Thursday, December 17, 2009

Remembering Christmas

Thursday, October 1, 2009

General Conference Packet

Here is a great resource to keep kids busy watching conference instead of annoying you while you are trying to watch.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life Is A Gift

My last post was about my little friend Sadie Huish. The Huish family is amazing! Now there is another family close to my heart who is now facing the unimaginable. Then Nelsons.

I am so grateful for each day that Heavenly Father gives me to learn and grow from these little ones. I'm grateful for the joy that I get from being a wife, mother, sister, daughter and teacher and friend. At times like these, I remember how important it is to not waste the life that I have been given.

I saw a moment of a tv show the other day where a lady visited a family for a week. She was given a vase that was painted by the children as a "going away present". The visitor gave it back and then told the children she didn't have room for it in her luggage. The pain on those kids faces broke my heart.

Heavenly Father has given us the gift of life. When we make room for Him in our lives (suitecases), he will bless us.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Celebrating Sadie


Our amazing class

I have the privilege of being a preschool teacher to the best of God’s children. It amazes me at how blessed I am to be able to spend my days with these little ones. One of these little ones is Sadie. I will never forget meeting Sadie and her dimpled smile. It was contagious. And then I heard her giggle. I would try to say funny things just so I could hear it. If I could bottle up that giggle and sale it, I would be a rich woman and joy would fill the world.

This particular class that Sadie was a part of was crazy fun! I loved this class. Everyday was a new adventure. I never knew how one particular game or activity would evolve. Just a simple game of Duck Duck Goose would turn into something similar to what you would see on World Wrestling Entertainment. No matter how crazy things got, my class made me laugh every day. Sadie brought a perfect balance to our classroom. She was a peace maker and a spiritual giant. She would talk to all of us about how important it was to be nice to friends in our class. She would recite to me the Articles of Faith she was learning during Family Home Evening. I was impressed that someone her young age would even want to memorize something so hard for a four year old to understand. I think she understood. My own children had complained so much about learning the Articles of Faith that I gave up attempting to teach them. I was encouraged by Sadie’s example to try it again. We have learned many and are continuing to learn them because of Sadie.

Our little class seemed to change in March of last year when Sadie was diagnosed with brain stem cancer with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (dipg). It is very rare and is in a spot where surgery or a biopsy isn't possible. There is no home run to treat this tumor -- the statistics attributed to this diagnosis are just heartbreaking. With all the treatments she was having, we didn’t see much of Sadie at preschool any more. There was a sad undertone in that class that we couldn’t seem to shake. We tried to be positive and happy knowing that Sadie may come back to class. We were thrilled when Sadie came to our field trip to the library. We talked often about Sadie and how much she meant to our class.

She touched so many lives with her desire as part of Make A Wish to meet our prophet Thomas S Monson. Her story was told on television between conference sessions of the LDS church last April. She became sort of a local celebrity as she held the title of Little Miss Eagle Mountain this past year. She and her family have touched so many lives as they battled this horrible disease with such strength and hope.

I wear the “Team Sadie” bracelet and talk about the sweet little girl and the vicious disease behind it. I will probably always wear it.

Yesterday I received a call that Sadie had passed away. How heartbreaking it is to not have her in all of our lives. But she has filled our hearts with love, hope and joy by just knowing her. She is truly an angel. We will miss you Sadie! Our prayers go out to her family as they begin to live there lives without her sweet spirit, her adorable giggle and her contagious smile.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Living A Balance Through Laundry

My mom told me today that I need to make more posts, so I am sitting down at the laptop in the kitchen and thinking ....what do I write about? The laundry room is just off the kitchen. I am looking at the dryer that has just gone off, and I tell myself, "I should probably get those clothes folded before they get wrinkled."

Ta subject: But let me fold the clothes first. BRB (Be Right Back)

I'm done! You know, I really don't like to do laundry. I don't ever get a break when it comes to laundry. It never seems to end. When we clean the toilets, at least we can say "Yes, I am done." Have you ever told yourself...."yes, all the laundry is done (washed, folded and put away)." Maybe you have (you also may need your head examined), but just as you say that, an item mysteriously shows up in that dreaded laundry basket. As the family gets bigger, so does the laundry. If you have kids that have accidents, even more laundry. Each day you don't do laundry is another day for it to pile up.

Laundry is never done in my house, However, in order to live in my house, you have to go through my Laundry 101 course. Part of that course includes an understanding that no one is to ever to touch any of mom's clothes. There also can not be anything in the dryer at 7:00 a.m. mostly because Trevor and Brooklyn like to heat up their clothes in the dryer before putting them on in the morning. When you live in a refrigerator like we do, you will understand. Because Preston, Megan and Trevor are older than 12, they must do their own laundry. Preston has Monday, Megan has Wednesday and Trevor has Friday....Ask me how many times they have done their laundry on their assigned day. If you can count to 1 then you got it.

My goal is to do two loads of laundry every day. I put a load in the washer at 5:00 a.m. and then another one around 7:00. Most days the clothes are washed dried and put away by 9:00 a.m. Today was an exception, because Nathan put a load in the washer when he got home from work. Nathan doesn't do laundry. So if he is doing it, the laundry situation has reached critical mass. It doesn't matter if there is only 2 loads to do or 12 loads to do, I only do 2. Eventually I will catch up. We have had guests these past two and half weeks, so taking care of them has taken precedence over the laundry.

I know lots of people who do all of their laundry in one day. I could not do 12 loads of laundry in one day. I would be so burned out, that you would have to throw me into a room with padded walls. I am a believer in slow and steady, steady and slow. It is all part of living a balance. Whatever your balance is, keep it up. At least we no longer have to wash our clothes on washboards.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Balancing Mind, Body, Spirit and Heart

I have known, for as long as I can remember, how important it is to live a balanced life. I remind my 16 year old son that no matter how busy we are, we can live a balanced life. He is often overwhelmed by his schedule. He manages to do well in balancing except he doesn't like homework. So he doesn't do it until it becomes a crises. I tell him that balancing our lives requires sacrifice. He doesn't like that those sacrifices include eliminating video games, and tv. We can do everything we want to do, just not at the same time.

When I used to think of balance, I would always think in terms of mind, body, and spirit. I am always in the process of learning knew things like drawing with colored pencils or learning about people who have impacted the world like Winston Churchill. I am getting back into shape physically (I am just a few pounds shy of my ideal weight) and it is important for me to study the scriptures personally and as a family; as well as have personal, family, and companion prayer. But there is one more aspect of balance I have forgotten.

I received a copy of the Utah Valley magazine in the mail the other day. Stephen R Covey was on the front cover. I am a huge fan of his and have read several of his books like 7 Habit of Highly Effective People and First Things First. I own his the 8th Habbit, but have not been able to read it yet. I was excited to read what he had to say. He talked about the mind, body, spirit and to my surprise, the heart. Except for the occasional helping someone out or visiting teaching, I have completely lost my focus on being compassionate and serving others.

My husband and I were waiting at the accountants office the other day. I had a doctor appointment scheduled for that same day. I was a little stressed about making it to the doctor's appointment because I had waited 2 years to see this particular doctor. Yes two years. We were sitting in the foyer of the accountant's office for 45 minutes. The accountant's secretary came out after realizing we were there and showed us into another, more comfortable waiting area. She apologized that we had to wait in the foyer. She said, "If I had known you were here, I would have brought you back to this more confortable sofa sooner." I replied, "Whether it's waiting in the foyer or waiting on this couch, it is still waiting." She smiled and then asked us if we wanted a drink of something. When we both said "no" she left. Nathan looked right at me and said only one word. "Wow." I looked at him and said, "Was I too harsh?" He said, "Oh yes." We spent another 10 minutes waiting for the accountant and talking about how I have forgotten how to "be nice".

