Friday, March 27, 2015

This Is My Happy Place, Right Here At Home~


It has been a little over 6 weeks since I have done a blog post. I have missed writing but most of all I have missed reading the posts of bloggers that I follow. I am anxious to get caught up on what you have all been doing. I consider you dear friends and have missed reading your posts. I have learned so much from you all; you are my dear friends. 
It has been a good experience for me to draw back from most of the social media. I have still popped in and out of Face Book to see what is going on in the lives of friends and family. Here is where I find out about my own family. I really prefer the precious phone calls to get an update of family news. However, I have learned that as much as I have missed blogging and reading blogs I have found that I enjoyed the break and was able to get a number of my goals completed. 
Here I am reading a novel; this was very fun! Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. 
Of course, I didn't get to relax and read until after I cleaned my study. This was a huge undertaking. I went through many files that I have kept for over 35 years. I threw away a tons of articles and other misc. items. There were a few precious treasures that I couldn't give up. However, I have found that with the internet I can look up whatever information I need. Therefore, I don't need a lot of files.
Here are two pictures of what the study looked like while I was going through all the files. I was able to make room for what I consider of top import-ants: family histories and genealogy.  Pop over to that site and look up your ancestors; it is so much fun.
Here are the after Pictures of my study. The one thing I loved most was getting the green couch moved out and just a small recliner moved in. My room is very light and bright so it is such a great place to do my reading. 
Note on my wall that my sweet husband arranged the photos of my Great Grandparent's family. The small photo's on each side are my grandparents and my husband's grandparents. I love this wall. 
I am looking forward to replacing my drapes; perhaps this weekend. My study now has so much more room and I am loving it. 

Here is my second favorite thing to do which is play my piano. I haven't had a regular practice time; but I will have soon. I  have a couple of projects left to get done and then I plan to schedule my time each day so I can be more productive. Playing the piano will be a top priority.

Here are some of the activities that I had while on my blog break. 
Click on the pictures if you want to view them larger~


My sweet youngest daughter came with her children for 10 days. We had such a good time. Here are pictures of our Valentine gifts. The roses on the table are from my dearest love. My daughter Tiffani, her two daughters Sarah and Kaitlyn with roses and flowers that her husband Dave sent them. 
On February 15th we had a birthday celebration for our Grandson, Joseph who  turns 16 years old on February 19th  and our Great Granddaughter, Jadyn who turns 5 years old on February 17th. We had a wonderful celebration for both of them. Joseph and Jadyn are in the Upper Left hand picture. Note the adorable Great Granddaughter, Myah in the Bottom Right Hand Corner. We had a total of three of our families here. Our oldest son Sean's family, our third son James's family, and our youngest daughter Tiffani's family. 
Left to Right - William, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Michael and Tiffani~
February 17th, I went with my daughter and her children down to Provo. We first went to a $1.00 movie. We then went down to the Brigham Young University to look around. We first went to the Wilkinson Center. This is a favorite hangout place for students. We spent some time in the gift shop and Tiffani bought each of her children a small gift. We then went for ice cream at the BYU Creamy. After the ice cream cones we headed up by the Provo temple and took a family photo. Tiffani showed her children where Dave and her lived when they were first married. They both graduated from BYU which was awesome. 

