Monday, May 2, 2016

My Poor Blog OR Nerds Unite!

Hello folks, my last blog post was in JANUARY!! What the???

Oh yeah... I have 4 kids and I'm trying to go to college... AND this semester has LITERALLY been THE hardest one of my entire life (and my actual classes really weren't that bad).

I cannot believe today is May 2nd! Right now, I just finished one final and I'm waiting for another later today. I should be studying, but every time I look at my notes my brain starts to melt. (It's true) I am so done.

It's been a good semester in ways... I love Biology. I love it so much. I am such a nerd and I don't even care. I love that my kids love Biology. I love that my family knows how much I love Biology. I love that random people bring me "bugs" to identify (they're actually called insects.... bugs are a "subgroup" of insects.) Yep. NERD. :)

I'm starting to panic for my test now... I do NOT love Physics.

"Let me sum up" (BONUS points to the person who can identify this movie quote!)

February -- My son's birthdays with an emergency appendectomy for me right in the middle! (The biologist nerd in me was only *slightly* dampered by the EXTREME pain I was experiencing as well as my fear of surgery. Although, I have to say.... I feel so much better now. Who knew??)

March -- I had a birthday while recovering from my surgery... birthdays are awesome. I really like getting older. I'm not kidding. I'm 41. And I'm REALLY super excited that I will be 42 when I graduate from college. This is another side of my Nerdom. And if you know why 42 is significant, then, I honor you as a true nerd as well.

This next event needs another blog post entirely and I'll post a picture when I get home too (I'm at the campus computer lab at the moment and I just LOVE to think of all the 20-somethings reading over my shoulder and wondering who this weird old lady is?!?!)

On March 6th, my sweet Dad passed away. It still feels like a dream... I cannot believe he's really gone. It's going to take a long while for me to process everything that happened. I can't believe how empty the house feels with just my cute little Mommy there. HUG your parents. CALL them. You never know. Whenever I hear the Eagles on the radio... I think of riding with my Dad in his old blue Chevy. Love you, Dad!

Later in March, my older son had 2 surgeries.... lots of time at the doctor this Spring. And then, in April, one daughter had a birthday and another got her learner's permit.... April is a blur.

Here we are: FINALS!!

(and all I can really think about is the fact that Wednesday will be STAR WARS DAY!!!)

May the 4th be with all you cool nerds like me! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Still 100%!

Wow, I seriously need to update my blog. Most of the links don't work and the pictures are gone...

Every time I sit down to do so, I get overwhelmed and depressed and just leave it. Well, it's January and I always feel like that's a good time to start over. So, I'll try to fix things up when I can, but for now, I'm just going to move forward. Wow. That is probably a quote for all aspects of my life. Sometimes all we can do is move forward.

One of my all-time favorite quotes:

"On particularly rough days, when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good!"

So... my last post was in August. Most of the time in between then and now I have spent studying genetics and anthropology and sitting in a classroom full of 20 year olds and feeling like an idiot. However, let me be honest, I really enjoyed it! These young adults are pretty dang cool. They were especially cool with me -- they don't care how old I am, they're just glad to have someone along for the ride, to laugh and joke about all the homework and to commiserate with each other when a test didn't go so well. Anyway, I survived Fall Semester. I even got a 3.0! (Which is amazing for me.) I'll start up again on the 11th... which could mean, you may not hear from me much after that until May, but I will try.

Also, did I tell you I have been teaching the Sunbeam class in Primary since July? It was challenging, but very fun and you know how church callings go (at least for me), just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, they released me. Huh. I wonder if there is some profound meaning to that. Probably not to most people... I'm always trying to find more meaning in things than there might be, I guess. Speaking of profound meanings... I had one of the little Sunbeams who LOVES animals (as much as I do), tell me that a mole (the animal) isn't a "mole", it's a "nipple"! Oh, man, I got a kick out of that!! Ha ha ha! He's the cutest little boy.

Anyway, on to a new adventure, right? So, now I'm the Primary Chorister. It's been about 2 months or so. I have to admit I've ALWAYS secretly wanted this calling. I LOVE the Primary music and I've had so much fun watching really good choristers make Primary so awesome just because of the music they choose and their enthusiasm (Ellen and Lorie, I'm talking about you!). However, BEING the chorister is way different from experiencing a good chorister. It will take some time, that's for sure, but I absolutely LOVE it and I feel SO blessed to even get to do it for this long. I've had a few hiccups... maybe I'll blog about that later, but it really is the best calling ever. I asked Zeke if he had anything to do with it, but he says it was all up to the Primary President and Bishopric counselor over Primary. Well, Thank you, I'm so grateful for this opportunity!!!! 

