Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Perfect Week in Japan :)

NOTE: This letter was supposed to be posted on Mindy's blog... ! :D LOL  Oh well! You can read it on either! ;)

I don't have any words to describe... just the perfectness of this last week. These last two weeks even, and the cap was yesterday.

Living in Japan is a beautiful thing, but living in Japan and being a missionary is another thing entirely. Christmas is totally different, and I was expecting Christmas miracles and a normal day where we dendoed on Christmas, plus maybe a few Christmas presents.

At the end of yesterday though we, both my companion and I, were completely emotionally drained. In a good way! I didn't know that that was possible. We were all energy the whole day and by the end of the night we were super quiet. When our district. leader called we were like, "How do we even narrow it all down?"

So here's a summary of yesterday:

We woke up early and under our cute tiny undecorated Christmas tree my companion and I exchanged the Christmas presents that we had gotten for each other and the ward. :3 I was so fun! Sister Keiser got me a
pair of Gudetama cooking chopsticks and a Gudetama contact lense case for after I get home (she's great). I got her two 'My Friend Totoro' pens. :) From the ward, we got blankets! :O Cute little blankets that are so so cute! We were so happy. After we opened our presents and read our letters we got ready really fast and ran to the church where we skyped our families. It was such a special treat to see everyone there waiting for me and so involved in the conversation. I felt a lot of love and felt my concerns about going home fade just a little bit.

After that we had ward mission correlation meeting in which my companion and I brought a gift we had made together that her mom designed. Little Christmas tree ornaments! We shared them with all of the members of ward council after everything was over.

After that we started to head out of the building but were stopped by one of the youth who brought a cake he had hand made for Keiser Shimai (she loves cake), and a... well, something un-dendo related for me that I hid in my suitcase for the next two months. It was awesome! We were on our way out and as we went the members stopped us because on top of the advent calander they had given (with a gift every day) they had a huge box of gifts for us prepared! We carried the huge box home and then went wirh Sara, Shugo, and Hiromi to their apartment. There
were a few hours till Chrostmas dinner so we dendoed in the area. At one point at a fork in the road my companion and I stopped, looked down the same road and simultaneously said, "Should we go this way?" We went that way and at the end of the road, last house on the right, we found a new investigator! We aren't sure how much potential she has yet, but it was awesome!

Afterwards we watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas and opened presents and had Christmas dinner with Sara and Shugo. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of time to talk about it, but it was so so tender and I felt so special to be a part of it. Hiromi is the less active girl we have been trying to get to church and Sara and Shugo did Christmas with her just like she was their own daughter yesterday.It's not hard to see how much they love her. I was in tear so much

Just the perfect day.

Love you all! Merry Chritmas!

Pics later!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Noticing that I am Loved and Cared For

Hello, dear reader. :) After procrastinating sending in my broken computer for most of the year, I finally sent it in and got it back! :D I can write again! :D As for the past many months... Well, life has been just crazy! As crazy normal here as it is anywhere, I suppose.  ;) Life is good. It is filled with challenges... and blessings! :) It is filled with struggles, and victories! :D Yeah. I have nothing to complain about. ;)

But I DO have something cool to share...

For some reason, God has decided to make a special effort to reach out to me and to show me that He is TOTALLY AWARE of ME, and of MY needs. He loves me so much!!! :D I know He feels this way about all his children not just me, but that does not diminish the experience for me in the least and I will not take it for granted!

I have seen the hand of the Lord in my life. With big things (very big things), and small things. The big things are easy to appreciate and not take for granted, and often have to do with others. I am often prompted to bless another, and this shows me that God loves the people that He asks me to serve.

This week, the Lord served me.  :)

There have been several blessings. I will share one.

I bought a small black hooded coat from Costco last year or so. I LOVED that coat! It went missing a few months ago. I think my purple gloves may have been in the pockets, too. Sniffle. Sniffle. Oh well. As much as I loved it, I used to think that maybe I SHOULD have gotten the teal coat. I never forgot that. Anyhow, I have thought of that missing coat often lately, as the days have gotten cooler. I have a beautiful pink coat that is perfect for spring, summer, and fall, but I was very concerned about not having a coat for winter. And I really wanted my Costco coat back!

Earlier in the week I went to Costco and noticed that they had those coats again. Only I was too late. There were only a few left. They were all black, and the smallest one was a medium. So I bought a black medium. I wished they had a small one... in teal. I really wanted a small, teal coat. But they were out. I thought of the small teal coat they probably had before I realized they were back. I thought of it several times with just a tinge of regret for having not been to Costco sooner...

Then, a few days later I needed to go back to Costco to return something, and kept getting this prompting from the Spirit, "Go now. You need to go to Costco, NOW." I didn't know why it was urgent, but I went. I went directly to the return line. I chatted with the lady in front of me. When her turn with customer service came I turned to the lady behind me and saw a kid's Costco coat in the basket. "Is that one of those cool hoodie coats?" I made eye contact as she smiled and we corresponded briefly with each other. "I LOVE those coats! They aren't bulky at all, but they are comfortable and SO WARM! I just got one the other day to replace my missing coat. I wanted a small turquoise one, but by the time I saw it all they had left were black medium's. Oh well." "Small turquoise?" She asked. "Yeah." I responded, "I bought a small black one a long time ago, but I always decided that if I had the chance again I would get it in turquoise." The lady then lifted the kid coat on top and a few other items and pulled out a small ladies turquoise coat. "Like this one?" she asked. "Oh my gosh, yes!" I exclaimed... "Are you returning that?" :D

Turns out, she bought it for her daughter and realized she didn't need it. I was so happy! :D I tried it on, and sure enough it fit. :D And I bought it and it is mine! :D

I know it may sound like nothing to you, but I felt the hand of God in my life. It isn't even anything that seems to matter. But it does. He created us, not to merely exist, but so we can be happy. He knew that having that particular coat would do MORE than meet a need for me; it would bring me joy. And He really cares. He cares, not only about meeting our needs, but also about us having some of the things we WANT. And He cares enough to prompt us to be in the right place at the right time so we can experience these simple joys. :)

