Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Love Church Programs

I wish I had words to say just how much I love Primary. If every child in the whole world had a Primary Teacher and if every child in the whole world could sing these beautifully simple songs of faith every week the world would be a better place.

One of the very best things about The Church is all the wonderful opportunities for growth and service it provides. Being in Primary every week I get to see even the smallest little angel Sunbeams participate and help. Last week was Ella's turn to give a talk. She read the words we had worked on in her choppy 1st grade reading style but she was confident and happy to get to be a part of the program.

My boys get up early to set up hundreds of chairs every Sunday, they spend and hour or two every month picking up sacred fast offerings that go to feed hungry people, they do yard work, put up flags, teach lessons, run Presidency meetings, earn merit badges, speak in church in front of hundreds of adults and so many other good things.

Brylee babysits for weary parents, makes cookies for neighbors, the other day they even pulled weeds out of an irrigation ditch, all of these wonderful things plus some. It would be such a stretch for Scott and I alone to provide all of these opportunities for service and for self growth with out the organization of the Church. We are so blessed to have it.

I was in a meeting last week where our Bishop not only challenged the youth to read the whole Book of Mormon before school starts but also index 250 names. He said that some people think that we are putting too much on our youth and to go a bit easier on them. I say what else would you rather your teenager to be doing? I love these challenges, I love pushing my kids to be more, do more for others and use their time for good.

How thankful I am for all the help I get in growing these 5 spirits, it makes the load of parenting light and joyful.

In these perilous times it is not enough for our youth to merely know. They must do. Wholehearted participation in ordinances, quorums and auxiliaries, inspired programs, and fortifying activities helps youth put on the whole armor of God. Will we help them put on that armor so they can withstand the fiery darts of the adversary? To truly choose the Lord’s way, they must know His way. And to truly know His way, we must teach and lead them to act, to participate, to do.    Robert D Hales

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Friends of the Best Kind

Last night we attended the Higley High underclassmen awards presentation. At the end Kaden was standing outside the auditorium with his friends as Scott and I visited with their parents. My heart was nearly bursting right out with love for these families. They have been one of the biggest blessings in our lives. When Kaden is with them, which is often, I know he is safe, loved and even being taught important, good lessons.

When we were praying about our move I knew it was for Kaden. He was in a gray space and Scott and I spent many long nights praying and working on this one concern. If I had hand picked the friends and neighbors he would have, I could not have done this good of a job. What a blessing these boys, and a few others are to us. I sure them.

“In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another."  ― C.S. Lewis 

Monday, May 18, 2015


All weekend I had a bit of heaviness in my heart. I need to make some improvements in my life and I feel like the Lord is pushing me to do it. Its interesting that weaknesses show up in the strangest places and then you realize that you had them all along but you just couldn't see them. Its good o recognize a weak spot in your spirit and work to improve it but it also hurts. I am going to take our Bishops challenge and read the Book of Mormon, start to finish,  over the summer. I so believe in its power to help, guide and heal as we read and take counsel from its pages.

I have always loved this from President Kimball....

I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.

This is all I know to do when my spirit feels uneasy. Pray and read the scriptures, it has always worked and I trust it.

This week is Kaden's last week of school and my other kids finish up the week after. I am thrilled and relieved. School starts to get to all of us by this time of year. I am excited to swim and sleep in and go on vacation and have my kids and their friends all around.

Bring it on!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

We'll Ascend Together

Its funny that as I sit down to write a mothers day post I am thinking of fathers. The father of my children to be exact. This past weekend not only brought Mothers Day but also my birthday. I used the weekend to let my self feel especially thankful for womanhood, motherhood and the beautiful life I have been blessed with. I have a husband that makes it easy to feel honored and loved every day of the year and I am so thankful for him.

I really loved the two talks from conference that focused on fatherhood and manhood. The first was from Sister Linda K Burton. She said.

Today I wish to honor husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and uncles who know who they are and who are doing their best to fulfill their God-given roles as described in the family proclamation, including righteously presiding and providing for and protecting their families. I am convinced that a husband is never more attractive to his wife than when he is serving in his God-given roles as a worthy priesthood holder—most important in the home. I love and believe these words from President Packer to worthy husbands and fathers: “You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power."

Wow! So true and that last line--instead of giving me a feeling of concern and fear for those difficult times, it makes me feel safe and harbored because my home has 3 Priesthood holders. I feel that my own Motherhood and Womanhood is most elevated and most honored when I am loving, appreciating and being a helpmate to Scott. Somehow in elevating his role and position in our home, I elevate mine and our children are able to see and feel the power in our bond. Just the other day Cali said to me, "Mom, Daddy very loves you!" My heart is certainly knit to his and I am so thankful for his devotion to God and to his family. It's a key ingredient to what makes being a Mom so great.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Laundry Miracle

This house hold produces a TON of laundry. So much, so so much. For all these years of being a mother and running the house I have done ALL the laundry single-handedly. I did all the washing, drying, folding, hanging and putting away. But earlier this year I about lost my mind in the amount of time I was spending doing laundry. It truly had begun to take over my life and discourage me. I was making life decisions based entirely around the laundry. I kid not. 

