Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Storms

The young Priest had just finished blessing the sacrament bread. I sat quietly pondering things of an eternal nature, thinking of my Savior, Jesus Christ. All of a sudden rain loudly pounded the chapel rooftop... a rarity for Califorina. I was grateful to be inside our chapel, safe and warm and dry. Then I thought of the Savior again and how wonderful it feels to be safe and warm in His loving embrace. Especially when we are going through the storms of our life. I could almost feel His arms around me. I love the scripture in Philippians 4:7. which says "...the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". I know we can feel that peace throughout our storms. I have felt that peace in my life when I didn't think I could.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I WILL MISS HIM


Our beloved prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley died last evening. Whenever I think of President Hinckley I will think of love! How he loved the people, all people not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. How he loved the Lord and the work of the gospel. How he loved the Temple and helped to spread Temples throughout the world! Whenever I read his words in the Ensign, our Church magazine, I can hear his voice speaking in my mind! I knew that the Lord was speaking to us, through him.

He was an amazing man!! At age 97 he continued to lead and guide the church. In fact, my daughter Katie, heard him speak just two week ago in a broadcast Stake Conference. Surely the Lord, blessed this man to accomplish so much in his golden years. His wit and his humor were endearing!!

I'm happy for him that he can be reunited with his lovely wife, Marjorie I know he missed her dearly. He will be with other family members too!! It's wonderful that families can be eternal. And what a wonderful reunion with the Savior!! I'm sure the Lord will hug him and tell him "well done, thou good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21

Sunday, January 27, 2008

FIFTY TWO BLESSING PROJECT, Week Four


After a week of cold, rainy, windy, gloomy, stormy weather, we woke up to sunshine Saturday morning. I found this beautiful daffodil in bloom in my front planter!! So this week, I'm thankful for:

Flowers

Flowers gladden my heart! I love all the colors, but yellow flowers are my absolute favorite! Flowers attract the birds and butterflies that I love!! A bouquet of flowers is sure to bring a smile to anyone!! Flowers make me marvel at the intricacies of Heavenly Father's creations! I can't imagine earth without them!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time Well Spent

Being that my word for the year is TIME, I thought I would share a great example of time well spent!!

One of the men in my church, Bob, spent about 80 hours recently refinishing the old pinewood derby track that belongs to our Cub Scout pack. He sanded the whole thing, put a lovely floor wax on the track and painted the outside!!



Here is Bob with his masterpiece!!

Last night was our packs pinewood derby and the boys had a blast. The other thing that Bob did was purchase this really really cool timer and software program. You type in the boys names and it puts all the cars in heats and keeps track of all the scores!! It worked great!



Here are some of the cool cars. The black one with the lightning was the fastest car!!


video


Start you Engines!!!




Anxious boys waiting at the finish line.




Our Cubmaster worked really hard too! She made these great plaques for the boys to put their cars on and hang up!!


It was fun to watch, Bob, last night. His kids are grown, but he loves scouting and you could see in his face how happy he was to be of service! What a great example to me!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

my great grandfather and mystery man, Jeremiah Crowley.

When I first started researching Jeremiah I thought this will be so easy with an unusual name like that!! Boy, was I ever wrong. There are so many Jeremiah Crowley's it isn't funny and they all have wives named Mary. Okay, not all of them, but enough of them to make it difficult to find the right one!! And by the way, his father's name is Jeremiah. Guess what his mother's name is.....your right Mary!!!

Jeremiah immigrated to the USA from Ireland around 1851 (info from the 1900 census) as a little boy. I don't have any ancestors in the US prior to that time. The first record I can find of him, though is not until 1880, when he is on the census living in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. So there is no information for almost 30 years!! Where in the world was that man!!!

Interesting family stories about Jeremiah are that he was married three times and that he lost a leg in the Civil War. There are 43 Jeremiah Crowley's listed in the Civil War database. I was unable to find one that matched the information I had. I do however have his death certificate. He died in a fire in his bedroom caused from a oil lamp being knocked over.

