Friday, January 15, 2016

Listen



























I took this picture on Christmas Eve. Cali was loving on Kaden and wanted his full attention. It is so great that I got this moment because Cali does this EVERY TIME she speaks to us. Its like she knows how easily we divide our attention between a million things and she isn't going to stand for it. She uses one hand to hold our face and if you dare look away she will pull (yank) your face back where she wants it while she talks.

One of my New Year commitments is to listen better. Don't you just love a good listener? Apparently Cali does.

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. Richard Moss

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

House Love



























Last Thursday night Scott and I only slept maybe 1 or 2 hours before we had to get up and get going again. I did my whole school morning routine with the kids and in the middle of that I kissed Scott good-bye in the doorway. He was leaving for the weekend and wouldn't be back until Sunday evening. After the last of the school kids were out the door I did my chores and then I put Cali on the couch with a snack, a drink and the Ipad. When she was settled I curled up in the sun spot in the front room and drifted off. I cant remember the last time that my mind and body simultaneously relaxed like that. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter blessing that afternoon than just the time and the ability to rest. My soul was tired and my body was exhausted and I needed it.

I felt so thankful for my home that day. I truly love it with all my heart. It isn't EXACTLY what I would choose if money and options were endless, it isn't perfect but I honestly love it just the way it is. I dont sit and dream of further decor or projects, I dont compare it to what others have or dont. I am most happy when I am here and I am thankful for the safety, privacy and comfort that our house provides. The front room is missing chairs and maybe a rug and side table but I am content with it. IT is peaceful and last Friday it provided a perfect place rest.

That sweet nap in my simple, wonderful front room in the afternoon sun was the loveliest blessing of the week!

A home is much more than a house built of lumber, brick and stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice and respect. Thomas S Monson

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things to Remember

Remember: These two girls, they are besties.











































































Remember: Ella gave me a half eaten chocolate Santa, scotch taped to a peice of paper. Its the thought that counts people...the thought! 
Remember: A day in the desert with good friends. Our last fun activity before Christmas break was over and HOMEWORK ruled our life again.


Remember: Making rolls with Brylee on a quiet Sunday afternoon.







































Remember: When Ella made the cutest "thank-you" for my brother in the Navy.






































Remember: Caroling with my girls and our friends the night before Christmas Eve.







































Remember: Ella spending the night with Grandma and coming home with a handmade formal for her doll.










































Remember: The day Branson played with his sisters and nieces and nephews at the park. They followed him around like the Pied Piper.






























 Remember: How cute these girls are when we head out the door for church.





























Remember: Taking senior pictures and baptism pictures for my nieces and nephews. Its so fun to hand these over and see how happy they make people.





























Remember: Tired evenings when Daddy's and little girls run out of steam.






































I love remembering through pictures and writing all the wonderful little blessing that fill each day! We could complain, if we wanted to, about so much but it feels so much better to just remember His gifts and be thankful.


President Spencer W. Kimball  “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.”2


Friday, January 8, 2016

His Love







































The emotions of this week have left me drained. On Tuesday while everyone including Cali was at school, Scott and I sat on the couch, held hands and had a discussion that was long overdue. It was heavy and exhausting and emotional but oh so good at the same time. On Thursday I knelt across the alter from him as we preformed marriage sealings for others who never had the chance. I thought my heart might burst with gratitude for that binding ordinance and what is means to me. And then last night we were blessed with a miracle. Our family and another were spared from what could have broken a lot of hearts.

I am not quite ready to write it all down but I know that the Lord is in control and that He knows and loves His children. Even when miracles do not come in the way we hope, He is still there to carry us through. I am thankful that I have always known what His love feels like and how to seek it when I need it most.



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Especially Thankful







































Just feeling especially thankful for this guy. Nothing will show you your weaknesses like marriage will and I have my fair share of improvements to make. Our life has changed so much in the last few years and sometimes it feels like I am always a step (a whole lap more like it) behind where I should be. Life is hard, challenging, stressful and exhausting and I am in need of slowing down a bit more to smell the roses and love the people in my home more fully and more selflessly with purpose and deliberate actions not just with lofty intentions. Sister Hinkley...she is the wisest of all women...

“I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner.” 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year

I am so sad to see Christmas break go. It has been so fun and wonderful to be off the school schedule and free to play with cousins and friends. Today we will head out to the desert for one last hurrah and then on Sunday after church we will clean out the first semester from our back packs and go to bed early. I guess its time to get back to life. But oh how good this break has been! I am so thankful for time together with my growing kiddos.

I only have 3 pictures from our New Years fun.

We eat too much Bahama Bucks! I got so cold while were sitting there that my sweet Branson put his arm around me the whole time. He will make a great husband some day.





























Then we met up with cousins for bowling and dinner.






























After dinner Scott and the big kids went to our friends yearly "Dive for Dough" party. Everyone jumps in the ice cold pool at midnight to gather as many bills from the bottom as they can. Its stupid and crazy but the kids love it. I opted to stay home with my sweet Cali girl who was partied out. We put on warm jammies and snuggled in my bed. I felt so thankful, as I sat and listened to the distant "pop" of fire works, that I still have one small enough to sleep on my shoulder and NOT stay out till 2 in the morning.






























Scott and I already put down on paper a few things we are going to work on with the kids this year. I am excited. This year will bring a big change for me. In August Cali will go to all day school and for the first time in 16 and a half years I will be alone during the school day hours. It is both heartbreaking and thrilling.

Happy New Year! I love this...

Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. “Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow. Thomas S Monson

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas

Christmas in a little nut shell because I am ready to move on...

Cali had her Christmas program for pre-school. It was so funny. Her sweet teacher Miss Ashley did a fantastic job getting the kids ready. All of us have watched the videos I took of her songs, a million times, and laughed our guts out. When it was over I was glad to check one more thing off the "end of the year" list. Wheww!






































Our favorite Christmas tradition is the Heywood Christmas Eve program. Most the little girls want to wear one of the pretty white dresses and be an angel for the nativity. But Cali--no. She REALLY wanted to be a sheep and she stayed in character the whole time.


























The bells, 12 days of Christmas around the piano, Christmas PJ's and then home to bed.























































I took a million random photos on Christmas morning but I really like this one.







































I LOVE Christmas but I LOVE New Year too. New beginnings are the best and  I am ready. I love President Hinckley's advice to "Try a little harder to be a little better." The Lord doesn't care so much about where we are at but more about our direction. As long as we are a little better each day or each year,  I think He is pleased.