Every family has problems and challenges. But successful families try to work together toward solutions instead of resorting to criticism and contention. They pray for each other, discuss, and give encouragement. Ezra Taft Benson

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Mishap and Current Events

Christmas Morning!

Well that was Christmas! I wish I were more on top of things. We will not divulge all of our New Year resolutions but one of my #1's is to be more effective by being more organized. Christmas Eve I spent running to three different hospitals trying to get help for little Maryann. The Urgent Care took x-rays and said her left arm was broken but nobody would put a cast on it. Finally, a paramedic at Children's Hospital put a splint on. Maryann fusses more now with that big awkward thing on then she did before. I was having the children fold laundry and I was putting away the piles. I left Maryann on the couch and somehow she rolled (which I still haven't seen her do) and fell off the couch. There was a small pile of clothes there to break her fall and she only fell about one foot. I guess she just fell just right - or just wrong - however you look at it. That was a week ago. She seemed fine but fussed every time I put her left arm in a sleeve so I figured something was wrong so I took her in. I feel bad and wish it were me - but then who would put away the laundry. Poor Maryann!

Wesley and I are playing in a soccer league. I love it but it is frustrating when I have an open road to the goal but I don't know HOW to get there. I have never played soccer before and the ball doesn't go anywhere when I kick it if my food actually makes contact with the ball. The team was frustrated also- that is our team, the other team didn't bother playing defense when I was playing offense. But, it is fun anyway. Today it was 65 degrees ABOVE so I got to practice a little with the kids - I didn't stand a chance.

At this time of year we think of so many friends and family. The whole holiday season I wish I could get together with one of you - any of you! Is anyone going to be around our area for New Year's? We love you all and miss you even more - or vise versa. May the spirit of Christ feel your homes and your hearts!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gene R. Cook

Elder Gene R. Cook has been a personal hero to me since my mission in Bilbao Spain. He was then a councilor in the area presidency to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and I believe the only Spanish speaker in the presidency. As a result, I remember multiple mission conferences he presided over. I still read and re-read some of the notes I took during the conferences. I count them as gems of wisdom from a faithful man. One example is when he told us that whenever you stick-up for the truth, some people will hate you for it, but others will embrace it because of you. I have found this to be so true over the years. After my mission I compiled my notes and various talks into what I titled The Cook Book. His insights on faith and families have been a blessing to me and my family.

I was saddened when he received emeritus status in the October 2007 General Conference, but suspected it was due to health. In 2005 he said this in a devotional at BYU, "All of my adult life I have suffered with very difficult health problems, some of which have been life-threatening. What lessons were taught in the process of all those years! I believe they could not have been learned any other way. They have helped me to be more Christ like. Truly the Lord knows the end from the beginning and will tutor, correct, mold, and even refine you in the furnace of affliction. He will do so until He has accomplished His purposes in purifying you, sanctifying you, and helping you draw closer to Him. These kinds of gifts from the Lord are not always easy to understand, but I count them as priceless gifts to me and my family."

Recently, while reading in the book Teachings of H. Verlan and Shirley H. Andersen, I discovered that my mother-in-law's uncle, H. Verlan Andersen served in the Area Presidency of the Mexico Central America Area as the first counselor under President Cook. Imagine realizing a connection (however so slight), with one of your favorite heroes and mentors. It is very exciting. I know a lot of people think me silly, but that's how I felt. I think a man needs to have heroes at any age. That's magic that one should never out grow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Joy School Nativity

On Monday night we went to the Fairfield township municipal building along with the other Joy School families for a joint family home evening lesson. The children presented a nativity play. It was a lot of fun, but difficult to keep the older children from giggling as the funny mishaps occur when 4 and 5 year olds put on a play.
Spencer with his Joy School group performing the nativity.

Joseph and Mary by the manger.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wesley Jr's Baptism

Wesley with Mom and Dad.

Daniel and Wesley with Bishop Hazelton.

All eight of us!


Seeing pictures and hearing news from others is so nice. I must admit at holiday time I long to see family - any of you! Maybe it is because of good memories from childhood that makes me homesick for friends or family. This holiday time is no different.

Wesley Jr’s baptism was yesterday. We had a parade in the morning where the children were part of the nativity and Daddy and I handed out pass-along cards on the sides. It was a very cold morning but we thawed out in time for the baptism. Half the people that came were not members of the church, so that was great. After the baptism we had family and a few friends over to the house. It was a little hectic of a day but a wonderful day to celebrate.

