My Family

My Family

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Week - Saturday through Wednesday of Christ's life...

I've contacted Rick's friend, Phil Hailes, to ask if I can post his "Easter Week" messages that I talked about in my last post, and he has graciously agreed. Here are the first 5 days... (starting last Saturday)

The Easter Chronicles: Saturday

Christ journeys to Bethany. Today, Christ will be at the home of Mary, her sister Martha, and Lazarus, their brother - the same Lazarus that he recently raised from the dead (after three days of death).

With the Apostles watching, Mary will anoint the feet of Christ with Spikenard. This Spikenard that she anoints Christ with, is very expensive oil. She uses it so liberally, that the fragrance of the oil fills the home. She is anointing Jesus as he is about to begin the last week of his life. She is anointing him the day before his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, which happens on Sunday.

Watching all of this, and smelling the fragrance of the oil as it permeates the air, is the Apostle who has been designated as the treasurer, or he who "had the bag". The apostle who "had the bag" was Judas Iscariot----the eventual betrayer of Christ. So, feigning concern about finances, though he is known to be a thief by the others, Judas asks if the money expended for the oil could not have been better used to care for the poor. A noble question, but not from a man who ultimately cares not about the life of the Messiah, nor his works, and is actually a thief himself.

Christ, hearing these pretentious words from Judas, says to leave her alone and clarifies that the woman is doing a great deed by preparing him for his burial. A burial which occurs in the upcoming week.

The Easter Chronicles: Sunday

It's Palm Sunday.

(Christ spends the evenings at this time in Bethany. Bethany is just over the hill to the East of Jerusalem, about 4 miles. Daily he traverses this route along the Mount of Olives between Bethany and Jerusalem.)

Today, Christ enters Jerusalem on a donkey, symbolic of the entry of the expected Messiah-King. Crowds cheer him. They wave palm fronds in front of him - which are also symbolic of a King. Many openly accept him for what he is claiming to be... the Messiah. The crowds are in Jerusalem, in preparation for the weeks celebration of the Passover to come. His arrival into the city, is no secret.

Because of the season of the Passover, it is estimated that there are 1 to 2 million people crowded into Jerusalem at this time.

The Easter Chronicles: Monday

As previously mentioned, because of the season of the Passover, it is estimated that there are 1 to 2 million people crowded into Jerusalem at this time. This is based upon some writings indicating the number of lambs killed upon the alters for the Jewish festival. The lambs are used in the Passover feast and are symbolic of the Messiah.

Each morning, Christ returns over the hill from Bethany along the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem. (Remember, Bethany is the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus and is only about 4 miles away.) This morning, he returns to the temple grounds in Jerusalem. The temple site is 40 acres square (Salt Lake LDS Temple is on 10 acres). To these Jews of the time, the entire 40 acres site is considered sacred and an extension of the temple itself. Along the inner-side of the outer perimeter wall, there exists colonnades which support some roof structures. Under these coverings, the wise and learned leaders of the day would gather together. On this day, Christ approaches them, to cleanse the temple grounds of money changers. When he cleansed the temple grounds 3 years earlier, at the start of his ministry, he said, "You have made MY FATHER'S house a den of thieves." However, this time, days before his crucifixion, he refers to the temple as "HIS house". This is a bold and open declaration that he is a god and a Son of God. He is openly declaring who he is... and they know it. This is what leads to problems.

The Easter Chronicles: Tuesday

Christ leaves Bethany with the twelve apostles. They skirt along the Mount of Olives which separates Jerusalem from Bethany. Along the way, they pass by a fig tree. Christ hungers, and the tree looks inviting, so he raises the leaves to pick some fruit. However, though it is Spring, and the tree appears fruitful, there is no fruit to be found on the tree. As a lesson, he then curses the tree for hypocrisy. When it was cursed by Christ, the apostles were amazed at how quickly it began to wither away. A great reinforcement of the lesson of hypocrisy. Have great big beautiful shiny leaves and appear to be a tree of great fruit and worth, but under the outer layer, you have no fruit. You feign the appearance of greatness yet beneath it all, you are a phony. Whether this cursing of the tree occurred on Monday, or Tuesday, it is not clear, but imagine the impact of this message, as each day for the rest of the week, while walking between Jerusalem and Bethany, you see this continually decaying and dying tree of hypocrisy.

