We have a family tradition worth mentioning. Whenever it is someones birthday, they become the "person of the day." We started this many, many years ago. One day at dinner, it was someones birthday and I said, "That makes "so-and-so" the person of the day. We went around the table and said, I like "so-and-so" because... and then said whatever we came up with that could honor that person and would make them happy. It was always short but my kids began to look forward to it. We expanded it so that if there was another important event such as graduation or some other big accomplishment, that would also qualify the person to be person of the day. Usually, someone just says, "Today is "so-and-so's" birthday and that makes them person of the day." Then they say, I like "so-and-so" because...
Lately we have expanded the tradition further because people have grown and moved away. Now if it is someones birthday, we just start an e-mail thread and by the end of the day, usually everyone checks in and carries on the tradition. It is just a thoughtful way to let our family know how much we care about each other.
First thing this morning, this was in my inbox already. It was started by Sarah:
"Today is Seth's birthday! This means he is person of the day. I like Seth because he is funny, and because he is amazing at cleaning unlike I am. Also because he is a great uncle and plays piano with Nathan and because he let me kick him out of his room so Nathan could sleep in there. And most of all, I like Seth because he is a good kid. He turned out well."
Followed by a post from me:
"I like Seth because of many reasons. He is good to the core and has a gentle, kind, good personality. He was a delightful baby and a wonderful child. He is growing to be a wonderful man as well. We love you Seth. Happy Birthday!!"
Gregory chimed in an hour later:
"I like Seth because of his optimistic disposition. He's always chipper!"
Followed by Elisa 1/2 an hour after that. She's away at a professional conference in San Diego:
"I like Seth because he is so intelligent. He is very concerned about keeping the standards of the gospel and he always comes on road trips with me. Also he goes on lots of dates and likes to sleep."
Others will no doubt add to this as the day goes on and it makes for a nice family bond.
Have a GREAT 17th Birthday!!!!
You are greatly loved.
Senior class picture taken a month ago.
Seth, you are a great guy
and YOU are
Person of the Day.
Jim and I dropped my Mom off at the MTC this morning for the start of her mission. (This is a picture of the Provo Temple which is right across the street from the MTC). It has been a very busy weekend around here. She packed up her entire apartment recently and her big move day was Thursday. She put all her belongings and household furniture in a storage unit. She sold her car and in essence, became homeless at that moment. She stayed with us until this morning. She was very, very happy to be starting her mission. She has wanted to do this for a long time. She's 74 years old and this is a major life change at this age but she wanted to do this and it will be a marvelous experience for her. She will be in the MTC for about 12 days and then she heads to Maryland to serve as a temple missionary in the Washington DC Temple for 18 months.
It seems like yesterday that we dropped Ian off at the MTC for his mission and now less than a year later, it was my Mom's turn.
Happy mission Mom.
Today was Ian's P-Day and his e-mail was very uplifting and filled with good news:
Beloved Family,July 25, 2011
We had another great week here, the Lord has been blessing us a lot lately with great experiences. First of all,we had Zone Conference this week, there were three zones there and it was pretty great. I also finished The Book of Mormon again, but for the first time in Portuguese, we all read it together in about 3 or 4 months. I am amazed the I can really read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese without problems. I go for pages and pages without running into a word that I don’t know and 90% of the time when I don’t know the word, I ask a Brazilian and they don´t know either. The Lord has really blessed me a lot to be able to pick up on the language so fast and so easily, I don´t yet know specifically why He had blessed me with this but I hope that I will find out someday...
Saturday we did a division with the Zone Leaders and we had some great lessons with some of our investigators and we marked baptismal dates with two of them for this week!...it didn’t stop there, remember [the man I talked about last week]? He went to Church on Sunday...after the meeting ended, he turned to us and said, "I wanted to mark something with you guys..... my baptism." ...we marked his baptism for Sunday after church! [His wife] hasn’t agreed yet to be baptized but we will work with her this week and I think there is a good possibly that she will be baptized this week! But it didn’t stop there.... Sunday night Elder Bosse and one of the assistants taught the mom of one of our investigators who has already been to church several times, and they marked her baptism for this week as well! So we have 4 dates marked for this week and one other possibility. All of this happened in just 2 days...
I bear my testimony that the Church is true, I know that we have a living prophet; I know that God loves us. I know that miracles are real. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SETH ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!! I LOVE YOU DUDE!"
Missionaries usually have a little plaque that hangs in their ward building while they are gone so the ward members remember who is serving a mission at that time. It includes the place where they serve, a small picture of the missionary, and a scripture quote the missionary picks out. We happened to see my Mom's plaque last evening before she was formally set apart as a missionary. This was the scripture she chose. It is very fitting for her mission:
“Onethinghave I desired of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
Our week was absolutely wonderful, and it sounds like you guys had a great week as well. I have got very little time so I will get right to it. Last p-day, Elder Lima who is my ZL/brother (same trainer)/lives with us made me a delicious birthday cake. It was the only thing that we really did to celebrate my birthday but it was awesome...Sunday night we went to teach [a man and his wife]. They are parents of a young woman in our ward but they are not members. We started teaching them last transfer but it has been very difficult lately to go teach them because of their work. It had been 3 weeks that we had not been there. We taught about the plan of salvation and at the end we talked about temples, as they had shown interest in this before. As we talked, we talked about how they needed to do some things before they could enter the temple and create an eternal family. We found out that (the dad) has already received an answer and wants to get baptized but he will wait for his wife...she was still waiting for an answer. We talked a lot about praying with real intent and how the answer comes. At the end of the lesson, we invited (the wife) to pray and we asked to pray kneeling. She started to pray and after just a few words, she started to cry. She didn’t even get to ask for an answer because she ended the prayer early because she couldn’t talk. It was incredible, probably one of the [best] nights of my mission. I will keep you posted on what happens. I am out of time but I know the Church is true and I love you all lots and lots. Have a great week."
