Tuesday, June 29, 2010

God is my friend.

"God is my friend. In him I shall find comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me, only to do his will." This is a from a letter that Joseph Smith wrote to Emma. I am so thankful for prayer. I am so thankful to know that God is my friend too. Sometimes He is the only one you can really talk to.

The last month or so has been very "interesting". Each week I have a experienced a very different and distinct challenge to overcome. Just when Sunday evening arrives and I think, "ahhhh, this week is going to be better, I can finally relax." Something (or lots of somethings) happen and I realize that this week will be another week of "learning". I feel like I am in the very center of the refiner's fire. I pray I can bear the heat. But we have been promised that He is always watching over us and he will not give us anything we cannot bear. I feel like I am climbing a mountain with many peaks. Just as I get to the top of one peak, I look up and I've yet to reach the top of the mountain, another peak is waiting for me to climb. I look back to the first of June and think how silly, how "easy" my trials were (giving a talk in sacrament? puh! small potatoes) .... each week I have endured, each week I have remained faithful. That's all I can do. Just keep climbing.

Zoe did our "lesson" for FHE last night. She shared some really sweet scriptures from her Primary lesson on Sunday. Joshua 24:15 "Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." and Matthew 11: 28-30!! and you all know that is my favorite one :) It was so cool to see my children looking up scriptures together and Zoe teaching us what she has learned. That was the best part of my day. :) Oh and listening to Beck sing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" ha ha, he is so funny!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How do you spell PROCRASTINATION?

Wow!! Today was SO productive... Beck actually took a nap and I cleaned out the garage... I mean really cleaned it all out! You'd think that was so great and amazing, but actually I'm just putting off preparing my talk for sacrament... oh man, Sunday is almost here. I'm sure I'll feel really productive tomorrow too... you know I've been thinking about repainting Beck's room for awhile now. I'm in TROUBLE!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That is the word to describe the last week or so... and right now I'm in the eye of the storm. Last Tuesday Zeke's Aunt and Uncle came to visit, Friday through Sunday Zeke's Mom came to visit, and on Sunday his sister and her family came to visit. It was good to see everyone, just busy and a little crazy. When we have company, my kids act totally crazy..... I'm always telling them something like, "I would never let you do that, you know that's a rule, so why are you doing it when Grandma is here?" They do things they know are not ok with us.... they just seem to lose it when company's here.... and because of that, so do I. But we did have fun, we went to the Summerfest, had a picnic at Merlin Olsen Park, and ate yummy food.

Just when I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief on Sunday, I was asked to speak in sacrament THIS Sunday..... it's not a major big deal, but I get so stressed... it's just always in the back of my mind ALL week.

And then I really did a dumb thing on Monday.... I'll tell you more later as it all unfolds.... oh brother, Why do I always do such dumb things? Will I ever learn?

Anyway, Zeke finished my "little" kitchen remodel for about $50 (not bad). He is so good to me, I'm not sure if I deserved this. He put a lot of time into it. I love his pose right here.... thanks, honey. The kitchen workstation thingy is so awesome.... Zeke and I can cook together and not be in each other's way now.

Here's the front of it. It's not fixed to the floor so we can move it wherever we need to. :)

Oh and I'm thinking about selling our table and chairs.... we are still not close to what we need for Zeke's tuition (after Gabe's ER visit and such). Anyway, if anyone is interested let me know. We got it new in November 2009. It's a dark walnut (almost black) counter-height table with 6 chairs and a bench that fits 2 or 3. The table has a built-in leaf in the bottom. Maybe $700? I'm thinking we'll just use our fold out table and chairs until tax returns next spring.... we've just got to get through to December.

My kids are so cute. Really. Considering how crazy this weekend was, they were so awesome! I am so proud of them. I just love to sit outside and watch them play together :) Life is good... and it will be much better after my talk is over on Sunday (I hope).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weather Forecast

Ok, so you probably think I'm crazy, but I know why the weather has been so cold and rainy lately. No, I'm not a weather person or scientist or anything, but I have a pretty good theory. Actually, it's more than a theory. I know. I have been praying and praying for help with our bills and finances. We need to save as much money as we can to pay for Zeke's tuition in August. We have cut out EVERY unnecessary expense so far and haven't been able to find anything else to get rid of.

Usually our utility bill is about $140 each month, but during the summer with our sprinklers and air conditioner running, our bill has been as high as $286! YIKES. I know all of you out there have been praying for some nice hot summer weather, but I really think this is Heavenly Father's way of answering my prayer for now (sorry everyone). In order to save money this summer, I was not even going to use our air conditioner, well, I've been so blessed because I haven't had to. I was even considering just letting the lawn go and see how it looked in July.... well, it's nice and GREEN and I haven't watered it once! So if you get a little bummed when you hear the weather forecast... maybe you can think of me saying YESSSS!!!! every time it rains... and you can smile (maybe).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Overwhelmed... with Gratitude

Had a great time last night. I went to a Luau for the Laurels and Priests in our Stake. Even though I'm not in Young Women's anymore, I was invited because my sweet hubby is in the Stake YM. We watched the movie, "Forever Strong", it's based on the true story of the Highland, Utah Rugby team. I've seen it many times... and I love it every time I watch it. Afterwards, Zeke and a couple other people spoke to the youth. The Spirit was so strong. I felt so happy. I thought of my life way back in 1993... I am so "LUCKY" to be here. But luck has nothing to do with it. I was spared for some reason... I often wonder why.

To make a very long story short: My friends and roommates at Snow College were so influential to me and the beginnings of my testimony. I will be forever grateful to my wonderful roommate, Jen (Edwards) Mortensen. I owe her my life. I really do. I was LOST (and that is an enormous understatement!) She was the one who invited me to church with her... and she was not embarrassed to have me come with her and sit by her... even though EVERY head in the chapel spun around and stared the first time I walked in.

I remember finding a Bible that my old Sunday School teacher had given to me (thanks, Brother Swan), opening it (probably for the first time ever, really!) and thinking, Jen's so happy, I want to be happy, I want to have what she has, I wonder if this is really what it's all about. I'm going to find out... I randomly turned to Matthew 11: 28-30... and the words literally glowed and jumped right off the page: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." This one scripture changed my life forever... I knew what I needed to do, I knew where I could find peace and hope and joy...

In 1994, I went to a fireside at Snow College and heard a song from Michael Webb that told my story so well,

Once I was blind
I could not see the Truth
I had lost the vision of my youth
And the line between wrong and right
became cloudy and blurred with time
and the darkness swallowed the Light
once I was blind

Once I was deaf
the world and all it's noise
filled my mind
and I could not hear His voice
whispering in my ear
Oh, I heard what I chose to hear
I gave no heed
I thought I knew best
once I was deaf

But He healed me
He opened my eyes and ears
and He changed me
erasing the scars of years
and now my heart understands
and I am whole again

Once I was lame
crippled and bent with sin
my crooked feet refused to follow Him
I let go of the rod and staff
and I stumbled right off the path
falling down, falling away
once I was lame

But He healed me
He opened my eyes and ears
and He saved me
and carries me through the years
Finally my heart understands
and I am whole again
I can see
I can hear
I can walk
I will run to Him.

I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I just woke up this morning feeling so thankful and I wanted all of you to know why. It really is that AWESOME :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

17 pounds...

I'm reading "Fire of the Covenant" by Gerald Lund right now and I cannot stop thinking about 17 pounds. This book tells the story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies of 1856 that walked from Iowa to Utah (nearly 1300 miles!) while pushing and pulling a handcart filled with all of their supplies and just 17 pounds of "personal items". 17 pounds was the limit for each adult. Children got 10 pounds each.

I wonder what I would bring. Many of the pioneers struggled with this same thought. By the way, this 17 pounds INCLUDED their clothing and bedding! What would you bring? One of my first thoughts was to bring my scriptures of course! But my scriptures weigh at least 3 pounds (I have a large print edition my sweet hubby got me years ago, so I could read them without needing my glasses) .... ok, I'd have to get a mini-set, like the ones my husband got in the military. Maybe it would be good to memorize as many scriptures as you could. Think about the knowledge you could "take" with you. I'd like to have a Family Home Evening about all of this and have my children go through their own special and important "stuff" and see what they decide to take.

I know this is silly, but I would bring my lipstick. I don't need any other make-up, but I just love wearing lipstick. I think it's so fun and it makes me happy. Hmmmm. I wonder about the women in the handcart companies. The leaders were very strict on this 17 pound limit. They had to be. Excerpts from the company journals say that many of the women would try to wear ALL of their clothing in layers so they could take it with them all the way to Salt Lake, but not have to count it with the 17 pounds. Maybe we're not that different from them. The company journals also say that along the first 100 miles of the trail, piles of dresses and hats and petticoats and such were strewn all along the way.... I can imagine those women weighed down with all of those extra clothes, sweating, trying to keep track of all their children, while pushing a 500 pound handcart alongside their husband and thinking, "To heck with my Sunday dress!"

What about family heirlooms or sentimental items? Most of those were left for good in Iowa at the "weigh-in". Some of the "opportunistic" settlers of Iowa simply waited until the handcart companies left and then went "shopping" and took all of the things the pioneers discarded. I don't know if I have any item so special to me that I'd want to carry it 1300 miles... the only thing I can think of being that treasured is photographs... they're not too heavy, right? Well, I have a "small" bag of special pictures I keep in my nightstand. It weighs about 2 pounds. I'd have to sort through them and keep just a few I guess.

As I get deeper into the book, I realize that unimportant items like lipstick, or even irreplaceable photos or my scriptures would just be an added burden. The pioneers simply couldn't carry enough food with them. I would bring more FOOD. These particular handcart companies left too late in the year and faced harsh winter conditions. They didn't have adequate clothing or bedding. I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to starve or freeze to death. Or worse! Seeing my children... let's not go there.

These Saints were so faithful. Their desire to be obedient and true to the covenants they made burned like a fire in their hearts. I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think of them. My own great-great Grandmother, Ane-Johana Peterson, was a member of the Willie handcart company of 1856. She was only 3 years old. How did she survive? What sacrifices did her parents make to be sure that she did survive? Each night I tuck my kids into bed with all of their warm blankets and soft mattresses (oh and our house and furnace!) and each meal I set on our table with leftovers to put away in my refrigerator for another day.... I am so thankful for these things. I hope I will always remember just how blessed we are. So blessed! I love the scripture in Alma 37: 46 "...do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way...the way is prepared, and if we look we may live forever."

In 1834, Joseph Smith said, "Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation..."

In 1982, Neal A. Maxwell said, "How could we expect to be joyous and to receive all that "the Father hath" if we do not strive to become like Him? And, in fact, can we, on our scale, be like Him without sharing in the "fellowship of his sufferings?" He shares with us His work; does that not suggest the need for our sharing, too, some of the suffering?... If in all of this there is some understandable trembling, the adrenaline of affliction can help to ensure that our pace will be brisk rather than casual. His grace will cover us like a cloak -- enough to provide for survival but too thin to keep out all the cold. The seeming cold is there to keep us from drowsiness, and gospel gladness warms us enough to keep going. "

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zeke says my blog is too girly...

Hey all, so I haven't been totally in love with my previous blog background, I hope you weren't either. I showed my blog to Zeke and he said, "It's too girly, you need some colors that look more like you, like BROWN (he said this like it was a bad thing)." Yes, for the record, I do like brown, A LOT! Does that mean I'm not girly? So anyway, I'm just testing this one out... what do you think? I've had a hard time matching all the other fonts and colors to this new background and such... and THAT is why it took me so long to get around to changing it again. silly silly silly and still GIRLY!

"She's goes around in circles 'til she's very, very dizzy..."

This is who I feel like most days
(although I wouldn't mind looking like her as well)
Here's me bathing the kids (October 2008?)

My life feels like that song from Cinderella. "Lacerelli, Lacerelli, night and day, it's Lacerelli! Make the breakfast, wash the dishes, do the bills and the moppin'.... they always keep her hoppin'... she goes around in circles 'til she's very, very dizzy, still they holler, keep her busy, Lacerelli..."

I think I've finally realized why I get so worn out at the end of the day (really!) Not just from all of my responsibilities as a mother and actual physical work, but from all the stuff that goes on in my head. I am an emotional roller coaster ALL the time. My brain is constantly churning... even as I type, I'm thinking of what I want to write here, while I "turn down the volume" on all the other "channels" playing through my head.

Just reviewed our budget (again), making a grocery list, need dryer sheets, milk, diapers, apples, call Jessica, call Julie, call Nancy, call Ranae, comment on Stephanie's blog, forward the Dave Barry article to my Mom, put the clothes in the dryer, get cards for graduating Laurels, pick up Zoe at 2:30, I hope she has a good day at school, what should I fix for breakfast, what should I fix for dinner, I should shower before the kids wake up, Kaia needs her medicine, I should really sweep up the beads on the floor, here comes the garbage truck, is that really how you spell laughter?, the computer desk looks dusty, I should change my blog background, I should change the air filter in our furnace, I should clean the litter boxes, I should vacuum (again), I should mow the lawn, I need to go to the temple, I miss my Mom, I need to make those DVD's for her and Patty, I can't wait until the 4th of July, I need to call the Dr. about Gabe's stitches (again), I wonder what the YM activity is tonight, I wonder if there is one?, where exactly did $700 just go? (really!), I shouldn't have bought that new mop, I need to get something for Melissa's baby, oh, and Father's Day is coming up, I need to get cards, I need to get a birthday present for Zoe's friend, I need to take Brody's sippy cup back, I need to drop off yet another box of YW stuff to Vickie, I need to shower and someday shave my legs! ok, ok, I could go on forever.... it's no wonder I am tired by dinner!

As soon as I do one thing, another thing pops into my head. And then there's another "channel" I simply try to turn off for most of the day. I really want to read my book, I wonder what will happen to Maggie and Eric, I wonder if Hannah will catch up to them, I wonder when it will snow on the handcart company, I wonder what it would be like to be a handcart pioneer, I wonder if Maggie's mother will make it, I wonder if I would have made it, I wonder what my great-great grandma was like, she was 3 years old in the Willie handcart company, I wonder how her parents kept her safe, I wonder how Gerald Lund has all this time to write and do research, I wonder if I will ever get my book together, I wonder if I should read my other book, it's much shorter, I wonder if I read too much?

My mind is so full ALL the time. It's hard to focus. Am I the only person like this? I pray constantly to be able to focus and prioritize. I feel so scattered. I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It keeps me sane. It gives me hope.
Sister Dalton (YW General President) told the YW about being "100%". She asked them to:
1. Pray morning and night (at least)
2. Read the Book of Mormon for at least 5 minutes each day


I have earnestly tried to do these 3 things each and every day. And while some days are much harder than others, I look back on the last few months and I can see day to day progress. I'm still climbing. I know most things are getting done. Hopefully the important things. I can remember laughing with my kids. I've made it this far, I can make it through another day. I love the quote from Sister Hinckley, "If you can laugh at it, you can live with it."

"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true." :) After all, Cinderella did get to go to the ball and dance with the handsome Prince and live "happily ever after...", right?
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