This message becomes a greater reality, later this day, when Christ confronts the Pharisees and leaders of the day on the temple grounds.

They reenter the 40 acres of the temple grounds. Once again, he is faced with the wise guys of the day. They are under the southern portico, teaching the people and debating this "Christ" who has made a shambles of their market and their teaching. Christ confronts them, in this public forum, with 3 great embarrassing and humiliating parables. The 3 parables are: (1) The parable of the two sons, (2) the wicked husbandmen, and (3) the wedding of the king's sons. The parables make reference to murder, hypocrisy, theft, and other forms of wickedness against God and his son. These three stories are an indictment of the corrupt and wicked "leaders" of the people... and everyone knows it! Christ has shamed or exposed these men as frauds and hypocrites in front of the mass of people gathered together at the temple grounds that day.

Stay tuned... they are going to try to get even with him for this, and many other reasons too.

Christ's public ministry has come to a close. What he started three years ago, is now about to end.

He then retreats to be with his apostles, disciples and believers. Presumably on the Mount of Olives, which over looks Jerusalem from the east. Here he denounces wickedness and delivers the Olivet Discourse. The Olivet Discourse includes the great parables of the ten virgins, sheep and goats and talents. The story of the ten virgins is about getting oil in your OWN lamps and not relying on others to give you the oil that you should have yourself. Sheep and goats...they sound alike, but there are not alike. You really need to be a sheep that follows the True Shepard---- not a goat who don't. Talents. What can be said here? Do the best with what "talents" (i.e. gifts), that you've been given in life. It's not a contest to be better than the other guy, it's a contest to be better today than you were yesterday. Books have been written about the Olivet Discourse alone.

The Easter Chronicles: Wednesday

We're reaching high drama here.

Wednesday is a day of conspiracy and betrayal. The chief priests and evil religious leaders of the day, gathered together to plot how they might kill this growing threat to their power and influence. They met at the house of Caiaphas, who was head of the Jewish legal body called the Sanhedrin. As they conspired and plotted about how to end the threat posed by the man of Nazareth, an unexpected visitor arrived on the scene. Into this scene of conspiracy enters Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles. One of 12 men given the opportunity to spend the previous 3 years walking with Christ, seeing the blind healed, the lame walk and the dead to rise. He has come to make a deal to betray The Messiah to these enemies. They negotiate the price of Christ's blood at 30 pieces of silver. This is presumed to have eased their conscience with a distorted interpretation of the law as outlined in the book of Exodus (Old Testament). Here it talks of the price of purchasing a slave as being 30 pieces of silver. So, having agreed on their price---30 pieces of silver---- Judas has agreed to deliver the Messiah, the Savior of mankind, the creator of heaven and earth to evil men to be put to death.

Not much is known of what Christ did on this day. His public ministry has come to a close. At this point in his mortal existence, knowing all things, he did say to his disciples "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified". He did know of his impeding death and he did know of Judas' betrayal of him. It may be appropriate to assume, that with the remaining 11 apostles, he spent time on the Mount of Olives, where he often retired. Since it is recorded that he openly told them of his impending death, it would seem that he was preparing them for his departure and giving them instructions on what to do when he is gone. By the way, all of the books within the Bible written after the 4 gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) are ALL instruction of what we all should do now that He is gone.

How far will you go in justifying something? How much will you distort the laws in pursuit of your own greed and power? What are you willing to do for 30 pieces of silver?

Note: Christ = Messiah = Savior. "Christ" is Greek for "Savior" and "Messiah" is Hebrew for "Savior". "Savior" is Latin for one who brings salvation/eternal life as used in the Christian context.


From this point on, I'll post each day separately. I hope this helps you and your families, as you try to focus on Easter this week. I love that Phil does this. It's a great reminder each day, of what Christ went through. It's also helpful if you want to follow this journey, as it happened, with your family.

