img_0353With Halloween around the corner,  my thoughts have gone back to the Lion.  When my twin boys were three I dressed them up like lions.  It was probably my favorite costume of all time.

I used to teach pre-school to 3 year olds.  I have taught 1000’s  of 3 yr olds how to swim.  I have a 3 year old granddaughter that just melts my heart.

There’s  something magical  in the number 3.  “Once, twice, three times a lady” Lynol Richies famous song.  “Tap your heels 3 times and you will be home”  from the Wizard Of Oz.  Three wise men came to the Savior when he was born in Bethlehem.  There is so much significance in the number 3.

In the LDS religion, all of our leadership positions have 3 members.  Our God head is composed of the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost.  The numbe 3 has great significance in our lives.

Today I am sending a package to my missionary daughter.  I made 3 loafs of banana bread for her.  One for her and her companion.  One for her friend Kate who feeds her every Monday and has become her second mom, and one for her to give away.

Today I am also sending Kailee a stuffed animal that is a LION.   This Lion has great meaning in my life.  It is very hard for me to give this Lion away.  However, Kailee asked for it , and so I will send it to her.

When Kailee’s twin brothers left to go on a mission,  I bought two Lions at Deseret Book.  When Blake went into the MTC , I sent one with him.  He gave the Lion away to a Sister Missionary who was homesick.  When Dylan left on his mission I gave the other one to him.  He left in on his bed with a beautiful note that told me how much he loved me and he wanted me to keep it.

This stuffed Lion has become my little friend.  There have been way too many nights when tears have fell upon his main.  I have said more prayers holding this lion than I ever have in my entire life.

Today this lion will leave my home and go to North Carolina.  When I get to hug Sister Hogge again, she will be holding this Lion.

The Lion is the king of the jungle.  The Lion is a symbol of courage, strength and fortitude.  In the movie “The Lion King” we learn of the circle of life.  May my daughter take this Lion and hold it as dearly as I have.  I know that her prayers are more righteous than my prayers, so I know the Lord will pour out many blessings upon her as she also holds this Lion in her arms.   Courage is one man being braver than another man,  and not caring what the other man may think.  Courage, is declaring truth in a troubled world.  Courage is putting one foot in front of the other, and not looking back.  Be brave my angel missionary and know, that strength comes in the number THREE❤️.






New Beginnings🦋

Today is March 28th 2023. It’s a Tuesday morning and my heart is beating faster today because I have the Holy Ghost with me.

This past year has been one of the most difficult, painful and agonizing years for me personally. Yet, through all of the hard stuff, the complete awareness that life is so short and this time on earth is only a moment compared to eternity.

I was spending 2 to 4 days a week visiting my mom, seeing her face, touching her hands and watching her struggle to barely be able to get out of bed during this past year, I watched her fight for her dignity, suffer in silence and yearn for the love of my incredible father.

On February 3rd 2023 I watched my mom take her last breath from this mortal life. It was surreal, indescribable, frightening, agonizing and unreal all at the same time. It’s almost been two months, and I’m just not quite sure how to move past the pain.

However, for today, I have chosen to be happy, to embrace goodness, to remember her green eyes and her incredible sense of humor. Today I choose to be HAPPY 😃

It was a growing year, a tender year, a refining year. My mom was the first person to hold me, to feed me, to dress me and to encourage me and most of all to love me,

I know that my greatest blessing as a child was the love that my mom and dad had for each other. This love sustained me through all of my growing up years. It wasn’t perfect, but it was safe, quiet, comfortable and calm.

I had a beautiful childhood and beautiful parents who loved each other deeply.

However, in 1979 my oldest brother Stephen took his own life at the young age of 21. He struggled with depression, addiction, ADHD, and many other life altering conditions. On April 14, 1979 my life changed forever. I have never been the same and will forever be in a state of asking the same question over and over again(WHY?)

Why do so many people have to suffer on this earth, why is depression so hard to treat, why is the brain such a intricate part of the body that controls everything in our human bodies.

