Monday, June 24, 2013

Lessons in Parenting: 101 Mom Class in IL--three day course (baptism by immersion, or in this case maybe more appropriately, baptism by fire)! :D

 So Nykki is awesome and worked hard to earn a trip to New York to see wicked... I tell you what. If I were to covet/want something (but I won't because that is breaking a commandment) it would be Chick's ability to set goals. She is so driven. When she puts her mind to something, there is no stopping her. She is truly an inspiration.

 Well her trip was a way for me to be a full time mom for a few days in IL. I learned some good lessons...
  •  Yellow Popsicles "taste like brownies and the orange ones taste like juice" according to one very happy little Mia.
  • It is possible to drive a swirly little go machine around a slightly hilly block with one hand while the other hand is helping consume an apple. (And people think Utah are crazy drivers! They haven't met Cade yet! ;))
  • Nykki told the truth when she said it is better to take a morning walk at 6:30 a.m. because even at 7 a.m.--one can look like they had a GREAT work out when in reality they just walked outside. 
  • Sweat-does/can GLISTEN! ;) 

  • When there is so much fun to be had outside... after using the potty, underwear pulled up quickly is more conducive to getting one back out to playing!

  • Humidity can effect the camera on your phone. 
  • Laughter--(child laughter) really does the body good! 
  • There IS a time to be silly.

  •  Discovering a lady bug can quite any moment! 
  • Having the courage to pick it up is pretty cool too! 

  •  When in a hurry at the library (before the children claw each others eyes out over the toy trains) you shouldn't just assume that because there is a section of books awarded the Newbery Medal--they would be good and appropriate reads for four year-olds... or even enjoyed by this 30 year old! From "stupid" every other word and "fool of the world"... I kept making up words to replace the words I wasn't ready to teach little ears!
  • Of course Mia's favorite book was the stinky cheese man. She is the product of her father! (Love you Carson :D) When we came to this page in the book, she quickly made a comment that the fox had a "good" side and a "scary/sneaky" side. One observant 4 year old! The power/influence of marketing! 

As I was serving dinner, I walked passed the kitchen garbage can and apparently decided it would be fun to stub my toe. I let out a little grunt and then stood there trying to put pressure on what I had just done. Mia asked what had happened. I told her and her reply was:
"You should pray and ask Heavenly Father to make your toe better. I know that if you pray to him, it will feel better." This was the second time something had come up and she suggested that I pray. (*Oh the workings of a mother in the home! Way to go Chick!)
Later that evening as she said the family prayer she remembered two hours prior of my stubbed toe and asked for Heavenly Father to heal my toe. After the prayer I thanked Mia for being so considerate and thanked her for praying over my toe. The cute defiant Mia responded, "Silly, I didn't pray for you. I was just showing you how you can pray and ask Heavenly Father to bless your toe."

--Out of the mouth of a babe!!

Thoughts from a short week of being a full-time mother of two?
*My little sister is even more cool than I ever expected!
*I have a testimony of the quote shared at conference, "A Child Who Sings Is a Happy Child"
*I want the walls in my home to be as inviting and as intentional as Nyk's are.
*I really do love waking and being up early. All effort to do so before there are distractions--worth every effort. (Now to just remind myself this when I don't want to leave my pillow!)
*When a child is screaming and arching their back in your arms, and another one is running away and the whole store is looking at you like you are a child abuser--I can totally relate to you! Any mom who takes their children grocery shopping--hands down--IS A SUPER HERO! :)
*If I ever have a friend at the park who is struggling with crying and very vocal kiddos who do not want to leave... I will run and try and help by distracting the child with karate chops to every object on the way to their car! (THANK YOU MACK and HOLLIE! I would have never made my plane on time without you!)
*God sure exercises an amazing amount in confidence and trust in our ability to learn, grow and become better as we try to raise children as a joint effort. *He knows how in the world all of our mistakes/errors/short comings can be made right through His son Jesus Christ's atonement! I am grateful He has perfect knowledge in this--for I can put full confidence and trust in His knowledge and perfect understanding.
*Parenting--Kuddos to those who don't shrink from their responsibilities and keep giving, serving, receiving day in and day out! Your task is awesome. Don't give up! You are remarkable!!!