Tomorrow, I'll let you know the name of a book written by some friends of ours - ideas about celebrating during the week of Easter. I just have to find it first! ;-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Week

Easter always sneaks up on me. This year is no exception. I was reminded that it is Easter week because of some emails my husband forwarded to me. They are from a good friend of his. He has sent an email for each day this week - starting last Sunday I think. The email messages take us through the final week of Christ's life. I really appreciate the reminders. If I can get his permission, I'll try to post them here in their entirety later this week.

But, for now, here is part of a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which I belong to). I remember seeing this circulating quite awhile ago, and wanted to share it this Easter. Luckily, I was reminded about this while looking at a few of my favorite blogs. Enjoy...

I'm looking forward to this weekend, when our church holds it's semi-annual Conference here in Salt Lake City. I can't wait to hear the messages from the Lord's servants. I'll try to share some of the messages that touched me most next week.

Have a great Easter week. :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anything better?

Is there ANYTHING better than steamed rice and steamed veggies?! ANYTHING???!!!
No. There isn't. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My oldest son, Grant, has been home for a year from his LDS mission to Fukuoka Japan. And we went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch today. He finally got me to try Sushi - with eel, no less! Here are a few of the pictures he took in Japan... ENJOY!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's Your Rashee?

My husband is HOOKED on India movies. It's really funny. He loves the beautiful women, the dancing, the stories, the subtitles... everything! I used to wake up on Sunday mornings to the sound of Hindi in my house. One of the channels on t.v. showed Indian movies, and he just couldn't miss even one. Then, he made me watch one - it was called Bollywood Hero (I think), and it wasn't a truly Indian movie, but I got the idea.

I really liked it. My favorite parts were the dancing parts. And the women are truly, unbelievably, beautiful! The guys aren't bad either. I've now seen several Indian movies. One of my favorites... Ghajini. It's an action/thriller. SO GOOD. Check out the actor and actress in this show...

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over to watch a movie. And, of course, Rick had to show them an Indian film. The one he picked wasn't really the greatest. We didn't get to finish it because everyone fell asleep (except Rick, of course), but it wasn't all the movie's fault. They were just too tired. We tried again tonight. We went to Lori and Steve's house and Steve had found one on Netflix that we streamed to his Blue-Ray player. It was called "What's Your Rashee?". Ok, I now have a new favorite Indian movie. Here's the poster for it...

It's about a guy from India who lives in Chicago. His parents get him to return home to help the family, because his brother owes lots of money to some Indian mafia guys, and the grandfather is going to gives him lots of money when he gets married. The parents want him to marry someone, inherit the money, and pay off his brothers debts. So, he decided that he'll do it. His uncle puts an ad on the internet and 176 girls respond. He reads a book about the signs of the zodiac and how there are 12 different kinds of girls - just like the signs. He decides he'll meet 12 different girls - each with one of the zodiac signs - and he'll choose from them. (If you think this explanation is long, you should see the movie! 3 1/2 hours!!!!). Yes, he does meet each one of them, and there is a musical number for each one. It was so great! Funny thing about this movie - all 12 girls are played by the same actress! Here's a sneak peak...

If you've never seen an Indian movie, you really should. I'll try to review some more on this blog. The next movie we'll be watching with Lori and Steve (our best friends) is called "Bride and Prejudice". NO LIE! And yes, Darcy is really cute. So is Elizabeth. Here's a peek at Bride and Prejudice...
I've already seen it twice! Haha!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random Sampler - March 2010

Wow. It's been a LONG time since I did a post on this blog. Sorry about that. So, I guess I'll do a random thoughts day and bring everyone up to speed on what I've been up to...