Our brain even tells our body to breathe. It’s the most phenomenal part of our human existence.

When the brain makes the connection to tell us to breathe, we breathe, it tells us to eat, we eat snd it to tells us to exercise, we exercise.

The brain is indeed our best friend, or our worst enemy. Ever since Stephen died, I have been trying to figure out my own brain and it’s still a work in progress.

I know that my brain needs exercise everyday, it needs human touch, it does better in quiet peaceful environments and it is at its upmost efficiency when I’m teaching babies and young children to swim.

My brain hates being rushed, it doesn’t like contention, hates loud noises and unkind words. My brain is highly affected by body language. I can tell instantly if someone likes me or not by their body language and I am extremely sensitive to this. I love people and enjoy connecting with all ages. I love to immerse myself in the diversity of others.

On the good days, the incredibly beautiful days, my brain can be pretty tough. But on the weak days, the raw days, the vulnerable days, the days I can barely breathe, I just melt to the ground , if even one word negative is repeated or said to me. My brain is like a butterfly, and all encompassing in magnificence when all of my ducks are lined up in a row, but on the rough days, I’m more like a potato bug, grey, round and curled up in a tiny ball hoping no one can see me or get too close to me.

Through all of this uncertainty, the unknown mysteries of life, I am forever grateful that today I am in the loving arms of my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my redeemer, my comforter, my best friend and the one person that I truly hope to please today.

for today I’m going to smile bigger, laugh louder, hug deeper and jump a little higher…

Today I’m going to live like nothing else matters in the world besides pleasing God.

With God, nothing is impossible and through all of the impossible dreams that we have or share with others, the dream that I have for today is to know that God does love me and he has forgiven me. With this knowledge, I can truly emerge from my potato bug existence and truly become a butterfly.

Watermelon gummies🍉

Today is my 38th wedding anniversary. I wasn’t sure what I could write about 38 years in just one post, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’ve always liked watermelons 🍉. They appeal to me in every shape and form. I like the way they smell, the way they look on the inside, and the seeds that make them strong and vibrant. Some people prefer seedless watermelons because you get to the good stuff fast. But I like watermelons with seeds, because you have to work hard to find the sweet stuff inside.

I prefer watermelons with lots of seeds actually. The seeds determine the outcome, and strong seeds produce strong watermelons.

I like that you have to pound on them to see if they’re good. The outsides important, but it’s the inside that’s just really delicious. It takes a while to figure out how to to pick a good watermelon. You have to get a few bad ones, before you appreciate how good a ripe watermelon actually is.

On a summer day, when the sun is shining at just the right moment, a slice of watermelon is like finishing a good book, going to a play you actually understand, or watching a sporting event where everything just lines up in the favor of the team your rooting for.

My marriage to Daren is like a good slice of watermelon . I’ve always loved watermelon from the first time I tasted it. I feel the same about Daren. From the very beginning I liked him and could never find a reason to not want to be with him.

Because I’ve always loved watermelon, I’ve always loved Daren. For the most part, it’s been pretty easy to love him. However, sometimes his exterior is a little hard to figure out. But I’ve learned if I give him just the right amount of time and space, he usually comes around and becomes that wonderful slice of watermelon that I’ve always known was there. After 38 years, I’ve discovered that the inside of the watermelon gets better with time, with experience, with mistakes of maybe picking a bad melon more than you want to admit, but always fighting for that watermelon that just seems right on a summer day in June.

Watermelon has become a taste of choice for me. I love watermelon jolly ranchers, water melon suckers , watermelon snow cones, watermelon pop sickles, and watermelon laughy taffy, and now my all time favorite treat is, is “watermelon gummies”.

I’m a summer girl, with summer dreams, and summer memories. Since water is one of my favorite elements, it makes sense to love watermelons. Because Daren is definitely my favorite person, it makes sense to love watermelons more 🍉 today more than I did yesterday.

Happy 38th anniversary Daren Hogge, and thanks for always making it easy just to love you a little bit more EVERYDAY.


I believe that somewhere in this incredibly crazy world we live in, the word faith has dissipated.