Happiness is John Buck's (met on the plane ride) answer to the question what top advice he would give to someone seeking a companion/getting married. The very first thing he shared was that you need to find someone who loves God more than they love you. I beamed with his advice, because that has always been #1 on my requirements too! ... but to hear it from this good Christian, 26 years (I think it was that long) past upper minister, I could not help but smile. He also shared that if someone loves and serves God--they won't need help books/courses on how to be a loving spouse because they will do the things which they learn from the Savior's life in how to treat those around them. Definitely the ideal! Loved his answer! He is a loving grandfather full of great faith, and it was an honor to meet him.Thanks John for the advice!
I am thankful for personal revelation and the ability to commune with God.
And all prophets who wrote down revelations in the scriptures, so I could have them to study... One day I hope to all thank you all in person on the other side!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Book Review!
Securing Your Family Legacy 
by Douglas Cloward

Would I recommend this book?
Hands down, YES!

I am single, but the book is about families, still worth the read?
Yes. My thoughts have been directed and inspired with what I want to do with my personal life now and my own future family.

What was my overall takway?
The world sure needs this (!)—and-- I want/will be more intentional with my life and especially with the relationships of love and influence I have in my sphere of exsistence.

Few of my favorite quotes from the book:
  • “Before we can make character-defining stands, we must know what our standards are.”
  • “Do you know how to control the heartbeat of your home?”
  • “I didn’t have their blood, but I was being infused with their values and heritage.”
  • “The most effective self-security system parents can erect begins with a clearly defined code of family conduct, honor, and personal character.”
  • “…choices always come with consequences.”
  • “……we are all busy. Even people who aren’t doing anything are busy doing it!”
  • “Traditions can be started anytime. You are in charge of them…”
  • “The dreams, hopes, and influence of intentional parents hold the power to direct and change the world.”

*The last chapter of this book reenforces Hollands councel about dreaming and the need to dream-- 
“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.“ God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” Jeffrey R. Holland
  **When people asked me about my Dad’s book, I would tell them what I knew about it and that I was excited for it to be printed, but I did not feel like I could promote what I had not read myself. WELL—I have read it, (surprise Dad :) !! ) and I endorse this book full heartily. I would sign my name on it, and not at all because I share the author's blood, but because I have read for myself and have been inspired by the truths brought before my mind and heart! 

Way to go Dad!! Can't wait for your novel and other books to be be published! You are gifted in story writing!!

I love you!

To my family, friends, and anyone who wants to live an intentional life with their family... I highly recommend reading, Securing Your Family Legacy.

Happiness is someone following through with an impression--and that impression
having a direct impact on MY life.
Grateful for snuggle time with those I love on a porch!

Monday, June 10, 2013


For whatever reason, Mr. Doogies takes getting dressed for Sunday very seriously. He carefully button's up his shirt which is usually re-buttoned with love by his mom or aunt!  I have to admit, he dresses for Church with a reverence and in a way I have never witnessed a child do. I really think it is because his heart knows whom he is dressing for!

Yesterday as sacrament was being passed I whispered to Doogies asking him what his favorite story of Jesus was. He didn't give me any indication he had an answer. Wanting to encourage his sacrament thoughts, I mentioned, "Like when Jesus feeds all the people with the bread and fishes..." Without skipping a beat, he whispered, "I like when He prayed so hard-he bleeded." A little shocked by his answer I asked, "You like when Jesus was in Gethsemane?" Doogs replied, "Yes--when He prayed so hard--He bleeded."

What a beautiful four year old profound interpretation/observation.

Thanks for my sacrament focus Mr. Doogies.  I love you.

Yesterday in Relief Society our teacher posed an awesome question. She discussed the scripture about keeping one's eye single to the glory of God. She asked each of us to turn to our neighbor and discuss what that phrase meant for us personally in our life. One woman answered that for her it meant that with retiring soon she should be going on a mission... but she is too scared to go. But keeping her eye single, is accepting the next step she feels she is to make, which for her, is a mission. Another sister's eyes started to glisten as she said what having an eye single to His glory meant for her. She didn't elaborate because of time, but I gathered from the emotion that her eye single meant having patience in God's timing with having a family...

