Saturday, October 6, 2012

Exciting News

Today President Monson announced that all able boys 18 years and older that have graduated High school, are eligible to serve missions. When he started talking, I felt impressed that he was about to make an important announcement and called up to Amadeus to make sure he was listening as he was watching from the banister. How exciting! My brother called to say that maybe this was why Amadeus has had such a hard time deciding where he was going to college. I told him that this will help prepare him for college in away that nothing else can. I have felt all my life that it was a great blessing to be able to raise boys in this day and age. I've felt a great affinity to those Mothers of the Helaman's stripling warriors. These boys are being raised to hold out a banner of hope and love in a spiritual war zone. It's scary stuff for a mother and for these young men too. And yet I am not afraid for him to go or my future sons. I'm excited that they will have this added advantage and blessing in life. It energizes me as a parent to help them in all I can to prepare them.The Lord gives us nothing we can't do. He always prepares away. Lil Red's favorite song right now is "Nephi's Courage" and right now it rings loudly in my ears...."I will go! I will do! the thing the Lord commands! I know the Lord provides away. He wants me to obey!"
Totally blown away! Awesome!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Potholes and Be donk a donks!

Growing up our road looked a lot like this one, minus the snow of course. Actually, the pot hole black topped portion of the road was the good part. Once you got to the last half before you got to our house, the second to the last on the long country road, was a dirt or dust road. And when it rained there were washboards and pot holes galore until one of the neighbors that had the right tools got out and grated the road. My Mom can clarify why, but all I remember was that their was politics surrounding why the county wouldn't maintain the road. I remember some of our funniest memories growing up was voting on who had the craziest driving skills trying to miss potholes. Mom or Dad? Personally, I think Dad missed the most but was the craziest of the drivers. He'd yell at Mom, "watch out", when a particularly large one would come looming out from around a curve and Mom would swerve almost landing us in a tree to miss it. There was no ditch. If you were going to fast on the washboards the car would do more than rattle. And if it was really muddy we felt like we were in a 4 wheeler slish sloshing around. People were constantly heckling my Dad, writing on the back window of our van, "wash me!". My poor Dad did wash it constantly, but it was a hopeless cause. If it was dry the van or car or truck would be covered in a layer of dust. If it was wet a layer of mud. I hated it when it would rain as a teenager because invariably some part of my clothing would accidentally brush up against some muddy portion messing up my clothes. Which was catastrophic to a teenage girl.
This last year in the area surrounding our old neighborhood many roads developed potholes with the heat expanding the concrete in the roads. Our neighborhood had also put in speed bumps to keep down the speeders cutting through our neighborhood in the morning. As we would drive around my husband would keep the kids in stitches by yelling, "wait for it, wait for it..." and as we went over the bump or pothole, "be donk a donk". Every time we venture back for a visit, we invariably end up playing the same game.
As I pondered these experiences, I thought about how we deal with the potholes in our own lives. Like the road I grew up on as a child, life is riddled with potholes. We can't make it through life without hitting a couple. But do we try to miss them or aim for them? It is obviously much better for our bones and the shocks of our car for us to avoid such pitfalls. So it is in life. But what if we can't avoid a pothole or we land in one anyway. Well I think our attitudes make a huge a difference as to whether or not we will make it through to the other side or sit and bemoan the damage. If we keep going and come unto Christ we can repair the damage of potholes in our lives. So we have great reason to have joy. And maybe when we are on the other  side of it we can yell out, "Be donk a donk!". Taking note that we've grown and learned and our ready to move on!
By the way, I am thankful to live in a newer neighborhood that has no speed bumps and no potholes. For the time being, life is a bit smoother :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Music Ringing in my House