I was always told that faith is believing the sun will rise, after each new day. Faith is the knowledge of believing that things will get better, even if we can’t see the end result. Complete faith is the knowledge of things hoped for but not seen

For me, faith has to be my driving force, the reason I want to get up each morning. It’s the glue that keeps me connected to a hope for a brighter tomorrow and the knowledge that heaven truly is a beautiful place.

There are two primary forces in this world, fear and faith. Fear can move you to destructiveness, sickness, or failure. Only in rare instances will it motivate you to accomplishment… But faith is a greater force. Faith can drive itself into your consciousness and set you free from fear forever.

In the world today, fear has taken precedence over faith. There is so much uncertainty in mankind, putting all of their faith in the natural man & relying on so many outside sources that seem so confusing. The yearning for peace & stability can be very unwavering.

I for one, know that the faith I had as a little child is what gets me through the toughest days. The days I spend with little children keep me grounded in knowing that their sweet & innocent spirits are what help make me a better person.

when I see faith as the driving force, I picture children playing at recess together, puppies snuggled against their mothers warm body, & babes in the arms of their fathers , while their mothers sleep soundly in white satin sheets.

True faith always moves a person to some kind of physical or mental action; it carries an assurance of the promise of things hoped for that can’t actually be seen.

Faith always leads to a righteous action, a honest desire & a hope that things will get better.

Some positive benefits of faith are: Inner strength to give back & serve the less fortunate, It gives purpose in life & helps to overcome stress, anxiety & fear.

Faith can be the pathway to finding solutions & gives a sense of belonging. It brings peace & joy to sustain us through the most difficult trails of life.

People were naturally drawn to the Savior Jesus Christ because of his mild temper & heartfelt abiding love for his children. The love the Savior has for all his children exemplifies the most complete and infinite kind of faith & is the core of goodness that can be seen in the most humble followers of Christ today.


F is for FREEDOM from sin

A is for the ASSURANCE that Christ does live

I is for the INCREDIBLE love he has for his children

T is for the TENDERNESS of his loving arms around us

H is for HOPE of a brighter tomorrow & peace for a brand new day


This past year I set a goal to write in my blog once a month. I was doing really good until the pandemic hit in mid March. I’m not sure how most people feel about writing during this time of uncertainly, but for me it’s been very difficult. In my own heart I know that this is just a small moment in time, but there are days when it seems like it will never end. I have really tried to move forward with faith, reflect on the things that have gone right (and there have been so many of them) and know that the only thing we truly have control over is our reaction to things. As I reflect on this year, the word exquisite fills my head.

This word has several meanings: It’s all in the way you perceive things. It can be the most beautiful word if used correctly, and one of the most negative if used to the contrary.

To me the word exquisite is the ocean at 6:00 a.m., when the tide is low and the water is calm. It’s the mountains in Alpine above my home on a October afternoon.

The word exquisite is my daughter Kailee’s green eyes that pierce my soul, my granddaughter Sydney’s eyes that are so brown you want to become better just by staring at her. And then there’s Ivy’s blue eyes that magically seem to watch every move I make. When I am with Ivy, I want to be a better person. They say that eyes are windows to the soul and I believe that through someone’s eyes we can tell a lot about a person.

To me exquisite is staring at a beautiful painting, marveling at the sunset, eating a hot fudge sundae with every topping you can imagine, running a marathon, doing a headstand for the first time, and learning to ride a bike without training wheels. It’s the beauty of knowing that something small & simple can become exquisite, if we just keep our eye on the beholder. This word is the best of the best: Exquisite beauty, exquisite joy, exquisite wonderment, and exquisite majesty. When I hear the word exquisite, I want to try harder, be kinder, love deeper and just embrace the goodness of the word.

However, there is opposition in all things, and to some, exquisite is agonizing pain, the worst of the worst, intense fear and loneliness, and it can also be used to explain darkness.

In the October 2020 general conference for “The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints,” Elder Mathew S Holland gave one of the most amazing talks about Christ, entitled “The Exquisite Gift Of The Son” and he speaks of how Christ is the only one who truly understands what exquisite truly means.