I hope you know how much God loves YOU. I hope you know that He wants YOU to have your needs and righteous wants met. I hope you know He wants YOU to be happy. And He knows where you need to be and what you need to do to have those opportunities. He whispers in a still small voice to each and every one of his children. He loves each and every one of us so much! I pray we all listen and obey so He can bless us as He hopes to. :)

Corine :D

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TRIALS - They Can Make You BITTER, or BETTER; the Choice is Yours! :)

Here I am... posting AGAIN, for the THIRD time within a week - and I hadn't been writing regularly for QUITE some time. I wonder if anyone has discovered this. :o I don't advertise. I should tell my friends and family when I write, but I don't. I just figure those who can benefit from it will stumble upon it. :)

Well, the reason I am writing is because I'm learning A LOT. And that brings me JOY! :D Unfortunately, I tend to learn more when things go wrong rather than right... so that also means I have had some challenges lately. :o I have to emphasize, though, that those challenges ARE BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE. ;) God always seems to use them to teach me something. Here is a quote that I recently came across that sums up what I think of trials and how they CAN bring JOY, if you let them...

Miles and I have gone through several really hard things recently. Thankfully, we have had each other to help us through. :D (I love that man!) And we have had the Lord! :)

I know I need to redirect my thoughts AND find comfort, and I know of nothing better than the scriptures to help with this; so I usually go to the scriptures and ask the Lord to help me to know what to read. I used to do it with just the standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon etc.), but the past couple years, I also do it with words from our current, modern day prophets and seers - through General Conference talks! :D The results are simply AMAZING! :) I believe in the saying, "If you want to talk to the Lord, PRAY. If you want the Lord to talk to you, READ HIS SCRIPTURES."

Sometimes I don't recognize the personal application immediately. Sometimes I have to ponder on them for a while and read them a few times before the pieces come together in my mind. Like they did today... :)

I have been led the past couple days to a particular conference talk, repeatedly. I didn't even realize it until I started reading it for the second time and went, "Hey! This is the same one I was prompted to read yesterday!" That happened before work this morning. I read one, again, for about the third or fourth time... wondering WHY the Lord wanted me to read this, but KNOWING that He did; I was drawn to it!

After reading it I went to work. Towards the end of the day, after hours of pondering and speaking to the Lord through prayer, I remembered things that have happened during these current trials, and a message given in that talk suddenly had personal application to me. I could finally SEE what happened in these situations and WHY they went south. I could see that the Lord was teaching me a principle through these trials, in answer to my prayer for help with another important struggle in my home and family. I was able to see, first hand, the results of heeding the counsel given in this talk, and the results of not heeding it. I was able to see what I could do to make matters better (or worse) in my home... :D

Suddenly, losing THOUSANDS of dollars seemed a very small price, for the huge reward that would come in my family if I learned that principle and applied it well to help my sons. I think the Lord may have caused these things to peak at the same time - just to wear me down, so I could mess up big enough to learn from it! MISTAKES - in this light - now appear to be treasured blessings! They help us to not make the same mistake in other settings where the stakes are so much higher!

So... I am THANKFUL for the trials God lets me go through.
I am THANKFUL for all that I can learn from them.
I am THANKFUL that I have the freedom to become BETTER, instead of BITTER...

Corine :D

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"I'm So HAPPY to See You!" :) - The LORD LOOKS on the HEART -

Church is  SO great! :D

Today was different than usual for me... I went to part of my own Sacrament meeting first, then went with my husband to another ward to listen to a Homecoming Talk from “Elder” Matthew Pereira! :D

While at my ward I sat in the cultural hall. It was just meant to be. :) One of my friends came in with her son, Garret, and I was there to quickly get up and greet them at the door with hugs! :D When I hugged her, I prayed that she would FEEL my love for her. I think she felt it, because she started balling! (wasn't expecting that!) I then sat beside her and rubbed her back as she relaxed and eventually went from hyperventilating to breathing easy. She has anxiety in public places, so it is hard for her to go to church and she has anxiety in public places. I was proud of her for being there. :D She told me that she quit smoking almost 100 days ago, and that despite the stress she has gone through she STIL managed to say NO! We rejoiced together!!!! :D I'm so happy for her!

Then she told me about a coworker who knows my daughter. She said that she was talking to my daughter's friend and asked her if she was Mormon. This beautiful young woman told her that she was indeed. My sweet friend's response to me was, “I KNEW she was. And I told her so. So she asked me how I knew, and I told her you could just tell... " I nodded my head. She continued, "she LOOKED like a Mormon!”

I smiled, pointed out a wonderful, radiant, righteous young man walking by and said, “like him. Right?”


I told the young man, “Do you know that you radiate the gospel of Jesus Christ? Or rather, it radiates through you?” He smiled and thanked me. :) Then I told 12 year Garret sitting beside me, “Do you know WHY he glows?” I paused for him to think, then answered my own question... “He is SO IMMERSED in the gospel of Jesus Christ that the Light of Christ LITERALLY FILLS HIM, and that light of Christ makes him SO HAPPY, that it just radiates from him!" The 12 year old was listening. I continued... "The more a person loves Christ and lives His gospel, the more they radiate His love!”

Garret smiled, proud to be a Mormon I assume... ;) I continued, “Grab onto the gospel of Jesus Christ with both hands, Garret! And never let go! The happiness you will gain from the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ – found right here at church – can be found in no other place! Hold onto it with both hands and run with it!” ;)

That experience... FEELING the Holy Spirit testifying to ALL of us, that His gospel of Jesus Christ IS the surest and greatest path to happiness – was so beautiful and so amazing! It was the feeling of pure JOY! :D

The second great experience I had today took place at the second ward (same church, different building and group of people). Last Saturday my son and husband and I greeted him with his family at the airport.

