Sunday, August 31, 2008

So much to learn!

This is always a good day to put into writing spiritual things that are passing through my mind that I do not mind sharing publicly on a blog. However, I do have a place that I put down in a journal that speaks of things of a sacred nature, or one of private matters that only I should see. Just as I am sure you do too. I have risked my deepest feelings with some of you, that mean't I trusted you fully, but to my dismay I have found some to lack maturity in what I shared with them. So then I learn a great lesson over again on not throwing "pearls before swine". So be very careful as to whom you share things with.

So I have been studying the Savior's parables in the New Testament. They really do strengthen me and help me with the pattern of life, the ups and downs. They help me know how "to be" or letting others "just be" as they learn their own lessons in life.

I do believe in the principle of "endurance". I do believe that in the lessons of life, have much growth and learning in them that make us who we are. Often, it is difficult to see until you have gone through those hiccups or bumps in the road. I do believe I am a very happy person and a charitable one at that, I do understand that life will not all be roses, but rather ups and downs only to be experienced to become the Priests and Priestesses to our Father in Heaven. A pretty heavy doctrine. But yet so simple. I do love my family with all my heart! Every one of them has taught me some insights to fill in the puzzle. And now, with grandchildren, this is to be the most wonderful and joyful time in life through them. I believe we all deserve a piece of that joy. God gave them to me, as part of my family, for my growth and blessings. For that I am so grateful to Him, as those children and my children, though given to me to raise are not really mine, they are His. So I must be ever so careful and grateful.

So in my study of the Sermon on the Plain in the New Testament, this is what have pondered on: Luke6:20-30
1. Blessed on us who are poor in spirituality and who repent, we can obtain celestial glory.
2. Blessed are we that hunger for personal righteousness right now, for we will be filled with the Holy Ghost. And blessed are we that weep for our mistakes and sins and then repent for later we will rejoice.
3. Blessed are we when someone hates us, because we are doing what is right, and they reject you and insult or criticize you and ruin your reputation for the Savior's sake. There are those who do hate me. That is very hard to swallow, but I do know it's their problem.
4. But be happy when such things happen to you, because it will all be worth it in heaven when you get there.
5. He says woe, which is a very bad thing for Him to say, but he says woe to you that are full or those that don't think they need the gospel and laugh at righteous people and the gospel, for you shall weep later in this life or in the next.
6. He says to pay attention to his teachings, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you and pray for them that abuse you.
7. And when someone hits you on one cheek offer the other. It is better to offer the other, than to revile again. It is better to suffer thine enemy to take things away from you than to contend with him. Your Father in Heaven who seeth in secret, shall bring those who do this to judgement.
8. The major message is really this: is that we must developo self control, character strength, to the point that our personalities and dispositions are not dependent upon how others are treating us.

For really if we love only those who love us what reward do we have? Or if we lend to them whom we hope to recieve it is the same as the those who doing bad things.

Now, here is something that is so helpful in the scriptures that is most often misinterpreted.

Judge not unrighteously, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not and ye shall not be condemned; forgive and ye shall be forgiven. This means that we do not judge people as to where they are going to go, that is left to God, AND we also cannot hope they don't get a second chance. It does not say we cannot make judgements every day that will protect us or our families from the things of this world which are not good for us, or those who are not good for us by their lifestyle.

I love the parables as they are a story designed to teach a specific point, all of which I need to do better. I love the fact that as an imperfect being, I am allowed space to learn and to grow, but I also can hinder some one elses' growth by how I treat them. But Christ says, the true feelings and attitudes of our heart show up in the things we say about others. Luke 6:45 I can honestly say, I really want to be more like Him! It wasn't meant to be easy, but He did promise it would, in the end be worth it. Keep hanging in there. Face the future with confidence that all will work out and that no matter how others treat us, if we symbolically build life upon Christ and His teachings, we will not be destroyed by life's troubles or by the stingy acts of others. Pretty heady stuff, we are asked to do. But I believe we can do it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Only a Dr. could answer this!

Last night around 9:00 p.m. I received a call from one of our ward members asking a very interesting question. "Deni, I know you know music (haha), this little Korean neighbor needs this song for school. She says, she has to go buy it! It's by Rosin, "Eating Zombies from Outer Space!" I told him I NEVER have heard of that!! But as I got more information from him, that it was orchestral, she was in Junior High etc etc, I told him I know just the person who will know this! I'll call you right back! So guess who I called???? Yes, the one and only Dr. Joel Neves! PhD in Orchestral Conducting!! He would know. Sure enough as soon as I said it he said," That music is cool and interesting, yes, I have it! But she can't get it because only the Instructor can buy that, so there must be a glich in the translation for this little Korean girl." Well, in the end we were so happy we could answer that question for that little gal and that our own Dr. could answer it! Thanks Joel, you're the best! And yes, you are brilliant and should be at a University. They must be preparing for your grand entrance next year!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Football is here!

