Gorgeous October day (the 29th) when we visited the Boise Idaho temple open house – the temple of my youth. ūüôā ¬†I remember saving pennies to help with the initial construction. ¬†Now it’s all renovated and simply beautiful. ¬†I’m so grateful we were able to take our family on the trek to see this wonder-filled building.

Thankful that we can be a forever family.

A little contemplative… Jacob said that he found the Angel Moroni on a gigantic pillar next to the temple quite interesting.  He also said the temple makes him feel happy and warm inside.

Joshua loved the big stained glass window of the Sacred Grove by the baptismal font.  He said with the sun shining through it looked very beautiful and made him feel peaceful.

Autumn loved the beauty of “the room where you be quiet” (celestial room). ¬†She also loved the sealing room where you can see the mirrors “go back and forth, on & on”. ¬†She has never seen mirrors placed like that before and loved it.

Andrew liked the baptism room too. ¬†He said you “go into a big circle of water and underneath there are ox. ¬†12 of them!” He said said he felt warm and happy – “just like Jacob”.

Miss Katey loved the Bride’s Room where the ladies get ready on their wedding day. ¬†She also loved the crystal chandeliers. ¬†While touring she said “it’s sparkling everyday. ¬†Sparkles forever!”

Caleb loved the “baptism water with cows” (one way to describe it‚Ķ). ¬†He says the temple made him feel good. “Yeah – feel good.”

Meri Рwell, she loved all the lights inside the temple.  She also loved the big, beautiful windows and tried to reach every sparkly chandelier.

Jim Bob loved that they took an already beautiful temple and made it even more beautiful. “Perfection even. There is nothing lacking in construction or design.” He also loved the awe of our children – He said his very favorite part was watching their “big bug eyes and wide gaping mouths taking it all in and not believing the beauty of the temple.”

Me – The temple was absolutely gorgeous – dark wood and beauty all around. I also loved the beauty of the people there the day we toured the temple. Everyone was full of smiles and willing to help. From the men directing traffic to the people putting on protective footwear to the ladies passing out candies on temple napkins to the piano players in the adjacent church – everyone was so friendly and genuinely happy to be there. I especially enjoyed the faith building stories of our tour guides.

“The evening before the rededication (last night), President Monson told a group of 9,200 young people,¬†gathered for the youth cultural celebration, that the temple “shines as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light.”

“We treasure that light, and we thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings this temple and all temples bring into our lives,” he said.”

We rejoice in the blessings of the temple!

Flecks of Gold


This here reminder is printed on Red River’s River Linen paper (one of my favs) and displayed on our piano. ¬†It coordinates with my treasure theme¬†for the year. ¬†I absolutely love this quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard:

‚ÄúGreat things are wrought through simple and¬†small things. Like the small flecks of gold¬†that accumulate over time into a large treasure,¬†our small and simple acts of kindness and service¬†will accumulate into a life filled with love for¬†Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the¬†Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and¬†joy each time we reach out to one another.‚ÄĚ

I love that the little things I do each day – for my family and others are like flecks of gold. ¬†It’s nice to imagine all that treasure building up, fleck by fleck.

The beginning story part of Elder Ballard’s talk was made into a Mormon Message:

His whole talk from General Conference can be found here.

Elder Ballard’s beautifully worded sermon is a treasure.

A fun little side note.  The gold flecks on my poster?

Those are cupcake sprinkles – sweet, no? ūüėČ

Seeking Virtue

Birthday time for me is a time of reflection (well, and a little celebration) ¬†:). ¬†It’s perfect that my birthday falls half-way through the year. ¬†I like to take a few moments to see how my beginning of the year goals are going. ¬†While visiting the Church Art Museum last year this quilt spoke to my heart:

My current scripture study is about treasure.  I decided this quilt is the perfect treasure map for me here and now.

The title is “Angel’s Portion: ¬†Seeking Virtue”. ¬†Angel’s Portion meaning big – this quilt is beautiful and pulls me right in. ¬†The story quilt shows seven ladies – “each shown in an active pursuit of virtue”. ¬†I love the “active pursuit” part. ¬†It takes effort to become more virtuous and to seek after virtuous things – ideas, talents, and gifts. ¬†True treasures.

A tender mercy is the fact that this quilt is in the Ensign for June Рmy birthday month and a perfect reminder to check in.  {front view of the quilt | full article in the Ensign}

In the article it says “Each of these women possesses a trait that can be shared with others to bless humanity: ¬†sentinel, scholar, gardener, nurturer, caregiver, musician, and home builder. The artist explains that these women ‚Äúhonor those who pursue and use talents to bless humanity.'” ¬†Is there any better way to live?

