Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley, the Prophet

I have seen many wonderful thoughts and tributes to President Hinckley since his passing this week. So many lives have been enriched by his selfless service and example. It has been interesting to hear what those outside our faith have had to say about him. They have paid great tribute and yet they don't really understand the greatness of this man because they don't understand the greatness of the position he's occupied for the past thirteen years.

That makes me think. Perhaps none of us understands the greatness of others because we don't really understand their divine nature. We are taught that each of us is a Child of God and yet do we really believe it about ourselves? Do we really believe it about others?

The following are fabulous words by President Hinckley to the young women of the church. To me, it shows the amazing optimism, love, and motivation of this prophet who so clearly loves people and honors women (first and foremost his wife with whom he is now reunited and that just makes me happy).

“You are creatures of divinity, you are daughters of the Almighty. Limitless is your potential. Magnificent is your future, if you will take control of it. Do not let your lives drift in a fruitless and worthless manner …

“Never forget that you came to earth as a child of the divine Father, with something of divinity in your very makeup. The Lord did not send you here to fail. He did not give you life to waste it. He bestowed upon you the gift of mortality that you might gain experience, positive, wonderful, purposeful experience that will lead to life eternal. He has given you this glorious church, His church, to guide you and direct you, to give you opportunity for growth and experience, to teach you and lead you and encourage you, to bless you with eternal marriage, to seal upon you a covenant between you and Him that will make of you His chosen daughter, one upon whom He may look with love and with a desire to help. May God bless you richly and abundantly, my dear young friends, His wonderful daughters.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Alisha just tagged me and I'm accepting. What follows is a list of 7 Random Facts about Heidi Jo:

  • I have a scar on the big toe on my right foot. When I was a toddler my toe got caught in the spokes of a tricycle that was being pushed. I have no memory of this incident.
  • Phil was my first (and last) blue-eyed boyfriend (unless you count Kelly Bateman from 7th grade).
  • I have lived in 7 different states, some of them multiple times: MT, AZ, OR, ID, OR, UT, NH, OR, UT, MT, UT, AL.
  • I have a Masters in History (my research was on slave literacy and my focus was Antebellum America) from MSU.
  • I LOVE Phish Food ice cream (Ben & Jerrys).
  • When I was little I felt compelled to use every crayon on every page in the coloring book and then I put the crayons back in the box according to "families" (red and blue were the parents of pink and sky blue, orange and green were married, yellow and purple, etc. I hated getting the really big boxes because it was just too hard!).
  • I would love to visit South Africa and Greece someday (not necessarily on the same trip).
And now I tag anyone who would like to be tagged...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eden Update

More Eden pictures because she is just so dang cute!

After her bath:

Her impression of Elder Holland:

Eating a chewy, gooey teething stick:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Gratitude Journal

In our front room on a small table resides a book. It is there for all to read and even write in if they choose (although no non-Kesler has so chosen yet). The things written in the book are not in an organized or chronological order. Sometimes they are written at an angle, sometimes vertically; sometimes in red, sometimes in black (I don't think we have any other colors yet). Usually the entries aren't long or thoughty. Often they are just a word or two. It is our Gratitude Journal.

Here are some randomly selected entries:

"Cool, cotton sheets" - phil 10/12/07

"Honesty" - hjk 1/15/08

"My wife will hold my hand in good and hard times" - 1/17/07 (we can safely assume this is phil although it wasn't signed)

"SNOW in AL!" - heidi 1/16/08

"a perfect baby-Eden" - phil 11/12/07
"a perfect baby" - hjk 11/12/07 (this was the date of her 6 month check up and the doctor said, in his Antonio Bandera-voice, "oh, mommy, she is perrrfect")

"Eden's hugs" - hjk 11/8/07

"The Spirit of inspiration and personal revelation" - Heidi Jo 11/10/07

"Zofran that dissolves on your tongue" - phil 10/19/07
"Amen to that!" -hjk 10/21/07

"Post chemo Sunday pizza" - pak 10/4/07

"NPR" - hjk 9/27/07

"a good roof in the rain" - phil 11/14/07

Well, I think that will be it for now. What would you add to our little book?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Eden with the giggles

This is what happens around here when Eden doesn't get her nap. Pretty cute!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Romney Wins!

