Sunday, November 29, 2015

The 'Beard Card'

So we have this joke as a family... Dad works at Brigham Young University. Part of working there or going to school there means you will abide by the honor code. The honor code includes things such as dressing modestly, being honest, and staying morally clean. Really great stuff that makes a super positive college experience! Well part of the honor code involves not growing a beard. There are however some special circumstances where you can get a beard card that allows you to have a beard! Well Dad doesn't have a beard card (...imagine that!) but they still let him work on campus. Well here is our best version of 'the beard card' (s).

We love to play card games and so we made a standard deck of cards with everyones pictures on them and let me tell you they are the best deck of cards to play with! One of our favorite games to play is scum. It's the classic! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

First snow of the year

Today is November 13th 2014 and it is SNOWING for the first time this year.  I don't know why, but I always get excited when it snows for the first time.  I remember when I was a kid and we would all clamber to the window at school to see that first snow.  It is always just exciting.  Earlier today I was outside in the freezing cold trying to mow the lawn and rake up the leaves before they would be buried for the winter under the snow.  As I was finishing raking  the first snowflakes started to fall I hurried inside.  I made myself some hot chocolate (which I am remembering is still sitting in the microwave) and sat down with my little dog Sadie in my lap to watch the quiet peaceful snowflakes start winter.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Timpanogos

This Saturday I went and hiked Mt. Timpanogos with my friends, and my dad. It was a great experience but it was a very physically and mentally challenging. It was a lot of fun going with some of my good friends. It was my second time hiking it, but the first time was when I was about 9 or 10. So 5 years ago. Our last trip was not a very fun one, so it was great to be able to remember the hike differently. I also realized how beautiful Utah is, even though most of the leaves had already fallen off the trees, it was still so beautiful and alive. I love being in nature, and even though hiking is not my favorite thing in the world, it was really fun. And when I'm outside I feel especially close with my Heavenly Father, to be able to see all these beautiful things and realize that its all because of Him... it is truly amazing. I am also getting so very excited to finally be reunited with my sister, Hermana Beard, this November. I love my family and it hasn't been complete with her gone, we will still be missing one member but she'll be back soon. I love the gospel and the amazing things it has given me and the comfort and peace it brings.


Extended Family

A few weeks ago I went to an extended family gathering.  Since my Dad died I rarely see any of my relatives on his side of the family.  He only had one sister and she died shortly before he did.  At this family gathering I was touched by what I will call the "Spirit of Elijah".  Elijah was a prophet in the Bible and he holds what we call the sealing power to bind our families together.  The power to tie us to our ancestors, and to have us give them blessings they may have missed while they lived on the earth.  
I felt this strong bond that made me feel like I belonged somewhere.  It was such a good feeling.  It made me want to live worthy of their love and support.  That can be a powerful influence for good in a persons life.  
      This year I have started visiting my great Aunt Louise Johnson.  She is my grandpa  Elmer (Oak) Wilcox's sister.  She has become my hero.  She has taught me so much and is so full of grace and kindness.  She has had some real trials in her life yet she has been positive and loving to so many people.  What a blessing she is in my life.
     I know that Heavenly Father put us on this earth in families so that we have love and support to help us along lives path.  My Dad died early in my life and I miss him a great deal.  I have found that extended family can bless my life and help me feel that I belong with them even if my Dad is not around.  We should take the time to strengthen our family bonds.  I am so blessed to have wonderful family members and family is really what life is about.


Cabin

Our family has a cabin in Island Park, Idaho.  Last week the kids were off school Thursday-Monday for Fall break and so we traveled to the cabin for an extended weekend.  I have many memories of going to our cabin as a young boy, and then spending a week each summer as a teenager with my Grandpa.  Since Andrea and I have been married, we have made it a tradition to spend a week at the cabin during the summer, as well as some extended weekends scattered throughout the year.  Some of my favorite memories as a family involve our time at the cabin.  The pace of activities is much slower.  We do not have internet access and we usually have to walk outside to get cell phone reception.  Therefore, when we go to the cabin, I am of necessity disconnected from work and can fully focus on my kids.  I enjoy that aspect.  This past week we spent a day traveling through Yellowstone National Park - the West entrance is a 30 minute drive from the cabin. We saw a grizzly bear and the usual bison and elk.  YNP is so beautiful this time of the year.  It was a very nice day together as a family.  I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my family, and especially enjoy making new memories at our cabin.


Family Traditions

As the holidays are rolling in the Beard family has many traditions that we have come to love. Our traditions helps bond our family together and have way too much fun. Some of my favorite traditions are...


Carving pumpkins for Halloween



Going and seeing Christmas light with our extended family


Making gingerbread cookies


Doing a sub-for-santa with my moms side of the family in memory of my grandpa who always served others.


New years eve
Banging pots and pans to celebrate


Family traditions are so fun and there are so many things you can do. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Endings Verses Eternity- Kaitlyn

Lately in the Washington Vancouver Mission we have experienced a lot of death. In February Sister Parrish lost her parents and two brothers and then last month we lost Sister Lierley. Every day we talk to people who have lost so many loved ones and who struggle with these losses. No one is immune to the fact that people die. Each of us will die. Life is so fragile and life is so short. With each of these experiences lately I have asked why? Why did this happen? Why is life so fragile? Why is life so short? Here's the only answer I can find. And it all starts back with the fact that God has a plan for us.

His plan starts before this life when we lived with God in heaven. We are his children and he loves us a lot. He taught us as much as he could! We learned and progressed at different levels just like now. One day He told us that he had a plan for us to come down to an earth and get a body just like he has. We would have to choose to come back to him. Carefully the world was created and Adam and Eve were sent to earth as the first of God's children. They lived innocently day by day until they decided to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that God had told them not to. When they did that they became mortal and could die, but they could also have children. God gave them commandments to obey so that they would learn of him and be able to follow him. He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, to come down and pay the price for our sin so that if we do follow these commandments and do our best then Jesus Christ has satisfied the justice required for the laws God has given us. We each make mistakes, but we need to choose to follow God's commandments. Some day each of us will die. Our bodies and our spirits will be seperated once more. We will continue to learn of God while we are seperated from our bodies. One day we will all get our bodies back again, but this time they will be perfect. We will then stand before God to be judged of how we lived our lives. He will reward us according to how we lived our lives and followed his commandments.

Knowing this, it's easy to see that there is a pretty big plan God has designed and there isn't a lot of time appointed for this earth. So the most important thing is to make sure that we follow the commandments so that we can have the blessings God has designed us to have. 

I love what President Uchtdorf an Apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said about endings.
"In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless13 and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

How true is this! We are not made for endings. We are eternal beings. We are made to be that way. I love what he said about them not being endings but interruptions or temporary pauses.

What I especially love is that God provides ways for our family relationships to be eternal. He has given his prophets the power to seal marriage for eternity. He's done it in times in the past and he has done it now. When we follow the commandments and really strive to know God and keep those commandments we can live worthy of the blessings of having an eternal family. Knowing that my family is forever doesn't make death easy. It's still hard. But I have the reassurance that when that interruption or temporary pause is over I will have my family again and we can continue in the family unit we have now for forever.

This is possible in the Holy Temples of the Lord. By someone holding the proper authority from God that has been given to prophets and delegated to others that God has called. It is a glorious work. God is organized and works in that manner. He has an order. When we learn of him we will find that this is how he works and that this truly is his work.

I love the Lord! I love my family! I am so grateful that my family has been sealed together in this wonderful temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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