This Mom!

This mom right here- is the mom to two of my grandkids.

I love her so much!

This mom knows how to love, and teach.

I love this picture, because it shows her gift for patience. She is such a good mom!!

Look at these two cute boys, too!  

Happy Birthday, Amber!!!

Happy Birthday to this amazing daughter-in-law!!!

I am so blessed to have you in my life!!!

Your are- a good student, beautiful, sweet, a guinea pig lover, fun, a hard worker, talented, sometimes stressed, mostly happy, patient, motivated, spiritual, a good teacher, a perfect match for Alex, huggable, thoughtful, a fan of U. of U., adaptable, responsible, and a forever lover to Alex!!

I hope all your dreams come true!!! 

Love you, darling girl!

Missionary Monday: Elder F. in Ghana!

One of my favorite artists back in the U.S. said “I’ve achieved a lot in life, but what’s a lot with more to gain” and “I’ve been patient, never complacent”. This past week I talked to some of the return missionaries here in this area, and they have really helped me gain a better perspective on life and on missionary work. A lot of times in life I think we see things through narrow vision. We set our sights too low. We get caught up on small things. I see it happening to myself all the time. One of the most dangerous things that can happen to us is getting stuck on our successes. It is good to celebrate, but we should always be looking to expand and work harder. We should be patient, but never complacent. I am a firm believer that the adversary uses laziness and stagnation to deter us from our heavenly course. Don’t let him get the best of you.

The work here in this area is progressing well. Brother I. will hopefully be baptized this week. We are meeting new people all the time. One of the coolest things ever happened this week. Elder D. and I started teaching someone who Elder A. decided to drop from our teaching pool. We began teaching him and reminding him of the wonderful things he felt when he was taught the first time. In a lesson we taught him about the Holy Ghost and baptism, Elder D. felt prompted to do something really powerful. He looked at this brother and said “I want you to be silent for 60 seconds. All of us will be quiet and I really want you to focus on how you feel. I know that you will feel the Holy Ghost. When the 60 seconds is up, tell me how you feel.” We all went quiet. 5 seconds later, he exclaimed “I know that this is the truth!”  It was so amazing to see him find the truth so boldly and instantly. He is a man of great faith. He came to church on Sunday and I know he will progress well.

Life is great. We got water back. I am learning how to cook all sorts of great Ghanaian dishes. People here loooove cassava and plantain. They use it in almost everything. They also love pepper, which is alright with me! The soil in Ghana is very fertile, so a lot of people have farms, where they grow all their cassava and plantain. Ha. It is one of the most popular professions. People here are also super good with their hands. Seeing a Ghanaian in the kitchen will blow you away! The people here are absolutely amazing. I will send a video of me pounding fufu very soon. I am learning new things every single day and trying hard to become like a Ghanaian!

Have a great week everyone. Stay blessed.

-Elder F.

Sunday Best!

I belong to the greatest women’s organization on the earth!

It has been 175 years since it’s organization. It is called the

Relief Society

of

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was organized in 1842, and since then the women of the Relief Society have done so much to bless the lives of others. In this organization we call each other sister.

Linda K. Burton who is the President of the Relief Society today said, ““The First Presidency has told us who we are: beloved daughters of Heavenly Father and dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ who are part of a great worldwide sisterhood, there are almost 7 million Relief Society members in 185 different countries. We are sisters.”

———————————————————————

All adult women in the Church are members of Relief Society. The Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society on March 17, 1842. He taught that the Relief Society was organized for “the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes.” In addition, he taught that the Relief Society was “not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.” The larger part of the work of Relief Society today is “to look after the spiritual welfare and salvation … of all the female members of the Church.” The Relief Society was “divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God.” It operates under the direction of priesthood leaders. (See Handbook 2, 9.1.2.)


When I think of the blessings I have received in my life from being a part of the Relief Society organization I am so grateful for it. I have not only been blessed by the service of my sisters in the Relief Society, but I have had the opportunity to bless other sisters with my service. It is such a blessing to be part of such a wonderful organization!

Happy Birthday Relief Society!!!

Hope your Sunday was the Best!!! Love, Joy

Happy Birthday, Flexy!!!

Happy Birthday to a sweet and loving son!!!

I am so blessed to have you in my life.

You are- a hard worker, a good provider, a chef, a handyman, patient, sensitive, strong, easy going, handsome, a good friend, spiritual, a good teacher, smart, responsible, quotable, slow and steady, my third child, so much fun, a sleep anywhere guy, my second son, a fan of South Africa, a giant soul, a soda lover, and a soda maker, a family guy, and a forever lover to Amber! 

I hope you have the best of everything! 

Love you, sweetie!!!

Doors! and St. Patrick!

I love to look at doors! The things shared on doors are always interesting and fun. The door above in my parents door. Of course it’s March, and I think we all become a little Irish in March. It’s just a fun holiday. 

A holiday celebrating, St Patrick who was kidnapped from his home in Britain, taken to Ireland, and held captive for years. He later escaped and returned home to his family. He became a priest and returned to Ireland. He is celebrated as the one who brought Christianity to Ireland. I love the idea that he was able to forgive the people who kidnapped him, and bring religion to them. Teaching us all that forgiveness is necessary to move forward and bless others. 

So, back to my parents home, and door. My mom loves to share cute and fun decorations on her door. I couldn’t resist taking a picture today when I went to visit them. I love this Celtic Cross and Irish Prayer.

“My God give you…

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial. 

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,

And an answer to every prayer.

I hope we all enjoy the little lessons in history, and to celebrate them when the holiday comes!!! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Getting Ready for a Baby Shower!!

Our sweet “Bonus Baby” daughter is having a baby!!

A little girl!

Yay! I’m so excited to be a grandma again! It really is the best! We’re having a baby shower for her this week. I’ve been getting decorations made and organizing the menu.

I remember when my kids were little they used to ask what a “baby shower” was. I told them we all get nakey and get in the shower together. They were usually pretty concerned & surprised. Then I would tell them what a “baby shower” really was. 🙂

We’re celebrating the baby that is on the way! And giving gifts to a sweet daughter so she is ready when the baby comes! This will be my daughters first baby, and she is over the top excited to be a mama. She will be a wonderful mama, I’m sure!

The theme is hot air balloons. I thought these turned out super cute! I got the idea off Pinterest (of course). I bought the baskets at the D.I., bought a package of three paper lanterns, got some cute scrapbook paper for the pennant banner, some cotton string, and some sparkly tulle. Oh, and just a few flowers for the top of each “hot air balloon”.

Don’t you just love parties? I do! It’s so fun to plan and set up, and then see everyone enjoying themselves. I sure hope they do! I’ll take some pictures and share them after.

Have a great day!!!

Sunday Best!

      “If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right.” -Howard W. Hunter 

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy

Ten Things Tuesday!

In case this is your first visit to ourjoyfulnest, I need to tell you that we moved almost 2 years ago. Our old home was over 3000 square feet and our new (old, built in 1906) home is 1500 total square feet. This has been a good and needed challenge for us to fit in this cute little home.  So we came up with “Ten Things Tuesday!”

First it is the cutest little home we’ve ever been blessed to lived in.

When we first moved, we divided all the furniture and things with our kids. We brought to our new (old) home way too much in the beginning. It worked out though, because we needed to go through the things and decide what we really needed or wanted.

This process has taken time.

We’re about there, as far as fitting in our home goes, but you know how things come in on a constant basis? We’re bringing home new purchases, or celebrating Christmas or whatever. It starts to get thick around here with things.

So the way we alleviate the problem of getting too much stuff is a weekly purge. We call it “Ten Things Tuesday.” We have a spot located near the back door that we collect the things that need to be donated. If we are consistently donating items to the DI (Deseret Industries) then the likelihood of having too many things that fill up the house goes down.

We donate “Ten Things” every “Tuesday!”

It is a great way to stay on top of the clutter and mess that builds up in our lives.

The Winter Solstice!

Years ago, I taught a sweet and clever young boy in Primary.

He is the son to one of my friends, and I knew/know him very well.

It was about this time of year that I was teaching them and asked the children, “Who can tell me what we celebrate this time of year?”

They looked like they were thinking. It can’t be too hard, it’s just a week or two before Christmas which is like almost all children’s favorite time of year.

I waited, and waited.

Then Parker raised his hand, and said, “Well, you could celebrate the Winter Solstice!

Wow! That was a surprise!

“I guess you could,” I said. I couldn’t believe such a little guy could have even heard of the Winter Solstice. I told him I was actually talking about Christmas, and all the kids got big smiles on their faces, and we continued to talk about Christmas.

I went home from church and did an internet search of the Winter Solstice. It was very interesting. It is a pagan holiday, so I didn’t really want focus too much on that, but I found out that it is the shortest day of the year. After the Winter Solstice the days will get longer, and eventually the days will be brighter, as we leave winter behind.

I thought of the symbolism that we could think of, if we chose to. I like to think of our Savior as a light. He is the light of the world. At this particular time in the history of our world many are very far away from the Son. There is so much darkness. It makes me sad. But, I choose to focus on the fact that this darkness cannot last. It will get brighter. The Son will be close and will bless our lives with light, someday He will bless our lives with light forever. I consider the Winter Solstice a day to remember the Son, and how His light blesses us and how much I want it in my life.

So every year since that day in primary, I call Parker to wish him a Happy Winter Solstice.

We had Parker’s family over for dinner last week to celebrate the Winter Solstice, and talk about light, and how important it is to us. Parker knows he said that comment about the Winter Solstice, only because I remind him. He doesn’t remember saying it. Cute.

I am grateful that my little friend Parker, who is now 14 years old, blessed me years ago with a new way of thinking about the cold, dark and short winter days.

Hang in there! The light is coming! The days are getting longer!