... in Nevada and (more significantly) on Musings and Mysteries!

Mitt's speechification:
"Thank you to all the Musings and Mysteries readers who voted for me! I think I received more votes on this blog than I did in Wyoming (and I still won Wyoming). Without the support of people like you, our road to change would be impossible. Now, go out there and make whatever promises you need to..."

The results (these results reflect voting on this blog only, they are not official in any way and carry no delegates)
Romney - 13 (59%)
Huckabee - 0 (0%)
McCain - 1 (4%)
Clinton - 0 (0%)
Obama - 2 (9%)
Edwards - 0 (0%)
Another Republican - 1 (4%)
Another Democrat - 1 (4%)
I'm not voting - 0 (0%)
Undecided - 4 (18)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby Kesler-Pitt

Yesterday at the doctor's office (yet another new doctor) the nurse just fell in love with Eden. She said, "She's like a baby model" and "She is like Brad Pitt's baby."

If "she is like Brad Pitt's baby,"
which one of us is "like Brad Pitt?"

This just in...

I just had to share this winter storm watch. We have a little NOAA weather radio that broadcasts all weather warnings (we got it for tornado warnings). Anyway, this is what we hear in a deep, automated voice. Since we're from Utah, this one just made us laugh. I've highlighted a few things in red and included my comments in brackets. Enjoy...




Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Yes, here in Alabama! It has been snowing for about an hour - big, fat flakes. How fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Presidential Elections

You can see from this week's poll that I'm interested in your opinions about the current presidential election. Many of you have posted your informed opinions on your own blogs. See this one for a good analysis/prediction and this one to learn which candidate has the stink of crazy about him. (Don't I have intelligent, witty friends?)

I have a fabulous friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) who actually lives in Michigan and therefore got to vote today. She sent me a wonderfully fun and informative email about her agony in making the decision. I asked her if I could post it as a guest commentary. She said... YES! Yippee! So, without further adieu, here it is (it is a bit long but worth the read):

I have been watching with interest and feeling like I'm a sponge soaking up everything I can about this race. So today I'm going out to vote and of course will be taking my pre-schooler with me who will no doubt talk to every voter he can whether they pay attention or not. I'm sure I will hear "you are a good boy for voting today" and he will likely be passing out something to everyone. In the past he has handed out things like imaginary light bulbs to everyone at the grocery store, yesterday it was imaginary breakfast to everyone walking in/out or at the preschool/methodist church.

Because Michigan decided to push up the primary earlier than in the past and go against the constitution or whatever the hoopla is all about, Obama and Edwards did not enter the race or pulled themselves from the race here. Of course Hilary has not done so and probably hopes to get the token votes because of ballot confusion that will no doubt be all over the news tomorrow. The campaign if anything is that Obama and Edwards supporters want democrats to vote undecided to send a note that we will take anything but Hilary. It is tempting to send my vote that direction.

On the other hand we have the Republican race which is pretty much a dead heat race between McCain and Romney. Now Romney who is a "Michigan boy"and whose dad was in politics in Michigan and Mr Business has a personal connection here. Huckabee is still hanging in there and will likely come in 3rd but I doubt will be a contender for 1st or 2nd. Guiliani who I once admired a few years ago really fell off my radar the day I saw him speaking to a group of people and taking a cell phone call from his wife during the speech and making what he thought was a funny. It totally turned me off and I thought what a goof ball. I have issues with people and their cell phones and whether it was planned or impromptu it just annoyed me greatly and I will never forget it. SO we are back to the Romney, McCain and Huckabee race. The rest of the guys are just nowhere near the mark on the radar so I won't bother.

Huckabee - so I have had his book sitting next to my bed, about digging your grave with a fork and knife, since before he threw his hat into the race. He wrote an inspiring book, has a great story to share about his weight loss efforts and life. Although I know some really great people who live in Arkansas I have had this issue of "can anything good come from Arkansas"? But when I saw him jamming on his guitar on TV at some rally I thought goodness. I like when someone can have fun - that is very important. But honestly do we need some right wing minister to go pick up his guitar and sing ditty for some foreign diplomat? :) I like the guy, have nothing against him because of his beliefs, I just don't think he is the guy who needs to be in the Oval Office.

McCain - so here is a sad one. I have never really been aligned with him for some reason. Every time I look at him I see the face of this guy I used to work with in Illinois. I will not give the name to protect the innocent so we will just call him "HOMER". So Homer is a big gun guy, used to keep a gun in his office, in his work vehicle all against company policy.
So how on earth do I get from Homer to McCain? I'm honestly not sure but I cannot get beyond the fact that every time I see or start to hear McCain speak all I can think of is HOMER!

Romney - OK so now you must be thinking that of course I must then be a Romney fan. Well, I'm not so sure. I think he has some great experience and I think he is surely capable of handling the oval office. I would also hope that his morals would create less interest from the walls of the oval office in the activities conducted within. :) But I'm running into a few problems here as well. My spouse will not
let go of the fact that he has flip flopped on the abortion issue over the past many years to please the crowd at hand. I think you could probably find some similar issues if you looked long enough for almost every politician. I'm not excusing it and its still a bit of an issue but its not my biggest problem. He seems well suited to keep the status quo. Not sure that is what we need. I voted for Bush and I like him but we really do need some change. I hesitate using the word "change" since it is such a buzz word in the race. I also can't help but think of a situation when my Dad was asked to head a department at the church where my brother was in that department. He had to go out of his way to ensure no one thought he was playing favoritism. How does this relate to Romney? I honestly see the press waiting like vultures to find anything where he appears to make any decisions that align themselves with the general population of the church and making it look like he is just making those choices because of what some will view as direction from his leaders. It is sad but honestly the uneducated about our beliefs and structure just don't get it and wouldn't understand that there really is no connection other then his own convictions. I don't know if that makes sense. But the other problem is he is such a SUIT. I had a boss in Utah who I called "the suit". It's kind of like my HOMER association.I see Romney and I see my old boss - The Suit. It is not a good association.

All that said, I'm heading out in just a few minutes and will be casting my vote for Romney. But had Obama and Edwards been on the ballot I may have cast my vote for Obama instead. I was in Illinois when he emerged out of nowhere in a race that was really a mess. I can picture him negotiating things internationally in a very positive way. I worry about his lack of experience. But for some reason I lean back to him after all is said and done because he seems more likely to bring two differing opinions together rather than making things black and white. Not sure that makes sense but that is my very LONG rambling message that I just had to share. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Our Weekend is Over

Most people look forward to their weekends ... not the Keslers. We are grateful when Monday comes. I guess that is really true of every-other-weekend. This was one of THOSE weekends, the ones we are glad to see go, the "chemo weekends".

Thursday night Miss Eden was up sporadically throughout most of the night. She had a cold and she would wake herself up coughing and sneezing. Poor girl. She is usually a champ of a sleeper so we are unaccustomed to waking up many times through the night.

Friday Phil had to wake up early and drive to B'ham for a treatment. I'm grateful that he is now able to drive himself as it makes things much easier to not have to find Eden-care. He got there in time for his lab appointment and proceeded to wait for over an hour before he could actually get stuck. Then he had to wait for infusion. Fortunately, there weren't any chairs and so he had to be in a bed (usually reserved for the really sick) so he got to do a little sleeping while he was systematically poisoned. (This stuff is good for him, right?) Eden was sickly throughout the day but in really good spirits - considering. I was quite thrilled to find out about the Old Navy sale. I got some great buys! Thanks for the tip Andy! Friday night I put the humidifier in Eden's room and put a pillow under her mattress so she was propped up and she had a very good night of sleep (in spite of her cold). Phil, on the other hand, did not have a good night's sleep (therefore, neither did I). The drugs make him restless.

Saturday was our YM/YW joint activity and Personal Progress Interviews. Eden went with me for a long day of church stuff and she did quite well. The interviews went well - we have some great youth! They seem to have had a great time at "Beyond Imagination!" (I love that name, I always have to say as if I'm a radio announcer) doing laser tag and paint ball. Saturday night, Eden started off sleeping well but then she woke up around 1:30 and just couldn't settle down. I think her tummy was hurting but it might have been her cold or who knows.

Sunday morning I made the decision to stay home with my two sickies. I was exhausted and so were they. I just couldn't bring myself to wake Eden up after her rough night so I let her sleep in and we missed church. Phil wouldn't have been able to go anyway and I was going to need to leave YWs early in order to come home and disconnect Phil's IV. So we stayed home. I thought Eden would take a nice long nap in the afternoon. I put her down and went to bed too. Alas, our neighbors are having some work done on their house and the workers were there pounding and pulling off their metal siding (not a pleasant sound). I couldn't sleep and Eden only lasted about 20 minutes. Isn't this the Bible belt? I thought people actually honored the sabbath here! What were they doing working on Sunday afternoon???

You might think that Eden would have slept like a rock last night but you'd be only partially right. She slept until 4:00 and then she was up. At 5:30 we gave up trying to get her back to sleep and I got up with her and started our day. She is sleeping well now though. I love good naps - hers and mine. Maybe I should go join her.

Phil is back to work today and seems to be doing ok. He still doesn't have much appetite or energy but it is always good to get the IV out and be in the process of getting the poison out instead of in. I can't imagine... yuck!

Glad that weekend is over...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Corrie

Today is Corrie's birthday. Here are 7 things about Corrie that you should know:

1 - She has awesome eyes and a great smile.

2 - She is an imaginative mom who inspires creativity in her kids.

3 - She is a diligent disciple of Christ. She serves as our Primary president and works hard for those kids!

4 - She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES chocolate. (you know that creates a bond for us!)

5 - She is kind. When she thinks of something kind to do for someone, she just does it, quickly. She doesn't make it complicated.

6 - She is from Canada/Colorado but is making Alabama her home. She moved here about 6 months after I did and we "bonded" at our first Visiting Teaching conference - she got lost driving to the church and I could totally relate because I got lost driving to the church for YWs the first time.

7 - She is a devoted and compassionate friend. When Phil started chemo and was so very sick, she cried with me - not sobs, just tears of compassion and empathy. I will forever remember and appreciate that.

Happy Birthday Corrie!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's in a name?

A year ago when we found out we were expecting a little girl, the difficult task of selecting a name began. We wanted something that was fitting (whatever that means), works well with "Kesler" and a name that while not being weird was unusual enough that there wouldn't be five of them in her first grade class. We looked over name books and name websites and the social security administration website. Finally we quit worrying about it and decided to just see what happened.

Eden Marie Kesler is what happened and it just seems like the perfect name for our little sweetie. I doubt she'll have much problem with mistaken identity but it isn't a crazy hybrid of her parents' names (Heidillip* just doesn't work anyway).

Speaking of mistaken identities, a funny email came across the Voice Male email traffic yesterday. A guy was asking about a certain song and wondering if the group had some new members. Well, I googled the song he was speaking of and found this. The comments are the best part. They contain a discussion about whether or not the singers are the "Mormon Voice Male" or not. It just made me laugh to read it. Apparently, this guy who was emailing the "Mormon Voice Male" about how awesome they are has fallen in love with a song sung by the "Belgium Voice Male" ... the "other" Voice Male.

My favorite story of mistaken identity is when my friend Jen was dating her husband Regan. She was actually also dating another guy and his name was Regan too (crazy, I know). Well, when your name is Regan you don't think you need to give a last name for clarification (the way a Jen would). She would get flowers delivered from "Regan" (card written by the florist) and have to sleuth to find out which one to thank. Her life became much more simple when she settled on one Regan.

Eden is a nice name, don't you think?

*Phidi, Phileidi, Heil, Pheidillip, really there are no good hybrids....

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Silly Game

Last night as we were sitting on the futon I picked up my cell phone and started cruising through the contacts. I told Phil to tell me when to stop. We stopped on my aunt Deani and I told Phil to say something nice about her (a very easy thing to do since she is extraordinarily nice). Then I did it again. After a few minutes, he picked up his cell phone and played the "game" with me. It was so FUN! We said nice things about friends whom we don't think of often enough, family members, members in our branch, etc. We both had to say something nice about Phil's office-not the people with whom he works, his actual office which is a bit industrial looking and kind of stinky (a little more difficult than Deani). He had to say something nice about my OB/GYN and I had to say something nice about his Oncologist (both women are very nice so those weren't so hard). Phil even got to say something nice about "Free Info" (what's not nice about helpful information that is free?) Seriously, it was probably only ten minutes total but it turned out to be a really fun way to pass those ten minutes and it made us feel good to say nice things about people.

What are some of the silly, but enjoyable, ways you have passed time?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Moving on...

Well, it is about time I post another entry, wouldn't you think?

Our time in Utah was both wonderful and wonderfully exhausting. I went to see a chiropractor here because I had a pinched nerve in my back and after the examination and X-rays he said, "have you been sleeping in an unfamiliar bed lately?" Upon calculation, I realized that in the three weeks we were in Utah I slept in 5 unfamiliar beds and some of them back and forth multiple times. It went something like this: Keslers, Hotel in Roosevelt, Keslers, Becks, Keslers, Oars, Keslers, Wildes, Keslers. Crazy!!!! Needless to say, we are glad to be home and in our own beds. No one seems more happy to be home than Eden though. She is grateful to be in her own bed and not to be sleeping in the port-a-crib anymore (those can't be comfortable!). Tomorrow will be my third visit with the chiropractor and I think I'm about fixed.

We did have a great time though. Christmas was fun and Eden especially loved the lights. Grandpa and Grandma Kesler endeared themselves to her with lots of time in front of the Christmas tree. Eden thoroughly enjoyed being around other kids - her cousins. Now whenever we are out and about and she sees kids she just get so excited. She loves people! Yesterday she had a "play date" at the Dewsnups. When I dropped her off she went right to Corrie and they walked into the other room without even a look back. It is nice to have her so content with other people who love her.

Speaking of her play date, it was awesome because Phil and I got to have a date while she was at the Dewsnups. I realized that it was our first date since our anniversary (six months ago) that didn't involve doctors, the temple, or Voice Male. Now the temple is wonderful, but you don't exactly get to be cozy and Voice Male is great but it has a similar problem: with Phil on stage it doesn't really feel too romantic. Doctors just don't count AT ALL! It was so fun to go to a movie and hold hands and know that Eden was happy. We saw the new National Treasure. (take the poll to show when you last saw a movie in the theatre) Fun (completely unrealistic, but fun). Another really nice thing about this date is that a friend sent us some money (very generously) in her Christmas card and so we used some of that to provide a "free" date. It was truly wonderful! (Thanks, D!)

Classes start up at JSU next Thursday so we have a bit more time to get back into the swing of things. Sleep is high on our list of things to catch up on. Last night the YW had a sleep-over here. It was great fun and they were very good and respectful (especially with Eden sleeping) but we still feel a little sleep deprived. Perhaps we'll get to bed early tonight. Bed... our own bed... sounds nice.