On Thursday the 19th of February, Tiffani's family and I went to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. All of our children love to take their families there because there is so much to see and do. We were there for about 5 hours and had such a fantastic time. We went through the huge LDS Conference center, then  temple square, which has the Salt Lake Temple and two visitor centers. The landscaping on temple square is so beautiful. We had lunch at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. They have a great little Cafe there. Afterward we went over to the LDS Church Office Building which houses all of the offices for those that work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. There are many volunteers and missionaries that work around temple square. We had a missionary tour guide take us up to the top of this 28 floor building. The view from there was spectacular. We got a ton of pictures. We then went to Deseret Book which is  just across the street from Temple Square. This is their flagship store. This is a dangerous place for me to go. I can't leave the store without a book or two. We then went to the Airport to pick up Tiffani's husband Dave.  We had such a great day together.
Our Grandson William's birthday was on Saturday, February 21st. We had a fun day with him. William loves Legos so Tiffani had that as a theme for his birthday. She made him a Lego cake; which was cute. He loved all of his gifts and especially a huge Lego set that he got. He turned nine years old.
We also watched the movie; "Meet The Mormons". It was well done and told the story of what Mormon's are like. We are really just normal everyday kind of people with a strong faith in Christ.  
Sunday morning came and Dave and Tiffani headed home. Here is a picture of this beloved family. 
March rolled in with mixed up weather which has been interesting. On Sunday, March 8th we went to Sacrament meeting and then headed up to Heber for Joseph's ordination to become a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. Joseph was ordained a Priest and then a sweet blessing by his father.  In our faith this is a very special occasion. Afterwards, we went over to Sean's home for a celebration dinner. Joseph is the one in the middle of the pictures.The rest of the pictures are of his older brother, Jed's family, his younger brothers,  and his mother Mary. Sean was busy cooking; no picture there. Regretfully not all of the pictures turned out since I was using my phone.
On March 14th we got Joseph and headed up to Idaho Falls to be with James's family. We had dinner that night with his family. Our Grandson, Christian turned 16 years old on Sunday March 15th. He was also ordained to the office of a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. by his father. He received a lovely blessing too.  Joseph was able to be in the circle for this ordination. 
Afterwards, we went back to their home and had a birthday celebration. Top Left Hand Corner is Christian, Upper Middle the two cousins, Christian and Joseph. The Upper Right Hand corner is my dearest Granddaughter, Averi and myself. The center picture is my husband Roger, James, his father in law, Bob, Christian and Joseph. Lower Middle Picture is my daughter in law, Amber, Taylor Jo, myself and Amber's mother, Barbara. After dinner and the birthday celebration we headed home. 
The past 6 weeks have been so busy and fun. Sammy is exhausted. 

off I go to catch up on what you all have been doing. Hugs!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Frozen Fever" - Dueling Piano Siblings "Frozen" Mashup + Backwards Piano



I am not ready to come back to blogging again; but I did want to share this incredible video. Miss you all and am looking forward to reading all of your posts again. Sending love and hugs your way. 
LeAnn

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's Living Waters 5th Year Anniversary~

My fifth anniversary - I began the "Living Waters" blog five years ago on February 9th. I have enjoyed the wonderful challenge of writing posts. I still have much to learn about writing; but the experience has been rewarding. I have learned about myself and the world around me. Through trial and error, I've learned to post pictures, navigate the internet, create custom designs for my blog site and a multitude of lessor skills.
I love the challenge of selecting subjects that I hope to be helpful, fun, informational and inspiring. I want my blog to be positive and uplifting. My purpose has been to share thoughts and stories about my life, my faith, my family or just my musings.
Today I want to share a portion of my first posting. At that time I was teaching a lesson in Relief Society titled "The Woman At The Well". I felt I could relate to that woman as she conversed with our Savior, Jesus Christ. I too wanted my Savior's living water. 
I have always enjoyed studying the scriptures, reading  books by LDS Church authors as well as good novels. I have desires to learn and understand more about the doctrines of Christ. I have a strong and fervent belief in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that we have a living Prophet on the earth today; President Thomas S. Monson. I am forever grateful for the testimony I have of the restoration of the gospel brought forth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love Emma Smith the Prophet Joseph Smith's wife. She made so many difficult sacrifices for the establishment of the church during its beginning years. I have great faith in Priesthood power. I have been the beneficiary of many healing blessings. I do believe in Miracles. I recently witnessed my husband being healed through Priesthood blessings after having Pulmonary Emboli a few weeks ago. You can read that story here. 
I love temples. I've had the privilege of being an ordinance worker in two temples for more than 13 years. I find great peace within those walls and have received revelation for my own life.
I love The Book of Mormon. In recent years I've read it many times.  I enjoy the Bible as well; both the Old Testament and The New Testament. Also the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.These scriptures have helped me countless times during moments of personal struggle, and they have served as a mother's manual for raising children.
I have been blessed with an Eternal Companion whom I have been married to for 47 years. He is my forever love. We have experienced many difficult trials and challenges; but we know where the source of our comfort and peace comes from. We love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with all of our heart and soul. We know that all our prayers have been heard, and many have been answered as hoped for. 
Our children continue to be our greatest joy. We have three boys and three girls. Four have served missions. All have been married in a Temple to wonderful companions. They are faithful in serving the Savior. We have thirty two Grandchildren and four Great Grandchildren to bless our lives continually.
One of the greatest joys of blogging is the opportunity for new friendships. I have had sweet experiences meeting face to face with three such women, as we follow each other's writings. There are many more of course that I have not met personally, but I have grown to love them just the same as I enjoy our blogging friendship. I have prayed for you and with you during times of struggle and I have felt your prayers during mine.
May you all know how much I  love you and how much I have learned from reading your posts. You have all been a great blessing in my life.
I love blogging and will continue to write posts and read your inspiring thoughts.
I find right now that I need to have a short break. I won't be posting any blogs for a while but I will drop in here and there to read your posts because you are my friends and I want to stay current in reading your thoughts and life experiences. I will be back, but I do need a little time to close out some important priorities.

