Exploring Out-Of-The-Way Places in Utah

We explored some out of the way places in Utah this weekend . . . Paul Bunyan's Woodpile and the Tintic Mining District around Eureka.  These are great places for hiking, four-wheeling, rock hunting and lots of family fun.  No crowds, no noise, just the sound of the wind and the crackle of fall leaves under your feet.


What Brings Me Joy

Whenever I walk into a room where my granddaughter Emma is playing, her eyes light up, she runs toward me and gives me the biggest hug.  Then she takes my hand and brings me into her world.  Sometimes she teaches me how to bump down the stairs on my backside and sometimes she shows me her newest toy.  She lovingly gives me the masterpieces she has created in crayon but she gives me much more.  It is those eyes . . .  the eyes that light up when I enter the room.  There is no love as pure as a child's love.  Thank you Emma.  You give your Granny B so much joy. 


Trying to Balance Too Much?

Does it feel like you're trying to balance too much?

Balancing the complexities of life is impossible but that doesn't keep us from trying to do too much.  We think we should be able to do everything and carry a heavy load. 
One day at the point of exhaustion, we take a deep breath, stop and feel.  What am I doing to myself? 
 How can I simplify my life? 
*Take a few things off your plate. 
*Do less with more love. 
*Let everything go that does not bring you peace and joy. 
We don't have to do anything.  We choose to do what we do.  So let's choose wisely.  

Fall Break in Southern Utah

DEAD HORSE POINT timeless wilderness-breathtaking vistas and scenic wonders


Prince Rylan

This is a story written for my precious grandson Rylan
on his very first birthday.

Granny B

A long time ago in a far away land there was a beautiful princess named Aubrey who looked and looked for a long time for her prince to come. 
A long time ago in a far away land there was a handsome prince named Kyle who looked and looked for his princess to come.
But they lived far far away from each other - so they never met.
No matter how many other candidates they courted, they never could be totally happy for they were longing for their true love.
So they both kept looking - for years and years.  Sometimes they were very sad because they thought they would never find that special one.

Then one day the prince and princess were both invited to a party at the castle.  When they saw each other from across the room and looked into each other's eyes - bells chimed and lightworks exploded.

When they first spoke the princess felt she had known the prince from a time she could not remember.  The prince felt he had known the princess from a time before he could remember.  But how could this be true for they had just met?

Then a fire breathing dragon crashed the party and threatened to destroy their love.  The prince found his deep primal courage and slew the dragon.  Then they set the date for their wedding day.

On the morning of their wedding day, another fire breathing dragon appeared and threatened to kill the princess.  The princess found her deep primal courage and slew the dragon. 

Now nothing could steal away their love, for both the prince and princess knew how to slay dragons.  And so they were married. 

Then one happy day the prince and princess had a beautiful male heir.  Their titles changed from prince to King Kyle and from princess to Queen Aubrey because they loved each other and their precious child who now became Prince Rylan.  And so my friends, because there is no power greater than true love . . . nothing will ever change their happily ever after.



The Goldfish Whisperer

My daughter April has four wonderful sons. Her third son Caleb was born without a brain and as you might suppose has many special needs. Because of their special needs brother, Josh, Matty and Mitchel know about ventilators, g-tubes and lots of other medical interventions to help their brother stay alive. When my son-in-law Dallan brought home a gold fish that wouldn't eat, the boys asked their mother if perhaps he might be a special needs goldfish. I think you might enjoy this story told in April's own words. . .

Dallan recently went home teaching and came home with a gold fish. Yes. A goldfish. The family he was visiting had a daughter who was asked to home coming with it and asked if he would take it.

The boys were so excited, and over the next several days we tried to feed it. That little fish would gulp and gulp at the top of the bowl, but we couldn't get it to eat anything even though we made two trips to the store to buy different foods to try. At first we thought we had a picky eater gold fish. Then the boys started to wonder if we had a special needs gold fish. They thought that maybe he needed a g tube. Finally, I started to spoon feed it. Yep. I'd wait till he was gulping at the top of the bowl, then spoon feed food into it's wide open mouth. After a couple of days it started eating! Lots. And now he's been alive for 3 weeks (way longer than we thought.) I think I might have a knack for this sort of thing. Just call me the fish whisperer.


Grandma Hands

I've always loved Grandma hands.  I remember taking my Grandmother's hand and tracing the raised blood vessels under her skin with my finger.  Now both my mother and Grandmother are gone and I have taken their place.

The other day I felt my granddaughter tracing her finger along the raised blood vessels on my hand. As I watched her, I thought, I have grandma hands.

I like that.

You see, you can’t be a grandma until you’ve actually raised a child to adulthood.

You learn a lot on that journey. 

And then . . . all the love you've freely given  . . . comes back . . . as your grandchild tenderly slips her tiny hand in yours.

Payson Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony

Our family participated in the new Payson Temple Groundbreaking Ceremony on Saturday.  It was an honor to be there.  Even a freezing cold rainy day could not keep 6,000 people from attending.  Why?  We are all so thrilled to have this new temple built near where we live.

The Payson Temple will serve about 22 stakes from Spanish Fork to Nephi or about 78,000 members.  My husband Ross was one of the Stake Presidents who shoveled a spade of dirt to begin the building process.  A stake is a group of local wards (similar to a parish or congregation).

Temples for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provide a place where we can make promises and commitments to God and where the highest sacraments of faith occur, such as the marriage of couples for eternity.  Temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities.  The Payson Temple will bring the total number of temples worldwide already in operation or in the planning and constructions phases to 166. 

On a personal level, the privilege of attending a temple has brought me such peace and joy through all the ups and down of my life.  My husband Ross and I were "sealed" (or married for eternity) in the Salt Lake Temple 36 years ago.  Our union has brought ten wonderful, loving children into the world and many grandchildren.  Because of these modern temples, I have the peace of knowing that I will always have my beloved husband, children and grandchildren with me even after I die.


Remedies for Maternal Guilt

DOWN HOME with Granny B

Most information out there that tells mothers something else we should be doing . . . like we don’t already know that. It helps to remember that real life is hectic and trying to do it all is impossible. We women try to do so much but never give ourselves any credit and or celebrate our efforts. Mothers, in particular, are way too hard on themselves. In fact every mother I know is infected with a dreaded disease called . . . maternal guilt.

Seven deadly maternal guilt symptoms include:

1. No matter how much we have done right, we always focus on what we’ve done wrong.

2. Taking blame for all our children’s poor choices.

3. Believing that we have the power to stop bad things from happening to our families.

4. Thinking we should be able to handle everything.

5. The inability to slow down, do less and learn the fine art of muddling.

6. Never feeling good enough, smart enough, thin enough, or attractive enough.

7. Placing our health and well-being on the bottom of our things-to-do list.

Remedies for Maternal Guilt:

Celebrate who you are right now at every stage and age of motherhood by awarding yourself with one of these mother school degrees:

A.O.A. Associates of Amateurism We earn this degree when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

B.O.B Bachelor of Blunders We earn this degree when we stop being SO hard on ourselves.

M.O.M. Masters of Muddling We earn this degree when we master the fine art of muddling.

D.O. H. Doctorate of Humility We earn this degree when we give ourselves permission to learn and grow from our mistakes just like our children do.

Instead of focusing on how your children turn out,
focus on how you turn out. 
Hang in there and keep smiling -
you're doing better than you think you are.


Real Life is Full of Ups and Downs - So Enjoy the Ride!

Life comes at us pretty fast sometimes. 
Things don't always work out the way we plan. 
The only thing we control is ourselves. 
Though we can't control was happens to us,
we can control our attitude
or our response to what happens. 
If we can't laugh at ourselves,
 life gets too rough. 
When we let go of control of everything and everyone around us,
we are free to take life as it comes,
with humility and gratitude. 
So hug someone you love today. 
Pull a funny face and laugh. 
Life is to be lived  . . . with great affection and joy!


Monarch Miracles

Something miraculous is happening at my house.  My children found a monarch caterpillar.  They fed this caterpillar fresh leaves until it formed a chrysalis.  Now we wait in awe and wonder as this creatures magically transforms into a beautiful butterfly ready to take flight.  And we wonder. . . can we also change ourselves. . . transform our former self into something breathtakingly beautiful?  With the hand of God in our lives, anything is possible.