Here is a list of the goals I’m working on in these areas:

  • Sentinel – ¬†Work on leadership qualities: ¬†magnify calling, love those I serve, pray for those I teach and visit.
  • Scholar – Learn more about Teaching Self Government – and apply in my home. ¬†Study photography.
  • Gardener – Help with the Heritage Gardens. ¬†Grow a garden – especially herbs.
  • Nurturer – Tell stories! ¬†Especially family history ones and stories from my childhood. ¬†Consistant interviews with my children. ¬†Pizza dough tossing and doodling/sketching skills.
  • Caregiver – ¬†Monthly FHE service. ¬†Look for opportunities.
  • Musician – ¬†Teach children piano, guitar, drums – what each is interested in and keep up and learn musical talents in those areas. ¬†Also accept opportunities as presented to play flute and sing.
  • Home Builder – Hang family photos and temple pictures throughout our home. ¬†Paint living room and dining room. ¬†Proverbs 14:1 ¬†”¬†Every wise woman¬†buildeth her house.” (A lot of the previous goals fit into building our home.)

Some are coming together better than others – all with room to improve.

I want my goals to focus on seeking virtue and using skills to love and bless my family. ¬†I’m thankful for a quote that jumped out to me while reading President Monson’s talk from General Conference. ¬†It wraps my thoughts into a nice package. ¬†A birthday package even. ¬†“There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”

Pageant Stuff

This morning the older ones got up early (6 am) with Jim Bob and set up approximately 14,000 chairs on the temple lawn (with lots of help from others ūüėČ ). ¬†A huge undertaking – and always well attended. ¬†The task was done in about 1 hour 15 minutes.

{last year’s audience one night; photo by Nick Marsing}

A week ago last Saturday the sets and lighting towers were put up.  That process takes longer.  Brendan wanted to help when they started Рalso 6 am.  Jim Bob had plans that Saturday and got up to see if Brendan needed anything before leaving.  He found this note:

Such a responsible young man.  He rode a bike up to Temple Hill and got helping.

Sets going up:

Brendan is in the upper left of this photo.

The sets stay looking like rocks during most of the Book of Mormon scenes and then unfold to show Joseph Smith’s home, Carthage jail and a pioneer home. ¬†Here it is in progress – so you can see a bit of it all. ¬†Another fun part of the set is the volcano that rotates to reveal a temple – very neat. ¬†That one is moved on and off the hill each night.

Who takes care of all the sets and props during the show?  Well, there is a crew for that too.

Here’s the group from last year:

{photo by Nick Marsing}

Fifth from the left is my Mom Pipes – she is amazing running all over the hill – moving sets and carrying props here and there. ¬†She’s at it again this year. ¬†Third from the right is Jim Bob’s (and therefore mine too!) brother John. ¬†Last year he was stage crew for half the nights and Angel on the Temple for the other half. ¬†We sure miss him this year, but he’s living a good life freshly married.

So many ways to help out with the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

Have a good day! ¬†ūüôā


Sunbeam lesson on Sunday was “I Have Feelings“. ¬†Funny thing about those little ones – they wanted to know which face they each were. ¬†They also helped me rename some of the feelings from the suggestions in the lesson. ¬†Angry? ¬†nope, that’s mad. ¬†Surprised is close to frightened. ¬†And I thought it was so cute that Katey thought my tired face was grateful. ¬†I guess my drawn girl looks a little too happy and thoughtful to be tired.

I also included the finger play from the lesson on the bottom of the paper. ¬†I thought they might enjoy that one – I was right. ¬†Hopefully they were able to do it at home a few times this week. ¬†One part in the manual that I loved – “it is good to show all of the different feelings we have, but we must show them in the right ways, especially when we are angry.”

When I asked what to do when feeling mad, sad or scared, Katey said you can talk to “Oh‚Ķ mom or dad‚Ķ or grandma or grandpa if they are sleeping over at your house.” ¬†I love her sweet little answers.

Sharing Time conversation-
Jacob (out of the blue): My dad is the greatest!
Katey: My dad is the greatest dad in the universe!
Jacob: My dad is Wonder World!!!
*end of conversation*

p.s. ¬†I’m not sure about Wonder World, but this is what Super Dad looks like:


This week will be filled with new posts about Pageant- I promise.  I have a whole list.  Brendan helping with the scenery set-up, a tour of the costume building, words from the opening fireside and a few food posts mixed in as well.