1. I started a new eating plan on Monday. It's not hard, except that I'm trying to get used to what I'm eating. The plan is called The Six-Week Body Makeover. It's not a big deal, really. You just EAT to LOSE. It's what you eat (and what you don't eat) that is important. I can eat protein, carbs (a few), vegetables, and fruit. Everything needs to be fresh - nothing in cans, or boxes - just fresh. Which is really nice actually. You eat 6 times a day - three meals and three snacks. That's to keep your metabolism revved. You figure out what your body type is, and then when you understand that, you pick out the meal plan that is best for your body type. I'm a body type "C". For proteins I get lean chicken breast, turkey breast, any kinds of seafood, and egg whites. The problem I'm having is that I have to eat a protein for every meal and snack (except my nighttime snack). I'm running out of different ways to cook chicken breast! I'm getting awfully sick of egg whites. And I can't stand seafood. I can have potatoes and rice, but no bread or pasta. (Withdrawal!!!) But, the good news is that I can have lots of fruits and vegetables. Probably the hardest part is staying completely away from sodium - it just seems that things taste so much better when you add a tiny bit of salt. AND I can't have dairy products right now - they are WAY high in fat and sugar. So, I'm having milk and cheese withdrawal. I'm really never hungry. And it's working - I've lost 7 pounds so far. My goal? Just hoping to lose some weight so I can feel better. And I want to learn about food - the best way to fix it, and what's good (and bad) for my body.

2. Alex joined the Track team at Lone Peak High. So, I spent a buttload of money on shoes, shorts, shirts, fees, etc. I've never had a kid in track before. I've never BEEN to a track meet before. Last night was my first one. And of course, they ask the parents to help. So, there were 4 area schools at the meet. I helped with the Discus - that pancake shaped, heavy metal thing, that HUGE guys (and girls) throw as far as they can. The farthest was 122 feet! Alex ran the 100 and the 200. I missed his first race because I was at the discus. Then, I waited FOREVER for all the rest of the events to pass before his next race came up. Finally, I headed home, because (1) he didn't really want me to watch him run, because he didn't think he was that fast yet, and (2) it was dinner time and I needed to get home and worry about everyone else. So, we ate dinner, and then about an hour later I get this text from Alex: "Where are you? I ran the 200 and took first place! My time was 26.44." Oh. My. Hell! I ALWAYS miss Alex's triumphs. No lie! No matter what cool thing he does, I'm not there to see it. What a loser mom. (I had him give me a play-by-play when he got home, but it's just not the same as being there and screaming my head off because Alex just kicked butt in a race. Geez!

3. My sis, Kris, hurt her back last week - really bad. She has some major disk problems, and about 5 months ago got shots in her back to help. And it did help. But last week the shots "ran out" or something, because one day she woke up and could not move. Seriously. It was bad. I spent my day taking her to the doctor to get more shots. They didn't work immediately (they take from 24 hours to 6 days to work), so I got her home and on the sofa, and then when her boys came home from school, I went home. Her husband and oldest daughter were out of town at the time. Around 11:00 pm, TJ (my nephew) called and told me he was taking her to the emergency room. Long story short... I ended up staying the night at her house, and then spending a couple of other days with her. The biggest (and cutest) problem is Ellie - she's my niece, who is 2 1/2, and Kris couldn't even move off of the bed. So, it was ME to the rescue. Which is ok - I owe her BIG TIME for taking me to EVERY single plastic surgeon's appt. last year during my breast cancer.

4. Grant and his girlfriend, Alyx, broke up. I won't say anything else about that, except I'm sorry and sad. :-(

5. Michael's girlfriend, Ashley, is having surgery on her knee today. She'll be in a full leg cast for awhile. Bummer. Good luck, Ashley.

6. This week promises to be a busy week - Kris and I are trying to get ready for the Just Between Friends sell (used kids clothing/toys) here in Utah. We are gathering clothing to sell. When we've got everything, we have to tag it all (with bar code tags) and hang everything on hangers, pack the trailer with all of it, and then next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we will be at the sell. I handed out about 75 fliers yesterday in my neighborhood. I really hope to get lots of clothes. It's a great time for everyone to go through all their kids clothing and toys, and do a big Spring Clean. We are raising money for our foundation... The Four of Hearts. The money will help us travel, and buy supplies, for our trip to Guatemala in the summer. We are taking teens to work at an orphanage there. I hope. It's going to cost about $1200 per person, and I'm worried about coming up with all of the money. Is there, by any chance, a ka-billionaire who reads this blog who would like to sponsor (i.e. pay for) our trip to Guatemala?!

