Beautiful Places!

Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

It was so breathtaking!

Shear cliffs on all sides. You can’t drive through the whole thing anymore, there are too many people who visit. You park at the Visitor Center and ride buses with huge windows through the main attractions, getting off when and where you wanted to stop. Buses come by every 10 minutes or so. It was so fun though.

One of my favorite places was a place call “Weeping Rock”. About half way down this shear cliff, water in coming out of the rock. There is no obvious source. It drips down the side of the rock leaving moss growing there. Just a short distance below where the water starts coming out of the rock the rock caves in like the beginning of an arch. You can hike up and stand under where the water drips without getting wet.

It was beautiful!
On the road with some of our friends that we went with. They kept their sun roof open so we could enjoy the sights. So much fun!
This is our group of friends we went with. They are beautiful, too!

These Big Horn Sheep were not intimidated by us at all. They were just eating right next to the car. I was tempted to give this one below a pat on the rear, and I almost could have reached him, or her.

If you ever get the chance, visit Zion National Park.

It is such a beautiful place!

Family History Friday: Did They Serve Together?

My Great Great Grandpa Albert Fairbanks fought in the Civil War. His ancestry is Native American, English, Canadian, and French. He was born in what would become the state of Minnesota, in White Earth. He was part of a group of Native Americans and half breeds to join the Union Army to fight during the Civil War. He was a Corporal when he joined and a Sergeant when the war ended and he returned home.

My Great Great Grandpa Andrew Hanson fought in the Civil War. His ancestry is Norwegian. He came to America in 1857 with his wife and family. They put down roots in Fillmore County, Minnesota. He must have already loved the country because he joined the Union Army and fought during the Civil War. He served till the war was over and sent a letter home to his brother saying he needed a hat and boots to get home. The army gave them a ride home on the train, as far as it would go, then they’d have to walk the rest of the way.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, they were both in the Minnesota Infantry.

And they were both in “Company G”.

It does seem they were each in a different Regiment.

Andrew -2nd Regiment and Albert 9th Regiment.

After some searching, I’ve found that each Regiment comes from a different geographical location. So even though they both were in a “Company G”, they did not serve in the same Regiment.

I was thinking while I researched how neat it would be if they knew each other.

How wonderful it would be if they fought shoulder to shoulder.

It does appear as though they didn’t serve together, and that’s ok!

In 1864 the 2nd Regiment took part in the Atlanta Campaign and marched with Sherman to the sea. Wow!

The 9th Regiment spent part of their time protecting General Sherman’s railroad supply line from confederate raiders. Neat!

I am super excited to know for sure that they fought in the same conflict, and that they fought for the Union. I am so happy to know more about my Great Great Grandpa’s!  What hard working, service oriented people they were. Oh, and very patriotic! Family History is so fun!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

If I’d Only Known…

18 Years Old

When I was just a young girl,

in my teens, I would day dream about being married and having a family,


I wanted so much to be loved by a wonderful man, and to be the mama to some darling children.

I really wasn’t sure it would ever happen.

I had a lot of self esteem issues.

I didn’t think anyone would ever want to be married to me. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough; skinny enough, fun enough, lovable enough for someone to want to be with me.  And if there was never someone who wanted to be with me, then I would never get to be a mama. I always felt, and still feel, that the best place to raise children is with a mom and a dad married. These are my beliefs and feelings, based on how I was raised. So if no one ever loved me, I would never marry, and never be a mom.

I know this sounds a little dramatic, but I was a teenager thinking like a teenager.

I just wish I could have had my grandma self come visit for a bit, with my teenager self. It would have helped me to be able to relax and not worry so much.

I would tell my teenage self,

“You are beautiful and very lovable!” 

I would tell myself how wonderfully blessed your husband will feel to have you in his life.

That your children will admire the way you keep going even when you are overwhelmed and sad. I would tell my younger self that it might take a little time,

but it will happen,

and it will be wonderful!

