women's conference March 2017

women's conference March 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Somethings Cooking

Growing up, we never ate out. And when I say never, I mean I could probably count on my hands the times my dad brought home big buckets of fried chicken or store-bought pizza. I don’t remember going to an actual restaurant until I was a teenager. (The restaurant was in Las Vegas, and my mom embarrassed Chrisy by asking what time the buffet opened, but Mom pronounced it like it’s spelled.) 
Mom was always in the kitchen fixing meals, and we were always in there either helping or eating or chatting. Honestly, how could a single-income family with thirteen children feed everyone if Mom didn’t know how to cook? So, Mom taught herself to cook, and we all learned from her. 
When my husband and I got engaged, I asked him if he was a picky eater and I was relieved to hear him say no. But then we got married and I realized that his definition of picky and mine didn’t exactly align. 
Luckily, I have an understanding husband who eats whatever I make without complaint, but over the course of our 16 years of marriage, I have learned the value of knowing how to cook. When we had two small children and Mark was in school, we had the smallest imaginable food budget. Looking back, I still can’t believe we made it work. We didn’t have the money to buy frozen foods we could just pop in the oven, not to mention eating out. I prepared and/or cooked everything from our bread to our desserts to our every meal, because we couldn’t even afford cold cereal. 
That skill came in handy again when we lived in New Zealand because I figured out how to make the kinds of food — crackers and cookies and biscuits — we couldn’t find there and I made them often. I learned to make tortillas and enchilada sauce and pumpkin cookies from an actual pumpkin instead of from a can. 
Now that I’m gluten-free, sugar-free, and milk-free, and my husband eats egg-free, I’ve had to rearrange the way I cook all over again. There are all sorts of products available that cater to what we need, but they’re expensive. (Like $8 for a loaf of bread. Ack!) It’s also important to me to know exactly what I’m eating. I don’t like the idea of putting things into my body that I can’t pronounce and that don’t exist in the natural world. The point is, that without the knowledge I gained growing up, we wouldn’t be eating as healthy and we’d likely be spending twice as much on food just so we could eat according to what our bodies accept. 
And truth be told, I’d much rather spend money on books and clothes than on food. 
I know that learning to cook isn’t popular among a lot of people. We make mistakes and sometimes the food doesn’t turn out the way we hope. It takes time and effort. Some view it as a step back for women, who should be working outside the home instead of learning to keep house. But what husband or wife would complain about their spouse cooking the things they both like and saving money in the process? 

Consistent cooking can create opportunities you couldn’t afford, or wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m just saying, learning to cook and bake is a good idea. You’ll never regret it. I haven’t. 


Monday, June 12, 2017

Because My Mom Said to :)

I’m writing this for my mom, or because she asked me to. 

Each of my sisters have been taking a week to post on this blog and while some have shared traditions, advice, or memories, I will share how my life changed. 

When I was young I was a difficult child, and that is putting it mildly. I must have been unhappy but I wouldn’t describe it that way. I cried often and annoyed many. My family were beside themselves as to know how to handle me. I remember my mom asking, “What will make you happy?” I would often throw fits if things didn’t go my way. I even remember at a young age hitting my head up against the brick floor in the kitchen because I was mad. That wasn’t even the worst of it. I remember throwing such a fit when my mom took me to buy a new dress we didn’t even make it into the store. She got back into the car and we went right home. I threw brushes and broke them because I didn’t like my hair. Worse was when I would lose my temper and throw objects at my siblings. 

My poor brother, Mark, who is just one year and three days older, took most of my temper. I once — and I am totally ashamed about this — broke a wood necklace over Mark’s head. I also hit him with a hoe because he caught me during tag. 

Then, of course, there were the times at school. I beat up a boy older than me for swearing, and I spit in a boy’s face because he put his finger in the frosting of my cupcake. Then there was punching a boy (okay, boys) for teasing others in my class. I was explosive and had a temper I couldn’t control. 
At this point you are probably thinking, “Yes, you’re a brat.” You would be right. I share this humiliating past so you will understand. Understand who I was and why it was important for me to change. 

Part of my problem was that I expected a lot from myself. This seems funny, I’m sure.
If I expected so much from myself, then why wasn’t I better? I would envision how something was suppose to happen, or how I was suppose to be, and when it didn’t go according to plan, I would lose it. I wouldn’t know how to adapt to change, so I would loose control. I would get mad at myself, the situation, or others, and I would throw a fit. Then I would be so mad and embarrassed that I threw a fit, I would throw an even bigger fit. It was an endless cycle that caused self-hate. 
I remember being so embarrassed later, but the damage was done. I couldn’t forgive myself, so how could I expect anyone else to. I hated who I was and was sure no one could love me. 
Then a remarkable thing happened. My dad had promised me if I would read The Book of Mormon everyday I wouldn’t be a horrible reader anymore, but would become a good reader. As I read, it stopped being just words to get through and became a message. I guess you could say my testimony began to grow. As I read, I started to feel my Heavenly Father; I felt I was loved. I felt happy. I began to learn what the Atonement of Jesus Christ was. 

At first I didn’t really understand it. I knew the Savior died so that we could be forgiven, but I didn’t know how that could help me. For one, I didn’t see my sins as big enough to need the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They felt insignificant compared to the sins I was reading about. Secondly, I thought, “I’ll just do it again, so what’s the point?” I didn’t understand how repentance changes a person. As time went on though, the Spirit must have been working on me. I remember Sunday school lessons that left me with a desire to be better, to be more. 

Then, one day in my seventh grade year, I came home and my world tilted. I came in to find a list of chores because my mom wasn’t home. She had asked that I take all the shoes downstairs up to everyone’s closets. Now, I am pretty competitive and can turn anything into a challenge. Plus, as I said, I put pressure on myself. There were at least 20 pairs of shoes, and I was convinced I could take them up in one trip. Why it would matter if I made two trips is a mystery to me. As I balanced all the shoes in my arms and headed upstairs, I stumbled, and most of the shoes fell from my arms, bouncing back down the stairs. The shoes that didn’t fall, I pretty much threw. I flung myself to the ground and started into a fit. As I sat there, absorbed in my own self pity, I saw myself with more clarity than ever before. It was as if I saw myself the way others saw me and I didn’t like at all what I saw. 
My fit shifted to sobs and a prayer to my Heavenly Father, begging Him to help me change. As I cried and pleaded for His help, it was as if I saw how the Atonement of Jesus Christ could help me. And not just on a big scale where you repent of big sins but on a daily basis. More than anything, I felt my Heavenly Father’s and Savior’s love for me and began to love myself. I felt worthy of forgiveness. I would pray often so I wouldn’t lose my temper, and eventually it wasn’t my “go-to” reaction. 

That day started me on a journey to self worth. I prayed more intently and studied the scriptures with true intent. I pictured who I wanted to be and pretended I was already that person. I faked being happy until one day I realized I wasn’t faking. 

One trick I used was to envision how I wished I would have handled a situation. By me reenacting it in my mind, handling it differently, it allowed me to not get mad at myself and arrive at a different outcome. I might have still made the mistake and even, at times, lost my temper, but by doing this technique it began to break the never-ending cycle. 

I would say the hardest part, and what me want to give up at times, was that everyone was used to me behaving a certain way. When I would mess up, they would automatically treat me as though I was going to have a meltdown. It took everyone so much longer than I would have liked to realize I was changing. There were times I would have lapses, but my desire to change wasn’t short lived and wasn’t just so others would notice, although that was important to me. I really wanted to continue to become a person I actually liked. 

Now at age 40, and being married for just over 19 years, one of my biggest compliments is that my husband doesn’t believe I could have ever been the person I described. No matter how many times my siblings and parents have confirmed it’s true. I am so grateful to such a wonderful family who put up with me and then so lovingly forgave me. I am beyond thankful for a loving and generous Heavenly Father who loves me so much He sent his only begotten son to die for my sins and so I could change. I am grateful for the challenge this was in my life because without it I wouldn’t know my Lord Savior. I wouldn’t understand how the Atonement of Jesus Christ works on a personal level. He loves me and because of it, I learned to love myself. 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Will of God

"Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I ran onto the basketball court for my pregame warmup. It was my senior year of high school, and tonight's game was different. I knew that somewhere in the stands were college scouts. Not just any scouts, but the Ricks College (aka BYU I) head basketball coach was there...to watch me. Growing up in Rexburg, ID, my dream had been to play for Ricks College, for as long as I could remember. And, finally I was getting a shot to prove myself. I longed to have the best game of my life. I needed to have the best game of my life. I wanted it so badly.
But, it didn't happen.
I had one of the worst games of my high school career. 
Dejected, I came home crying and upset. 
Not surprisingly, Ricks didn't offer me a scholarship. However, they did invite me to their group tryout, like a consolation prize...which honestly made me feel like a charity case. 
I felt that years and years of practice and hard work were of naught. Why? I had put in the time. I had put in the work. And, if I was going for sympathy points, I deserved a break! It had been an especially trying year for me my senior year, as I had cared for my sweet mom battling cancer day in and day out. 
I decided to stay close to home, go to Ricks and not play basketball. 
I registered for fall semester and found a roommate. 
I didn't need to play basketball anymore.
Only then, I changed my mind....well, my inspired dad helped me change my mind. 
Dads push us to our dreams and believe in us, even when we don't believe in ourselves. And, my dad was no exception. He didn't want me to give up on my goal of playing college basketball. So, I picked myself up, packed my bags and tried-out at several other colleges in Idaho and Utah. 
Long story short (I know, too late), I ended up in Price, UT at College of Eastern Utah. I didn't know a single soul there, and I had to look it up on a map (actually, I'm sure most people that even live in Utah have to look Price up on a map)! The CEU coach told me over the phone before I came down and tried out that he didn't have any scholarships to give, and his roster was full. I still decided to make the trip, and miracles do happen. He offered me a full-ride scholarship before I left that day. Although it was hard, really hard, to move away from home, more specifically, move away from my dying mother, it was the right decision. Price felt so right and still feels like home to me this day.
Six months after moving to Price to begin college, I started dating my eternal sweetheart. His spirit has always felt so familiar to me. I'm forever grateful the Lord guided me to him. 

My story is not unique. I testify that the Lord has a plan for each one of us. As we align our will with his, he can make so much more out of ourselves than we could ever do alone. I was so dejected when I fell short of my goal to play at Ricks College. However, it wasn't where I needed to be. The Lord knew that; I was still figuring that part out. I testify that we each have unique gifts and talents that the Lord can magnify and truly make us an instrument in His hands. And, last, but certainly not least, I testify that He lives and loves each one of us. He is aware of us...especially in the details of our lives."
"The Will of God" by Elder Christofferson


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Beau's Secret

Exactly a year ago today, I was doing something I would have never expected. I was holding and rocking my niece's tiny baby while she was mourning the death of her brother, Beau, in the other room. 

We had gone to Colorado, like we did every year over Memorial Day Weekend, only this time was different. As soon as we pulled into our old familiar hotel parking lot, we got a frantic call from Liz, Mike's Sister, saying that Beau, her 16 year old son, had been in a terrible ATV accident and was being life flighted to the nearest hospital. After making sure which hospital he was being taken to, we headed there also. We entered the room in the ER, still not believing that Beau could really be that badly injured.  When we saw Beau laying there, Liz softly crying and stroking his hair back, we felt that he was gone. It wasn't him. His body was laying there but his spirit was gone. I took Ashley's baby and went to the waiting area to try and give her time to grieve and to be there for her mom and family. It was in that waiting room that I started to learn more about Beau and the kind of person he was. 

We waited for several hours in that waiting room and every hour that passed, we would hear an alarm of some type go off. Another cousin, Chelsea, and I were both tending little children and we finally found the phone that was going off.  It was Beau's phone and it had a message in it. It was then that I realized what Beau knew. 

Honestly, I didn't really have a relationship with Beau. I only saw him a few times a month and when we saw each other, there was a quick hug, a few pleasantries were exchanged and that was about it. I loved him and thought he was a "good kid" but at family gatherings, he would go hang out with the teenagers and I would stay with the adults so there really wasn't much interaction. Everything I knew about Beau, came mostly from talking to his mom, Liz, and from Grandma Bennett. I did know that
Beau wasn't perfect. He was a regular 16-year-old teenage boy who sometimes talked back to his parents and broke curfew. He had a really messy bedroom and he loved to do crazy, silly things with his friends and he always had a smile on his face. He was pretty normal. But not really. Beau had learned something that a lot of people don't figure out for a really long time. Some people never figure it out. Beau learned the secret for being truly happy. 

Growing up Beau had done what all the boys his age and in his social circle were pushed to do, he played sports. He played football and baseball mostly and he played golf whenever he could. It was probably expected because he came from athletic families. Grandpas on both sides of the family had truly excelled in sports. But somewhere along the way, Beau started to see what some of his friends that he played sports with were doing and he didn't like the choices they were making and maybe some of the choices he was making when he was with them. He made a big decision to stop playing those sports and to stop hanging around those friends. That was hard. Anyone who has experienced changing friend groups, and probably everyone has, knows how hard that is. There was probably a little bullying going on and making life miserable for him for a while from those old friends but Beau found new friends and before long he was filling his time with other things instead of playing sports. 

One of his new found activities was going to the temple every week and Beau was finding that he was happier than ever before. He tried to serve others by volunteering at places and also by doing family history and he used that big smile of his to make friends wherever he went. He really liked to find new people at school and be a friend to them. They said that he even deleted his social media accounts because he felt that he needed to concentrate on living his own life and not watch other people live theirs. He wanted to live life to the fullest and not waste a minute of time being unhappy or comparing himself with others. 

At the funeral for Beau, Beau's bishop told how he had come to him several months before he passed away and said he wanted to think about the Savior more. That's when he had come up with his plan. He set an alarm to go off every hour on his phone that would say, "Make Christ the Center of Your Life." Every time he saw it flash on his screen, he would try to serve someone, recite a song or scripture or say a prayer. He was working hard to try and live as Christlike as possible. He wanted his thoughts through out the day, to be centered on Christ, our true source of happiness and joy. Beau wasn't perfect. No one is. But Beau had found out a great truth at the young age of 16, a truth that many people don't figure out their whole lives. CHRIST is the CENTER of everything. If we center our lives on HIM, then we find a power and an inner peace that comes only in and through HIM. 

Everyone is sad that Beau had to leave this life at such a young age. But the beauty of Beau leaving this earth is that his secret is being told everywhere now. There's a big movement of people who are sick of being unhappy and insecure. When they see Beau's story and learn his secret, then they can be "happi" too! (Beau's license plate said happy with an "i") Make CHRIST the CENTER of your life. That's the key. That's the secret. Beau knew how to be happy and his message is spreading to the world. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

I like New Years!

"The Lord is teaching me a spiritual lesson with my physical body"
All things are spiritual unto the Lord. 