7. It's the last week of the quarter for the kids again. That means late night homework sessions for the last two weeks. They are trying to catch up, and do extra credit for all of their classes. It's just a big pain in the butt. I NEVER had this much homework. Seriously. There is no time for them to just be kids. Alex commented one morning as I was driving him to school in the dark, that he never sees daylight! He gets to school in the dark, and comes home when it's almost dark. Poor kid. It is self-imposed: he took an early morning Jazz Band class, and after school drivers ed, plus track team. But, still. That's just sad. Once again, I'm looking forward to summer. AND hoping that yet another kid survives High School.

8. I made some pretty good money working on a book for a client this last week. I've been really busy trying to get it done. It's for his father's 80th birthday party, so there was a definite deadline. The family I worked with is great, and the book was beautiful. I hope they are happy with it. I'm finding that my favorite part of my job as a Cherish Bound consultant is helping people with their stories. I love making books, and preserving memories for and with people. I just hope that business picks up, so that I can make some more money, or I'm going to have to get another job.

9. The last thing in this post... I promised to advertise for a company that came to my door: the Kirby vacuum company. I wasn't 100% pleased, but I was amazed just the same. A girl came to my door and told me they would clean a room's carpet for free. I told her I didn't want a sales pitch because I wasn't going to buy anything. She said - no problem, we'll just clean your carpet. Ok. So, I moved all the furniture out of the room (you know how long that takes). I picked my Greatroom. It's not huge, but it's still probably about 20x18. Plus they asked me to pre-vacuum before they came in. So I did. They set up and started the sales pitch. I told them I had no intention of buying a Kirby vacuum. Just clean my carpet. The end result? When they finally got the message that I was NOT going to spend over $3000 on a vacuum (yes, $3000 - or 36 payments of $80, plus interest!), they decided that they would just hurry and get things over with - in other words, clean only a small patch of the entire room, and then leave. So, I was not too happy about that. It was a typical sales rip off. BUT, I will say that the young man that cleaned my patch of carpet was AMAZING! His name is Scott and I really liked him. He did a great job on the small part that he did. The Kirby vacuum is also AMAZING. Really, there is just no other word for it. It really SUCKED! Literally. I could not believe what was in my carpet. I have a dog, so I know there is dog hair in my house. And I know that I don't have the best vacuum. And, our carpet is pretty stained - it's 10 years old, and it just doesn't look great anymore. All of that said, I still can't believe what was in my carpet. Here's a picture of what the Kirby did to just a small 6x4 foot patch of my carpet....

Yep, that's dirt on those black squares. Ok, so I don't want you to gross out... the rest of my house is not like that... but, WOW! Can you believe that?! It just shows how stupid it is to have a dog in the house, and what a crappy vacuum I have right now (it's a stupid Kenmore). Hopefully my husband doesn't read this blog post - he would have a heart attack if he knew I posted that picture. So, don't tell him!

That's about it. I better go update all of the rest of my blogs. Time just gets away from me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Digitizing Memories

(My grandfather with his B24 Bomber crew)

Today I've been feeling sick (kidney infection), and so I haven't done much running around. BUT - I did do something nice for someone. I spent the day scanning family picture for my Aunt JoAnn. I scanned around 100 pictures. It took all day - mostly because I had to crop each picture and fix the color/red eye/etc. in Photoshop.

I thought I'd post a few guidelines for scanning pictures here. If you are as old as me (*wink*), A LOT of your photographs are not digital. It's really a good idea to get them scanned and digitized.

Most scanners should allow you to set the dpi guidelines. For normal sized pictures (4x6 and bigger), you should set the dpi to 300. For smaller pictures (3x5s, wallet sizes, etc.) set the dpi to 600. This will take MUCH longer than the pictures being scanned at 300 (which explains why it took me ALL DAY to scan pictures), but it's totally worth it, because you'll be able to enlarge these pictures with no problem.