We got to sit and listen to a fine young man speaking about his mission in Chili and of the people who helped him prepare...

I'm SO PROUD of this young man! ~ Way to go, Matthew!!! :D

HE DID IT! It wasn't easy for him. It was hard to go and hard to stay! He is quiet. Sometimes things come easier for some people than for others. It was harder for him... BUT HE DID IT! :D It made me SO HAPPY to see that HE DID IT! :D It makes me so happy I can't think about it without crying!

Anyhow, things he said at church really touched my soul and made me cry, too (imagine that? ;)) Characteristics needed to be a truly good missionary were discussed: Humility. Obedience... PERFECT OBEDIENCE. These characteristics have to be worked and prayed for. These kids work hard to prepare to do missionary work in so many ways! It was inspiring... :) 

A Mother's LOVE - First, and most important, Hug! ;)
The newly released “Elder Pereira” said some really great things that I took notes on which I won't mention here. But one thing that touched my heart the most today I must share. He talked about an investigator whose outward appearance was not like those seasoned, clean, polished Mormons... He said something about the Holy Spirit testifying to the Elder who had to decide if this man was a candidate for teaching... “If Christ saw this man at church He would not care about how much hair he has or about his personal appearance at Church. He would just say, “I'm glad you're here.” I already knew that. Of course! It didn't hit too hard -yet. Then he continued...

He then said the person he was most excited to see was his little sister, Emily. And then he talked to her personally, and the Holy Spirit was there so strong! I felt like the Spirit was saying the same thing to me at the same time.. “I know you make a lot of mistakes and sometimes you have a really hard time forgiving yourself and just wish you were better. But I want you to know that you're doing great! And when you leave this life and enter the presence of the Lord, He's not going criticize you. He's just going to say, 'I am SO HAPPY to see you!'” :)

I took that to heart to not be too hard on myself for my mistakes. (Sometimes it is SO HARD for me to forgive myself! Especially if I might have hurt someone that I love and care about!) And as I think of my new commitment to not point out things the people who I love do wrong (just trying to help them - :o) – I think I'm going to have an easier time refraining in the future, and just say to them, perhaps not in words, but at least in action... “I'm so happy to see you!” :)

Love - for Christ, and all mankind... is the perfect remedy for sorrow and pain, and the first and best ingredient in the recipe for forgiveness and peace! If you really want that charity for others... pray for charity "the pure love of Christ;" (I plead for it! :o) And  while you're at it, you might also pray for the gift of Sapere Vedere - " the ability to see" :) Pray to see others as God does... to see all they have the potential to become; and treat them as if they already are THAT person! They truly ARE that person, deep inside - even if only in embryo. Treat them so. Help them to see it in themselves. I keep praying to do that for my family and friends!

*I love you, family and friends! I know many of you think I can not hurt anyone. But I can and I do, especially with youth I am really close and take on as kids of my own; because those are the people I worry and care most passionately about! *I have been known to make the mistake of showing them what they are doing wrong - in the wrong way, rather than remembering to show them what they are CAPABLE of...

So, if 've hurt you... I am TRULY sorry! I hope you can forgive me - not only for the relationship that I cherish with you - but also for your own peace. I don't want to cause you pain or sorrow! I REALLY DO love you!

PS. Thanks, Elder Pereira, for helping me to remember to strive to be this way, by reminding me that God is this way!  :D

Hugs to you all!

Corine :D

When Life does NOT Go As You Thought it Would

April 24, 2016 Sunday afternoon

Hi. :) I'm choosing to smile here! :D *sigh...

I have done some crying today. I'm going through a painful loss. It isn't even MY loss! (not entirely, but truly in part!) and I'm still feeling it! It is personal; sorry I won't be telling you what it is. But I will tell you this...

I am learning and coming to understand WHY people respond in a “less than amiable” way when loss comes... IT HURTS! And it feels like a world has just vanished, – and the one that exists in place of the one you THOUGHT existed now has to somehow be figured out/DISCOVERED from some mysterious unknown! And the world beneath one's feet can suddenly feel like it is unstable and crumbling!

As I seek comfort I remember that the Lord is over all. He is not the cause of all; we all use our free agency to make things happen. And others use theirs to change our lives as well. But when we love and serve Him with all our hearts – The Lord works to make everything work for our good. :)

I think we need to remember this when a friend or loved one is struggling and doing or saying things we don't agree with or understand... Maybe they are hurt and confused, and we won't always see things the same way. We all misunderstand, misjudge and believe and say things that may not be entirely best or true. We are, after all... JUST PEOPLE. But we are also HIS people. Children of God... sent here from Heaven. And if we can just look past the mistakes and into each other's hearts, we can find a way to treat each other with the love, forgiveness, and compassion that will help us all to heal... Through loving actions, without saying anything at all... we can be a friend who helps the ground become stable again.

I wrote on FB (during a peaceful moment among the roller coaster) “Feeling at peace. Even when it doesn't work out, it works out.” It really does. :) I need to keep reminding myself of these this. ;O

Church today was a great distraction from my pain! :) I'll tell you more about my distractions in my next post... ;)

Corine :D

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Repentance is Possible, and then Forgiveness is Certain

Happy Easter, friends! :D

My son, Levi gave a wonderful talk in sacrament today about the Atonement. It was the PERFECT Easter talk! What could compliment the topic of the Resurrection more than the topic of His Atoning sacrifice to save us? :) I learned so much about the power of repentance and a gained a greater testimony of the process. (Way to go, Dallin H Oaks, and Levi! ;D) Today, I am FILLED with gratitude and awe, that He lived and died and was resurrected for you and for me.

All the talks were wonderful. But I'd like to share some things which were said in this talk that really stood out to me (after a bit of background)...