When the Savior was on the cross and when he was left alone without the companionship of the Holy Ghost, he truly knew exquisite pain and agony beyond anything that mortals would ever understand…. He had to know what it was like to be without the comforter to truly take on our sins. His pain on the cross was so exquisite that he bled from every pore. There is no power on the earth that will ever comprehend what he truly went through for us, so that we can be forgiven of our sins. There is nothing we haven’t experienced that he doesn’t already know, and it is through true repentance and a complete dependency on Him, that we truly come to understand what the word exquisite actually means.

The beautiful part of the word exquisite is that when we become perfected in Christ, and we repent of our sins, we can feel exquisite JOY. The most amazing part of becoming one with Christ is to know Him & to want to be like Him.

Everything good comes from Christ & our desire to find exquisite joy is to truly understand exquisite pain. It is through this opposition that we find our healer in Christ. In order to experience true joy, we have to be refined and purified through the trails of mortality. “Men are that they might have joy” and joy cometh to those who wait upon the Lord. His timing is not our timing and our waiting upon Him depends upon our worthiness.

I believe that there will be a day when all of the pains and sorrows of this mortal life will be erased. The things that weigh us down, our insecurities, our weaknesses, our fears, our shortcomings, and all of the human frailties that we seem to hold onto, will be but a small moment compared to eternity.

I believe the day I get to meet the Savior will be like no other on this earth. I believe there will be heralded angels singing, the moon will be perfect, the stars will be brighter than the noonday sun, and light will be so exquisite that our eyes will never be the same. I know that because of this mortal journey we call life, the expansion of eternity is to me, EQUISITE JOY and undeniable peace that only those who have walked with God will ever understand.

Exquisite is everything beautiful, wonderful, extraordinary and amazing all in one incredible moment. When I take my last mortal breath, my spirit will become extraordinarily exquisite, and I, like so many who have gone before me, will become “One with The Savior”.


A dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep.  Our dreams can become our reality if first & foremost we follow our heart.  We’re all born with the light of Christ, and that light, as dim or as bright as it is, needs to be our constant guide, especially during times of uncertainly.  We have to seek for hope, faith & especially CHARITY when we’re trying to accomplish our goals and make our dreams actually become a reality.  Without CHARITY we are nothing.  We are puffed-up and we become self-centered and prideful.  However, if we have CHARITY, we truly have the pure love of Christ, which should be our driving force for achieving a oneness with the Savior.

I have learned through trial and error, and mostly error, that I don’t do so well when I lose the ability to seek for charity.  I tend to lack, for the better word patience, kindness, unselfishness & unconditional love.  When I lose these qualities, my ability to have charity dissipates.  I also lack compassion, which I believe is one of Christ’s greatest attributes.

When Daren & I were first dating he would play this song for me all the time when we would drive up Logan Canyon.  The song was called “The Time Has Come” by England Dan & John Fort Coley.  The chorus goes something like this:  “I’ve got this dream inside of me, and it knows no boundary, maybe its too big to satisfy, but I know now the time has come to ‘TRY’.    I think that the key word in the phrase is “TRY”.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  I believe the most successful people have tried and failed and tried & failed more times than they like to admit.  But it’s in the perseverance & the determination to never give up , the fortitude to press forward with a brightness of hope, and the pure love of Christ that determines our true destiny.

Dreams are a universal human experience that can be described as a state of consciousness characterized by sensory, cognitive and emotional occurrences during sleep.   Dreams are different for each of us, but sometimes we have dreams that direct us to something spiritual that the Lord will want us to do.   Sometimes he speaks to us in dreams, visions, thoughts & feelings.  God cares about each of us.  He will listen and will answer our prayers in his own way and time.  One of the most important things we have to learn is “interpretation” or how to listen to what He wants us to do.

