Saturday, October 26, 2013


What a busy week!
Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy
Chief Engineer/Tactical Officer - Commanding Officer - Executive and Science Officer - Red Shirted Nobody
Halloween is in full swing in our country.  The girls attended 3 Halloween parties this week.  One on Thursday and two on Friday.  (Our ward Halloween Party was one of the Friday parties.)  We decided to show of our nerd sides this year.
We went as a fictitious crew from the Star Trek Enterprise.  Scott was our Commanding Officer, and a human.  I was an expendable, red-shirted, alien.  Key Lime Pie, a vulcan, was our Executive and Science Officer.  Kotten Kandy was also a vulcan, and our Chief Engineer and Tactical Officer.
We always have fun dressing up this time of year!
Key Lime Pie, Applesauce, and Kotten Kandy
The girls participated in the first annual A Cappella Festival on Saturday night.  They had soooooooooo much fun!  They made new friends, and they LOVED singing the songs and performing.  The girls group did a barbershop version of "Feeling Groovy" made famous by Simon and Garfunkle.  Then they also sang with the boys group: "Lida Rose" from the musical, The Music Man.  The entire concert was wonderful.
Key Lime Pie was one of the leaders for her part.  She has such a great musical talent and can pick up any part easily.  Kotten Kandy sang soprano - and her stage presence rocks - she's fun to watch!  (Applesauce joined them and had a BLAST too!)  They are already begging to do it again next year.  :-)
I am currently reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas.  It is GREAT!  I wish I had read it sooner.  I'm only 1/2 way done but I can't put it down.  I love classic literature.  (The movie is cool too, but I do wish I had read the book first.  It is always better.)
We have three SETS of missionaries in our ward.  (I love living in the mission field... there was never more than one set per ward in the west.)  One of the pairs are Sister missionaries.  They are AWESOME and are great role models for my daughters.  Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy have enjoyed going with them to teach some of the investigators they are teaching.  We had the sisters over for dinner on Thursday night (before the Halloween party).  They are AMAZING!  I love them!  And I love what they are doing!  Thank you, sisters, for being such great examples and mentors to my girls.
My little brother, Zane, just got back from a vacation to Greece and Scotland with his family.  Since Scotland is where are ancestors hail from, he was especially impressed with the area.  He mentioned that he didn't know why our ancestors ever left because it was so beautiful and the people were so nice.  One kind lady told him (in a thick Scottish accent) that the reason our ancestors left is because "it's cold, dark and miserable."
I tell you this story because it has been "cold, dark and miserable" here in Kentucky this week.  It's definitely turning into winter.  We even had some snow flurries on Thursday.  And every morning, getting up for early morning seminary is getting more and more difficult, due to the freezing temperatures and the gloomy, darkened sky.  I think if Scotland is anything like Kentucky, I understand.  I don't like cold and dark.
School has been keeping us busy too.  We are currently finishing up our study of American documents.  It has been fun sharing these great records with my daughters.  I'm worried there will come a time when many of our children don't know, or haven't read, these marvelous works.  Both girls are also working on their math, Portuguese, and science assignments too.  Kotten Kandy is taking piano and voice lessons.  Key Lime Pie is working on a music theory class (with me) and is LOVING her violin lessons.  And every other week, we have an art class.  They are learning about shading and drawing people.  I LOVE homeschooling.  So do they!
I spent all week studying the Atonement of Christ.  I had to give a talk today, and that was the topic I was given.  It's been an emotional week, due to the studying and pondering on such a sacred subject.  (I cried a lot as I reflected on Christ and His sacrifice for me.)  I really do appreciate my Savior.  And I recognize that I need His saving grace in all I do.
Here is a copy of my talk (It's kinda long, so if you don't want to read it, I'll understand):
When I was a little girl, my grandma used to tell me stories.  She was the best story teller ever.  She used to tell me stories about Little Orphan Annie, or her sisters’ and their oddly shaped mouths, or a wild horse that needed love.  I loved all of her stories.  But there was one story that always made me a little bit sad, and I didn’t really understand it until I was a bit older:
There was a beautiful place where the trees were green, the grass was lush, and the mountains were tall and majestic.   The flowers always bloomed in this beautiful place - there were purple pansies and yellow daffodils, there were blue forget-me-nots and pink carnations and the white roses were large and gorgeous (but there were NO red roses.)
In this beautiful place there lived a popular and kind girl.  Everyone at school loved her.   Because she was so popular, many young men asked her to go on dates.  And so she would ask them to difficult tasks in order to take her out. 
There was a young man in her school, who finally got up enough nerve to ask the girl on a date.  She kindly told him that she would go out with him if he could get her a red rose.  The boy was heart-broken.  He knew that no red roses grew in the area.
That evening he went outside to the white rose bush that grew behind his house and cried.  He wondered out loud why none of the roses could be red.  All he wanted in the world was a red rose so he could go on a date with the beautiful girl.  A hummingbird heard his plea.  Now this hummingbird loved this little boy.  She had watched him grow his entire life.  She knew he was a good boy.  And she wanted to help him.
When the boy finally went inside, the bird decided she would help the boy.  She looked at the white rose bush and saw a beautiful white rose with a large thorn directly above it.  The young hummingbird flew as quickly as she could into the thorn and gave her life.  A few drops of blood from the bird dropped directly onto the rose turning it a beautiful crimson color.
