Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's the little things that make big things

I've been thinking lots about a talk I heard last Saturday night stake conference
by Elder Gregory Sshwitzer….

Some key points I want to remember….

"We can keep a moth inside the house by shutting all the doors and closing the windows. 
Or we can just light a candle."  The speaker then went on to compare this to our homes. "Light
a candle in our homes so those that will wander will want to stay." 
 In other words, it is all the every day little things we do in our homes that make the biggest 
difference. The quotes on our fridge door (he said the fridge door is an altar for teenage boys,
especially, and we should take advantage of this fact)…put things on there we want our kids and
grandkids to see.
It's the sweet messages, or spiritual pictures or uplifting messages we put on our walls.... The
speaker suggested we think of strategic places….where these up lifting messages will have 
the most impact. 

Made me think of this sign in my brother John and Suzanne's home.

Our these 2 from my sister Robin and Dave's home.

The speaker talked about when he grew up….how one day his Dad brought a picture about
prayer and put it at the foot of his bed so he would see it every morning and every night. His Dad
just said there was "a blank place on his wall that needed a picture."  So he woke up with that
picture and every morning and night said his prayers without fail. So then he goes off to college
and gets an atheist roommate. He didn't know what to do that first night about praying. But he 
kept seeing that picture in his mind that he grew up with about prayer and got down on his
knees and prayed anyway.

He said he was so grateful his Dad taught him about prayer, not by fancy lessons with lots of 
references, but by a simple little act in making their home more holy. He thought back on
the many trials of his life and about the many many times he HAD to have an answer to prayer.

He also suggested we go through our homes and get rid of anything (DVDs, books, music, etc)
that would not be appropriate for our children and grandchildren, and get rid of it. 

He talked about the power of eating around the dinner table. How the Lord understood the power
of food…he finished his talk and he fed 5000. Instead of talking about theories to our kids, he 
suggested we talk in terms of "what if"….give them scenarios to think of solutions to. From 
there we should talk about stories. Sounds like fun dinner time to me. 

I wish I had a family to raise all over again so I could try all these ideas out. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

If you don't believe me…..

I have proof.
His doctor said this would never happen. 
His physical therapist said they could no longer help him.

But they didn't know who they were talking to…..

This is a man who has run over 30 marathons.
This is a man who never gives up.

And they said this would never happen! from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Thank you to his excellent care giver, Tom!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Grandpa came home with this

Téa played catcher yesterday……

So tell me….what do you think?? Are you impressed?

6 year old catcher! from Jill Shelley on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

4 questions to get your kids to talk

I read somewhere a few months ago, that if we would 
like to know what our children are about
we should regularly ask these questions:

1)  What are you most excited about in life right now?
2)  What are you most worried about?

So I thought I would start with the first question last week 
while Elora was here for a few days. 

She's 12…but she has always had lots to say since she was 2 ….
so I was anxious to try my question out on her. 

Instead of asking her what she was excited about, I upped it one 
and asked, "What are you most passionate about lately?"
She asked back, "Like how do you mean?"

"Well," I said, "what do you think about the most? 

"What do you get most excited about?"

"What are you obsessed with?"
"What do you wish you could do every day?"

"I finally paused, waiting for her answer."
She looked up from her Youtube tutorial 
and gave me her quick one word answer:


Why didn't I see that answer coming?

There were actually two more questions on the list 
if you want to try them with your kids:

3. "Who have you noticed that may need your help?" 

4. "Is there anything that has happened that has made you feel uncomfortable lately?" 

Look what she did for Violet!

Not bad for just a 2 week passion.

Elora has always been a passionate child….like in this video when 
she was 7…she was SO worried about the people in Haiti 

her very last line gets me every time! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My ear and my shoes

Last Sunday during singing time with the 8-11 year olds, the 
chorister was teaching the kids different ways to sing familiar 
songs. Just after she announced, "Now this next song I want you 
to sing as loud as you can, without yelling." ….the little 8 year 
old boy sitting next to me said, "I think you might want to cover 
your ears because it's going to be very loud in here."  

I do have a bad ear so I said, "Okay, I'm going to go step out into 
the hallway. You take care of the class for me while I'm gone." 
And out I went. 

After it was over I came back to sit by that same boy and I said to 
him, "That was so kind of you to give me that warning. But how 
did you know I had a bad ear?"

He sat up straighter and seemed so proud as he told me, "I know 
because all old people have problems with their ears!" 

So serious he was.

This reminded me of just 4 days earlier when I was giving a lesson 
to fourteen girls ages 8-11. We were all sitting on the floor as we 
talked together about service and ways we can help other people. 
The lesson was going along just fine and then suddenly one of the 
girls said to me, "Do you know you are wearing two different 

I looked down in shock. How could I have done this? I quickly 
removed the shoes and sort of threw them under the table. I heard a 
few little giggles. Then I told the girls how embarrassed I felt. The 
room became quiet as those girls sat there with endearing
sympathetic looks on their faces. Finally one girl said, "I've done 
that before." She was trying to make me feel better! 

Tonight before I went visiting teaching, I read through the message 
the monthly message. It was about trying to be more Christ 
like….how we need to strive to be more like little 
children without guile:  innocent, honest intent, with pure motives. 

I'm thankful for the little people in my life. I want to be more like 

Friday, April 10, 2015

A sweet unforgettable day

I hope you will excuse this self centered post as I tell you about my birthday last week.

First I woke up to this from Washington:
(I love it when Richie asks me if I have any kids!

