Gallery Wall!

I put my cute Darlin to work the other day helping me put together this

wonderful gallery wall! 

I’ve wanted to do this for a while. I love the things we hung on the wall. Most of them belonged to or represent someone, or something that is important in my life.

The octagon shaped framed flower picture, on the top left hung in my parents room in the home I grew up in. My mom said it was her mom’s first. It is unique, and reminded me of my mama and daddy, and now my grandma.

The cute little shelf, is one of three like it that I have. They were my grandpa’s. It used to be  inside the old trolly cars that ran in Salt Lake City many, many years ago. They hung inside the Trolly above the seats upside down from how I have the shelf hung, which would give it a lip or edge to keep the things placed on them from falling off as the trolly traveled around town. I love that it was my grandpa’s, and the story of where it came from.

The clock is newish, but time and how we spend it, is important and it’s my love language. The family plaque is a reminder of what’s most important. The heart represents the incredible love I have for my life, and family. The key is the key to my heart, and represents the priesthood authority that my husband holds, and the authority that seals us together as a family forever. The S is the first letter of our last name, and also stands for, safety, sacred, serene, share, simplify, spiritual, steadfast, strength, strong, sublime, success, and sweet.

A copy of “The Living Christ” and “The Family-A Proclamation to the World” are important and inspirational documents that represent what we believe, and was written by the leaders of our church. A copy of the Bible and The Book of Mormon are laying on the cute little trolly shelf. They are both very important books to our family.  

My darlin and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple which is pictured on the little plaque on the shelf. It was given to us by our son, Riley and his wife, Janet.

And last of all is the sign that says: Happiness is a choice. No matter what is going on in my life, I can choose to be happy.

It’s a good reminder!

And let’s not forget the important picture in the middle. This is our most recent family picture.  Taken in our yard, with my Darlin and I, and some of our grandkids sitting on the bench. The bench that was made out of our old bed frame. Oh, how I love these people!

What a blessing to go through life with them!

I love sitting in the family room and looking at this wall. It is perfect to me!

My Job List!

I have in my notes on my phone a list.

At first I called it: Past Jobs/Past Regrets. 

I have had many jobs in my life. I didn’t really mean to have many jobs, but it just happened. As my Darlin and I would drive around town here or there, I would say, “I worked there!” He said I needed to make a list. I thought that might be a good idea just for fun. So I did. I started my list with my first job after babysitting as a teenager.

Let me name a few of my jobs: picking cherries, fast food, summer recreation, t-shirt store, flowers, phone sales, motel, delivery, Fitness instructor, retail, amusement park, selling knifes, photographer assistant, Cosmetology, book store, personal assistant, dentist office, daycare, lunch lady, real estate, and insurance, just to name a few.

I can’t say I’ve spent a lot of time at each job.

Some jobs I just tried, to see how things went.

Sometimes the employer called me to offer me a job. Yes, that happened.

Sometimes I was in desperate need of a job to help pay bills, and took what I could get.

Sometimes I wasn’t a good fit for them, sometimes they weren’t a good fit for me.

I wouldn’t trade any experience I have had. I have learned so much, and all of that experience is part of who I am.

I ran into two of my friends at the grocery store, and they were asking about my job at the flower shop. I told them how much I love it. How blessed I feel to have it. Somehow my job list came up in the conversation. They said they wanted to see it. I pulled out my phone and showed them the list. They scanned down the list, asking about this job or that. I would tell them about some of my experiences. They said they didn’t even want to go to that many interviews, let alone work at that many jobs. They told me I was brave, motivated and amazing. I loved that. They said, “You need to change the name of your list to: “My Bravery and Experience”, list, which I did.

My last job on my Bravery and Experience list is my last, best job @ the flower shop!

I love my job! Sometimes you have to go through some hard, not fun, jobs to get to your last, best job! I’m glad I have “My Bravery and Experience” list, and to have all the bravery and experience to go with it!

Missionary Monday: Elder F. in Ghana!

My trainer is going home. This is the last picture we took.

This last week Elder A. and I had the wonderful opportunity to venture into the Upper East region of Ghana, where the Church has one branch. We conducted companionship exchanges with our elders up there, and it was a blast. The branch there is doing AMAZING. It was great to go up and teach a bunch of people. Thursday I was with Elders A. and S., we rode bikes all around the area and taught like crazy. I love building relationships with the members of our zone, and it was really great to see our elders that are so far from our area (about 3 hours to be precise). The scenery is different than our area, I tried to take some pictures to show you.