One unexpected story this year is a small feature in the Pageant supplement to the local newspaper. ¬†Meri’s part (baby held by Christ in the Christ in America scene) is being featured. ¬†Although Meri is not the only baby, our family was chosen for the feature partly because Katey and Caleb have played the part in the past. ¬†I did a phone interview and Jim Bob was asked to take the photos. ¬†The editor of the paper said, “Now Jim Bob is a pretty good photographer, right?” to which I could confidently say, “oh, yes!” ¬†They also asked for a family photo. ¬†Brendan took that one. ¬†We gave all the info and are hoping they each get their own by line next to the photos. ¬†ūüôā

Want a sneek peak?  (Jim Bob said I could have first run… blessed me.)

{It had been a long evening of practices and Meri had had it for the day Рthe wind had been blowing pretty strong throughout the last part of the practice.   She had just snuggled in and slept.  She woke up just in time for photos and was not. happy.  You just do what you gotta do when you only have one evening to take photos though… and I kinda sorta love the lighting.}

Enliven the Soul

Favorite teaching moment from the sunbeams last week: I finished talking about noses and smelling and went on to tasting. I asked “what are our mouths for?” And sweet little Jacob F. said “Smiling!” ūüôā

Here are the things we tasted as part of the lesson. ¬†They loved them all. ¬†Yes, all. ¬†Mixed in the little cups was their very favorite. ¬†ūüėČ

Second favorite moment? Madi drawing a mushroom with a big ol’ smile‚Ķ and hair, when the prompt was to draw something they like to taste with their tastebuds.

Third? All of them crowded around the magnifying mirror to see said tastebuds. How I love those little sunbeams!

This scripture from the lesson makes my heart happy:

D&C 59:18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

My sister Anna and I were talking earlier about how much we love food and think it’s our love language (only partly in jest). ¬†I think the above scripture proves that one of Heavenly Father’s love languages must be food too.

Warrior in Training

Practices are going strong.  Brendan has practice twice a night… once with the assistant directors and once for the main director.  Jacob has one practice per night Рin the parking lot of the church.  They both started Tuesday and our family part started tonight, by the pavilion behind the church.

Jacob came home from practice last night with this happy news:

“We got to use weapons!”

This is the first year that Jacob gets to be a warrior in the pageant. ¬†He is a Nephite Standard Bearer from the Book of Mormon. ¬†He’s pretty excited about being a righteous warrior‚Ķ and getting to wield a spear.

Me thinks his brother is looking forward to two years from now.

In other happy news:

I helped index the first half of the 1940 US census


Brendan received his part last night:

{Doot doot doo} – that’s a trumpet fanfare. ¬†And a trumpet is so appropriate because‚Ķ

Brendan will be portraying Angel Moroni’s Night Visit and when Joseph Smith sees the Golden Plates – alternating nights.

I found out a little more about the process of casting.  I visit teach one of the assistant directors and during our visit she explained how it works.  After the call backs on Wednesday the directors all discuss the parts with each other.  Many people try out for multiple parts and so coordination is needed.  Prayer is involved.  The directors all go to a Saturday morning session at the temple and then meet that evening to discuss again.  She said the process is really neat to watch Рas the puzzle pieces just start falling into place and everything works out.  Just one of the miracles that take place with the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

We’re all excited for Brendan. ¬†Practices start tomorrow.


Brendan said his second audition went well. ¬†He said he did better ¬†– “his best”. ¬†And now we play the waiting game. ¬†Not only do we have to wait until Sunday evening to find out what part Brendan has – we have to wait until after the opening fireside when they post the pages on the doors in the back. ¬†It’s brutal, but thankfully¬†there is plenty to keep us busy.

Here are a few of the reasons we love having Brendan around.

*He plays piano. ¬†Often. ¬†I really enjoyed “Canon in D” today as well as “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. ¬†A few days ago he played an original composition and asked for my feedback. ¬†He wanted to know if the middle needed a little extra something. ¬†It was amazing – as is.

*Almost every time I turn around Brendan is scrubbing something.  Walls, all sides of the fridge, stove, dishwasher, all the piano keys… our house has never glowed like this before.  It too is amazing.

*Brendan bought treats to share. ¬†While they love the tootsie rolls & Mike and Ike’s – the overall favorite is the box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans. ¬†There are yucky flavors like earthworm and rotten egg. ¬†I got off easy when he gave me grass. ¬†It tasted‚Ķ weird. ¬†I hear the others were disgusting (between fits of giggles).

* Brendan loves to babysit. ¬†The other night Jim Bob and I went on a walk after our little ones were in bed. ¬†It was nice to have someone holding down the fort in the living room. ¬†We’ll plan some more opportunities in the near future. ¬†(p.s. ¬†If you make it into town soon we’ll show you which house has the sweetest smelling blooms ever. ¬†You can smell them a half block away.)

*Stories are heard at all times of the day being told by Brendan.  He saves the best ones for when he skypes with his family:

Everyone gathers around on both sides (and even leave their vintage game boys ūüėČ ) to hear the latest installment.

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