Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Beautiful Life

Life Sketch
Shirley Tibbitts McAffee
By Shirlene Elledge (daughter)*

My mom, Shirley Tibbitts McAffee was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, December 12, 1933, to Benjamin Emmett and Mary Bodily Galbraith Tibbitts. Shirley was the 7th of 8 children but was raised as the youngest since her younger brother David lived only 10 months. When Shirley was born, the family lived at what was called the Reno Ranch out by Dubois. They soon moved to the Lost River valley, first to the Hanna place which is now the Helm Autobody shop; then when Shirley was 2 or 3 years old Grandpa moved the family to the place we all remember, and where mom grew up, at the ranch off the old Lost River highway.

When mom was just about 2 years old, The men were bringing the sheep in from the summer pastures and Grandma had the car loaded with the blankets and bedding. We won’t say who was driving the car, Aunt Thora, but Grandma didn’t think this young driver was going to make the turn to go over the canal bridge so Grandma grabbed the wheel and between the two of them, the car ended up in the canal. Aunt Della spotted mom’s little red coat as she was floating down the canal on top of the bedding just as she passed under the bridge. Mom was having a hard time when they pulled her out of the canal and coughed up water before she started breathing again. Her life was spared at a very young age, Certainly, she had a mission yet to fill.

Another adventure well remembered, from age 5, which Uncle Steve no doubt is tired of hearing about; when Grandma, Uncle Steve and Mom were leaving to go to Primary and Uncle Steve, not realizing mom was right behind him as he climbed into the car, pulled the car door shut not realizing mom was holding onto the door jam waiting to get into the car. Her middle finger on her right hand was all but severed. They wrapped her finger, took her to Dr. Egbert who said if she was a boy, he’d just clip the peace of skin and let it go but since she was a girl, he would attempt to save it just in case she might want to play the piano someday. The tip of her finger healed and she did indeed play the piano.

Mom spent her childhood days outside as much as she could. She loved to be outside. Grandpa always said she should have been a boy. Mom says she played all kinds of games outside with Steve but when it was time to play house, he wanted nothing to do with it. Aside from her tomboyish side, mom admits she was very pampered.

Mom and I were reminiscing over a photo taken when she was in 8th grade and she commented that even at that age, grandma was still fixing her hair. Mom’s album has snapshots of herself in high school with some very creative hair-dos. I commented on her sense of style, Mom just laughed and said, “oh, I struggled with my hair, I didn’t know what to do with it because grandma had fixed it for so many years.” Personally, I was impressed with her creativity. In one of her photos she has her hair pulled to one side of her head with all theses twists & knots on one side of her head. Mom and I just sat and laughed at all her different hair-dos.

Being so much younger than her oldest siblings, mom had the privilege of being very close to her oldest nieces and nephews. She says that Karen was more like a sister than a niece. Mom spoke so tenderly and with so much love for her nieces and nephews who were part of her childhood. She loved having them around and never tired of their company.

Mom loved to ride Old queen, the family horse. One time she was out on the horse and Grandpa, looking out the window could see that mom was struggling to manage Old Queen. Grandpa asked Uncle Steve to go out and help her. Somehow, the horse got away from mom with Uncle Steve in front of her and by the time the horse was stopped, Uncle Steve was on the ground with Old Queen standing on his foot. He ended up with the back of his shoe split open.

I asked mom if she rode old queen much and she said, she couldn’t manage to bridle Old Queen by herself so she was dependent upon her brothers to do that for her which limited her opportunities to ride Old Queen—she didn’t ride her a lot. I think it was a conspiracy on their part to keep mom off the horse.

Grandma used to make mom wear “those ugly long stockings” (as mom called them) in the winter time until the snow was off the mountains. Mom, “I hated those stockings, I thought they were the ugliest things.” Though Uncle Steve wasn’t a party to this—he kept mom’s secret—that is; mom would leave the house for school wearing those stockings and when she and Steve would reach the end of the lane, mom would take her stockings off and cram them into the mailbox, then after school, she would put them on again before walking down the lane to home. . . Somehow that eases my conscience from my own school days of leaving home and rolling up my skirt at the waist.

Mom has an adventurous spirit. She was talked into running for student body president in high school. Aunt Joyce was a big part of her campaign and she tells of what a strong effort they gave to the cause. Mom ended only a few votes short of beating the guy she ran against. Quite an accomplishment considering the era they were living in.

Mom met the love of her life, Tilford Eugene McAffee at a church dance. They were engaged on Christmas eve, her senior year, she graduated from Butte High School in 1952 and “On June 12th Gene lost his wealth” according to the graffiti on his car-- marking the special occasion. Of course dad knows that little quip missed the mark as June 12th, dad’s life was incredibly enriched when he married mom in the Idaho Falls LDS temple. They had a fun honeymoon to British Columbia where dad had served part of his mission.

Grandma Tibbitts was quite concerned as to whether mom was up for the challenge of beginning a family of her own after her happy-go-lucky childhood and adolescence. I’m sure mom amazed grandma through the years. In fact, Grandma used to go on and on about how accomplished she had become at so many things. Mom has so many talents, skills and abilities—we’d be here all day enumerating them. Can I just say, we loved her bread, pies, caramels, angel food cake, rolls. In fact, mom provided the angel food cake for our family reunion we just had the end of July.

After a couple moves, mom and dad settled into the home we all know and love in Darlington. The ensuing years of raising 10 children and all that goes with it provided many experiences and opportunities which led to mom evolving into a talented homemaker, who wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves to get the job done and yet was still a refined beautiful lady. Ivan remembers how proud he was whenever mom came to school because he thought he had the prettiest mom.

Mom and dad were happy. They loved each other—it was evident to us children. Mom was dad’s Shirley Girl and mom honored and supported dad in all his callings and every endeavor. Dad was mom’s number one concern, to her last day on earth. Just 2 weeks ago, dad came home from church, thinking he had left mom home to rest, instead, he came home to a dinner she had made for him. She loved to serve dad—and her family—in this way. That day, she suffered afterwards for being on her feet too long—but doing things for dad provided some quality of life for her in her last months and weeks. Her desire was to make his world a better place.

Mom taught us that money doesn't buy class—it is not found in the roots of wealth, rather, in the strength of character. She also taught us to care for what we had and the importance of a clean home. We had our Saturday morning routine of cleaning the house to make it sparkle for Sunday—which was a sacred day in our home. We mopped and waxed the floors, ironed clothes, polished shoes, took turns taking our bath and settling in to Lawrence Welk. Mom ensured our clothes were clean, crisp and ready for Sunday. She taught us how to prepare for the Sabbath day.
We had other special days as well. Christmas was special and magical. Mom was a child at heart when it came to the magic of Christmas. Christmas shopping was a family event-- spending the day in Idaho Falls with mom and dad, shopping, going out to eat and sitting on Santa’s lap. Mom filled the house with wonder, luscious smells and Christmas music.

Mom made sure we had new Easter dresses every year. We felt so beautiful on Easter morning donning our new dresses. For several years the boys also had matching shirts for Easter.—which of course, she made. They wore their matching shirts until they rebelled and refused to wear them anymore.

Speaking of Easter, Mom loved to color Easter eggs, even without kids at home. My family was visiting mom and dad on Easter weekend just this year and she wanted to color Easter eggs. She already had the eggs cooked when we arrived for the weekend. Just before we started coloring eggs, April showed up with her granddaughter Hallie and suddenly, it became a special event for mom--coloring eggs with a toddler. It was so cute. Mom was an accomplished seamstress. We would go shopping for school clothes by choosing fabrics and patterns we loved which mom transformed into new additions to our ward robes. She would sew late into the night ensuring we all had something new to wear on the first day of school. That included the boys as well. Flint remembers some one asking him where he got his good looking shirt because they wanted to go buy one just like it. Her endless hours of sewing was a sacrifice that didn’t go unnoticed by us. I remember waking during the night—several nights—in fact and hearing the sewing machine humming away. We appreciated what she created for us. I hope she knew that.

Mom loved school shopping and buying school supplies. She just told me about a month ago how much she misses school shopping and how she loved it.
Her daughters lived through the tricot days when any home maker who was worth their weight knew how to sew underwear and slips out of tricot. Remember tricot? That light weight silky stretchy fabric? Each of us girls chose our own color for our own set of such feminine articles. It was hard not to show them off.

Shellie remembers designer jeans mom made for her right down to the special stitching and design on the back pockets. Mom enjoyed going the extra mile and giving the extra effort in order to make something special.