It was hard for me, as it always is, to see the priesthood forming a circle around my child without one is my brothers or father in it. I have so much gratitude for my good husband! Part of the reason I fell in love with Wesley was because he honors his priesthood like my dad and brothers. I hope that someday we can enjoy these important events with my brothers and my dad. I long to see them blessing my children's lives as they have my own!! I never thought I could love anyone more than I do my own father and brothers but my feeling for my Wesley has taken my love to a whole new level! I guess Heavenly Father knew I couldn't do this or be here without him.

I wish I could take an hour and tell you about him and who he has become, but he is a little shy you know. He is such a doting father to his little Maryann. Whenever she is crying he asks if he can take her, and sure enough he settles her down. He has developed quite a touch. I am so grateful! He has the touch I don't.

Everyone seems to laugh when they see Maryann, especially when I change her diaper - because of all her rolls. She has really chunked up. She looks more like Emma's or Becky's babies. I love having a baby! She is making funny faces and talking a lot - almost as much as she spits up. Today at church she spit up all down the front of me so I wiped it off put her over my shoulder and she spit up all down my back and the seat. Next was a puddle on my skirt. Thank goodness it was during sacrament meeting so it dried before Relief Society - but the smell didn't go away I'm afraid.

On our way home from church we were listening the Handel’s Messiah. The children were singing along to All We Like Sheep, when we noticed Spencer (4) singing his own version, “Oh we like sheep, Do you like sheep? Oh we like sheep, Oh we like goats too.” We had quite a laugh over that one. Everyone started singing along with Spencer. The children wanted to be fair to Granddad’s goats.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Older Flake Family Photos

We came across these older photos of Anna Marie and her family. They were too good to keep to ourselves.

Anna Marie's school piture from the Berean Baptist School in Texas.

Dale and Cynthia Flake Family around 1980. Notice they have six children, with six more to come. Our entire large family is still only half of their family.

Anna Marie and Becky.

Anna Marie's baby photo.

Anna Marie and Heber (yes, Heber!?) at home in Texas.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Beautiful Daughters

Anna Marie recently had pictures taken of the girls. We think they turned out very well and thought we should share them with all of you. We need to have the boys photos taken now.

How blessed we are to have such wonderful children. People often stare when we are all together. Last evening at Sam's Club, a man actually stopped and counted as we passed. I wouldn't dismis any one of them so we could be a more typical family. They are all very valuble to us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sailing on Utah Lake

Gary and Sharon took Wesley sailing on there 29' yacht.  They had a blast.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Priesthood Session of General Conference

Joseph, Ben, Wesley, Heber and Ammon were all able to attend the Priesthood Session of General Conference together. What a marvelous experience for them to sit at the feet of prophets.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Successful Families

First, we need to strengthen families.

We must recognize that the family is the cornerstone of civilization and that no nation will rise above the caliber of its homes. The family is the rock foundation of the Church. We therefore call on the head of every household to strengthen the family.

We believe marriage was ordained by God for a wise, eternal purpose. The family is the basis of the righteous life. Divinely prescribed roles of father, mother, and children were given from the very beginning.

God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, love, teach, and direct.

A mother’s role is also God-ordained. Mothers are to conceive, bear, nourish, love, and train. They are to be helpmates and are to counsel with their husbands.

There is no inequality between the sexes in God’s plan. It is a matter of division of responsibility.

Children are likewise counseled in holy writ in their duty to parents: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:1–3), said the Apostle Paul.

When parents, in companionship, love, and unity, fulfill their heaven-imposed responsibility and children respond with love and obedience, great joy is the result.

Every family has problems and challenges. But successful families try to work together toward solutions instead of resorting to criticism and contention. They pray for each other, discuss, and give encouragement.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Counsel to the Saints,” Ensign, Aug 1993, 2
From an address given by President Benson in general conference on 7 April 1984.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dale and Cynthia Flake Family

This photo was taken July 2007 in Vernal, Utah. For the first time all the family was together except Wesley, who flew home to Ohio for work, and Ruth who was at BYU Idaho. Both were added to the photo later. Four more grandchildren have been born since then so it did't stay up to date for very long.
The "originals" (minus Ruth).

An orderly photo with their grandchildren.

        What you can't see in the photos.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome Maryann Ethlyn!

Maryann was born 8/15 and weighed 7 lbs 9 ozs.

A tired Anna Marie and daughter.

Look at the cute face.

She has quite a bit of hair!

Another cute picture!

The first time her siblings met her!