Recently, I have gone through a very painful acknowledgment of my own shortcomings in a particular area. It was strange. I was asked to speak on Charity in the Wallace branch a couple weeks ago. As I studied the topic from MANY conference talks and scriptures in preparation to speak, I repeatedly found myself PRAYING for charity. PLEADING with the Lord for charity.

Just after giving the talk, something happened. Another person did things that I didn't appreciate. The straw broke the camel's back. I was the camel. I reacted.

At first, I justified my reactions as I focused on what the other person did wrong. But soon thoughts and feelings began creeping in... All that I studied about charity came back to my mind in frequent intervals. No matter how “justified” I previously believed my reactions to be, I began to clearly realize that they were no more condoned by the Lord than the actions that provoked them.

For the next week all I could do was remember my own reactions/(actions, words, thoughts, feelings) and then scriptural quotes of how charity responds. Sadly, they didn't coincide.

 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. (Moroni 7)

 1 Corinthians 13:44 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up

Elder Marvin J. Ashton

“Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being [critical or verbally abusive] repulsive.
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, 24; or Ensign, May 1992, 18–19).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

“Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, ‘the greatest of these is charity’ (1 Corinthians 13:13), and Moroni wrote that ‘except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God’ (Moroni 10:21). I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 16).

This was a painful experience (and is not all together over). I wished I had been more selfless and patient. More kind. Expected the best more. Been less judgmental... And not so easily provoked.

I imagined what I wish I had done instead of what I did. I prayed to know what was the appropriate response, and that I might KNOW it so well that what is RIGHT and kind and good, could become my natural response if anything similar might occur in the future. I still pray for that... PLEAD for that! I learned from the Holy Spirit, that I needed to work on the root of the reactions – on my heart and the feelings they held...

I began repenting. I knew that I was suffering the pains of repentance; I could feel it... It wasn't fun. When I would mention to others of my repentant feelings, they would often justify what I had done and try to convince me that I had done nothing wrong. But I knew I was wrong... I needed more charity. I DID have something to repent of, and I was going to keep on believing it and keep on repenting. I needed a new heart; and I couldn't have it without admitting my need to improve, or suffering the pains of regret for my heart not being what I wanted it to be...

Today, I heard from the pulpit the words that confirmed what I was going through. He was quoting Elder Dallin H. Oaks from his talk, “The Atonement and Faith”...

Elder Oaks quotes Alma 34:16, and states his interpretation... that the unrepentant transgressor must suffer for his own sins; AND that those who do repent WILL experience SOME suffering, “but because of their repentance and the Atonement, they will not experience the FULL, EXQUISITE EXTENT of eternal torment the Savior suffered for those sins.” Elder Oaks goes on to quote President Spencer W. Kimball; “One has not begun to repent until he has suffered intensely for his sins. ...If a person hasn't suffered, he hasn't repented.”

I knew immediately when I heard this that the suffering I have been going through is the beautiful suffering of repentance. :)

Elder Oaks continues...

The Savior taught this principle when He said His atoning sacrifice was for 'all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.' (2 Nephi 2:7) The truly repentant sinner who comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit has been through a process of personal pain and suffering for sin. He or she understands the meaning of Alma's statement that none but the truly penitent are saved. Alma the Younger certainly understood this. Read his accounts in Mosiah 27 and in Alma 36.”

So much more was said about the Atonement. It was a truly enlightening talk! (For more information about the power of the Atonement, you can read the entire article Levi based this talk off of here.)

I want to bear my personal testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is REAL. That it WORKS! And because of it, we can be, not only forgiven of our sins, but also, strengthened and made able to be more than we are capable of on our own. I bear testimony of this! I know it is true! In the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen...

Corine Moore :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jason Reeves & Nelly Joy - "More In Love With You" (Official Full Story ...

In honor of this special month in which VALENTINES DAY resides! :D Here is a song I kind of adore. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Miracle Cure for Chasing Away the Winter Blues! ;)

Hi. :) An interesting thing has been happening to me lately.

I have been feeling... I'm not sure how to describe this feeling – it isn't REALLY depression. There are no negative thoughts or list of things that I'm sad or discouraged about, but it's kind of LIKE depression – with a total lack of any apparent reason for feeling so. (It can be so frustrating!)

Anyhow, I sat at the kitchen table this evening with my meal planning stuff strewn all over the place (recipe books, pages of old menus etc.). I was absolutely fine. Then THAT AWFULF FEELING hit me again. I immediately looked up and noticed that I couldn't see outside the front window. It was dark. And I realized THAT is WHEN it always happens.

VERDICT: Depression (or something I don't like) comes on me when it is DARK!

So I sat pondering this phenomenon, and I remembered something. It was whispered in my mind,

“Darkness is merely the absence of light.”

And then I thought to myself,

“And sorrow, or emptiness, is the lack of happiness, or something beautiful and good...”

I looked around at my home...


*silent (empty of joyful for productive activity)

*dirty (not terrible, but floors not vacuumed)

There was seriously NOTHING light and beautiful going on to rejoice about! :o

So I figured that maybe to get rid of this feeling of sad nothingness, I just needed to surround myself with something good and happy. Maybe some lights and happy music. And take care of myself...

Sounds simple enough, (you know the motto! “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” Alma 37:6)

So that's what I did. :)

Me - Chasing away the winter blues! ;)

I ran around the block (feeling I didn't have TIME for a long workout, but knowing I needed to do SOMETHING, no matter how small); then I went to my bedroom, (away from the big window of darkness with no curtain to shut it out); turned on some beautiful, classical, instrumental music; and went to work cleaning my bedroom.