Hyrum & Mercy smith who were related to Joseph Smith both had dreams  about marriage and loved ones who had parted.  Because of these dreams and the relationship that Joseph had with Hyrum,  the doctrine of eternal marriage was later recorded in the D&C 132.  Also, it was discovered that the saints could stand in for proxy for a dead person and perform baptisms & marriage sealings for those who have passed on before us.   It’s amazing to think that because of a worthy sister & her husbands dreams, that personal revelation was given to Joseph Smith the prophet about eternal marriage, which is one of the most profound revelations in The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints today.

I think that somewhere in this incredibly vast & far reaching universe, there are dreams waiting to come true.  Not only for us as individuals, but for those who we care deeply about.  It’s in the desire to become better, stronger, wiser & in seeing clearly the path that the Lord has for each of us.

I think seeing is believing that we can pursue our dreams.  Each of us need to make sure that the connection with God is clear & precise & that all obstacles that get in the way of these dreams,  can be removed.

To each person this creative ability to talk with God & hear his voice clearly is like finding the right radio station to listen to.  When you find that station, listen it over & over & over again until your spirit yearns to find this connection.  This higher source can become as real as knowing that the sun will come out tomorrow & the moon will be in the night sky watching over us as we create a beautiful place to lay our head to rest.

the gift of dreaming has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing conscious knowledge’.  ~Albert Einstein~


Yesterday was my 36th wedding anniversary.  It’s crazy to think that that I have lived with Daren even longer than the age I was when I had my youngest child Kailee.  Marriage is like a Merry-Go-Round.  You get on , hold on tight and where it stops is often an indication of your inner spiritual strength.

We get married for lots of reasons, each reason  is important enough to make this life changing,  life altering decision.  When it’s the first time, you honestly have no idea the ride it will take you on.  For me, the reasons were very spiritually rooted and had everything to do with loving & trusting God enough to know that eventually I could learn to love this person almost as much as I loved HIM.

In doing research on the number 36 I have learned these incredibly important things:  The number 36 represents enlightening  your spirit with love & peace and surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I believe that my number one goal for my marriage this year is spiritual enlightenment which has everything to do with keeping your covenants.

When I went through the temple for the first time as a 21 year old very naive and very impressionable young girl, I had no idea the road it would take me on.   I thought that once I made this life changing decision that it would be easier.  It wasn’t easier at all.  Daren & I have extremely strong personalities & we can butt heads to say the least on so many levels.  However, through 36 years of watching this incredible man that I am married to become more, humble, more teachable, more loving, & more kind,  I know that covenants are real.  They’re so individual, but are also bound with eternal principles,  marriage being one of them.

I’m a true believer that the Lord teaches line upon line, precept upon precept.   For the sole reason that marriage, like any other commitment, requires a lot of hard work.  Anything that you work hard at and are committed to, eventually will bring positive results.  It’s in remembering that life is complicated & eternal principles are learned through obedience and holding on to the iron rod.  There are going to be days that really are going to be downright MESSY.

I believe that besides our relationship with God, our relationship with our eternal companion should be the one that we treasure the most.   By small & simple things, great things shall come to pass.  My marriage to Daren is by far the greatest investment that I have ever made.  Because the investment is so great, the road can be treacherous at times.   But it is through the gut wrenching, pain defying moments that test our love, that we truly know if it can stand the test of time.

Love is patient, love is kind, love is forgiving & love can be blind.   But love at it’s best can outweigh all the rest.  It’s constant & true and it can withstand the storms and the set-backs that are a part of LIFE.   I have learned that some of my most growing  experiences come when God just lets it rain.  The good news is:    After the rain comes rainbows & rainbows are one of God’s most beautiful creations.

I already know that 2020 is going to be hard, I can feel it in every fiber of my being.  But the hard part only comes when we try to do it alone.  When we can clasp hand in hand and hold on tight, the Merry-GO-Round  becomes an adventure, instead of a soul searching & sometimes painful experience.

I think my goal for 2020 is to just try & enjoy the ride, and if the road gets rocky, we can both learn to either remove the rocks, go around them, or maybe on the really good days, just learn to drill a hole right through them.   And just for today,  knowing that God does love me & he does love Him, is enough to get me through the next hopefully thirty more years doing this thing  “AMAZING THING” called MARRIAGE.






