Monday, March 31, 2014

Joann's blessing day

I think this is Joann's blessing day.  (correct me if I'm wrong)  Both sets of our grandparents are here as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides.

Monday, March 24, 2014

To Our Missionary


“Our son the missionary”—
That phrase just sounds so good.
We’re really glad to know
You plan to do the thing you should:
Our prophet dear has told us
A mission is His plan—
It’s the thing that is expected
From each young and worthy man.
Dear “mission mormonary”,
We’ll support you all we can
The Lord will surely bless you—
You’ll become a greater man!
Now may we give some hints. Oh, please,
Those mission rules obey—
They’re for your own best good, son,
Though it may not seem that way.
“Our son, the missionary”—
Be sure to set high goals,
Then plan and strive to reach them
As you serve in various roles.
Especially learn the doctrine—
Be sure to live the truth,
So you can teach with power,
With all your strength of youth.
“Our son, the Mormon elder,”
Soon you’ll be (no joke)
A savior on Mt. Zion
To many grateful folk.
Whate’er your call, where’er you serve,
Just do your very best—
Then talk with God in humble prayer,
And He will do the rest.
While you are on your mission,
Be sure our family
Gets a letter weekly—
Show them your love and see.
How great and marvelous blessings
Upon your home will come,
Because of that sweet spirit
From as missionary son.
Above all, know we love you
And we’re for you all the way
Till mission’s end for you, son,
And you’re home safe to stay.
                           --Jay M. Richardson

Sunday, March 23, 2014

At Grandpa's Farm

                               AT GRANDPA’S FARM
When I go up to Grandpa’s farm, I know that there will be
A loving Granddad’s welcoming—a special smile for me.
A pickup truck, a tractor, and a friendly horse to ride:
Some cows and hogs, some cats and dogs, I’ll feed, at Granddad’s side.
Though years have gone and time has fled, no sight of age I see
In my dear red-haired Grampa’s eyes—he’s young at heart to me.
When I go up to Grandma’s house, I know that there will me
Good things to eat, a house so neat, and sweet serenity.
My grandmother has lots to do but when I visit her,
There’s always time for games and fun with just a granddaughter.
Now they’ve been married fifty years and when this party’s o-er,
Each one of us will join with you to wish them fifty more.
             --Jay M. Richardson

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

He Prayed, Really


He came down to breakfast,
This gentleman of old,
A man with whited hair, and eyes
That searched one’s very soul
Kind, in every way, and one
You’d know would be a friend—
T’was good to have him there
And feel his spirit with ours blend.
We knelt around the table
‘Ere this meal, before the day,
And we were pleased as our new friend
Was called upon to pray.
He said, “Thank you”, and then began
To pray most reverently,
Saying, “Heavenly Father,
May we now speak with thee?”
And as he prayed it tempted us
To look up during that prayer,
To see if Heavenly Father
Was indeed standing right there.
Dear Lord, help me to learn to pray
Sincerely, genuinely,
So when I say my prayers I’ll really
Truly “speak with thee.”
                            -- Jay M. Richardson

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tribute to Irene Flake, by Lavona Flake Richardson

My thoughts today are of my dear Mother who was born 107 years ago today.    I am blessed to be born of goodly parents who as a child taught me the gospel in our Home Nights and by their example.  Some of my family has commented that I am looking more like my mother every day.  To me this is a great compliment.  My hope is that I can live my life so that Mother and Daddy will be happy with my activities and that I can endure faithfully to the end of my life like they did and that all of our posterity will honor their name and their lives by the way they live their lives.  

Mother had such a great influence on my life. I have so many memories of my mother.  I want to list just a few of them.

   1.   The great love that Daddy and Mother had for each other and the joy they had being together.  They liked to go on trips together and my memories are that Daddy always came first in her life.  Mother always did everything she could to make Daddy happy—fixing special meals when he had stomach problems, traveling with him, and being his scribe.  

  2.  Mother was always interested in our activities—I remember all her help  when I was married and coming back to Chicago to help me when my first baby   was born.  She was always there for all of us when we needed her. 

   3.  Mother was the one that wrote us each week while we were on a mission or at BYU and wherever life took us.   Daddy would sometimes tell her to tell us something but she was the one that kept the correspondence going.

    4.   Mother and Daddy came and picked all of us up from our missions when we had successfully fulfilled our missionary assignment.  They let us know how happy they were that we had served well.    

     5.  One of the biggest motivations that I had to do well was the motivation to make my mother proud of my activities.  She made me want to be as better person so that I could give her a good report of my activities.  Even at 95 years of age she was interested in each one of her children, grand children and great grandchildren.  She knew each one of us and our activities.  She loved to visit about what we were all doing.  

     6.   Mother was a great helper to Daddy when he served as Bishop—she helped with tithing settlement from the big desk in our living room, gave parties to the servicemen when they came home on furloughs, and any other activity.  They always worked together.
      7.    Mother had several businesses that she ran from our home where she could first be our Mother and then add to our family income and give service to others.  She had a bookstore, picked up and delivered dry cleaning, wrote for the newspaper, ordered movies for the twice weekly ward theater and  many other worthwhile activities that enriched our lives.

       8. Mother had a keen mind—just a month or so before she died she was saying the Articles of Faith and naming the presidents of the church.  She would go down listing all her grandchildren and great grandchildren and knew them all by name.  She graduated top of her class out of High School and in those days not many went on to college.  She worked hard at NAU to put herself through college and get her teaching certificate.   She enjoyed teaching and taught all of us.
        9.   Mother was a people person.  She had lots of friends and always remembered what they were involved in and would visit with them about their interests.  She knew everyone.  I could ask her about anyone and she would know if or how they were related and their interests.
        10.  Mother loved the temple.  She enjoyed her temple friends and being involved.  She especially liked to help with the new brides, and liked to help with the temple weddings of her daughters and granddaughters. Even though she didn’t speak Spanish she learned the temple ceremonies in Spanish and made lots of friends with the Mexican people that would come to the temple.
         11.  Mother loved books.  She enjoyed her home bookstore and always provided good reading material for all of us as we were growing up.  Whenever I had been away from home for a length of time one of my first stops upon returning home was to see what the new books were and made plans to read them.  ·
         12.  I can remember of always having family prayer as we were growing up and home night before it was promoted by the church.  I remember cookouts on the hill, taking lunch to the cowboys and , performing for the family in the “lodge”.     Christmas and Thanksgiving were big holidays in my growing up years.  The races to the tree have been carried down to our children and grandchildren.  I remember the big Thanksgiving dinners.

         13.  Mother was a good cook.  She made great rolls, pies, carrot pudding and cinnamon rolls.   I remember the Saturday night cinnamon rolls after the house was clean and ready for Sunday and we had our Saturday night baths and maybe a movie at the ward movie theater. I remember coming home to the aroma of freshly baked bread.

  Thank you Mother  for the influence you and Daddy had in my life through the years.   Thank you for your great example.  Thanks for all the great memories I have of you and your life of  love and service.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Fond Memories" by Minnie K. Stratton

                          FOND MEMORIES

There's a little town of Snowflake that's very dear to my heart,
And a big house on the corner that of me is a part.
There's many a memory that clings around that home,
Every room I love dearly from cellar to dome.

With its heavy brick walls that stand two stories high,
It's a precious old building that reaches toward the sky.
With its many big windows for sunlight and fresh air.
We love it and many happy hours were spent there.

When we moved in that house we had two little girls.
We were happy and quite content and they were our pearls.
We decided to move in the house before it was done,
And had lived there three weeks when we had a new son.

We lived in three rooms and worked hard all the while
To finish the others all up in grand style.
We had carpenters, plasterers. and painters, too,
Worked hard all spring, there was so much to do.

It was clean and new; we thought it was swell,
But the next thing was furnishing to make it look well,
And so we bought furniture, curtains, carpets and all.
We were quite proud to have our friends call.

As time went on our children came along one by one,
And to our family there came another lovely son,
Making for us two little girls so sweet,
Then two nice boys to make our circle quite complete.

Then when our baby was eight months old,
He was very ill and the Father in Heaven called him home.
A year after that another little girl was sent
To comfort our hearts and make us more content.
To acknowledge God's hand for his blessings so dear,
May we gladly serve him while we are here.

Other children were added as time went on,
And each day brought us work which we did with a song.
We were thankful to our Heavenly Father so kind;
If we were all well, we didn't mind.

Then in three years more our Father sent us two little
   girls so sweet,
We were so happy; they made our family complete.
We cared for them tenderly, although it was work,
We never complained and never shirked.

Then one day our Daddy was called on a mission
   to go,
It seemed a long time, two years move so slow.
Just a month after he left the angel of death came
  one day,
Called and took one of our darlings away.

It was a hard trial for me to bear all alone,
Also hard for him when so far from home,
But we trusted in God to comfort and bless,
We prayed him to help us to see it was best.

After two long years, his stay at an end,
He came home in honor the truth to defend.
Then later two sons filled missions so fine,
And came home with a testimony to all mankind.

We had 13 children to bear our name too,
And have tried to set examples good and true,
Sickness and death took five of them away
So we just have eight living now today.

We celebrated our fiftieth wedding, had such a
  wonderful time,
With our children and grandchildren all down the
He and I spent five years in temple work
Which to us was wonderful and grand.

Saviours on Mount Zion, we tried with our might
To help those in prison to see the light.
Then Daddy was so feeble and weak; he felt he
  had done his part,
His old home in Snowflake was dear to his heart.

We cared for him tenderly, he was quite content,
He said he was thankful he owed no man a cent.
One night he took a bad pain in his chest,
I got the doctor; he did what he thought best
But all to no avail; our Heavenly Father called him
  home in peace and joy to rest.

Daddy loved his family and held each one very dear.
He wanted each to have a home to live real near.
Said if he had his way of what he thought right
He would know where each one was every day and

It has been ten years and I am left here to still
  carry on,
And wait my time to go; be it short or long.
Although at times I feel lonely, sad and blue,
My children are each thoughtful, kind and true.

I have just celebrated my 80th birthday, so grand,
The family all here; no finer in the land.
We had a lovely program that was fine indeed
And a lovely dinner with eighty mouths to feed.

With seven children here to celebrate, it's fine,
Their children, which numbered forty-nine,
Great grand-children which numbered sixty-two,
Great-great, I think there were eight, this is really
  all true.

We invited our friends and neighbors; they seemed
  to be happy too,
With greeting cards and presents and loving words
  so good and true,
A time to be remembered by each and every one,
I'll live it over and over until my work is done.
                           --December 28, 1950

Sunday, March 9, 2014

William Ellis and Minnie Katchner Stratton

The Atonement

The courtroom was in silence as the Judge came in the door.
The debtor hung his head, expecting mercy never more;
But as the sentence was pronounced upon the guilty man,
A friend stepped forward to the bar and said, "I have a plan.
I love this man; I'll pay the debt, If you will set him free,
And if he will repent and be responsible to me."
And so the debt was paid, the debtor ransomed, went his way,
Repentant, freed from suffering by the friend in court that day.  
The heavens stood in silence, as our Father entered in--
We bowed our heads in reverence, knowing we'd soon fall and sin;
But as salvation's plan was shown us, there stood up the Son of Man.
He said, "Fear not to go to earth--have faith, for I've a plan;
You'll fall, become unclean and be unworthy to come here;
But I'll go there and redeem you, for I love you--be of good cheer."
So as earth's history unfolded, Jesus came and paid the debt,
Freeing us from death and suffering by his sacrifice; and yet--  
Our part remains; faith unto repentance, work, enduring to the end,
Will complete the great atonement by our Lord, the Christ, our friend.        
                                                                        --Jay M. Richardson  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"The kind of mother I want to be", by Minnie K. Stratton

Minnie K. Stratton (mother of Lavona's mother Irene) was a very righteous woman and a very good poet.  We have a book filled with her poetry.  Here's one of them:


I want to be the kind of a mother
My children can love and adore.
I want to be a sweetheart and pal,
All this and a little bit more.

I want to live worthy of the name of Mother;
All their sorrows and joys to share.
I want to teach, by example, the best.
I want them to feel that I care.

I hope my children will find in my life
Some good noble deeds so true,
That they will be ready and willing to say
Your teachings have helped me through.

I want to be gentle, loving and kind
To friends and neighbors all.
I want to be the kind of a friend,
One who they would love to call.

I want to forgive each one their faults
As I would have them forgive mine.
Oh, may I not look for the faults in others
But correct the ones in myself I find.

I want to love my neighbors as myself
And bless them with kind word and deed.
I want comforting service to give
To the sorrowing and those in need.

I pray that my Father in Heaven,
All this He will help me to do,
That when my work on earth is complete,
I'll be found with the faithful and true.
             --Minnie K. Stratton

Friday, March 7, 2014

Marry Well

The time has come, in life’s short span, that it seems appropriate
For your old Dad, imperfect still, to tell you, “what is what.”
Now this I know, that much advice is cheap—and lightly taken,
But may I beg of you just once—let not this be forsaken.
For heeding this may mean for you a life like in heaven--not hell—
Both here, and in eternity!  So hear this:   “Marry Well”.

Now I don’t mean that “he” must be all handsome, rich, and smart—
But, please, just choose a man who loves the Lord with all his heart!
Be sure to know “him” long enough to see how he will be
When things don’t go just his way—will he act angrily?
How will he treat his mom and dad? And will he keep his word?
Will he honor his priesthood calls—his covenants with the Lord?
Dear girls, till now you’ve lived good lives—there’s lots of credit due!
Decisions you have made thus far have made us proud of you!
But hear this—of all the choices in this world that tongue can tell—
The greatest in eternity is this—to Marry Well.                        

                                                                       --Jay M. Richardson

Monday, March 3, 2014

Elizabeth Gale Kartchner

January 20, 1845 - March 9, 1928
Elizabeth Gale was the daughter of Henry Gale and Sarah Wills. She was born January 20, 1845, in Sydney, Australia. The following was copied from her handwriting. "May 8, 1952 two Mormon missionaries came to the home. My parents were converted and joined the church in 1852. In the fall they emigrated with the Elders for Zion in a sail ship. We were three months on the ocean. A baby brother was born on the ship. We arrived in San Bernardino in June, 1853. We lived there for four years. The winter of 1857 we left for Utah. A baby sister was born at Las Vegas, Nevada. She was born in the wagon. One night our team was missing. The company all hunted for them. They could not find them and they were going to go on the next morning. My mother had a dream and she saw them. She told father and he went and found them right in the spot where she had seen them. In February, 1858, we landed in Beaver, Utah. There were only two or three log houses there. We lived in a cellar the first winter with no roof except a wagon cover or quilt. We would have to shake off the snow before we could get up. My father was a farmer and I being the oldest would help him in the field in the summer. We would cut the grain with a sickle. I would cut and bind my bundles. In the winter my brother and I would braid straw for hats. Mother would sew them. The next summer Father hired a man to cradle the grain. I would follow the cradle and rake it in bundles for father to bind. I also helped to haul and stack. On November 9, 1859, my father was ordained an Elder. On July 16, 1871, he was ordained a High Priest. On December 30, 1875, he was called as a member of the High Council &the Beaver Stake. He has done work in the temples at St. George and Manti. He was a hard working man and a true Latter-day Saint. He endured all the hardships of a new country. He died December 26, 1891.""On December 5, 1862, I was married to William Decatur Kartchner. We traveled to Salt Lake by team and were married in the Endowment House. We lived in Beaver until we were called by the Presidency and Twelve Apostles to go to Muddy, Nevada. We had one little boy. We arrived at the Muddy on October 4, 1865. We lived there four years. While there we had three other children. It was a lovely country. As we traveled down, we stopped at a place called Beaver Dam. There was quite a grove of cottonwood trees. Where the seed fell, the young trees came up. They were about twoo feet long and about as large around as a pencil. I pulled up several branches by the roots and wrapped them in gunny sacks. When we got located, I set them out on the ditch bank. They grew so last that when we left there, my husband cut one down and made an ox yoke."
"We raised cotton and corn and grain and all kinds of vegetables. Our fruit trees were just beginning to bear and our grain was about six inches high and nice and green when we left there. We then settled in Panguitch. Two boys were added to our family. Then in the spring conference in 1877, we were called to go to Arizona. We started in 1877, and arrived at a place below St. Joseph, on January 22, 1878. We called it Taylor. While there a daughter was born. We tried to make a town but the river would rise and washed out the dam twice. We became discouraged and moved from there on August 7, 1878 and arrived at Stinson, on August 9th, now called Snowflake. On November 17, 1878, I moved into my little log house, one of the first built here. In due time, three little daughters were added to our family. In December, 1880, we petitioned for a post office which was granted and my husband was postmaster at the first post office in Snowflake. He continued in that office until he went blind. He had poor health for several years, and died on May 14, 1892, leaving me with a large family of ten children. Two were buried, and I have eight living, and they are all married in the temple, have families, and are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing. The Lord has blessed me with good health. I am now 75 years old and am well and strong, for which I feel thankful. My desire is to do good while I live and that I may be faithful and true to the end."
Grandmother spent the last months, even to the last days of her life, doing temple work, serving and working for others, and then slipped from this sphere into eternity. She lived nearly 36 years as a widow. She was always energetic and self-sustaining. At the age of 83, she was in Mesa doing temple work and living with her daughter, Zina. One evening as she walked by an old well in the yard, she lost her footing and slipped into the well. The irrigation water had run into it, making a slippery pathway. She was found in a short time, but was dead. She died on March 9, 1928. Her funeral was held in Snowflake on March 11, 1928. A white marble stone marks her grave.