Merry Christmas!

Portlandia got its wish for a white Christmas.  There’s snow on the ground and ice on the pavement.

My Christmas came 2 days early. My oldest daughter & her fiance hosted a Christmas dinner for family.  It was great to be able to share the celebration with kids & grandkids.  I didn’t ask for much this year, mostly pictures of my kids.  But I was surprised by the two presents I did get, both very thoughtful.  and I did get some pictures, so that was good too.

I hope that your holidays were everything you wanted them to be…

Happy Independence Day, United States!

Here are some trivia about Independence Day to amaze your friends and family between fireworks tonight:

  • The date of US independence from Great Britain is actually July 2nd 1776, when the Continental Congress adopted a resolution of independence.  The wording of the Declaration Of Independence was debated for another 2 days which is why the date on the Declaration of Independence is July 4, 1776.
  • Although Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that July 4th, historians claim that the Declaration of Independence was signed a month later on August 2, 1776.
  • We can blame George Washington for perhaps the most enduring tradition of Independence Day – alcohol & fireworks: In 1778, Washington marked July Fourth with a double ration of rum for his men and an artillery salute.
  • The colors of fireworks are created by adding metals.  Copper generates blue fireworks, supposedly the most difficult color of fireworks to produce.

Learn to Embrace the Rain

As you may know, I’ll be leaving the Danville Stake shortly. I wanted to thank everyone in the stake who have all helped my family and me through some pretty tough times and I thought that the best way to do that would be to share my testimony… When asked how long I’ve been a member of the church, I often answer that I’ve been a member of the church for 4-5 years but I’ve been in the Danville stake for 20 years.

I think I’ve worn out more missionaries over the years answering my questions about the church & everything. But my epiphany occurred one day about 5 years ago while I was sitting in the passenger seat of our van watching Scott Halverson trying to save our dying battery. Watching Scott during the many, many years he had been our home teacher, I knew how good a person Scott is and that day I realized I wanted to be like him and the best way to do that is to hang out where he and others like him hang out. Thus my journey to the Plan of Happiness turned a corner… I can’t say that I’ve reached Scott’s level but I can tell that I’m in a better place…

Lessons on the Plan of Happiness emphasize how everything will be wonderful if you follow it; Sunny days and pretty flowers. But that doesn’t happen over-night. Rainy days still happen and I can see a number of them ahead. As I anticipate the wet & cold, I remember a quote that I heard recently- Rainbows are beautiful but you can’t have a rainbow without the rain. So if you love rainbows, you have to also embrace the rain.