Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Wish

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father, who gently placed his son on earth to accomplish his most beautiful, glorious plan.

Love, Christine (and the rest of the bunch)

Ally, Sammie, Benji, Kayla, Hyrum
(from bottom left around to the right)
Joy to the World!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Day 19-20, Final

Day 19:  I am grateful for the LDS Young Woman's program.  I will always be forever affected by the examples of the leaders from my youth, including my own mother.  I'm grateful that now that the first of my three daughters will be "cared" for by valiant women.

Day 20:  I am grateful for Sundays and being able to feast on the words of God and others' testimonies.  I love the warmth and renewal I receive by going to church every week.

...I'm going away for the Thanksgiving and so I will end this Gratitude Challenge with:

I am grateful for life.  Life that I've been given to live on this beautiful earth, to have freedom to worship how I like and accomplish good without fearing for the safety of my family.  I'm grateful for life's trials that have stretched me and will continue to stretch me.  I'm grateful for my life as a granddaughter, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend.

I love you all and hope you have a...

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. We attempted to take a family Christmas photo yesterday and by the end we were all freezing and just a bit crazy.  Say "Cheese!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Day 17-18

Day 17: I am grateful for family vacations--where some of the best memories are made. (The top of Ensign Peak, Salt Lake City, Utah.)

Day 18: I am grateful for the scouting program, the leaders and the experiences that prepare our young men for greater things. (This picture is from the last camp-out Ben went on with Benji up American Fork canyon. It just so happens that Benji and Ben are out camping right now.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Revised...Day 12-16

As I've worked on writing things I'm grateful for, it has been a fun challenge, but I've realized that the task is exploding exponentially.  Trying to write the amount of items corresponding to the number of the day is getting difficult. (Some of you got a good laugh at my Day 11-15 with all but Day 11 missing.) I must admit, the first 11 days took me on a fabulous journey.  

Therefore, I hereby amend my original intention and will from now on write only one thing each day.

Day 12: I am grateful for electricity, natural gas, and auto fuel that light up the night, keep me at a comfortable temperature and allow me to travel to family far away.
Day 13: I am grateful for being able to sing my favorite holiday music.
Day 14: I am grateful for quiet places where I can sit and rejuvenate my soul (like the celestial room at the temple--this photo is the Salt Lake Temple).

Day 15: I am grateful for cultural arts--Shakespearean plays and Christmas concerts--to list just two.

Day 16: Simply...I am grateful for forgiveness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Day 11

Day 11:  I am grateful for...
1--Benji, he is an awesome big brother and an example of true discipleship (he wakes up on Sundays at 6:30 a.m. for meetings even when I'm still asleep).
2--Ally, she has an endearing smile and loves life.
3--Kayla, she is quick to act for good and keeps me on my toes.
4--Sammie, she has such a forgiving heart and cheers people up with her giggle.
5--Hyrum, he is a ball of energy and loves to explore anything in his path and still gives the best hugs.
6--their cousins (my nieces and nephews that are too many to list)--examples of missionary work, being well-educated, hard work...

7--my cousins and feeling bonded with extended family even if I don't know them well.
8--family reunions.  The Packs do it at This is the Place Heritage Park.  It's a blast!
9--family meals.  There is nothing like good food and family put together. 
10--dinner time at home.  It is always nice to know that we are all in one place at least once a day.
11--chore time, when we all work together to tidy the house right after dinner.  I can sleep easy knowing I don't have a mess to clean up in the morning.

Gratitude Challenge Day 10

Day 10: 1--I am grateful for the scriptures--LDS standard works.
2--I am grateful for the lives of the ancient prophets and their examples.
3--I am grateful for Paul of the New Testament.  I've been touched by his message.  One particle of it reads: 
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
4--I am grateful for a living prophet who gives us current counsel.
5--I am grateful for technology that allows us to hear his voice every six months and more.
6--I am grateful for my church calling and being able to work with some of the elect children of God.

7--I am grateful for the blessings that have come from paying tithing.
8--I am grateful for food storage.
9--I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom--the Lord's code of good health.
10--I am grateful to see when my children are soaking in the truth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Day 8-9

Day 8: 1--I am grateful for life now... (Ally holding cousin Joshua)

2--...and forever... (my mom's been gone for almost one year)
3--...and temples that make eternity with our families possible.
4--I am grateful for family history work.
5--I am grateful I received an education in family history.
6--I am grateful for ancestors who bravely joined the Mormon church and immigrated to Utah.
(Benji during re-enactment of the handcart pioneer trek)
6--I am grateful for the experience I had re-enacting the pioneer trek as a youth.  I gained a greater appreciation for the pioneers' trials.  It also gave me confidence to know that I could do hard things.
7--I am grateful for Joseph Smith, Jr. for restoring the gospel to the earth so that we can can have joy in this life.
8--I am grateful for my faith in God that gets me through my own trials.

Day 9: 1--I am grateful for missionaries who preach the gospel to the world.

2--I am grateful for having served a full-time mission in the Czech Republic.
3--I am grateful for the many wonderful Czechs with whom I was able to associate.
4--I love Czech food, especially knedliky, tmavy chleb, svickova na smetane, and pernik.
5--I am grateful to have met my husband because of serving in the same mission.
6--I am grateful for the mission presidents and their wives that I served with--Pres. and Barbara Winder and Pres. and Sis. Bryson.  They taught me how to motivate with love and what it takes to diligently serve.
7--I am grateful for the moments where the Holy Ghost could testify of the truthfulness of the gospel.
8--I am grateful (as Tyler--a newly returned missionary said) to have learned more from the people than I could have ever taught them.
9--I am grateful for, once again, knowing I could do hard things!

