Monday, May 30, 2011

Aprendiendo Español (Learning Spanish)

Joanne and I have been practicing Spanish today!  Joanne’s task has been to add the –ing form (-ando y -iendo) to the following words:


Of course, we reviewed the verb “estar” with each of these like.

Estoy hablando Español.
Estoy comiendo una manzana.
Quiero comer una manzana.
Quiero leer un libro.
Queremos leer el Libro de Mormon.
Quiero estudiar Español.

And many, many more configurations, using the conjugated forms of the verbs.

Plus, we attempted to conjugate all of the verbs. You know the drill:

Estar—to be

Yo estoy
Nosotros estamos
Tu estás
Vosotros estáis
El/Ella/Ud está
Usted/Ellos/Ellas están

Conjugating Spanish verbs is difficult and taxing.
Also, the lesson encompassed:

El libro
Esta silla
Un/el auto
Su helado
Leer el libro
Comer la manzana
Estudiar las escrituras
Comer la manzana
Estudiar las escrituras
Enseñar el evangelio
Aprender el idioma
Cantar un himno
Venir aquí
Saber la verdad
Tener el Espíritu
Dar la charla
Hablar rápido
Ir a la tienda
Compartir mi testimonio

Then, we used the verb “querer” to form sentences with each of these.

We had a great time!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook--Random Thoughts

 "Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook--Random Thoughts"
Darrel L. Hammon

Joanne and I finally were able to see the movie Social Network, the movie about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. I had heard much about it from others, including my daughters. Of course, we seldom see first-run movies at the theater. I am against paying full price for a movie. Now, a matinee now and then is a different story. Usually, though, we wait until the movie plays at the local "dollar" movie theater although it is now $3.00. Finally, Redbox has the answer for all of us: fairly new movies for a mere $1.00. Thanks, Redbox!

I think what intrigued me most about the Social Network was the story behind Facebook and how it has become truly a social network. Mark Zuckerberg is truly a genius! For the most part, Joanne and I are recent additions to Facebook. Thanks to our daughters who are amazing computer women, we are now on Facebook. Even Joanne's 86-year-old mother is on Facebook. Why? To connect with our family and friends.

For example, in early 2010 when Chile experienced a terrible earthquake and subsequent tremors, the only way I could connect with my friends in Chile was through Facebook. Ironically, when phone systems were down, including cell phones, the internet  was up and running; thus, Facebook was up and running, and we were kept updated with comments and photos. Thanks, Facebook.

I have to admit, though, I felt very sorry for Eduardo in the movie. Now, how close Social Network was to the truth is not the issue. How they portrayed Eduardo in the movie was sad. He seemed like a nice young man with a good heart who wanted to help. He is one of those young men I would like to chat with. Plus, don't you want to know what his settlement was ultimately? I suspect Eduardo does not have to work again. Plus, his name is labeled "co-founder" of Facebook. That, in and of itself, is pretty cool to me. Of course, I wonder how many times Eduardo has had to tell his story--or at least the part he can tell.

Now, as a former college president, I was a bit overwhelmed by the way Social Network portrayed the president of Harvard, Larry Summers. I have to remember that he was the Secretary of Treasury, right? At least, that what he said. He seemed like an overbearing king of hill who had no interest in students or student problems. I suspect very few college presidents are this distant from their students. At least the presidents I know are highly engaged in student activities. 

Now, back to Zuckerberg. I think I would enjoy meeting Mark and chatting with him. If the movie portrayed him even 80% correct, Mr. Zuckerberg is a highly intelligent young man who desperately could use some social skills upgrade. Perhaps, he has captured a few of these. Then, again, if indeed Social Network portrayed him even at 80%, the audience felt some sense that he was changing when he kept refreshing his Facebook page in order to see if his added friend would accept his friendship. My only hope is that Mark Zuckerberg received the "you are friends now" sign.

This is not a movie review of Social Network or an analysis of Mark Zuckerberg. Rather, these are my thoughts--random as they might be--on the movie and a small thank you to Facebook for allowing me to be friends with people on various continents and in my hometown of Menan, Idaho, so I can keep up with what they are all doing.

Mr. Zuckerberg, if you ever want to chat, please let me know.  Perhaps, we could chat about how you feel they portrayed you in Social Network or, perhaps even better, your feelings about Yellowstone Park and Glacier National Park, two of my favorite national parks.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Collecting Things

Collecting Things
Darrel Hammon

Some people collect old china,
petite and pretty and polite;
or plates from every state in the country,
round ones, flat ones, bronze ones, beveled-edged ones

usually discovered in scattered fleas markets,
just off I-10 in Quartzsite, Arizona;
or political pins from ‘60, ’64, and ’76,
Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford.

I, on the other hand, collect rocks,
smooth ones, flat ones, odd-shaped ones,
from railroad lines in Utah, high mountains
in Idaho, the plains of Montana, or the high prairies in Wyoming—

some stuck out like farmers in the New York City subway;
others lay half hidden in sand and weeds.
The three-date rock appeared after Church,
scavenged clandestinely from a river bed, high in the Beartooths,

by Boy Scouts in search of dates with my daughter.
Another came from a rodeo coach,
a completely round one, rounded by years
of water splashing in and around it,

like a princess on a platter. One came
from my Dad’s place after he died,
a round black volcanic one with a bowl
in the middle where, he said, Indians ground corn for supper.

 Now, whether any of it was true seemed
superfluous to me until I held the rock in my hands,
caressed it like mothers and their newborn babes.
The story was too good to let truth surface.

 I keep them all out front where I can see them.
Often I shuffle from rock to rock, remembering
how they came to be, wincing at the words:
“We’re not taking those on our next move.”

I already know the poundage and hidden spaces
between the brown sofa and book boxes
where rocks can hide their true identities
and stories yet to be told.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Domician Republic, Chile, and Chatting Via Skype and Gmail Chat

"The Domician Republic, Chile, and  Chatting Via Skype and Gmail Chat"
Darrel Hammon

Joanne and I had the opportunity to visit with Bishop and Sister Roberts on Skype last night. They have been serving as Perpetual Education Fund missionaries in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean for the past almost two years. Bishop Roberts was our former bishop when we lived in Idaho Falls. It was wonderful to chat with them.

What is incredible to me is the technology! Here we are in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and they are in the Dominican Republic, and we chatted for more than an hour about their mission and our upcoming mission in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean. Just before Mother's Day, I spoke with the entire Avendaño Family in Talca,Chile--Manuel, Mauricio, Priscila, Sister Avendaño, and their families--via Skype. My companion and I had taught the Avendaño Family many years ago. Now, they are all still active in the church. We talk to our children via Gmail Chat.  Recently, I have even chatted with a few of my siblings via Skype. 

Now, we are mere novices in this chatting business. But we are enjoying our time online. We can see the people. We can hear them. We can talk to them. We actually have wonderful conversations. You can even see their smiling faces. Our little granddaughter even talks to us via Gmail Chat, sometimes her sweet face right up in front of the camera. It is just way too fun!

With all this technology, who needs telephones? And they say it's just going to get better and better.

Just recently, we all stood attention when the announcement flashed across the net and the news media that Microsoft and Skype have "entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash...." with the sole purpose to "increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities."

So, my question is this: "What revenue opportunities" will there be? I surely do not want to have to subscribe to Microsoft Skype (the "new" name) and pay a monthly fee to use it. Skype must have been doing very well--thank you, very much--for Microsoft to shell out $8.5 billion for the company. We'll see what happens. I am hoping they will improve the communication and bandwidth opportunities and not charge us. How's that for a plea? 

Thanks in advance, Microsoft, for not charging us to use Skype. I still want to chat with my friends in Chile, Dominican Republic, and all points in the world. Besides, when Joanne and I are in the Dominican Republic, we want to chat with our children, our little granddaughter, and others--free of charge.

That all being said, I am just amazed when I think of being able to communicate with people around the world via Skype and Gmail chat. It is, indeed, a miracle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Christ
Darrel Hammon

For most of us who have grown up in the Church, the Book of Mormon has become a symbol for all of us–for our lives, the way we live, the things that we do in the real world. Joseph Smith was more succinct: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon).           

For some of us, the Book of Mormon lends itself to fascinating pages of wars and rumors of wars, techniques of building fortresses and other buildings; treks across the ocean to new lands; the intrigue of family relationships and kingdoms transferring from one son to the next; the names of animals that inhabited the American continent at the time Lehi’s family stepped onto this land blessed; the many poetic devises, including Chiasmus, used by the prophets in their writings and another testament that Joseph Smith did not write Book of Mormon...But the most important truth–yes, even testimony–that we should capture from reading, studying, and pondering the Book of Mormon is this: That Jesus is the Christ (See Elder Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, “A Testimony of the Book of Mormon,” November 1999) and that the Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

President Benson said, “A second powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its comings forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration. The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision. In that marvelous manifestation, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned the true nature of God and that God had a work for him to do. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the next thing to follow” (A Witness and a Warning, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1988, pp. 15–22).

What other spiritual concepts can we learn from reading the Book of Mormon? Let me discuss a mere few.

The Book of Mormon converts people. It changes lives. It propels people to do things differently than they had been doing them. It instills in them the feelings of peace and happiness. And most, importantly, it allows them to “come unto Christ.” One family whose life the Book of Mormon changed was the Portales family in La Unión, Chile. Sister Portales was a single mother with six children and housekeeper/nanny to the branch president. He asked us to teach her so we did. One of Sister Portales’ biggest challenges was that she could not read, and her children could barely read because they did not go to school often because they were poor. But read they did, slowly but surely. Often, we would stop by to read with them and to help them with certain passages of the Book of Mormon. Her young boys plodded along in the Book of Mormon, word by word, sentence by sentence, verse by verse, and concept by concept. Soon, the entire Portales family knew the gospel was true and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. They had heard the words. The words had penetrated their hearts. They wanted to “come unto Christ.” Thus, they were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And happy were they.

Through the Book of Mormon we become intimately acquainted with the Savior. Because of the prophet Nephi’s words, we are there when He visits the Nephites. Through Mormon, we see Jesus descend from Heaven. “...behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them” (3 Nephi 11:8-11).

We hear His voice speak to the people of the Book of Mormon:

“And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

 “And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. (3 Nephi 11:8 - 11)

“Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.”

And we feel of the power and majesty of the Savior and the emotional connection the Nephites had with Him and ultimately a testimony that would last two centuries:

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

“And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:

“Hosanna!  Blessed be the name of the Most High God!  And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him (3 Nephi 11:14 - 17).

We, too, can feel of His love for all of us, especially the little children. We, too, can feel the "prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet”—all through the Atonement of Christ.

We learn of the attributes of God—In 2 Nephi, chapter 9, Jacob, Nephi’s brother, discusses with us the attributes of God. We learn that God is wise. We also learn that he is just, merciful, and good. Additionally, we learn…”How great the holiness of our God!  For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

“And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam” (2 Nephi 9:20-21).

We learn of the atonement of Christ—Because of His love for us, He provided a way for all of us to return to Him and the Father. We know that “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). Jacob teaches “And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given” (2 Nephi 2:25-26).

We learn why we need to come unto Christ. At the very beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi is extremely succinct in telling us why he is writing on the plates: “For the fullness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved” (1 Nephi 6:4 (bold mine). Then at the end, in verse 32 of Chapter 10, the third to the last verse, Moroni reiterates the plea: “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God” (Moroni 10:32).

We learn of the Plan of Happiness—This plan of happiness or the plan of salvation allows us—if we are obedient to the laws and commandments of God—to return to our Father in Heaven as families. But we also know that the path toward the Plan of Happiness is strewn with obstacles. Lehi’s dream shows us of the mists of darkness and the great and spacious building wherein people mock us at every turn. Yet, Nephi says, “And we heeded them not…” We also know that the path is narrow. Consider Jacob’s words: “Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name” (2 Nephi 9:41). The fact that the “Holy One of Israel” is the one at the gate is consoling. I know He loves me enough to be there to help me understand the true Plan of Happiness, but I must be obedient to His teachings.

We learn what kind of people we ought to be—It has been obvious from the beginning. When asked what manner of men ought you to be, the answer was very simple, yet profound: “Yea, even as I.” Throughout His ministry, He taught about being kind to the poor, helping those who need help, lifting the burdens of others, and willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—(Mosiah 18:8-9). Part of the Plan of Happiness is our ability to know good from evil. In fact, Lehi in speaking to his son Jacob says “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11).

