Wednesday, March 31, 2010


On my way to Cancun as we were boarding the plane this darling couple had seats apart and wanted to sit together...she was the window seat next to me and Don. I smiled as I thought how sweet that they still wanted to sit together. But when I really looked at her my heart had that grabbing feeling and I was trying to figure out if I knew her. The longer I watched them as they waited trying to work it out the stronger the LOVE I felt for her. I was so surprised. (Usually I think my insecurities would have felt threatened on some level at someone so physically beautiful). I couldn't get a read on their age but they radiated a comfortableness about their relationship that suggested it had been more than a year. I offered to move so they could sit together. I think Don was a bit taken back thinking it implied I DIDN'T care if I sat by him. My reality was that I just felt this connection that was unexplainable and I wanted to help them be together. It didn't work out. She sat next to me. The Universe LOVES me. Her name is Kelle. Within minutes I knew I had not known her in this life, but sometime, somewhere, I have loved this woman before.

I had forgotten the thrill of finding a kindred spirit. I had forgotten the zing of not having to make a connection because it just already was there. I hadn't thought much before about all the people I have known in other existences--people my soul had been missing. I had missed her. The joy of finding her was not this stand up and dance kind of joy. But a deep knowing of trust and goodness at your fingertips, of completion in a way I can't describe- and relief. It has been awhile since I've "found" that kind of a friend. Life really can be a JOY and filled with love. I have GOT to get out more. Even as I write that I am laughing thinking how many friends I have that I already don't get to see or be with as often as I want.

Back to Kelle. Beautiful would be the first word, model beautiful, but its much better than that because usually model beautiful you just envy it and don't care so much about the person. Kelle you care and want to be like her. Soft as water.Everything about her is simple and sweet and genuine, gentle, kind and loving. She is 7 years younger than me. She is a twin. Being with her is just easy. The kind of easy you want more of to help balance your life. We had lunch together yesterday. She lives in another city and happened to be down here for work so we were able to meet. It's one of those friendships where you have no idea how much time you will actually spend together...but that won't matter. Just knowing they are on YOUR planet and accessible makes breathing easier.

We are at such different places in our lives. She is trying to get pregnant for the first time. I am ending my "children living in our home" career pretty shortly. Gratefully, it just doesn't matter.
She gave me maybe one of my most favorite cards ever....I wanted to scan it, maybe I can later, but the scanner is resisting. There is a gorgeous, enchanting woman with fairies sprinkling their dust on her on the cover of the card and this woman is standing in the middle of a Locust flower on a river(so many of my favorite symbols)... and the card reads:

More magical than fairy dust,
more sparkling than a star.
More gentle than a moonbeam...

That's exactly what you are!!!

I SO WISH that I had found that card and given it to HER!!!
But really, I am just awe struck at how sweet it is that ALL along our way here, we get friends and connections like these...and glimpses of remembrances of other times and lives. So Kelle, if you read this, know how excited I am to have you for the rest of my journey. An interesting side note, she has the SAME name as my sister (just a different spelling), and her same birthday.


Michael came by the house with his Bus/"Coach" Driving TRAINER (yes, that darling girl in the photo), she has driven for the Princess Line for 4 summers now. ANYWAY...pretty fun to have him just show up and honk and have this HUGE bus on your street. Michael drove us around the block. He had to give us the safety which he failed because he called it a BUS...funny huh? So forever more I now know to call them COACHES. Love this boy/man/child. Skills. More skills for Michael. More adventure too. He leaves around the 22nd of April. Ugh. The whole adult child thing where THEY just start living their OWN lives without my input and thinking it is OK to go away for such long periods is pretty head messing for a mom. Not that I'm dysfunctional or anything.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Letter from Josh 29 March 2010

Hey family!

i cant believe it is still that cold at home. this is the rainy season here so all the kenyans think its cold, but i still havent even wanted a sweater or coat or anything. the days that we get soaked i feel a bit cold from being wet, ut as long as i stay dry then the weather feels great to me. This week was good. my comp was sick thursday and friday so we had to take things slow, but we still went out. i love companions that still go out even when they are sick, it gets so boring to stay in all day. So i am gratefull that my comp was willing and wanting to go out.
The area is slowly getting better. it is still the hardest area i have had, and we still have a lot of finding time, too much really, but we have one to two apointments set everyday this week, so that is much better then the first week of the transfer where we had two appointments the whole week. now we just need to pray that they will all be there. i trust that most of them will, a few of them are still kind of up in the air.
I dont have a lot of time this week but i want you all to know that i know this church is true. i know that jesus christ is our savior and redemer, i know that he loves us, and that he wants us to feel of his love at all times. and i know that if we will keep the comandments in simplicity and plainess we will be able to feel of that love at all times. i love you guys. have a great week.

p.s. you may have noticed that this is a new e-mail adress. this is the one to send stuff to from now on. its on the g-mail server so it actually works well unlike the old myldsmail thing. have a great week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Hey you XXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOO--I wish I could just SMOTHER You with the REAL THING right now. Today I saw on the ward program that Greg's birthday is the 3rd--this coming Saturday. It made me miss him in the worst way...and then YOU!!! Diana and I never get to really talk to each other...I missed her too. In primary we had a few seconds and she told me Jeff got 12 chicks yesterday and he will be building a coop. I wanted to say "Let's skip Sharing Time and go have our own SPECIAL Sharing Time" but alas, I was the one doing Sharing Time today so I couldn't even suggest it. SIX more fast Sundays and I WILL be smothering you with hugs and kisses. 6 SIX 6 SIX SIX 6666:) !!!!!
Monday for Family Night after Sam's game we took the boys to Happy Sumo for a SUSHI experience. Nope we are that cultural. Yes, we can do Mexican, we can do Chinese, but nope, not so much Sushi people (to be fair, MEGAN and MICHAEL LOVE it, the rest of would like REAL FOOD please).
We all surprised Dad on his birthday at his office (the one down here in the old Word Perfect buildings) and took him to lunch at Goodwood's. I checked the boys out of school to go... I pretty much got major Mom points for that.
I also had checked Sam out of school to go get him a new bat since his had lost its POP---this is not a joke. It is true. This really happens to bats. Go figure. He is a HAPPY boy and LOVES his new bat. His first hit with it amazingly was the Homerun that they won't let me count as a homerun!!!
Yesterday was like my first real day of Spring! I worked in the yard for most of the morning, and you know how I LOVE that. It feeds the deepest places in my soul. I had clients from 1 until 4, then back to work in the yard until 7:30. I love to work at so many things. I often wonder how many days of yard work it would take before I tired of it. I love having all my beds tidy and weeded,--and they stay that way much longer than a house stays clean!!!-- filled with perennials sprouting and tulips popping up their leaves. The deer got 3 of our bushes, but so far, just a few of the tulips.
Dad cleaned out the chicken coop and 3 big mice jumped out from under all the layered guck and then he noticed that 2 of the hens had baby mice in their mouths. I just don't even know WHERE to catalog that kind of stuff in my brain. Yes, I want them dead, but not killed horribly, and surely NOT KILLED BY ME. Couldn't we work out a plan where God just agrees to "twinkle" them to heaven upon finding them so they don't have to die in the natural disasters WE end up creating in their lives?? I am finally ok with the snakes since the only poisonous ones here are the rattlers and we have never had one in our yard. But I think my 2 nice little garden snakes on the hill from a few years back now have a posterity that has expanded in SIZE and there are at least 3 in my Hens and Chicks rock section that have sent me screaming a few times now and it is still only March. They like the sun as much as I do. But what to do??? I don't want to be nervous every time I am near where they have been. So, on this one, I was thinking if God could just arrange to have them where I'm NOT, then I'm okay to share...???
I decided to run the TOP OF UTAH MARATHON again for my marathon this year. As I was marking out my training runs I realized it's been FIVE MONTHS since I've run 12 miles!!! I ran 11 miles last week on a late sunny morning whim, but really, 5 months...We've just been running our 7.83 route every time!!! I miss running the canyon. I bet the snow is almost gone. Maybe this coming weekend for Easter while everyone else is hunting eggs and I don't have anyone little enough to want to. That in itself is weird. I bet they'd hunt if I filled them with money and gift certificates. Hmmmmmm.... I hope you get your package soon.
March Madness has dominated our TV for what seems like weeks. I 'm sure it hasn't been that long, but it seems like it. Tons of upsets. Everyone is thrilled that there is always a life or death game to be watched.
I'm sorry I don't have more pics for you. Really, its been COLD and WET and FREEZING and SNOWING and RAINING until yesterday. I will work hard to get you some this week. This is Spencer's new hairdo given to him special tonight by Michael King. A mohawk with the Nike symbol on one side and his own special brand of brain surgery scar on the other. Tough boy.
Love you lovey. Sorry we aren't so exciting. It FEELS plenty exciting, but when I sit to catch you up I think we really do need to spice up our life. I might be getting old, cuz even as I type that I am thinking..HEY! The hot tub is all I need:)!!! And we are ALL still loving it!
Can't wait till morning. I'll be waiting.

What I've been up to...

I've been to baseball games most nights this week in the freezing cold...and I still love it. Friday Sam pitched the whole game and got a TRIPLE...but he really got a HOMERUN in his Momma's book...if that boy hits it and then runs all the way in past home it is STILL a HOMERUN to me. Yes they explained to me how it was a true triple, but after that there was an error so even though he made it all the way in and they counted his score, it STILL only counted as a triple. Whatever people. My boy made a HOMERUN :) And I screamed like it was a home run. (Some RULES are just stupid). The cold has been pretty unbearable---hence, no pictures. We are layered and wrapped up to our eyeballs in blankets,with snow and wind pelting through us,no way I'm getting un -wrapped to take a picture! We look quite the scene...all these parents in the bleachers and you can't even tell WHO they are we are all so wrapped up. One family even brings their portable propane heater. I swear if I SEE one somewhere I am going to buy it for the BOYS...they CAN'T wear their coats (CRAZY RULES!!!!!) Sam's face and hands were bright red up there on the mound, I don't know how he could even FEEL the ball much less release curve balls and the like. I have always had this thing (something tragic must have happened to me in another life) about my kids being cold. Its a REAL thing...I have to talk myself down. No one else around me seems to be falling apart that their boy has spent HOURS in the FRIGID temperatures these last 3 weeks. I'm working on it.
My brain and heart have been on a quest again. I think the mid life crisis prognosis is real. I totally loved the whole numerology behind Dan Millman's book THE LIFE YOU WERE BORN TO LIVE. He could not have been more on if he had known me my whole life. Pretty eye opening and thought provoking, now lets hope it is action changing.
And Sarah Addison Allen...could I ever say enough about her? I LOVE THE WAY SHE WRITES!!!!! I love her characters, her stories, MY dysfunction....I am sad that I slurped this up so quick...I am almost done and now I will have to wait HOW LONG before she comes out with another???
Oh yeah, and I'm trying the meditation thing again. Dr. Dyer is helping me this time. I think its gonna work. Just the IDEA of quieting my brain feels PEACEFUL. I'll let you know how its going.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Letter from Josh 22 March 2010

Dear Family,

this week has been really good. it went by really fast. we went on exchanges twice andthen had zone conference and then had stake conference. so it defenitely wasnt a "normal" week. but it was really fun. i like weekswhere there is a lot of stuff hapenning, it just somehow makes things better and faster.i am glad to see that mike hardman is safe and well. also chad, if you get this, sorry about the stuff with your comp, i've been there, it sucks. and as for greg, your area is way too different from mine to even kind of relate. if somebody lives in a two bedroom apartment then they are "big people." those dinning rooms are sure to be bigger than most peoples homes here, but somehow, i am glad i am on this end of it.
Dad, the zone leaders train at all the zone conferences, and at many district meetings too. training gets old after a while, especially when its one of those topics that is constantly trained on, like "how can we more effectively use the book of Mormon." its a great topic, just discussed way too often. the sad part is that we never get to choose what we train on (which is why we get repeating topics so much). if it is at a zone conference then pres tells us what to train on and in district meetings its the district leaders asking us to train on a "weak point" in the district.
as long as elder Thornton is going to toot my horn, i will toot his. he is now assistant to the president, and is there because he is better at training then i am. he is also there because he is a better example of exact obedience and because people tend to get along with him better. His training at zone conference was on using the members, specifically the branch mission leaders, and was very good despite the fact that it has been trained on like 1000 times lately and that pres Taylor changed part of the training on them last minute. I look up to him and respect him a lot. i am also glad that i am not in the office and that i get to be out in the field working. i would get bored in the office putting in all of the baptismal records and so on.
anyways, i love you guys. have a great week. and know that God loves you and is looking after you as well.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank you BARBARA!!!

My whole life I have been DRAWN to Near Death Experiences....they FILL me with hope and a tangible love that stays with me...they feel like a kind of spiritual air that is EASILY breathed, (unlike many of the religious concepts where my brain gets caught in the middle and I keep saying to myself, REALLY? REALLY? Not only do some of those religious concepts not make any sense to me...they don't FEEL GOOD either). But the NDE stories, they always feed my soul.
This week Barbara sent me a link to an online site and I have had to FIGHT with myself not to just live in front of it...feeding myself with delicious Spiritual AIR. There is one truly sweet outcome, which also is a testament to me of their truth...upon reading I am consumed with wanting to be kinder, gentler, more loving, sincerely serving person. It is so much easier for me to lay down the desires of MY heart and look out to others. I am going to leave the link here for you, but remember how I said it can be all consuming. I think that is because each of us wants so badly to reconnect with the LOVE we left behind...and there is a thread here that takes us to a distant memory.

Josh by Gosh...

It was so great to get the email from Sister Thornton. I had already been thinking of you Saturday morning so it was extra sweet to open my e-mail and find it. Good job good son. I love you.
Spring is trying to come but having a hard time. One day the Sunshines, the next it snows. The wind is what has been a buger. But all the snow is melted. Sam's baseball games have been an experience to sit through with just the weather alone.
Work has been busy...busy doesn't always equate to good or getting paid, but this last little while it has and seems to have the promise of a good year. The more the sunshines, the more people look and act.
Aunt Sheri has invited me to come babysit for her while she and Gene go to Cancun...even though I swore I wasn't going to go anywhere again for months....those guys are about the ONLY reason I can think of to get me on a plane..and I'm actually excited! This time they will leave William with me as well. Life sure goes by fast. Oh, the things I'd do if we were super rich...I'd take us ALL to Cancun for a family vacation:) But then I saw a report on the Hatian orphans tonight and wondered how I could even think that way when there is so much suffering in our world.
But that hasn't stopped the POOL LOVE feelings from flooding my heart yet AGAIN this Spring. These feelings seem to hit even before the early grass allergies can take hold. This and EVERY SPRING..summer, fall....winter... (I read an interesting psychological report that was saying that WE are the ones who put ANY meaning on if something is bothering you, just CHANGE YOUR MIND about it or what you are thinking about it). Admittedly, I DON'T WANT to let go of the POOL could year...THIS YEAR????
Remember the photo of Mary I put on your Christmas message? Dad bought me the print as a birthday surprise and I had it is too fancy for our house, but I still love it...we needed some FEMININE DIVINE in here amongst all these male priesthood images. My favorite part is the baby Jesus' is hanging over the love seat next to the wood stove.
Michael drove his bus HERE yesterday and I wasn't here to get a picture! He promises to do it again so I can get a pic and let you see the MACHO MAN drive his HONKIN' BUS!!! Haven't seen much of Meg these last 2 weeks. Spencer is just trying to stay on the planet until school gets out...if there is even a hint of sun my phone gets a text hoping for an early check out...the darn guy doesn't even go a full day as it is!!! Sam has baseball up to his eyeballs and couldn't be happier...this last week was end of term so it was a bit stressful. Dad has his birthday this Thursday, but what he wants is to take Spencer to a big golf tournament in Wisconsin in August.
Survivor is just TOO GREAT this will have a sweet re-entrance into the "real life" when you get home.
Preston, Jeremy and families are all doing great...I'm still not loving that they are so far...
GrandDad Steadwell has a Dr's appointment with his Dr. on the 31st and we will see what happens??? I have NO expectations. GrandDad B is just doing his own thing in Mapelton. The Health care issues with Obama are raging. I am tired of it all. It seems to me that neither side has it figured out. It is a bit warmer in the mornings for my runs now. I am trying to decide IF and which Marathon I will run this year. Right now I just don't feel like it.
I spend some time visualizing NOVEMBER when everyone will be home. It is truly going to be a month of THANKSGIVING!!!! I love you. We always pray for you. We LOVE the video blurbs. I just barely sent your Easter package on Thursday. I sent you a contraband book :) I can't help but smile to think how RIDICULOUS it is that I would even have to couch it in those terms...but the SPIRIT told me to do it...and I believe that over rides ALL right? It is by Michael Wilcox entitled THE CONTINUOUS ATONEMENT...and TOTALLY APPROPRIATE reading for a missionary. I know I know...there are those out there asking who I think I am that I would have the audacity to "disobey" the glad YOU know me Josh. Someone near you needs it, and you will know who...I will get you another copy for you when you come home. Try to read it first before giving it up though, will you???
I love you more than the way Sam loves his Baseball Coach, Coach Nelson. I love you more than taking a Sunday nap, awaking and then realizing you can keep sleeping. I love you more than a new hardback book from B &N that has that smell and that "feel". I love you more and more and more and more....
Share that light LOVEY!!!!

Spencer 18 years old

This boy has had a CELEBRATION....seems we've been celebrating for a month because we have!!! This was at his dinner at Carrabas...kind of the families new favorite place...but a little too pricey to go very often. For breakfast in bed he wanted Aunt Kori's syrup on my version of Kneader's cinnamon bread french toast, 2 Mango Arizona's, and Cadbury mini eggs...and for his cake...a first timer...homemade ASPHALT PIE. What a GOOD GOOD boy...he deserved a whole month!

Sam's Rec League takes it ALL...CHAMPS!!!!!

May it be noted that I am their "Coach" :) Just goes to prove that sometimes just leaving those boys completely alone is the best thing you can do :) Josh...look how big Paul Hatch is! Hard to believe these guys are so MANLY now! Sam has been PLENTY busy with all his sports stuff as of late. I am sad that I don't have any pics of St. George OR the 2 games this week...the first baseball game at Lone Peak had to be called because it was blizzarding!!!

ELI HULSEY and family!!!

I had to get two pics of the family since Adam wasn't co-operating...but I knew you wouldn't mind a gazillion of the Hulsey's! Can you believe how beautiful Eli is? He looks just like Maren to me....and no surprise who has taken over the buggy??? I wonder if Debbie ever even gets to get near that boy??? Debbie says that even Zach (16) and Spencer can't leave him alone! He came home from the hospital last weekend. Primary Children's is amazing and we LOVE them!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I got this e-mail Saturday morning....and I loved that she thought to send it to me! Good job love bug!!! YOU were ONE of my miracles!!!!

Hi Natalie,
I thought you might like to read an exert from C.J.'s email this week. He doesn't write that much so this means that Elder Harris' training was powerful and memorable.

"We had the Upper Hill zone conference yesterday and it went really well. We are trying to focus as I think I shared another time on working with members and making sure that those who are baptized stay active, and become strong members. So that is what most of the conference was about. But Elder Harris who some of you know gave a very powerful training on the importance on the Spirit and to expect miracles in our lives and in the live of our investigators. It was really good and I really appreciated it. Other than that things are going really well."

Just thought that might warm your heart a little to know that other people know how great your son is too.
Jenny Thornton

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter from Josh 15 March 2010-GrandDad's 90th Bday

hey family!!!!

I'm glad you all made it home safe from St. George, that storm sounds crazy. and i am also glad that you liked the package. i wasn't sure if you had received the one memory card yet or not, so i sent it just in-case. i still cant believe Michael is going to drive buses, but then again if you told me one of my siblings was going to do it i would have said either him or Sam, because they are both up for anything.
anyways, this week was long to be honest. we were only able to teach two lessons the whole week. the good news is that despite that, we had 7 investigators at church on Sunday, most of which are new referrals that we received at church. so this week is way more busy than last week already with just the appointments we set with them yesterday. plus we are going on exchanges twice this week and zone conference on Friday, so this week will go by super fast with all of that even if none of these appointments go through, but i expect all of them to go through.
in mission tour a few weeks ago elder keoliker said that we need to expect to see miracles. and since then i have been studying a lot about expectations. i don't have a lot of time to go through this but most often in the scriptures it is said more in the form of "if you have faith it will happen." well, faith seems to be a term that is hard to understand and apply as it can be used in several different ways. however if you substitute faith for the word expect it makes it a whole lot more simple. "if you expect it to happen, it will happen." and i have been applying it ever since. i started saying several times a day that i expected to receive referrals and investigators, and just yesterday we had those 7 investigators at church 4 of which were new referrals, and the others old investigators that came back. to use the gospel term, it was faith and the mercy of the Lord that made this happen. to use the words of the world, it was my expectations. i expect God to continue to bless me and the people here as long as i am obedient. i expect these people to progress in their knowledge of the gospel and the restoration. i expect more referrals and investigators. what do you expect in your life? is what you expect what you want? if not, maybe you should try doing something differently.
i have to go, but i love and miss you all. have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Hey Buddy!!!!
I am finally home for a LONG while:) It is confirmed yet again that I really am NOT a traveler. I LIKE home. It would take an emergency to get me out of here now.
Yesterday we left for home from St. George at 3:30---I was driving. (first I should tell you that it took only 31/2 hours to get there on the way down). We walked in the door after 10....over DOUBLE the time!!!I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER driven or been out in such horrific weather. Much of the time I couldn't even see the road. We quit counting people slid off at 11 cars. We waited an hour and 10 minutes waiting before Beaver for an accident to be cleared. Even my December drive to Boise with Dad paled in comparison to last night. I had this sick feeling about driving home...I thought it was influenced by the girl in Megan's class mother dying in an accident in the snow earlier in the day...and then several of the team members parents decided to stay the night in St. George to wait out the storm. But Dad goggled the forecast and he said he didn't see anything worth worrying about, that I would drive out of it --even though the families THERE were coming up with forecasts that were telling of several inches of snow already on the roads at Beaver. I went back and forth 20 or so times before just deciding to head home...I couldn't get a good read on it one way or the other. I felt bad either way. I finally decided it was just me being nervous after the Boise trip and to just head out. STUPID DECISION. The snow was so thick I couldn't see for what seemed like hours. When the snow did ease up and we had a little vision, cars got stupid and went way to fast to pass and would slide right on off the road. I prayed for a LONG time and was so grateful for the sweet car ahead of me that I picked up just after Holden that went about 30 mph...their tail lights kept me on the road. I thought of many life parallels and analogy's while driving. When we got to Nephi, I just wanted to stay at the Burger King and wait for morning. I was so happy to be STOPPED and off the road. Sam and Spencer were pretty freaked out as well...Sam kept can you SEE? I can't can YOU see? I prayed that they would distract each other so that they wouldn't be so worried. I kept reminding God that both of those boys have important things still to do yet, and to please help me. When I got to Spanish Fork, I was making oaths I hoped to never have to keep if I could just get home. I got home. I'm staying. And for the record...This woman no longer goes on trips in the SNOW!!!!!!
Sam's games were fun to watch...much warmer than here, but not WARM. The wind would whip right through the coats and blankets. St. George was brimming with all sorts of tournaments and visitors.
Since last Sunday that is really all I've done except try to catch up on the work I've been missing with my being out of town so much. I'm grateful for my unfettered work week ahead.
I did read a book called Little Bee about an African girl that scared the hebajeebas out of me. I've been trying to find and read about African things, and no, not such a good idea. Think I'll just wait until you are HOME.
It is SO GOOD to see you in your pictures. You are one beautiful boy/man...just in case no one has told you lately. It is GOOD for me to see you healthy, happy and well. The pictures of the ankle were concerning, but I am guessing it must be better or else you would have said more about it????
I am sorry I haven't gotten you a picture of Eli Hulsey yet...I just haven't been here, and then when I have , I've had a runny nose or not felt so great and then I don't dare go over...but THIS WEEK..even if I have to send Sam for the picture...I feel good now though, I should be safe. Just tired. Weary tired. I just want to hull up and not come out for days. How would that be??? Let's do that when you come home!!!!
I love you. I LOVED our surprise package. I love that you are so thoughtful. I love that your message will come in the morning. I hope your dreams are filled with love and laughter and relief from the busyness of your every day. All is well in our world's and I am grateful. Mine especially because you came to ME!!!!! Have a great day Lovey!!!!

