Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Book Reading Challenge of the Year.....

I saw a book challenge on Facebook and decided that I would try it....
Here is the list..
Read a book...
  • Published this year....I'll be waiting for one of my favorite authors to have a new book out!
  • You can finish in a day...That is the book in the photo...
  • You have been meaning to read....Not sure about this one as I usually read books I've been meaning to read...
  • recommended by a librarian or book seller....
  • You should have read in school...
  • chosen by your spouse, sibling, child or BFF....Mom send me a recommendation!
  • published before you were born...The book Heaven and Hell....I'm slowly getting to the end
  • that was banned at some point....Alice in Wonder land or green eggs and ham....
  • that you previously abandoned... I have one in my car from last year.....
  • that you own but have never read....I have 2 that I bought but have not had time to read yet! that can go with the meaning to read books too :)
  • that intimidates you.... "The Witches book"  another book I'm slowly reading through...
  • that you have read at least once before....I'll probably read "Garden Spells again this spring it is my spring garden magic book... 
So I loved this little owl wisdom book...Owls are my thing right now...
A favorite little quote... Be Soft. Do not let the world make you hard.  Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.  Take Pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place....Kurt Vonnegut.
Are you doing any type of reading challenge this year?  What books would you recommend reading?
Other than this list I hope to read more books that have garden themes and family history mystery books...I hope to share some of the books that I love with you this year...I have photos....Now just have to find time to blog!
G.G.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Seeking The Savior....My spiritual promptings during church.....












It was so nice to have another Sunday off and to be able to attend Church.  The focus of our Sacrament meeting was keeping strong in the faith through understanding the atonement.  One of the hymns we sang was "Hold To The Rod".  Part of the song says " The Iron Rod is the word of God"...as I thought of this I remembered my scripture reading in the New Testament this week...Where you learn that The Savior is The Word....Always when I thought of this song and holding to the rod I thought of holding onto the scriptures and reading them...But today it came to me that what I really should be doing is Holding onto the Savior...To look and seek for him and hold on to his words and become like him....It has become one of my new year goals to seek each day for the Savior and to think of him as much as I can during my day and week. 
The lesson in our 3rd hour of church was also about the Savior.
The quotes that stuck out to me were.. "We must know Christ better than we know him.... We must remember him more often.  Do we love the Lord enough to give up our sins?  We talked of ways that we can think of the Lord more...
During Christmas I bought a new calender for our house that has paintings of the Savior..I also bought some small prints.  Now when I work on my projects in my dining area when I look up I see the Savior.
Another important thing to do is show him graditude for his help in our lives.  I realize that this is something that I have focused on for the past two years.  I'm thankful that I am walking down this path and finding ways to seek the Lord more.
One thing I am thankful for is that every time I go through a trial I reach more to my Savior and turn more towards him instead of away from him.  I become more determined to find him in my life.  Many of the women shared their moments of help from the Savior during a struggle....It reminded me of our move out to Utah.  It was a hard time in our lives...I remember having a dream of being on top of a cliff, I was blindfolded and had to trust that I would be led down the mountain.  At the end of the dream I was turned around to face the mountain and the blindfold was taken off...I remember looking at the steep cliff and knowing that I was carried down the mountain and that it was the Savior who took care of me...That was the moment I knew that no matter what happened during our move I would be cared for.  I love when I have spiritual dreams..
At the end of the lesson we sang "Be Still My Soul"  I was grateful that I could sing it without crying as it was one of the songs I played over and over before we moved.  Oh how I love that song and how it talks of the Savior taking care of our needs and knowing what we need.  I look forward to a new week of seeking my Savior. 
How do you remember the Savior in your daily life?
G.G.


