Friday, January 30, 2015

To Some of my Favorite Girls

I love this pictures of my little girls with three of their girl cousins from Christmas Break. I felt so happy that these 5 were getting to spend the day together in their Grandma's back yard, pretending and eating Popsicles. It was a warm beautiful winter day. Arizona has magical weather sometimes where the air is cool but the sun is warm and it is absolutely glorious.

I love these girls. Brookie on the left has an especially special place in my heart mostly because she really needs it. Her life is not an easy one and I want her to know that she will always have a safe place with me. My other two beautiful nieces have all the love in the world already but I would still do anything for them. And my own two little pixies are my very heart and soul. I want these girls to grow up into strong capable women. I want them to believe with all their hearts that motherhood and caring for others is noble.

-It is so NOBLE-

I am certain that there will come a day when every single human soul will have a full understanding that motherhood is the ultimate profession. It is hard. If you think about it most people are used to a life that is all about them. Their job, their pay check, their education, their health, their friends, their sleep, their next trip, their new outfit. Its normal. But being a Mother propels you into the world of someone else's health, clothes, food, sleep, education. Someone else's EVERYTHING. And there just inst anything easy about that. But the beauty of it is, that when you are someone else's everything they become your everything and in that process you become more than you ever could have living for yourself.

Second, I want these girls to be gentle and kind in a world that is harsh and demanding. I want them to think of others in a world OBSESSED with SELF. I want them to be modest in a world that tells them to show it all. I want them to keep some of their happiest moments and some of their most precious feelings close to their hearts instead of everywhere on the internet.

I want them to be refined and happy. I want them to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" as it says in Mathew. When I look at this beautiful picture of 5 precious daughters of God, I get the feeling that these sweet girls have a future as bright as that warm Arizona day. I sure love them. And I have all the confidence in the world that they will be become amazing women.

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Heart

One very happy moment on the beach with my girls.

Sometimes the weekend is busier than the week. We were full over Friday and Saturday and Sunday with meets, baptisms, parent duties at Bransons gym, a Deacon snow trip, baby showers and all the Sunday meetings. Scott and I managed to slip in a quick date between 5 and 7 on Friday night. We got dinner and pulled over in an empty parking lot. We reclined our seats and talked for an hour. We went over all the details of our family and business and hopes and concerns. I love that kind of regrouping with Scott. My soul needs it and I am thankful that we were able to find time for it in a busy weekend.

This morning I read the account of Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman. The people were so wicked at that time and Samuel was trying to persuade them to repent. In one particular verse he talked about where their hearts were. The Lord is always concerned about our hearts and our hearts are what truly matter...

your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swellingenvyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities.

I so want my heart to be "drawn out unto the Lord" and I want to have a heart that is clear of any pride, envyings, malice and strife. I think I am doing OK on the "murders" part but I could definitely stand some improvement on the others. I am so thankful to have a happy healthy family that keeps me busy and tired. I am thankful for my faith and for the scriptures that help me keep my heart in the right place. This week I plan on being especially careful with this heart of mine. I want a heart like HIS and that is going to take the work of eternity but today is a good starting place. 

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Phone Memories

I am starting to accumulate all kinds of daily pictures in my phone. This is so exciting because I almost never pull out my big camera. I love scrolling through them and remember the happy little moments that they were taken. Life is so full of stress that its nice to be able to capture the beauty of all the ordinary moments that bring joy....

The only thing Cali asked for for Christmas was paint. She LOVES to paint. She can spend hours outside at the picnic table swirling all the colors into vibrant messy works of art. Ella and Brylee join her sometimes and then my heart feels so glad that these sisters have each other that it nearly pops. (Ignore the additional "art" on the wall)

Branson and the other Deacons sang "Armies of Helaman" at Priesthood Preview. Their wonderful leader also takes them to do early morning baptisms at the temple every week. These boys are great buddies and I am so thankful that they are growing up learning to be strong and faithful priesthood leaders.

Ice and snow in our back yard. I am Desert born and raised and I had to spend the freeze warning days in my bathroom with my blow dryer.

We have a clear view of the temple from our house. It is so strange on foggy mornings when it disappears.

And then reappears as the fog clears.

There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failingIt beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety; this way to home.”
Thomas S Monson

Such a great talk:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Come to Primary!