Gratitude Challenge Day 6-7

Day 6: 1--I am grateful for memories, and even those re-lived. (Raincoats from our honeymoon.)
2--I am grateful for good teachers.
3--I am grateful for friends.
4--I am grateful for our LDS ward and all of those people who have shown by example their dedication to the gospel.
5--I am grateful for dedicated home and visiting teachers.
6--I am grateful for neighbors who keep an eye on us!

Day 7: 1--I am grateful for health.
2--I am grateful for hot showers. (Sorry, no picture here. ;0)
3--I am grateful for teeth.
4--I am grateful for the fun of playing tennis.
5--I am grateful for the sunsets that I can enjoy from my kitchen window.
6--I am grateful for gardens and...
7--...the bounteous harvest.

Gratitude Challenge Day 3-5

Day 3: 1-- I am grateful to be married to a patient, loving man.
2--I am grateful for siblings, who are wise and generous.
3--I am grateful for in-laws, who received me as part of the family.

Day 4: 1--I am grateful for Grandma Robinson who showed by example that I should always count my blessings.

2--I am grateful for good books, especially ones that warm the soul.
3--I am grateful for music--what draws me the closest to God.
4--I am grateful for food...homemade everything (okay almost everything).

Day 5: 1--I am grateful for nature that invokes thoughts of gratitude for living on this beautiful earth.
2--I am grateful for a home.
3--I am grateful for a clean home.  My kids do a great job helping get all of the chores done.

4--I am grateful for pillows. (Not my bed but sort of matches my night stand.)

5--I am grateful to live in a free land.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude Challenge Day 1-2

I was challenged by our Activity Days group to write something I am grateful for everyday this month.  Then I interjected that it might be fun to write the number of things to correspond with the number of the day.  So here goes...

DAY 1: 1--I am grateful to know that I am a daughter of heavenly parents.

DAY 2: 1--I am grateful to be the earthly daughter of two amazing people.
Mom and Dad, June 2010

2--I am grateful to be the earthly mother of five awesome kids. 
Visiting my nephew while on our summer 2011 cross-country "tour."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today I watched this video on the life of one survivor of 9/11 and began to wonder...  Do I cherish my family even when life is good?  Am I grateful for my temporal blessings?  Do I seek help that isn't found in the world when I need extra strength?  Am I taking the time to dive into the scriptures for solace through daily trials?  Do I thank my Heavenly Father for the privilege of being alive today? 

I wonder...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ohio or Bust (Part VI)

The return trip home helped us grow an appreciation for our pioneer heritage. 

First we stopped and experienced life in Nauvoo.
We caught the sunset at the edge of the Mississippi River where the saints left Nauvoo for the last time.
We walked the same streets many faithful pioneers walked.

"The door bell is ringing!"

The kids got to help make rope the Nauvoo way.

We did as much as we could muster strength and time for in Nauvoo.  (Many missionaries said that you need a couple of days to really get the whole effect, but unfortunately we only planned a couple of hours.) Those few hours were worth it.  Just being able to see the newly built Nauvoo Temple will be a treasured memory! 

Our family standing where our first beloved Prophet Joseph Smith fell after being martyred.
(We just barely made it to Carthage in time to go on the last tour.)

Being pioneers is serious business...let me elaborate.
(Simple reenactment of handcart pioneers at W.Q.V.C.) 

The previous night (prior to arriving at Winter Quarters Visitor's Center) we tried to camp just outside of Des Moine, Iowa.  Setting up the tent proved uneventful.  However, at around 3 a.m. the wind started to blow.  (I have a hard time sleeping in tents anyway and I was the first one awake wishing the wind would stop blowing.)  Within a few minutes the speed of the wind increased so that everyone in the tent was awake.  The tent began to bend in half over the top of where I was sleeping and the worries kicked in.  I asked Benji how bad it got in Wyoming before their tents started "flying" away (another story where tents detached themselves from the ground with people in them).  He wasn't much help in putting my fears at ease. But Ben thought it best to stake down the tent some more.  Through all of the talking and staking the wind speed was increasing.  Kayla started screaming that she was going to die and took cover in the car. I wasn't feeling much better about the situation.  After saying a prayer Ben and I decided we would pack up and go (sleeping really isn't an option when you feel like you'll be blown away in the wind).  Ben ended up driving as far as he could and then we slept the rest of the night in the car.  To say the least, tent camping gave us a true appreciation for a small portion of what the pioneers experienced--smeltering heat to high speed winds.  

We made one last visit to the Moss Family's North Platte, Nebraska homes.
Here is the second one on Cedarberry Road.

Our goal was to make it home by Saturday noontime.  But after the windy camping experience in Iowa we weren't in the mood to try it again. We managed with naps and a few pit stops to drive the rest of the trip home.  I was almost in tears as I got into my own bed at 3:10 a.m. Saturday, August 13, 2011. 

 There is no place like home! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ohio or Bust (Kings Island Detour)

We couldn't pass up the chance to go to King's Island, so we decided to do an evening only.  Our first ride was in the water rapids...

(little did we know that this was only the beginning, of getting wet, that is)

 I had fun with the younger kids and caught some precious moments--Hyrum, especially as the flying ace!

Ally and the kids just couldn't keep their lips off of Snoopy.

The best part was Mom and Dad could "let down their hair" and be kids again!

 P.S. It doesn't show, but we spent the last two hours of the night trying to dodge the pouring rain.  Most of the rides were closed down, which led to some disappointment, but the memories will be forever embedded in our minds.  Gene Kelly can't hold a candle to our version of "singing in the rain."