I will be doing short updates on my Living Waters face book page. If you like you can follow me there. 

Living Waters by LeAnn

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day 2015 ~ Throw Your Fears Away!


When I read the following story; I knew I wanted to spread the word on this. I was touched by Heather's story. She was only 36 years old and had just given birth to her daughter Lily when she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos.  She was very young for getting this diagnosis. When she was just a young girl, she wore her Dad's coat all the time and it was covered in asbestos from his construction job which was the source of this disease. 
At the time of diagnosis Heather was given only 15 months to live. Can you imagine the fears that Heather had at this time. She had fears of the unknown. What would her new little one and husband do without her? What was she facing in treatments and surgeries for this diagnosis. Would these treatments work? What about the recurrence of this after treatment?
Nine years ago, Heather had her lung removed. Just think about the fear of losing one of your lungs. Her fears were overwhelming. Her sweet sister wanted to lighten her thoughts and she named Heather's surgery; "Lung Leavin' Day". So each year on February 2nd and through the week they celebrate "Lung Leavin' Day. This celebration helps to spread the word on this lung disease.
Lung Leavin' Day is about overcoming your fears. They celebrate each year by getting together as a family and friends and then they write their fears on plates and smash them in a fire. 
Mesothelioma is a disease that at this time has no known cure. It is treated with chemotherapy and surgery;  which can prolong life. You can read more about Mesothelioma here. Cameron Von St. James, Heather's husband has a web site with more information on ways of helping fight this dreaded disease.
The reason that I wanted to share this is that I have fears about lung diseases myself. When I was in my early 20's, married and had one little son; I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called, Sarcoidosis. This disease can be life threatening. I was deeply concerned and fearful about my future. This disease is not as serious as what Heather has; but at that time I had deep fears about it. I was blessed and this disease has been in remission for over 40 years. 
Twenty four years ago my husband had a heart attack at the age of 45. Within two weeks of having the heart attack he had a plural effusion in his right lung. He had chest tubes placed to drain the fluids off his lung. This was a very scary time for us. Within that year he also had heart double by-pass surgery.There are many fears associated with these kinds of diagnosis-es. Through many prayers of faith, priesthood blessings and medical treatments he is alive today.  
 Just two weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with Pulmonary Emboli. He has small blood clots in both lungs and one larger one in his right pulmonary artery. This was life threatening but treatable. He is recovering now and doing well. My husband's story can be found here.
 Heather and her husband Cameron Von St. James invite us all to write our fears on a plate and smash them in the fire on their web site here.


 Have faith and hope in your future and don't let these fears overcome you. I have found great peace in my own faith and religious beliefs. In closing these thoughts I do feel that there is something very therapeutic in throwing your fears away in the fire. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"52 Weeks To Fortify Your Family - 5-Minute Messages" Blog Tour!

I was very happy to be asked to join this blog tour and review this wonderful book; "52 Weeks To Fortify Your Family - 5 Minute Messages" by Nicole Carpenter. 
When raising my  own children I would have wanted this book. I think this is a timely book for parents, grandparents and really anyone out there that would like to have a weekly challenge to learn and think about various gospel subjects that they would like to incorporate into their lives. 
With all of the technology and media that is available 24/7 to families; this book may just help you break away from it all, and learn new concepts on a day to day basis. I can envision mothers transporting their children to various activities and taking those precious moments to teach their children a "value" or "gospel lesson". I was impressed with the "Thoughtful Questions" within each chapter. They are an effective tool for initiating a dialog with your children. 
I love to study gospel principles I have decided that I would like to start using this book to begin a daily devotional with my husband. Each week for Family Home Evening, we can discuss the thoughtful questions and quotations, and read the Conference Message together as provided for that week of study. I like the flexibility to choose which subject to study. I also think the Holiday lessons will broaden our awareness during those special seasons. We often have some of our children with us during certain holidays and this may be ideal for some of our family programs. 
I trust that all that read this review have a like desire to fortify your families and consider obtaining a copy of this book as an aid to your constant efforts. 
Thank you Nicole for bringing this great book to to us. 


