because of who and what I was. He agreed to sell us a car and we picked a silver Impala Super Sport off the show room floor
 and they prepared it for us and we drove it on to SLC and I went on to Reno for training.

I still don't know why or how we were able to make this deal for the car since Mr. Read didn't even know us. We enjoyed that car very much until I returned from my year in Southeast Asia. I had forgotten about the tender mercies which were extended to us during this event. I hope you will take time to watch the video. You will enjoy it, I'm sure."


Con Mucho Amor, 
Los Merrill in Madrid



We remember the General Conference address ('An High Priest of Good Things to Come’, Ensign, Nov 1999, 36) when Elder Holland first told this story and how it touched our hearts and inspired us then. And now, with this video, the spiritual impact continues, to bless, to encourage, to inspire, to calm and to give hope. Such an amazing, wonderful testimony by an eye witness of the Lord and His goodness!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seniors and Roses





Why "SENIORS and ROSES", you ask??    Here's the explanation:  All of these roses are from this Season's first blooms - and all from various grades of rose bushes that have finally reached maturity in their growth.  In previous years, the colors and shapes have been beautiful, but never before have our rose bushes produced such gigantic blooms! It's as if the ROSE bushes have endured their childhood and teenage years (ie, years of cold, snowy, frozen, and icy winters mixed in with years of draught and extreme heat), and then coasted through their adult years ( years of changing seasons and irregular temperature and humidity conditions) to arrive at this year, 2010: the year which defines their Seniority and Senior Status in the garden.  And as SENIORS, don't you agree that these ROSE bushes have produced some of the most beautiful blooms that you have ever seen?  As SENIORS, these ROSES show how they've learned their lessons well to pursue excellence in their blooming.

In ECCLESIASTES chapter 3 verse 11, we find that that the footnotes help us to read this verse as follows:   
"11 He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the eternal in their heart without which man cannot find out the work that God hath done."
Having a childlike attitude can help us to be more willing to submit to all that proving ourselves here on earth requires; but, having a mature attitude swells the eternal things of God within our heart, and opens our perspective to look for the Divine and the Beautiful in all of God's Handiwork.


Indeed, we are blessed that God has given us Beauty in our Seasons of Life!
 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.









Years ago, Great Papa survived a severe bout with pancreatitis that should have taken his life.  We know that he was blessed through Priesthood blessings for the surgeons to perform experimental (last ditch effort) surgery which bought him some time to allow some healing to take place in his damaged pancreas.  His recovery took several months in the hospital and was labeled a miracle by all his medical support team!  A few of the Doctors made a thorough investigation into his background and lifestyle, to determine if there was something there that contributed to him being able to survive his critical pancreatitis attack that tried to shut down his body.  After, learning that he had never smoked, never drank, or lived in anyway that was destructive to his body - (because of his faithful adherence to the Word of Wisdom) - they pressed to find some other factor that contributed to his survival.  At last, the doctors concluded that Great Papa's life-long daily habit of drinking Chocolate Ovaltine had fortified his body and given his body that "little extra-edge" of health to have endured all of the trials associated with the pancreatitis.


Here's Great Papa (and Great) preparing their Chocolate Ovaltine in "to go" bottles for a breakfast excursion to McDonald's.  Tables are a premium there, because of the many other Seniors who are also venturing out for a morning breakfast outing!

The Ovaltine is ready to go and stays cold in the cooler so it's ready to drink.  There's something to be said about the simple joys of life, about appreciating the little things, and finding the good, therein.


 

There's something to be said about finding joy in a beautiful rose.


 
There's something to be said about being in awe of God's handiwork.



Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY FOCUS is by Sister Kathleen H Hughes, in commenting on "
Lessons from the Old Testament: Coming of Age": 
 "It requires spiritual sensitivity and maturity to look outside oneself ...—it is a conscious and courageous decision [we] make each week to serve and bless others’ lives.   It’s rare for a person to be in as dangerous or dramatic a situation as Esther’s, but each of us daily has the privilege of influencing someone, of deciding to show our Heavenly Father that we understand and are grateful for His plan for us and that we accept and are committed to live by the covenants we have made with Him. Like Esther, who was asked by Mordecai, “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” we have come to the kingdom for this time, and we need faith, testimony, and courage to live up to the promises made to us by the Father. "





Friday, June 11, 2010

SPRING CLEANING: Memories, Blessings, and More Re-Visited




Well, actually this is just a SPRING CLEANING of the forgotten SD card in the camera:


JAN 2010          Great holding Kayloni Bevan:  we didn't post this earlier because Great Papa didn't notice the ruffle was covering Kayloni's face.

Caitlin's 9th Birthday 
Chelsea and Caitlin Ray: the girls made a cupcake birthday cake with their new cupcake pans, tree, and more!


Great Papa holding Kayloni Bevan and with smiling Kai Bevan


Nana and Kayloni Bevan: - at least Nana was happy!



SPRING 2010

Faithful Cousins:  Caitlin RAY, Jayden BEVAN, Chelsea RAY, and Cody RAY  (We just LOVE those smiles!)


MAY 2010


Cody's 14th Birthday: with a special chocolate cookie cake!


Great and Nana off to a Relief Society Neighborhood Luncheon

with Nana's Carribean Pepper Salad - (It proved to be a hit!)


JUN 2010

Cody's first fish for Summer 2010: Normally, he keeps his fish down on the boat dock, but he brought it up to the pool to show the girls (his sisters, cousin, and extra friend) who, to Cody's delight, all screamed, "EEEEEEOOOOOOOOOH!"








 This week's Summer Storm: - immediately after the Rainbow, the sky changed to vivid hues of lavendar and blue with light showing through the thunder clouds.




















Same day, same time, same summer storm, but looking in the opposite direction, the sky was a dark vivid cornflower blue at 4 in the afternoon. (This also was the color before the lightning started flashing everywhere.)


















We were simply in awe with the striking storm colors in the sky!  Chelsea kept urging me to "take a picture of that!" as we stood under the thundering clouds with  lightning flashing and peculiar patches of sun-light.  A downpour hit just as we finished clicking for this shot!

Our INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY FOCUS is from the Children's Primary Song: 

"Whenever I hear the song of a bird

Or look at the blue, blue sky,

Whenever I feel the rain on my face

Or the wind as it rushes by,

Whenever I touch a velvet rose

Or walk by our lilac tree,

I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world

Heav’nly Father created for me."