Since February is more than halfway over & we still have at least six more weeks of cold weather, I’ve realized that I have to stop blaming the weather for my moodiness.  For some reason my body dislikes being cold, it’s extremely tired of snow & requires way more sunlight than February likes to produce.  However,  I believe its a copout to blame too many things on the weather.

What does the word blame actually mean to most people?  It’s a term we seem to use as frequently as drinking a glass of water.  I was late to work because there was a wreck.   My car was on empty & I wasn’t the last one to drive it.  I flunked my English test because I stayed up all night fighting with my boyfriend,  so he’s the reason I will never graduate from college.

In this high tech , fast paced, tweeting, texting, & instagramming world we live in, we tend to constantly blame everyone & everything for all of our problems.

In the song “The Living Years” by Mike & The Mechanics” it speaks of crumpled bits of paper filled with imperfect thought, stilted conversations, I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got.  Say it loud, say it clear, you can listen as well as you hear.  It’s too late  when we die, to admit we don’t see eye to eye.
Sometimes the ones we love the most are the ones we want to blame the most,  but blame can only go so far if we’re the ones actually making the mistake.  We all make mistakes  & have our share of  imperfections, but when our mistakes keep repeating themselves over & over again, then the only person we can truly blame is ourselves.

I believe that example is our master teacher.  If we exercise everyday,  hopefully some of our children will want to do the same.  If we eat chocolate everyday,  it’s most likely our children will like chocolate also.  Our thoughts produce our actions, and many of our behaviors come from our thoughts.

I am a survival swim teacher for young children & babies.  I have been teaching young children how to be safe in the water for seventeen seasons.  A lot of  research has been done on water fear and how it truly is a leaned behavior.  Water fear leads to anxiety, which is also a learned behavior.  If we want our children to be calm in the water,  we have to remain calm ourselves.  If we want our children to feel confident, safe, and secure in the water, we have to have a positive relationship with the water.   Most of us want to raise a generation stronger than the one before.  In order to do this we must overcome our fears, or at least learn to keep them at a distance from our children.  If our children see our fears take over our lives, they will be afraid also.  Then, when the natural man takes over, they will start to blame their parents as they grow older.  It’s a vicious cycle & sometimes seems very difficult to break.
If we want our spouses to be kind, we must be kind ourselves.  Every time we act out on fear, anxiety is taking over & it becomes very difficult to find peace.  The stillness often comes when we turn to Christ & let him ease our burden.  He is willing to catch us with open arms if we just learn to trust HIM.
There is a saying that goes somewhat like this;

Faith is not about everything being ok.  Faith is about being ok no matter how things turn out.

I believe that somewhere in between blame & accountability, we have to move forward with faith and know that true change begins when we built a one on one relationship with Christ.   Our ability to love & forgive others becomes stronger,  when we learn how to love more, judge less & forgive more often.




I have set a few small goals for the year 2020,  one of them is to write in my blog once a month.  It has been an extremely long time since I have taken the time to put my thoughts down in any kind of chronological order.  I love to write, but it is also extremely difficult for me to sit still long enough to get my thoughts down in a way that truly expresses how I am feeling in my heart.

I decided that this month I would write about accountability.  I thought I would start with the first letter of the alphabet & pick a word that I need to work on.  Accountability came to mind & it struck me like lightening that I wanted to understand more about the word accountability & become more accountable for who I am as a person.  I want to be more aware of my accountability as a daughter of God, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a grandmother, a co-worker, a business owner,  a yoga enthusiasts, a friend & also a neighbor.

Accountability is an important word and has several  different meanings that I would like to address.  My first & foremost concern for being accountable is my relationship with God.  He is the most important person in my life.  He is the one who I try to love the most, talk to the most, have probably at times hurt the most, but definitely is the one I want to please the most when I lay my head to rest at night.