At the VERY LEAST, please please please fix the red eye in your pictures. Nothing annoys me more then seeing pictures where everyone looks possessed! This should be a simple fix using Photoshop, Picassa, or any photo editor you have.

(My great-grandparents: John Henry and Dora Osborne)

Before scanning your photos, ORGANIZE them. It's doesn't take that long and it's really worth the time and effort. I usually just take a handful of photos and split them up into different piles. (some suggestions: one pile for each person in your family, trip photos, holiday photos, pet photos, etc.). Get some of those cool photo organizer boxes (they look like shoe boxes), and using the dividers and labels, place your "piles" of photos in the boxes. Then, very methodically, take each pile - scan it - put the pile back - and then move to the next pile.

It's tempting to just scan, scan, scan until you're through with all of the scanning, but I think that it's easier to organize your photos on your computer as you go. I just make a different file on my desktop for each "group/pile" of pictures and as I scan them, I throw them immediately into Photoshop, fix them, and then save them to the appropriate file. SUPER EASY. After scanning, say, all of the photos of my family members into their own separate files, I'll make a new file entitled Our Family Photos (or something like that), and drag all of the individual files into that one master file. Then, I drag that file into my Photo directory.

As I take pictures now with my digital camera, I just upload them to my laptop and put them into the appropriate file.

(Me (front), my sister Kristin, and cousin Candy Jo, with Grandpa Evans)

It really isn't that hard to take that HUGE box full of photos and digitize and organize. Think about how pleased your extended family will be when you present them with a CD full of family photos! I've been working on my family photos (ancestors) for awhile now, and in the very near future, I'll have almost ALL of the existing photos digitized and put onto CDs to distribute to all of my Aunt/Uncles/Cousins/etc. Someone has got to do it - and if it's this easy, maybe that someone should be you! In just a few weeks time, you'll have all of your photos in digital form, and ready to make into a book! (See my business blog for book ideas). Good luck. Email me if you have any questions: nafari01(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Matthew

Today is my baby's birthday. Matthew is 13! I thought I'd do a little tribute to him, so, here we go....
What an adorable baby! This was taken right after his first surgery on his eyelid. (Matthew was born with Marcus Gunn Jaw-Winking Ptosis. That's where the nerves that make his eye wink, and his jaw open and shut, are crossed in his brain. He has been through several surgeries - he is my hero. He was such a good patient. Such a happy baby. Hardly ever complained.
Here's Matthew on the bottom of the wrestling pile - like always! Daddy would have to protect him from those rough brothers!
After another surgery - see what I mean about a happy baby?!

One of my favorite pictures of Matthew. He was helping me decorate for Christmas.

At Children's Hospital in Philadelphia - before a surgery.

I found Matthew one day, asleep in his Blues Clues chair. Adorable.
Here he is with his potty chart - he is very proud!
Matthew was not happy that I put padding ALL OVER him so that he wouldn't get hurt if... I mean, WHEN... he fell. I even strapped a pillow to his butt. Haha!
Taking Blue and the rest of his favorite stuffed animals for a ride.

At Chuckie Cheeses

With Dad on the tube at Flaming Gorge.
Yet another surgery. Brave boy!
Visiting Yellowstone - he had a great time.
Matthew always opened his eyes REALLY big when we took pictures so that his left eyelid wouldn't be down too far. His eyelid is hooked to his eyebrow - so that's the way he keeps his eye open. I always thought that was cute.

At the neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.
One of Matthew's favorite Halloween costumes.
At Hogle Zoo, in the bird sanctuary.

Holding a school project...
Jumping on the new trampoline.
With his Goofy hat at Disneyland.

A Science Fair project
Yet another Science Fair project (do they EVER end?!)
12th birthday
Waiting to welcome brother, Grant, home from his mission to Japan. He hasn't seen him for 2 years! Matthew changed alot.
6th grade graduation
Playing pool at the Herron Family reunion in Heber.
Latest "Brothers" picture
Matthew Colby Herron - 2010

Matthew, I hope you have a great birthday. I love you. You have been the BEST kid - always helping out, doing so well in school. I can't believe you are a teenager! Here's to a great year!
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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys