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Hi I'm Janene

I am a sewing grandma. I started a support group for the loved ones of addicts. I am a substitute teacher. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I fell in love with a fiddle player at college and we have been married 39 years. We have six sons and a daughter who all grew up playing in their dad's orchestra classes. So while people are surprised to learn I don't play an instrument, musicians have been my life! One year we did a teaching exchange with an orchestra teacher in Australia and literally traded places with another family for one year. It taught us all so much about the value of another culture, another way to do things. Even though I got my elementary teaching degree in college, I decided to be a stay at home mom and volunteer in our kids' schools. And surprise! A lot of that volunteer work was in orchestra classes and chaperoning orchestra tours! Years of volunteering led to substitute teaching which I still do today. I could fill a suitcase with spit wads and broken pencils, but I love it when students greet me at the store and even more when I am able to help them understand a lesson. I spend my summers visiting grandchildren. There is absolutely nothing they could do to make me not love them! I sew costumes, clothing, doll clothes, baby blankets, quilts and Star Wars puppets to help stay connected with them across the miles. My daughter and I have a blog to showcase our creations. I love kite flying, mountain day hikes and road trips with my fiddler. We facilitate a support group for the loved ones of addicts. Serving together has strengthened our marriage.

Why I am a Mormon

I think if you live long enough you will be blessed with terrible tribulation in some form or another. I grew up with a child's faith in all I was taught in Sunday School and at the knee of my sweet Mormon convert mother. And I thought if I was good enough and faithful enough that nothing bad would ever happen. I have been blessed with a wonderful life and an amazing family. But I have also been blessed with just enough tribulation to to test that faith and teach me to rely on the Savior, Jesus Christ. We have suffered sickness, floods, financial struggles and loss of loved ones. The sorest trial was having a young family member succumb to drug addiction. The chaos that ensued shook me to the core of my being. I clung desperately to a thread of faith and have had to rely completely on the mercy of my Redeemer, acknowledging my helplessness in this situation. I know that He was always there but I was the one who moved out of His influence with my fear. But when I got on my knees and poured out my heart to Him, I felt enveloped by love and peace. Answers came to my mind. I was then able to act in confidence and with a calm that replaced anxiety. I witnessed miracles in this healing process. As a result of this experience I have a greater understanding of how the atonement of Jesus Christ can bless my life. As I submit to His love and forgiveness I have no desire to criticize others. I cannot be offended. My heart is filled with forgiveness and love for everyone. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ has helped cultivate faith that gets me through the hard things in life. I have made covenants to live a clean and virtuous life which has its own reward but also helps me be in tune to spiritual promptings. When we were married in the temple we were sealed as a family forever and that is the greatest blessing for me.

How I live my faith

I am excited about the opportunity my husband and I have leading a support group for the loved ones of addicts. We serve as part of the church family services addiction recovery program. We offer a weekly 12 step meeting similar to an Al Anon meeting. Our guide book names Jesus Christ as our higher power and we learn how applying the atonement to our lives can heal us from the chaos of addiction. Each week we witness miracles as we see heavy burdens lifted and spirits restored. I also serve in my congregation as a leader in the women's auxiliary. I help plan social activities and educational classes on a variety of topics on everything from emergency preparedness to holiday crafts. I pay regular visits to widows and others with special needs, offering companionship and a spiritual message. When a need arises, our auxiliary is there with meals, babysitting, cleaning and whatever else needs to be done. We also provide hygiene kits for local shelters and sew for world humanitarian projects. I have been president of a literature group for 22 years. A group of church friends and neighbors meet monthly to discuss a book we have all read. A wide variety of excellent literature has been covered. The women are intelligent and the discussions mentally invigorating. I think I have learned more from this group than I did in college. I have tried to make our home a refuge where family and friends can enjoy wholesome entertainment, good food and lots of love. Holiday and birthday traditions help keep our hearts knit together. We have tried to set a good example to our children of love and forgiveness. We fast and pray for our family, our friends, and our country. We pay tithing and donate to charity. We are modest in dress and conduct and strive to be honest in all we do. Counsel from living prophets has helped us to put our family first and avoid debt. It isn’t always easy but it is worth it. These are some of the ways I live my faith.