Monday, October 30, 2017

Saturday Girl Time at Hobby Lobby

Laurie and I were both running errands on Saturday, while Kelly and Nathan were at Laurie/Nathan's house watching the Ohio State/Penn State football game. The little boys - Nathan and Corbin - were home with the guys. We decided on some girl time and we met up at Hobby Lobby.
Now, if you want to have some FUN......get Miss Avery to take you to Hobby Lobby. Every aisle was an adventure, every item was a treasure. Smiles and laughter galore. We checked out with the incredible huge bill of $2.88, because she took home a couple little Christmas ornaments to paint. Big spenders we are.
So....I'll let you in on just a peek of the fun we had.....
Did you know there were tons of has to try on at Hobby Lobby?  If you look closely, you might just find one in the perfect hot pink shade!!  Avery did! 
And....isn't it fun to dream of a new bedroom?  Hmmm....decisions, decisions. 

It is so thoughtful of the Hobby Lobby team to provide comfortable sitting throughout their can be so tiring. Sometimes, you just need to take a break and do a little "people watching". 

And....afterwards, who just leaves the store when there are cool chairs in the entryway with all the furniture for sale?  We sat a while, and people would smile as they walked by and we would say hello to them. And...I was the lucky one to be with this little lady. 
Laurie had to get in on the fun, too, and she and Avery tried out some other chairs, too! 
Afterwards, we went back to their place and rooted for our Buckeyes and watched the incredible comeback to win 39-38!!  We also worked together in the kitchen to make a sweet potato casserole for them to take to their church Harvest Party the next day! 
Yep...girl time is FUN. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Shades of Grey....

There's a movie that came out recently that has been in the news. It is called Fifty Shades of Grey, and from what I've heard and read, it is about control. The male lead wants to control everything. I have absolutely no desire to see the film, but the name has me thinking, as I have been immersed in studies this week concerning choices we make, our freedom to choose and the consequences of those choices.
In both of my Pathway courses, we have been studying and discussing choices and setting goals. It seems that this week (like the others) I feel the lessons were made just for me.

Let's think about grey - does grey have both black and white in it? grey somewhere between black and white? Do we live in the grey? Heavenly Father did not intend for us to live in the grey. To Him, there is black and there is white. Satan wants the grey. He loves the grey. He allows some truth, but riddled with lies. He's comfortable in confusion.  He has numerous shades of grey, way more than fifty. What can we do? We can stay where we can determine black and white. We can have the guidance of the Spirit. We can go to Him when we must make decisions.

We can study things in our minds, and determine our best plan of action. We can then go and pray and see if our choice aligns with Heavenly Father's will for us. We will know either by a calm, warm feeling or by a stupor of thought. We can then adjust our decision and go again to our Father for confirmation. Then, after receiving it, we can move forward with confidence.

I love how President Kimball explains how right decisions now can help us withstand temptations later. He says, 
"One of the basic tasks for each individual is the making of decisions. A dozen times a day we come to a fork in the road and must decide which way we will go. Some alternatives are long and hard, but they take us in the right direction toward our ultimate goal; others are short, wide, and pleasant, but they go off in the wrong direction. It is important to get our ultimate objectives clearly in mind so that we do not become distracted at each fork in the road by the irrelevant questions: Which is the easier or more pleasant way? or, Which way are others going? Right decisions are easiest to make when we make them well in advance, having ultimate objectives in mind; this saves a lot of anguish at the fork, when we’re tired and sorely tempted."
We must look out for the forks in the road, for these are our pivot points. How we move through those will determine which path we are on. We are either coming unto Christ, or moving further away. 
This isn't meant to be burdensome. With obedience comes happiness and peace. Elder Joseph B Wirthlin taught us his approach in the October 1999 Priesthood session of General Conference: "But every day I try to put Heavenly Father first in my life, I try to come unto Christ and follow Him as my Savior and Redeemer, I nurture the companionship of the Holy Ghost, love and revere the Prophet Joseph, and listen to and follow God’s prophet today. As I do those things, I am confident the Lord will bless me."
 I want to resolve to make better decisions as I strive to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and take my decisions to my Heavenly Father in prayer for His confirmation.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Be of Good Cheer"

It is after midnight and I am sitting at my dad's kitchen table in Marysville, Ohio. But I have been studying and learning.....and actually enjoying myself. I love to learn, and I have begun a more directed study recently. Kelly and I have begun the Pathway Program through BYU-Idaho.
Yes, we are old and going to school, and we actually love it.

