The sweetest things in life, aren't things......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Time Reflection

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas time I find that I dread this time of year, more than I love it. Don't get me wrong, I love the reason we celebrate Christmas! But, let's face it,  the over commercialization, stress, and never ending "to do" list  makes me feel more Scrouge-ish than I would like. I have to sit, often ,and reflect on all my favorite Christmas's past so that I won't be such a grump!

 Most of my reflection is on childhood Christmas's. Christmas's centered on giving. My parents would chose a family every year for us to give to. Even when they struggled. Something I have learned from and try to incorporate with my own children. I reflect on service, at the old folks home, caroling to residents who had no family.  I came from parents who can define the words Charity and Christlike. They are always giving to those around them. Our home was always open to others. In fact, I don't remember a time in my life that someone didn't live with us. Christmas's for me were filled with laughter, giving, and traditions. But the one Christmas experience that I reflect on the most is something that sticks with me all year long.
 A lesson I learned about giving.

I believe I was around the ages of 12 or 13, when a good friend of mine, Rivka Satterfield, and I decided to do something special. We knew of a family who had fallen on hard times. We had both babysat for this family and, often times, their home was cold, cabinets were bare, and fridge contents were sparse. So we came up with a perfect solution. We would offer to babysit for free, and while they were gone we would clean their home spotless and stock the cabinets and fridge. We talked to our moms and they were both instantly on board to help us. (We, both, were blessed with mothers who never stifled out our willingness to serve and do good, because they are so good, and for that I am forever grateful!) Our mothers helped us gather up 3 large garbage bags full of food.

 The day came for us to babysit and we couldn't have been more pleased with ourselves. By the time we were through, their home was sparkling clean and their cabinets were chucked full of yummy dry goods, and the fridge had never looked so full of food . I am sure we both left there feeling like a million bucks. We knew that they would be happy and could benefit from such a well thought out act of kindness.

That night I felt pleased with what we had done. I went to bed happy, with a heart full of gratitude for good friends and for service. I didn't know, when I went to bed that night, that I would soon learn a great lesson  from this experience.
I learned something I don't think I have ever shared with my friend Rivka, until now. 

The lady, whose home we had stocked full of food, approached me at church. I felt sheepish, not wanting any attention for what we had done, and tried to avoid her. She grabbed my arm gently and pulled me aside. What she said next  has taught me more about true service and giving, more than anything else.
 She said, "Bonnie, we have been praying for weeks for a man who we know, who has nothing. We have wanted to help him, but don't have the means ourselves to have helped him. When we came home and saw all the food you and Rivka had given to us, we knew our prayers had been answered. We were able to take half of what you had given and give it to him!"  
I can remember that feeling of total awe wash over me. You hear often times the expressions, "We don't have money, to help others." or  " I can barely do things for my own family, I can't possibly help another." But that is never the case. Here was a women who had "nothing to give" ( by the standards of the world and realistically she really didn't have much) yet she gave the truest and  purest gift to another. She exercised her faith and went to the Lord in earnest prayer. Knowing full well, that the Lord would hear her plea. She wasn't complaining to the Lord about her own meager circumstances, she was looking to others with a heart willing to serve.

I look on that experience over and over again in my life. I have learned so much from this quiet and meek disciple of the Lord. She taught me the true meaning of giving. 
Giving doesn't have to be grandiose. I believe our gesture of kindness was needed and not frowned upon by any means, but there is equal need for those small, quiet acts of kindness too.  A smile, a kind note, opening the door for an elderly couple,  helping a young mother with her children, and just like this sweet women, a prayer on another's behalf. Excising our faith for someone else's well being.

When I get a little caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, not just at Christmas time, I think back on this experience. It helps me be more focused and more driven to do good. It shows me how blessed I am to have had such wonderful friendships and experiences.
I am also reminded that every time I kneel to pray, there is probably someone that could benefit from a prayer in their behalf.

I hope that you too, are reflecting on lessons you have learned from others, enjoying the Spirit of Christmas, and most importantly reflecting on all that our Savior has done for us.
Merry Christmas!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Country living is good for the soul.
Where else can you enjoy such breathtaking views?

Christmas Magic

There really is something magical about Christmas lights.
I am in love with this picture!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Temple Night

One of our favorite FHE's is to take the kids to the LDS temple visitors center. 
We enjoyed some beautiful short films, the nativities on display, and talking with the missionaries. 

I have such a strong testimony that families can be together forever. I know that the temple covenants we make can make our families truly be forever! I am so grateful for that knowledge. I love being a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. The gospel is so beautiful!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Only the BEST holiday ever.

Beau and I decided to host thanksgiving this year at our home. We knew we needed to do it in our garage since grandparents couldn't make it up and down stairs. Luckily, it was a warm day so no one froze. 

My sister, Becca, came with her family and helped me the night before get everything set up. We even pinned up sheets to block out as much "garage look" as possible. 

She even ran a marathon Thanksgiving Day.
Go Bec!

Plus, with well over 50 people we used ALL REAL DISHES. I don't believe in paper plates or paper ware on this holiday. 

 The food was super yummy. 

The company wonderful.
I always feel the spirit so stronger. I know He is helping me to see all the ways my life, and my families life, is continually blessed.
I have so incredibly much to be thankful for.
Family, clothes, food, home, gospel, happiness, marriage, agency-too name a few.

Happy Thanksgiving- yes- it was a happy thanksgiving indeed!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

What a lovely holiday.
A time to reflect.
A time to count our blessings.
A time to support and honor those men and women and their families who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy.

I love seeing all the flags dot the streets. 
I really am so proud to be an American.
I feel honored to know so many who have served our country.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Halloween Already

The days are flying by so quickly. I cannot believe it is Halloween already.

I love Halloween.
The crisp fall air.
The costumes.
The parties.
The candy.
All of it!

I am so glad I have a bunch of lil' "goblins" who love it too!

We attended the cities "trunk or treat" and then let the kids go door to door as long as they wanted.
I love living so close to family. We get to see everyone's costumes.

Somebodies costume seemed more than fitting this year! What a stinker.
Caleb was a nerd and the Grimm Reaper this year.
Kennedy was also a nerd.
Savanah was Thing 2, and her friend Paige was Thing 1.
Lukas was a very unhappy Superhero. He fell asleep and wasn't too happy about being woken up.
Sharla's kids with ours.
We have been praying as a family for quite sometime that our home in Cedar City would sale. I got a call right before we went trick or treating that our house had an offer on it.
I am completely overwhelmed with emotions. It has been a long 10 months of hoping and praying and trying to remain faithful.
We can see the Lord's hand throughout this process. It hasn't been easy. The weight has felt heavy and at times too much to bear, but we know that we have been blessed and are learning.

It seemed fitting to see this beautiful sunset, when so many good things are happening.
What a perfect way to end a great day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

1st Annual Pumpkin Carving FHE

In Cedar we had created so many wonderful traditions with our friends. Fourth of July BBQ, Couple's Halloween Party, Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, Dinner Exchanges, and more. It was a wonderful way to enjoy and strengthen friendships. 
We knew we wanted to start some new traditions here as well. Beau and I came up with the idea for a "Pumpkin Carving FHE Party". We are still meeting people so we weren't sure how good of a turn out we would have. 

Here are a few of our favorite pictures from our party.
Our Neighbor Owen was the first to cut open his pumpkin.
Cute Tebbin in his wheel chair. 
The Reynolds family
Some of the pumpkin carvers were creative! 
We live in a beautiful town. We are so excited to get to know all our wonderful neighbors even better.
Savanah and her friend Paige
Morgan helping Lukas
Our cute neighbors- Cori and Julie
More fabulous neighbors- Lane and Wendy
My beautiful friend Brenda
We served chili dogs, salads, and hot chocolate. We also had a fire going to warm these little bodies. It was a cold night.
Two of my favorite sisters.
Our party ended up being a great success and we can't wait to do it again next year! 
We are excited to create many more friendships and wonderful traditions.