Here are the links where you can read more about 
this book launch and purchase this book.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Just Trust In The Lord & Peace Will Come ~


When life throws a curve ball I have found that the above scripture has helped me so many times. I memorized it many years ago during a difficult time and it has helped me through the years. We received many tender mercies from the Lord during following experience we had this past week. 
Last Thursday, I was enjoying a productive day of getting my study organized. It was a good day. My dear husband was out of town on a business trip to Pittsburgh. He was scheduled to be home on Friday. Around 4:20 pm. My world came tumbling down when I received a text from him say: "I am having a heart attack". Of course, I almost had one myself right there. I immediately called him and he was having difficulty breathing and heaviness in the chest. He had called the manager of the hotel and they had called 911. I had him stay on the phone with me. I reminded him that he had a priesthood blessing on Sunday due to being very stressed over this trip. I just kept talking to him and tried to reassure him that all would be well. He was promised in that blessing many encouraging thoughts.  
Soon I could hear the paramedics in the background as they came in. I heard his blood pressure which wasn't too bad; but his pulse was rapid and irregular. I could hear them say Atrial Fibrillation. I knew this was very serious. Soon one of the paramedics came on the line and told me they were transporting him to St. Margaret's Hospital due to his rapid pulse and other vital signs. I said good-by and told my dearest love to keep the phone with him. 
Of course, as soon as we hung up; I dropped to my knees and prayed and cried. I was totally overcome. Then came the most incredible peace. It was just there. I didn't have the usual gut wrenching discomfort and inner worried feelings. Deep down inside of me; I knew he would be OK. I just knew. This was the kind of peace that only comes from a loving Heavenly Father.  
  
Over the next 5 hours I received most of my information from my husband per cell phone. I tried to contact the ER but couldn't find out anything because of patient privacy. This was so weird to me; I am his wife; I needed to know what was happening. 
I knew that I needed to get there to be with him as rapidly as possible. I sent a group text out to all of my children. My daughter Jenni and her husband Michael  called to see what they could do for me. They started researching plane tickets. They also started looking for a Bishop from our church for that area; so my husband could receive a priesthood blessing.
Meanwhile, I received phone calls and texts back and forth from my dear children. My sweet daughter Jenni's mother in law Irene showed up at my doorstep; what a gift she was to me. She was there to calm me as I tried to figure out what to do next. She also volunteered to house sit and take care of our little dog Sammy. All of these things were such a blessing to me. 
Most of the communication with my sweet husband were through texts and short calls.He would let me know his B/P, Pulse, and 02 levels and what ever else they would tell him or he could overhear. His pulse continued to be in Atrial Fibrillation; ranging from 140-180 beats per minute .They had started an IV medication to try and get the pulse back down. 
They did an x-ray and C-scan. Finally, results came back that he pulmonary emboli. One larger blood clot in the left  main pulmonary artery and multiple small clots in both lungs. There was evidence of right heart strain.This was a concern to them since he had a heart attack in 1991 followed by a double by-pass. At this point he was started on a heparin drip a blood thinner protocol for blood clots.
Meanwhile, my son in law Michael talked with a Bishop in an adjoining area and he gave him the number for a Bishop in the area around the hospital. This Bishop ended up being a physician at St. Margaret's Hospital. He immediately called and talked with the ER Physician. Their heart and lung specialists had decided to have dear husband taken by life flight to University Pittsburgh Medical Center. This Bishop said he would arrange for some Elders to come to that hospital to give him a blessings after he arrived.
During this period of time my daughter Jenni found some flight tickets and Irene helped me to get them over the internet. Then Irene had to leave for work. I then had about an hour and a half to pack and leave to be to the airport for a 12:30 am. flight to Pittsburgh. 
Before leaving my Bishop came over and gave me a really comforting Priesthood blessing where I was reassured that all would be well. Again, that precious loving spirit enveloped me. 
My dear nephew, Chance text me that he would be a happy to take me to the airport. At first I planned to drive but realized it would be best to have him take me. 
At the airport I received the word from my husband that he had arrived to UPMC per helicopter. About 10 minutes before he left his Atrial Fibrillation converted over to normal rhythm and he started to feel better. Once settled into the ICU he was taken for an Echo cardiogram. They also did a Doppler test on his legs and no clots were found,  which was a huge relief. At this point the medical team was trying to determine if they should be more aggressive with doing a more invasive procedure to break up the clots. 
My air flights went well and I arrived in Pittsburgh at 9:30 am. and took a taxi to the hospital. I found my husband in the Medical ICU and our reunion was so sweet. Elder and Sister Butler from the Pittsburgh mission along with two Elder missionaries came to give my husband a Priesthood blessing. Elder Butler gave the blessing and the spirit was so strong and the words were said; my husband would be healed. From that moment on everything just seemed to just get better and better. His vital signs were normal and he was taken off of O2. Due to his stable physical state it was decided not to do the more invasive procedure.
I was able to take a cab to his hotel  and pack his suitcase and get his rental car taken care of which he had been worried about. 
I was so fortunate to find a place to stay in McKee Family housing. There was a shuttle that took me too and from this place to the hospital. 
Early on Saturday morning my husband was moved out of the ICU on to a step down unit and he continued to do well. He was miraculously released on Sunday evening and we were able to fly home,Tuesday. 
During this experience many friends and loved ones prayed for him, our family fasted and his name was put on temple rolls. Our prayers were heard and answered. 
Trust in the Lord and Faith preceded this Miracle; I know that to be totally true. I felt the peace that can only be found through the Savior. 
There were many tender mercies from the Lord through all of these days such as: 
Irene showing up on my doorstep-
A ticket for a quick airplane flight -
Irene volunteering to house sit and be with our cherished pet, Sammy.
A blessing by my Bishop -
My nephew volunteering to take me to the airport -
Finding a Bishop that was a Physician at St. Margaret's Hospital; who proceeded to give assistance -
Being able to easily take care of Roger's luggage at his hotel and the rental car -
Having the missionaries in that area come and give my husband a priesthood blessing and then visited us again. Plus they took me to church on Sunday where I met the first Bishop that was called.
Roger's condition changing quickly so he could be discharged for home - 
Given permission to fly home with this kind of diagnosis. Usually, they don't allow one to fly home for at least a week to two weeks. Since he had no clots in his legs; he was found able to fly. 
Elder and Sister Butler taking me to church on Sunday and taking us to the hotel after discharge -
Most important of all were the prayers and faith of others in our behalf. We truly felt the power of those prayers - Thank you to all that prayed for us; we feel so blessed.  
                               
Here is a link for wining a ticket to the Roots Tech event. There are some great speakers. Just thought I would add this on. 
http://www.keepmovingforwardwithme.com/2015/01/giveaway-3-day-pass-rootstech/#comment-59656

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Quest For Joy~

I think we all find ourselves surrounded by negative influences. We watch the news which is full of stories of violence, political upheavals, adverse weather, terrorist attacks, and overall negativity. I would dare say that there is not one person that doesn't have some kind of struggle in their personal lives right now. 
Where do we find the peace and joy that we seek? I would guess this is an universal question. Perhaps it depends on what we choose each day to think about and do. Are we seeking positive news, positive goals and positive actions. 
A very great man who was our Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley often spoke about finding joy and happiness in our lives. I thought today my quest for more joy that I might share with you some of his priceless thoughts on happiness. 

 1. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” 
 2. “Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
 3. “Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.” 
 4.  “Don’t be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. ‘Accentuate the positive.’ Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.”
 5. “Be believing, be happy, don't get discouraged. Things will work out.” 
 6. “Let us be happy people. The Lord's plan is a plan of happiness. The way will be lighter, the worries will be fewer, the confrontations will be less difficult if we cultivate a spirit of happiness.”
 7.  “You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it's your choice”  I have to add that this is one of my favorite quotes from him. It is our choice. 
 8. "Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.” 
 9.  “God bless you, my beloved sisters, who stand as the queens in your home, that you may be happy with that happiness which comes of the knowledge that you are loved and honored and treasured.” 
10. “We've got to have a little humor in our lives. You had better take seriously that which should be taken seriously but, at the same time, we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can’t smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time.”  
11. “In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out! Despite how difficult circumstances may look at the moment, those who have faith and move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.”  
12.  “Go forward in life with a smile on your face, a sparkle in your eyes, and with great and strong purpose in your heart. The best things in life are the people in your life, the moments we live, and memories we made along the way.” 
13. “The way of the Lord is the way of happiness. ‘Wickedness never was happiness’. Transgression never was happiness. Sin never was happiness. Disobedience never was happiness. The way of happiness is following the way of the Lord. I believe this with all my heart.” 
14. “The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there is sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice.”  


 In ending these thoughts is a final quote from this beloved Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley: 

“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” 

I am challenging myself and those of you that read this to look for joy everyday. Seek out the sunshine and leave the clouds behind.  A favorite scripture of mine is found in the Book of Mormon; 2 Nephi 2:25: ".....men are, that they might have joy."

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