The night before mom’s passing, as her children sat reminiscing, Janice, Caroline and April spoke of appreciating mom’s patient nature in teaching us mundane things--like ironing handkerchiefs, and how to make Barbie Doll clothes—of all things. Can you imagine the patience it took to teach kids how to sew Barbie clothes? In their words: “Mom was never cross if you asked questions over and over about those things...she had so much patience”.

She taught her boys to cook too. Gene, Maurice & Flint remember learning to make cakes from scratch and memorizing the recipe. They kept us in chocolate cake for quite a few years.
Ivan did a lot of cooking and mom was patient with him and his messes.

We were reminiscing about how many cloth diapers mom must have laundered, box lunches made for all the kids on school days and for dad’s workday. We guesstimated that mom has made approximately 30,000 loaves of bread throughout her lifetime.

She did teach each of us how to make bread and placed her confidence in our abilities. We didn’t always live up to that. I burned the bread so often on Tuesday nights while she was at mutual that after a time, whenever any of us burned the bread, is was referred to as Tuesday night bread. She took it all in stride and eventually, we have all become good bread makers.

One day mom had asked Caroline and April to bake bread while she was at the store. April was to knead the bread down in the bowl and Caroline, being in charge, didn’t want her to do it in the living room—which April insisted on doing. April flicked some bread dough at Caroline—although there’s a bit of debate actually about who flicked the first offence—but it became full on dough-flicking war. Suddenly, they came to their senses and realized mom would be home soon and furiously cleaned up every speck of bread dough—put it all into loaves just in time for mom to walk through the door. Mom walked into the house, looked at the clock and said, “What in the world is that” to Caroline and April’s horror, there was bread dough stuck on the clock. This would be a good example of one of mom’s favorite sayings: “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve.” It only took her about 2 seconds to spot that dough on the clock. Mom had an eagle eye for things--but not just for bread dough on clocks.

Mom could shoot and nail gophers, chickens and at one time even an obnoxious cat—all while they were on the run. She would decide to cook a chicken for dinner and go out and shoot it. She didn’t have the stomach for cutting their heads off—her preference was to shoot them and put them out of their misery quickly because she felt like her head chopping skills were about as good as her horsemanship skills and didn’t want the poor chickens to suffer. So she would take the 22 out and shoot a chicken in the head, skin it, clean it, and cook it for dinner. But she was still refined—she wore an apron.

Most of the time mom was patient. However, one Saturday afternoon, Mom was leaning over the table with her head down making loaves of bread when Flint walked into the house after spending some time with Uncle Jack in the barnyard. Uncle Jack’s sassiness had rubbed off on Flint and as he entered the kitchen he said something smart to mom. With her head still down, Mom said, “What did you say?” and Flint, feeling empowered from his time with Uncle Jack came closer to mom and leaned towards her and repeated what he had just said with even more boldness. Mom didn’t even miss a beat, she was rolling a loaf, Flint made his comment and mom reached over and whacked Flint on the face with the loaf in her hands and continued right on rolling that loaf of bread. Flint got a kick out of her good-natured reaction and left the kitchen chuckling.

Ivan says, “if I were to describe mom, she was incredibly patient with me, always loving but never hesitated to discipline if needed.” He remembers getting in trouble and mom chasing him around with the spoon—probably to swat his behind. Ivan, realizing he was faster than mom, would run up the stairs with mom giving her best effort to keep up. When she would reach the top of the stairs, Ivan would dart past her and run back down the stairs. He soon realized that the more she chased him, the angrier she became. He finally decided to slow down and let her catch him.

Yes, in raising 10 kids—mom was on the ride of her life! A ride, because of her humility, she allowed to refine her.

One of Lanell’s fond memories, which I think we all share, was falling asleep at night while listening to mom playing the piano. What a peaceful secure feeling her piano playing created.
Sometimes we would dance in the living room as she played—she could play some pretty sassy tunes. I loved the times when mom would—after much coaxing—convince Gene to take out his trombone, Maurice his trumpet and me the clarinet while she played the piano--to make us sound good and we would play for what seemed like hours.

She was fun and created magic in ordinary ways. One of our cousins told mom one time that she thought mom was such a fun mom to bottle green food-colored pears—it was a phase—I think it was Sandra who would go down in our fruit room and see the green pears on the shelves and think: “what a fun mom.”