You will be older than you thought you’d like to be married, but you will have good experiences that will add to your knowledge of life and how to live and love people.

Experiences that you would never trade.

23 Years Old


Then after some time you will have what you dream of, and it will be worth the wait, and oh, so, precious.

The best part of all of it?



Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Why do we not just trust our Father in Heaven has blessings, wonderful blessings coming our way? If I’d only known then, what I know now, I think I would not have been so hard on myself, I would have enjoyed the process of going through life, a little more.

Maybe there is something to that.

Maybe we need to trust, have faith that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and even though sometimes we have to go through hard things to get to the happiness, we can do our best to enjoy the process. Have “Joy” in the journey! It all worked out and I worried so much.

Happily Married for 32 Years!

One thing is for sure, I’m so happy to be where I am now. So thankful for a sweet Darlin, the opportunity to be a mom, mother-in-law, and grandma! Life is a blessing!

A Man of God.

Our sweet Prophet, President Thomas S Monson passed away yesterday.

I am so grateful for his life and example. He has lived a life of integrity, and service. Everyone should have an example like Thomas S Monson to look up to show how to live the best life.

My favorite quote of his is:

“Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

Other favorite quotes:

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”

“Choose your love, love your choice.”

“A happy home is but an earlier heaven.”

“A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder never likely to reach home port.”

“Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.”

“The future is as bright as your faith.”

He was called to be the bishop of an LDS congregation at the age of 22, with a membership of 1080 people, 84 of which were widows. He took good care of those widows, even speaking at all of their funerals. He was a stake president, a mission president and became an apostle when he was 36. He has been our prophet for almost 10 years. He lost his wife almost 5 years ago. I’m sure they had a beautiful reunion yesterday. We have enjoyed his wisdom and love for many years. The service he has given in his lifetime is immeasurable. He was 90 years old. We will all miss President Thomas S Monson!

“Don’t Postpone a Prompting.”

Having family members that I love and wanting to show them love is difficult at times. The older we all get, especially extended family, the harder it is to keep in touch and “love” each of them.

To me love = time.

That may not be how others receive love, but I usually have more time than money so that is how I show it.

The Prophet Thomas S. Monson said, “When [the Spirit] speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.” 

A few months ago I had a prompting.

I kept having thoughts of our nephew come to my mind. We hadn’t seen him for a while, and I said to my Darlin,

“We need to take Pearce out to dinner.”

I texted him, “Brett and I want to take you to dinner!’

He answered, ” Of course! What’s the occasion?”

I said, “We just love you! It’s a celebration of love!”

He said, “I’m a huge fan!”

We met him for dinner, and had such a nice visit. Our sweet nephew made a deal with the waitress to pay for the dinner. It was our idea, and he paid. What a sweet guy! We were so glad we had that time with him. He passed away in November. Can you imagine how I would feel if I hadn’t followed through on the prompting.

It takes time and effort to love each other, but it is worth it. I know that Pearce knew we loved him and that is so important to me. Another thing about the Spirit is that I feel like I will have help in knowing when to do something to show love, especially if I listen and do what the Spirit tells me. He will know I’m listening.

I will always remember how good it feels to do what I have been prompted to do.

Happy New Year! Happy 2018!

Happy 2018!

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

-Minnie Louise Haskins

Whenever a new year starts, I think of this introduction to Minnie Haskins poem. I am always a little apprehensive about the new year. Will it be a year of learning, growth, love, and success? Maybe it’s not good to have expectations. I don’t always do well when things don’t turn out the way I was hoping or planning. I know realistically, that there will be challenges, that’s what life is all about. We never really know what the new year will bring. Let’s see what happened in 2017.

This past year has brought many blessings and challenges:

*We were blessed in our family with a new grand baby. She is such a sweet little soul and has been so much fun to love and watch her as she learns new things. I can’t imagine my life without her.

*We found out that a family member has cancer. It’s tough to know those we love are going to suffer. Its hard to know how to love, and help them. Maybe praying for them is enough.

