Monday, November 28, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

When our children were younger we would take them up to Salt Lake City the Friday following Thanksgiving.  We would watch them turn on the Christmas lights at Temple Square, eat at The Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square, and shop  the mall across from Temple Square.  It rang in the Christmas Holiday Season.  There were even a couple of years where we served dinner at a homeless shelter.  We have not done this in recent years.  This year we decided it was time to continue the tradition.  On Friday the Bassetts invaded the big city!  We began with shopping at Gardner Village, mostly display shopping.  The elves were out in full force!  Swimming at the hotel pool for Matthew, Phil, Max, Ava, and Isaac. Dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and a walk downtown to see the lights, along with thousands of others who came out for the spectacular event.  No one came with the intent of black Friday shopping so there was zero pushing, zero shoving, and zero pepper spraying.  I, of course, forgot my camera, but I did find a site to borrow from.
 The trees are loaded with lights! 
It is amazing how many lights are on one tree.
 The reflection pool is beautiful with
  floating lights and The Holy Family

It is all so gorgeous.

But what I really wish I had my camera for was...

1.  A photo of Isaac eating his spaghetti.  He was famished!  Swimming  worked up quite the appetite for the little guy.  Watching him wrap the spaghetti around and around and around his fork and then getting it to his mouth was priceless.  So cute, so funny!

2.  A photo of Zoey at Temple Square.  She was bundled up from head to toe.  Her dad placed her inside his coat.  All you could see were  two little eyes and a nose.  She LOVED the lights and just stared and stared at them.  I think she enjoyed the lights at Temple Square more than any of us!

Families, traditions, Christmas time.  Such a magical time of year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Power of Prayer

The gratitude expressed via cyberspace to those who bother reading this blog is not near as rewarding as the gratitude expressed in the quiet chambers of my heart to Him who always reads my heart.  He fills my well.  To one I may not matter, but to The One I matter most and so do you!  I am grateful for early morning quiet hours and the power prayer possesses.

"To express Gratitude is...
          Gracious and Honorable
To enact Gratitude is...
          Generous and Noble
To live with Gratitude ever in our hearts is...
           To Touch Heaven."
                                              President Thomas S. Monson

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving filled with food, family, faith and gratitude to He who provides it all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Choices...The good, the bad, and the UGLY!

The other day I was grateful for the freedom to make choices.  I do not always make  correct choices.  I do not always make the best choice.  One look at my Christmas tree would verify that.  I actually chose a very ugly tree.  It did not look that ugly in the parking lot.  Honestly it did not.  But put up in my house it looks ugly, downright ugly.  No matter which way I turn it the results are the same.  One heck of an ugly tree from all viewpoints.  Perhaps after  it is decorated it will look better, but I can not imagine that.  I have thought of clipping some limbs, but worry I could actually make matters worse.  I will just have to admit I made a poor choice and for the next 30 days I will have to live with it.  A constant reminder that I need Scott with me when I go tree shopping.  A constant reminder that I need to look at more than 2 trees next time (I hate shopping, even tree shopping.)  A constant reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I just need to adjust my vision.  Yes, I am grateful for the freedom to choose.  I am also grateful for the lessons learned from choosing unwisely.  Sometimes I have to learn those lessons over and over and over again.  Yes, I am a slow learner.  By Christmas 2012 I will probably forget how ugly my 2011 tree is and spend 5 minutes picking out the new one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Seasons of Life

Someone once posed the question to me:  "What part of your life have you enjoyed the most?"  Which, of course, caused me to reflect on the past.  Was it my first 8 years of life in Kearns, Utah?  Yes, that was fun.  Extended family, subdivision lifestyle...yes, all that was good.  Move on to Rangely, Colorado. Oil field country, desolate and barren.  Most wonderful neighbors, fantastic girlfriends, life on 'the hill'. And, let's not forget Red dog! Oh yes, those  were definitely good, good times.  I loved life in Rangely.  Then came 4 years at BYU with wonderful roomates and more happy memories.  Followed by 18 months in Belgium and France.  Growing to love the French and Belge people, their customs, their food, definitely their food!  The next 33 years consisted of married life.  Newly weds, first time parents, first time homebuyers, life on the farm.  Raising children and pets.  Spending time making memories with 5 of my very best friends. Fun times, difficult times, laughing, yelling, all 6 different personalities living and growing together in 2000 square feet with only one bathroom.  And now, almost 60 years old.  A grandma with 9 perfect grandchildren, a perfect job, settled in so to speak.  Which part of life was my favorite?  I would have to say the one I was living in during that  moment of time.  Yes,  it truly is a wonderful life!  I am grateful for all of life seasons and I hope you are too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Memories of Good People and Good Times