Mom helped us find pleasure in the simple things, she taught us how to whistle thru a lilac leaf, kissed us with snap dragons and showed us how to get nectar out of a honeysuckle.

Mom and Dad purchased the Darlington Store in 1972. She was the post mistress of the Darlington Post Office. Mom’s years at the store broadened her circle of friends. She enjoyed so much the visits from their regular patrons. Mom is the kind of person who has the ability to forge friendships beyond the bounds of her own generation. She had friends much younger and older than herself. Those who spent time with her knew of the trust they could place in her and appreciated her encouraging way. Her quiet, listening, encouraging manner will be sorely missed. She truly was, as the hymn we sang says a “Christ-like friend with gentle ways” .

Mom loved to attend sporting events and cheer for her boys. I was shocked the first time I saw her cheering for Gene at a wrestling match. She would sit on the edge of the bleachers and just shake her hands –she could hardly stand the suspense. Her enthusiasm to cheer her family on continued to the next generation. She loved attending her grandsons’ games. She was also our personal cheerleader. We knew we could confide in mom, she would listen and we would walk away feeling comforted.

During our growing-up years, mom struggled to have what she felt was a beautiful yard. All too frequently, stray cows would end up in the yard and trample something to death. Mom ultimately mastered a beautiful yard. Her flowers were so pretty. She loved to garden. Mom and dad continued to garden as if they still had 10 kids at home including this summer as well. We’ve all been the beneficiaries of their harvests from their gardens and greenhouses. Not to mention the endless supplies of bottled fruit pickles and all kinds of things.

Mom and dad were called twice to serve in the Idaho Falls Temple and for a total of just over 14 years they traveled the Arco desert in the wee hours of the morning to be at their early morning shifts. They absolutely loved serving in the temple and associating with all whom they served with.

Mom and dad sold the store in 1990 when dad retired and this led to some of mom’s most treasured adventures.

Mom and dad served a full time mission in the Philippines. Although she was nervous about leaving her family, home and country—she was also excited for this new opportunity. The Philippino people captured mom’s heart and we said after they came home that mom left part of her heart in the Philippines.

She was up for yet another adventure to serve with dad on another full time mission in Salt Lake City, at the Family and Church History mission. It was so fun to go to Salt Lake and visit with mom and dad while they served there. And once again, mom made new friends.

Mom has a very quiet, private nature but get her to a girl’s retreat with her daughters and granddaughters and we’d see the fun, undone side of mom. Most women go to Women’s Conference for the spiritual uplift, but for us, it was a toss-up between that—and just being with mom. We would stay up late into the night being silly and laughing till ours cheeks ached over mom’s stories and spontaneity.

Mom enjoyed the company of her family—Tibbitts and McAffee alike. She did especially love to be with her siblings. On June 26th I called to see how she was doing. She was suffering from some side effects of chemo therapy that day but had her heart set on attending a grave dedication that afternoon and she had added interest in being there to see her siblings whom she knew would be in attendance. The Lord showed his tender mercy and blessed her. The side affects subsided and she was able to go be with her siblings. That meant so much to her and she felt so blessed. She loved it when her siblings visited. It meant so much to her. She treasured her visits from each. She told us over and over about your visits to come see her.

Mom loves the babies. As we gathered around her on Monday night and Tuesday, every time one of the great grandbabies were held up to her bedside to say hello or give her a kiss, mom would just light up. She loved babies and she believed all her life she had 10 very special babies of her own. I think we all secretly believe we are her favored child. Mom, we love being your children.

Mom was quick to always thank the Lord for the tender mercies He has shown her through this last challenging 10 months. There are many here who were part of those tender mercies as well.
Mom really appreciated all the kindness shown her.

Mom spent her life diligently serving the Lord and her family and living her life congruent with the things she believed in. We have learned a plethora of lessons from her. Examples of love, faith, courage and hope shined brighter and brighter as her time on earth—all too quickly, came to a close.

I know Mom would want me to express that she accepted the Lords will for her as she was called home. Her mission here was complete. Mom was released from her suffering as she peacefully passed away on Wednesday, September 1st in Idaho Falls, in Maurice and Debbie’s home, with family surrounding her and dad at her side.

