Thursday, September 13, 2012


I am not very good about blogging regularly and even worse about keeping a journal. In fact, the blog is as good as it gets for a journal.  Pretty bad, eh?  But I am pretty good about writing to my missionary son. That is to say I write often, if not well.  If I was clever I would write the one & modifiy it for the other.  Which does happen once in a while. But not lately.  So I will just copy my letter to him.  Mostly. 

Dear Benjamin,

Ginger Owings gave me $10 for you today. $5 for September and $5 for October. I plan to deposit it in your account tomorrow. 

Trouble in kitty land. Not a big surprise. Velox is "afraid" of the new kitties.  They are in the office, of course, but she rushes past the hallway like monsters were after her & she is spending most of her time out of doors. F&F want to come out & see people.  Once when I had the door open with just the baby gate in place, Felicity went in your (Velox's) room.  Joseph was not very happy about that.  F&F are sneezing a bit so understandably Joseph doesn't want them near V now anyway.    

Andrew's friend is gone.  He flew out yesterday morning and had to be at work about an hour after he landed.  Nice guy.  Comfortable to be around (even though I was hardly home)

This weekend was “Time Out For Women”  in Sacramento,  a women’s conference produced by Deseret Books.  I think they come to Sacramento every other year.  My first time was a couple of years ago.  They were here on my birthday, so I figured it was a sign.  “Happy Birthday to me”  It was great.    Inspirational and funny talks and good music.  So great that I went again this year.  Here is a hodge podge of notes. 

The music was Dallyn Vail Bayles Friday evening and Jericho Road on Saturday.  I bought a JR CD.  I really liked the song "Like a Child" so I got the CD that has that. DVB sang wonderfully, too. and is nice to look at. I saw on the TOFW website that some venues got Jenny Oaks Baker!  They have some good presenters at TOFW.

Dean Hughes (wrote Children of the Promise) talked about being a Zion people – which does not mean becoming clones.   “If we all think alike, none of us have to think at all.”

Heidi Swindon speaking on Seek This Christ: We must make time in our lives and room in our hearts.  (I think she was quoting President Monson)  She definitely quoted him with “decisions determine destinies”

Mary Ellen Edmunds showed us her bandelo from her Beehive Days (similar to a Boy Scout merit badge sash) and  raised the question: What if we got merit badges for what we do in life?  She thought the one for laundry would have lots of bubbles.  I thought of several for myself.   I get one with a bicycle for riding my bike to work 4 days a week.  One with the Sacramento Temple for going there almost every Wednesday evening.  Three or four people praying for being pretty regular about family prayer and one with the Book of Mormon for reading together as a family after family prayer in the evening.  I brush my teeth every day ( whether or not I expect to talk to someone *smile*) so I guess I get one with a toothbrush.   A grocery cart on one for doing the family food shopping.   One with a dog and a couple of cats.  And one with a bird or a few birds because of Mrs Cotton & we feed wild birds.  I go to church every week so I get one with a chapel on it.  What does the one for bill paying look like, do you think?  We really should give ourselves a little more credit sometimes.  So if you find yourself with nothing to do one P-day (hahaha), you might want to design yourself some merit badges.

Goodness is a choice.  Goodness is contagious. Look for the good in others.  You were born good.  Goodness can only happen because of and through Jesus Christ.  Goodness leads to Godliness. 

Deann Flynn
1. Remember to listen carefully. Sometimes you only have one chance to listen.
2. Look forward.  Let go of the past.  Look forward with faith and hope.
3. Laugh  often
4. Love deeply.
“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”  Julie B. Beck

S. Michael Wilcox showed us a number of lovely Chinese vases, each representing vessels we should fill in our lives – the vessels of Beauty & Wonder, Love & Sharing, Nobility and Emulation, Gratitude and Adoration.  Collect good things.  Don’t collect your sins and weaknesses – let God heal. 

Merriliee Boyack told of a man by the seashore who found a child in the water and carried him to shore.  A crowd of concerned people gathered around.  They all cared about the child, but it  wasn’t doing the kid any good.  Finally someone ran for the life guard who came and performed CPR resuscitating the child. Caring is not enough.  Caring Plus Response is necessary to do any good. 

We can minister moment by moment.  How long does it take to say a kind word, pay a compliment, appreciate someone? -  a split second.  That is a moment of power.  Pledge to give away 5 split seconds a day. God wants us to serve, not only to help people in need, but because if the good it does us.  

We need to open our eyes to see, open our hearts to feel, and taken action – your way!  Ask what can I do?  When fire struck a town, she went to help organize shelters, her husband contacted Apple for some small electronic gadge thing for the teenagers, a sports loving friend collected bicycles and helmets for the children who had lost everything.  Someone else collected musical instruments.  A little boy several states away saw the fire on the news, decided to do something to help and got his birthday present, wrote a note, and sent it to the fire ravaged town.  It went to a boy who had lost all his own toys.  Something like – I saw about the fire.  I am sorry.  I hope you like this Bionicle it is a rare hard to get one.  The little boy in Chicago brightened the lives all those along the way who witness his compassion and kindness. 

Sometimes the only thing we can do is pray, but do not underestimate the power of prayer. 
Emily Watts – Individually the ingredients for toffee are not all that glamorous, but put them together with a little heat as a catalyst and you get delicious candy.  

What can I do to be a catalyst for good? Things to remember as we seek the good.   Good might not always be in my comfort zone. How can I reach outside my comfort zone?  Sometimes good comes in disguise.  Good takes patience and trust in the Lord. Good is primarily other centered.  If we learn by watching others, what are the others who are watching us learning? 

Of course, you cannot believe EVERYTHING  you hear at TOFW.  One of the presenters while reassuring us that our Goodness  not measured by our immaculate house keeping, assured us that “dust protects furniture”.  Right.

I wish I could convey to you the lovely music and much laughter.  When you are married, encourage your wife to attend Time Out For Women (while you take care of and hopefully have fun with the kids.  You will certainly learn to appreciate her more and she will appreciate your thoughtfulness)

Do you know that Andrew has taken to eating snacks with chop sticks?  It's a good idea for popcorn and such.  But I am not very good at it. Maybe that's good, too! Diet plan!

Thanks for being such a good letter writer.  I appreciate how often you write & the things you share.  (so do others)

Oh, must get going.  Moroni & Joseph are going to go Home Teaching in a bit.  Dinner is almost ready.  Better finish it up and let him go. & Hopefully watch Once Upon a Time later. 

I tried a couple of lessons in Korean on the library site.  There may be no hope for me!!  

Love you lots!


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