School starts tomorrow, peaches are starting to come on, allergies are here, and life gets back into routine! Say goodbye to the lovely days of summer and hello to FOOTBALL!!! Yeah, BYU football, first game at 4:00 p.m. Saturday against Northern Iowa!! Ahhh, the wonderful memories of all the games over the years, in fact, since 1970!! Go COUGARS! Oh and Joel, don't be walking around the room, we want to hear your cheers clear up here from Cedar!! lol

(awwww, I'll find a BYU picture, give me some time!)

The pig is pigeons!

Isn't it interesting how as we age we grow to love the very simpliest of things. This pigeon was so unaffected by humans. In fact, they loved us. We probably had around us 12 pigeons at our feet and of course, on Mikes' hand. They were so interested in what we might have in our cooler! Those little pigs knew we had food!
We were on Napili Bay, which is one of our favorite beaches, one that is calm like a lagoon. But guess what, it wasn't calm at all, it was 15 foot waves pounding in and ebbing at our feet. It was an incredible sight. The waves were so good, Mike, Chad and Janae couldn't stay away from the boogie boarding.
The rest of us stayed on the beach discussing the pros and cons of accountability in the PE dept of UVU and BYU. Fun and interesting! That is what I call it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fearless Daxton!

Daxton has incredible balance! Oh, and of course no fear of speed either!! He could ride down that hill with confidence that comes from practice and athleticism. He got that specific gene from his dad. Jon, was always so quick to learn skills, especially the physical ones. He came with all the natural talent anyone could have. As Jon was growing up on all the teams, he was always sought after. Even in High School Coach Gustin and Cooper used him for both JV and Varsity baseball. And Coach Rehrer used him for his tenure at Mt. View as a wide receiver. Jon was quite the player. Had he decided to go to college, (instead he decided to go on a mission for the first semester)he would have played (he was given many letters to Colleges to come walk-on) just as his brothers and father played collegiately. They played for BYU and for UVU/Lewis n Clark/Washington State! You just have to be disciplined, talented, and hard working to play for them.

Jon spent many a day with his brothers playing ball in the back yard, in fact, at a young age, I had them throwing rocks out of our yard into the field, which they say developed their throwing arms. Jon actually has forgotten more about baseball than anyone knows about baseball around here. He just had it. And now, his sons are carrying on the gene! Can't wait to see all you can do Dax!

Incredible Brayden!

So look at Brayden, skateboarding with the ease of a professional. Experimenting with the different tricks you can learn on one. Again, no fear. Just a love for moving the body and mastering skills.
This kid is definitely built like his dad, has his legs, hands etc. His walk. It brings back so many memories of when Jon was his age. Just happy to be alive!
I am so glad we have these two boys in our lives. They give us great hope for the future. You go Brayden, show us what you can do!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hawaii 2008

We went to Hawaii this year just Mike and I, with our friends Mel and Sue! We had a wonderful time, cruising (three of us got seasick) and seeing more of the island than ever. We went to Napili Bay, Wailea Beach, and many other beaches. We snorkeled, slept, ate, and played many a game. The only down side to all of this was the death of my stepmother, Maureen. I was very grateful to be able to talk to her on the phone while she was in a coma, but I knew she heard me. But more importantly I had visited with her the prior week for an hour just chatting. I thought it was really wonderful how she sounded so good, so energized. It was delightful. Since we couldn't get off the island of Maui for the funeral,due to the economy and airline situation over there, I sent two of my kids to San Diego. Nate and Lara. Nate spoke for me, (I emailed him my talk for him to read, which gave many wonderful FUNNY stories of my growing up years with Maureen) and of course, Nate made it even better with his twist on things. Lara sang Amazing Grace! I heard from my siblings how wonderful they were, and it touched them so much. Hawaii could have been better, but this is how life is. Full of unexpected surprises. It is really all how we deal with them, that makes us who we are.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where did all those years go?

Where have the years gone? Here I am from 4 years old to 21 years old to 54 years old! And notice, I don't have any pictures with just me! So sorry. But I just have one thing to say, I have more years behind me now than in front of me and I am just so grateful to Heavenly Father for the ride!

Couldn't keep me out of the water!

So, Sophia really wouldn't get in the water without someone whom she thought was not a roughhouser or a tease, there was no doubt the men were out of the picture after watching dad and papa with the other two, so it was either Mommom or Mamah. The problem was neither one of us brought a swim suit or "swisu" as Sophia calls it. So I gave it all up and got in with all my clothes on and everything. I have to admit it felt really good. But Sophie loved it and warmed up to swimming very quickly, before she knew it she was just floating! Way to go Sophie!

Bold Bria!

Bria Denise Pukalani Neves is always talking, and has a lot to say! She never stops thinking and never stops expressing what she thinks! Quite the interesting conversationalist. I wouldn't want it any other way. I always know what she is thinking, very intellectually honest and also quite beautiful.