The feeling of sad emptiness LEFT. And instead I felt ABSOLUTELY HAPPY AND WONDERFUL! It was amazing! :D (By the way, while I cleaned my room, my twins came out of their room to do their chores and vacuumed; After the house was clean I felt triple happy! ;D)

I hope this works EVERY TIME! Hehe! :D I may have just found a miracle cure to the winter blues! :D

PS. I think little children are a cure for the winter blues, too (maybe - ?). In any case, having them in a home is a blessing. That way there is ALWAYS something WONDERFUL going on! Even if they are sick or tired or cranky... THEY ARE something wonderful! I have no little more little ones. Sigh. Mine are all big and grown and you never know when they will be here or gone. (They are truly awesome though! :D)

PPS. Since I can't "make" (he he) more children (at my age it's just not the right solution)... I think I'll make some curtains this weekend. ;)

Wishing you happiness...
Corine :D

Monday, January 25, 2016

Little is Big :)

Hi. :) Today was my day off work. I had a million things I wanted to do... and did NOT get very far on that list. However... I did do a few things, which I consider SO IMPORTANT, that I consider the day a great success! :D

I read Levi's two newest chapters in the book he is writing with him and helped him edit them for grammatical errors. (He is awesome, by the way... Oh and so is his book! I really am proud of that kid!)

I went for a run. (Yeah! :D)

I read letters from my daughter and wrote a letter to my daughter on her mission! :D (I love you, Mindy!!!!)

I made a very delicious chicken noodle soup for the family, along with s'mores cupcakes for a FHE treat. (I LOVE my homemade scratch soups! :D This one I did a little differently. I used rosemary, thyme, oregano, a little dill, a dash of cayenne pepper, LOTS of green chilies, a little Thrive peas... other than that everything I did was the same as usual. But MAN was it GOOD!)

I prepared a FHE lesson on living the gospel of Jesus Christ more fully in our lives – by improving our thoughts each day to FOCUS and THINK more about our Savior's gospel, and about people and how much they matter. It really made me think about the importance of PONDERING the gospel principles throughout each day and inspired ME. :) I hope it inspired my kids, too. :)

We had a really fun GAME NIGHT competition as a family after the lesson! Miles picked up some mini games and three bottles of strawberry milk for participating boys, and one large bottle of strawberry milk for the first place winner. There was A LOT of fun and laughter going on in the house tonight! :D Oh how I LOVE those sounds!!!

My only regret is that I did NOT run and grab the camera!!! :( I thought about it, several times. But I couldn't get away from the fun to go get it. :( *sniffle *sniffle Oh well. I'm getting used to this failure of mine. :( At least we learned and had fun!!! :D

LOL - Wow! Not taking photos is my ONLY regret from today! I didn't clean my bedroom (though I thought I must). I didn't fold the clean towels. I didn't finish that project that has been strewn all over the kitchen table off and on for the past couple weeks (which I keep having to move for mealtimes). I didn't get the Christmas decorations put away! LOL I didn't do several other things which I determined MUST be done today, either. And yet, as I reflected over the day, my only "regret" was not taking photos of the fun we had!

As I contemplate this day, this realization, AND MY LIFE... it becomes clear to me that among all the chaos and business of life and among all the things that DON'T get done... all that matters is that the few TRULY important things DO get done! THESE are the things that make a day feel productive and meaningful!

SUCCESS in the little things - 


Yesterday, I decided to go over my "daily schedule" again, and just recommit to doing the little tiny things that are so important. I did this, because I have been too busy, and too stressed, and feeling unaccomplished. And I KNEW that if I just did what truly mattered, that I would relax more and find more meaning and purpose in my life again. And I did. :) Today was as deficient as every other day I have had lately, where the list of "to do's" far our weighed the list of things checked off the list. But today I feel fulfilled.

Today, in doing the little things (and not trying to do everything!), I finally, in just one day, found a way to relax and find success in life again. Today, by doing just a few small things, I lived a very BIG day, indeed...  :) And so did my husband Miles. ;) Together, we did what truly mattered. :)

I hope you, too, have many truly successful days!
Corine :)

"By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What Comes of my Very Important Calling ;)

I have a very important calling at church each Sunday. When the other adults are teaching the children, youth, other adults, or just filling their own cups as they sit and enjoy learning from others... I get to watch, teach, and play with the toddlers (from 18 months through their third birthday); I get to help lay down a spiritual foundation of faith in Jesus Christ that will hopefully last these little ones for a lifetime!  :D That's right, I'm your local Nursery Leader. ;)

Today after church, after all but one child was picked up from family members... I played with the last child. We held hands and sang and danced to "Ring around the Rosie" ..."falling down" OVER AND OVER AGAIN! :O Each time we fell down we would both laugh together. Then this darling little girl would say to me "again!" and we would do it again. :) When I finally decided it was too much for my older body to continue I decided to carry the little one on an adventure to find her mother.

Upon arrival, I was surprised to find that she didn't want to go to mom. She wanted to stay with "yours truly." :D I know it's silly, but it just really makes me happy when these little ones come to love me like that! :D This was truly a tiny moment of wonder... :)

PS. One mother spent time with us today. She was worried about her twin boys not being still enough during lessons. I told her that was NOT my concern. Though I do strive to teach them to learn to sit quietly, my FIRST priority is to help them to have a GOOD experience at church as they learn about Christ's love for them. And they will ONLY feel reverence for Christ in their hearts and experience the feelings of the Holy Spirit if they feel Christ's love for them; which is much easier to feel while feeling their leaders' love for them. Leaders and parents must be patient and kind for them to feel this.

Besides, the one who has the most to learn right now to help them with these goals IS NOT THEM, BUT ME. I'm new in the nursery, again. lol My children are young adults now, and it has been a long time since I was a nursery leader. I have only been in this calling for a very few weeks now, and I KNOW that as I learn to make more interesting lesson activities and lead activities that encourage reverence, they WILL be more captivated by the lessons and I will have their undivided quiet attention. Until then, mom and I really can't blame them for wiggling and squirming a little more than usual! ;)

Hugs to these little ones from heaven!
A happy Nursery Leader :D

Joy Producing CREATIVITY! :D

Hi family! :D

I saw something on FB recently that just tickled me pink inside and I thought you might enjoy seeing it, too!

