Friday, September 30, 2011

Mission Reunion

Last Thursday we had our Mission Reunion. It is always so wonderful to have our missionaries come to our home and visit with us! I felt very humble to have so many of them tell me that they are praying for me. In fact, one sister said that she wanted her children to meet me so they would know who they were praying for each day.

Rich has always wanted to be a mission president. He would mention it to me years ago and I would say, "I don't have a desire to do that, it either means leaving my children or grandchildren or both!" But the Lord softened my heart. He placed in my heart the year 2001. I told Rich this about a year before our call, and he said he thought that was too soon. So when we were called to President Packer's office in December of 2000, Rich just said "it's happening." And so we went to Daejeon in 2001.

And now I'm so grateful that we did! The wonderful experiences we had and people we met will be a treasure for eternity. And we have all these wonderful missionaries who fasted and prayed for me. I really believe that the researchers at Northwestern University who made the breakthrough discovery of the cause of ALS were inspired by the many missionaries who fasted and prayed for me. Don't get me wrong; it's not about me, but the faith and prayers of missionaries who gave their all for the Lord for two years and learned a most difficult language so that they could teach the people of Korea.

If we hadn't been called early in our lives, perhaps we wouldn't have been able to serve as mission president now that I have this disease. God has a plan!

So at this mission reunion I am especially thankful that we were able to serve and have all our missionaries as eternal friends.

I couldn't have done it without Jenny! She's my personal assistant. On Tuesday she helped me clean the house. On Thursday she made six boxes of brownie/cookies. She stayed and clean up after it was done. She's awesome to help me so much as I don't have quite the energy I used to.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Joan with Bob Bockholt, she doesn't look very happy about having her picture taken!

We met Joan Hixon when Rich was made the Bishop of the 9th ward in September of 2005. Joan was 73 at the time and a widow. The word that comes to mind when you think of Joan is: Character! She is a character with a heart of gold. A few years ago I became Joan's visiting teacher. She's a joy to visit because she just enjoys it so much having people come to her house and visit for an hour or so. She often commented that she wished we came twice a month. Even better than that was taking her out for lunch. She loved to go out to lunch and visit with the sisters. We started inviting her to Sunday dinners at our house. She would love to visit with all the members of our family and she would be funny and sarcastic. She loved all young people.

Last month my partner, Shelby, and I had an appointment to take her to lunch on Tuesday, September 13th. I had invited Jenny to come along because Joan and Jenny like each other! When we got there to pick her up there was no answer at the door. She usually is ready and waiting by her garage door. We saw that her car was in the garage and knew she must be home, and then we were worried that something was wrong. We knew we just had to get in there and check on her. We tried breaking the glass on the french doors on her patio, but it didn't work. Then Jenny tried a couple of kick-boxes to the door and it opened. We ran in but her bedroom door was locked as well. Jenny was able to get that lock open with a knife from the kitchen. (Who knew Jenny was so good at "breaking and entering"?) We found Joan on floor of her bedroom; she had had a stroke. We immediately called 911 and got an ambulance there and took her to the hospital.

Subsequently, Joan died a week and a day later. She will be missed by our ward family. She was a bright spot in our ward on testimony meetings; you would never know what she was going to say! She was generous to a fault. She would take in stray people and pets without restraint. After I got sick she would call every day to see if she could do something for me. And then she would call Rich when I wasn't around to see if I was "really okay."

Some of us sisters got to dress her body in her temple clothes. It was my first time doing that and I found it to be a very spiritual experience. I was able to lead the singing at the funeral and Rich gave a great talk; just what she would have wanted.

I'm just grateful that I got to know Joan Hixon and that she was part of my life for the last six years. I'm sure that the moment she passed through the veil she felt the love of God overpouring because she was a good person.