Just tonight, I was listening again to some words spoken by someone I greatly admire and respect, Elder Jeffrey R Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

I was studying his talk "The Tongue of Angels". I was especially touched by his statement -

"I suppose it goes without saying that negative speaking so often flows from negative thinking, including negative thinking about ourselves. We see our own faults, we speak - or at least think - critically of ourselves, and before long that is how we see everyone and everything. No sunshine, no roses, no promise of hope or happiness. Before long we and everybody around us are miserable."

This sounds like a horrible way to go through life....or even a day. So what do we do about it?  Elder Holland goes on to say:

"We should honor the Savior's declaration to "be of good cheer". (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!)  Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. 
Yes, life has its problems, and yes, there are negative things to face, but please accept one of Elder Holland's maxims for living - no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse."

I have been studying the experiences of Lehi and Sariah in the Book of Mormon. As I think of Sariah, I think of her leaving friends, home and comfort in Jerusalem to go with her husband and children into the wilderness, as Lehi's life was in danger and he was directed by the Lord to flee. Then, her boys, Nephi, Sam, Laman and Lemuel were sent back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of scripture - back to the place where people wanted to kill her husband! She became worried when so much time went by and they hadn't returned. Perhaps she even became desperate. My mother heart hurts for her as I think of her anguish. She just needed some word her babies were safe. So....she complains to her husband. Elder W Craig Zwick says she spoke to him "in the language of anger, doubt and blame". And how does he respond?  He listens, he comforts, and "speaks to her in the language of compassion."

There it is. You know....that moment when you see something you want to become. I want to be known as someone who speaks this language. I want to speak that beautiful language of compassion with all I meet. And especially, with my family and those I love the most. While this can be a quest for a lifetime, every attempt will bring us closer to Christ. There has been no one who ever walked the earth who spoke this language more clearly than our Master.

I have already learned so much in these two weeks. I am grateful for this "tender mercy" of the Pathway Program. Oh yeah..."tender mercies", that's another thing....let me tell you what I've learned about that.....ok, in another post.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Saturday Morning at Lakeview