I am most grateful for memories and the power they possess.  We went to church today out in Sutherland, our home for 30 years.  Even though our membership was in Sutherland 2nd Ward and we attended Sutherland 1st Ward today it still felt like home.  When you attend church for 30 years in the same Ward Building it does feel like home when you return.  Sutherland people, whether they belong to 1st or 2nd Ward , are the  salt of the earth.  There is something  about country/farm life that defines the people.  They are good people. They helped teach me and my family, supported us and were good friends to us.  Yes, I am grateful for the 30 years spent out on the farm and all those people we came to know and love.  God bless them all.  They have enriched our lives.  Now I treasure the memories.  Aren't you just so grateful for the people who come into your life?  I certainly am and I thank you all for the influence you have had on my life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Choose or Not to Choose

To get out of bed at 6:00 am or to sleep in until 7:00?  To have crepes, hard boiled egg, wheat toast, or oatmeal for breakfast?  To eat the last five chocolate covered nuts or to save them for Scott.  Sorry hon, they just spoke my name!  To mop my floor or to do needlework. Needlework won out, floor is still dirty.  So many choices, large or small.  How grateful I am for the agency of mankind.  Even though choices made by one can affect so many for the good or bad I am still very grateful for the freedom to choose.  A freedom we all enjoy no matter what life bestows upon us. 

“It is the big choices we make that set our direction. It is the smallest choices we make that get us to the destination.”
Dr. Shad Helmstetter

Friday, November 18, 2011

Night Lights

Yes, I am grateful for night lights.  The ones that God created.  Yes, it has been, once again, a beautitul clear day.  Which turns into a beautiful clear night.  Which translates to a most fantastic light show.  First one, then another and finally an entire sky full.  I offer my deepest sympathy to those who live in the big cities.  Sorry but neon lights have zero to offer compared to stars!
 Thanks to the Gospel Art Book for the photo!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home Tweet Home

Be it ever so humble
There is no place like home!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seasonal Gratitude

I just love the changing seasons.  And right now I am loving fall.   So thankful for all the vivid colors, cool crisp fresh air, shorter days and longer nights, leaves covering the ground.  Yes, I do believe Autumn is my favorite season of all!

Delta no, beautiful yes.

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air."

- Eric Sloane

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trials Plus Tribulations Equal Gratitude

I learned many years ago that blessings always accompany trials and tribulations.  Too name a few:

1.  Humility.  A feeling and emotion I wish I had on a daily basis.  Unfortunately the natural woman is  alive and well in me.  I need to shoo her out and let the other one in.  I enjoy her presence so much more.

2.  A softening of the heart and an enlightenment of the mind.  A closeness to the spirit.

3.  Growth.  Roots have to go deeper in times of drought.

4.  A strengthening of my testimony.

Yes, I am grateful for  the difficult times in my life.  I am grateful for all that they teach me.  There are things I would not have learned in any other way.  As difficult as it may be while living it I always know in the long run it will be well worth it.  There is always a silver lining in that dark cloud!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beautiful Day for a Beautiful Girl

Today is Monday, November 14th.  The day beautiful Dani Fowles was laid to rest.  She passed away Tuesday, November 8th.  The same day her maternal grandmother was born.  Dani  would have been 26 on Thursday, November 24th, Thanksgiving Day.  Her funeral was sad, nice, funny,tender.  One very humorous event her big sis Dena shared with us was this.  A few weeks ago Dani decided to make some pumpkin cookies.  Dani did NOT like to cook, but she was going to try her hand at baking.  She phoned Dena for the recipe.  Dena told her if she could not find what she needed to give her a call and she would tell Dani what aisle to look on.  One hour later Dani phones Dena.  She is standing in front of the nuts.  She informs her sister she sees walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, but where in the world is the 'nut' meg.  Too funny.  Oh, Dani you beautiful little girl.  You will be missed.  I am grateful you were a part of our lives and I am very grateful that today is an absolutely gorgeous day!!  Blue, blue sky, lots of sunshine and it is 59 degrees warm.  You deserved a beautiful day to be laid to rest on.  So did your mom and dad.  Goodbye for now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boys and Basketballs