...Projects which would most certainly bring joy to both the giver and the receiver! ;)

Here is an example of what one person did...

This photo came from the FB page "Humans of New York," with the following script...

“I’ve always liked to do nice things for strangers. I worked in the mail room at my college dorm, and whenever I emailed a package notification, I’d always add a little something extra. Like an awesome shark pic. Or a link to Japanese jazz. Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I buy really weird antique post cards, write poems on them, and mail them to random people I find in the white pages. The first time I sent one, I added a full-page disclaimer because I was worried some old person would think it was from ISIS and call the cops. I basically wrote: ‘Don’t worry. It’s art. Everything’s cool. You won’t be hearing from me again.’”

I LOVE MAIL!!! :) So you probably already know, I LOVE this idea! :D I would be one happy recipient if one of these came to my mail box! ;) Thus, I'm assuming I would find joy in sending one out as well. I think I'll do that for some stranger some time this week. :)

Another idea I'm fond of came from a friend of mine. Each time she and her family travel, they make post cards with some cool drawing or design or word art on the front of it, addressed to their own address, with a message reading, "Lost mail. Please help me find my way back home!" LOL


Then they go to a public library and hide their post cards in books for people to find, write in, and send back to them! :) They have been doing it for a about ten years now, and get about half of them back.

Doesn't that sound like fun? :D This friend of mine is QUITE creative. I'd really like to "inherit" some of those jeans. I suppose I may have to settle for copying others' creativity until I develop some of my own! ;) I'll leave a link to my dear friend's blog. You should check it out! It looks as though they are beginning to feature the return postcards more regularly!

I suggest you start here...

As my daughter would say, "any-who,"  ...I LOVE THIS IDEA, TOO! :)

Again, I suppose it is because I love mail. But in this age of emailing, my letter writing has greatly diminished. I don't like it. So I'm going to do this sometime this coming week, as well. :) Not from out of town, just from my own library, just for the fun of "experiencing" this, even if for a brief moment! :)

I'm ALSO going to take part in writing a "traveling letter!" Yeah! I'm so excited! :D (Can you tell I need a break from the mundane?) ;) I really DON'T have all the time in the world! This swap is through a site I just stumbled upon a day or so ago called Swap-bot ( There are a ton of swap activities to choose from there, if you are interested. Or you can simply make up your own! :)

OK... Enough telling you about what others do or of what I plan to do. Here is one more idea, which I actually DID. It was truly one of the most fun creative activities which I have had the pleasure of participating in. It was a Circle Journal. And IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

I'm pretty sure the title is self explanatory, but for those of you who might not know what it is... Each participant creates a journal out of whatever they want, with whatever theme they desire. All are coordinated into a circle, so everyone sends their journal to the next person on their list, who then gets to "add to" the journal, writing about the chosen theme for that journal; until the journal has traveled through the circle and been added to by each, and then lands back in the hands of the creator of the journal.

I made several pages for each journal I added to. Here are just a couple pictures of pages I made for other people's journals...

Theme: My life is Art

Theme: Emergence
I chose the theme Faith in Every Footstep for the journal I sent out.

I blogged the pages I made, so you are welcome to check them out if you desire. Just search "circle journal" on my blog to see them if you are interested...

Anyhow, seeing these postcards renewed my desire to want to be more creative. It seems I have been too busy for too long with necessities of life, and not made enough time to get creative or write letters to friends (As my daughter would say... "gasp! :o" LOL). Besides, I have been kind of blue lately. And maybe it's because I have been too busy, and haven't been reaching out and doing nice things for others! I don't know about you, but when ever I try to bring a smile to another person, I always end up finding a bigger smile on my own; it always seems to happen that way! :) I suppose it can work both ways... Don't make others smile and you lose your own! :o Yikes!

No more mundane for me! ...I'm going to light this world on fire with Joy Producing Creativity! ;D  ...Or at least, find some balance in my life between work and a little creative play! ;) And it's going to START with making an actual, physical, card, and MAILING it to my daughter... rather than just sending emails all the time.  :)

If any of you would like to bring a smile to a missionary serving in Japan, you can send her one, too! :D

Sister Mindy Moore
Chiba-ken, Kisarazu-shi 
Yamato 2-8-1. ZC:292-0064 

Happy Joy Producing Creativity to you all!

Corine :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Finding Comfort

Hi. Today was a REALLY hard day for me, emotionally.

I started out emotional. I am not certain why. Nothing horrible happened. I had normal concerns. I was overwhelmed. Maybe my hormones were out of balance (that was probably most of it).

Anyhow, I went through the day praying and struggling and actually had a sweet experience as a result of it... (More than one, actually)...

As I worked, a song came to my mind; I think it is called "A Child's Prayer."

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

I could hear the song being sung in my mind... And I could FEEL that it was being sung to me...

Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;

I KNEW that the Holy Spirit had put that song into my heart and mind, and that He was telling me that Heavenly Father LOVES ME, and that He was listening to my prayers. :) And He wanted me to KEEP TALKING TO HIM. So I continued to pray. It was nice, to know He was listening. :)

And as I heard the rest of the verse, I knew... No matter how old I get, I will always remain, His child... :)

He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom,
The kingdom of heav’n.
Children’s Songbook.

I continued to feel emotional off and on, but I DID find comfort through the Holy Ghost, knowing that my FATHER in heaven LOVES ME; I am HIS child; and He was listening to me, and always will... :)

I know you are HIS child, too. I used to seek comfort from those who I could physically SEE. I thought I needed that. I was wrong.

If you ever need comfort, pray to Him. He CAN comfort you, too, better than anyone else ever could! :)

Hugs to any who are seeking comfort. You ARE loved! :)

PS. I also had an angel friend who, by virtue of her awesome compassion and kindness, comforted me better than most people are capable of (Traci). She is one of the SWEETEST, most KIND people I know! I am SO THANKFUL for such angelic friends!!! :D

After my cup was filled, I was able to be of comfort to my husband with something he was struggling with. I ended the day snuggled up with Miles, a big bowl of popcorn and one of my FAVORITE movies: Enchanted! :D That movie always makes me smile! :) Happy day!