*We lost my husbands mom. She was 82 and lived a wonderful live, and had been alone since the passing of her husband a few years ago. I believe they are together now.

*Our young nephew passed away unexpectedly. He has been sick, but not with something we thought would take his life. He will be missed and I know hearts are broken from the loss.

*I was blessed to find and work at my dream job, at a flower shop. I love the flowers, the people I work with, and my boss is wonderful. I am so happy to have a job that allows me to make a living, and be creative. It is also a blessing to be able to bless other peoples lives with something beautiful that can ease sadness, and put a smile on their face. I love it!

* I have a family. They are a big part of my life. I am so grateful for a wonderful husband and amazing grown children. I have two perfect daughter-in-laws and one super son-in-law, the most precious grandchildren you could ask for, and extended family that are the bomb! What would I do without them? I don’t want to think about it. I have ancestors whose example and lives help me to keep going. Family is the best!

The thing that helps me as I think about the new year, is that God is a part of my life. All our lives. He is there to listen, bless and help us as we travel through the year. His hand and guidance is “better than light, and safer than a known way.” His love can help us through anything. Sometimes during the busy, hectic days I have to stop, and just listen. Feel my heart beating… is He close?  Yes. I know He is. Say a little prayer, and tell Him how much I love Him. I know He will help me as I go on my way. He will help you, too.

This last few years I’ve really struggled with depression. I have so much sadness at times. I have not done a great job on this blog, but I want to do better, and that is my goal. I hope that what I say can be a blessing to someone reading this.

Best wishes for the New Year! 2018!

Our Third Home.

While I was about 6-7 years old, we lived in our second home while my dad built our third home.

This was a busy time for my dad. He would work all day long and then  come home and work on the house until it was dark, sometimes he would work until after dark. I have no idea how he did it. How he came up with the drive to go and go like that, but he did. He did the majority of the work by himself. In his personal history, my dad said that he had help from the Elders Quorum (church group) putting up the huge 30 foot beams, no cranes were available to help lift them into place.

I remember missing my dad while he built this home, because it felt like he was always gone. Our second home was just down the hill from where my dad was building, and I remember before I went to bed looking up the hill and seeing the light on, knowing that he was still working so hard. My mama was always holding down the fort. She was the one who was always there, and supporting my dad and his dream of building a home himself. I have wonderful parents then, and now.

Finally, we were able to move in. It was such a nice home. It had beautiful fireplaces made with used bricks. Some of the walls were made with old barn wood. It was very beautiful and unique. It was a solid, well built home that had so much of my dads time and love in it.

The most fond memory I have from living in that house was that there was a creek across the street. No other homes nearby. I would spend hours there, playing by the creek. I was alone a lot, there were only a few friends, and they were not close by. I don’t mind being by myself for periods of time even now, and I’m thankful for my time alone there.

Another fun memory I have of living in this house is having my mom make me a picnic lunch and riding in my little red wagon down to the bottom of the hill. I would sit in the wagon and eat my lunch, then pull it back up the hill.

I will always look back on my time in our third home with happy memories and a love and respect for my parents who sacrificed so much for our family.

Missionary Monday: Sister H. in Tennessee!