I am grateful this day for many things, but one in particular is the sound of a basketball bouncing outside my home.  You see Michael was always bouncing the basketball and shooting it in the net.  With his passing that sound came to an end for quite some time.  Michael has been gone for over  a year now.  The sound has finally returned.  His younger brothers have taken up the sport.  Though Michael's passing leaves a void life does go on for the living, as it should.  Yes, I am grateful to hear that sound again coming from my neighbors yard.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

I am thankful Noel Eldon Hardy was born on November 12, 1918.  Where would I be without him and Genevieve Elva Wells Hardy?  Or should I say, who would I  be?  He was a hardworker, mechanically inclined, generous and giving, and an excellent gardener.  He was not without his faults.  Just like the rest of us.  Little did he know that his most difficult years were those years that caused me to question the meaning to life.  In response to that questioning I found the answer.  Would I have posed the question if my life would have been easy?  I don't know, but I am grateful it wasn't.  I am grateful I asked.  Which causes me to look at his years, struggling with addiction, as a sacrifice on my behalf so my roots would have to dig deep.  So grateful he conquered the enemy from within.  So grateful he is my dad and I am his daughter.
This is my favorite photo of my parents.  Looks so much like them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
          Between the crosses, row on row,
     That mark our place; and in the sky
     The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
     Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
                            In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
                         In Flanders fields."

Thank you for your sacrifice and service on my behalf.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Power To Remember

I remember...     

     Your first few months of life were spent in a swing in the dining room area of my home.  You loved motion.
     Your desire to play beauty shop at an early age.  Yes, I thought I had hid all the scissors in my house only to find you locked in the bathroom.  You were re-designing your bangs with toe nail scissors!
     Your love affair with hairspray.
     Your obsession with a perfect hairdo and you were NOT going to get on the school bus because I was out of hairspray.
     Your 'wrestle on the floor fights' with your little brother.
     Your comment:  "Coco, you have such big boobs!"  Proving to me that life is  a matter of perspective.
     Your coming up the stairs with a limp kitten held out in your hand reporting on the naughty deeds of Phillip and Doug.
     Your attempt at tee ball.  Refusing to wear your helmet as it would mess up your hair.  Finding shade out in the outfield because you did not want to be hot and sweaty.
     Your cheering at high school sporting events.
     Your wedding reception.  Such a  beautiful bride.
     Your little boy whom you loved.
But what I remember the most is your smile and the twinkle in your eyes.  Always smiling, always happy, always upbeat. 

You would have been 26 years old this month.  Your passing saddens my heart while your memories  gladden it.  I am grateful for the power of remembering.  Dani I love you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Special Delivery

Twenty nine years ago Scott and I were recipients of a very special gift.  This package did not arrive via UPS , USPS, Fed Ex, etc.  This gift came to us via Heaven.  She had 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, everything was so perfectly placed.  A most beautiful present.  After 2 young sons we were oh so ready to have  our little girl.  Alizabeth Anne Bassett was the name we chose to give her.  She was by far the easiest of all my deliveries.  I tell her she was like a little greased pig and so eager to come. She introduced us to bows, frilly dresses, baby dolls, clogging, chattering, etc.  She is our one and only daughter.  She is the only grandaughter on the Hardy side.  Now she is living in Wisconsin being a mom herself to the cutest little guy ever.  Today my heart is filled with gratitude for the birth of this beautiful baby girl and for the beautiful young woman (yes sis 29 is still young!) she has allowed herself to become.  Happy Birthday Alizabeth Anne!  We love you to Heaven and back!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Color My World

My heart is filled with gratitude as I enjoy the clear blue, very blue sky.  The moon is just beginning its climb.  It is white and almost full.  My grass is still green and my oak leaves  are different shades of brown. 

"I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world."

Yes, folks that about sums it up.  What a truly wonderful world!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude for "The Good Husband"

If you read the title of this post you may be wondering why in the world I would post a photo of Gus lounging around the house (doesn't he look comfy?)  Well, let me explain.  When I married Scott I gave him a puppy for a wedding gift.  Yes, a puppy.  You see I LOVE animals.  What I did NOT realize was he has no use for them unless they are in the freezer.  In our 33 years of married life 'we' have had 3 Bassett Hounds, 1 English Sheep Dog, numerous 'mutts', numerous cats in and out of the house, a bird, a couple of turtles, fish, gerbils, and a rabbit or two.  For someone who does not really care for pets I would say he is a very good husband to allow his wife her creatures.  He would have to admit he has been rather attached to some of them.  Pets are also quite costly and he has never complained about the money I spend on them.  What a nice husband.  No, my dogs and cats have never been my best friend.  That honor would go to Scott.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

He Lights Up My Life.

As the early morning light makes its way into my home I am reminded of the light that made its way into my life.  Thus illuminating my soul.  It began on:

Saturday, November 5, 1960 

My baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The event took place in Vernal, Utah.  My father was the witness and Elder Oluas Johnson performed the ordinance.

Sunday, November 6, 1960.  

My confirmation as member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Exactly 51 years ago.  This event took place in the Rangely, Colorado LDS meeting house.  Elder Merrill Anderson performed this ordinance.

Continued on November 12, 1972. 

I received my Patriarchal Blessing from Patriarch Heber G.Jacobs while attending Brigham Young University. 

November 1, 1975. 

I entered the Missionary Training Center to begin a remarkable 18 month mission serving in the Belgium Brussels mission.  Which meant I took out my endowments 2 days before.

I am ever so grateful for my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It has enriched my life.  It has given purpose and meaning to my life.  It has blessed my life.  Heavenly Father is already aware that I want my return ticket 'home' to be in the month of November.  Hopefully, many Novembers away!  But.... I get what I get and I won't throw a fit!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Listening to the Sounds of...

Silence?  Heavens no.  Retired to my bed listening to the train rumbling through town and a cat purring in my ear. It was heaven. Woke up  1 1/2 hours before the crack of dawn to the sounds of Isaac.  "Move over Max, move over."  Max was on the very edge of the queen size bed and Isaac was smack next to him.  Zekey loves a warm body right beside him while he sleeps.  Listened for 15 minutes to the chatter of two little buddies!  Heavenly!  Can not decide if I am more grateful for the sounds of life or the ears to hear and experience it with.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gratitude for Beginnings and Endings

It is 7:20 a.m.  The air is cool and fresh.  The sky is clear, very clear.  The first rays of dawn are on the horizon.  It is peaceful, still and very calm.  What a beautiful beginning to a brand new day. 

It is 9:00 p.m.  The air is cooler than it was this morning.  The sky is overcast.  The night is dark.  It is peaceful and quiet on the home front.  The grand children are all nestled in beds with visions of "Puss In Boots" dancing in their heads. What a beautiful ending to a great day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Light and Power

After flipping on the light switch and turning up the heat (with the push of a button!)  I crawled back in to my warm, comfy, cozy bed along with my 'good book.'  No I did not fall back to sleep.  On the contrary I had an ah ha moment.  You see I have had a question on my mind of late.  I  have long since learned the Lord loves an inquiring mind and He will always answer my questions, sooner or later.  Today I received an answer to that question.  I found it right in my 'good book!'  I am grateful for physical light and power.  They give ease and comfort to my physical body.  I am ever so grateful for spiritual light and power.  They, on the other hand, speak peace to my soul and teach me truths.   My 'good book' of the day....The Book Of Mormon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finger 'Power'

At the flip of the switch my bedroom went from dark to light this morning at 5:00.  At the push of a button my house went from 65 degrees to 70.  Can't decide if I am more grateful for  electricity or fingers to flip switches and push buttons! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude Renewed

"As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world." ~Terri Guillemets

Even though it is a sunset view my feeling of gratitude is the same.  A grateful heart setting upon my blessed world.  For the next 24 days I am going to do a daily post on one thing I am grateful for.  Today, November 1, 2011 I am grateful for a beautiful sunset.  I love Gods artwork, don't you?