For those of you missing JOSH!!!!

He looks SO GOOD huh??????????? 71/2 months and he'll be home...3 months and Greg will be home..........

Now I ask you....

Could you end a 2 year eating spree and begin a true new start on yet another diet any better than with a box of Samoas??? No, I think not. Tomorrow will be a glorious new start...again...but the memory of the cookies today will only make it more successful!!!!


Sam getting a hair dye job from ME--BLACK...the whole team did it...not terribly attractive, but I guess every now and again you take one for the team:)
Sam went St. George for his JV/Varisty Baseball tournament for the weekend and Spencer and I followed him down so we could watch. We didn't get alot of time with him, but it was great to see him with his team and to watch him play. I know I am his mother, and I know I am not objective, but Sam IS AMAZING. And not just at Baseball.

So is Spencer. Amazing. It was his actual 18th birthday on Friday and he never even complained that we were in St. George for Sam. They love each other. Spencer was great to have with me when I was nervous driving in a town I don't know, someone to go eat with eat with, someone to play with the GPS with, someone to listen to Wayne Dyer with, someone to order video's late at night when others might have thought we "should" have been going to bed:)
And as long as I am telling you about how amazing Spencer and Sam are...JOSH sent us a PACKAGE with birthday presents from Africa!!! He sent Spencer the witch doctor and Don and I the African man and woman---look at the detail! And Megan an Elephant something or other...I still haven't seen it yet, but she promises to post it on her blog. BUT MY FAVORITE THING of ALL is NEW PICTURES of him and little Video blurbs that I LOOOOOOVE!!!! (thank you Josh!!!) It came while I was in St. George and was SO NICE to come home to!!!

Michael, super bus driver, drove a greyhound up Provo Canyon!!! That would stop your heart!!! And then took off to Nebraska with a mission buddy and will be back tomorrow.

And then there's Megan...who spent the weekend in Cedar City with her FFA kids. It was such a tragedy that one of the girls in her group had a mother go down with them who got in a horrible accident on the way home and died. Megan had alot to handle---her heart full of love went a long way I am sure with helping the rest of the kids to deal with the loss as well.

Update from Chile....

I have had several calls asking me how Solita and her family have faired in the Earthquake and been touched by your love and concern...
So...I decided to post the email from Carlos to give you the real update...
We are SO THANKFUL that they have been so blessed! We LOVE you Galan's and you and the whole country continue to be in our prayers.

Dear Don and Natalie;

How are you? Here in Chile most of the topics are related to the earthquake, this was huge, I would say this was one of more powerful natural phenomenon ever in the world. The amount of houses destroyed is amazing. My father´s house will require a major improvement, in fact yesterday I was there and 10 people are working to repair the damages. Pedro´s house in Rengo was seriously damaged, the billard table felt - two of table legs failed, the chimney felt inside the house, Pedro´s main bedroom moved 30 cms from the house, etc, etc....the swiming pool was broke - in part because was´n water inside.

Any way; I´m sure you have seen photos in the web, but the damage is even worst.

The good one is this type of phenomenon occurs in Chile once in a century - this size of magnitude in the same region. In Chile the word largest earthquake was in 1960, 9.5 degrees.

You can see the eathquake that we have in Chile visiting this page.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something is messed with this underlining everything...I have been to and clicked on everything I can see that might lead me to undo it...even control +z...nothing is working...does someone know how to help me???
I LOVED all three books. I think EVERYONE with any religiousness in their lives should read the first one. I want to read it again and again and again to FEEL and remember the message.
It really has changed how I look at, think about and feel about my life and its purpose. Mostly it has just helped me to feel wrapped in Divine Love...and made me aware daily of the depths of that love that are mine...and to look for examples of it in my daily life. AMAZING what just COMES to me.
Little Bee has a delicious writer, but the story was super hard to live through in some of the parts...and the end wasn't the redemption I was looking for...hard end as well.
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt was another Southern "take me back" filled with sweetness and goodness and characters you longed for to be in your own life.
Well, for heaven's sake...the underlining STOPPED and I have NO IDEA WHY!!! But Hooray!

Just a few more Cancun Pictures

Surprise Surprise, Don entered the other Cancun pics and text while I was in Canada!!!I just wanted to include a few more pictures of Cancun...I will never forget the Canadians gathered in the lounge to sing their anthem after their Olympic hockey win....or the hockey game. And the ocean so so so so so BLUE!!! I just wish I could have stayed a few more days. This is a vacation I could so go on all alone and be content for a LONG time:)

Letter from Josh 8 March 2010

hey everybody!

so i got a new companion. his name is elder mdlalose. ask richard bean how to say it, i dont even know how to spell it phonetically. he is cool though. he is from johanesburg. i was around him for the whole time i was in mombasa so we already know each other pretty well. i didnt think we would ever serve together because we had been around each other for the 6 months but it should be fun.
this last week was kinda crazy though with the transers and everything. elder mdlalose didnt even get here till friday so we werent able to really do a whole in the area. the good news is that we got some referals this week. one was from the second councilor in the bishopric, who has only been a member for a total of 7 months now and has been in the bishopric for the last four months. when was the last time you heard of that back in utah? anyways, his wife is now interested so we will be teaching her and i am very excited for that. the other referal we got was from a guy named dominic who drives trucks for a living and finally worked his way up in the company so that he can arrange his own driving schedule now and will be able to make it to church everyweek. for the last 6 years he has been coming about once a month from what he said. but he also gave us his wife as a referal. we met with her after church yesterday and it went really well. i am also excited for her.
once again i have the awful job of finding a flat. because the owner of the one we stay in now is looking to sell it and since the church doesnt like to buy the apartments we have to find a new place. we may have some time because they have to find a buyer but as soon as they do we only have a week to move out. i hate finding flats without using an agent, and i still dont understand why they have us looking since it takes a ton of time away from finding and teaching, but for now i am just going to have to do what i am told.
anyways, i hope you guys have a great week and that everything goes well with baseball tryouts and grandad in canada and whatever else is hapening.
i love you all!
Elder Harris

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More fun in the sun

Some of our favorite hangouts in Cancun - the outdoor restaurant and the pool area. What could be better?! Great friends, scrumptious food, beautiful place, relaxing atmosphere and interesting conversations. And more good food, and great books and the beach and more relaxing and the Winter Olympics on TV and another fun conversation. Then do it again! (I think someone should sing a song about that) We celebrated birthdays every evening at dinner - Roger's, then Natalie's, then Ali's, then Paul's - oh it was rough. We love the Johnson's, Bell's and Smith's and only wished it could have gone on for weeks. But we're SOO grateful for the time and fun we had with such wonderful friends.