Nov. 6th, 2017
Family and friends,
Today my email is mostly Written by Sister S, but I feel as though they are my words too
 This was a solid solid solid week. We were able to pick up a couple of new investigators and had some really awesome lessons with some current ones! One of the new investigators we found was named A.
We actually went to go visit one of our old investigators named R. but he couldn’t talk so we decided to tract his street. There was this SUPER CUTE kid just walking around his yard yelling who-knows-what, and it caught our attention! Then we saw a lady yelling at him to be quiet and decided to talk to her! She was so nice! We shared the “Because of Him” video with her and she started to really open up with us about her life. She started crying and told us that she didn’t know what to do or where to turn. She was going through a lot of really rough things and felt completely alone. BOY DID WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR HER! We talked to her about finding peace through the Savior and His Atonement. We shared some scriptures and our testimonies and left her with a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. She said we are welcome to come back so we will be seeing her next Saturday! But yeah that was a pretty cool experience.
Some of the current people we’ve been teaching are L. and C.! This last time that we went over there we decided to just have a lesson where we use the Book of Mormon to address any concerns they might have. Right off the bat they had some awesome concerns that we were able to address and WOW it was a spiritual lesson. It’s crazy how no matter what the concern is, you can always find answers through the Book of Mormon! Then we gave C. a church tour so she would feel more comfortable with coming to church for the first time. THEN THEY BOTH CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY! Wow it was so good to see them! They both had an awesome experience and kept telling everyone they would be back.
We also went back to teach D. and M. a baptism follow-up lesson but decided to spend time just talking to them and shared a simple video. THESE KIDS ARE THE CUTEST. We hadn’t been over since their baptism which was a few weeks ago and D. just kept saying how much he missed us. He kept saying, “it’s so good to have the sisters back again!” And hugged us probably 10 times each. WE LOVE THESE KIDS SO MUCH.
Wow it is so good to be a missionary. As some of you know, our mission just got approved for Facebook and that has been so good! I was a little skeptical at first. I really didn’t want Facebook. But after I’ve become friends with everyone in the mission, my news feed is completely filled with positive and uplifting messages and I just love it so much! Imagine how much good we could do if every member of the church just posted 1 uplifting thing a day. IT WOULD BE SUCH A POWERFUL THING. I encourage everybody to use social media for good!
We have had a great week, I love being a missionary.
Love, Sister H.

Family History Friday: Photos and Memories!

“Keep me. Protect me. Share me.”

Taking care of photos, and stories, so that others can enjoy them, too!

This is an ongoing struggle for me. How to keep, organize, and share my photos. There are many options. If you have a favorite way please comment and share what works for you.

I’m still trying to move my VHS family movies to digital. I have many photo albums and scrapbooks that have paper pictures in them. It is so important to organize them.

The stories are important too. My dad has very few pictures compared to those some people his age have, but he has written down so many stories, it’s not all that necessary to have pictures. I can picture in my mind exactly what he is talking about in each story.

“Listen! The pictures are talking! Keep me. Protect me. Share me. And I will live forever.”

One place you can keep your pictures is on Family Search. You can upload your families most precious pictures and stories for all to see and read! Maybe you can enjoy what others have shared on Family Search!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy


So Much Fun!!!

I am having so much fun at my new job!

It really is a dream job for me. I have worked at many jobs in my life. All have been useful in one way or another. I’ve learned a lot at each job. Some things I’ve learned are things I’d rather not experience, and some have been helpful time and time again in other life experiences. 

This job is a gift!

I feel blessed to have a fun place to work with wonderful people who I love. 

My favorite things about my job are these:

1-I am using the creative talents I have been blessed with to make something that will make someone else smile when they receive it.

2-My days are so enjoyable that the day is over before I realize it, and I haven’t missed being home doing things there. This has been a problem with other jobs, because I usually want to be home getting things done there instead of working.

3-Flowers are my favorite! I love all of God’s creations. I am in awe daily when I see all we have been given in this beautiful world. Flowers are such a sweet and delicate reminder that our Father in Heaven loves us, that our Savior and creator of the world would take the time to create the most tiny flowers. Some with heart shaped petals to show us- all of creation is important. If He cares about something so small, He cares about us, and the details of our lives.

4-I am so happy that what I do for my job is a blessing to others. I make a small contribution to making a funeral beautiful by delivering flowers for the casket. I get to see the smile on someones face when I show up at their door with flowers from someone who loves them. I get to create beautiful arrangements like the one pictured above that are lovely and brings happiness to others. What more could you ask for?

5-I get paid to do something I love, with people I love, and I get to bless and love others as a result of my work. 

I am so grateful for my new job! I will Bloom at my new job, and Plant in my heart and hopefully those I share my time with a love for beautiful flowers!!!