I decided about 10 years ago, that God is truly the only person that I am accountable for at the end of each day.  It seemed easy at first, to think that I really didn’t care what people thought of me, because deep down inside I really do care what people think.  I care a lot about my relationships with people and & I probably care too much of how others perceive me.

However,  I am the happiest when I am trying to please God & not worry so much about pleasing the natural man.  It hasn’t been easy & it’s definitely a work in progress.  Yet deep down inside, I have learned that true joy & undeniable peace come when I am trying to live as Christ lives, one day at a time, one hour, one minute and even one tenth of a second in tune with the person he truly wants me to be.

In Websters terms,  the word accountable means an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.  We live in a world where for some reason , no one wants to take responsiiblity for their own actions.  “I didn’t see that the light turned red”,  “the other person should of watched where they were going”,  my marriage ended in divorce because he wasn’t ‘t honest,  I was left alone in the parking lot after my car was hit, even though several people asked to help me”.  The natural man is quick to blame the other person or turn the responsibility to someone else.  It takes someone of high self-esteem & extreme humility to admit when they are wrong & give the other person the benefit of the doubt.

In the scriptures it speaks of accountability as being responsible for your own sins, and accountable for your own actions.  In the church of Jesus Christ  of Latter Day Saints we are taught in the second article of faith that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adams transgression.

As a parent sometimes this is extremely difficult.  If we understand our own potential and our own self-worth, we can own our own mistakes, but its very difficult, especially with adult children to not want to take on their sins and their mistakes also.  It takes a very strong person to not want to blame ourselves & take accountability for our children’s sins and mistake. We often think we are doing them a favor, but this at times can enable them to rely on us too much and to expect us to save them.

The only person we can truly save is ourselves and the only person we can  truly repent for is ourselves.  We are accountable to teach our children correct principles and honor those principles.  If a child chooses a different path or makes different choices than we have taught them, we have to stay strong in our beliefs and teach by positive example, always remaining steadfast with outstretched arms and unconditional love.

Today I am accountable for what time I woke up, what I ate, who I served, who I smiled at or possibly frowned at.  Today was the only day that I was accountable for,  and tomorrow with all it’s ups & downs will be a new day of endless possibilities, with goals to set and dreams to dream of even a brighter tomorrow that will replace today and hopefully tomorrow with all its mysteries will hopefully reap some of my hard work today.

Dalai Lama

He said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done.  One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”













Two days ago our family dog Ryker was hit by a car and he died instantly.   I was not home at the time of the accident.  His death has caused me to look at life in a completely different way.

On Sunday night our family went for a walk.  It has been years since we have all  been on a walk together.    It wasn’t a perfect walk and things we’re said that were not perfect.  But we created a memory,  and it was our last memory  with Ryker.   Our last walk with Ryker will be a walk that we will always hold dear to our hearts ♥️.

Ryker came to our family as a free gift.  He was given out of love from Tyler’s in-laws.  Ryker was a dog that I never wanted, a dog that made me crazy A LOT.   But he was also a dog that I had learned to love on a level that is hard to explain.

Ryker loved to run.  Ryker loved to run with me.  It was probably his favorite thing to do.  However; most of the time when I took him, he would disobey and take off.  He’s almost died so many times that I can’t count.  He’s spent the night in the shelter more times than I like to admit, and he has caused me to question several times why I said we could have him in the first place?   My relationship with Ryker was like a a fast moving ship.  As long as he and I were on the ship moving in the same direction, we both were happy.  Ryker was so much like me, that I often wondered if I birthed him.

Ryker loved people, I love people.  Ryker loved to run, I love to run.  Ryker liked to eat, only when he needed it for energy. However; during his last few months of life, he was eating more and running less.  He was sad his last few months of life.  He was getting older  and he was not running as much and eating more.  Dogs are like people.  A body in motion stays in motion.  A body that lays in one place becomes stationary and will usually gain weight.

It’s amazing how much dogs are truly like us.   Most people do not feel good when  they sit around all day and eat too much.  The human body was meant to move and eat food to fuel the body.  Ryker was the happiest when he was eating healthy and running more.