Our Year in Review....Good Bye 2015

Looking back at 2015 I feel we had a pretty good year...I don't feel as storm tossed as I have in the years before...I like this photo of my husband and I looking out at the calm ocean in New Jersey...I'm hoping that our life this year can remain calm that we can have more joy than sorrow and more success than failure...That we can grow but not be challenged to a point of frustration and heart ache....
The big loss of 2015 was the loss of my Father in Law....As I have watched my husband over the course of this year I have seen him battle with the grief and unfinished relationship....I was glad that he had been able to go and see his father before his death and have a little peace...But we had believed he was getting better and that we would all see each other during our planned summer vacation...It was hard to have the loss come so unexpectedly....I'm thankful that we had airline tickets and the ability to have my husband be able to attend the funeral....Loss takes time to heal from...I find some comfort from my belief that there is a part of us that lives on and that the spirit of our departed loved ones is able to watch over us...I imagine my father in law in a young state again and that he comes to events with us...That empty chair next to me is not empty but there is a spirit of a loved one with us watching band concerts, celebrating good times and comforting us when we are sad...On our way to Vermont this past year the song "Paper Roses" came on and I thought my grandmother Miller must be with us as we would sing that song together....
One of my focuses this year was spending more time with my Husband and seeing more of Utah...When we moved here we were storm tossed and tired...We went  right to work and have felt like we have been barely treading water...I think the first two years here if I had just sunk under and left this world I would have been happy....This past year I have finally felt as if I'm stronger and that I have energy...One place we visited was the Thanksgiving Point Tulip festival...I would love to buy a membership to this place it is beautiful and to go on walks often would be nice...That is one thing I'd like to do this year go on more walks with my husband...
We also had our yearly trip to the Salt Lake Temple to see all the flowers blooming...I love to see gardens...I hope we can find some new ones to visit this year...I'll have to make a list...
Despite losing all our free plane tickets that was the reason we could go out East for a visit...We went...Because sometimes you just have to live and do....And we needed this trip on so many levels....
We needed to see family and friends and my husband needed to be by the ocean...We walked down our old neighborhood streets and had all our favorite foods...
We went to our favorite park...And spent a few afternoons at that beach....If only we could have made time go slowly that week....
Then we drove to the green mountains of Vermont and had time with my family....We got to relax and eat wonderful food and spend time visiting....
We had a cook out on the hottest day of the year for Vermont...It didn't seem as hot to us...We loved being surrounded by the Green and my family loved the humidity in the air...I have to say I like the dry desert air...
Once home the rat race began again...The kids got ready to go back to school...My son is a senior...How did that happen....My husband worked so many hours that I wished we had made our trip a little longer...and I knew the holiday rush of retail was looming in the distance....
We started the process of looking at colleges...My son hopes to be an animator someday...He is always drawing and animating and dreaming up ideas..He has been accepted to one college so far and waiting to hear from others...
Senior Photo's and and School photo's came and I was very pleased with how well they came out...I think often how did these two children grow up so fast...And I feel blessed because they are good teens...They are the type that you want to keep and yet realize you have to let them go...They have their journeys ahead of them...my biggest hope is they are happy and find life to be good and have more success than failure...
My daughter had lots of Karate events and moved up in belt ranks....It is fun to watch her learn and do in this sport...
My son has been learning to cook and do things that will help him survive on his own...He has a job, and likes the independence of making his own money....Just wish he would like to save a bit more...
We had a family photo adventure...It's the last one with the children as children or a I guess teens/young adults...We are not sure if our son will be home next Christmas he could be...Or he could be called to a mission and be far away...I'm not quiet ready for that...And yet he looks forward to it...He would like to go far away and be tested...I would like to keep him close by...Our little family is changing...We started out as two...Then had three..and then four...and now we will go to three..and then back to two...And yet we are not totally losing the two children...and perhaps in the future we will gain another daughter and son through marriage and hopefully down the road grandchildren....This circle of life is amazing...full of Joy and sorrow...and goes by way too fast.....
I hope you had a good 2015 and that 2016 will be one to enjoy...
G.G.















Sunday, January 3, 2016

Keeping your torch lit....The begining of my Spiritual Journey of 2016

So today in church the third our lesson was on keeping your torch lit as you run the race of life...Or keeping the Light of Christ with you and as your focus.  It was nice to discuss how we are not in competition with others and our journey is our own and ways to keep our focus daily on the Savior...
As I pondered about this I thought of all the things I've been doing in recent weeks and how this will help me on my Spiritual Journey this year.  Above are the books that I have purchased or have been given in the past few weeks.  I have had a wonderful end to 2015 and I believe much of that had to do with my turning my thoughts to the Savior.  I have been searching for him through out the Christmas season, more than focusing on worldly activities.  In this I found that Christmas was a wonderful time this year.  It has been the best Christmas since we have moved.  And the only Change that really took place was my focus on Christ.  I have been feeling the need to learn how to be a light to others for the Savior...How do I live each day so that I can bring God's light to others?  That has been my question for the past few months..
Today the challenge at the end of Church was to work on your spiritual light by trying to do something spiritual for 30 days... And so here are the new books I will be reading in the next month that I hope will help me grow closer to my Savior...
One of my friends gave me this book to read...I think I have read it before...But my focus has been the Savior for a few months now and so perhaps reading it again will give me more understanding...


The focus of our Sacrament meetings last year was keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and reverence during the Sacrament...I got this book to help my focus stay on the Savior during the Sacrament..
These three books are my search for what life after death brings...I love to read books on this subject I have actually read the top two books and now reading them again as I am working on writing a book and they are helping with this process and the bottom book is interesting and frustrating and slow to read...But I always come away thinking more about life and death and how I look to the Savior after a few pages of it...