So, I will keep looking, I know one day I will find out more information about this ancestor!! I truly appreciate his family's struggles in coming to America so I could be born here!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sacra-Tomato...

better known as Sacramento, the capital of California is where we found ourselves this long weekend. Guess what they grow in the Sacramento area?? Your right!!! Tomatoes!!!

Anyway we didn't go to see the tomatoes. We went to visit with my daughter April and her husband Matteo!! We had a fun time!! Saturday we browsed Old Sacramento!!


We had lunch at Joe's Crab Shack!! We had a lovely little wait outside.

video

Our servers decided to dance instead of serve. Very interesting indeed!!



Old Sacramento was very quaint. I love the old buildings!!







I loved the look of this old draw bridge over the Sacramento River.




We found a cool hat shop and Evan tried on this funny frog hat. He wasn't convinced it was made just for him.



He choose this Star Wars hat instead!! Good choice, Evan!!



Evan got to pan for gold!! Unfortunately, the Gold Rush is over!!



Oh, and I saved the best for last. Here is April, showing off her "baby bump"!! I love that term, April!! Too cute!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

52 BLESSING PROJECT, Week Three

WHEELS

When Evan was not even two years old, his physical therapist suggested getting him a wheelchair! We were afraid that if he started using a wheelchair he would never walk. We didn't want to give up on walking. But, then again, this child was unable to explore his environment very well except by
commando crawling. That was a concern for us. So, we borrow a wheelchair for a few days. I remember bringing it into the backyard and placing Evan in the chair. Off, he went across the yard. It was like the wheelchair was meant for him. He knew immediately how to use it!! Tears fell down my face as I watched with joy this little boy I loved with all my heart zip around with the wheelchair. Evan did walk a little starting at four years until twelve years old. Then it was just to much energy. Cruising in his wheelchair has always been his favorite mode of transportation!! video
So, this week, I'm grateful for wheels. Wheels to roll instead of walk. Wheels
to explore the great big world out th
ere!! Wheels to play sports!! Wheels that are NOT confining, but give freedom!!
It's a great way to get around!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love You Forever


One of my favorite books is "Love You Forever " by Robert Munsch. It's about the unconditional love that a mom has for her little son. He grows up and has a little girl that he loves too!! There is a cute little ditty in the book. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby, you'll be!!". My favorite part in the book is in the end where this grown up little boy is rocking is his own mom who is much older in years now and sings to her a little ditty!! So, touching!!

So, I wonder how is it that older people get neglected?? I have a sister ( a sister in the gospel for those who aren't LDS) that I visit teach. Life has been hard for her. She has survived two husbands. She lives all alone. She is delightful, intelligent and loves to talk. There are scriptures in every room of her house so if she thinks of something she doesn't have to go searching for them! I know that Heavenly Father is her friend, although she is frail and I have never seen her in church. Her testimony is a strength to me and I have learned much from her. She is also very lonely. Her son's that live in the area (there are two of them) hardly ever see her and sometimes she doesn't even have food in her refrigerator. How can children not make sure their very own mothers have food?? She lives in a great big house with stairs that leave her out of breath. How can children not make sure their very own mothers have a appropriate place to live?? I try to help as much as I can and see her at least once week!! But there are some things that family NEED to help with. Anyway, the Bishop and Relief Society president are helping me to meet some of her needs. But, I just want to go shake people and say, " take care of your mom!!". Maybe I should give them a copy of "Love You Forever"!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

my grandmother Virginia Mary Giannetti!! Grandma was the only grandparent alive when I was born. She lived in Canada so I didn't get to see her often. I remember visiting her home once when I was about five. She had a cute little home with a garden in the back. I remember eating her peas fresh from the plant. There was a great little corner store down the street and she would give us money to go buy a treat. Grandma was born in Terracina Italy to Silviano Giannetti and Rosario Morlani, one of at least three children.
I was so happy to find her birth record on mircofilm. I love it that her given name was actually Virginia Felice, not Mary. Felice is happy in Italian, so her name is more like Merry than Mary!