She would say we were greatly blessed, through a series of events, which provided enough time for all of her children and some grandchildren to be with her and say our goodbyes.
Momma, we love you. Thank you for your beautiful life and endless examples. You are an elect beautiful lady. We look forward to enjoying your presence in fleeting moments and in the eternities to come. I do say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, whom she dearly loves, Amen.

*Contributions have been made by all my siblings: Gene McAffee, Maurice McAffee,
Flint McAffee, Janice Turner, Caroline Craven, April Hill, Lanell Farmer, Ivan McAffee, Shellie Climer.

Talk given by Maurice McAffee (son):

Shirley Tibbits McAffee
Dec.12, 1933 to Sept.1, 2010
Sat. Sept 4, 2010
Thank-you so much Sister Nelson & Sister Morgan for that beautiful song. And to the granddaughters as well. Grandpa wanted you girls to sing and tough as it may have been for you, I know that Grandma loved it.
Shirlene, thank-you so much for that beautiful and fitting tribute and life sketch for Mom and to others of you that contributed to it as well. I know that you put a lot of time and effort into it. Hopefully we have all learned something of Mom or about her that will have a positive lasting effect on each of our lives as we have heard about hers.
In the 25th section of the D&C it says: "and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion. Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady". That would be our Mom.
As I have thought about this day my thoughts have turned to our Beal cousins, some of our Tibbitts cousins, our Anderson cousins, all of our McAffee cousins, our King cousins and Layne, as all of them have lost one or both of their parents. We now understand and feel in a very real way your feelings and emotions of a similar day in each of your lives now gone by. To Cindy, Paul, Todd, Mel and my dear wife Debbie, having gone thru this experience in your own life, thru the passing of one or both of your parents, you have been able to help us see beyond the sadness of this time and know that happy times still lie ahead.

From my earliest recollection and well into my adult life, Mom has talked about what this day would mean for her. An opportunity to meet, to love and to cherish a relationship with two sisters she never knew, little Gayle and baby Mary and a little brother David that didn't live long enough for Mom to remember much about him. They were as familiar to us as if they had lived because Mom spoke of them often. Uncle Ben has been gone a long time. Mom idolized her big brother. She used to tell us if we were fighting or quarreling among ourselves "Heavenly Father is probably letting Uncle Ben look down on us, do you want him to see you fighting"?. Personally in my own life the memory of him because of what she used to say, kept me from doing thing I shouldn't have been doing any way. And in more recent years the passing of Grandpa & Grandma. When Mom passed away Wednesday, heaven instantly became a better place. What a great moment it must have been for each of those I have just mentioned as well as many others. Such was the vision of the psalmist who wrote: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”.
So where do we go from here and what do we do? We turn to the scriptures and we turn to our Heavenly Father. In the words of Nephi a Book of Mormon Prophet “… we 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.”

Last November, Mom & Dad had been over to Idaho Falls to the Temple with their Stake to help fill a temple assignment. Because Mom had been experiencing some health problems, her Dr. suggested that after the temple she stop by his office, which they did. Because of concerns he had for her, he sent her to the hospital for some test. This began a series of Priesthood blessings to which Heavenly Father responded almost immediately with answers. The first blessing was that the upper & lower GI would reveal Mom's problem. It did, a cancerous tumor in the colon and that surgery would be needed to remove it. Surgery was scheduled the following day. Next blessing, that the operating surgeon would successfully be able to remove the cancer. He told us that he thought he got it all, but that follow up with chemotherapy should be strongly considered. The blessings continued and as specific things were asked for as prompted by the spirit, answers were given. When Mom was first told that she had cancer, one of her first comments was "why me” but then as quickly as she asked the question came her own reply: "Why not me? If someone has to have it, it just as well be me." When she found out that the cancer had spread to the bone, she was told that this only happens in one out of every million cases. "Imagine that" she said, "one in a million and it has to be me". I told her that I was not the least bit surprised, because in my book she truly is one in a million.
When Mom first started her treatments, she had to have one every Monday morning, so they would come to our place Sunday afternoon and after her treatment on Monday return back to their home in Darlington. After her first session of treatments the frequency was changed to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of every other week. They would still come on Sunday and leave after her treatment on Wednesday.

