Thursday, November 10, 2016


She pulls back her hair in a ponytail
To wash her face and brush her teeth.  
She looks at herself in the mirror 
Before scrambling to her bedroom,
And her reflection smiles back bright and happy.
She jumps into the covers, 
But remembers her prayers 
So she hops out of bed 
To kneel onto the rug
To talk to God about her day.  

She bows her head and recalls:  
Waking up for early morning seminary; 
Running into the boy she likes in English; 
Sliding into her chair just before 
The last bell rings in Math; 
Talking to her friends at lunch 
About the big game on Friday; 
Catching a friend's eye who looks sad, 
And putting her arm around her to listen; 
Coming home after rehearsal only to 
Play piano, do chores and finish homework; 
Talking to her mom while setting the table; 
Driving to church to help make decorations
For next week's youth holiday dance; and
Praying and reading scriptures with her family. 

She thanks Heavenly Father for her blessings
And asks Him especially to watch over her friend.
When she opens her eyes 
Before reaching for the covers once again,
She brushes aside the curtains
And looks out into the starry night.  
The fall wind has blown the clouds away 
And left a hush and stillness all around.  
Her focus is drawn to the bright stars:
Luminous light descending from heaven.  

Listening to the whisperings of the Spirit,
She desires to shine like the stars:
A daughter of a loving God,
Distilling truth and testimony in her heart
As she embraces His heavenly light. 
She looks at herself in the window,
And her reflection smiles back bright and happy.

~For the Young Women I have had the privilege 
of serving throughout my life.  Love them all!

Charlotte Hutchins
Autumn 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 57, 58, 59, 60

Once again, I have run faster than I have had time to keep up with my blog.  The Spirit told me to only write once a month this year and I did not listen.  I will try to go back to recovering pictures from the past, but for today I have been keeping one of those Q & A journals for the past 5 years given to me nearly five years ago by my sweet friend Melia on our birthdays we share:  December 8.  An idea came to me to look at four questions I have answered in the past four weeks and compare/contrast them to my answers the past four years.  So, here goes:

Week 57-October 10-Write down the name of someone you had a good conversation with recently:

2012-Stephanie Anderson and I talked about our upcoming fun trip to Hawaii to watch our grand babies with Brett and Juliann.  Jill Parkhurst and I caught up and also talked about the sad accident that took the young life of her happy primary president.

2013-Just yesterday I picked up Melia at Murray High School and we laughed, cried and shared stories at Chick-Fil-A about her sweet father's passing, our children's lives and what we were up to.

2014-Kellie Allred gave us massages and spent the night last night.  We always have heart-to-heart conversations.

2015-Grandma Joan and I talked and talked as we took Huey to Witchfest in Gardener's Village and ate lunch at Mimi's Cafe.  Huey was an angel!

2016-Love talking to all my kids during any day of the week.  Today, Ryan's friend Devin called to chat.  Kellie Allred and I ate at Mt. Mike's for lunch before massages.

Week 58-October 18-What famous living person would you want to meet for drinks?
(Happy Birthday Linda!)

2012-I would love to sit down with church leaders President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland for caffeine-free Diet Cokes of course.  Hugh Jackman would be fun to meet as well.

2013--The cast of White Collar

2014-The cast of Once Upon A Time

2015-Downton Abbey cast of course!

2016-The cast of Gilmore Girls with my daughters!

Week 59-October 22-Write a haiku about your day(5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables).

2012-(In Hawaii with Stephanie Anderson and the Munsons)

Beautiful blue waves
Mae's & Henry's matching eyes
Hula, clapping, stars

2013-(Alamo backyard securing historic redwood)

Tree cutters sawing
The fourth trunk of redwood tree
Tall, strong and steadfast

2014-(Love Baseball!)

We've see it before~
The San Francisco Giants
Win the World Series!