She married Pio Celestino in Terracina in 1912! It's rumored in family stories that her marriage was arranged by her older brother, Giovanni. She immigrated through Ellis Island and on into Canada to reunite with her husband in 1914. He however deserted her for another woman. So she had to raise two little girls on her own. Life was hard and difficult to live up to her name of Felice.
This is my Grandma with my mom (the youngest daughter) and my Aunt Eva.


A sweet memory I have of my Grandma is every Christmas she would send us Sees Candy. We would get a little sleigh filled with chocolates!! Yummy!! When I was a teenager my grandma and Aunt came to live with us in California. I was so excited to finally have a grandma close to me. However, Grandma was a quiet women. I wanted to hear stories of her life in Italy, but she didn't want to share. Such a disappointment to me. There was much family contention between my mom and her sister and they moved out. We didn't hear from them much. Very sad indeed. Years later when I started family research I had a feeling that my Grandmother had died, because I knew she had been ill. Unfortunately I found her death record in the California index. It is sad to me that she passed away and my own mom didn't even know about it!!

I wonder if my shyness comes from Grandma. I'm sad that her stories of life growing up in Italy never were shared. So, I need to remember to share my stories with my grandchildren!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission!!

The paper work is in and received!! I should get the call from my Stake President very soon! I'm going to be serving as an "at home" Church Service Missionary for the Family History Department. I will be helping people with family history via phone calls and e-mail. You can read about this type of mission here. It is very exciting with the new Family Search.org coming out soon!! I love family history , so this is going to be great!! It will be a wonderful way to spend my TIME this year!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

52 Blessings Project, Week Two

The Beautiful California weather drew us to the seashore yesterday. Thus the impetus for today's 52 BP....water!!
video

I love the sound of the ocean waves. It is calming yet energizing. It's power is extraordinary. The ocean is ever changing as, is our lives.

Water...what would we do without water??
There is nothing like a cool refreshing glass of water of a warm summer day. Water is essential to our bodies health!



After a hard day of work there is nothing like a refreshing shower to cleanse our body. We use water to wash to our clothes and our dishes. We are so fortunate to live where we have clean water to wash things and to drink.



We are immersed in water when we are baptized, in the same manner as the Savior Jesus Christ. It is one of the first principles of the Gospel. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5



Every Sunday when we attend church we partake of the Sacrament water. It reminds us of the sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ in our behalf. It is an opportunity to remember the promises we made when we were baptised.


Water is life giving in many different ways and an incredible blessing!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

IT'S ABOUT TIME

I have been pondering again! Pondering New Year's Resolutions, which I really don't like!! (I know January is almost half over, I'm always slow. Better than never!) I do however love the idea from Lynne, on a comment she made here. She talked about giving gifts, instead of resolutions. So then, I had to ponder what gift can I give this year!! I had heard of the idea of tithing of one's time. Giving a tenth of our time to serving the Lord. I really feel like I need to use my time more wisely. I have been reading other's blog and love idea of a word of the year. So...drum roll please....my word for the year 2008 is:

TIME



Time is a gift we have been given from our Heavenly Father. We all have the same amount of time!! Time is also a gift we can give to others!! That is what I'm going to strive to do, reach out to those who need my time. And make sure that I'm spending the time Heavenly Father gave to me wisely.

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”
--President Ezra Taft Benson

So, I will be posting about time in the upcoming months. Sharing with you how I feel I'm doing and how I'm spending my time.


What helps you to spend your time wisely? I would love to hear how others are doing in this area!!

I embed this audio of a great talk from Mary Ellen Edmunds. Only listen to it if you have TIME, it's 30 minutes long, but I enjoyed it very much!!


It's About Time (Mary Ellen Edmunds)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fabulous Friday's Forever Family Featuring...

