Sunday, September 30, 2012

General Conference is the 6th, 7th October 2012

General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is some of my favorite times of the year. This will be the 182nd semi-annual conference for the whole entire church all over the world. A time when we get to gather as families and friends and hear the Apostles and Prophets of the Lord.

You can listen to it several ways. You can find out if your TV dish, cable company, internet provider, etc. Has a BYU Channel. There are Aps for your iphone, ipad, etc that are free that allow you to watch. There are four main sessions. Two on Saturday, and two on Sunday. You'll have to again check your carrier to find what times you may listen or watch. You can also stream it from Just follow the Conference links.

If you have children here is a link for a wonderful 'Conference Packet' put together by It is fun and a great way to involve your children in participating in conference not just listening. Here is the link:

Conference is usually always scheduled for the first weekend in April, and October. It is fun to anticipate the wonderful spiritual feast that is presented to us by our loving leaders.

Enjoy your conference weekend.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Primary Love

I'm the 1st Counselor in our Children's Organization at Church (called- Primary), this calling came after serving in the Women's organization for about 26 years out of me and DH's (dear husband's) nearly 33 years of marriage. It has been such a learning experience for me, but in a good way. I have always loved children. And for some odd reason they love and gravitate towards me too. ;) I think they can sense who will treat them nice, care for them, see to their needs, and who they can trust. Example: I often watch a small child give a toy to a grown up (or another child), and after a few short seconds (a year in child-time) they turn around and come back to retrieve said toy. This is sometimes met with the adult or other child playing a game of keep-away, or cat and mouse. But I have noticed that if I keep the toy still, in my open palm, and when the child comes back for it, smile and let them grab it back from me without game, and with a sincere 'you can trust me' smile...I earn the precious trust of these little people, and most of all the 'like' of them too. Which is important to me. The same when I meet someone new to Primary, or children who come every week, if you get all up in the face of children they get who is this lady? But if I smile and give the child time to aclimate to me and the situation...soon they are seeking me out because they know I'll not cross their comfort zone or boundaries. I will even tell them, "If you need anything at all, you can ask me, I will always help you. I am Sister Dodge."

Last Sunday was our annual Primary Program with all the children ages 3-11. As soon as they turn 12 they advance to the Young Men & Young Women's youth program. We actually work with children ages 18 months-11 years,  it's a big job. At first I thought I would really miss my friends in Relief Society (the Women's Organization) and part of me does. But one day as I was helping one of the children I realized that the best way to love and minister to my friends in R/S is to bless, minister to, protect, teach, and love their children. This little epiphany has made me smile several times as I have reflected on the fact that so many of my friends have indeed done the same for me with my children over the years, and I am so grateful.

This year the Primary theme is: Choose The Right. Our Presidency came up with a large bulletin board that we decorated with a cute little house, and a yard filled with (empty) flowers. Each week we would pull items out of the CTR (choose the right) Box that gave a hint about the person we would spotlight. In the spotlight we would have previously spoken with the child's parents or Primary teacher to find out a way that this child chooses the right in his/her life...a particular instance, or something the have made a habit. Then when the primary children guess who it is...we would give them a paper with their 'good-choice' on it that they could walk up to the bulletin and place in the center of one of the flowers on our Choose The Right board...while the other children sing, "Choose the right way, and be happy, we must always choose the right!"

So, for our Primary program our wonderful Primary President decided that the children had really written their own program. They each would use their own experiences, and words, to describe their 'Choose The Right' moment. Mixed with the scriptures, and songs for the year. It was personal, it was their experiences to own and share with their families...and not regurgitate a line written for them with little meaning. They could really own their good choices. The confirmation was unquestionable and our Presidency was unified with the program idea.

The Primary Program was beautiful, the spirit was there. The children sang like angels, and most of the goofy antics of practice days were missing and replaced with little ladies and gentlemen. There were prior moments when I thought that some of them had channeled Eddy Haskel, or Dennis the Menace. Yes, we even had one who tied his shoe laces together and tripped and fell all the way to the microphone. Or he would have, but he was politely asked to removed his shoes and try it again nicely. The choir seats are so fun and bouncy, and make all kinds of racket if you do it right. Oh, thank goodness that was on a 'practice' Sunday. On the actual day of the Program...I was very proud of them. They were so awesome and well behaved. It was a great day to be in our Sacrament Meeting with these children, their parents, and siblings. Heavenly Father loves these children. He says we must be like them. He says we must not offend them. They are our dear little brothers and sisters. They have strong spirits, and brilliant minds. I am so thankful to work with them, and be in their association as well as the other members of our presidency, the teachers, and members of our Bishopric who love and guide us.

After Sacrament meeting our sharing time was a little celebration for the children. We read notes written by members of our congregation to the children. We had snacks for them and watched a few really OLD Mormon messages. That was fun, and very funny at times too. We even had a few minutes to sing some more songs. Sister H. called on some children to get their song requests. The children had already shifted gears and wanted to sing Christmas songs. So you see...with children we can never stagnate, we must press forward. On to the next chapter in Primary...preparing for Christmas. How fun!

(St Mark 10:13-16)

With Primary Love,
Sister Dodge

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sweet Summertime

I think you can tell what kind of sumer it's been by the date on my last post. It has been an eventful, wonderful, busy, caotic summer and I loved it.