I really like New Years! I like the idea of getting to start over, and trying again. I like Sundays, and mornings for the same reason. 
I use to have a tendency to want to fix every thing I do wrong right this minute...then I would fail, and beat myself up for not being everything I should be. Although I still sometimes think this way, I have learned through a pattern set in the temple that that's not how the Lord works. He gives us one thing at a time. We work on it until we have mastered it, then we return to him and report. He used this pattern even with our Savior and He is perfect!  
This year Josh Penrod asked us all to do a self evaluation and really think about where we are, and what would best help us improve. I took this challenge seriously, and made it a matter of prayer. This morning I went to the temple seeking guidance in knowing what I lack and how to go about improving. On my own I could think of a lot of things I need to do better, in fact so many that I don't know where to start. That's why I wanted to know where the Lord thought I should start. 
This is what I felt...
I developed some wonderful gifts in the pre earth life, gifts I'm extremely thankful for and have served me well in this life. Some of those gifts are obedience. I don't question what I should do or why, I just do it. I don't even think about why, just that I know I should, so I do. Maybe some people would think that's a bad thing, but for me it's been a huge blessing because in the doing I learn the why and I understand fully the joy that living the gospel brings. It's how I have gained my testimony. 
I am content in pretty much every situation. I have lived in some pretty crappy places, eaten horrible food, dealt with people who are hard to get along with...I have to say for the most part my life has been ideal so i don't really have much to complain about, but I don't really complain. I'm good at adjusting. My dad calls me content. Brian calls me low maintenance. My siblings call me easy going. All that being said, it's been a blessing to not get too worked up over things. 
I am an extremely routine person. For the most part I do the same thing everyday at the same times, I could eat the same thing everyday and not get sick of it, I do the same things day after day, and week after week and I pretty much like it that way. 
I believe God likes routine. So much of what we do in the church is repetition. So much of the earth He created runs on a routine. It gives us time to figure things out, and make small changes along the way. Routine gives me comfort. 
I am so thankful for these gifts! They are part of who I am, and I feel these things are pleasing in many ways to my Father in Heaven. 
With these gifts comes new lessons to learn. These are the lessons I'm going to focus on this upcoming year. 
It came to my mind that I have always exercised my physical body. I would work hard and push myself, but I was only going through the motions, so although it was doing some good for me, it wasn't doing what it could have done. I was just stuck in a routine, not asking questions. Doing things because I should. In the last year I have learned that change comes from not just going through the motions, but doing things with real intent. Thinking about what you're doing, and why, embracing the pain, as well and the reward. Really feeling things!!
When I started exercising differently and connecting in my workouts it made me feel vulnerable, i wasn't sure I liked it. I couldn't make the correct connections and I wanted to just move and not think. I'm so glad I stuck with it! I have learned so much I couldn't go back to the old way.  Now the way I use to exercise seems pointless, and silly. I now can see clearly when others aren't connected to there bodies, and they are just going through the motions, and it makes me feel sorry for them. 
I have been really good at disconnecting in other parts of my life. I feel when I want to feel. I feel happy things, and spiritual things but if something is sad, hard, or stressful, I can just shut if off and not feel.  I can go through the motions, but never really engage in what is happening. There is good in allowing yourself to feel and not just going to a "happy place" and checking out.
 I need to live in the moment that I'm in.
 Live intentionally!! Be grateful for that specific moment. 
I know the Savior allowed himself to feel all the pain, sadness, happiness, goodness that we experience. I need to learn to live my life in a way that I allow myself to feel more fully. I think that starts with being aware. Not just going through the motions, really living with a purpose. I'm not sure exactly what the practical steps are....
I started reading a book about temples that talked about how we can miss the point of the temple when we just go, but don't think about what we are doing there. In the temples of old they made the stairs leading up to the temple different dimensions so that people couldn't mindlessly walk into the temple. You had to think about where you were stepping as you entered the temple.  I like the idea of taking intentional steps. I don't know exactly what the practical steps are for this journey, I just know it's the next step in my progression. 
Taking that step scares me to death! What if it's really painful. Facing things that aren't pleasant is never fun, but how do I fix the things that aren't right if I just act like they don't exist?  It's scary!! I think about the mountains I could climb if I stop making the mountains into molehills. There isn't growth in walking up a molehill☺️
I worry that if I allow myself to feel, that just like the physical part I won't be able to go back to just checking out. I'll be connected. I also think it will be so much better in the long run if I can allow myself to feel. 
Opposition in all things...pain and pleasure 
Sadness and joy. How can I really understand one without the other? 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day

What do you do for Memorial Day? Dad, Mom and Geri spent the weekend before with Mark and Tasha's family in Price visiting loved one's grave sights, and showing their respect.  

 While there they visited a museum featuring mining history on Helper Main St that was very educational and interesting, especially to these two.  Their father's were both miners.
Mom got teary eyed when seeing the pictures (detailing the Castle Gate explosion) that brought back so many memories of her own Dad. She pointed to the helmet and lunch pail and said, "that's what my Dad use to wear."

Memorial Day BBQ and swim day at the Morley's

There was also chores done before heading to the pool and...
in WA hay was being stacked while...
in OR a garden was planted and they enjoyed their own (slightly scaled down:) pool party...
until they were all tuckered out!
Hope your Memorial Day was just as memorable!

Family Happenings

 Emily got married! (Michele's)

 Hyrum average 2nd in team roping for the rodeo over the weekend and 7th for the year! (Audra's)
 Brandon with his grandparents

 Brandon graduates (Gina's)
Morley's team takes it all! (Cathy's)
 Ella wins class president! Yay Ella! (Tasha's)
 Kimball places several times in track (Krystin's)

 Clara is region 16 champion for the 1600 meter and the 800 meter races! (Audra's)

 Sandy-Kaye took first in her ball room competition held in Portland, OR (above picture is of prom- Chrisy's)
Brett and Seth went bear hunting and were successful!  Having a great time and bringing home a bear. (Mary's)

Somethings Cooking

Growing up, we never ate out. And when I say never, I mean I could probably count on my hands the times my dad brought home big buckets of ...