We also had a zone conference this past week. President Cosgrave came up and the whole zone gathered for the meeting. We talked a lot about the power of prayer and what it means to plan with a purpose. As I looked around at all our zone members, I could not help but feel gratitude in my heart for each and every one of them. T. really is a special place, and the missionaries in our zone are what make it so great. I will be so sad to see some of them leave on transfer.
I have come to understand that one of the reasons I love T. is because of the challenges. In order to succeed here, you need to consciously rely on God in everything you do. My prayers have become a lot more sincere since I came to this place. I have started studying the life of the Savior in greater depth. I have committed The Living Christ to memory, and I always recite it to myself when times are tough. T. is such a blessing to me and my conversion, and I will forever be grateful for it.
I hope many of you were able to see the broadcast from the new First Presidency. We are so blessed to have inspired leaders on the earth today. I know that as long as we follow their counsel, we will be blessed. I hope all of you have a great week, and remember to KEEP ON THE COVENANT PATH!
-Elder F

Family History Friday: Organizing Blog Posts!

My Great Great Grandpa Albert Fairbanks!

I wasn’t able to come up with a good FHF post, so instead, I’m just going to remind you how important it is to be as organized as you can be. Organizing in a way others can follow, or take up where you left off.

I want my family to be able to find these stories and posts easily, because I have made it easy.

I hope!

I am going to post this and spend the next week organizing what I’ve already got on the blog! You should go through and organize your papers, stories, and scrapbooks. Put them in categories, organize them by dates. Put labels on them. Put them a loose leaf binder. Start a blog and add the stories and information. Share your family life. as well as, so you distant relatives can know these things too! It is fun! I promise!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy



This cute little family belongs to my cousin Vickie. They are wonderful!Me and my cousin Vickie are only two months apart in age. Our moms are sisters. We have spent lots of time together our whole lives. Many family parties, sleepovers, and fun. She and I are very different, in many ways, but we love each other.

Today is her birthday!

She an a very determined, survivor. She has been through some of the hardest experiences and just keeps going. Maybe she is just stubborn. If she is, she gets it from our grandpa. That’s not a bad thing, sometimes you need to be stubborn to let life know that you can’t be beaten. You might get thrown for a loop, knocked down, but never beaten. She is very loving, a hard worker, widow to her sweetheart, an amazing mom, wonderful nana to sweet grand babies, and has a forever family that is very admirable.

I hope she continues to have a determined heart and to know that she is very important to me and that I’m so grateful for our friendship and love for a life time.

HaPpY bIrThDaY!, Vickie!!!



I hate it, but “it must needs be, that we have an opposition in all things.”

According to a Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi it is part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. The plan that allows us to choose and experience life on earth.

The part that is not my favorite, is the part about going through bad, so we can appreciate the good.

I have been sick for the last few days. I was dealing with a lot not pleasant things that my body was doing. And I had many thoughts cross my mind that I hate being sick. I don’t ever want to be sick!

I hate it!

Then I remind myself, if I was never sick, I wouldn’t appreciate how good it feels to be healthy. We actually had this illness going through our family. I told Kelsey, I don’t know how people who have to deal with a long term sickness do it. These people who don’t feel good for weeks, or years, and seem to still be able to have a positive attitude and a smile on their face. They are amazing. I’m grateful for their example.

I am so happy I’m feeling better.

And pray others who don’t feel good, will feel better as well.

Yay, for opposition!!! Yay, for bad and good! God is great and I’m grateful for His beautiful plan of happiness!

Missionary Monday: Hermana W. and Sister H. in Georgia!