Her trial really became a blessing to us as we had the opportunity to have them in our home so much. They were a pleasure to have around and we will miss the frequency of those visits.
Levi and I were discussing on our way home last night, wondering if the chemo treatments really did that much for her. I can't honestly say, but he said "regardless of whether they worked or not, it got them to Idaho Falls a lot and gave us a lot of time with them.
The following is a poem by Linda Ellis called "The Dash"
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own; the cars .... the house... the cash.What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard ... are there things you'd like to change?For you never know how much time is left. (You could be at "dash mid-range")
If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash...Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash??

Mom loved to travel and though her repertoire doesn't include hundreds of places, in addition to those Shirlene mentioned, Canada and the Philippines, her and Dad were able to go to Ecuador when Caroline came home from her mission, they toured Church History sites with Janice and her family, they have seen the Oregon Coast down into California, been to Florida as seen Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. Uncle Ben served a mission to Hawaii and Mom always wanted to go there. This past June her and Dad had that opportunity. It was a painful trip for her but she has said many times since how much she loved that trip. Tuesday afternoon she rallied a bit and so I showed her some pictures of her trip and said "wasn't Hawaii fun?" O yes she said. I asked her if she was ready to go back, she said "lets go! "
President Howard W. Hunter said from his wheel chair: “I have observed that life—every life—has a full share of ups and downs. Indeed, we see many joys and sorrows in the world, many changed plans and new directions, many blessings that do not always look or feel like blessings, and much that humbles us and improves our patience and our faith. We have all had those experiences from time to time, and I suppose we always will.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes said: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.” (Eccl. 3: 1-2) Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelt as spirit children with our Heavenly Father. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtain a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. This life was to become a probationary state, a time to prepare to return back to our Father in Heaven. But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long awaited trip, just as we do now. Before we leave on any kind of a trip or journey we like to have some assurance of being able to return home. Returning from earth to live in our heavenly home requires passage through and not around the process of death.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said: The Fall of Adam provided the spiritual death needed to separate us from God and place us in this mortal condition, as well as the physical death needed to provide an end to the mortal experience. Death had to be permitted, but it also had to be overcome or we could not return to the presence of God. At the time of Jesus’ death, the spirit world was occupied by hosts of our Father’s children who had died—from Adam’s posterity to the death of Jesus—both the righteous and the wicked. As inevitable as death is to mortals, so also is an eventual resurrection to those in the spirit world. Our belief is, and I so testify, that Jesus not only conquered death for himself and brought forth his own glorious resurrected body, but that in so doing he also brought about a universal resurrection. This was the end and purpose of the mission for which he was set apart and ordained in the great council in heaven, when he was chosen to be our Savior and Redeemer.

Concerning his earthly ministry, his role as Redeemer required of him four things:
1st - that his premortal spirit be clothed with a mortal body, (Luke 2:10–11.) 2nd - that he suffer the pains of all men, which he did, principally, in Gethsemane 3rd - that he give his life.the 4th and last requirement—to complete his earthly mission as Redeemer was to break the bands of death thru his own resurrection. He repeatedly taught “I am the resurrection, and the life, he that believeth in me tough he were dead, yet shall he live.”
One of the best attested facts in sacred scripture is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and one of the Saviors own most repeated teachings is his assurance that we too will rise from the grave. No two facts are more clearly and explicitly stated in sacred scripture than these;
The reality of Christ's resurrection and the certainty of ours.
After the crucifixion of the Savior, His apostles decided to go fishing. They fished all night. On the morrow as they were approaching the shore they could see a man on the beach. They did not recognize who it was. He ask them if they had any meat. They replied that they had none. He said: "cast your nets on the right side and the scriptures tell us that they caught so many fishes that their nets tore bringing them in. When they came to shore they recognized the man as the Savior and the apostles witnessed the wounds in Christ's resurrected body and watched him eat the fish and honeycomb that he had prepared for them. Afterward they went forth testifying as he had, that just as all men would die because of Adam, so also all men would live because of Christ.

