Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week of May 12-May 18, 2014

I am 53 years old…been married over 34 years…given birth to six children…married off four children…'adopted' five children in law…

I haven't seen as much as many have, but I, who thrive on planning and lists, have learned that we are here to grow, to be taught, and some of my teaching from my loving Heavenly Father is learning to rely on Him when we don't know…to have faith, when we cannot see, or are afraid.

And most of all, to learn that it is not what happens to us…but how we respond to what happens to us.

This week was full of those moments. I wrote daily, just to try to capture some of what was going on, though often I didn't fully comprehend, or understand. It was at those times, I truly was on my knees, pouring out my heart to my Heavenly Father…"I don't understand. Please help me keep thy Spirit here and do as Thou wouldst have me…"

Monday - Dee had many, many online meetings today. Kaylee had a great time in the yard: chicks to play with, hut cart to be pulled on, power wheels to sit in (she doesn't like them to move, so she just sits.), sand to dig in, swing to swing on, and she even carried some of the 'matos' Grammy and Papa picked and helped in the grape gazebo (there are bugs called Grape Leaf Skeletonizers that eat the leaves, little by little, until nothing is left but the skeleton of the leaf...nasty bugs that can kill the whole plant. The solution is to carefully get the leaf the army of 5 or 6 is invading, and literally step on them, to crush them. Once Kaylee saw me hand Papa a few leaves and him crush them, she went to it with other leaves...just to help. Friends from our ward came to dinner for pizza and wings, prepared all by Dee since I wasn't much help with a cute little kid napping on me. Another friend and his son stopped by (I swear, radar signals go out when we light that oven up!) and had pizza and wings too. Jessica and Nathan celebrated Jess's brother's engagement (The Hudsons are going to be very, very busy!). Kayty spent the day at the lake with friends. I spent the evening cleaning...again. Pizza Oven is officially shut down till after the wedding!

Tuesday - Windy day (and they predict worse winds tomorrow). I was up late, so I didn't run (Nate's headache was very bad). Dee worked away from home for much of the morning. Kaylee came and took an unusual morning nap. She was a bit warm, so I gave her some Tylenol and she was back to her old self the rest of the day, though she also didn't take an afternoon nap, so my afternoon rest was filled with playing ball with a cute little girl. Nate got another chiropractic adjustment, which cured the headache…hurray! He and Jess got their marriage license, and then Nate worked on his truck, prepping it for paint. I helped by letting the jack down and pumping it up…to get the bed of the truck off the body/frame. Dee prepared Ant Farm kits for his Webelos scouts the next night. Nate, Jess and Dad watched The Three Musketeers in the evening, and Kayty worked late.

Wednesday - The wind in the middle of the night woke me up, and when our bag of saved aluminum cans (there is a little white haired lady that walks all over the neighborhood collecting cans, so we set them aside for when we see her) fell over, and each individual can tumbled across the patio, I got up and checked on Kayty, who had stopped on the way home from work to see a Spiderman movie. I slept a few more hours, and then woke up, exercised, and got the day going. Nate had no work, so worked on his truck, and closed his bank account. Much has been going on in preparation for wedding, as lots of interviews have to occur, and bank accounts joined. I find myself in prayer a lot, asking to bring me the peace I need to keep the Spirit in our home. Stress sends nerves to their edge, and I find that uncertainty breeds stress…and there are more questions than answers now. I hang on to prayer…lots of prayer…and delve into my duties. Kaylee had fun, especially when Nano spent the morning here. She likes different people to visit. Scouts came in the afternoon, and by the time dinner was cleaned up and all was done, I was aching…from both mental and physical exhaustion.

Thursday - Since you all now know Nate and Jessica are married, you may understand my week. Today, there were lots and lots of phone calls. To be married in the temple, you must have a special recommend, or permission, called a Living Ordinance Recommend. The interviews are done by your bishop and stake president. Whereas other interviews can be done by counselors, these usually follow this…unless you decide on Monday to get married on Saturday night. Many permissions, from an out of town bishop and stake president, had to happen. Calls and texts were flying. I think Kaylee felt the stress, plus her teeth were bothering her (she's getting about 5 teeth at once), plus the fact that I had to keep this all secret…and you KNOW that I am a terrible liar! Anyway, after he was done working, Nate and Jess started packing up boxes…since they would leave Saturday night. I am glad when my kids move on, but the initial box packing is always a bit hard, especially when he was only here less than 11 weeks. Silly mom stuff…it passes. Plus, I had kept praying that I keep the main focus of all this: two great people married for time and eternity. I worried a lot, since Jess said we could let everyone know. My mom was at the temple preparing names for family to take on Jess's day of her endowment, and I couldn't tell her. Anyway, he went for his interviews, Ethan got Kaylee, I fed pasta with pesto to Dee for dinner, he worked on Nate's wedding ring, we went out and got more milk, and I crashed. It was a sleepless night, with calls, interruptions, and Morgan letting us know he was on his way from Texas. I don't know why my sleepless weeks always come on weeks I have Kaylee.