Corine :D

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Peace with Teens... Peace in Mentoring... Peace in RESOLUTIONS...

HI friends! :D

New Years thoughts on APPROPRIATE Goal Setting...

Yesterday, I went through some frustrating moments with a teen who my husband and I have adopted as our own (not legally, but he has lived with us off and on as needed). We did NOT communicate very well with each other and were both frustrated.

I wrote this on FB as a result of it...

"Am I the only woman in my 40's who is STILL wondering when I'm going to finally reach emotional maturity and stop FREAKING OUT when teenagers drive me crazy? :o  Please, tell me I'm not alone ladies!"

Afterwards, I found myself disappointed WITH MYSELF. I cried, because I was so frustrated, no longer with him, but with myself, for being frustrated with him and for not accepting his response to my counsel. There was a part of me that just wanted him to do X when I said Y and when it didn't happen it frustrated me! And I wasn't very nice.

I prayed hard for help to overcome my own weaknesses and for the Lord to help me to see what I was doing and how to change (I'm sure I'll keep praying for this until I'm proficient!).

After a few tears of my own and a few prayers off and on through the night and early morning I realized that I SET MYSELF UP FOR FRUSTRATION, NOT JOY. And some basic principles came back to mind that I realized have to do with GOAL SETTING, and INTENTIONS...

These are basic principles, but I need to make a conscious effort to apply them to my life, goals, and expectations for myself and for others...

Principle: Since I can't change others, only myself, ALL GOALS need to be directed at what I want MYSELF to accomplish, not what I want the outcomes for others to be.

If I set a goal to help someone else to do something, I'm setting myself up for frustration and failure, because I'm not the one who can make them do it. They are.

I know this is obvious, but somehow, I think I have subconscious motives (goals that I don't realize I have) to accomplish things that only others can accomplish... and I need to train myself to recognize when I am thinking this way so I can change that mindset and set myself up for the peace and success the Savior desires for me to have. He wants me to be a mentor and example, but that is all. The outcome is out of my control...

I realized (again) that I need to NOT make it my goal to help THEM change/improve; I need TO make it my goal to give them rules (where appropriate), examples, opportunities, and guidance... which, if they choose to follow it, will help them improve...

And it can't be my goal for them to follow it, because it is NOT my choice to make that happen; it's theirs. Furthermore, for ME to be happy, I need to ACCEPT this lack of control and ACCEPT the possibility of choices I disagree with being made, remembering that our Savior's plan of happiness is for ALL people. And they CAN learn and grow if THEY will CHOOSE to, whether by their successes and good choices, or by their failures and mistakes...

With that in mind, when it comes to focusing on improvement and CHANGE, my energy and focus need to be SOLELY on changing and improving ME. AND ONLY ME. :) 

If my goal is to provide my children (or others whom I seek to mentor - of any age) with opportunities for growth, and I provide these opportunities, then I can find joy in that. :) I don't have to hold back on being happy or think that happiness can only come if they take those opportunities and run with them! And this can only happen if I keep this perspective and have patience, knowing that the ones I love will continue to be given opportunities to learn from.

If my goal is to improve the world, I need to improve ME. :) And I can find joy and happiness in overcoming my own demons.

Another thing to keep in mind when setting goals is that the New Year is a time to reflect on the GOOD, and on what we have to be thankful for. It isn't a time to beat ourselves up. We all make mistakes, and we can find plenty of those in reflecting - but we shouldn't seek them out. Instead, we should BE THANKFUL for what we LEARN from our mistakes. Thus, even our past mistakes can be a source of joy with the proper perspective. And we can look forward to the future, knowing we have gained wisdom and that, as President Hinckley so rightfully stated, "our future is as bright as our faith!"  :)

Here is a WONDERFUL video about New Years Resolutions/Goals...

Wishing you all happy goal setting and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! May we all set goals that are in OUR reach! And may we still aim high! ;)

Corine :D

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 in Review... :)

(To those of you who have read this blog, please forgive the redundancy! It won't be happening in 2016! :D)

Hi dear friends and family! :D Can you believe, another year has come and gone already??? In the beginning of a new year I always find myself reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to discovering what the coming new year has in store for our family. This is a time of serious reflection to count our many blessings! :D

Here goes!... :)

Spontaneous photo - taken while out hiking in the summertime before Mindy left for Japan :)
2015 - Year in Review...

This past year started out CRAZY BUSY!

(What am I saying? It was crazy busy the whole year! Why does this seem to be a theme with me?!? :o).

I was working, what felt like, all the time!  (LOL - I'm still working on this! :))

Then one of the people I work for suggested that I bring my husband to work with me. I approached him, and to my delight he said he thought about offering to work with me, repeatedly, but wasn't sure if people would want him to. That excited me, let me assure you! So Miles joined me at that job! :D It went well, and the owner told my other employers about it. Anyhow, soon, Miles was working with me most of the time. This cut my work load WAY DOWN, and let me tell you, it was nice! :)

But it turns out, God had another reason for having Miles work with me, other than just so I could work less... ;)

My WONDERFUL, AMAZING mother had struggled with health problems for many years. I would go to her home a couple times a year (usually 2 weeks at a time, once longer) to help her recover and make freezer meals for her and stuff like that. I tried to get her to move in with me FOR YEARS but she was stubbornly independent and wouldn't budge!

Anyhow, winter of 2014 came, and with no one living near her, mom fell and shattered an arm. From the hospital she was sent to a nursing home - not allowed to return home. None of us kids were in a position to spontaneously go get her, nor did we realize how badly mom would need that.