Knowing I needed to work on the 4th aspect of balance (love), I went to Stephen R Covey's website/blog. I learned a very important lesson about love and service. When we work on that aspect of our lives, we are less likely to say something that isn't nice. I love this website. In fact I signed up as a member of a learning community in developing a paradigm shift in my own life. It is free. I am looking forward to more favorably balancing these four areas in my life and perhaps encourage others along the way. Check it out and perhaps sign up with the rest of us 80,000 people who are hoping to leave a great legacy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Balancing Life With Music

I love music....I use it a lot to help me get in the spirit of the moment. When I am getting ready for the day and in the bathroom putting makeup on and doing my hair, I listen to hymns.

Thursdays are my "clean the house" day and I am usually in a hurry to see how fast I can get it done. I start in the kitchen and set the timer for 15 minutes. I then turn on the fastest music I can find...It is usually workout music. I move on to the next room and do it all over again.

On Sundays, hymns are played all day on the ihome in the kitchen.

Nathan and I were listening to the radio while driving. A listener called in to ask for the most romantic song that would magically convince this guy to fall in love with her. I knew the perfect song, and I started to sing it....from Chicago...."You know our love was meant to be, the kind of love to last forever, and I want you hear with me, from tonight until the end of time." Nathan agreed that that was a good choice. That wasn't the song they played for her. The song that was played was from Blonde..."The tide is high and I'm movin on, I'm gonna be your number one." We thought that was a bad choice....the guy would definately run the other way.

My life seems to be one big musical. When I am in the middle of a conversation with my kids or husband and someone says words that happen to be lyrics to a song, I usually break out in that song. My kids think that is very weird. I live a musical everyday....often I say..."que music" and start singing or humming. I guess that might not be something I should that I think about it, that does seem a little weird.

Whenever I am having a "moment", I always think about what song would go best with my situtation. There is always music playing in my head. I am working on my life's playlist. Music is awesome. So are musicals.

I love musicals! Preston was in his high school production this last week of the Children of Eden. He was great! Trevor was in his school production of Suessical this past week. He was great! Nathan and I went and saw Wicked downtown this past week. I loved it! I thought Glinda and Alphie were absolutely FANTASTIC!

Music brings joy to my soul. May your life's musical bring you joy! I feel a song coming on..

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

General Conference Packet

It is time to bring out your kids and enjoy general conference as a family. I found a general conference packet that will entertain everyone from 18 months to 81 years. Try it! General Conference Packets

Friday, March 13, 2009

Looking For A Great Husband?

Top 10 Qualities:

10. Hair: It is good to have someone who has little or no hair...or at least balding potential. Men with a lot of hair spend a lot of money on it. He may even still your favorite brush. Bald guys or guys with little hair don't use a lot of hair products or brushes. You will never have to worry that his hair looks better than yours.

9. Size: It is good to have a husband who is at least twice your size and strength. When the wind isn't always blowing at your back, you will need a big massive guy to block it from messing up your hair; and what will happen if you brake your ankle hiking up a mountain? Are you going to walk down that mountain yourself? Skinny guys can't carry you down that mountain without having to rest one hundred times. Big guys would prove to be much more time efficient.

8. Handy: It is good to have a husband who can do more than change a light bulb. If he can fix a hole in the drywall, big deal; if he can build you a whole house, even better; but if he can turn a 30 year old fixer upper into the most beautiful house on the block, he's a keeper.

7. Entertainer: It is good to have a guy who can entertain 2 people or 2 hundred people. No one wants to go to a party and hear that your husband is the "boring one". Of course your husband must keep you laughing even when you are suffering from the "I'm sick of picking up after you" syndrome.

6. Cook: It is good to have a man who can cook better than you...enough said.

5. Employment: It is good to have a husband with a job. It is better if he actually works for himself and not for a boss. The ideal situation, would be for him to make enough money where he can take care of you and your family and can still be flexible enough to go to Disney Land at the last minute. So you definately don't want your husband to be a doctor, lawyer, a rocket scientist, or anything like that; unless of course you don't really like to have him around.

4. It is good to have a husband who is smarter than you. Like someone once said to me, if your husband is smarter than you are, then you are smarter than he is.

3. Music: It is good to have a husband who can sing to you or play an instrument in dedication to you (because without you he is nothing). It is good if he can sing Karaoke. People will then come up to you and say..."Hey your husband should be on American Idol!" instead of "Where is the closest wall...I need a place to bang my head." Of course you know your husband is AWESOME when a guy comes up to him after he sang a song and kisses him on the cheek and says, "You moved me really moved me," followed by a tear running down his cheek.

2. It is good to have a husband who would give the shirt off of his back for someone...especially if it doesn't stink.

1. It is good to have a husband who worships the ground you walk on. So when you ask your husband what he will do with that life insurance money after you kick the bucket and he says...."I think I will need to spend it all trying to find someone as great as you are", then you have found your man.

You may have guessed that these qualities make up my husband. It is our 19th Wedding Anniversary. We have been so blessed to have each other.

Nathan, you have been by me through thick and thin and still love me more than I deserve. Here's to another 19 years.

You Keep Me Grounded

You Carry Me Through Lifes Challenges

You Lift Me When I Am Down

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Living Happily Balanced - Sometimes

Jill tagged me

1. Go to the file that holds pictures.
2. Go to the 6th file or if there aren't 6 files skip this step.
3. Go to the 6th picture and blog about it.

Nathan is the president of an HOA in Mesquite NV. We go there a few times a year. This picture was taken at one of the Villas we stayed at between Christmas and New Years of 2007. We brought my parents and my brother Justin with us that year. The pink plaid purse was given to Brooklyn for her 7th birthday from a friend (a boy). He has very good taste...well, his mother does any way. The purse is loaded with makeup and jewelry. Brooklyn loves that purse even today, except the zipper is now broken. Perhaps because of the stress of over filling it.

Brooklyn is not playing with her little princess polly pockets in this picture, she is making a display. Brooklyn is forever setting up displays in her room and as you can see, any surface that is bare. We have gone over how much nicer our home and her room looks when things are put away. I tell her that little children will get to and ruin her beautiful things if they are out for them to see. Her solution: When little kids are around, we should make some sort of blockade around the area so they can't get to it. Or in the case of her room, just keep it locked so the little children can't go in. I have tried to tell her the benefits of the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" but she doesn't get it. The more displays, the more stuff out, the better she can see all of her beautiful things. Occassionaly, she will cave and let me help her clean her room, where we put everything in its place. She loves it, and dances in it, and says how beautiful it is....after a day or so, she starts building displays again. She makes me of the many reasons I love her so much.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Balancing Act

I have two minutes, but I wanted to post something. If you are reading this I just want you to know that you are an important part of my life whether we know each other well or not. I post because you read. Thanks for reading and commenting. When I am rich and famous I won't forget you.....thanks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Balance in Relationships

Warning: This may be inappropriate for the unmarried or people who don't like to talk about s...e....x.

I have a day planner that is so full, that sometimes the to do lists, grocery lists and agendas carry over into the next day. The pages are sprinkled with quotes by different people. This week's quote is from Joyce Brothers, it reads: "Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three-meals-a-day and remembering to take out the trash." I had to laugh out loud at this one. I won't let my husband leave the house without a passionate embrace, (it could be our last after all) but then it is quickly followed by, "Don't forget to..." My husband would rather fill the day with passionate embraces and just skip over the part about taking out the garbage or picking up the clothes off the floor.

A few weeks ago Nathan and I had one of those days just for us. It was a Tuesday, so I didn't have preschool. We sent the kids off to school and spent the morning just hanging out in bed. I never had such a lazy morning in my life. We went to lunch and ran some errands. Lots of passionate embraces but no taking out the trash, or cleaning up. We had the best day together. I told him, "We should do this every Tuesday." He thought a better idea would be every day. I said we had to be responsible every once in a while. After all toilets need to be cleaned, dishes need to be done and laundry needs to be folded.

I think it is possible to be both passionate and responsible, but it is a team effort. When one person is doing all the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming, there is not a balance. My husband's eyes roll in the back of his head when I tell him it is such a turn on to see him elbow deep in toilet water. There is something sexy about a man who loves his wife enough to get on his hands and knees and clean the toilet (he is afterall the one who made the mess).

I think the woman should give into their husband's whenever the husband wants it...and I think husband's should clean up just as often. And everyone should do it without complaint.

Ok...that is not where I was going with this...but it is where I ended up, so take it for what it is worth. you really think it is a big deal that the husband put the toilet seat down? Just curious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still going

I gave myself a year to write this book and I will need it. On Friday, when I wasn't in preschool, I spent most of day looking at a blank screen.

I spent Saturday the same way, except for once in a while the kids would come in and ask if I was ever going to get off the computer. So I eventually had to leave the computer to kiss Nathan and Trevor goodbye, they were going to one of Nathans performances....he sings in a singing group. I also had to make sure the other kids weren't starving. I fixed something for dinner and took Preston and a friend to the Lehi High School Play...I can't remember the name of it right now. I went to Walmart thinking it was a one stop shopping place....I have to do the balancing act with as much effeciency as I can. Walmart was out of Cream of Chicken Soup, they didn't have the right aluminum pans I was looking for, and they were out of the Ink Cartridge that I needed. When I stood there at Walmart realizing that I was going to have to go to 3 stores now I was so tempted to leave my cart right there in the isle with my frozen chicken and whipped cream and a million other things that would spoil if I left it. I shook my evil thoughts away and got in my car and cried. I had planned on doing the shopping quickly and then going home and playing games with the girls....after all I had promised them. So instead of one store I ended up going to three. I was back home in time to put the groceries away and give the girls a hug and say "I love you" and then leave again to pick up Preston and his friend from the play.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life Out of Balance

Have you ever come to a sort of crossroads in your life? Maybe begin to question why the heck are you changing diapers every day? Maybe your life is out of balance, and something is telling you to make a change? Maybe you needed to have another baby (are you kidding me?), or maybe you needed to find something else to study in school (like Men 101 - How To Get Hubby To Put The Seat Down). Maybe you needed to get a new hobby. Maybe you needed to move from plastic back to paper? But no matter what it was, something was making you reevaluate your life.

5 1/2 years ago, I got a sort of tugging that led to us moving here. So many things fell into place that allowed us to just pick up and move. Our lives were completely different after that. We had a new house, new neighbors, new friends, a new ward, I was teaching preschool (something I never thought of doing in the area we were living before), and we knew we were where we needed to be.

So what if you reach another crossroads. This time, however, the answer isn't clear. In fact, the fog on the road you are currently traveling on is so thick, you can't even see a fork or a bend. Maybe it smells like cat throw up (I just spent 2 cleaning it up). I have been on that very road before. I cry out and maybe sometimes scream out, waiting for an answer. The answer doesn't come. I think it is important, no matter where you are on that road, that you keep listening to that voice that seems to be tugging at you. Keep asking what is your purpose, what does the world need from you. The answer will come. It may not be the best answer; like pack up your things and move to Zumbago (I made that country up) but the answer will come and most likely you will be willing to follow the answer because you know deep down you need to do it to fulfill your purpose. Everyone has a purpose.

I have been toying with the idea of writing a children's book for a long time. Something like 20 years. That road has been very foggy as I have tried to write something and then it turns into mush. The road is not so cloudy anymore. Besides mush isn't so bad.