Friday - It was forecast to be a hot day, so after Kayty left for work, Kaylee and I played out in the sand,

and Papa turned the water on to the grapevines, which gave her a cool treat!

Nathan rushed in after work, changed into nice clothes, and he and Jessica went out to the Relief Society Distribution Center for her to get her temple clothing. After Kaylee left, Dee had mowed the yard, and we were just sitting around. Nate texted with a "What's for dinner?" I hadn't cooked anything…Dee is getting a cold and I made him menudo, and I just assumed Nate and Jess would be gone the rest of the evening. I told him there was leftover pasta and pesto…and he said Yum. We spent a great evening, eating tortelini (that is what he wanted, so he had tortelini and pesto), I worked on Sam's Christmas Stocking, Dee altered the size of Nate's ring,

we sat around and watched The Amazing Spiderman, and I hemmed Nate's pants to go to the temple. He finished packing suitcases and we headed to bed.

Saturday - I had a hard time sleeping. The day was going to be full of blessings…and I so wish they could have been shared with my family…but, again…It's not what happens, it's what you do with what happens. I ran, though I walked one of the miles (I haven't eaten a lot this week and really don't have the energy). I am just praying that we have peace, for Satan loves to ruin covenant events with contention. We yard saled, Nate loaded more boxes, we watched "The Pacifier", Jess brought Nate a Lunchable, and off they went to the temple. For those that could not come, we wrote down our memories of what happened, so I will include that now...

Jessica and Nathan wedding memory 5-17-2014
By Suzzy and Doran Rice

At 8:09 P.M., Nathan and Jessica were pronounced “married for all time and eternity” by Sealer, Joseph A. Fish. Joseph Fish is Doran and Suzzy’s former bishop, who also was a mission president and Spain Temple President. Doran called Joseph earlier that day and asked if he could perform the temple sealing of Nathan and Jessica. Brother Fish gladly accepted.

Nathan and Jessica had to be at the temple for her Initiatory Work at 4pm with the Endowment Session at 5:30, then the sealing afterwards, scheduled for 7pm in Sealing Room 2. Besides Suzzy and Doran, there were in attendance Wendy Whiting, Jessica’s Escort, Ashley Perkins, Holly (Singles’ Ward Relief Society President).

The session went a little longer than typical...but all was well and we all met in the Celestial Room. After a few moments of hugs, a sister came and escorted Jessica and Nathan to visit with the Sealer. We talked until that same sister came back and escorted us to the Sealing Room. The room is located on the lower floor, just off of the main staircase. It had white carpet and cream colored seating, and the cushions were a pale sage green.

Once there, a sister temple worker had Doran sign both the Marriage License and the Temple Marriage Certificate as a witness, and, since two witnesses were required, the sister went and located another temple worker , who happened to be an friend in a ward we were in a few years ago, Ray Ward. We waited a few more minutes while the Sealer talked to them. Finally, all three entered the Sealing room. Nathan, Jessica and the Sealer Joseph Fish.

Nathan and Jessica were seated on a beautiful couch for two, with the altar directly in front of them, and the mirror behind them. Suzzy was seated right next to Nathan, and Wendy, Holly, and Ashley sat next to Jessica. At the head of the room, to the couple’s left, were three seats, with Doran sitting in the first one (to the right of the sealer), Brother Fish in the center chair, and Brother Ward in the remaining chair. With Jessica and Nathan seated, Joseph Fish began to talk. He said that he would sit down, as he had stood a lot that day and that he could do what he needed to do sitting down. He said lots of wonderful things. Suzzy and I are trying to piece together our memory of their Sealing. He said that he would ask them a very long question, to which the answer is “Yes”. Joseph spoke of individual covenants that had taken place, the washing, anointing, covenants pertaining to the endowment. Those were individual covenants. The covenant that Jessica and Nathan were about to make was a couple’s covenant: that of being sealed.

Brother Fish then instructed Nathan to escort his bride to the other side of the altar and kneel, and he returned to the altar on the opposite side and knelt. They joined hands across the altar. The sealer slightly adjusted Jessica’s hand as he spoke, to make sure everything was as it should be. He asked them the long questions, to which each said, yes. Then, at exactly 8:09 P.M., he pronounced Jessica May Hudson and Nathan Michael Rice, husband and wife, for time and all eternity. He then blessed them with many choice blessings and promises. He closed the sealing in the Name of Jesus Christ. He then said they could kiss across the altar, which they did. Brother Fish then said they had done well, because he commented that kissing is so different nowadays, he said “I said they could kiss each other, not eat each other!”