I have always wanted to be able to have music be a talent within my family. I have been blessed by a wonderful husband that sees the blessing of this as well. The second year of our marriage on my birthday he bought me an upright piano. He continued supporting my older boys in there guitar lessons. And when I wanted to practice the piano would keep the little ones away.
When we moved, we had to sell the piano because it would have been ruined as it would out of necessity been stored in non climate controlled storage trailer. So we sold it and he bought me a pretty baby grande. It's not new and trying to play softly on the keys can be annoying sometimes as the keys can be temperamental. But it still plays lovely, and what's more he approached me and said that I should find someone to give me lessons. I'm in Heaven! I look forward to my practice time. And a couple of weeks ago I even played the music for family home evening. So cool! But the best blessing of music has been my little ones. Last night as I was working on my fall decorations, Lil Red came through the door of the kitchen singing "Nephi's Courage". Right behind him was Jamie, who didn't know that song, but realized it was a church song. So following his brother's lead, he was singing his favorite song, The Wise Man and The Foolish Man. It was a sweet moment. One of those that you hold onto forever.
My Dad is at the heart of my love for music. Although, my Mom deserves credit as well. My Mom taught me the fun that can be had and the uplift that comes from listening to good music. But my Dad taught me to appreciate classical and to desire to develop my musical talent. His favorite Christmas song, 'Oh Holy Night' became my favorite as year after year when we would find ourselves for a quiet moment in the car together, would sing that song together and yearn to master it so that we could sing it in Church and share our love of the song. We never did. But the moments of shared desire and peace as we sang together bring much more joy than a performance ever would.
Thank you, my Heavenly Father for blessing me with so many people in my life to bring me the joy of music and to nurture music within my own talents.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I love that our children are sometimes are greatest teachers. There is nothing like it to bring us back into the depths of humility. Last night, after a family home evening on the outline of Heavenly Father's Plan or logistics of it and some swimming in the pool as are fun activity, we had settled down to watch America's Got Talent off of the DVR. I know I love that feature! Anyways, my sweet husband got me a bowl of ice cream, so I could keep my adventurous girl in check while we watched. I was done and being a bit lazy (I'll admit), I asked Lil Red, who is 4 1/2 now if he would take my bowl to the kitchen for me. "Yes Mother, I will gladly do that for you". My mouth fell open a little before the smile stretched across my face. I must admit that I made a huge deal of this. But it wasn't, "sure" or "okay" or a quiet aquiescence to my being older and him younger so he had to. He said he would 'gladly do that for me'. Nothing makes a Mother feel more appreciated than having her children gladly serve her. Usually it only happens on Mothers Day. The fact that family home evening hadn't been on service either didn't fail to escape me. What a lesson to me! If it made me feel that much more loved and appreciated, how much would that do for those that I serve if I would add just that one word..."gladly."? For those who read this and have to listen to me bear my testimony next time, I apologize but this one will be shared. The impact of one small word. How it can change everything, even when just taking an empty bowl a short distance. Makes a small act of service huge. Thank you Lil Red. Thank you for being such a little Nephi. I hope I can become more like you my sweet boy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Can Change in Less Than a Year

I can't believe what has happened in less than a years time. This time last year I wondered if we would ever move. If we would ever have the space that we needed for our growing family and if my husband would ever truly relax again. I'm not sure if I'll have time today to even touch on a quarter of the blessings that have occurred. There have been some heart aches but those have definitely been overshadowed as the windows of heaven have opened up for us and showered us. I think one of the reasons that I haven't posted about all of this on here is the fear that I might be seen as bragging. I really do pinch myself sometimes to make sure it's not a dream. But then my wondrous Sunshine girl will get poop on the rug after having a blow out, and I'll know, yeah this isn't a dream, lol. This weekend though as I contemplated beginning to blog again, I realized that I did need to blog about these blessings and changes. Not just to give thanks for them which we've already been doing, but to show maybe just one person that might be feeling as desperate as I was last year to hold on and don't lose hope. Continue faithfully and things do change and in the blink of an eye. I know some blessings take longer than others and some blessings aren't meant to be. Maybe, I'll blog about that one next time, but right now I'm enjoying the many and letting go of the one that hasn't come :)
So I'll start with the big one. We sold our house. After years and hours upon hours of remodel. We sold it! We then started looking for a house. Which at this point I will interject that Big Red had changed where I was looking to a neighborhood that I had never heard of. The community and house that we ended up in surpassed my dreams. It is so exciting for me to continue our love for outdoor exploration with our kids. To have so many church members within our neighborhood that I can walk to do my visiting teaching. To have neighbors, not of our same faith, that are friendly enough to bring us pies to welcome us. (That's right more than one was so thoughtful, blew me away).
Lil  Red and I had such a special relationship with our old neighbor and her dog Hera. I will never forget our tearful goodbye. But we have been blessed to have new neighbors that also have a big dog and Lil Red has been quick to bond with them. My morning walks have been filled with smiling faces and pleasant greetings. And no I don't live in Pleasantville :P
Another huge blessing was that in the process of trying to rebuild for my in-laws house which was lost in one of the many wildfires last year, they decided they wanted to live near us. They now live within walking distance and I have already reaped many wonderful blessings from that. It has been fun for the kids to ask to go spend sometime making cookies with Grandma and gives me a couple of hours to do an errand or spend time with just Sunshine girl. A couple of weeks ago, she walked them back to my house to deliver my two urchins to me. Laughingly she said, "they probably need a bath and Jamie might need a diaper change." They had dug up dirt in her back yard, turned on the hose, made mud pies and then proceeded to throw them at the side of her house. I'm so glad they have a loving Grandma and Papa near by to help nurture them.
So one of the pluses of this house for us is that it has a pool in the back yard. This has definitely been a huge blessing to my husband. He has spent night after night with the boys teaching them to swim, so we don't worry about them, but also going and relaxing himself. Sitting in the back and contemplating. We have a nature preserve behind us, so he can stare into the trees and foliage and let go of the day's stress.
We still have tiffs, but the dynamics are so much less stressful. One of my favorite parts of our home has been my new office/playroom/ schoolroom.
I love having the space for the kids to decorate, but also having the ability to decorate in a way that will influence them positively and in a deep way. I have already broken out my beads and let my creative juices flow into new pieces. And I've been blessed to find two like minded mothers to form a co op preschool group and that has been so much fun already.

I have my own printer, so I am printing coupons again. With space to organize, we are using all of the learning tools that we own. And I'm feeling like I'm moving forward again and not just treading water. Today as we were cuddled on the couch, my sweet blue eyed boy said to me,"this is a nice house". I hope we never stop marveling. I hope we never fail to thank God for any of our blessings. And I promise that my next post won't be long in coming :)