Once again, trough divine inspiration, Mormon helps us understand the succinct differences between good and evil:

“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God”

“Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil” (Moroni 7:12-14).

“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moroni 7:16).

We learn of His love for us and of the blessings that come to us because of our obedience to the commandments of God. I know all of you have felt the love of our Heavenly Father and His Son, yes even their “tender mercies.” When we are obedient, happiness tends to extend to our very soul. It is when we do things not conducive to the spirit is when we feel overwhelmed or not worthy. This is the time when we need to repent and “come unto Christ” and bask in the spiritual awareness that will come. Moroni tells us that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be our foundation: “I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6).

Like many prophets of old, and recently President Boyd K. Packer, I, too, bear witness that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book upon the face of the earth. Like you, I have read the Book of Mormon promise:

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:3- 6).
I know that Book of Mormon is true. I have read it. I have studied it. I have prayed about it. And the Holy Ghost testified of its truthfulness to me. I urge all to read and study and pray about the Book of Mormon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Care Takers:Ode to Leadership Wyoming Graduates

I wrote the poem "Care Takers" when I participated in Leadership Wyoming, a wonderful program that many Wyoming leaders and future leaders participate in. Since I just viewed a picture of George McIlvaine, one of my heroes, graduating from the Leadership Wyoming class of 2011, I thought I would re-publish this poem for all Leadership Wyoming graduates and future graduates.

Care Takers…
Darrel Hammon

Rising high and majestic above the looping Snake River
loom the Tetons, full, craggy, sharp, stoic, beautiful.
From their crevices and hidden springs run tributaries,
gurgling their way from snowy outcrops and sloping ravines,

meandering toward the Snake and the mighty Pacific.
For a moment, each of us perches on the top of our peak,
staring down into the valley below and beyond.
Our thoughts and knowledge flow from us,

taking our gifts that we keep sacred yet share freely,
mixing them with others through the flow of water,
clear, clean, vibrant, confluencing downhill
or on the flat, growing larger and stronger, giving

life to the parched lands and clamoring minds around them.
From a single point on the mountain, we rise as one;
and as we head downstream, our oneness joins
with others’ oneness, and we still are one—

in thought, in deed, in wisdom, in purpose, full of gathering
and congregating our enormous wealth
of life’s gifts to share with others as we saunter
into the meadows, through lush grasses and plains—

service to our churches, service to our communities,
service to those most in need, service to our neighborhoods,
service to our families, service to ourselves.
In time, our memories remain, multiple and diverse,

filling the streams with turning conversations,
emotions that run deep, singing , perhaps even humming,
the covenant  that we make to ourselves and others
on the playground or on swings in the deep night

or on the soft leather sofa in our office
or in the gondola, chugging slowly to the top
or even in early morning shadows among quaken aspen:
“If you are part of a place, you take care of it.”

It is no wonder as we stand on our pinnacles,
far above the valley yet one with it,
we sense who we are, whose we are—
for we are one, focused and committed to serve.

Darrel L. Hammon
September 2007

Monday, May 9, 2011

Updates and Musings

Today's Musings
Darrel Hammon

Garage sale--We are done--finally! We finished on Saturday. Overall, we had two good weekends of selling our stuff. We met some wonderful people. Most were curious as why we were selling most of our things. When we told them about our mission, they all reacted surprised, yet favorably. We had opportunities to discuss senior couple missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were able to give way a Book of Mormon to a young man who came a couple of times with his mother. He just purchased a bunch of bees to raise, and he is only 18. We cleaned up the rest of the stuff today.

Selling our stuff--Joanne and I have had discussion about this. Anna Rose has discussed this with us. We have come to this conclusion: We don't need all this stuff, and we wondered why we accumulated it in the first place.When we return from our mission, we believe we can live with fewer things. And, yes, we can do dishes after each meal to have enough clean dishes for the next meal. We took the clothes to the Habitat for Humanity. They were very appreciative and said if we had more, they would take it. The rest goes to the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Hospital Foundation. We had previously taken clothing items to Needs, Inc. There are so many places to take your clothing and home items. My suggestion is that everyone takes a jaundiced look at your "things" and get rid of those you really don't need. There are so many people who have needs and would love your things. Spring cleaning could be truly a cleansing experience.

