Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We'll miss you Aaron!

My brother Dave's stepson Aaron just passed away. He was 36. The kids all called Dave Dad and were very close. I just found this picture in a bag of memories mom sent home with me recently. I drew this in Florida when we lived there Jan 8, 1992, just a few months before my son Joshua was born. Dave is the only sibling I've ever drawn anything for that I can remember. :'] Hearts breaking for them!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yes, life can be a challenge at times

There's no question that we live in a beautiful world and that life is full of reasons to be grateful and joyful. But unfortunately, we still manage to find things to complain about. It may be the weather, traffic, current events, the people around us or anything in between. Yes, life can be a challenge at times, but there are better ways to face life's challenges than complaining about them.

Years ago, a member of the board of trustees of a large university overheard some students grumbling about various aspects of college life. The advice he gave them was perhaps a bit surprising. He suggested "that they lay their books aside for a few hours, leave their rooms, and go visit someone who is old and lonely, or someone sick and discouraged. By and large," he said, "I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves. . . . The most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose ourselves in the service of others."

You've probably heard this counsel before, but it's worth a reminder. While venting our frustrations may help us feel better for a moment, what really improves our outlook and enriches our lives is thinking of others. It's simple, really, but simple things are not always easy.

For many years now, one woman has made it her practice to start her day by thinking about who might need her help. Who can she call? Who can she visit? Who might need a little sunshine? Somehow she can always think of someone; there's no shortage of people to reach out to. Sometimes she offers nothing more than a listening ear; other times she brings small gifts or food, but always she gives a portion of herself only to have it replenished for the next day's giving! 

Yes, there's certainly a lot to complain about in life. But giving of ourselves not only shifts our focus away from our problems, it also allows us to make the world just a little more beautiful even if it's only in small ways. As the university leader wisely observed, "Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others."

Lloyd D. Newell

Sunday, June 19, 2016


the sacredness . . . Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you

Happy Fathers Day

A young father, noticing that his wife was not feeling well, made extra efforts to help out. He took care of things around the house, prepared a warm bath for her, and took the children for a walk so she could rest. "Don't worry," he told her. "I'll take care of you." Imagine the satisfaction he felt when, a few days later, he heard his three-year-old daughter use these same words when she acted kindly to her mother. The father felt grateful but also humbled. He realized how closely his daughter was observing his behavior. He determined to be more intentional about setting a good example for his daughter to follow. 

Good wisdom is offered in this statement about fatherhood: "As a father, you are always teaching. For good or ill your family learns your ways, your beliefs, your heart, your ideas, your concerns. Your children may or may not choose to follow you, but the example you give is the greatest light you hold before your children, and you are accountable for that light."

Fathers always matter. But too often, modern media portrays fathers as incompetent, indifferent, or simply absent from family life. And while it's true that there are some disengaged fathers in real life, most would do anything to protect and provide for their family; they desire to work hard and set a good example. 

Of course, no father gets it right every time. Some days are better than others, but if a father tries to live so that his children can honor his name, so that they think of him with love and affection, so that they remember him as a man of honor and integrity, then that father, while less than perfect, is a good father. Each father is a work in progress, and it is in the process of trying that he makes his progress. His very efforts refine him, slowly helping him become all that he is capable of becoming; nothing allows for opportunities for growth and development like fatherhood. 

The greatness of the task, the sacredness of the responsibility may make some fathers feel inadequate, but good fathers simply stand up, do their best, and say to their families, through their words and actions, "Don't worry. I'll take care of you." 

Lloyd D. Newell

Thursday, June 16, 2016

the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

"Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize everything in your life is exactly how YOU allow it to be."


Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Meaning of Life


Thursday, June 9, 2016

It's not how we look, it's how we see

It is better to Look Up!

"Sometimes, of all the people in the world, the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of our forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"The Lord looks upon the light we have received, the desires of our hearts, and our actions, and when we repent and seek His forgiveness, He forgives. As we consider our own lives and the lives of our loved ones and acquaintances, we should be equally willing to forgive ourselves and others."
 Craig A. Cardon

"Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life's fight, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome."  
 Thomas S. Monson

"Every day brings something beautiful if we are just willing to look up and see it." 
Marjorie P. Hinckley

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." ... Remember, "It is better to look up" with gratitude and love, and in this way—see God moving in His majesty and power! 
Louisa M. Alcoot

"In order to be guided in life's journey and have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, we must have a "hearing ear" and a "seeing eye," both directed upward. We must act on the direction we receive. We must look up and step up. And as we do, I know we will cheer up, for God wants us to be happy." 
Carl B. Cook

"Jesus Christ has commanded us, 'Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.' Doubt, fear, and worry indicate we have taken all of life's burdens and anxieties on ourselves. When plagued by thoughts that you are inadequate, confidently say, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' Then as you 'cheerfully do all things that lie in your power,' you can rest assured that the Lord will do the remainder and things will work out all right."
Anthony D. Perkins

"With our hands to the plow, looking forward; with our eyes to the light, looking upward; we enter into our 'Father's business' with fear and trembling and love. We know our Heavenly Father lives. We know his glorified Son Jesus Christ lives. And we know his work is divine." 
Spencer W. Kimball

No Bake Mini S’more Cheesecakes

Six Sisters Stuff
Serves: 12

  • 1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (14 oz.) marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup of miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup of hot fudge
  • 6 Fun Size Hershey Bars, broken in half (For the topping)
  • 6 individual graham cracker sticks, broken in half (For the topping)

  1. Mix together the graham crumbs and butter until well blended; press onto bottoms of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon ¾ cup of heated Hot Fudge evenly over crusts.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and marshmallow creme in small bowl with mixer until well blended. Spoon into muffin cups; top with marshmallows.
  3. Drizzle with hot fudge and put a graham cracker and piece of Hershey's chocolate in each one. Refrigerate 3 hours before serving. 

Happy Birthday Susan! “I’m glad you were born!” :D

For the most part, every day on the calendar is like every other—each starts with sunrise and ends with a sunset, with lots of busyness in between. But there are certain days that we set apart. National holidays, for example, help us remember our past and inspire our future. Religious holidays turn our hearts toward things of the soul. And then we have personal days of remembrance—such as birthdays and anniversaries—to commemorate the milestones in our own lives and the lives of those we love. 

What would happen to our sense of self and family if birthdays and anniversaries were forgotten or ignored? A birthday is certainly more than cake and ice cream; it is an expression of gratitude that someone we care about came into the world and came into our lives. One family, for example, always makes it a point to say on birthdays, “I’m glad you were born!” Similarly, anniversaries give us the chance to mark important events; they link us to the past and point us to the future, giving life a sense of continuity from one year into the next, generation after generation. Each birthday and anniversary is a celebration of enduring life and love, memories and milestones. And that is something worth celebrating. 

More than one children’s book depicts a character who loves birthdays so much that he or she wants to have one every day! The character soon realizes that what makes such a day extraordinary is that it happens only once a year. It marks a meaningful passage of time. While we look for opportunities to express love and even gather as friends and family as often as possible, a birthday or anniversary is something we plan and prepare for, a special event that deserves special attention. Then, even in advancing years, we cherish those important days and look forward to the next one as a time to give and receive love. 

Be our celebrations large or small, it’s good to take time to remember, reflect, and rejoice. As the English poet Alexander Pope wrote:

“Pleased to look forward, pleased to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind.”
-Lloyd D. Newell

Thursday, June 2, 2016

like oxygen

"Love yourself and the


 will follow."