As a MAX (Mutual Aid eXchange) insurance agent, I am often approached to help sponsor events, or to advertise in in an organization's publication or program. I have to budget the marketing dollars and feel a great responsibility to not waste the money that the MAX leadership has budgeted for this area. 
I have turned down quite a few opportunities, but felt strongly I would like to help out with the Church of the Brethren's local camp. This is called Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center, located in Keezletown, Virginia. In a beautiful wooded setting surrounding a lake, this camp has opportunites for all ages -encouraging Christ-centered living and leadership. It is hard to believe that in 1958, the first 60 acres were purchased for only $50 an acre! 
I worked with the director, Doug Phillips, to come up with a plan - I had MAX Insurance sponsor a hole (a $100 donation), but asked if I could also come help. I had the marketing department send me some items so each golfer would have a face to put with my name, have something to remember MAX Insurance by, along with my contact info. I took nice fabric shopping bags with the MAX logo out to the camp earlier this week.  These bags would be filled with snacks/water for each golfer. There were 120 of them. I also asked if I could be there while the golfers arrived and meet each one and give them the bag. Doug seemed happy that he would have more help.
This all sounded like a great idea until Friday evening. I had worked about ten hours and was ready to stop. Kelly was still gone - he had a meeting that day in Beckley, WV and wouldn't be home until later that evening. I went to the MAX storage unit to get some items to put into the bags. I also loaded a table into the car. Then went to Bath and Body Works as I had a coupon (gotta love those coupons!) Smelled enough scents to make my head spin. Settled on some soaps, a small lotion and a 50% off Pumpkin Harvest candle. Went to the Dollar Store for other treasures. Stopped at my friend, Heather Walton's house to deliver a late birthday card and one of the yummy soaps. to Walmart to purchase two restaurant gift certificates for a drawing I wanted to do with the golfers. Lines at Walmart were about 14 deep. I gave up and decided I could stop in the morning on my way. 
Kelly got home and helped me prepare 120 packets. (that boy knows how to staple!) and I put together what I wanted on my table there. Finally done about midnight and then couldn't sleep. Typical when I have a very early morning. I got up at 5 and showered and was out the door a few minutes after 6:00. It was our neighborhood's semi-annual garage sales yesterday. Belmont Garage Sales. Just hearing those words make many people drool. It's crazy. Well, at that early hour yesterday, the neighborhood was already beginning to be crowded with those combing the streets for the first chance at a deal. Nuts!  But Walmart was much less crowded than the night before. I decided on two $25 certificates - one for Ruby Tuesday's and one for Chili's. 
I set up at the tournament and soon began meeting the early arrivals. They gladly wrote their names and numbers for the drawing. I knew a number of them, which was a surprise to me. The Church of the Brethren community is tightly knit - as is the Mennonite community here. You see the same people, hear the same names at the events. Sounds a lot like our church. 
Soon there were lines and the golfers were anxious to get on the carts and on the course. They all seemed grateful for the bags, but I had to scramble to keep everything going. I would unpack a box of 12 or so bags, put them on the ground, make sure they also had the goodies I'd prepared the night before in each one, and keep the table filled with the bags. In the meantime, I was helping with the muffins, making sure they wrote their names/numbers for me, and helped with anything else that needed done. It was hot, humid and very stifling as we were in the golf cart building with no moving air. I took my glasses off as I was sweating and hooked them on the front of my shirt. About 30 minutes later I realized they were gone. I kept looking for them as I worked, but they were seriously gone. These are very nice prescription glasses - Vogue frames. They were not cheap. Oh well. When all 120 golfers were sitting in the 60 lined up golf carts, with two MAX bags in each cart, I finally took a breath. It was a beautiful sight. After the rules of how the tournament would work was explained, there was a prayer. The last golf tournament I worked was with the Ohio Roofing Contractors Association - in Huron, Ohio. That one was so different than this one. They were nice guys in Ohio, but it definitely didn't start with a prayer, and the language was rough. The language and jokes got rougher as the beer cart emptied. This time there was no beer cart. It was announced to the golfers that I had lost my glasses and they could be in one of their bags and to please look and turn them in at lunch if found. I then packed up my things, loaded the car and came home. Exhausted. Talked with Meg on the way home and we decided to go to a few garage sales. Neither one of us really was in the mood to shop too much, but she found two T-shirts, and I found a carton of ABC blocks for my "grandma stash". Big spenders. Oh, and I bought some warm lemonade from a little girl named Amy. I always buy lemonade from children selling it. Even if I have to drive down the road and then pour it out the window. :) Then we picked up Brock and went to "pet puppies" at Sylvia's Pets. Meg and Brock want a puppy so badly. There were some adorable Puggles and some Lab/Husky mixes. We got to hold them and smell that great puppy breath. They hope to "rescue" a puppy, though, and not purchase any from a pet shop. But we all got our puppy fix. They stopped by the food trucks on 42 for lunch. I'd never been there. They both got BBQ from their favorite truck. I saw one advertising "soul food". I bought a couple chicken tenders and some collard greens. We brought it home and shared it all with Kelly. Then they left and I got ready to go back to the course to welcome the golfers in. It was hotter and even more humid. Those golfers looked pretty rough after 18 holes in the sun. Wilted, actually. The camp cook had made a great lunch and everyone sat down to rest, eat and either brag or commiserate about their game. Prizes were announced. When it was my turn, I took the mic and announced the winners of our drawings. I had Doug (the camp director) pick the entry out of the huge jar I had brought. It was a great day there and I met some fantastic people. I am so blessed to work and associate with great Christian people. I've learned a lot about love, service and quiet strength from the good people I've met through MAX.  
But...I left without my glasses. I was grateful I had an old pair. Not my current prescription, but better than nothing. I was thinking about those glasses on my drive home. That I should have been more careful. I thought about why I had lost them - and it came down to this - as I was focusing on things right in front of me, I didn't really need them. I didn't need to see far away, I didn't care about the bigger picture, just the task at hand. So I was careless with them. go walk to the car, to drive home....I really could have used those glasses. Things were not as clear as they should have been. I really wished I had them. Sometimes that is how it is with us. We only see the here, the now. We lose sight of things as they really are - the bigger picture. We are slowed, sometimes even stopped from moving forward with this lack of perspective. We need to be careful to remember who we really are - His daughter or son. That temporal things are just that - temporary. We need to have an eternal perspective. See more than we can with our natural eyes. See clearer than we can with our natural eyes. We can't be careless with things that really matter. 

The rest of the story - today, after church, I looked at my phone and saw I had a message from Delaware. The message - A man who was at the golf tournament said it was the weirdest thing. At the bottom of the bag he found some glasses. He said his wife was there, and thought she heard me say something about my glasses. If they were mine, he'd be happy to mail them to me. Boy, am I glad I took the time to put my contact info in the bag! 
Like the Beatles, I will soon be singing...."I can see clearly now..." 

(this Saturday is just half over....the rest is continued in the next post)

      Putting Contest - such a lovely, warm, late summer day!
Lakeview is an incredibly beautiful course.

Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center 

Worship and meeting area at the camp

Brethren Woods - peaceful water


Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Super Saturday

What a fantastic day! Woke up and prepared to leave for the Washington DC temple. We had such a fun ride up together. We solved some of the world's problems, and decided to try and solve a few more, and then just laugh at the ones we have no control over. As we found a place to park and were hurrying in, Kelly grabbed my hand and I remembered that young woman that came here over 38 years ago, madly in love with her Idaho spud. And now, after six kids, five more kids by marriage, twelve grandkids and all the ups and downs of this crazy ride we've been on together....I'm now an old lady who is even more in love with her "boy". As we walked, a car drove past us, came to an abrupt stop, the back door flew open and a young woman came running full speed at us. Then I recognized her - Kate Halling. "Hebdons!  I love you, Sister Hebdon!", she yelled as she gave me the biggest hug. Her phone fell to the ground, the case popping off, but neither of us stopped hugging. It was so good to see her. She lives in Richmond now. Oh, I miss the Hallings! We are so blessed to have great friends in so many places. It's always a joy to run into those we love! Meg and Brock got there right before we did. They had picked someone up and were going to have to get back to Harrisonburg earlier than we had to, so we drove separately. It was such a blessing to be at the temple with them. I loved sitting with Megan among all the women in our endowment session. A special time. 

Kelly and I began the MARCH MADNESS Book of Mormon Challenge today. This is a plan where you read the Book of Mormon in its entirety during the month of March. Today we read the first nine chapters of 1 Nephi. We decided we were going to begin our reading while in the celestial room together. We read the first chapter silently together sitting in that beautiful, peaceful place. What a tender time. After that, we went with a group to the sixth floor to help with the sealing of families for all eternity. Our temple sealer would stop now and then to "teach us" things he was thinking about. We enjoyed every minute. Finally about 4pm our tummies were finished with all this fun and needed some attention. We left the temple, and this shot of us was taken as we walked to our car. Then we enjoyed going to the bookstore, and, of course, shared a dinner at Macaroni Grill in Fairfax. It's our "temple place". 
On the way home, I read six more chapters out loud as Kelly drove, and we just had a great time talking about feelings and impressions we had today. 
Family is all asleep now...even the two pups...I finished reading chapters 8 and 9. Wow....I'm right on schedule!  (ok...I know it's just the first day, but we have to celebrate little victories! I love the scriptures!)  
Bottom line ....  a SUPER Saturday. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Those sweet words of love....

Oh....Valentine's Day. The day to share those special expressions of love with that certain someone. Well, we had a discussion about a week ago. We are trying to be very careful with every dime this month (this year!) so we decided that this year, we weren't going to buy each other anything substantial for Valentine's Day. Not even a store-bought card. We WERE however, going to "get creative" and make sure we remembered the day.
Well, here Kelly is with "38 kisses". My idea of showing him how much I care. Our first kiss ever was on Valentine's Day, 1975. So...38 years we are. Thus, 38 kisses. Each paper had a memory of a kiss we had shared. Specific memories spanning the years. He enjoyed randomly picking one and turning it over to see the memory...and then we'd talk a little about it. Very fun, actually. The 38th was with a little kid valentine I had...the special kiss that represented THIS Valentine's Day. Afterwards...he said..."I thought we weren't doing anything".  Oh well, it's ok. He rubbed my neck this morning at the crack of dawn because I had such a headache. He cooked dinner tonight because I worked late. He always tells me he loves me. It is really ok. I had fun doing the 38 kisses thing.
So after this he went downstairs to catch the last few minutes of the OSU basketball game. I was invited to go down to join him, but had some things I had to take care of up here.
However, when he came up an hour later....he must have been thinking about me....because he came over...put his arm around me....smiled that cute smile....and looked me right in the eyes. And then said these words with all the love in his heart ...."Happy Thanksgiving".  Seriously. I'm not kidding. He then realized what he said and cracked up. And apologized. I, however, only heard the "I love you" that was unspoken in the sweetest "Happy Thanksgiving" I've ever been wished. 
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, my love.

p.s. Just thinking about this, and I guess this is our 39th Valentine's Day!! 38 years, but with a Valentine's Day on each end, that makes 39!!  We HAVE, however,  had only 38 Thanksgivings together. Maybe the old man's on to something, after all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grand Theft Auto

Have you heard the one ....                
How many Mormons does it take....?

We had a great Stake Conference over the weekend. Sunday morning's session was in Charlottesville (about an hour away). Kelly had dropped me at the door to find a seat while he parked the car. We discovered afterwards that he had locked the keys in the car. After wandering around a little, asking for a coat hanger or something, a "posse" seemed to form.
I came up to the car and saw this....a Sunday School President, a High Priest Group Leader, a Branch President and a Bishop...all trying to break into our car. (we will use any excuse to hold a meeting)
A parade of priesthood holders....but no one was holding the keys. ( a little Mormon joke ...humor me here.)
I broke out my phone and took a quick picture. I didn't realize I had it set on black and white, but I kind of like it.

And then...Victory!
The parade even had their own cheerleader!
.....and we all lived happily ever after.

(and Jessie...I have officially blogged again. Alert the media.)