Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hope everybody is doing okay! With a facebook page, a blog, 3 e-mail accounts, and text messaging, we are just barely keeping up with everything! :)

We are all fine! There was an incredible shuttle launch this evening, just as the sun was setting and within a few minutes, it was several thousand miles down range.

Momma and I are signed up to attend a 'Tea Party' in Orlando next week; a mass protest over higher taxation. This is similar to the Boston Tea Party, staged by the early colonists to protest the high taxes the British levied. Apparently, these are happening all over the country and we want to stand up and be counted. We won't go down without a fight!

When we were at the Temple a few weeks ago, I had the chance to work with a group of kids from one of the wards on the coast. It was one of those evenings when everything seemed to be organized chaos. After a while, things started to settle down and the baptismal work got underway. In the midst of all this, one of my jobs was to collect the name slips after the baptisms had been performed and take them upstairs to be recorded. As I walked over to the font, I heard the name 'Charlie One-Feather'. I picked up the name slip and saw that 'Charlie One-Feather' lived in the 1870's and was member of Sioux Nation in South Dakota. It reminded all of us there that "God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth" (Alma 26:37) If he knows Charlie One-Feather, and saw to it that his temple work is done, then he knows all of us, too. It also taught me that as chaotic as our own lives seem to be sometimes, things will settle down the more we turn to our Heavenly Father for direction and answers.
We live in some interesting times, but there are many reasons to be happy and to help out other people. If we stay focused and keep our wits about us(a little humor never hurts either...), we'll be fine and there will be no reason to panic like the rest of the country is doing.
Enough of wearing my 'bishop's hat'...

We love you all!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hope everybody is doing well! We had some real 'fall' weather today with leaves falling all over the place and an all-day rain. Guess that can only mean one thing...New leaves are starting to bud out...the old leaves are falling all over the azaleas that are blooming!

We're all doing fine, though. Thought you all would enjoy seeing Duke in his real winter coat. It sure has made the others jealous, however 'Baby Boy' is quite the proud one! Around town, the new Medina Medical Plaza(a.k.a Medina's Pizza) is opening for business. Meanwhile, across the street, the Circle K has undergone a facelift inside and outside with a gourmet coffee corner and bistro to go with gas and groceries. Real exciting, isn't it??

We fed the Elders last week and I asked them to come down hard on us because we need to be bolder in opening our mouths. A day or so later, Mom was talking to an old friend who works at St. Cloud Florist and asked her if she'd like to read the Book of Mormon and she told Mom she'd love to. She asked if the missionaries could bring it by, but there are some husband issues, so we'll take it a step at a time.

Here's a morning shot of the lone pine in the back. It was early in the morning and this was one of those rare shots when the light was perfect.

Never forget how proud we are of all of you!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mom and I hope everybody is doing really well! Old Man Winter really paid us a visit this past week, with freezing temperatures for 4-6 hours non-stop! We had freezes 2 nights in a row and it hit all the fruit trees, the ferns, and the staghorn fern out front(see the pics). Oh yeah, don't feel too bad for us, it was 75(and clear) today...Also included is our new sign at the front gate!

Budinger Road, which used to dead-end at the turn-off to the city dump, is now paved and goes all the way down to New Nolte Road, near St. Cloud Elementary. It gives everyone another way to get into town besides Canoe Creek and Old Canoe Creek Roads.

The ward is doing fine. Cooper Cox was ordained a Teacher today, Sister Danley is recovering well from back surgery(she had a titanium rod placed along her spine), Emily Munns is really getting big(she's having a boy), Sister Melik is expecting a boy(after 3 girls), Kami (Pratt)Bova is expecting(?), and Monica(Fertic) Wright is expecting a boy. Good crop of future missionaries. Brook Pratt got married at the Manhattan Temple this past week and all the Pratt clan was up there. Lauren Solomon has started her missionary paperwork and will be home late this week to start the interview process.

Mom and I started working at the Temple this week. She goes every Tuesday(starts at 715am) and we both go every other Friday evening. Its a wonderful thing to be doing and the folks who work at the Temple are absolutely great! Just to prove I am doing my part, I've included a picture of the new me, minus the swatch of hair just above my lips! A small sacrifice for the experience!

Our hope for everyone is that we all remain steadfast and immovable and always abounding in good works. The Lord needs his people to be steady, consistent, and dedicated. Be prayerful about your decisions and take all of your problems, concerns, and fears and lay them at the Lord's feet. He has the power to help you overcome and conquer everything. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: "Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it...but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor." We love you all and are awfully proud of each one of you!