The day before Ryker died our family had a little discussion whether we should take him on the walk.  Some of us agreed to take him, others did not want too.  The final verdict was decided by our newly returned missionary daughter and she decided in the affirmative.

Ryker is not a leash dog.  He hates leashes.  I don’t blame him.  I would hate to be on a leash too.  My oldest son Tyler took the task at hand and was in charge of the leash.  It was like watching a tug of war between a bull and a donkey.  But in the end the bull won and the donkey obeyed.  Ryker settled into his role and stayed on the leash the entire time.

Our family had a discussion about Ryker on the walk.  Some would call it a discussion, others would call it a debate, but to put it in layman’s term, it was a little bit of an argument.

In our family an argument consists of three people who are very head strong,  2 people who are peacemakers, one who remains completely quiet, and then me, who is the referee.  I hate being the referee.  I get put in the middle of things I don’t like, but in the end I usually make pretty good calls and I try to make sure everyone is ok.

As the referee, I have pondered over Ryker’s last walk.  What was he thinking?  Could he hear us talking about him?  Did he hear me stand up for him, or did he only hear the negetive things that I said about him?   Since dogs are like people, I believe he did hear what was said about him, and I bet it probably hurt his feelings.  I wonder if he went to bed that night feeling sad

If I could live that moment again.  Our family would not have argued.  We all would of chosen to say good things about Ryker, and he would of never died.  However; Ryker did die,  and we all are mourning his loss.

Continue reading “THE LAST WORD”

MY TRIP TO SPAIN Sept 17, 2017

They say that to dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. To dream is to believe, and to believe is to know, and to know is to hope for things we cannot see. We dream of the blue ocean waters, the majestic mountains of Utah and the beautiful Montana sky.

Our hearts long to go to exotic places, African safaris and tropical beach paradises. Yet somewhere in all of these places, peace cannot always be found.

I have realized that my Spain is believing that I can get through one more day knowing that my children our safe, sleeping in my little twin bed at my parents home in Cedar City, Utah , seeing a butterfly in the middle of the day, to watch the sunset, and seeing the love in my granddaughters eyes👀

Today I went to Spain with Sydney and Easton Hogge. Sydney slept in my arms like a beautiful rag doll, she sat on my lap with her inquisitive eyes and she sang “Old McDonald Had A Farm” like a light brown haired Shirley Temple. Today I told Sydney that she was good for my soul. She told me that I made her heart happy.

This morning when she laid on my chest, time was of the essence. She smiled and said “I love you grandma” and I knew that I had just gone to Spain 1000 times in my dreams.

I went to church on Sunday with my two grandchildren. I chased Easton through the cultural hall, watched him run like his father, and got him to hold still on my lap for several minutes. Easton is blonde, brown eyed and so adorable that you want to look at him for hours. He never stops moving, doesn’t eat much and has two binki’s in his hands at all times. He’s a crazy boy with crazy dreams and when he says the word star ⭐️ it seems like nothing else matters.

Today I watched my oldest son be a father, I noticed how he looked at his wife Laura with love is his eyes, he carried the diaper bag to church like a rock star and the highlight of my day was to listen to him sing in the ward choir in Spanish. Tyler has done a lot of amazing things in his life, but watching him be a father to my grandchildren is definitely on my list of favorite things to do.

I believe that God sends angels into our lives to heal our broken hearts. He also sends angels to protect us, but he mostly sends angels to help us learn that through his tender mercies, we embrace the ability to be still and know that from a distance God is trying to teach us that Spain is really just a place we carry in our hearts.

I learned today that love is and always will be the strongest force on the planet.

As we step into the unknown we learn that we can be fragile and strong, terrified and brave all at the same time.

Today I went to Italy, Switzerland, Sweden Holland, Norway and of course Spain all at the same time. When my body stopped shaking and my eyes stopped crying, Spain became a memory I will cherish forever.

To love another person is to see the face Of God. Today when Sydney and Easton looked at me with their big brown eyes, I had the trip of a lifetime, and Spain became a memory I shall cherish always.