Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stimulus Package

With everyone tightening their belts and the economy headed the way it is, you have to wonder if the Stimulus package actually did anything or not. I realized today that it did.

A few weeks ago I started baking bread about every other day... I "thought" it was because the weather was getting colder, and it's just nice to have warm bread and a warm kitchen when it's cold outside, but I realized the real reason tonight. I realized how nice it's been not to have to buy bread, and I started running the numbers in my head... We probably go through 3-4 loaves a week, at $1.50 a loaf that's about $6.00 a week or $24.00 a month, or $288.00 a year....that's a good chunk of change.



I had just been "stimulated" to bake bread to offset the rising cost of living...and I'm betting LOTS of other people have been similarly stimulated. So in honor of the Stimulus package, I'm going to call it "Obama Bread" and each time I take a bite...I get a little more satisfaction.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sonya LeBaron

Time moves continually forward day after day, and for the most part we pay it no mind. Perhaps it's because of the steady rate at which it moves that we often lose interest and only glance up occasionally to note its passing, in those moments when we do take notice, often so much time has passed that we get the illusion that it has sped up and somehow sneaked past us without our knowledge.

Haply or not we are sometimes forced to take notice of it's passing and in shock we find that we are looking at empty pages in our book of life, that otherwise might have been filled if we had only been more aware.

Time is a treasure most often disregarded, and then most often wished for when we find it is gone.

Yesterday my "Sister in Law" died unexpectedly (such a generic description for someone who was never close to being generic) in all truth Sonya was more of a Sister, and a friend, and her presence will be greatly missed.

Before yesterday we had the option of looking forward, (at least in this life) to a continued friendship, now we are forced to only look back at what we had, and wish that we had more.

I pay tribute to an amazing woman who touched many lives, who touched my life, someone who loved life and who always welcomed us into her home when we came to visit. She was one of the few modern day pioneer's that I have known, and like all who knew her I will miss her greatly.

My prayers are with my brother, and my nieces and nephews; I know their loss will be much greater than mine.

I am so grateful for a loving Savior, who paved the way for life after this earthly existence to continue, that loss can become gain once more, and that death can be overcome, and friendships can be renewed, and continued.

Goodbye Sonya for now... I will wait patiently for the day that we can resume our friendship once more... until then your friend, Rich

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prom Past and Present

Just a quick post of Justin when he went to prom before school let out....It's amazing to watch your kids grow up, sometimes it's almost a sureal experiance.




I think way....back to when I went to Prom... (Yes the dorky looking guy is me, and the beautiful babe beside me is Randie) We would be out in public together and I know all the girls would turn and wisper to their boyfriend "How did such a dorky looking guy get such a good looking girl"...and the boyfriend would take his eye's off Randie for a second to wisper back "There was a guy with her?"...



It will be interesting to see how Justins Prom picture looks 20 years from now...I know mine sure has changed.




Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yeah!...Summer is here

Yes, I'm finally updating my blog, I think that sometimes life is like a whirlpool (No, not that it sucks) but it spins you around so fast that by the time your head stops spinning you realize it's been a month or 3 since you last updated your blog.

We just recently returned from a LeBaron Family Reunion, (it's the first in about 10 years) and It was nice to see cousins and more cousins, and then a couple more cousins....all together they estimated that there were 250+ LeBaron's running around American Fork Canyon. Actually we were all in a lodge because of the rain and it was pretty packed...at least claustrophobia doesn't run in our family.



On the way home coming up out of Provo Canyon there were some really nice cloud formations especially by Deer Creek....I took about 16 pictures and compiled them all together into the picture below.



My Garden is all in, and doing well, I'll post some pictures when it gets a little more established.

The kids are going every direction...I think Justin is gone as much as he's home this summer with EFY (Especially for Youth), High Adventure Camp (which he's on right now) and The Trek (Re inaction of the Pioneer Handcart company crossing Wyoming) Plus the Family reunion, and the upcoming Breinholt Reunion next week, He's got a full summer.

I'll try and be more diligent, because it is nice to have this as a "historical reference" to show that we have done and are actually doing things.

I was recently asked to teach the Gospel Doctrine class (Adult Sunday School Class) which I really enjoy, it helps keep me grounded and realize whats important in life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fireproof



If you haven't seen this movie, you should. It's probably not going to win any academy awards, but it has a strong message that every married couple should see. When it came out in the theaters I was thinking it was just another "BackDraft" type movie... I couldn't have been more wrong, and happily so. It is a heatfelt movie produced by the Sherwood Baptist Church and touches on relavent modern day issues that plague husband and wife relationships today. No matter what type of marriage you have this will touch a cord and give you something to think about... Kudo's to the Baptists for putting out such a great message.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

High Jumper

Justin decided he wanted to get back into High Jumping...He was really good in Jr High, but has been out of it for a couple of years. Today was his first time back and he did pretty good, and took 2nd place in their meet by jumping 5' 8" his goal is to hit 6' before the end of the season.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

20 year Anniversary

I don't buy flowers probably as often as I should, but time teaches many lessons and sometimes I learn quicker than others. There are definitely times when flowers are the answer...and no one had to tell me that 20 years together qualifies as one of those times.



I was looking at our wedding picture the other day, thinking "man, I was young, I really didn't have a clue back then", fortunately 20 years gives you a few clues, Now I look at our kids and see how fast their lives are changing and I wonder how did we get to this point already. Isn't there a rewind button some where?

Randie has always been one to not only savor the moments, but to also make them last as long as possible, which I have to say has sometimes caused minor grumblings (yes myself included) "Isn't family time over yet?" But to my wife's credit we will always have those times to look back on.

I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful woman to share my life with. We have made it through some very difficult times, which have not only strengthened us, but have brought us even closer together. I remember when we purchased our first home for $50,000 dollars, our house payment was $300 dollars a month, and I remember how hard I struggled to make that payment... (now I would give my eyeteeth to be able to make a payment like that again.)

I learned early in our marriage that success in a marriage isn't necessarily about finding the right person, it's more about being the right person. I was lucky... to not only find the right person, but when I'm with her to be the right person.

So today on our 20th anniversary I pay tribute to my wife, I look to where we have been, and see where we are now...and can't imagine the wonders and blessing that the next 20 years will bring... Life is definitely a journey, and I couldn't have asked for a better traveling companion.


Monday, February 23, 2009

First Letter

We recieved Stephen's first letter today.

Dear, Mom

I addressed it to Mom, but really it's for everyone. I just know she was probably waiting by the mailbox for it.

It's weird to think that It's only been two days here, it seems like a week. I won't lie the first two days have been really hard, and really several guys including me have thought, you know this is not for me, I want to go home. I've been trying to deal with all the stress, and I will continue to push forward with faith in Jesus Cristo.

Something was shared today that changed my point of view a little. I was so full of anxiety, I started to get depressed and one of my teachers shared something with the class that really relieved me. In Alma Chapter 25, verse 27 it says "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

This was Ammon who wrote that, the best missionary of all time, Even he was depressed at a time, but he didn't give up. I WON'T give up, and ever since I read that my anxiety has lessened, and my depression is Gone.

My companion is named Elder Hill... I didn't like him at first, but he is a good missionary and a good friend. I miss you all, I have to go to bed now, but I'll write again soon. I just wanted to say I love it here! I know how to pray in Portugueese! stay strong.

Love Stephen

P.S. I love you Mom, Oh and tell Brady and Justin I'll send them one soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Arrived at MTC

We recieved this in the mail today...

Stephen made it to the MTC, and apparantly already has a friend.




Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stephen's Address

Here is Stephen's address

Elder Stephen LeBaron
MTC Box 315 BRA-MAC 0420
2005 North 900 East
Provo, UT 84604-1793

If you want to send him an e-mail you can log onto http://www.dearelder.com/
on the left side under "Send Stuff" you will find a link "Provo MTC (Free)"
Fill in the fields using the informaton above, type your letter and click "Send Letter"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leaving

Just a few pictures from the Airport...Saying Goodbye was harder than I thought.










Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stephen's Farewell Address

This is a copy of Stephen's Farewell Address given Feb, 15th 2009

"Good morning everyone, anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows that I like a good joke. I love to laugh... so I'm going to read a short story before I start my talk.

On the first day, God created the dog and said: "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks by. For this I will give you a lifespan of twenty years."
The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said: "Entertain people, do tricks and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty year lifespan."
The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?"
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said: "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves, and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said: "that's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give you back the other forty?"
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day. God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. for this, I'll give you twenty years." But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, Okay?
"Okay," said God "You asked for it"
So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. then for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grand kids. and for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone."

The Bishop asked me to speak on the subject of the "Tree of Life". This is a story that we have all heard so many times...and that's kind of what I thought when I was preparing this talk...I had heard this story so many times I thought I knew it like the back of my hand. It was not until I opened my scriptures and realized I didn't know where it was in the Book of Mormon that I started taking it a little more seriously.

It turns out this topic was really good for me because I had forgotten a lot about the story of the tree of life... Like I forgot that there are two accounts of it... one from Lehi and one form Nephi. Lehi has the vision of the Tree of Life and tells it to his family, and then later on Nephi prays to see what his father had seen and know what it means.

I don't want to take up too much time with the retelling of the story so I'm just going to summarize and hit on a few key points.

Lehi starts in 1 Nephi chapter 8 vrs 10, saying "And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, who's fruit was desirable to make one happy." In 1 Nephi 11 an angel asks Nephi in vrs 21, "Knowest though the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? and he answers in the next verse saying "Yea it is the love of God which shedeth abroad in the hearts of the children of men, wherefore it is the most desirable above all things." Lehi then goes on to say that there is a rive stretching its way across the land and that next to this river is an iron rod, he also talks about a straight and narrow path that goes with the rod towards the tree. Lehi says he can see many people trying to make there way to the path and the tree to partake of the fruit, and in verse 23 and 24 it says,

" And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost. And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree."

I really like these two verses because it shows that when struggles came the way of these people that some held on tight and endured till the end... they didn't just give up at the first sign of trouble.

A Pastor had been on a long flight between Church conferences. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: *Fasten Your Seat Belts*

Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."

As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.

Later, the voice on the intercom said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."

And then the storm broke...

The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. she had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every-thing within her small world was calm and orderly.

Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world.

When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.

It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time.

Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The child replied, "Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."

I really like this story... and it has a lot to do with each of our lives on this earth. We all have struggles and we all go through difficulties great and small. I know that it is hard, but we have to keep on going even when everything in us is telling us it's no use.

For the past few months I have struggled with many things, Satan knew that I was about to go on a mission and he was throwing everything at me that he could, if it wasn't one thing it was another, and he knew exactly where my weak points were. There was one night I remember where I thought that I couldn't take it anymore, I just wanted to give up, and everything seemed like it would get better if I just decided not to go on my mission. I told my dad and he looked at me and said, "Why do you think all these things are happening right now? Why do you think it's been so hard all of a sudden? It's because the adversary is working so hard right now, because if he can convince you not to go, then he can stop the gospel from being spread through you."

My parents helped me a lot to get through some difficult time in my life, parents may not know everything, but they probably know more than you think because they have been there before. When we have struggles in our life, we need to take a breath and remember that our Father in Heaven is the pilot and he is taking us home.

In verse's 26-28 of Chapter 8 Lehi goes on and says: "And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. and after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

Elder Zwick said in a conference report in 2008: "Nephi taught us a powerfully simple principle in recounting his father's dream of the tree of life. He described a strait and narrow path leading to a tree and a great and spacious building. This building was filled with people who were dressed in exceedingly fine and fashionable clothing. They were all in an attitude of mocking and pointing fingers toward those who were partaking of the fruit. They were trying to get people off the path and into the building. From all appearances, the people inside seemed to be having a great time. What in indelible image of temptation. In Elder Neal A. Maxwell's words, "The laughter of the world is merely loneliness pathetically trying to reassure itself."

"And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building... They did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not."

There at the end of the verse is Nephi's powerful principle, an answer to unwanted peer pressure: "But we heeded them not."

President Boyd K. Paker has recently emphasized this guiding principle: "However out of step we may seem, however much the standards are belittled, however much other yield, we will not yield, we cannot yield."

Do we recognize temptation when it is so well camouflaged?

Are we willing to fight the unpopular battle?

Paul clearly warned that we should not be "Men-pleasers; but [be] the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart."

The time has come when we must take an unyielding stand. We must shore up our spiritual underpinnings, listen to the prophets of God, and follow their counsel."

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big movie fan... I love movies, and getting to work at a movie theater was like my dream job for a while.

In one of my favorite movies that came out not long ago, there are two good guys, one of them gets turned by the bad guys and joins him as they terrorize the city. This new villain turns at one point and says to his old friend (the hero of the story) "You thought that we could be decent people...in an indecent time."

I like this quote because the statement is very true, We all have to stand up and be decent people...in an indecent time. We all have to stand up and ignore the great and spacious building that is trying to get us to become part of the world. Ignore the drugs, ignore the pornography, ignore the filth in the media, and ignore all the things that would keep us from feeling the spirit.

I've found that the easiest way to get through life is to associate yourself with good friends. I wouldn't be half the person I am today if it wasn't for the friends I have made, If it wasn't for people like my brother, if ti wasn't for people like my best friend Brady, if it wasn't for my parents, or my leaders, or Bishops, if it wasn't for all these people my life would be very different.

There is one other thing that really kind of changed my life, (and this applies to the youth) if you have the opportunity, please, please go to Aarons camp, you will not regret it, and you will not come back the same if you put your heart into it.

I hope that I can serve the Lord faithfully and fulfill all that he needs me to do, I'm very scared to leave, but also very excited. I will miss my family so much, especially my little sister and my brother. I want them to know that I love them.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Talent Show

The youth in our ward got together at the church tonight to have a talent show, they announced it several times over the preceding weeks, and I had asked Justin if he was planning on doing anything, but had only recieved non-commital answers... so, I figured if he wanted to do something he would, and pretty much left it at that. I didn't hear anything else about it until about 2 hours before he and Stephen where leaving for the Church, come to find out they had decided a couple of days ago that they were going to sing a song together with Justin playing the guitar.

You ask any parent, and they will always find good things to say about there kids, (and most of them have pictures to back it up) I'm sure that for those of you reading this that your kids are the most talented, amazing, awe inspiring, wonderful kids on the face of the earth....and it's ok that you think that, but lets be realistic, in the grand scheme of things, when everyone takes off their rose colored glasses there are just a few kids that stand out... (Ok my glasses are still on)

When we got home I recorded them and have posted it for you... Let me introduce Stephen and Justin LeBaron...singing, "Wish you Well"

video