Nathan then escorted, Jessica back to where they were sitting, and more words were spoken. (Since Jessica had selected this evening sealing, and it was the last one of the day, there was more time than typical, and the sealer had opportunity to give more counsel). Joseph talked of the papers that were there, which he completed the last signature on, keeping one for his records. And spoke to us witnesses saying that if needed, we might be called upon to witness that indeed Nathan and Jessica were married. Joseph held up the “State” contract of marriage (marriage license), saying that this is a contract, and, as with all contracts, it is void when one of the parties dies. He spoke of the covenants that sealed them together for all eternity, and he said there were only two people that could break the temple covenant: not a mother in law, not a job, not anyone but each of them. He had pronounced great promises. They had been given “All that the Father hath…” and everything necessary for them to pass by the angels which lead to the Celestial Kingdom. They were pronounced a King and Queen, a Priest and Priestess to reign in God’s Kingdom. They were just given ALL they needed. Their part is to remain faithful to the end.

He counseled them to continue to court each other, and to establish good habits in their home. He said the children raised from babies with the habit of daily prayer and scripture reading will not think anything else but that this is normal. They may not always like it, but it will be normal. Brother Fish’s daughter had seven children, and each of those children have at least 6 children, and he said all 50+ of his great grandchildren know that daily prayer and scripture reading always happen. He pointed out that not all of his children reared their children in this way, but the ones that did had children that knew the importance of this. Nate and Jessica were counseled to pray that night, with Nathan as voice, in a couples’ prayer, expressing gratitude for Jessica, and that the next morning, they were to kneel in prayer, and Nathan was to ask Jessica to offer the morning prayer, expressing her gratitude for Nathan, and that this was the start of a new habit throughout their marriage. He counseled Nathan that he was not to rule, but that decisions were to be made together. Prior to this day, each one had done what they wanted, but now they must work together and find what works for them. He counseled them to make sure they have Family Home Evening. Now, it could be a date night, but as children enter their home, it will be teaching and learning, and then someday, as they are older, it will again be a date night. He had the certificates, and a picture of the Mesa Arizona temple in a large envelope, and handed it to Jessica. He counseled Nathan to let Jessica select the most beautiful frame, no matter what the cost, and she would select the place to hang it in their home and Nathan would hang it. He said that disagreements would happen, and when they did, they were to walk where the picture of the temple hung, and they were to stand and look at that temple, and remember this day, and then decide if the disagreement was really worth ruining what began right there. It could be a difference of which way the paper comes off the roll. She then handed the envelope to Suzzy, whom she called “Dear Mother in law” as the sealer had counseled prior.

We were then all told to stand, to hug Jessica and Nathan, and then to file out. Suzzy hugged them first, and welcomed Jessica as her new daughter. We left the room, followed by Wendy, Holly, and Ashley, and got dressed. We are not sure how long Jessica and Nathan remained in the sealing room with Brother Fish.

Jessica's family was in the waiting area, and they were so happy when they got to hug their daughter and new son! I had brought my camera, so we quickly snapped a few pictures.

We met at Cafe Rio...Yes, Dad and I have FINALLY become a good Mormon and eaten at Cafe Rio (ha ha) though I had a vegetarian salad and he had a chicken salad (he is just not a fan of sweet meat) though he LOVED the cilantro ranch dressing!

We proceeded to call: Moms...Allison...and whomever would answer in the family...and then Sharynn, who probably won't come now, since the kids will have to miss school and it's so far to drive for a reception...and we understand!

We went to bed...exhausted and happy.

Sunday - a blessedly quiet day. Church, sitting around in the afternoon, we had a stake temple recommend interview in the afternoon, talking to moms on the phone, and Dee had home teaching appointments.

To my sweet wonderful family...I love ALL of you! I know the events of the week past will cause some sad feelings, and some plans will change. Please all remember, the MOST important things are the covenants we make. Nathan and Jessica were sealed for time and all eternity, and the "wedding stuff" that will or will not be participated in does not matter in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. I am not looking at what is not, but at what is. I am so thankful for my beautiful daughers: Allison, Kayty, Cameo, Amber, and Jessica. I am so thankful for my hard working and wonderful sons: Ethan, Doran, Morgan, Nathan and Michael. I am thankful beyond measure for my treasured grandchildren: Adam, Grace, Josh, Sam,Kaylee, Kelsie, Kooper, and little Charles. We all, as family units, have to make choices, and must be guided prayerfully by what is best for our immediate family unit (that being the Wilkins, the Ethan Rices, the Doran Rices, and the Nathan Rices). I know NONE of you intends to make any choices that will deliberately hurt anyone else...and that is how it stands!

Now on to a busy week, two old folks working in the yard, cleaning the porch, baking, decorating, etc. for a wedding reception in less than 10 days!

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