December 23, 2010

We Believe in Santa

The text below comes from a talk entitled "The Man Who Would Be Santa" by James E. Faust from the 1998 First Presidency Christmas Devotional. This sums up how Jeni and I and our kids feel about Santa.

"No one can measure the effect of an unselfish act of kindness. By small, simple things great things do indeed come to pass. Of course gifts given and gifts received make Christmas special. For many children Christmas Eve is a very long night as they look forward with eager anticipation to the gifts Santa brings, which is why children love Santa Claus. Let me share what someone once said about Santa Claus: First of all, he's a joyous individual. People are attracted to joyous individuals as filings are attracted to a magnet. Next, Santa Claus is interested in making others happy. He increases the happy moments in the life of everyone he meets. He loves his work; he gets fun out of his job. He is childlike, simple, humble, sincere,and forgiving. Finally, he is a giver. His philosophy is to give himself away inservice. He is a friend to everyone. He smiles.Perhaps you and I could attain greater happiness if we emulated Santa Claus a little more, for his way is the way of theInfant Jesus also. We can all reach out like Santa Claus and spread happiness to those around us.

For the full text, click here.

December 18, 2010

16 Years

I continue to be so grateful for my marriage to Jeni, now 16 years in the making. Despite health, financial, employment and other difficulties during that time, we've been able to endure and in Jeni's case, endure it well. I stand in awe of her resiliance, her patience and her faith. She is grounded in the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is those truths that define her character. She is humble, kind, quick to forgive and full of charity. I am thankful to be able to celebrate another year by her side. Happy Anniversary Jen - I love you.

December 11, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

We are continuing the tradition we started last year with our family Christmas Card, using our blog to deliver our annual Holiday greeting. If you're interested in what we've been up to during 2010, feel free to browse through the blog posts from this year in the archives section on the left side of this page. You'll see school plays, musicals and concerts, recipes, scouting awards and camps, home improvements, family trips, more recipes, and a new dog. Did I mention recipes? Most of the major events of this year can be found here.

We love this season of the year more than any other because it helps turn our attention to God’s great mercy and love in the sending of His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world. (John 3:16-17) Our minds have gone this year to the shepherds that were abiding in the field that first Christmas night and we have pondered their response following the angels’ message.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:15-16)

These shepherds came “now” and “with haste” to find Jesus. They felt the majesty of the message and left all else to seek Him. It is so easy in our lives to get distracted by the cares of the world and as a result our journey to find Jesus often gets delayed or sidetracked. We would be wise to follow the example of the shepherds. We too can put aside the cares of this world “now,” and cast the trappings of sin and the daily distractions behind us “with haste” in order to seek Him. We can do this by pondering more frequently the majesty of God’s message, by being a little kinder, a little more repentant, a little more quick to forgive and extend mercy to others. This Christmas our family has renewed our committment to follow the shepherds’ great example in giving the greatest priority to that which is most important, our search for and then emulation of Jesus.

In that spirit, please enjoy the video below, “The Shepherd’s Carol” by Bob Chilcott, performed by the King’s College Cambridge Choir.

We stood on the hills, Lady, our day's work done,
Watching the frosted meadows that winter had won.
The evening was calm, Lady, the air so still,
Silence more lovely than music folded the hill.
There was a star, Lady, shone in the night,
Larger than Venus it was and bright, so bright.
Oh, a voice from the sky, Lady, it seemed to us then
Of God being born in the world of men.
And so we have come, Lady, our day's work done,
Our love, our hopes, ourselves we give to your son.

We hope that you and your families have a wonderful Christmas and a great new year. We appreciate our association and friendship with you and pray that it may continue throughout the years to come.

With love,

Ro, Jen, Maddy and Joey Shearer

Picture above is "The Birth of Christ" by Carl Bloch

December 10, 2010

The Empty Room

Our ward put on a play called "The Empty Room" last night after our annual Christmas dinner. Maddy had a brief role as Mary and sang "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant. It was a wonderful production that lasted almost an hour, telling the Christmas story from the perspective of the Innkeeper. Below are pictures of the cast and crew.

Shakespeare 2010

Earlier this year Maddy and Joey headed down to Cedar City with their Jr. High Shakespeare team for the annual Utah Shakespearean Festival. Joey was involved in one acting sketch and Maddy was in acting, dancing and singing sketches. Below are pictures from the trip as well as a video of Maddy's Dance and Maddy and Joey's acting group. Jeni and I are really having fun watching their talents develop in this area of the arts.

December 05, 2010

Eagle Scout

We are so proud of Joey who completed his Eagle Board of Review this week and is officially an Eagle Scout! He worked hard on his Leadership Project and through his Life, Star, First Class, Second Class and Tenderfoot rank advancements and we couldn't be prouder. Joey's goal was to finish during 2010 as it is the 100 year celebration of Scouting. We hope to have his Eagle Court of Honor sometime in mid-February. Above is a picture of Joey with the three Scouters conducting the Board of Review on the left and Brandon Plewe, his Scoutmaster, on the right. Congratulations Joey!

December 04, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal this year at Terry and LeAnn's house in Salem. They actually had more cousins / nephews and neices there than they did their own children who were celebrating with their spouses' families. I made a trio of desserts as well as chocolate gravy for the turkey which turnout out surprisingly well. After dinner we played pool and Psychiatrist which was a lot of fun.

December 02, 2010


We celebrated Maddy's 15th birthday this week. Though I continue to be sad to see my little girl growing up (see pictures below), I couldn't be more pleased about who she is and the wonderful daughter she has turned out to be. She is kind, looks for the good in others, tries to brighten her friends' days when they're having a hard time and she cherishes life. She loves to sing, dance, act and socialize. Her eyes radiate light and sparkle, just like Jeni's. As an unbiased father, I think she's beautiful on the inside and out. Though I'm not too excited about her pending Driver's license permit, I am grateful for her advancing to another year of life. Happy Birthday Maddy!