Dear Family & Friends,
I think I can honestly say these past two weeks have been the best of my life thus far. Sister H. and I have seen so many miracles, our days have been so full, and we have been just loving these people.
So it is really difficult to say goodbye to her in a few days…  she is going to TN, which is apparently pretty country so that will be fun for her, and as for me I’m getting a brand new missionary that I get to train here in the best place in the world. So excited.
People I care about and a few miracles
La familia R. – we showed up last week way earlier than usual because of some scheduling conflicts without telling them and to our great surprise and joy, their son M. opened the door! We love him and his daughter and just had a wonderful time talking about Jesus Christ over Peruvian cheese and popcorn. He asked us to give him reading assignments to whip him into shape to start reading and we are so excited to be a part of his life.
La familia D. – So this is an awesome story. About two weeks ago we first talked to a young guy D. as he was walking out of his car. He grabbed some chairs and we had an epic first lesson. Then we come back, he’s not there but get this his brother J. is there and we have a great conversation in the door and give him another Book of Mormon. We come back a third time and everyone is partying inside but J. invites his whole family to stop and listen so we have a crazy but awesome lesson. Then we teach J. and D.’s sister M. and her boyfriend J. with their mother M. They tell us to come back every day. We teach J.,M., J. and D. the next time and ask them to read the plan of salvation pamphlet. We come back yesterday and M. hands us a paper of all the questions and answers they found in the scriptures together and they stayed up until 3am doing it and she didn’t want to stop! We had a fantastic lesson and then stayed for dinner with homemade tortillas, Chile relleno, arroz, y flan. They just made us a part of their family and I love, love, love, love, them. In the end we sang songs and played guitar and their kids begged us to come back for dinner tomorrow.
D.!!!! – D., a woman I wrote about from England whose door Sister M. and I knocked on is getting baptized she had been “taught” by sisters in the past but really started to take it seriously when we came. She didn’t like church at first but we promised her that it is a place where the spirit can be felt if she is open to it and here it is God really does back up our promised, when we’re not there to see them be fulfilled
E. F. – an absolute miracle. We went to the bank to cash a check and the English/Spanish teller read my name tag and was curious about who we were and what we do. We awkwardly spewed out a couple points from the Restoration and then gave him our number and HE called US that night. That never happens! We met up at a his pizza joint and talked for hours about all his questions about religion, our lives, him growing up in Central America, his dreams to do good and give back in the world, our dreams. He is so intelligent and wonderful- It was so nice. We walked out beaming ear to ear. And he’s already started reading the Book of Mormon
At the D.’s last night I asked them the question before we really got into our lesson on the plan of salvation what is joy? They responses ranged but mostly centered on family and learning about God. In the end they told us that what we were doing right there with them was joy. They thanked us for our sincerity and honesty and told us they were feeling something they hadn’t felt in 20 years. That was joy. I know that joy comes from God. Joy isn’t a fleeting sensation though it was so intense last night. Joy comes from learning about and knowing our part in God’s plan, and then making it happen by serving Him and reaching out to his children in need. Paint a bright spot in your heart for me and do something for someone else today!
Hermana W
and Sister H
(written by Hermana W)

Sunday Best!

“This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that elusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.” -Thomas S. Monson


Our sweet “Bonus Baby” Emily was sharing a thought with her dad and I the other day about time. She said she’d been wondering why God only gave us 24 hours in a day to get things done. Then she told us that she feels like He gave us only 24 hours in a day so we would have to choose what is the most important things to spend our time on. We are showing our Father in Heaven what matters most to us by how we spend our time.

Are we spending our time on what really matters?

I also love so much that President Monson said to “find joy in the journey.”

So let’s “spend our time on what matters most” and “find joy in the journey”!!!

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy


My friend Melissa is a hero! She is so noble. She is the kind of gal who would do anything for you. She was able to donate a kidney to one of our other friends who had sick kidneys and needed his removed. When our friend was getting sick the family got the word out that they needed a donor. Many people tried to be a donor. There are lots of things that need to be just right to be a donor. After many people went through the process they found a match, and it was Melissa! She would be the donor! She would save a dad, a brother, a son, a husband. Because of her another life is saved! 

I knew that I would not be able to donate a kidney. I’m old and I am not in good enough health. But I still wanted to do something. I wanted to make a contribution. So I made Melissa an arrangement. She loved it! I had a nice visit with her and she is doing great.

What a wonderful woman.
What a wonderful hero!

Family History Friday: Collectables #8 Grandma Norma’s China

My Grandma Norma loved beautiful things.

She didn’t have a lot.

She and Grandpa were married during the depression and did their best to make a beautiful home for my mom and her sister.

When my mom was old enough to get a job, she saw this beautiful set of china and bought it for her mom. I love that! She was thinking about something her mom would like to have, and got it for her.

When I got my first job, I don’t remember thinking about my mom, except that she wouldn’t have to buy me school clothes anymore.

Years ago my mom invited me and my Darlin over for dinner. Just us two with my mom and dad. It was so special. She served dinner on these dishes. They felt very light weight and delicate. I thought, if my mom ever gives these to me, they will never be eaten on again. I was so afraid they would break.

Well, she did give them to me!

They are on display in my china hutch.They mean so much to me, because she bought them for her mom with money from her first job!

There are so many stories that are associated with the things we have in our lives. Don’t forget to tell the stories to those you love, and especially to someone who might eventually have the things in their home.

They can pass the item down to their kids along with the story!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy