Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cooking Class

Si Foster is one of my many cooking mentors. I think she is fabulous! Not only for her cooking skills, but she is a great person too. Wednesday she was the host at South Fork Hardware just off I-15 in Bountiful. She taught a class on Parker House Rolls. They were fabulous, and they seemed fairly easy! Remember, I haven’t tried making them yet.

You can find Si recipes on Her cooking class schedule is also posted on her blog. It’s a must attend! You won’t regret it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Temple

Monthly, my children (those endowed) and I attend the temple together. There is no pressure, just an open invitation for everyone. I have throughly enjoyed spending this time with my children and their spouses.

The temple is a special place for me. I am always reminded of my promise of an eternal family if I lived righteously. I was reminded of a talk I gave in Stake Conference about a year ago that expresses some of the feelings and experiences I have about the temple. It is as follows:

There is an old adage, “Nothing is as certain as change.” No one escapes change, it happens to the young, the old, the singles, and the married. Change happens to us minute by minute, and day to day. Some changes are exciting and welcomed, such as graduating from High School or college, marrying the man or woman of your dreams, your first child, becoming a grandparent for the first time, and the list goes on.

While positive changes are welcomed, there are also times in our life when change is difficult, and sometimes heartbreaking. There are times in our lives when we will experience challenges and trails that may seem overwhelming, or too much to bear.

In August of 2008, on the first day of school, the first day of kindergarten for my youngest, my family and I experienced one of the greatest trials that we have ever had to endure. That evening my husband of 20 plus years suddenly, and unexpectedly, passed away of a heart attack. Words can’t describe the pain and despair that accompanies such a tragedy. As I gathered my children and prayed for his recovery, we soon realized that it was not to be. Our Heavenly Father had another plan for him.

After my husband’s passing, the stages of grief took its course. The difficult days continued, and I felt as if no one could understand the depth of my despair. My family and I found comfort in a scripture that was given to us at my husband’s funeral. It is found in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” I know, and believe that my Heavenly Father loves us, and he will sustain us, uphold, and comfort us during the darker days, if we but ask him.

I have never before been so grateful for the temple sealing ordinance. What a blessing it is to know that I am sealed to my husband for time and all eternity; and that our children were born in the covenant, and that we can be an eternal family. The Lord promises in D&C 132:46, “Whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens”. That promise gives me comfort, and hope. I know that if my family and I remain faithful and endure to the end, that we will live together eternally.

I have attended the temple often after the passing of my husband. The temple is a place where I feel close to heaven, and close to my husband. I feel peace and receive strength when I attend. I have received specific personal revelation that has buoyed me up during difficult times.

On the first wedding anniversary following my husband’s passing, I decided to attend a session in the SL temple. That is the temple where my husband and I were sealed, and married in many years ago. That day, as I was participating in a session, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort. I had a strong feeling that my husband was very busy doing important work on the other side. I felt that it was important for me to support him in his calling in heaven, just as I had supported him in his earthly callings as he served as bishop, and in two bishoprics.

Elder Hales states, “The primary purpose of the temple is to provide the ordinances necessary for our exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Temple ordinances guide us to our Savior and give us the blessings that come to us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Temples are the greatest university of learning known to man, giving us knowledge and wisdom about the Creation of the world. Endowment instructions give guidance as to how we should conduct our lives here in mortality. The meaning of the word endowment is “gift.” The ordinance consists of a series of instructions on how we should live and covenants we make to live righteously by following our Savior.”

What a great blessing it is has been for my children and I to be worthy to enter the temple and to take upon ourselves the sacred covenants therein.

I was blessed 8 months after the passing of my husband to escort my oldest child, my sweet daughter, through the temple to receive her endowments, and prepare to be married in the temple. This sacred experience is something that every mother looks forward to with great anticipation. To witness your daughter participating in temple ordinances, and being sealed to a wonderful man for time and all eternity brings a mother great joy.

I was also able this past month to take my youngest daughter to the temple on her 12th birthday. Her greatest desire on her birthday was to perform baptisms for the dead in the temple. We left early that morning so my high school kids could tend my younger son. When we arrived at the temple, the workers were so kind and helpful to her. They knew it was her first time participating in baptisms so they carefully explained to her the process of performing baptisms.

I was particularly impressed with the priesthood holder who was baptizing her that day. He was so kind and gentle with her, explaining with such tenderness what would happen and what she should do each step of the way. I couldn’t help but think that is exactly how her dad would have been. There was such a sweet spirit in the temple that day.

Tender times such as these are difficult to do without my husband physically being present. However, we feel his presences; we know that he is watching over us.

The temple is truly the only place where you feel a little taste of heaven. When you are troubled and have crucial decisions that weigh heavily on your mind and soul, you can take your cares to the temple and receive spiritual guidance.

I thought that if you have the most difficult thing you can imagine happen to you, the passing of a spouse, that you would receive a rest from other trials. That wasn’t to be for our family.

After my husband’s passing, the challenges and trials continued. I found myself in the temple often seeking guidance, and praying over family situations, and medical issues. I felt peace, and was blessed to know that when I left it was all in the Lord’s hand.

Recently, one of my daughters was diagnosed with a very large tumor located in her abdomen. The doctor said it was the largest he had seen in a young woman her age. It had to be attended to very quickly, since it was causing problems with other vital organs. It was unknown as to exactly what organs it had attached itself, and we wouldn’t know until the surgery was performed.

It was a frightening time, with of course the worry that the tumor may be malignant. We prayed, fasted, and went to the temple. A sweet friend of mine went with me to the temple, knowing I needed support during a difficult time. At the temple another sister who I didn’t even know knew about my situation approached me and said, “I just want you to know that our family is praying for Sarah and your family. I felt such love and support from those around us.

The surgery went better than expected, and we were blessed with a positive outcome.

We are so grateful for the tremendous support we receive from those around us. We are blessed not only to have a heavenly angel watching over us, but many earthly angels as well. I am so grateful for wonderful friends, family, neighbors, and members of our stake who have buoyed me up. I appreciate the sweet e-mails, notes, telephone calls, and visits that I have received from so many of you during our times of need. You are our earthly angels. Our Heavenly Father never leaves us alone in the challenges we face in life.

One day as I was reading the scriptures, I happened upon a particular scripture that has been a great help to my family and I. We have discussed it in family scripture study and FHE, and have adopted it as “our family scripture”. It is found it“ 2 Nephi 31:20 “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

It is my hope and prayer that regardless of the trials and challenges we may be faced with in this earthly life, that if we will have faith, feast upon the word of Christ, participate in the ordinances of the temple, and endure to the end, that we might be blessed with eternal life, which is one of our greatest gifts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bountiful Braves Verses the Highland Rams - Senior Night

The final Region Braves Boy’s Basketball game was played Tuesday night against the Highland Rams. Before the game the senior’s and their parents were honored.

The Rams were out to win, playing a much different game than weeks before. The game was exciting throughout. It was neck-in-neck for the majority of the game. With 6 seconds left in the game and the Braves trailing by a bucket, Brock Yates hit the game winning shot off a rebound. Time expired giving the Braes a victory at home, and all win regional season.

Varsity Team Captains: Brock Yeates, Brit Harding, and Mike Brown

Seniors and their parent's.
Welcoming the starting line-up.
Best Fans!
Coach Maxwell, coaching the team.
Second to last shot of the night.
.....and the crowd goes wild!
Final Score: Braves 31, Rams 29.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MRSA Staph Infection

This post is for informational purposes only!

A couple year’s ago while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico with my kids, Katelyn contracted a staph infection. It is unknown whether this was a result of an insect bite (with the insect caring the infection), or whether the open wound (bite) was touched and infected. Regardless, when we arrived home I didn’t give much thought to her condition until she returned home from Girl’s Camp with huge lesions on her extremities.

I quickly took her to the pediatrician who prescribed an antibiotic for staph infection. Since some of the sores were on her face the dermatologist was also consulted and seen. When the antibiotic did not cure the staph infection, other tests were performed. A test came back positive with a MRSA staph infection.

I didn’t know much about MRSA, but I did know that it was resistant to antibiotics. The pediatrician also didn’t know what to do and ask us to consult with the dermatologist.

Long story short, Kate struggled with this infection for over 4 months. At times it was manageable, and then it would flare up again. She would start screaming about her arm burning and literally within minutes a huge blister like lesion would form.

During this time we visited the dermatologist several times, and even the ER trying to remedy the problem. The dermatologist on-call during one of her severe ‘outbreaks’ suggested that we stay within 10 minutes of a hospital as a precaution.

One night, during one of her more serious outbreaks, I took her over to a doctor friend to be evaluated. He recommended that I take Kate directly to the ER at PCMC and demand that the situation get remedy.

I did so, and we spent the entire day there, just waiting. I told the doctors there that we knew what it was, (MRSA) that it had been tested, but no one seemed to know what to do.

Finally, the doctor at PCMC came into our room with a solution. She had contacted the Center for Disease Control (CDC), who faxed her information to give to us. They provided us with a prescription soap, and a copy of the information received from the CDC. They believed that someone was a silent carrier in our home. Since the carrier could not be determined, everyone in our house had to decontaminate 3 times per week. That meant soaking in bath water with a cup of clorax bleach for 30 minutes, and washing all the liens, towels, and clothing.

I could not believe that such a simple thing would work, but it did. I was frustrated that so many doctors were unaware of how to treat her condition.

She has not had a problem since, but this past weekend I watched a medical show on MRSA and they were treating the infection with bleach. I thought, this is something everyone should know. I wish I knew then what I know now.

I am so glad we had a happy ending, but want to save someone else the run-around by informing others about what I know.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dogs that think they are human.

Bella, loves to be close to me ALL day. She wants to ride in the car with me, be in the room I happen to be cleaning, sit on my lap when I am sitting, and sleep at the bottom of my bed at night.

Sounds, kind of cute? Well, not always. This is where I draw the line.....I woke up one morning to find Bella in my covers, with her head laying on my pillow next to me. “What,” I snapped. “Dogs do not belong in the bed with humans,” I scolded. She understood, and seemed a little hurt.

This weekend as Kate and I were sitting at the kitchen bar talking, Bella started barking profusely. “Does she need to go outside,” Kate asked. “No, she is jealous we are talking and wants to sit on a bar stool in between us,” I said smiling. “You have got to be kidding me,” Kate replied. Kate moved over, Bella climbed on the bar stool and was a very happy dog.

She sits under the table during dinner so she can receive human food. Yep, my kids sneak her food. Don’t leave a sandwich unattended or you will bite into and notice it is now just bread.

Cute little dog, but I think she needs to learn a-thing-or-two about human verses dogs.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Circle of Life

It's a BOY!

Baby BOY Cottle will be arriving Special Delivery on or around August 3rd! We are so excited!

I truly believe that it will be a very special delivery. Not only because it is the first grandchild, but because this baby will come fresh out of heaven, having spent time with Steve. I try to imagine what advice he is getting, and the relationship that has developed between him and his grandpa as they spend time together. That’s a happy place for me.

A not-so-happy place for me, is to think of Steve not being here with me to be a grandparent. We talked about the joy it would be to be grandparents one day. I always thought that we would grow old together, surrounded by our children, grandchildren, and perhaps even great-grandchildren.

Steve’s passions were hunting, fishing, and attending sports games. He LOVED to do these activities with his boys, and would have loved to do them with his grandson. It makes me a little sad that he won’t be here to enjoy this little one.

It seems like in some ways we are experiencing the “circle of life” so to speak. A definition of the “circle of Life” is “when you are born you live (have relationships, friends, family, boyfriends, a spouse, and children), become grandparents and then you die. It’s in between all this we learn from others and pass the torch on to the next generation and the “circle of life” starts all over. Death is not really the end but the seed of some other life.”

It is my hope that Steve is in heaven passing the torch to his grandson, and teaching him about the most important things in life.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Loves

My greatest love in life is my family. They bring so much JOY to my life! I enjoy watching them develop their talents; figure out who they are and what they want to become; and learn through experiences what is important in life.

Every February 14, all across the world, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones. Valentines gives us a reason to celebrate our love for each other.

At our house, heart shaped pizzas, and sugar cookies are always a must. We celebrated a day early so that the married ones could spend this special day with their spouses. We sure missed our cute college girl Kate! We have gifts and cookies awaiting her return.

Sarah in her owl hat with Bella, and Lizzy with her new braces.
Mike loves to pull faces, Ben's learning from his example, and Jordan always has a smile. Meagan, Quinn, and baby.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Third Grade students in Mrs. Strong’s class are spotlighted one day per year. If it is your designated day, you go the head of the line, get to do everything first, bring a poster about yourself, and sometimes even bring treats.

Monday morning I knew it was Ben’s day. I said, “Hey bud, you are the spotlight today. Don’t forget your poster. Do you want me to come to your class? Ben looked me up and down, and responded, “Only if you do your hair, and take off those glasses.

Am I really that embarrassing? I know I haven’t updated my glasses (only worn at night) for over a decade, but I was planning to put in my contacts. It’s not like I’m George Castanza wearing leisure velvet sweats saying, “ I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.” Not that there is anything wrong with that.

When I arrived at Ben’s class a student ran up to me, “Mrs. Brown, do you know you are wearing the same sweatshirt as Ben. Astonished, I put my figures to my lips to hush the boy, hoping Ben wouldn’t notice. Quickly, everyone noticed! When Ben was asked further about my sweatshirt he told the kids that I had borrowed his from his locker. Fibber!

When Santa brought unisex Utah sweatshirts to every one in our family, there were only a few patterns to choose from. Wouldn’t you know that today would be the day I would wear the same sweatshirt as the one Ben 'borrowed' from another sibling.

After Ben presented his poster to the class he opened it up for questions. I couldn’t stop laughing at the silly questions third graders ask. “So what is your favorite letter?” one inquired. “X”, said Ben acting a little annoyed by the crazy question. "What's your second most favorite letter?" the question continued. "Z", Ben replied in a monotone voice. The questions kept on coming.

My favorite question was, “What are your favorite pants?” Ben looked shocked as another student blurted out, “Ben doesn’t like pants.” I think the student meant, Ben only likes shorts, but the little third graders couldn’t stop laughing.

The students are all so friendly and kind to me. They really act like they enjoy my visits. Maybe they know I bring treats! No one even seemed to notice or care about my not-so-done hair.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday 2012

The New York Giants, and New England Patriots battled for the coveted Super Bowl Champion title. It was an exciting game with the Giants coming back with a last-minute score to beat the Patriots 21-17.

Tom Brady and Eli Manning went head to head in providing great opportunities for their team to score. In the end, Manning won out. Not without a last second attempt for a win, with Brady throwing long into the end zone, for an incompletion.

I wasn't too committed to either team in the Super Bowl. My favorite NFL team is the 49ers. My fondness and loyalty of the 49ers began back when Steve Young was their quarter back and I had a slight (maybe more than slight) "sports crush" on him. Steve Young lead San Francisco to a victory in Super Bowl XXIX. He was also the MVP of the game.

Many years ago when my children were small, we were having a dinner conversation about sports players. “I love Steve Young,” I gloated. Mike, only 3 at the time said, “Well that is it, when you get divorced, I’m going with dad.” The girls and I had a good laugh.

Now Alex Smith, a former Ute, is the 49er’s quarter back and has taken Steve Young’s place in my heart. Sadly, they were beat out by the Ravens, making the Super Bowl less attractive to me.

My boy’s are HUGE Patriot fans! They were hoping the Patriots would be the reigning champions. I supported the Patriots along with them, since I am a fan of Tom Brady. Don't judge me, and don't hate me. It is just MY opinion. I think he is an incredible athlete and easy on the eyes!

Hopefully my 49er’s will be in the mix next year!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tight Squeeze

Sunday mornings we are always in a rush. As of January, church starts at 11:00 rather than our previously designated time at 9:00 am. With an additional 3 hours to get ready, it seems like I am less organized, and less prepared than I was when church was held earlier. Go figure!

This morning, as I was backing out of the driveway, a little rushed, I noticed a HUGE trailer parked directly behind me. I am sure I had sufficient room to make my turn, but didn't calculate correctly. I took the turn too soon, ran into a snow bank, and BAM, the bottom of my car is now on my lawn (we picked it up from the middle of the road).

My children, thought it was hysterical, me not so much!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday Night Braves Basketball

Friday’s are game days. Last night the mighty Braves JV team conquered the Fighting Falcons on our home court. The Braves came from a 20 point plus deficit to a stunning win over Clearfield in over time. Trevor Lloyd hit the 3 point buzzer beater, to win the game.

Unfortunately, Mike sprained his ankle early in the game and is out of commission again. Dang!

The varsity was a blow out! I am sure Mike would have played had he not been injured.

The after-game-plan, was for Kate to help Mike get home, and for me to take Ben with me. No problem.......I thought.

Ben enjoys shooting hoops after the game, so I was planning on a delayed exit. As I was talking with some team mom’s, I finally noticed that basketball hoops had been retracted and Ben was no where in sight.

I started searching the sparsely occupied gym for him, but no Ben. I walked into the hall, and saw him running behind an adult entering the opposite side of the gym. When he saw me, his bewildered look turned to a smile. He ran in the gym after his escort to inform him that he had been found. The trusty adult happened to be one of the vice-principal’s of Bountiful High.

I might be getting a little reputation with the Administration and Staff at Bountiful High after tonight. I can recall another Bountiful High School athletic event where I lost the same child.

Ben told me that he had approached the vice-principal (not knowing who is was) and asked him if he was in charge. Mr. Smith told him that he could be in charge if he wanted him to be. Ben then informed him that he was lost. The vice-principal’s cell phone was dead, so he took him (according to Ben), to the cheerleader locker rooms (that’s a little questionable), and the administrations office to find a phone for him to call from.

They finally reached Mike and Kate, since my phone was in my purse and I couldn’t hear it, to alert them they had a lost boy.

Good thing I like to talk, because I had no idea I had a lost child, and no reason to panic or fear. Ignorance is bliss!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Basketball Team Dinner 2012

The Braves Basketball team dinner was held at my house tonight. The varsity team is very tall this year, and made me feel like a little munchkin scurrying around the kitchen preparing the food.

I served homemade Cafe Rio Pork salad or burritos whichever your preference, with cilantro-lime rice, and all the toppings. It was a real hit! I thought I had over-cooked as usual, but there was nothing left but lettuce when dinner was done. Mike said it was rated by the team as the top meal yet. However, he knows how competitive I am, so that may or may not be true.

I served breakfast to the crew right after the Christmas holiday. I love cooking for these boys. They are very appreciative!

I received a phone call from Brock and Brandon Yates mom wanting some recipes and telling me that her boy's thought my meal was better than Costa Vita. So glad they enjoyed it!

Cute boys!

The Principal's Office

Lately dinner conversation has been very enlightening. Last night I heard Ben tell his married siblings that he had been to the principal’s office two times in one week for saying, “BYU is gay.” “What?” I said sharply trying to conceal my smile. “Why didn’t I receive a call from the principal?” I exclaimed. Silence.

I think if this had been my first child being sent to the principal’s office multiple times, I would have gone to my room, curled up in the fetal position, and begin sobbing. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but point being my parenting skills are a little lax lately. I know I shouldn’t smile, or start laughing when my child gets in trouble.

I do not condone the word ‘gay’, but if I was a lawyer mom I might say, “Well Ben was referring to BYU being in Happy Valley.” Doesn’t gay mean happy anyway (just kidding cougs). Speaking of cougars, last week I heard on the radio that they are trying to ban the word cougar, so they won’t offend women dating younger men. Wow! Sorry Demi!

Back to the issue. I thought it was a little harsh to send someone to the principal’s office for saying, “BYU is gay.” Maybe he should have received punishment by his teacher, not the principal. I think pulling a card, staying in for recess, or writing 50 times I will not say BYU is gay is more appropriate.

In Kindergarten Ben said, “BYU stinks.” His teacher mildly reprimanded him, and the issue was over. I understand that they don’t want the kids to instigate college rivalries that cause hurt feelings among other elementary school students, but are we going a little too far here?

Ben was also sent to the principal’s office last week for wearing shorts to school. The new school policy is that if there is snow on the ground, shorts and skirts are not allowed. So last week when the temperature was in the 50’s and snow was on the ground, shorts were not allowed.

I have begged Ben to wear long pants, but he claims, “It’s too hot.” The last time he had to call home from the principal’s office for me to bring him long pants I said, “Please do not call again, this is the last time I am bringing you long pants.” I have since remedied the problem by nicely folding a pair of sweats and placing him in his backpack. I told him if his shorts are an issue for that day to quietly put his sweats in his backpack on.

Ben is only in 3rd grade, I’m feeling a little too seasoned to be endure 3 more years of elementary school.