I've been SO stressed with the holidays and school and other things, my mind just cannot shut down. I've felt very negative and depressed and overwhelmed, but I've had to prepare for singing time (thank goodness). I think Heavenly Father knew I would need something powerful to help me feel the Spirit and overcome these negative feelings. Music is so powerful. Music can help me feel the Spirit when NOTHING else can. I haven't been sleeping well at night and I wake up stressing about things, but all through last week I was trying to memorize a new song to teach to the Primary kids last Sunday.  The chorus says, "And if I listen with my heart, I hear the Savior's voice". This inspiring phrase has been going through my head nonstop for over a week now and I know it has helped me to feel better and encouraged me to pray and to keep trying. 

This song and its message also helped me to think of another song, "The Family is of God"

Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in fam’lies.

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

I’ll love and serve my family and be
A good example to each fam’ly member.
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,
I’ll help my fam’ly remember:

God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

This song really speaks to my heart; here's a link for you to hear it. I love ALL of my family so much and I want for us to be happy together. My dear friend, Lora, took this picture of my little family in October.




Thursday, August 6, 2015

Are we there yet????

The other day we went to visit some of our family.  They live less than one hour from us. We had a really great visit. However, my children turn into psychotic monsters when they're all trapped in a car together. I just wanted to share with you some of the dialogue from our ride home for posterity's sake; I mean, we actually survived this! I didn't use my children's real names in order to protect MYSELF from their wrath. (They are most definitely not innocent!) However, I'm pretty sure you might know who's who...

Kid 1: "Just get us home, I want to go home now!"

Kid 2: "Can we turn the radio off? I have a headache."

Kid 3: "Be quiet! I have a headache too!"

Kid 1: "BE QUIET!"

Kid 4: Blah blah, random singing REALLY LOUD singing...

Kids 1, 2, 3: "SHUT UP!!!"

Mom: "Please don't say "shut up" guys. Kid 4, please use an inside voice. " (Turns radio speakers to the front) "Sorry, Kid 2, is that ok?"

Kid 2: "Yeah, it's fine, it's just Kids 1, 3, and 4 mostly. I just want to go home. I'm tired."

Kid 3: "Kid 4 stop grabbing my pillow, Kid 4, MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Kid 1: "SHUT UP, Kid 3!!!!!!!!!"

Kid 4: Blah, blah, chatter chatter, random singing REALLY LOUD!!

Kids 1, 2, 3: "SHUT UP, Kid 4!!!!!"

Dad: "That is enough, Kid 4!! Be quiet all of you!!!" (Turns radio up louder.)

Kid 3: "MOM!!!!!! Kid 4 keeps hitting me!!!!"

Kid 1: "SHUT UP!!!! Oh my gosh, just shut up! Can't we go any faster? I hate driving in the car with you guys!"

Kid 4: "MOM!!!!!!!!!!! Kid 3 took my pillow!"

Dad: "Why did you bring a pillow? Did you know they brought pillows?"

Mom: "Yeah... they said they were tired. I gave in. Kid 4, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!"

Kids 3, 4: "MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He/She keeps touching me!"

Kid 1: "SHUT UP! This is ridiculous!" (Random sounds of a scuffle with Kid 4. Elbows flying. Grunting.)

Kids 2 and 3: "Shut up, Kid 1, we have a headache!!!!!"

Kid 4: blah blah blah, random chatter, poking Kid 1 with paper Burger King crown, laughing REALLY LOUD, singing! Poke, poke, poke....

Kid 1: "Kid 4, KNOCK IT OFF!!! If you don't stop it, I'm going to take your crown!"

Mom: "Kid 1, That's enough. Leave Kid 4 alone. Kid 4, That's enough, Leave Kid 1 alone." (Turns radio up louder. Sighs at Dad. Dad rolls eyes.)

Kid 4: "MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (Loud screaming and crying and random paper ripping sounds.) "Kid 1 took my crown!!!!!!!!!!!! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He ripped it up!!!!! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (Extremely loud screaming and crying. Fists flying from Kids 1, 3, 4. Mom turns around to check for blood. No blood. Turns up radio.)

Kids 2, 3: "Thanks a lot, Kid 1! Kid 4, just BE QUIET PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Dad: "Now you've done it, Kid 1!"

Kid 1: "Make Kid 4 SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's Kid 4, not ME!"

Dad: "You made KID 4 cry.... thanks a lot, KID 1, now we all have to hear it!!" (Kid 1 becomes strangely silent.)

Kid 2: "I have a headache. I feel car sick."

Kid 3: "Me too. MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kid 4 is on my side of the seat!"

(Kid 4 still wailing LOUDLY.)

Mom: "No more talking from anyone! Kid 4 and Kid 1 you have extra chores when we get home."

Kid 2: "How much longer?"

Kid 3: "MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Dad: "I have a headache."

Mom: "Me too."

It's a wonder why we don't travel more, isn't it?


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rebel Yell

Hi. I mean HI!! It's been a VERY long time since I've been on the blog... looks like it might need some minors repairs and things. Lots of info and pictures are really outdated.

I've had a few people ask me lately if I'm still blogging and well, you guys made me feel pretty SPECIAL. Thanks for saying you miss me. Even if I can just make you laugh, I will feel like I have contributed something good to the world.

Wow. I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person whose mood can change in an instant. I guess that sounds really immature and unstable... I don't know, maybe it's just the circumstances I'm given that actually create such extreme emotions.

I have so much emotion swirling around inside of me lately I feel as though my head might actually explode! It's like baking soda and vinegar sitting in there, but it's constantly being shaken together, sometimes a little too VIGOROUSLY.

So.... I was thinking back when I first started a blog. It was 2010. I had 4 small children ages 12, 9, 6, and 2 (WOW!) I remember I was serving as the Young Women's President in our ward and I got released that May. I WAS DEVASTATED. I mean. I knew it was time and callings change and all that, but I've never enjoyed a calling as much, before or since I served with the Young Women. It was the BEST!

I decided to start a blog and I don't know... try to occupy my mind and maintain my sanity while raising my 4 kids while Zeke was in school and working full-time. I was lonely and emotional and I needed a place to share my feelings... more than a journal,  a way to connect with others going through similar struggles and have a laugh or TWELVE along the way. I've gotta laugh... or I just might cry.

Well, fast forward 5 years and I'm feeling very much the same as I was, but for very different reasons. I hope I've learned a few things during the last 5 years. I think so. What's changed?? Well, my kids are now 17, 14, 11, and 7 -- how can I truly explain how crazy that is? It's NUTS. Mostly way fun, but NUTS.

And well, I turned 40 this year.... didn't really bug me at all, I guess. I don't mind getting older, but I still feel so young and by that, I definitely DON'T mean I feel like I'm still 20.

I mean I feel like I'm 12. Maybe even 10 some days... yeah.

The music I listen to, the movies I watch, and the books I read would definitely correlate with that feeling....

Last week I was shoe shopping with my kids and my girls talked me in to getting a pair of "combat boots" for myself:
You know... Just LOOKING at this picture makes me smile. I used to have a pair of black 12 hole doc martens in high school... they were my babies. Now these are definitely NOT real doc martens... I'm just too practical cheap to get real ones. Anyway, I'm thrilled with these and they are very tangible evidence of the way I feel inside.  I almost wore them to church today. 
Oh, and I named them Fred and George. (Yes, that would be Weasley. See? I'm 12.)

I feel like a REBEL! I mean. I'm not going to do anything crazy... but I just want to run away sometimes, don't you? Ok, maybe you don't. Now please, before you go call my Bishop and tell him I'm feeling this way... he already knows!!!

You see, my husband IS the new Bishop!!!!! Yeah, I'm not gonna lie... I'm pretty much freaking out. It's just so weird. We are truly blessed, but man, it's just SO WEIRD. Again, I feel 12... so maybe other 40 year old women may not feel quite as traumatized as I do. Help. 

It's been about 6 weeks now and I've decided I need to blog again. I need to vent. I need some advice and moral support. I need to feel normal... whatever that is. 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Just some random thoughts and TWO major announcements!

Hello out there, I haven't been blogging much lately. I was just enjoying my friend's blog, Thoughts and then some, and thought I would pop over to mine and see if I felt any little blogging urges of my own.

We're just sitting here all cuddled up watching "Fantastic Four" -- kind of a random movie... but we all like superhero stuff and it's really hard to find a movie that 4 kids ranging in age from 6 to 16 all enjoy. I like Mr. Fantastic, he reminds me of  my sweetie, Zeke.

Can I just tell you how grateful I am for my friends? We were able to attend the baptism of my friend's son this morning and it was such a great day. I was just sitting there all warm and fuzzy inside, just enjoying being with everyone and realizing how special these fabulous women are to me. I hope I'm not too needy, but I feel like they are my adopted sisters in a way... I'll try not to suffocate you guys too much, but man, I love you! They know the real me, you know, I'm FINE (Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional) and for some reason, they put up with me and even seem to like me and laugh at my dumb jokes.

Well, I don't know if anyone out there enjoys my blog, but I do. It is SO fun to go back and see what we were doing last summer or two Christmases ago... I guess a journal can do that too, but it's just fun to see the pictures with it and to read all the funny stuff my kids say that usually gets forgotten by the time I do a journal entry. So many things I'd forgotten -- I was reminded today how important it is to me to take time to blog.

Well, as for the TWO MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS! Yes, I guess I like to be dramatic and no, it's nothing new if you're my friend on Facebook, but I haven't put them on my blog yet.

Wow, I'm not sure which one to share first -- both are quite extraordinary!

okay, #1 -- WE GOT A DOG!!!!!!! :) I've wanted a dog since Gabe was 5 and well, the planets aligned and now, our family has grown by one.
Meet Odin:
He is THE sweetest little dog. We are absolutely smitten with him. We adopted him from the local shelter. He's about 2 years old and a the shelter says he's a Jack Russell? terrier?/chihuahua? mix (anyway, a little mutt. :)
LIFE CHANGING! 
Even the cats don't mind... too much.

and #2 -- it's been 15 YEARS, but I'm going back to school in just 23 days. (I'm just a *little* excited.) I'm going to get a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. You know my Miss Frizzle dream??? Well, I'm going to make it come true. I went to the store today to get school supplies for my kids and I realized I needed some for myself! I was so giddy I might have squealed just a bit. :)

Anyway.... until later. 

PS Little random dinner ideas -- we've been making grilled cheese sandwiches, but with mozzarella cheese, a bit of pizza sauce, and pepperoni -- like a Pizza sandwich. It's really good! Also, Beck suggested one day we should spread salsa on our grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and guess what? They were YUMMY.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mrs. Hendricksen's Soup

Mrs. Hendricksen's Soup

My second grade teacher was Mrs. Hendricksen. She had thick glasses and bright lipstick and always let us play on her bookshelves with our stuffed animals and dolls during recess. Lots of kids thought she was mean for some reason, but I loved her. She also taught us how to make this soup. She had each child bring a different ingredient and she brought a little portable cooktop and a big soup pot. We made soup right in class and we got to eat it just because! She sent the recipe home with us and my Mom made it often. I thought it was so cool she made MY teacher's soup. Now, it's a favorite in my family. I always make it when I take dinner to someone because: it's easy to make, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand, and it makes great leftovers. 

6-8 cups beef broth (depends on how thick you want it)
6-8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 - 1 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 - 1 1/2 cups green beans (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 can condensed tomato soup (DO NOT add water)
1 cup chopped red cabbage (optional)
1 cup chopped parsnips (optional)
1-2 lbs. seasoned (I use Lawry's seasoned salt and garlic) ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, elk, etc.), browned and drained 
salt and pepper to taste

Brown and drain meat. Set aside (keep on low heat). Bring broth to boil, add potatoes, onion, carrots, parsnips, and cabbage. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add meat, tomato soup, corn, and green beans to vegetable/broth mixture. Heat through. 

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup
This is my Mom's recipe, it's really easy to make and so yummy. It freezes well too.

4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. fresh broccoli (4 cups frozen)
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, garlic, dill, thyme, or chives to taste (whatever you like)

In a 8 qt. stock pot, bring broth to boil and add broccoli and onions, cook until tender. In a sauce pan, melt butter, whisk in flour and mustard. Slowly add milk, cooking and whisking until thickened. Add mixture to broccoli broth. Add cheese; heat until melted. 

Serve with garlic bread, rolls, or even grilled cheese sandwiches -- we love to dunk them in the soup!

A few hints:
I always use the Pampered Chef Mini-whipper to whip or whisk the cream mixture -- it's the best for preventing lumps. There's probably similar ones from other brands, but I haven't checked. Also, After I cook the broccoli and onions, I mash them with a potato masher before adding the cream mixture.

Optional:
If you want more of a vegetable-cheese soup, you can add cubed potatoes and sliced carrots along with the broccoli and onions, cook until tender. 

I'll try to add a picture later...

We are having really random cold weather for June -- soup sounds good right about now.




Monday, April 28, 2014

This blondie has a lot of back story...

I don't know why, but I just keep thinking about blogging the last few weeks. Maybe it's because school is almost over or maybe because I just finished up coaching an Odyssey of the Mind Team (science/art/drama club thingy) that I've been working with since November.

I don't know if I have more free time necessarily, but at least my mind feels a tiny bit less cluttered, although FULL.

I always have so much I want to say. Too much to put on Facebook and not always the right platform to do so.

I posted a status a few weeks ago about my feelings concerning Mormon Olympians who also happen to be mothers of small children. I think we had a fairly good "discussion", but I'm still trying to remember the advice "not to ask a question I don't really want to hear the answer to". There was a lot of anger and misunderstanding brewing underneath the surface of some of the comments. Combine that with my "somewhat vague" explanation of what was really on my mind and it made for a bit of a mess as far as I was concerned. Anyway, I got to the point where I didn't want to hear any more, so I deleted my post. Ha! I love having control like that. It just wasn't going where I wanted it to go and I was tired of trying to explain to everyone what I really meant.

It's taken me 3 weeks to figure out why I'm was so bugged with the idea of a young mother spending all that time training for an Olympic sport. It's been a good time for me to really think about myself and analyze why I feel so strongly. It was a good opportunity for self-reflection and re-evaluating my life. That being said -- everyone has a different life: background, abilities, experiences, children, husband, vocation, desires, etc, etc, etc.

So, here's an important realization I came to while chatting with a dear friend about it: no one can really understand where I'm coming from and why I think and feel the way I do  -- so, it just goes to show me I can't ever truly understand why these Olympic athletes choose to do what they do. No matter how anyone tries to explain it to me, no matter how amazing they are, no matter how many people love them. That means nothing to me -- you can definitely love someone and not agree with or support what they do. So, that's not the point I was trying to make.

I'm not even sure what point I was trying to make... I think I just wanted to express my feelings "out loud" and see if anyone understood or felt the same as I do. Again, I realize now, that no one can feel the same as another person. There are simply too many factors that make up their opinions.

My life experiences have made me feel a certain way: basically, I think women should do all they can to be there for their children - even at the expense of sacrificing (or at least putting on hold) some of their own dreams and aspirations. Why? Well, after watching my sister suffer through 4 years of cancer and then actually succumb to it, leaving behind 6 children (the youngest was barely 5), it REALLY scared me.

Then, to struggle through years of my own on-going health issues and wake-up calls it makes me realize life is SO SHORT. You never know when your life will be over. I always feel like I need more time. I feel like Heavenly Father is constantly and specifically reminding ME what my mission here on earth truly is -- always pulling me back on course and helping me focus on what truly matters. In a small way, I guess I'm grateful, but ever fearful of the unknown difference between my time frame and God's.

For me, I can't bear to think of really focusing on anything else right now other than spending time with my children and being there when they need me. I don't want any regrets when it comes to my children. I'm selfish too. I want to be there for every milestone and every special occasion. I want to prepare them for the future and hug them and tell them I love them and make sure I've given them all I can.

I remember when Gabe was a baby and I was going to school. Zeke was working full-time and also going to school, so Gabe went to my neighbor's for a few hours every other day while I was in class. It nearly killed me the day I came to pick him up and she said he started crawling for the first time.... I missed it. I know, I know, you may think I'm a bit dramatic and over the top maybe, but I just had to be there.

I tried to balance kids and school for awhile. It wasn't too bad -- I was only taking a couple classes at a time. Then, way back in 2002 when Gabe and Zoe were little, I took them to a different neighbor (who, by the way, came HIGHLY recommended by several women in our church group). To this day, it is still hard for me to talk about what happened. Let's just say this woman must have put on a really good front, but she was truly a wolf in sheep's clothing. A very disturbed woman who shouldn't have anything to do with children -- she desperately needed some help.

I came to pick them up early one day as my chemistry lab finished sooner than the regular time and THANK GOODNESS I did! I pulled up in the driveway and could hear yelling even from outside. The lady's door was open and I could hear her SCREAMING at the top of her lungs through the screen door. My kids were IN there with her!

Without knocking, I marched right in and found Gabe and another child crying and cowering in a corner while she continued to SCREAM at them, shaking her fist at them, and just basically freaking out. Let me remind you, Gabe was only 3. What could a 3 year old possibly do to warrant that type of behavior? What could any child really do to justify something like that? I can't even remember what I said to her, I only remember the look of horror and embarrassment on her face. She didn't even try to apologize or explain.

Then, I looked out the sliding glass doors to find Zoe outside banging on them and crying to get in. Her cheeks were red and blotchy with tears and snot all over her as well as the glass door, indicating she had been locked out alone for who knows how long (possibly two hours?) ... she was only one year old. Those images still haunt me to this day.

I took my kids home and held them and cried for hours. I reported her to the police, but I honestly don't know what happened to her. All I know is, I never went back. Definitely not to her or any other type of child care for that matter. I know there are great child care providers out there, but I've had a hard time trusting anyone with my children ever since.

My heart hurts for those women who have no choice. I'm so grateful I found out sooner than later, but for me, I've never been able to justify leaving them in someone else's care to pursue something unnecessary. It's just not worth it.

Wow, this is what I love about blogging. It's so therapeutic for me. When I sat down awhile ago, I had no idea what I was actually going to blog about, other than I felt like I needed to write and get some feelings out. I always have a lot to say. I'll save more for another time.

If anything, I hope this post helps you understand me a little more. I really don't mean to come across so serious and extreme and condemning in my opinions. I truly think what Noelle Pikus Pace has done is inspiring and positive. However, knowing what I know and going through what I have, I try to explain to myself or justify someone else's behavior and sometimes it just doesn't make sense to me. I can't unknow these things or undo my experiences. They are part of me.

Although drastically different, I know my life is just as positive and inspiring as an Olympic athlete. Mothers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, backgrounds, lifestyles, abilities, and vocations AND they can all be a positive and loving influence on their children no matter how different they are.

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle” ~ J.M. Barrie? (there are so many sources giving different credit for this quote, I'm not sure who really said it first, but it's a good one)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Most important things

Hi, it's been awhile since I've blogged. Life is good and busy. My blog is morphing. I'm morphing. I find myself making time for the most important things: playing with my children, spending time with my sweetheart, helping others, and doing family history. Seriously, I could do SO much better, but these are the things I WANT to focus on. These are the things I want to teach my children through my example.

A great quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:

“When we put God first, all other things fall

 into their proper place or drop out of our

 lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the 

claims for our affection, the demands on our

 time, the interests we pursue, and the order 

of our priorities.”


I listened to a really great conference talk this morning helped solidify my feelings about family history:
  

by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

A great quote from this talk: "Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your own ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred, and even greater blessings will be received. The First Presidency has declared, “Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors.”7
Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life."
I hope this talk will inspire you to seek out your own ancestors. You can go to familysearch.org to get started.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Third time's the charm: three great books you need to read!

I keep having the overwhelming feeling I need to share these three books with you. They are all very special to me for different reasons. I've read them over the last few months and I know you will enjoy them.

The first book is called: 
"Covenant Motherhood" 
by Stephanie Dibb Sorensen
This is a great book! Honestly, I usually don't like books about Motherhood. I hate them actually. They usually leave me feeling very depressed and even more like a total failure than I felt before I read the book. I'm not like other mothers and my children just aren't like other children. No one can realistically measure up to the expectations of the motherhood books I've read before --not to mention an LDS motherhood book! No way! I've made it a point to steer clear.  UNTIL THIS BOOK. Why? Well, quite frankly, I'm very privileged to know the author personally and well, she is nothing short of  awesome. (Seriously!) She is so real and honest in this book. I love her insight and personal stories. She is very funny in a sarcastic kind of way (my favorite kind of way).

This book is THE FIRST book about motherhood that actually made me feel BETTER about what I'm doing and why I am doing it. I was a bit intimidated by the subtitle of the book, "Reflecting the Role of Christ in our Lives." (as well as the title), I was sure I'd never measure up, but I thought, "It has to be good, Stephanie wrote it. I'll at least give it a try." She was able to help me understand how important everything I do as a mother truly is -- from loving and teaching my children, to washing the dishes and changing dirty diapers (yes!). She helped me to feel enabled and exalted simply because I am a mother. I felt Christ's love for me and my ability to share that love with my children as I care for them. Why? In many instances, I'm ALREADY DOING the things she says are Christ-like. Wow!! Talk about a self-esteem booster!!! You mean, what I'm doing is enough? It is! As we are prayerful and have the right attitude and give it our best effort,  we are serving our children in the same manner Christ serves all of us. It is so inspiring! I really cannot convey how beautifully she explains it. I have felt such a great peace since reading this book. Thank you, Stephanie!