2015-(At home with family)

A workout with Cam
Pretty nails with Jaclyn, and
Dinner with Ryan

2016-(Ko Olina Beach in Hawaii with Rick,
the Munsons, Ryan and Cameron)

Sandy Candy fun
Mermaids make Mae so happy
Sunsets are lovely

Week 60-October 24-How are you?  Write it in a rhyming couplet (two lines of verse that rhyme and have the same rhythm).  I usually write in this journal just before bed so I am tired and not creative.)

2012-(Ko Olina Marriot with Stephanie and Munsons)

Bobbing up & down with Mae in the pool & ocean;
Grilling hot dogs, drawing sand art cookies & pumpkins!

2013-(This may have to do with a talk from Oct General Conference)

Good, Better, Best;
Happy, Happier, Happiest!

2014-(Tiara's wedding shower at our home with the YSA and her family)

Love hosting wedding showers;
decorating, baking, arranging flowers!

2015-(I forgot to answer this one this year!)

2016-(I did two because I forgot to answer this last year and was late to answering it this year.  So, one has to do with being in Hawaii this past October with the grandchildren and the other has to do with preparing to host the flower classes Sydne Miles is doing at my home on Nov 4 & 5.)

I love art classes with Mae & Henry;
Swimming in the pool with Huey!

Love hosting class about flowers;
Thank you Sydne & all your hours!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 56-Be a Finisher

"A Spartan race is a series of obstacles of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances."  The Spartan Beast is 14 plus miles of 35 obstacles held this year at Squaw Valley in gorgeous Lake Tahoe.  It is the final hurdle to a Spartan TRIFECTA glory if you have competed in two other Spartan races before this one.  For Cameron, his races consisted of the Spartan Sprint at the SF Giants stadium, The Spartan Super held in Patterson, California, and the Spartan Beast in Tahoe.  I was privileged to be there while Cameron and his friends Matt and Jason participated in this last race. Cameron's goal was not to place, but to finish well with friends helping each other along the way. I am so proud of Cameron becoming a finisher! 

Last year my son-in-law Brett became a finisher of three Spartan races as well, but I didn't realize what effort and endurance it took to do so until watching this beast of a race myself.  Well done Brett!  The test of endurance increases as the hours tick off and pure persistence, patience, determination, and will take over to the end of the race to do one more freezing dunk pond and one more climb as the temperature outside decreases to 45 degrees.  Along the way, if an obstacle is too difficult, you can do 30 burpees instead, but even those are difficult when exhausted and pushed to your limit.  And then there shines in the dark the finish line as you limp across with tears of pain and joy to know you are a finisher! Way to be a finisher Cameron!

Life is a series of obstacles and circumstances that we participate in and which take everything we have to endure, and endure well.  Our goal is not to win the race, but to cross the finish line helping others to do the same with family and friends cheering us on.

In Cameron's own words,

Facts: 14.7 Miles
35+ Obstacles
Elevation gain: Roughly 4,000 feet

"Amidst the beauty of Lake Tahoe, I faced the most grueling physical challenge in my life. The race was more of a hike with breathtaking views. But my focus was on finishing the race. I found that the first 4.9 miles was easy. Soon after though, I realized how hard it was. The elevation alone caused cramps up and down my legs. Rolling an ankle( like always) did not help. The bone chilling cold was even worse going through 40 degree water. Oh, did I mention I had to be completely submerged at 7:45pm at night. We took about 7 hours and 30 mins to finish. At the end of the race, I couldn't stop shivering. I had never been so cold in my life. I have endured many things and I will continue to endure all the challenges life presents me. I will keep the Spartan mindset! Also a big shoutout to my Mom Charlotte for being there and supporting me!"  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Week 55-If Wishing Made It So

"I wish I could make all my children's wishes come true. I am praying!" I wrote one of my children in a text today. A reply came back which read, "We know you are." Praying is sometimes all a parent can do.  We want to give the world to our children.  We want to shield and protect them; help them to grow up to become self-sustaining, responsible, kind, and giving individuals who bestow love, joy, happiness, and peace to others, and find it themselves.  We want them to embrace truth, light, integrity, and honor while showing compassion and unconditional love.  We want them to have success, to be positive, and to feel useful. We hope we lead and love them by example.