Birth is the beginning of mortality, death is the end to mortality and the beginning of immortality. Both necessary requirements to return back to our Father in Heaven.
Death may lead to a welcome release from the infirmities of this physical life. It is the gateway to opportunities newly born. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his own epitaph; "The body of Benjamin Franklin (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and script of its lettering and gilding) lies here,..... Yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will appear once more, in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author". Any trials we may be called to endure, pain or suffering we must bear, joy and happiness we experience, are worth the working and the waiting and great are the possibilities of heavenly homecomings, family reunion, resurrection, immortality and eternal life.
We need not look upon death as an enemy. The anticipation of its arrival need not hold us hostage. With full understanding and preparation, faith supplants fear, hope displaces despair. The Lord said: "Fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full (D&C 101:36) In a coming day each of us will also pass through the portals of death and then cometh the promised blessing of the resurrection. May we be reminded of His tender affection for us when he said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him (John 14:21)
President Thomas S. Monson, president of our church said: “Death is one fact that no one can escape or deny. Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day.” Mom made the most of each and every day. There was not a wasted moment in her life. She literally wore her life out in the service of her God and her family.

On Tuesday before leaving the hospital, we, the immediate family, Dad, Gene, Me, Shirlene, Flint, Janice, Caroline April, Lanell, Ivan & Shellie knelt around Moms bed. Dad offered our family prayer. Upon bended knees we pled for His tender mercies to be upon us as a family and that Mom's earthly trial come to an end. We took her home from the hospital and the following day with most of her family surrounding her bed, quietly, reverently and peacefully she slipped away.
Prior to these funeral services today, Dad offered the family prayer and once again it seemed only fitting that he be the one that offer that prayer. Among other things he asked the humble blessings of the Lord to continue to be upon us as a family as it has been these past few days.
Her passing closes yet another chapter in the book of my life as I’m sure it does in yours. So tucked away in an easily accessible corner of my mind now are the pleasant memories of Mom to be drawn on from time to time. When I need to remember what enduring to the end is like, I will remember her. When I need to remember what it is like to be Christ like, I will remember her. When I think a kind word and a pleasant smile may make another's day brighter, I will remember her. We are saddened by Mom's passing, but we do not grieve it. We mourn her death but we are not without hope.
I testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose servants we are, whose Resurrection gives us the assurance of immortality, and whose Atonement gives us the opportunity for eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.
President Monson has often quoted the author James Barrie, who wrote: "God gave us memories that we might have June roses in the December of our lives". Such is the memory of the life of Shirley Tibbitts McAffee, my Mom, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Family Reunion

This year's family reunion was at the {windy} Mackay Reservoir and was hosted by Mel and April. We missed those who couldn't make it but enjoyed the company of those who did. Here are just a few snapshots of the event:

Grandma and GrandpaLani and Chris
Aunt Lanell and Uncle Carl

Aunt Caroline

Aunt April, Aunt Caroline, and Aunt Lanell

Kenna, Regan, and Uncle Kent

Aunt Debbie and Darcie

Layton and Aunt Shirlene

Uncle Flint and Rafter

Taunya, Aunt April, Alex, Nick, and Ashley

Camden, Kael, and Hunter


Tucker and Alex

Uncle Gene, Cora, Aunt Cindy, Charla, and Uncle Flint

Nick and Cooper
Uncle Mel, Robert, and Aunt April

Robert and Aunt April
John, Taunya, and Garrett

Levi and Marley
Taunya, Hallie, and AshleyAlex's spill
Uncle Mel's wipeout
Until next reunion...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Elder Alex Jay Hill,

You have been called to serve as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington D.C. South Mission. You will enter the Provo MTC August 11, 2010 and serve the Lord for a period of 24 months.

Alex, it is so easy to be proud of you because of your great example. We love you! We know you will be an awesome missionary!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ashley, Nick and Hallie's Newest Addition

Cooper Olivia Hunter
Born: Monday, March 22nd 2010
Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz. 20 inches
Time: 5:30 p.m.

Congrats Nick and Ashley! You did great! She's a cutie! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taunya and John's New Addition

Garrett Ryker Spaulding
Born: Sunday, March 14, 2010
Time: 9:30 pm
Weight: 8 lb. 6 oz. 21 inches

Congratulations John and Taunya! He is beautiful!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Go here to find out if Hallie will have a brother or a sister!

Friday, October 23, 2009

If you guessed "GIRL"....

...You were wrong!! :) That's right-John and I are having a little baby boy!! :) Needless to say that John is more than thrilled! And so am I! I guess a mother's instinct is always right-I sorta had a feeling that this little baby would be a boy! (John was just hoping).

-I copied this from Taunya's blog. Read her whole story by clicking here.