Yesterday in Primary was epic. It was. I felt the spirit so strong and was reassured by a Loving God that I am His. That He knows me and that His Son is the WAY. The primary kids are learning a new song..."I did not touch Him or sit on His knee but Jesus is real to me."

What a privileged it is for the children to be learning and embedding these words into their hearts. My wonderful Chorister would call out just before the chorus..."sing your testimony" and then..."I know He lives! I will follow faithfully, my heart I give to Him, I know my Savior loves me." 

It was so beautiful and it was just the comfort I needed to start the week. How grateful I am to teach my children and all the children in our ward these precious truths that will sustain them through out their lives.

Cali is a brand new Sunbeam. I cant get enough of seeing her perched so eagerly on her huge chair. She is doing so great and is such a wonderful light of joy in my life.

I love my calling in Primary. I love my calling at Home and I love the true and living gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that I learned from my earliest years, sitting in Primary rows just like these that I am a Child of God. If you need to remember the simple truths of the gospel and feel the Lords love you should come to Primary.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tender Mercy-Ella Edition

My mornings are pretty busy. I start at 5:30 and go at full speed all the way until 7:45 when I drop the second batch of school kids off. Today was no different except that Scott's schedule today allowed him to drop the kids at school on his way out. After making all the breakfast, all the lunches, reading scriptures, having prayers, doing hair and finding some shoes everyone was rushing past me in a mad dash for the car. Even Scott grabbed his plate of food off the counter and made a run for it. I followed after my crew with Cali perched in my arms when an unexpected wave of sadness hit me square in the heart. All in one quick moment I felt like I had been the maid and the assistant and now everyone was off to their lives without even a look back my way.

And then in the same moment of that thought, Ella turned around and ran back to my side and squeezed me around the waste...."Love you Mom, bye!"

I nearly cried at the immediate tender mercy that followed a really heart breaking feeling. To be fair Scott and the others are usually very good about saying thank-you's, I love you's and have a good day's. But everyone has had a really busy week and I have had that "left in the dust" feeling a bit. Sweet Ella, I sure love that kindhearted little beauty.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

December Catch Up

We start the December celebrations with Scott's birthday. I actually pulled off a weekend- the week before, with all our kids away at cousins and Grandparents houses. It was so so so great to just stay home and accomplish things together with the kids away. Then on his birthday we had pork chops and ice cream. Simple and easy for my low maintenance, sweet and steady wonderful guy.

Christmas Eve morning I woke up and went straight to my computer and looked up within just a few minutes I found a little rest home that needed Christmas visitors. We packed up the key board, nail polish, violin and a few picture books and headed out. There were only 5 little old ladies in this small nursing home and it was the perfect setting for our family to serve. It didn't take long to realize that the ladies at the home were quite lonely. None of them had seen any family members in years. It was heart breaking. One of my most favorite ladies said that she hadn't seen her only son George in more than 8 years. When we asked what they were going to do for Christmas Day they said, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and watch TV.

Kaden was the star of the show and kept everyone entertained with piano music. We had even brought Branson's mushroom so that he could perform some gymnastics tricks but there wasn't enough room for that. The ladies would clap along to the songs but mostly remain quiet. I had to choke back tears though when he played Silent Night and ALL the residents began singing along. Right at the end Kaden played Nearer My God to Thee and one sweet lady closed her eyes and sang the main line over and over and over. It was precious. The spirit was strong there in that lonely little living room, I felt sure that these lonely, failing, invisible women were known perfectly to our loving Heavenly Father, I knew that they were His daughters...beloved and treasured. It was the best part of Christmas.

After the rest home we had lunch, went to see Annie and headed out to the Heywood Family Christmas Eve program, gift exchange, food, nativity, PJ's, bells and 12 Days of Christmas.

Our kids are really good at sleeping in on Christmas morning, we didn't get up until 8. We always have testimony meeting on my bed and talk about Jesus Christ. I tell them again like I always do that He is what matters most. Without Him all would be lost. We had a simple morning and then spent the evening with my family.

All my nieces and nephews were in town so my big kids spent the rest of December riding dirt bikes, staying up all night, going to movies and packing in enough fun to last them many months of separation. My Dad makes these cousins visits one BIG huge party that last for days. My kids would rather be on these outings than at Disneyland. They LOVE it.

It was a really wonderful and happy December.

“With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the first fruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again... May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge.”

—Thomas S. Monson    (and with all my heart too!)