Thank you Karen, Tyler, Rich, and Leo!

Then we got to celebrate the life of this very unforgettable lady, Betty Freeman Clinton.
 I knew her from my childhood. I've known her son Terry since he was in the stroller.
And Terry's wife, Debbie, since she was only 4 years old. Lots of history.

My mom would bring us 4 girls, plus sometimes Grandma too, for hair cuts at Betty's salon. It was an
all day event. We would bring our lunch and often swim in her pool before returning home!

I remember Betty's kindness. I didn't like the way she chopped all my hair off (my Mom told her to)
….so one time she gave me a gold crown in to wear in my hair, and it did cheer me up.

I often wondered why my busy Mom would drive us 30 minutes from our house so Betty could cut our
hair. I learned later in life that everyone loved being around Betty.
She attracted people to her.

Here are some of my gifts…..and I even got a call from Italy!

Den took me to a wonderful halibut dinner at Yosemite Ranch which is now my favorite restaurant
(thanks to Krista and Paul for taking us there a few years back)

I took a picture of this part of the menu because I wanted to remember 
this variety of side salads….so I can duplicate them at home perhaps. 
(I had the Apple Bleu without the bleu)

When we returned home I saw this half gone cup of water….
and I knew little people had been there. This made me smile. 
Until I learned the next day that one of these little people was very sick.
He has since recovered, but poor baby was miserable for days.

McKenna texted and asked if we could Skype with them.
So we got on and we have no idea why, but Dennis appeared this way….

Seriously, we did not push any buttons.  

I thought Grant and Scarlett would like to see Grandpa like this but by the time they appeared,
Grandpa returned to normal. Fortunately for me.

Loved all the phone calls, texts, cards and messages.
I feel so blessed with so much love in my life.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

This magic of a nap

I guess I thought since Cinderella started at 10:55am, 
it was early enough not to interfere with Violet's nap.

But after all the previews, etc…
the movie got started later than I thought! Not good. 

She LOVED the movie….but right smack in the middle 
of it nap time struck and she was DONE. 

Cami on the other hand was loving it all….
especially dancing with Grandpa as the credits were going up.

However, shortly after that, Violet said she "needed to be 
closer"….and took off running all the way up to the screen. 
Elora followed her.

Elora is SO good with both her sisters! She LOVES them, and continually is there trying to help them.

Violet was not happy on the way home either.

She sobbed and sobbed and I felt even worse when she said, 
"I am really trying! But I can't control myself!"

(I was stunned by her ability to label her feelings!)

I said, "I'm so sorry. I know what that feels like!"
(because it's exactly how I feel when I'm over tired. Just ask Dennis.)

Later after her magical nap the first thing she said was,
"I'm glad you enjoy having me here."

In other words, she recovered, and she knows I love her.

Our girl is oh so passionate about all she likes, and dislikes.
It's not in her nature to hold back.

The next day, as Grandpa Dennis brought her back to me after 
preschool, she said, "I really miss Mommy and Daddy. I'm the 
perfect girl for them." 

I'm certain they would agree.

And as coincidence would be, as soon as I finished writing this post, I went to listen to Gretchen 
Rubin's podcast that she has available every Wednesday….and guess what the subject was for today? 
"Treat yourself like a toddler."

I'm a serious Gretchen Rubin fan….she's the author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home
and now her latest. "Better Than Before" which is already a best seller just like her previous books.

She and her sister record these weekly 20 minute podcasts and unlike many others, hers are always 
free. I find some of them life changing. Take a listen to the one released today on iTunes.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Grant, Scarlett, Rich, and Leo

McKenna just sent this to me from Washington…..

Easter morning…….
or watching Conference on TV 
while keeping the kids entertained at the same time.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Blessed Easter!

We had a family Easter gathering earlier today 
at my sister Peggy and Jeff's home….

but this time we invited our new relatives
the ones I found on
The ones we didn't know we had.
Sarah, Anthony, and Monique with my Dad. 
(Anthony was ready for a meeting right after the party.)

My great Grandfather, Robert Wiley Rozier is the brother 
to Monique's Dad's great Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Rozier.

So we are family.

Lots of good food to share.

Isn't this an interesting way to make a fruit salad with bananas all around the edges?
 The sad part of today….
our new relatives had to leave before I remembered 
that desserts were waiting for us all inside!

I was able to capture a picture right after the Easter Egg Hunt.
Jude, Téa, Trevor, Calvary, Zion, Hosanna, Sarah, Rivka, and Mara. 
(Mara looks incredibly like Grandma Peggy at that age….most of these are her grandchildren!)

The other little one, Harvey, was inside.

At 7 months old, I guess he's thinking he will wait till next year to join the group.

Not too many pictures this time.
I was mostly entranced by getting to know our new relatives. 

If you have not seen this little video, then you get to now.  
I hope it speaks to you like it does to me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The simplest way to be happy

My Dad asked me tonight if I noticed 
anything different on their shelf…

At first I thought….no….and then thought to myself….
….uh what am I suppose to be looking at?

Then I saw it….

Or I think he gave me a hint when he said, 
"Do you see that sign?"

Yes! I do love this! 

Apparently my Dad saw this sign at Robin's house 
and asked if she would write it down for him. 

Instead, she gave him his own copy. 

These two live by that saying.

And not sure if you noticed or not, but there is a picture I 
especially love on the shelf underneath that sign. 
My Dad and I, with Richard. 
Living the good life back in 1956.