I have a friend who told me that if you want to accomplish something and you declare it to the world, you will most likely accomplish it. So today I am making a declaration. I declare that I will finish writing my children's book by December 31, 2009. There, I said it. Now I am commited. There is no going back. The road has been chosen...will it make all the difference? I think so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Year Of Lessons

This has probably been the most challenging year of my life. But with each challenge the Lord seemed to prepare me. I have learned to have gratitude and faith.

The lessons learned actually started in 2006. We sold our cabin on the lake and invested the money with 3 different companies. With the profits from these investments, we were making almost 3 times the money we were making before. We took the kids on trips, we bought a nice car, and I found two great ladies who cleaned my house for me. We bought 3 lots at the lake and built another cabin on one of them. We got season tickets to the Jazz games with great seats. We were living large and life was easy.

In the summer of 2007 the money from one investment had stopped coming. A few months later, income from another investment had stopped coming. We not only lost the monthly income we were making from these investments, but the investments themselves were gone. We don't know if we will see any of it.

September of 2007 was the first of many miracles. We shut off the water to the cabin we had just finished building (we had a "for sale" sign in the window), but somehow a pipe broke and water began gushing into the cabin. A man who happened to be walking by the cabin walked up to the door. He could hear water running. He peeked into the window and saw water coming from behind the refrigerator. He called the number on the "for sale" sign and reached Nathan. He told Nathan what was happening. Nathan told him how to get into the cabin and the man got in and turned off the water. Nathan, the plumber and I took the 3 hour trip to the cabin and found this man still there cleaning up with a shop vacuum that we had left there. I believe this man, we only know by the name of Richard, was sent by the Lord to bless our lives. We assessed the damage that day and found that the carpets were going to need replacing, and all the wood doors on the main floor were so warped that they needed to be replaced. Walls were damaged and baseboards were damaged. We found a company to get the water out of the carpet so they didn't need to be replaced. The next trip to the cabin we found the doors were working perfectly, the base boards fit and were not warped and the walls were just fine. The only lasting damamge was a hole in the wall behind the refrigerator where the water blew through and a rug had bled through and stained some of the tile on the bathroom floor.

2008 brought much humility. We stopped using the housekeepers; the children stopped extra activities that were costing money; and we ate out less often. We started using coupons and buying only essential things that were on sale. I stopped going to Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef and other parties. The children stopped asking for things and became more concerned about our families' welfare. We wanted our children to know that everything would be just fine and to have faith. We began to look at the things that we did have, and became more grateful for those things. Nathan continued to have work and we were able to keep paying the bills.

During one particularly expensive month this past year, I didn't know how we were going to make it. After much prayer and fasting, I got a phone call from the guy who helped us build our cabin. He told me that he had gone through the numbers on the cabin and said he owed us money and he would be sending a check. That check kept us going for another 3 months. Many prayers of thanks were offered at that time.

2008 brought 3 serious injuries to Nathan's hands. Never in the 19 years that Nathan had been working was he ever injured, and this year he had 3. Instead of being angry, we had learned how important these blessings were. He could still work and he still had full use of his hands.

This past year has been humbling, and a test of faith. We have experienced so many small miracles that I can't even name them all. I am grateful that I can clean my own toilets, that my children are healthy, that Nathan has his hands, and that we have an abudance of blessings. These blessings have come from remembering our Heavenly Father's hand in our lives and by trying to live in a way to be worthy of those blessings.

Hope for 2009. I have learned so much from this past year. I have learned how important it is to pay tithing, to spend less than we make, and to save as much as possible. I no longer take for granite our ability to work, the opportunity to share with those less fortunate that us, and how easy it is to have our lives turn up-side-down. We can prepare for those difficult times by putting our hearts on the things of the Lord. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will always be with us if we do our part. I will do more of my part this year.

May this year bring you joy, hope and more gratitude.

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