I also have had experiences where the sincerity of a humble prayer resulted in the tenderness of an answer which is hard to explain because of the sweet Spirit which attended the prayer. God is so kind to those who humbly seek and He does answer prayers.
Another year has found us with yet another anniversary trip to remember. This year we went to Park City. The great thing about Park City in the summer is that the hotel rates are much cheaper because it's not ski season. The weather was fabulous and the mountains were all lush and green because of all the rain we had this year.
Bad picture, nice place.
We had dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant. I walked past this place in January when I went to Park City to get some sun during one of our terrible inversion weeks. I told myself then that I wanted to eat there for our anniversary this year. It was really, really, really good.
On Friday we drove up to Mirror Lake.
It's a lovely mountain lake.
At almost 11,000 feet.
There was still some snow at the top but people fished anyway.
It was great drive.
Jim took this picture. I wouldn't have taken it but he really liked this place. They made great artery clogging burgers and fries and because he obviously liked it and wanted to take a picture of it to remember it, I'm including it.
One of my favorite anniversary trips
was when we went to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Actually, we went there for our 20th and 25th anniversary.
It is a fabulous little beach town. Love it.
The Oregon coast in July is beautiful.
Time marches on. I'm always happy to mark the years
Naturally, that means there will be a few pictures. :)
This was the picture on our wedding announcement. Funny thing is, we never sat for this picture. I was on my mission and Jim's Mom took two pictures of us, brought them to a photographer, and he came up with this. That was archaic photoshopping I think, but it worked.
This was the one of Jim he took while I was gone.
Seth looks an awful lot like his dad.
This was the one I took for him right before I left.
The invitations were waiting for us
when I returned home from my mission.
There was little time to plan a wedding because I got home six weeks before we were married.
This was taken right after we were married and we went out
to greet family and friends on the temple grounds.
A few hat comments:
I picked out my hat first before I picked out my dress.
I quite liked that hat.
I would never wear a hat now,
but it was very much in style then.
And there's the famous "hat" story.
This is my dear, dear friend Eloise. She and I served our missions together. She came to my wedding in the DC Temple but needed to leave right after to go to a job interview. My hat was a pain to get on right, the way it was intended to go on. She congratulated me and hugged me goodbye and inadvertently knocked my hat a bit as she did so. When she left I asked Jim, "Is my hat on crooked?" Jim of course said, "Your hat is just fine." I could feel that it was crooked and I asked a few others but everybody said, "Your hat is just fine." There were no mirrors on the grounds where we were getting our pictures taken so I couldn't check it but I could tell something wasn't right. Sure enough, every picture we took that morning showed that my hat was not on right. This picture shows how it was supposed to look. I only mention this because all these years later, we still refer to the crooked hat story. It's our way of saying, "take the time now to get something right because if you don't, you'll hear about it for years." All I have to say is, "Is my hat on crooked?" and enough is said, point understood. I don't think I ever told Eloise that story but my kids have heard it many times.
We were married on a Thursday morning. It was a hot, humid day in the east as mid-July always is. The weather did not bother me though because I had just come from a very hot, humid tropical climate and the east was tame compared to that weather. We had a fun Kentucky Fried Chicken picnic lunch nearby the temple grounds after all the pictures were taken. Everyone needed to travel back home and that was the best solution. We were six hours from the DC temple, it was a lot of driving in hot weather. I remember how pretty the park was and what a lovely day it was.
The following day was a reception in Connecticut followed by another one in New Jersey the day after that. That was a lot of driving for everyone involved. Jim's Mom made both wedding cakes. They were quite beautiful.
Tomorrow maybe I'll post some reflections about marriage, we'll see. For now, suffice it to say that I feel as though I have been greatly blessed. I'm normally a happy person and I find that I am happily married. I don't think a lot of people can say that and I feel bad about that. I delight in my husband now as much as I did when I married him. We've both aged and we have been through so much together, both good and bad. Through it all, life has only gotten sweeter. It doesn't matter that we don't look like we did when we were young or that time has left her mark on us. Our hearts are still the same.
We went to the temple yesterday afternoon and participated in ordinances that reminded us of our own sealing. There was a young couple there with us who had only been married four months. I couldn't help but look at them and think, "You have so much ahead of you." I thought how they would most likely experience great joy and great sorrow, like we have. But those experiences are what forges marriages. The man who was helping us asked how long we had been married. We told him "28 years tomorrow." He said, "I've been married exactly double that, 56 years." Then I couldn't help but wonder what's ahead of us. If we make it that long, I will be an old woman. Jim will be an old man.
I could be best friends with an old man as long as his name is Jim. I want my posterity to know how much I love this good man I married so long ago.