Father Henry A. Constantineau. Father Constantineau is one of my most well known and interesting ancestors. Born Honore A. Constantineau in 1861 to Honore Constantineau and Emilie Roy in Lowell, Massachusetts, he is my first cousin twice removed. When you start researching your cousins you can find very interesting people!!

Father Constantineau is listed in the Handbook of Texas Online as a person who contributed to the history of Texas. How does a Priest from Quebec end up in Texas?? Well, because of ill health and need for a warmer climate. Henry worked in banking after graduation for a few years. Then he decided to become a Priest. He was ordained on May 26 1888. He served in Quebec until illness sent him to San Antonio, Texas. There he was able to make significant changes to the area. He help with finances, with irrigation concerns and easing tension among people.

I found a talk given by Father Constantineau on a historical paper website. He was denouncing the use of alcohol. He said among other things, that alcohol is degrading to the family, an evil worse that any plague and suggested that saloons be closed on Sundays!! I thought...WOW, he would make a great Latter-Day Saint.

I'm so proud of my Catholic ancestors who lived their religion with such devotion!! I hope they are proud of me for the choice in religion I have made.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

FIFTY TWO BLESSING PROJECT

I found this great idea on Cara's blog.
And I decided I'm going to be a part of the 52 Blessing's Project.
Here is how Cara described the project:

"Once a week post a photo of something you are most grateful for. This gives us a chance to reflect on the good things we have learned from or that have made us better in our everyday lives or things we just enjoy! I think everyone needs to be more grateful for what they have now days instead of always thinking about what we want! This is one of the things we can do to be more gracious people. It will be like a photo gratitude journal."

I'm already a week behind so I will start today and add another one later this week.

52 Blessing Project
(Week One)

I'm grateful for the light of each new day. I'm up before sunrise, and I'm always grateful to catch a glimpse of the beautiful colors in the morning sky! It always brings back a special memory of walking on the beach one morning all by myself. When I turned around there was the most beautiful colors in the sky...reds, oranges and pinks. Since I was alone I felt like that sunset was there just for me. I felt a most overwhelming feeling of love, almost like Heavenly Father put his arms around me!! The creations do testify of Him!!





Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ability Awareness


Please check out http://imtyler.org/ . Be sure to click to watch the video!

Tyler is just a typical teenage boy, enjoying music, movies, computers and even martial arts. Tyler's Eagle Scout project was to make a DVD about "Ability Awareness". This is very inspirational. I'm going to use it when I teach the Disability Awareness merit badge to the Boy Scouts.

I would love to know what others think of this video. Do you know of any other good disability awareness resources??

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday Singing

Joseph Smith’s First Prayer


Oh, how lovely was the morning!
Radiant beamed the sun above.
Bees were humming, sweet birds singing,
Music ringing thru the grove,
When within the shady woodland
Joseph sought the God of love,
When within the shady woodland
Joseph sought the God of love.

Humbly kneeling, sweet appealing—
’Twas the boy’s first uttered prayer—
When the pow’rs of sin assailing
Filled his soul with deep despair;
But undaunted, still he trusted
In his Heav’nly Father’s care;
But undaunted, still he trusted
In his Heav’nly Father’s care.

Suddenly a light descended,
Brighter far than noonday sun,
And a shining, glorious pillar
O’er him fell, around him shone,
While appeared two heav’nly beings,
God the Father and the Son,
While appeared two heav’nly beings,
God the Father and the Son.

4. “Joseph, this is my Beloved;
Hear him!” Oh, how sweet the word!
Joseph’s humble prayer was answered,
And he listened to the Lord.
Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God;
Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God.

Text: George Manwaring, 1854–1889

I thought this video was very beautiful. I hope you enjoy it too!!
I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! This year I'm excited to be learning more about Joseph Smith in Relief Society. And studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday School. While I have a testimony that Joseph was indeed a Prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is true. I still have much more to learn. It will be a life long process for me. Our family has dedicated our selves to strive to read together daily from the Book of Mormon this year. I'm sure there will exciting blessings awaiting us!! Please feel free to ask me how we are doing as the year progresses.




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