While I have been away...the Google rascals have been at work making changes to the blog interfacing. I think they should offer upgrades to those who want it. Just when I feel like I'm getting a good handle on how to do changes. But, that may just be how things work now-a-days, you either learn how to adapt, change, move on, forge ahead, or, you get left behind. I choose to learn. ;)

I don't have time today to tell you everything that has been going on in my life this summer but I do want to share a few highlights beginning with our visit from Taylor F. Our Kristi served in her hometown of Dunn, North Carolina and Kristi & Taylor became wonderful friends. She just graduated from High School in May and asked her parents for a plane ticket to come and see us for a couple of weeks. A graduation gift that was granted.

There were lots of firsts for Taylor while she was on vacation here. There was big city traffic, and freeways that look like a bowl full of spaghetti. There was something fun going on every day but none as fun as when Kristi made plans with Mason to do a dash to Utah to attend Kristi's Mission President's homecoming in Draper Utah. Mason's couldn't leave until Thursday the 5th of July but they had to be back by the morning of Tuesday the 10th because Taylor's flight back to Raleigh left at about 2pm. 3,000 miles...sounds like a crazy, whirlwind, fun, exciting, zip-zip trip to Utah for these three. I was a little sad because they were making plans to stay with my sister, and meet up with Kristi's companions. Cassi and her boyfriend Ryan were coming down from BYUI to have dinner, and go to Temple Square with them too. There was so much fun going to happen and I never have liked to miss out on the fun. But they were driving in Mason's Honda Element and I didn't want to horn-in on their trip. The day before they were scheduled to leave Mason called and invited me to come along. He said, "Ummm, why aren't you coming with us? Your coming!" I love Mason Barlow. "Yay!" I was in a flurry of activity as I packed and prepped to leave. Could these old bones drive 1500 miles one way, straight through? I used to do it when I was younger all the time. But in the last 15 years or so we have stopped to rest along the way. Well...I was about to find out. I think I'd have driven twice that far with those young-uns to see my family, hugs their necks, and kiss their darling faces even for a day.

Taylor F and Kristi (formerly known as Sister Dodge)

Mason and Kristi took Taylor to see the Texas Stadium.
They took a little tour and even saw the inside of the locker rooms.

Playing with Harley the circus dog.

This wasn't a pic that we took...but one that was posted
on FB by some friends. This is a real pic of the Draper Temple.

There were a LOT of forest fires raging through Colorado
and Utah at the time of our trip. Luckily we didn't see any of those.
Just alot of smoke and haze.

Kristi drives and Mason works....Oh oh!

I took this pic from my vantage point in the back seat.
Yup...that's Po-Po.

This is our new friend 'Paul'....Paul the Po Po.

Wendy's with my crew. I LOVE these guys.
Mason, Kristi, and Taylor.
Oh, and my Coach purse Caty.

Cassi came down from BYUI to see Kristi, Mason & Taylor...
SURPRISE! It was a fun yet teary moment. She had
no idea I was coming. I surprised my Sis & nieces too.
We were so glad to see each other we cried. Fun times.

My DARLING niece Brinley doing her nails
with the pretty bright pink polish I brought her.

Visiting Momma's grave with my bestie Shannon.
I'm so thankful for eternal families. I miss you Mom.

My little sister Shannon. Who horses around
at a gravesite? Umm...I guess we do.

My beautiful sister Shannon.

Kristi takes Taylor to Temple Square for her very first time.
Taylor loved it there. It was a perfect day and everything was lovely.

Kristi and Mason at Temple Square in SLC.

Sister- Kristi & Cassi at Temple Square
SLC, Utah. 7th July 2012

They were companions in NC
Emily Thurston & Kristi Dodge
Friends for-ever.

The Temple Square tourists.

Chillin at the house with Sadie (the dog).
Taylor, Mason, Kristi, & my niece McKenzie.

Cooky sisters make life GRAND!

Me with my sweethearts McKenzie, Brinley & Lindsay

Lindsay had just had major surgery on her shoulder.
She was such a good sport. This is her on her bed
in the family room. Best seat in the house!

One cannot go up to 'Y' mountain without stopping
at the BYU Creamery first! It just isn't done.

Taylor loved it at Y Mount. She called her Nana
in NC and said, "I'm on top of the world!"

Love-birds at 'The Specio'. (The special place)
Y Mountain, Provo UT

My girls at our favorite spot. Since fireworks are legal from
the 4th of July thru the 24th (Pioneer Day) we saw many
firework displays happening around the valley. Beautiful.

Kristi sees Pres. & Sis. Cottrell on the way
inside the church. They were so happy to see each other.

Taylor & Kristi introduce Mason to President.

Not too many men Kristi loves more in this world
than these two. Mason, Taylor, Kristi & Pres. Cottrell.

Such a fun day for us all.

Pres. & Sister Cottrell head into the building.

Companions- Sis Gallego, Emily Thurston, & Kristi
They were 'rockin' their skirts!


Emily Thurston, Chase Butler, Kristi Dodge
Raleigh NC Mission

Visiting after the services.

Kristi and Mason Barlow, Draper Utah
July 8th, 2012

Headed back to Texas. She loves this guy.

Taylor in her 'In-N-Out' burger shirt!
What a trip!

Village Inn Pancake House- somewhere in Colorado.

Taylor getting another good laugh in. ;)

This was taken through a dirty car window
and it's still breathtaking. The sunrise that greeted
us the morning we drove through Oklahoma.

Ahhhhh...Home again, home again, tra-la-la and fidely-dee-dee.

Well...that's our flash trip to Utah and back in a very capsulated nutshell. I hope you've enjoyed the tour as much as we enjoyed taking it. Insert laughter, love, hugs, kisses, and true thankfulness to such a great and loving Heavenly Father. He blessed us so richly with such a beautiful world to enjoy, close and lasting relationships to cultivate and solidify, and experiences that bind us together for-ever. Above love.

Momma D