Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lightning Struck

Wednesday morning I was laying in bed, enjoying the fact that there was no reason that morning to rush out of bed.  We had nowhere we had to go until later in the day, so I was in no rush to get up.  It was about 7:30ish.  I heard thunder and thought it was weird because there was no rain in the forecast. About 5 minutes later I heard another thunder way off in the distance.  I thought this was even more reason not to get out of bed because there was going to be a storm and we couldn't go out and exercise anyways. 

Another few minutes went by and then all of a sudden there was this huge flash of light right out of my bedroom window with an even bigger crack and a thunder boom all at the same time!  I jumped out of bed so fast, my heart beating, so glad I had gotten up earlier to go to the bathroom so I didn't wet myself!  I imagine I looked similar to Michael's sister the day that his dad came in and put a rattle snake in her bed while she was in it.  Had there been a camera rolling, I'm sure I would have won some money for it somewhere.  I jumped up, covers flying, eyes crazy, looking around like what the heck just happened!  I seriously had never heard anything so loud in my life!  I looked out the window expecting to see trees down or something destroyed or on fire, but I couldn't see anything.  I ran and got the kids up to get them downstairs in case there was some sort of severe storm on the way that I didn't know about.  It had barely started sprinkling.  I checked the weather and nothing.  There was this ever so small line of clouds showing on the map with a red center that just happened to cross over the top of us.  It rained for not even 5 minutes.  There was not another thunder or lightning that took place.  Within minutes, it was all gone.

We all looked outside trying to see if anything got hit but we didn't see anything.  Later that day, while Zane was out mowing by the barn, he saw it.  He came back to the house telling us he had found where it struck.  We all went out and there in the middle of this little grove of trees was the tree that had been struck.  It was an huge tree, one of the biggest in our yard I think.  The bark on one side was blown off from the bottom to the very top of the tree.  Bark and wood splinters were thrown all over the yard by the tree.  The tree still had a huge splinter of wood connected to it, but fallen down. It was crazy!  And so close to home!

The kids all thought it was cool and we had to take pictures and videos of it and tell everyone about it.  If you come to our house, you can bet that you will be taken out to the tree so they can show you up close.  Of all the serious, severe storms and tornado warnings that we have been in and not have anything happen, to have this little bitty cloud line pass over us and have lightning strike is crazy!

Here are a few pictures of our tree:

You never know what Nature has waiting for you ☺

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Build Upon The Rock

This world has been getting crazy!  Some days it really seems as if all hell has broke loose and nothing can stop it.  Evil has even reached our little small towns out in the middle of rural nowhere.  It really makes you think what will be next?  How much worse will it get?  How long will it take for people to realize change needs to happen - and not the change that it taking place right now?  How do we stand strong in our faith when it seems everything is attacking it?

Last night we had the privilege of feeding our local church missionaries.  Before leaving, they gave us a spiritual thought.  They read Helaman 5:12 to us.  It says, "And now...remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

I think we are for sure seeing the devil and his mighty storms.  Our religion, our freedoms, our safety, everything is being questioned , restricted, removed, fought against.  It's scary!  I see the things happening in the world and it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwinds and be overcome with fear and worry.  I think, how are my children going to survive this ever increasing wicked world?  It will only get worse before it gets better, we all know that.

Last night, as I listened to this scripture, peace filled my heart and soul.  Christ.  Christ will be the way to get through it all.  It doesn't mean that we won't feel any of this pain surrounding us.  It doesn't mean that we won't be affected by someone else's bad choice or by disease, death or heartache.  It does mean, though, that Christ will be the hope and strength that we need to get through it.  He is never changing.  He is solid and sure.  He is our Rock!  If we build our lives on Him, we can not be shaken.  When bad things come and hard times hit, we can have peace with the knowledge that all will be well with us. 

Jeffrey R Holland, a leader in my church, said this and I love it, “The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team's jersey we want to wear!”

We know who is in charge.  We know who will win this war that has been waged and is ever growing.  Why then, do we wonder what to do and how to do it?  We have the scriptures.  We have the gospel.  We have church leaders to guide us and help us.  We have prayer to communicate with our God in Heaven.  We have the Savior - His life, His example, His atonement.  We have what we need to choose our jersey, to fight this battle, to live our lives with hope and righteousness.  Jesus Christ.  His words, "I am the way, the truth and the light: no man cometh to the Father but by me." (John 14:5) In verse 27 of that same chapter He says, "Peace I leave with, my peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Our Savior and Redeemer, our Rock and our Salvation, will not leave us.  If we will follow Him in humble obedience, living our lives the best that we can, then He - our Sure Foundation - will not let us fall.  Build upon the Rock.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Weekend at the Races!

We just got back from our annual trip to the horse races.  We love going every year.  It's something that we look forward to every summer.  This time we got to bring a couple of Justins.  Dillon brought his friend, Justin and Maddi brought her "friend", Justin.  Everyone seemed to have a fun time.

We went to the races Saturday afternoon. Once the races were over we went to our hotel and swam.  The pool was small, but they all had fun.

 Before going to bed that night, Zeke had to make sure that all his animals had a soft place to sleep.  He even gave up his big pillow for his zebra and took a little pillow for himself.  It was pretty cute.
The next day we went to Cascade Bay in Eagan to swim and play miniature golf. The kids all had fun there going down the slides, floating in the lazy river and playing a round of golf.

After swimming, we went back to the races.  Our friends who had some horses running that day met us there.  We got to go into the saddling area and meet the jockey and watch him get on the horse before going out onto the track.  We watched some of the races down by the finish line.  The boys all picked their horses before the race and then kept track of who won and how many points they got for finishing.  I think Zeke won both days.  It was fun to listen to them talk, compete and yell for their horses!

After the races, they did a big fireworks show.  It was really neat to watch.  Monday morning we headed back home.  The kids were pretty worn out.  This morning everyone was pretty slow moving!

I love going every year, spending time together and watching the horses.  Makes me miss the horses and the horse life... So glad we still get to go and be a part of it every summer.