As time went on, mom quickly lost complete use of her legs and Dementia settled in. She also became SEVERELY DEPRESSED. My siblings and I were all discussing what to do. Should we move her to a nursing home near by, or try to move her in with one of us? We were all ready and willing for years, but now that her needs were so severe we all worried that we might not be able to do it. So we thought and prayed. Repeatedly, facilities denied her admittance due to the amount of care she needed; and perhaps because God had something better for her. :) Four months went by with her in nursing homes far from family...

It was then that one of the kids asked mom, "Mom, where do YOU want to go? We are all willing to take you and applying for homes near us as well, but we want to know what YOU want." So mom prayed. And she fasted. And then she called me...

"Corine, I have been fasting and praying ALL DAY, and the Lord has told me very clearly that I am supposed to live with you."

I was suddenly terrified. Visions of amputations flashed through my mind... from her lifeless, stiff, Diabetic, fibromyalgia suffered, kidney failure-blistered legs and feet... I knew her kidneys were functioning at only 8%, and she was dying. Could I do it? Would I feel like I had failed her, or worse, like I killed her when the time came for her to go?

My heart pounded, and I honestly told mom of my fears. What if I couldn't do it?

Usually when we tried to talk to mom on the phone she was groggy, weak, quiet, and it was hard to understand her. She was SO DRUGGED. But this time, her voice was strong and clear and loud. 

She assured me that everything would work out, that God would help us with whatever we needed. We would have the equipment she needed. I would know what to do. We would get help. Everything would work out.

She had a strength about her that told me God was with her and she WAS being guided by him. So I told her I would talk to Miles and pray about it. I did.

Miles prayed. And the next morning a brother called and told of his visit with her in the nursing home and of the neglect she was suffering. And Miles knew. At that very moment, the Holy Spirit was there, testifying to us both that she DID NEED US, and that He would help us to do what we needed to do to take care of her. We were both now fully in.

The Lord had things in place... There was only one job that I could not work with Miles, so I quit that job. Another I would soon loose for the same reason (she needed help longer than I could be away ). It was a leap of faith, but I knew it was the Lord's will with everything in me, so I went with it.

Then two angels came to our door for a spontaneous visit. Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... (Thanks Elders Keppner and Saunders! We love you! :D). We told them of our situation, and decision to get a room ready in only a week. They asked if they could help! :) I think this was the first time in my life that I EAGERLY said yes to someone asking if they could help me. I ran to get supplies, and these fine Elders spent the next week helping us to prepare a room for her (and sometimes it was just our sons and these Elders who worked on the house, while my husband and I worked outside the home). These boys ripped out carpet, filled in holes in the walls, painted, and cut and glued down new carpet. We realized that the room next to hers would need the same treatment, as she had autoimmune diseases and kittens were born in the room next door. So the job was done twice... in one week. :) These guys became family to us, and getting to know and love them has been another highlight of this fabulous year! :)

Mom came to live with us the end of February. She started out drugged, depressed, confused, unable to read, unable to feed herself very well, and in a lot of pain. Thanks to a loving Father in Heaven, she was blessed to go from this...

First couple taken the last couple days of February; she wasn't alert enough to put her head up for pictures...
(Devry was in southern Id. at this time so wasn't in these first photos)

I am so proud of these kids for developing such talents of nurturing service & compassion! :D

Taken some time in March, I think (getting a little better every month!)
to this...

Her hand writing went from completely illegible to legible, and reading ability from non existent to able! I was so happy when I walked into the room to see this that I had to take a photo of it! :)

(For more photos of what she looked like between these months, (in addition to photos of Mindy and Levi in their costumes for convention), see my April post...

One morning mom announced that we just HAD to get family photos - TODAY. So I helped mom get ready. She wore a wig because her hair was so thin and she didn't think it looked like here without a full head of hair. She was beautiful! :D

Photos taken about 6 weeks before Mindy left on her mission and about 4 weeks before mom passed away...
We were SO blessed to have my angel mother with us! :) Having her live with us was one of the biggest and best things we ever did! :D

On July 14th, mama passed on. We spent the next couple weeks mourning and planning a funeral. On August 1st we celebrated her life with family and friends. It was a BEAUTIFUL funeral and memorial!

THAT has been, (regardless of the fact that it took just under half of the year) - the bulk of this year.

Other stuff...

Devry moved back in with us this year! :D

Mindy left us to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - in the Tokyo Japan Mission, on July first! She spent the first three months at the MTC in Provo. She has had many wonderful experiences and made many wonderful friends, both in Provo, and in Japan. We are so happy for her! :D

The remainder of the year has been spent getting back into the groove after mom's passing, and getting our home back in order. Like I said, the garage is still in need of help. :o We will get to it as soon as it warms up out there. :)

This year, our family has been GREATLY BLESED. The Lord has provided for our needs in a beautiful way. Despite the low income, we have continued to be self reliant. This is very important to us. And we have been blessed by the generosity of others more than we have ever experienced in our entire lives! We are incredibly thankful for this, as well!

In addition, we are making progress in so many ways. And we are blessed to do a little service for others here and there as well. :) (It never seems like enough, but we do what we can.)

In December Damien moved back in with us as well. He has had a very rough road. We are blessed to give him shelter and a family to love him as well. :)

And Miles is no longer depressed! He is balanced! :D Miles and I think Miles licked the demon that held him down! He is a new person. We are all, so blessed! :D I think his business will flourish now as a result of it! :D

***I know that our Father in Heaven loves us all, very much! He is always there for us. Our blessings are many, and they are big and small - and even the small ones are big. ;)

This includes you. I know the Lord loves you, and pray that in your darkest hours you can listen to the sweet spirit, who can testify to you the marvelous blessings and tender mercies in your lives! :)

I MISS AND LOVE YOU ALL, SO MUCH!!! I'm praying that this year my family and I will have more time to visit with family and friends, and to reconnect and bond again. Please forgive us for not keeping in touch better. And Please write or call or whatever you feel so inclined to do; we'd love to hear from you!

Happy New Year!
Love you all!

Corine :D