I always viewed that scripture as a blanket statement of putting God's will first/keeping Him in my main focus. BUT this inspired teacher pointed out that each of us in our own individual lives can reflect and thus discover what having an eye single means for us in whatever challenges we are facing.

Inspired question! Inspired teacher!

Happiness is the insight of a child.
I am grateful for Dad's tartar sauce, Mom's custard, and a couple that enjoys dancing together!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"…not really about…sheep and goats."

Well I started this post over a year ago...! And apparently I saved it as a draft ???

be of good cheer
go in search
gather them together
bring them back
[to] the place of water

This is so sweet!

(Miss you Nyk, Carson, Tay and Kiss!)
I was reading Ammon's account of him contending with all the bad guys by cutting off their arms. That story, to me, has always been one about Ammon's courage/bold faith and undaunted spirit against all odds. THIS time however, because of Elder Holland's comment on parables not really being about sheep and goats--I was impressed with the workings of/with the sheep!!

A few questions to consider before reading:

Q's: What is water symbolic of in the scriptures? 
       Did the sheep ever actually partake of the water when they were first brought?
       What was the cause of their scattering?
       When brought back to the water again, why were they
               1.) not able to drink the water right away?
               2.) not scattered the second time, because they were scattered the first time?
       Did they eventually water?
       And to whom did they get to return home to?
 26 And after he had been in the service of the king three days, as he was with the Lamanitish servants going forth with their flocks to the place of water...and all the Lamanites drive their flocks hither, that they may have water—

 27 Therefore, as Ammon and the servants of the king were driving forth their flocks to this place of water, behold, a certain number of the Lamanites, who had been with their flocks to water, stood and scattered the flocks of Ammon and the servants of the king, and they scattered them insomuch that they fled many ways.

 31 And it came to pass that he [Ammon] flattered them [the servants of the King] by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us.

 32 And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water.

 33 And those men again stood to scatter their flocks; but Ammon said unto his brethren: Encircle the flocks round about that they flee not; and I go and contend with these men who do scatter our flocks.
 34 Therefore, they did as Ammon commanded them, and he went forth and stood to contend with those who stood by the waters of Sebus; and they were in number not a few.
... 39 And when he had driven them afar off, he returned and they watered their flocks and returned them to the pasture of the king... (Alma 17 emphasis added)
 I hope my excitement in this subject does not kill the message! In response to the missionary who feels he is everyday/all day just "Home Teaching"... change the word "flock" to "members".

Perhaps for full time missionaries or member missionaries, the temptation is to think that there is only real joy in bringing someone to Christ's living waters who has never yet been. But the truth is, we all have been and partook of His waters before coming here to this earth.

For those members who may have been brought to the waters of baptism, perhaps some have not taken what Christ's waters have to offer by actually "drinking" in the gospel. Perhaps the demons of addiction, lack of commitment, family loyalty/traditions, laziness, sorrow, grief, fear, despair, sadness, struggle with commandment keeping, marital struggles (the list goes on and on) where "standing" ready to scatter whoever was brought to Christ...and those "standings" were successful.

BUT YEA to the missionary (member or full time servants) who are being of good cheer with the inspired assignment of going and searching, swiftly heading off, bringing back, encircling, contending, disarming the opposition, and making a way for a watering! His watering! Then together--heading for the pasture of the King.

It is an exciting time to be alive with God's hastening going on! I testify to all, that the sweetness and real joy is that someone is able and does partake. Whether it is their first mortal experience to the place of water or they have been brought back for the 100th time... when one does partake, one is changed!

Oh the wisdom of our great God!!

be of good cheer
go in search
gather them together
bring them back
[to] the place of water
 "together" would imply that there is more than "one" to gather... we are talking about families! And God would have us bring them back TOGETHER to the place of water! Oh the hastening of His work! Oh you missionaries, if you are given such an opportunity--EAT IT UP!

I am grateful for flower "snowball" fights.
Happiness is glistening eyes caught in the dark as one starts to realize that he wants to partake of Christ's water.
Sweet is the joy the gospel brings!
If God allows and grants you the sacred work of going in search, gathering and bring back so one might partake... I promised you, you will count your blessings 10 by 10 and you will be surprised at what the Lord has done!!

Its not really about sheep!