Often we think by taking away the challenges and pain in life, our children could learn these characteristics. Perhaps they would, but would they have empathy and feel deeply if they themselves did not have to humble themselves when facing trials and hardships?  As a parent looking back, I have grown more and learned more when the going gets tough.  It is then I have to search inside myself and outward to God.  It is hard to not be frustrated, impatient, and sad at times when the plan we thought was ideal for our family does not come to pass. Instead, on bended knee we fall and cry out to see if God is listening.  As I extinguish my fear and light my faith, I once again am reminded that it is not my plan, but His that matters most.

It is God who loves us all and who is well aware of our individual needs.  He alone knows better than even parents what is best for our children who are His children too.  Thus, to know that my children know I am praying to God in their behalf sends a clear message to me that they know God has a plan for them and I know it as well. Life may not be made up of all our wishes and dreams coming true, but it certainly is made up of God's plan for each of us that will strengthen us as we try to become all that our Heavenly Father knows we can be.

Pray Always

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 54-From Two

He first saw her 
long, coal black hair
flowing in the wind
as she rode upon
a horse through town. . .
His heart was hers.

Together they raised three
children and one 
became my mother
with soft, curly blonde 
hair and bright blue eyes. . .
His heart was hers
as well as theirs.

From two became many
as hearts expanded, widened, grew,
and a legacy of love began. . .
His heart was hers
and became ours.

So, so grateful for these grandparents of mine,
Grover Pratt Brown and Jeffie May (Duke) Brown,
who met, I imagine, on a beautiful day in
Saint Johns, AZ.  

The pictures on the left show my grandparents 
and the pictures on the right taken Easter 1960
show their blonde little girl grown up married 
to my father with three children of their own:
Darrell Dean May and Joyce Nadeen Brown
with daughters Linda, Sandy and Charlotte

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 53-A's & Giants

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to step back in time through pictures to capture feelings and perspectives then and now of days gone by.

When Ryan turned ten in the year 2000, he played little league and his team was named after the Oakland A's. However, his dad made sure he was given a SF Giants shirt for his birthday to remind him which major league baseball team his family liked best. . . .
 And we still do!
(Cameron, Rick, Jaclyn and Seth at the Giants game
tonight against the SD Padres)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 52~8 is Great!

Often what comes around goes around...Rick baptized our five children and now our first granddaughter is baptized by her father Brett.  This leads perfectly into the next year of weekly blogs that I am hoping to do.  I have decided to take a look back as I peruse through old photo albums and try to weed through the endless pictures to keep and treasure from the ones that just take up space.  Moments in time captured by a not-so-good camera that are precious: some significant like a baptism or wedding while others are memories of sweetness that took place on an ordinary day that I long to live again knowing all too well now how fast those days go by.  So here are to the "good old days" as a year looking back begins!

These photos have been in this frame for fifteen years after Jenessa was the last one to be baptized.  Each picture marks a special day in our children's lives as well as their father's as he was privileged to baptize each one.  Who knew that 8 could be so great!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Presiding:  Brother Scott Holden
Conducting:  Brother Scott Holden
Pianist:  Jenessa Taylor
Chorister:  Seth Mann
Opening Song:  Teach me to Walk in the Light
Opening Prayer:  Kay Munson
Talk on Baptism:  Charlotte Hutchins

BAPTISM of Mae by her father Brett Munson

Musical Number:  Juliann and Mae Munson
"When I am Baptized"
Accompanied by Jenessa Taylor
Talk on the Holy Ghost:  Stephanie Anderson

CONFIRMATION of Mae by her father Brett Munson

Closing Song:  Choose the Right
Closing Prayer:  Rick Hutchins

Mae with her daddy Brett Munson
The Munson family and the Hutchins family
celebrate Mae's special baptism day