Rich and I with the flowers we gave for her funeral

Saturday, September 24, 2011

RS Retreat at the Cabin

Last Friday night we had our ward's RS retreat at our cabin. Five of us decided that we should have a two-day retreat so we went up on Thursday. We had lunch at a Mexican place in Midway and then did a little boutique/gallery shopping on our way. It was so delightful to just take our time and enjoy ourselves with no plan. We watched "Seventeen Miracles" Thursday night. I had seen it so I was able to not sob audibly - as I did the first time I saw it. Friday night we had dinner and played games and watched movies. I saw "Soul Surfer" for the first time; it was excellent. It was great to just relax with each other and enjoy some "down" time with our sisters. It wasn't long enough! We literally could watch the fall colors changing! When we first got there there were some patches of orange, and when we left the whole hillside was bright with autumn colors!

lunch in Midway

the sisters at the cabin

beautiful fall colors!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Such Love

This lovely card was sent to me today by Rich's cousins in California
Neena wrote: I loved the quotation on this card and thought instantly of you

I have indeed been blessed because of my ALS. So many people have expressed their love to me. I feel so blessed to have the love and prayers of so many. I thank you with all my heart.

I married an English major. Which meant that I got to type a lot of papers, and this was before computers and backspacing! I jokingly said that since I married an English major I expected a sonnet to be wrote about me. Well, Rich has finally written me a poem. He says it's not a good poem ~ but I love it!


Always busy, you’re never still
Loving nature, hiking the hills

Gazing at the stars in the sky,
Deep faith in God, not asking why

Your sacred place is Camp Shalom
Your gift is decorating home

You have a daily Sacred Grove
The temple is your treasure trove

Best daughter—to your parents (and mine)
Never a matriarch so fine

Blessed grandmother to seven—
Daughter of God, makes home a heaven

These things remind me who you are
My friend, my love, my JPR

And since my best friend, Heather, is the female version on my husband. She confessed today when we were walking to having written a poem about me, too. She hasn't shared it with me yet, but I hope to publish it here soon.

It's all good!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Make a Bed

Apparently, I have a little OCD about making beds. Often when I get to the cabin, I remake many of the beds. I taught our missionaries how to make a bed using scrapbook paper at one zone conference. I thought I'd just record here the Janet Rife way to make a bed.

1. You should have a good mattress pad and a feather bed on the top of that is ideal.

2. Place the fitted sheet over the mattress, make sure that you get the corners on correctly.

3. Place the flat sheet, right side down, (even if there isn't a print, it's proper to put the right sides together) If you always fold the sheet vertically first you will have a nice line showing you where to put the sheet so it's in the middle of the bed. Pull the flat sheet all the way to the top of the mattress so you have room to turn it down.

4. Fold the bottom of the flat sheet under the bottom of the mattress and make hospital corners.

5. Put the blanket or down comforter on over the flat sheet and then turn the sheet down over the blanket.

6. Place the pillows on the bed with the pillowcase opening to the outside of the bed.

7. Put the bedspread/comforter on the bed and follow with pillow shams.

I will add an alternative method:

You can also pull the comforter/bedspread down so that it is at the same level as the down comforter or blanket and then fold the sheet over both and then fold the whole thing down again. That is how I usually make my bed.

Here's how it looks with the sheet folded down.
And yes, I did match my paint color to my sheets!

And that's the way to make a bed properly!

Cabin Fun

Laura and her four kiddies came to Utah for 10 days before they start school in New York. We were happy that our week at the cabin happened during their stay. We stayed at the cabin for six days and really had a great time making memories together. Now comes the overload of cabin pictures:

Four-wheeler fun

The kids made a dance floor on the deck out of these exercise squares and had a dance contest and did gymnastics

And made forts

We went to a park in Heber after we ate at Dairy Keen

The kids ran foot races and even Papa and Jenny and Mary got involved

Hot tubbing was a fun activity for the kiddies

The girls were making a yummy oreo dessert

Annie enjoys the cabin

I got up early one morning to watch the sunrise and enjoyed seeing these deer in the yard

We went to the Cheesecake factory Laura's last night here and I got this picture of all seven gkiddies.