This is the last of the "Spiritual Journey" books for the month...I hope to gain more insight into the parables of our Savior while reading this book... I hope this year to do more spiritual blogging on Sundays it was one thing I wanted to do more of last year but did not have time to do...  Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you may be doing to grow closer to the Savior.
Here is the link to the talk from the Sunday lesson today... Finish with your torch still lit....
Happy New Year!
G.G.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cemeteries and Tombstones are spooky to some...to a Family Historian they often are a place of peace...With hidden treasure to be found..

As a family historian I spend hours everyday looking for my ancestors...The greatest finds are photo's people share. It is always wonderful when you can put a face to the names and dates you have collected in your family tree.
Finding photo's of people are few and far between...But one thing I've begun to collect is photo's of my Ancestors tombstones.
Tombstones come in all sizes and shapes...Some are simple like the one above...And some are elaborate...I even have a few ancestors who only had a pipe marking where they were buried...The above tombstone is that of Samuel Kimball, The picture at the top is of him.  To have the photo and tombstone what great luck for me.
Some Tombstones are slowly falling apart and others seem to last the test of time well....Many times the only information found on an ancestor comes from what is left of their tombstone...It is like being on a treasure hunt for a family historian when they walk into a cemetery... Finding that lost Ancestor and their vital information...When we lived on the east coast my husband and I spent many Sundays visiting cemeteries and photographing our ancestors tombstones.  It was hard with young children and if I could get back now I would be off on my own collecting information...
If I didn't have to worry about food and housing and caring for a family my dream job would be to travel the world photographing my ancestors or for that matter any one's ancestors tombstones....I would so enjoy going to Scotland and England and New England and walking through old Castles and finding hidden cemeteries out in the woods.  Then taking my photo's and information and putting together a giant family tree..( I hope when my children are finally out on their own to start to work towards this dream...To try to find a job with a Family History company....)
I'd like to find out their stories....I would like to see what traits I may have that they passed down to me..Did they have happy lives?  Were their dreams fulfilled?
I don't know why I feel compelled to find tombstones and the names of my ancestors...But it is a big part of who I am...I love to find any information and never feel that I have found everyone...Or that the work is done...Today as soon as I woke up I felt compelled to write this little blog...And spent my day doing other things and then a blogger I follow wrote a blog post about cemeteries and connecting with our Beloved Dead...Somehow even though I don't know this person we are on the same wave length today... I have thought a lot about Halloween this year and have spent more time thinking of the spirits of my Ancestors and how important they are to me than about goblins and creepy things...I think from what I have read this is what Halloween was really about...Remembering your Beloved dead.


I think if I met this ancestor of mine I might be a little scared though...  She looks pretty stern...
Have a Wonderful Halloween and take time to remember those who came before you.
G.G.




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Books I read this summer part 2....

Here is a photo of the next bunch of books I read this summer or tried to read....
The book "Coastliners"  Is sitting on the back seat of my car waiting to be finished....I bought this book on my vacation in New Jersey from our old library....I am trying to collect books that have an ocean theme... I just can't get into this book....Maybe I'll finish it someday...at least it will look good with all my other books that have an ocean theme in my upstairs living room.
I really loved this book... "The Walk" is about a man who has everything and loses it and what he does after losing everything....If you are going through a tough time in life this is a book for you to read...It has some really great ideas on moving forward after a great loss...
I'm not sure why but this was the summer to read books about people dealing with a life crisis...."A Year by the Sea"  is a book I picked up on vacation in New Jersey...Another ocean themed book...This one is about a woman who leaves her husband for a year to live alone in a cabin by the ocean....She is trying to find herself and what is right for her life...I liked the book and can understand the desire to spend a year by the ocean....
What books have you read lately?
G.G.




5 Generations of Young Bowlby Men....Senior Photo's through the years.....

Being a Family Historian I'm always looking at photo's of family...Taking Photo's and collecting photo's...Here is my Son's school senior photo....He wants to be an animator...So he is showing some of his art...It's nice that in our times we can get a feel for the person in their senior photo.
Here he is in the standard photo pose...The school colors are purple and white...Which I think is cool because that was my high school colors too....and we are thousands of miles away from my home town...
The black and white version...Because all the rest of the photo's will be black and white...
Here is his fathers senior photo...I actually have it in color but it has faded and yellowed a little...What do you think do they look alike to you?  I'd like to have another photo of my son done where he is looking in the same direction as his dads photo....
His Grandfather Richard Bowlby....


His Great Grandfather John Bowlby.....
His Great Great Grandfather Lewis Bowlby....This one is probably a wedding photo and not a school photo but he still looks pretty young.... It is cool to see the generations of young Bowlby men...
G.G.