The Creative Chloe!

This is Chloe Diane Laakea Neves! She is beautiful and such a creative, artsy kind of girl. Just can't get enough of it. So much so, she doesn't seem to have time to eat!!

A Pure Hawaiian Princess!

This is Sophia Blake Naauilii, isn't she beautiful!! Always laughing and always into things. Very bright girl, I think!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A very JOYFUL day!

SO, Mike has been off work due to his shoulder surgery and we have had much time to do things we haven't had time to do in a very long time. From cleaning out stuff, to writing, to studying and of course, going to the Temple. I have a large amount of names temple ready, so we have been busily doing initiatories, (which I love)(Baptisms I gave to the youth for youth conference) and sealings. Yesterday we did sealings at the Mt. Timp Temple, (usually we go to Provo) and as we walked in we saw Rich Osguthorpe coming out of the dressing room. We just about flipped with joy, (this is how heaven will be when we see all of those we have known and loved on this earth) and he said he was here for a family reunion, so we naturally asked, is everybody here? And he said yes, didn't you see them when you walked in? NO, we exclaimed!!! So out we went! And there was Lolly, Lisa, Aaron, Rich, and their spouses! We lightly screamed being in the Temple, and quickly hugged and talked about all the family! Then Russ came out and Emily and Russ Jr!! Oh, my goodness, were we really in heaven! Our families grew up together in this neighborhood and have many wonderful, sweet stories to tell of our children playing endless hours and us working out, and doing our yards etc. etc. (All when we had energy, mind you!) I have to say this, I felt this tremendous love and felt and remembered those years that passed so quickly and realized that our children were and are good human beings, out there trying so hard to find their way, but while growing up they were so carefree and now they are grown up themselves! Our boys would sell to each other back and forth for their respective sports, Nate would borrow encyclopedias from them, Lara and the girls would sing and play, and Lisa loved to play basketball with Jon. It was a wonderful reunion and I was so grateful for it, it was a sweet tender mercy the Lord had sent me, right when I needed it. The Spirit witnessed to me, MY family will be okay, and they will ALL come back to the Lord. And no one can take that away from me!
Well, it didn't stop there, we went in and did my families names, sealings to be exact and there was Sis. Ann Hull. She ended up being the daughter to the couples that Mike and I stood in for, and there we were the three of us partaking of wondrous things. I felt like I was going to cry with joy! Have you ever felt that JOY??? It was exactly that, I didn't want to leave when it was over.
But we slowly did, and off we went to the Ward summer party in South Fork Canyon that lasted all evening. It was a special day in which I must be grateful for, because there is always opposition, I love how He sends us joy at the same time we are receiving opposition, don't you??.
I hope you had a good day too! It saves us!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why do you write a blog?

This is especially for my daughter who writes a blog, a blog with real feelings, real experiences, whether it be good, bad or ugly, funny, or whatever! One that is full of life's experiences as her children grow and as she walks the path of life with her husband. I appreciate, as I know so many do, the fact she will put into words those experiences so as to "remember", to teach, to laugh at, and to give others hope as they walk their own path. You are so appreciated Lara for this. By the way, you can "slurp" your blog after a year. Talk to me about that and I'll tell you how you can do that for personal history purposes. Anyhow, she put me onto a blog the other day that was a spoof on blogs that was totally halarious. I'll come back with the address soon. But it's purpose was to make us take a better look at why we write what we do. If you are all flowery then you aren't real, is what I got out of it. So here is the challenge, start writing real things, real experiences without being unkind or a bully of course, because the reality is, we all need each other to get through this life. Some write just to record, some write to let others know of their current events, some write because they really have a hard time saying things. I find my blog writing to be reflective on thoughts I am having currently, how about you? What are your reasons for writing?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Knowing who you are!

While down in San Diego this last week being with all of my siblings, I had to record this experience so I wouldn't forget it. I felt it was so sweet. My brother Jon had a son by a previous marriage, and now two more children in this marriage. things have not always been easy, but it has worked out well, in spite of life's difficulties. But while we were all surrounding the dinner table, Trevor, this oldest son from his 1st marriage said. My mother called me Trevor Stevenson all my growing up years, that he went by that name in school and everything. I turned to Jon and asked him, did they want to adopt him? He said yes, and I would NOT agree to it. I told him, how proud I was of him for sticking to his guns. But then Trevor said, but as soon as I was 18 I told my mom, I am Jon Trevor Snell and that is who I am. I just wanted to hug him. Of course, I hugged him, I love Trevor, he is so wonderful. He recognized his roots and loved his father and would not deviate even though the marriage was dissolved. I felt renewed faith in this generation! This touched all of us, as we would hate it not to have Trevor. He is definitely his father's son! The sad thing this is what is happening all over the world these days due to the high divorce rate. It just is so tough. For that I am so sorry for many families.