In Utah we get to celebrate 2 patriotic holidays in the month of July. First we celebrate America’s independence from England and on the 24th we celebrate the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers into the barren Salt Lake Valley.
On July 5th we celebrated Alec’s 5th birthday. He is full of non-stop energy, a very busy and active mind and the softest heart for animals. He is autistic and very hyper but we have found that he will calm down for hours if he can hold our miniature pinscher named David. David is 14 years old. She too is full of boundless energy just like Alec. (Yes, David is a girl because we had a full size Doberman Pinscher who was male and named, Goliath. Our girl Min Pin had to receive the name David. LOL!} Now that she is aging and has lots of gray hair she has slowed down quite a bit. Alec loves to come to our house and “cuddle” with his “Gr-irly” by watching Nick Jr. and playing games on the iPad.
Alec is super smart and has been reading since he was 2 and a half. We are working on his aggressive behavior and learning to speak clearer. We love Alec so much. It truly is never a dull moment with Alec around. A great big love to our big 5 year old Alec!
As I drove by the Utah State Capitol last evening I was able to capture a stunning sunset on my iPhone. I sat there until the sun subsided and felt an overwhelming love for the beautiful setting I was witnessing and our freedom which we are celebrating this week. I am most grateful for the land of liberty and those who fought to keep America free. I was born patriotic and love America the beautiful. I am so happy to honor those who love America so much that they were willing to fight for our freedom today and in the past.
I taught singing to children from age 18 months to 12 years in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for more than 15 years. I loved teaching the children patriotic songs. We would march around the room with vim and vigor as we sang at the tops of lungs as we would wave American flags. One of the songs we would sing was “I Love My Land America,” author unknown, arranged by Hillary Abplanalp. The lyrics are below.
I love my land America with blue skies big and wide;
I love my land America with seas on either side
The prairie corn grows tall and green,
The wheat is amber gold:
The rivers run from mountain peaks where the stars and stripes unfold.
I love my land America, and as long as we are good,
The Lord will bless America in love and brotherhood.
Can’t you picture the scenes of America as they are described in the song?
One of my favorite patriotic songs is The Battle Hymn of the Republic which was written as a poem by Julia Ward Howe in February 1862.
Below is an excerpt from the webpage where I found some information for this post:
Here is “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as written by Julia Ward Howe when she published it in February, 1862, in the Atlantic Monthly:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
I was in the Jay Welch Chorale in the mid 1970’s. I always got emotional when we sang, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Next Sunday our ward choir will be singing this beloved song. Enjoy the beautiful rendition of the song by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have a blessed and safe fourth of July 2014.
Kaylin lives about an hour away from us so I don’t get to see her very often. Milt was gone fishing at Jackson with his friend Kip. I was going to be alone so I invited Kaylin to spend the week with me. Her school got out and it was perfect timing for her to take our neighbor’s sewing camp. Kaylin is so cute as she questioned me, “Do we spend the night at sewing camp?”
That girl truly makes me smile so much when I am around her.Kaylin and I had a great time together doing all sorts of fun activities. She learned how to thread the sewing machine and wind the bobbin and thread it. She learned how to use scissors and the iron. She made a sleepover drawstring bag which she is holding in the photo above, pink cupcake pajama pants, a floral ribbon bag, 3 headbands and I helped her with some shorts. She really enjoyed her time at sewing camp and hanging out with grandma. Kaylin is a very happy and sweet spirit. We all are blessed to have her in our lives.
We went to Moab, Vernal and Ferron in March. Our son-in-law’s uncle passed away and Patrick wanted to attend the viewing on Friday evening and the funeral on Saturday. We went along to watch the boys and entertain them while the family was at the funeral. We went to Moab a few days before the funeral to visit Arches National Park. I had never been and I really wanted to get a picture of the iconic Delicate Arch. The arch is one of the license plates that represents the state of Utah. The red rock scenery was heart-stirring. It was March and there were many snowcapped mountaintops dusted with a new spring snow. The mountains looked as if they were frosted with divinity contrasted with vermillion boulders.
The beautiful rose garden at Balboa Park was so fragrant and the roses were sensational. We were there the last few weeks in April and it was a sight to behold. I’m always amazed at the luring blooms that adorn the stalk of prominent thorns. Prickles are quick to grapple when you bend over to take in all the sweet smelling aromas of the garden. A rose is much like life, you have to bypass the growth steps, (thorns and briars) in order to reach the prize, (flower).
There is a talk by James E. Faust, entitled A Crown of Thorns, a Crown of Glory from April 2014 that can be found at the talk link in this sentence.
The talk relates the thorns to our life and how to avoid the dangers of the very real temptations that we individually must overcome. Here is a small excerpt from the talk:
“…..Likewise, mortality is “cursed” with the thorns of worldly temptation and the slivers of sin so that we can be tested and prove ourselves. This is necessary for our eternal progression. The Apostle Paul explained, “Lest I should be exalted above measure … , there was given to me a thorn in the flesh.” (2 Cor. 12:7.)…………..
“In our constantly changing world, may we continually cling to those things that do not change: to prayer, to faith, to saving covenants, to love of families, and to brotherhood. By removing the slivers of sin and the thorns of worldly temptation in our lives, and by denying ourselves and taking up our own cross and following the Savior, we can change a crown of thorns to a crown of glory……..”
I must conclude with my own advice, “Don’t let the thorns of life bring you down, remember the beautiful bloom and the sweet smell of the each individual rose as you travel down the path, we refer to as life. Enjoy the joy on your journey throughout your own possibilities and progression.”