If you want to read more about Motherhood and how cool Stephanie is, you can check out her blog at: Diapers and Divinity

Okay, the second book is called:
"My Walk Thru Heaven" by Kim Rives
This is one of those books that really takes you by surprise. It's a life beyond death experience that will inspire you to love more and forgive freely. She is such an amazing person! I am truly inspired by her ability to forgive others. She has been through so much in her life. Her story is about her fight against cancer. I felt very connected to her because of my sister and her own fight against cancer (sadly, my sister lost that battle in February 2005). 
I don't want to say too much about the story to give away all the details -- you have to read it for yourself. I will say it left me feeling closer to the Savior than ever before and with an increased desire to be a better person. One of the more light-hearted parts of the story is the song she writes after one of her visits to her doctor -- it made me laugh right out loud. Kim has a great sense of humor in spite of all that she has been through -- it may even be part of what helped her through it. 
Ironically, as with Stephanie, I also know Kim personally. She is a member of my ward and she is simply AMAZING -- so kind and loving, her smile radiates a glow around her entire being. I love to talk with her and hear her sing. She is an angel here on earth and I am so grateful to know her. It is no coincidence that Heavenly Father put her in my life at this time. She has helped me to feel His peace and to find joy in my life. Thank you, Kim!

To learn more about Kim and her story, you can go to:

Finally, the third book is called:
"When Life Gets Hard" by Meg Johnson
Kim Rives is the one who introduced me to this great book and I'm so thankful she let me borrow her copy. Now, I don't know Meg personally, but I would love to meet her! Several friends of mine DO know her and she is also AMAZING! Why is it amazing people have been through so much?

Helen Keller once said, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

I would consider Meg a person of extraordinary character considering the trials and suffering she has been through (though I'm told by a friend of mine who went to high school with her she was ALREADY amazing before her accident!)

For a sneak peek of this book, here is the blurb on the book jacket (What are those called?):

"You wanted more. You got less.
You wanted this. You got that.
You wanted there. You got here.
You already know that things in life don’t go exactly as planned.
And sometimes they go terribly, terribly wrong . . . .
You already know that things in life don't go exactly as planned. And sometimes they go terribly, terribly wrong ...
Meg Johnson came to this life-changing realization seven years ago when she fell off a cliff in Southern Utah - a fall that left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. And though she sits for the rest of her mortal life, she stands tall with a message for her brothers and sisters of all abilities. When life gets too hard to stand, just keep on rollin'!
In this motivating and inspiring talk, When Life Gets Hard ..., motivational speaker and author Meg Johnson shares insights from her life that will make you laugh, cry, and rest assured that when your life gets tough, you, too, can keep on rollin'!"
Wow!! She definitely KEEPS ON ROLLIN'! Her book is so inspiring. Yes, she fell of a cliff and became paralyzed, but she talks about how much more devastating SPIRITUAL PARALYSIS is and more importantly, HOW TO AVOID IT!
I love books that tell you in exact detail how to do something (do this, then this, and this). She talks about avoiding and closing up Satan's gaps and holes along our path of life that can trap us and leave us spiritually paralyzed. She teaches us about the importance of 
GAPS
(Gratitude-Attitude-Prayer-Service)
vital tools to keep us safe from Satan's influence in our life. This book is such a fun read. I mean, it's absolutely horrible to think of what happened to her and all that she went through. I cried for her. I cried for me and my own ungratefulness in my truly blessed life. I need to do better and look at all the blessings that are everywhere around me. One of my favorite parts was her telling about a time when it was raining and she fell out of her wheelchair and found herself on the ground in a puddle with a frail old lady trying to help her up. I love how she told the story. Meg's honesty and humor is truly enjoyable and comes through in her writing. Thank you, Meg, I hope to meet you someday!
You can read more about Meg on her blog: 
and you can also follow her on Facebook (she just had a baby!)
I hope you can find these books at your library or find them online. I want to get a copy of each to add to my personal library. I also think any one of these would make a great gift!
HAPPY READING!
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