The next morning was Saturday.  The young boy went out to the rose bush again wishing for a red rose.  He was surprised to see a beautiful red rose right in the middle of the bush.  He quickly cut the rose to take to the girl.  He didn’t even notice the small dead hummingbird lying on the ground beneath his prize.
As the boy ran towards the young woman’s house, he passed his friends playing a game of baseball.  They asked him to join them.  He answered that he couldn’t just then because he had to go give the red rose to the popular young girl.  His buddies started teasing him and began to beg him to play.  They needed another player to make the teams even.  Eventually the convinced the young boy to join the game.  He dropped the rose and ran towards his friends, accidentally stepping on the rose as he ran into the outfield.
Sometimes we, like the boy in the story, take the gift of Christ’s Atonement for granted.   Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday events of life and forget that the Savior, like the hummingbird, atoned for us and gave His life for us.  I never wanted to be like the young boy who took the gift of the red rose for granted.  But I have found myself, sometimes, taking the precious gift of Christ’s redeeming love for me for granted.
The past week, as I have studied the Atonement, I have felt gratitude and humility as I have revisited how I have been able to use the Atonement in my life.  Each of us have and will “taste the bitter ashes of life, from sin and neglect to sorrow and disappointment.  But the Atonement of Christ can lift us up.”  I think that the principle that has touched me the most, as I have studied and pondered, is that the Savior’s atonement has the healing power not only for sin, but also for inadequacy, and all that is unfair about life.
Why does the Lord allow suffering and adversity to come to us in this life?  - Because it is part of the plan for our growth and progress!  We shouted for joy when we knew we would have the opportunity to come to earth to experience mortality.  Dallin H. Oaks taught, “Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquility.”
Sometimes the weight of the demand for perfection drives us to despair.  Stephen E. Robinson told a story about his wife that I could really relate too.  His wife and he were living in Pennsylvania.  Things were going pretty well; he had been promoted at work, he served in the bishopric, they had had their fourth child, his wife had graduated from college, passed the CPA exam and was serving as the Relief Society President.  They both held temple recommends and they had family home evenings.  Then one night everything seemed to crumble.  His wife completely checked out spiritually.  She wouldn’t participate in spiritual things, and she asked to be released from her callings.  When he finally got her to tell him what was wrong, she said something like this: “All right.  You want to know what’s wrong?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong.  I can’t do it anymore.  I can’t lift it.  I can’t get up at 5:30 in the morning and bake break and sew clothes and help my kids with their homework and do my own homework and do my Relief Society stuff and get my genealogy done and write the congressman and go to the PTA meetings and write the missionaries…” and she just started naming one brick after another that had been laid on her, explaining all the things she could not do.  She said, “I don’t have the talent that Sister So and So has , and I can’t do what Sister So and So does.  I try not to yell at the kids, but I lose control, and I do.  I’m just not perfect.  And I’m not ever going to be perfect.  I’m not going to make it to the celestial kingdom and I’ve finally admitted that to myself.  You and the kids can go, but I can’t do it all.  I’m not “Molly Mormon,” and I’m not ever going to be perfect, so I’ve given up.  Why break my back?”
Elder Robinson explained that his wife was trying to save herself.  She still had a testimony of Jesus Christ.  She knew Him as a coach, a cheerleader, an advisor, and a teacher.  She knew Him an an example and the head of the Church and as her Elder Brother.  She knew all of that, but she did not understand why He is called the Savior.  We can NOT save ourselves.  No one can.  No one is perfect, not even the Brethren.  Perfection only comes through the Atonement of Christ.  That is why we need a Savior.
When Elder Robinson explained to his wife how it worked, she was so grateful.  She said, “I’ve always believed that Christ is the Son of God.  I have always believed that He suffered and died for me.  But now I know that he can save me from myself, form my sins, form my weakness, inadequacy, and lack of talent.”
I love 2 Nephi 2:8:  “There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.”  There is no other way.  Many of us are trying to save ourselves, holding the Atonement of Jesus Christ at arm’s distance and saying, “When I’ve done it, when I’ve perfected myself, when I’ve made myself worthy, then I’ll be worthy of the Atonement.  Then I will allow Him in.”  We cannot do it.  That’s like saying, “When I am well, I’ll take the medicine.  I’ll be worthy of it then.”  That’s not how it was designed to work.
When I was a teenager, I was bullied.  Today the abuse I received (verbally, physically and emotionally) at the hands of young women who knew better would have been considered criminal.  Back then, I was told to ignore it and be the “better person.”  The bullying continued throughout my young adulthood.  It wasn’t until I moved away for college that it stopped.  But the emotional scars didn’t disappear so easily.  I was diagnosed with depression.  I went to many therapists and read many self-help books to combat the hurt that continued to linger.  A great depression had settled upon me.  Satan knew when to attack.  Finally, one day at Ricks College, I knelt in prayer to my Heavenly Father and poured out my heart to Him.  Through the Holy Ghost, I knew that I needed my SAVIOR, Jesus Christ.  I knew that only He could save me from this despair.  Through priesthood blessings and the power of the Atonement, I was able to move on.   I now know that all that is unfair about life will be taken care of by the Atonement.   The Savior mercifully let me know of my true worth and all would be OK.

I bear testimony to you that all that is unfair in life will be taken care of through the Atonement of Christ.  I have learned this lesson many times in my life.  I bear testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He is the Savior of the World, that He is MY Savior.  I pray that we will never trample the special gift that He has given us through His atoning blood.  I bear testimony of Him.  I love Him…  Amen.


  1. I'm so glad they participated in the A Capella festival. I was supposed to be there, but our ward Halloween Party was that night.

  2. I love your talk - truly one for the "Sundy's History" book. :) You family makes cute treckies and your girls looked radiant at the concert! You can tell they had a blast! I love you all - thanks for doing so good at keeping us in touch! LOLove

  3. Why am I not surprised that Halloween isn't even here yet and you've managed to party three times - already?! The choir girls look great and I'm glad they had so much fun. Do they get to participate again next year???
    I haven't read the Count of Monte Cristo, but I just finished Pope Joan. It's historical fiction with all the main events based on history. Joan is even written about in several historical accounts and believed to have been a Pope. In reading the book, I came away feeling like the restoration of the gospel was more necessary than I ever realized. The Dark Ages were DARK!
    Today, trying to fill the missionary calendar (for meals), I told our Ward members that Sundy's Ward in KY had three sets of missionaries. They said, "WOW" just like I did.
    Sorry about your cold, dark and miserable. It's Indian summer in GJ and my favorite time of the year. Wish it could last forever... Lucky all of YOU! Your home schooling program sounds the best!
    The atonement. Thank you for sharing. I learned a lot from your week of preparation.
    Love YOU and all the DeGooyers, Mom/Mil