Mission preparation--We continue our mission preparations to the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic (La Republica Dominica). We finished Preach My Gospel (Predicad Mi Evangelio) as a couple for the first time. It was an exceptional text, and we know we learned just a fraction of what it contains. I would like to complete it in Spanish before we leave. Joanne is also continuing her Spanish studies. We have decided that Mondays will be a "viva su lengua" (live your language) day for us. We attempted to do it today. We did pretty well. On our walk, we practiced the verb "tener" and "estar" and learned new vocabulary. We still have lots to do.

Mother Boltz--Mother Boltz now lives with John and LaWane in Bountiful, Utah. We took her down on Easter Weekend. Many of the family members were there to attend a baby blessing. We felt this was a good time to take her.  It was sad to box up all of her stuff and put it in a 16-foot Budget rent-a-truck  and haul it to Bountiful on one of the windiest days of the year. What an experience that was! She is now safely ensconced in Bountiful, Utah. Our home seems empty without her, but we know John, LaWane, and Nicole will take very good care of her. For those who want to contact her, she has an email and a Facebook page.

We seem to be keeping busy, which we like. May you all experience a spectacular day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mothers Are Truly Special!

Mothers Are Truly Special!

Darrel Hammon

When I think of mothers, I quickly think of two people: my own mother and the mother of my two beautiful daughters. They both played a very special place in my life.

My own mother had eight children. I was number three. Having eight children kept her more than busy, especially knowing the personalities of all my siblings, me included. I just cannot imagine cooking for eight children. Of course, we all didn’t come together; and we certainly didn’t leave together. But in ten years, from 1953 to 1963, six children were born to my mother and father. Now, this is the first time I have realized the number of children my mother had in one decade. Wow, Mom, you were incredible!

As I was growing up, my mother was the one who took us to church, made sure our beds were made, and clothes picked up off the floor, arrived to meetings always fifteen minutes early, made sure we did our scout stuff, taught us how to bottle everything in our garden, and helped us understand that work was important.

I can remember my mother coming into my room at night because she heard me moan and groan. My legs hurt. She told me that they hurt because I was growing and sometimes legs just hurt as they grew. She sat at the foot of my bed and rubbed my legs until I fell back asleep. While she stayed up late to take care of children, she was always the first one awake and made sure we had breakfast before we left for school.

Overall, my mother was a good woman who tried to teach us what we needed to do. Thanks, Mom!

Now, Joanne, the mother of my two children, Anna Rose and Hailey, is spectacular! She has been the best mother anyone could ever wish for. As I watch my daughters today and see their good works, their great personalities, their love for the gospel, their propensity to do well in school and in everything they do, I cannot help but think back to the way Joanne cared for them. Everything the girls are, I attribute to their beautiful, kind mother whom I call Joanne, my wife of 32 years, my best friend. I am humbled to be called her husband.

Joanne spent a great deal of time with Anna Rose and Hailey, reading to them, helping them with their letters and numbers, making dresses for them, creating fabulous lunches for them and their friends during their high school years in Montana, driving them back and forth to their piano and music lessons, chauffeuring the girls to Billings for their braces check, substituting and volunteering in their schools, being their assistant tennis coach, serving as their Young Women’s leader throughout their entire young women years, listening to them during the good times and the not so good times, and just being there when they needed her.

When one thinks about the perfect mother, one doesn’t have to look elsewhere other than to Joanne Hammon, the epitome of the perfect mother. I think some of the best compliments come from the girls’ recent mother’s day cards.

From Anna Rose, “They say there’s nothing in life a girl can’t accomplish with the help of an amazing mom. And they’re right Thanks for always helping me shine, Mom.”

From Hailey, “Thank you for always making every moment special, for celebrating the little things, and helping me understand just how amazing life can be. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping me become me.”

Surely, there is nothing more certain about how their mother prepared them than seeing how my daughters live and how they behave. Perhaps, Anna Rose said it best, “After looking at my mom and seeing what she looks like, I know my future is secure.”

Ah, yes, if my daughters become like their mother, they will have accomplished much.

Happy Mother’s Day, Joanne. You are the best mother in the world.