Keep us posted!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year! Its hard to believe it is 2009 already! One of our New Years resolutions is to try to live life more simply than we have. In an age when technology keeps you literally connected to the world, it is more important than ever to keep our priorities in focus and remember to not go after 'things' that really have no value or worth in this life. We must try not to compare ourselves or situations to others because we can always find those who 'seem' to have it better, but who in reality have their own set of troubles which are equally as challenging to them.

A great example of simplicity was your great grandmother, Bernie Sharp Pearce, Nan's mother. She was born May 6, 1897, in Kissimmee Park and died May 6, 1978 in Kissimmee. She lived in Florida her whole life and never moved farther away from Kissimmee than the next county. She raised her family, 3 daughters and 1 son, through the depression of the late 1920's and 1930's when food was scarce and work was almost non-existent. Her husband, your great grandfather, had to gig frogs and sell them for part of the depression and for several years they lived with his parents near their orange grove in Okeechobee. Their son died as a young child and her oldest daughter died in middle age. She was know for her ability to sew and create a whole wardrobe of school clothes for her children when there was a need, otherwise everyone used hand-me-downs. Life was never 'easy' in the sense we understand today, but she sewed and repaired, cooked the best cornbread dressing in the world, and was a very kind and gentle lady. The highlight of our days, when we were young, was spending the night at their apartment on Bryan Street in Kissimmee. She always kept our (my) favorite cookies(oatmeal-raisin) and let us stay up late on Friday nights to watch all of the TV shows! She died just a few months after I returned home from my mission and even now I still miss her. Her most famous words of wisdom to me were, "Don't go looking for trouble, because it will surely find you!" and "Don't just be busy for the sake of being busy!". Enough said...

'Granny Pearce' with our aunt Carol and Nan, on Nan's 1st birthday

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just a few scenes from Christmas time in Florida. From Mom's traditional 'Nativity Row' next to the kitchen sink to the tree with very familiar decorations to a hodge-podge of color to....what's that? Snow in Florida?!? Not exactly snowy weather Christmas Day, but there sure was a lot of foam on the surf at Melbourne Beach!

We did something a little different this year and spent Christmas Eve, Christmas, and a few days after at the beach! We highly recommend that for some wonderful R&R! We didn't want to be home if we couldn't have everyone with us(ahem....certain Idaho folks!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What an absolutely wonderful couple of weeks we've had with everybody home! Sadly, the time passes far too fast and its suddenly time for everyone to go back to school, work, and their own homes. Thanksgiving time reminds us about all of the blessings we have and we all hopefully name 'family' at the top of that list. The 'Proclaimation on the Family' promises, to all, that our greatest happiness and joy in this life comes from our immediate and extended family members. To our children: Mom and I are incredibly proud of each one of you and the good choices you have made and you are the joy of our lives together! To our son-in-laws: We love you like our own and are grateful for the valiant men you are. The new family members and friends you bring have enriched us!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another great lady in our family is your great-great grandmother, Ruth Anita Jones Chisholm. From her pictures you'll be able to see the resemblence to Momma and now you know where Momma gets a lot of her beauty! Ruth Chisholm (aka Mommie) was Nana's mother. She was born in Tennessee(in 1889) and moved with her parents to Florida when she was very young. Her father, Caleb Jones, was the pastor who established and built the First Presbyterian Church in Kissimmee(historic landmark). Ruth met her future husband Andrew Chisholm(also a pastor) at a church service where he was speaking after a friend encouraged her to go along. Nana was the oldest of their 4 kids and there was also Burke, Ralph, and Andy. The family lived in Kissimmee for a while before moving to Orlando, on Lake Pineloch.

Ruth was always 'dressed to the nines' and properly coiffed(always used Pond's cold creme every night), she loved gardening(hence Nana's green thumb) and is remembered for her great sense of humor! Her rose bushes were incredible and she could easily root a cutting and raise it until it was a bush. She was also a great seamstress and during the Great Depression would sketch the clothes in the department store display windows and would take the sketches home, make the patterns, and create the same clothes for husband and kids. During World War II, she worked at the canning plant in St. Cloud(now a part of Peghorn Park). On trips to the beach, she would tie ropes on the boys' legs and tie the other end to her own waist so that if they got into trouble in the water she could pull them out!

She could definately see the bright side of things and knew how to live life well until the day she died(1972).