Wendi's Daily Blog

Post #6 – Sunshine and Trees

Good Morning!

It is 7:48 am and I am finding that I have a few minutes of time, before I go walking with my friend Barbara, to share a few pictures I took this morning during Seminary.

Just look at that Sunrise!


Isn’t it gorgeous?  Whenever I feel like I have sacrificed too much to live in Costa Rica, all I have to do is LOOK UP and see something I couldn’t find in Utah.  The skies in Costa Rica are truly breath-taking.

Sadly, my camera on my Iphone couldn’t capture what I was seeing, so I had to edit the photo.  Here are the photos that my camera took.

They are dimly lit and focused more on the trees and church building than on the gorgeous sky.  So I used a fun photo editor app on my phone to bring the pictures to real life.  Here are some attempts I made to capture the sky that I saw this morning.

By far, I think that the photo I posted above nailed what I saw.  But this photo editing got me thinking about communication and the sharing of information.  Unless we take the time to create something to the best that it can be, are we truly sharing all that we can give to those around we are meant to help and serve?

I have been working on a project that I have had on my mind for almost a year.  It is a Family Tree.  I have wanted to have a real life example of who our family is for my children, as well as myself and my husband, but I just haven’t known how to go about creating it.  I first thought I would draw a tree on butcher paper and then stick pictures and detailed information all over the tree, but I couldn’t find butcher paper very easily . . . if only Zurcher’s was in Costa Rica!

Then last week I found some foam board for science fair projects.  I wasn’t interested in getting it but I felt a strong urge to get it anyway.  Joy Boy and I also gathered corrugated green paper for one shade of the leaves and then bright green flat paper for the other shade of the leaves.  We found brown poster board for the trunk and all of a sudden my Family Tree was coming to life.  No longer would it be a flat, one dimensional tree but a 2 dimensional piece of art!

I then researched for inspiration on HOW I was going to fit as many ancestors as I wanted to fit on this Family Tree.  I didn’t want to do the typical 4 or 5 generations back.  I wanted to include our ancestors who were the first members of our religion, so that would mean going back at least 7 generations.  I also wanted to use photos, instead of just using their names.  This was exciting work and after my burst of inspiration, I figured out my own way to do it!


With some leftover scrapbook circles and squares, I mocked up a template for the shape of the tree.  Now that I had the shape the way I wanted it to be, the creation of the actual tree started to take form. I could literally SEE the tree come to life.  My next task would now be to “edit” what I see in my mind onto this foam board, so that you, and others, can see it too!

I am excited to create and design the photos because I want them to lay on top of the leaves, giving the tree a “reach out and touch me” aspect.   I really like the 2nd family tree example I posted above and hope to re-learn how to use a scrapbook program that I hope I brought with me to Costa Rica, that will make my photos look like they are in tiny, antique frames too. I will have my kids photos made into apples that will lay on the grass, beneath the tree, representing our 7th generation.  Then we need to get them printed by our friend Matthew.  I hope he is up to the task.  I wonder if we should get the photos laminated too?

While we are waiting on the photos to be completed, I will have the foam board painted with a blue background for the sky and green on the bottom for grass. I will also have the kids make and then cut out the leaves and apply them to the tree trunk that I need to draw and cut out. I am really excited to get this project completed and to then find a fun way to display it in our home.  I want this Family Tree to be easily accessible to our kids, so they can easily study it but also allow others to look at it and hopefully be inspired to learn about their own Family Tree as well.

My MOST exciting feature to this tree will be little leaves or ribbons coming off the tip of the tree branches that will state where the farthest generation displayed was born.

I did the research yesterday and fell in love with the many locations that our ancestors called home.  I also loved comparing where my ancestors were from to where Paul’s ancestors are from.  Some are the same and some are VERY different – like Denmark, Switzerland & Luxembourg for me to Norway & early USA for Paul.  We both have ancestors from England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada and Wales.  It will be fun to keep going back in time, to see where our USA ancestors are really from and to continue to make new family discoveries and hopefully learn more about each ancestor and their lives on this earth.

I am truly grateful for the gift of technology.  Without it, I couldn’t share with you the sunrise I saw this morning, nor the AMAZING Family Tree we are building together as a family.  I also would not be able to communicate with my loved ones so easily, while living in Costa Rica.  When life gets us down, l am trying to learn to remember that we live in the GREATEST time known to man.  Yes, we are more aware of the wickedness in the world but it has ALWAYS been there – history is powerful!  But to live in the dispensation of the fullness of times is a gift and a blessing.

Here is some spiritual enlightenment to encourage us to enjoy our time on earth.  Only President Uchtdorf can express living life to the fullest in his own special way!  I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I did.

Thanks for listening!

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