Monday, November 19, 2012

Their Women Were Incredible

Over the summer, I was asked to speak at an event for our women's group at church (called Relief Society).  It was planned to honor the Mormon pioneers who journeyed toward the west to be free from religious persecution, and faced many trials along the way.  I was told I could speak about anything relating to the pioneers, maybe a story in my family history about an ancestor who made the arduous journey.  I accepted the invitation to speak, but I didn't mention that I don't come from a long line of Mormon personal ancestral stories to share...or so I thought.  As I prayed for guidance, I realized that I did in fact have a story to tell, it just wasn't very old.  It involved people I grew up with and are a tremendous part of my life.  This is that story, put into essay form in order to preserve my own piece of history.

                                                                   Their Women Were Incredible
A prominent non-Latter Day Saint historian named Wallace Stegner wrote of the Mormon pioneers, “That I do not accept the faith that possessed them does not mean I doubt their frequent devotion and heroism in its service. Especially their women.  Their women were incredible.” Latter Day Saint women were incredible and certainly paved the way for more incredible Latter Day Saint women to impact the world today.

Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, though she didn’t travel west with any of the Mormon pioneer companies is absolutely a pioneer in her own rite.  When the Relief Society of Nauvoo (as it was called then) was organized, Emma declared, “We are going to do something extraordinary.” She helped lead this organization that served as an outlet in which the women of the church could give temporal and spiritual aid under the direction of the priesthood.  Imagine what that first meeting would have been like, the excitement of being a part of something extraordinary,  feeling the love of Christ while serving each other, their neighbors and of course their families. She led efforts in helping the hungry, homeless and sick and played a great role in paving the way for the Relief Society today.   Emma was an incredible woman.


When the Saints were forced out of Nauvoo and began their journey west, the women “. . . continued their benevolent work. . . . they were always ready with willing hands and tender sympathies to perform deeds of love and charity, and many were in need of such kindly acts for those were the days of toil, and of suffering, of scarcity and of hardship.” (Daughters in My Kingdom, The History and Work of Relief Society).  Full books have been written about the trials these women faced from sickness to death and everything in between. Many pioneer women gave birth to babies on the treacherous journey and many of those babes were buried.  They held tight to their faith, some didn’t make it to their destination, succumbing to death, but many did.  The pioneer women were incredible. 


While I have a deep appreciation for the Mormon pioneers, the women in particular, I have no ancestral connection to them and thus no real personal feelings toward them. I’d like to tell you about my own modern day family pioneers.  In Detroit, Michigan 1957, my grandfather sat on the porch of his home with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other.  Two missionaries were walking by and stopped to talk to him.  A year later, he along with my grandmother was baptized. A year and a half after that they traveled to Utah and went through the Salt Lake Temple for the first time with the family of one of the missionaries who baptized them.  On the same day, they were sealed for eternity to their children; my mother was four years old.  Grandpa Staub was a great man who held to his covenants and taught his family to do the same, but I want to focus on the influence of his wife.    I always knew Grandma Staub had a testimony, I just knew.  She raised her children in righteousness and continued to be a righteous influence in the lives of her grandchildren and many others whom she came in contact with.  She served in many callings in her small branch in northern Michigan and even opened her home for meetings when a building wasn’t available. One of my most treasured possessions is the Children’s Songbook she used that my mom passed down to me.  The inside front pocket is full of handwritten papers and notes she used for lessons in primary. I can feel the love radiating from those notes. She knew the church was true.   I remember her reaching out to neighbors, many of whom were not members of the church.  She had no hidden agenda, just pure Christ-like love.  Late in her life, while I was grown and had children of my own she opened her home and heart again, this time to be a foster parent to a baby with down syndrome whose parents were ill equipped to care for him.  She loved that little boy and cared for him, he had many special needs and by that alone I was impressed.  However, I was even more impressed when I learned that she also had his parents into her home to teach them how to care for him. No judgment, just pure Christ-like love.  Ruth Staub was an incredible woman. 


On December 4th 1971, a young Latter Day Saint girl went on a date with a boy she met through her brother.  In 1974, that boy was baptized and two years later he took that girl to the Washington D.C. Temple and they were sealed for eternity. That girl and boy are my mom and dad. My dad is the only member of the church in his family and is therefore a modern day pioneer, but my mom’s influence in the story cannot be overlooked.  I know that before he had a testimony of the gospel, he could see the goodness in my mother.  She is the reason he found the church, she was the pioneer who opened the way for him.  My mother raised her children in righteousness.  She taught us that we are children of God and Jesus Christ is our Savior.  She paved the way for me to gain my own testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.  That I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God began with her being an influence in my life.  Today, she serves in a small ward in Detroit and I know her influence is great.  Many of the people in her ward are new members and she shows them by example what it means to be a good Latter Day Saint woman.  She serves them, loves them and works hard to enrich their lives.  Dawn Hardie is an incredible woman.   


I am surrounded by women of the church today who are pioneers in their own families, in their children’s schools, in their neighborhoods.  Women who love God, work hard in the church, serve others and show pure Christ-like love.   Just as the pioneers of old, Stegner’s view of the people of the church holds true today; their women are incredible.





Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mother-Daughter Garden Party

I've always wanted to do some kind of mother daughter party with my girls.  Tea party? Nah, we want to be different. Garden party? Yes!  We held the party while the boys were away at the father and son campout at church, we invited a few friends and the activities were as follows:

Make butterfly fans: Trace a butterfly shape onto your choice of paper, the sturdier the better, decorate and glue onto a craft stick and you're done!

Potted flowers: each girl got to plant flowers into cute small tin pails I found at the dollar spot at Target.  I couldn't find enough rocks for the bottom of the pail, so we used dry beans from my food storage. If you're wondering if the beans will sprout, yes they will and then they push the flowers right out of the pot.  Next time, I'll be sure to find rocks. :)

Of course we had to serve lunch as well. Our menu looked like this:

Assorted sandwiches (no crust of course)
veggie tray
fruit tray
chips and salsa
raspberry trifle

For decorations, I kept it really simple with flower pinwheels in the grass and a couple of hanging flower baskets that we had a drawing to win.  Each girl also went home with a strawberry planting kit also found at the dollar spot at Target.

Me and my beautiful, wonderful girls

Lindy, Lucy and Greta

Heidi and Hannah

Kadance and Neuza

Hattie and Angela

We knew the party was over when the boy walked in waving this around
Nice catch Trey, but I think next time we'll have the party the night they are away instead of the morning before they come home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

30 grateful- days 4 through 13

When my Grandma was fostering a baby with Down Syndrome, I remember her saying she thanked the Lord every day for the person who invented disposable diapers.

My awesome ride, but more specifically the automatic doors

Flowers just make everything beautiful

Twin Falls is dang windy all the time. The plus side? My pinwheels always spin :)

Because chocolate makes everything better

Twin Falls has a beach! It's tiny and really rocky, but hey it's a beach.

Quiet time

Kiddie pools entertain my kids for hours

built in family that become your closest friends

For someone who lives far from family, the laptop, facebook, skype, etc. is all essential and I am always grateful to live in a time when staying in touch is easy.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Day 3- friends, especially right when you need them

Laughter, Costa Vida, and a great friend.  Nicole, you have no idea how much I needed that tonight.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 2- 30 grateful

This cute girl I am grateful for in a million ways, but today she made breakfast for everyone by herself and not just cereal, but french toast!  When I say by herself, I mean I was in my bedroom and aside from asking me where a couple things were, she did it all on her own....and it was delicious, seriously!  Cooked perfectly, lots of cinnamon just the way I like it.  I took a picture of it, but it didn't turn out, but this picture is of her at her first softball game tonight.  What a great girl!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

30 grateful

When I read about the 365 grateful project on design mom, I felt moved to follow suit in an effort to combat my own struggles.  Each day for the next 30 days, I will be posting a picture and a short description of something I am grateful for, the small things that may otherwise go unnoticed.  I hope you join me!

Day One- Little girl's dance clothes and homemade play-doh

Okay, so my first post is technically two things, but I couldn't choose just one.  When I saw my girl sitting there in her little dance outfit (which she wore all day), I felt such happiness in my heart and was reminded of how precious childhood can be.  The play-doh gratitude is two fold.  #1, we made it and played it together.  #2, she continued to play with it, giving me some time to get a few things done. :)