Should I go to lunch at the school with one of my kids, NO the laundry will get out of control.

Should I take Cali to park day, NO or else I will have to spend twice as long tomorrow doing the laundry.

See what I mean.

I had laundry induced depression and something had to give. In my prayers I started asking for ideas on how I could better manage my time and how I could feel less weighed down by the long list of chores (but mostly by the laundry). 

And the idea came. 

We have 8am church which leaves us with the entire afternoon open. Sunday afternoons are the only time that my whole family is home. Every other day of the week finds us all pulled in a million directions. I was skeptical but excited to try out my new idea. Instead of washing, drying, folding and putting away all of the clothes I just spent the week washing and drying...that's the easy part. When the clean clothes came out I threw them all onto my tiny little folding table in the laundry room. On Sunday after lunch and naps I called everyone up to the loft. I sent everyone to gather the empty hangers from their closets and then I dumped all the clean clothes from the entire week on the floor. 

They all about killed over when they saw the mountain of clothes. 

I explained that this was the amount of laundry that I did every week and that it was too much for one person to keep up with and I asked if they would help. First we attacked the pile and threw everyone's clothes into their own separate pile. Then we folded and folded and hung and worked, even Cali and Ella did a great job and listened carefully to my folding instructions. We kept at it until ALL the clothes, towels and blankets were folded and put neatly away. It was a miracle.

The next week we did it again only this time Branson plugged in our music speakers and played fun music the whole time. I am sure that some people would say that this is a terrible Sunday activity and that I shouldn't let my kids do "work" on the Sabbath. BUT, we are together, they are learning an important skill, we have a really good time and we accomplish something toward the good of the whole family. All these moths later my kids have become expert folders and we can get it all done in one hour. 

I LOVE Sunday folding time. 
Kaden and Branson laughing at Brylee as she sang the song "Popular" word for word perfect. 

A few Sunday's ago Branson gave our family prayer before we left to church, in it he said, "and bless us to have a good time folding clothes today."

Be still my heart.

And when we're all the done my laundry room is empty, the closets and drawers are full of clean clothes and the loft is all clean. 

Did I say that I LOVE Sunday folding time? 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sick Days

Two nights ago after everyone was tucked and loved and read to and bathed- I crawled into bed. I was halfway through my prayers when I heard the all-to-familiar sound of a child throwing up. I ran to find Cali whimpering and sputtering and completely burning with a fever. Ella followed soon after and I now have spent the last 2 days snuggling warm bodies, rubbing soft backs and watching a million cartoons.

I feel so sad for these two normally happy and busy little sisters. They are down and out big time. Yesterday, every time that Cali would start to cry in anticipation of another round of throwing-up, Ella would say soothing things like, "Its OK Cali, its OK, Mom is here." Then this morning as they settled back onto the couch for another day of cartoons and sippy's Cali said to Ella, "Will I feel better tomorrow?" Then Ella who can barley lift her head up says, "Cali, Mom is taking good care of us and so we will get better soon."

Makes me feel so glad that I chose a long time ago to BE HERE. I want to be the one "making things better". Its hard and its lonely and it can be thankless but when you have an inner assurance that there is nothing better to do with your time than Mother, you have the resolve to do it. No one can take care of my children and love them the way I can and I feel privileged to get to do it.

Throw-up bowls and throw-up in the beds included. (YUCK!)

Friday, May 1, 2015

His Finest Masterpiece

I feel so grateful for my healthy body. After Cali was born I spent a whole year just surviving. Cali had multiple eating issues and I was never sleeping and just barley hanging on to some resemblance of a normal life. After that we had a few family tragedies, some pretty serious private struggles and a huge move that I did almost entirely by myself with Cali in a baby pack on my back. And then I fell completely apart as I struggled to adjust and adapt. In January of 2014,  I finally resolved that if I was going to feel better and get in control of things I had to get back to regular exercise.

It was a painful road back, I started with these wimpy pathetic one mile runs that left my lungs burning and my ears ringing. It was so sad to think that not too many years before, I had run a full marathon and hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. I remember thinking that I hadn't realized how weak my body had become. Now one year and a few months later I can run a good 6 miles or do an hour of feels so good to be strong again. I am also so thankful for my running friends! They turn miles into fun and I feel so blessed with good, dear friends.

I love this quote and really, I love this whole talk. Here.

"We are each privileged to have a body. It is a special gift from God. Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is nothing more holy and magnificent than the human body. Worlds without number He has created, yet man and woman are His finest masterpieces.

while speaking to the people of Corinth, the Apostle Paul announced, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” He then declared, “For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Do we treat our bodies as temples?  The human body is sacred. It follows that our bodies should be given higher priority and more care than other things. That which is sacred to God becomes sacred to us only through the exercise of agency; each must choose to accept and hold sacred that which God has defined as sacred.Our bodies are holy in the Lord’s eyes. Do we see our bodies as sacred or merely as an object that we have to put up with?" Larry Tucker BYU Speeches