My Family

My Family

Friday, September 29, 2006

Word Explosions

Having an almost 2 year old is fun.
Especially now that he is repeating almost everything we say.

A couple of days ago, he picked up the word "Dumb".
It sounds really funny in his little voice.
Yesterday he called his Uncle Adam "Dum", and he wasn't being rude.

He'll say just about anything we say, and mimic our actions too.
The cutest thing he does right now is sing "do-do-do" (to High School Musical's tune), close his eyes, and wave his pointer fingers up and down in Saturday Night Live tradition.
He even squints his eyes shut.

Interesting that it doesn't stay so cute as they get older.
In fact, it becomes downright annoying to have your words repeated back to you.
"But you said...." is one of my least favorite phrases to hear.

I just need to watch my words...
So they don't come back and explode in my face.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm 35 today!!
I've had a great day, and it's nice to have a day when you feel special and pampered.
We had visitors this afternoon and evening, and busy activities all day long.

It has been a very good day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Taking It For Granted

I've been thinking a lot today about my health.

It seems like it takes a challenge sometimes to help us see the blessings in our lives.
The fact that my family and I are healthy and able to function with ease is miraculous.

Most of us take our health for granted, until we are caught in a place where we are forced to re-evaluate, like I was yesterday.
I spent a little time wondering what would cause such a violent recurrence of dizziness, and the thought of dealing with such a debilitating health issue was overwhelming when I thought about dealing with it long term.
I'm so grateful that it was a short term trial this time.

We are blessed more than we realize.
Even when we stuggle with mental, emotional, or physical issues, overall, we have the resources we need and the help available when it is needed.
Truly, we are a blessed people.

But I'm not Blond (Anymore!)

Twice in the past week I have been dizzy.
Horribly, insanely, disgustingly dizzy beyond description.

So much so that I could not function.

It sounds like a cop-out...dizzy day=lazy, lay on the couch and don't do anything at all day.

It's not.
It's awful.

Last Tuesday, I thought it was some kind of flu and by Thursday felt much better.
Yesterday morning I got scared.
It was worse than the week before.
I threw up and couldn't even sit up.
I called a friend of mine to come help with the kids, because as much as my kids like to watch TV, it's just not safe for a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old when momma is totally not functional.
She insisted that I call the doctor and be seen.
She drove me there and took care of my kids while the nurse practioner scratched her head and basically looked at me helplessly.

They did lots of tests...all of the preliminary ones were negative (including the always run pregnancy test when you are sexually active).
The blood tests results will be back today or tomorrow, and I am sure they will tell me my cholesterol is high, and I need to go on a diet.
I'm ok with that, I can do that and need a kick in the rear to get that under control...but what would I do if I were perpetually dizzy daily?
I wouldn't be able to function within any of my duties as a mom or wife or housekeeper.
I would be totally reliant on others to transport me and my family places...
It was just flat out rough.

Most of the time I consider myself pretty tough.
Pain doesn't phase me too much, and I can endure aches and pains with the best.
But dizziness, please, don't come my way again.
My world literally spins out of control when you visit.
And quite frankly, I'm tired of you.

It was our home teacher (a pharmacist) who recommended an antihistimine to clear any congestion that had potentially gathered in my inner ear and disrupted my equilibrium.
It worked great...very quickly....not that I felt 100%, but I could feel a difference.
And while I am tired today, I'm functional.
I'm counting it a huge blessing.
There is no other way to see it.

It is amazing to know that our network, built through loving relationships with people in our ward family, is a literal safety net in difficult situations.
I am so grateful for a handful of those people today.
My friend and visiting teacher who took me to the doctor, watched my children for the day, and offered to bring in dinner.
Another friend who not only brought my kids home from the bus stop (1 mile + away), but also gave me an awesome foot rub with oils, loaded my dishwasher and cleaned a kitchen counter off.
And, my home teacher, for sharing his knowledge with me!
All of these people have helped me tremendously...
And I literally thank the Lord for them today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


If winter is slumber and spring is birth,
and summer is life,
then autumn rounds out to be reflection.
It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone.
Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year
and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

Not only is it officially fall now, but the impending signs are inevitably seen everywhere.
Some of the signs I have seen are...

Jackets out and on to ward against the chill of the early morning.
A fire in the fireplace.
A tint of pink to cheeks and nose after spending time outside in the mornings or evenings.
Hot cocoa and whipped cream, steaming in a mug.
Hooded sweatshirts worn inside, to keep warm.
Socks or slippers on cold feet to keep your toes from falling off because of the chill.
Changing leaves and shriveling plants.
Gardens giving up their last offerings of abundance.
Shorter days and longer nights.
Pumpkin smells, and hearty foods.
A time of thanksgiving and reflection and said in the quote above, a time to reflect on what has come before.

I love fall.
It's my favorite season.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Random Acts of Friendship

So I started thinking today...when is the last time I did a random act of kindness or friendship for someone?

I've had 4 such acts this week, and it just makes my heart happy!!
My friend and visiting teacher brought in dinner unexpectedly on Wed. night when Pat had Scouts/Mutual and I was recuperating from some random bug.
I got a phone call from a friend (at work), sneaking in a little time to call me before she headed off to take care of her mom this weekend.
Another friend called out of the blue at 11:30am and said, "Come over for lunch, right now!", and I did, and we had a great time.
Another friend called making birthday dinner or lunch plans to celebrate my birthday next week.

All of these were simple things, and yet they brought such sunshine to my heart!

I need to "Pay It Forward", and make sure I am brightening other people's lives too.
Can you bring happiness to others in simple ways?
Look for the opportunities around you, I am sure they are there.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Come to the Knowledge of the Truth

My thoughts are a bit jumbled this morning.

I just finished a phone call with a dear college friend, in which I was informed that she is moving forward with a divorce from her husband.
I checked my e-mail and read about a family member that had her divorce complete on the 13th and her ex-husband is headed in for a sex change operation.
This, along with my sister's findings over the past couple of weeks really makes me wonder what the world is coming to.

My circle of friends is relatively small when I talk with other friends that send out almost 200 Christmas cards per year.
I don't think there should be this much turmoil within such a relatively small group of people.
What is going on?

Is this the norm in our world today?

I understand pain and suffering is part of the trial we chose to come to earth to endure. And that those struggles may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual....but so many of these things I am finding out about have come to pass by choices, which from my perspective seem very selfish.

2nd Timothy 3:1-7
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I guess we do live in those perilous times spoken of in this scripture passage.
Our only hope is to look to Christ...and "come to the knowledge of the truth" and live the way He showed us.
I will be casting these burdens upon Him today...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Case of the Stripes

I snapped this the other night...just for fun as we were having a striped pajama party.
These pajamas and these faces always make me smile!

Monday, September 18, 2006

First and foremost, I want everyone to know that their comments and phone calls have been wonderful. I have tears in my eyes knowing how much everyone cares.

To address the concern at hand, I spent last Tuesday with my sister in the LDS temple, seeking spiritual guidance on her behalf. We felt it was imperative, as she had discovered that her marriage has been based on deception for the past 2 years. She had asked me to come be with her and buoy her up as she made decisions for her future.

She constantly amazes me with her strength...and her ability to love people, regardless of hurt that they bring into her life. She has an amazing ability to see what growth experiences have given her rather than dwell on the negative, life-changing aspects that would be so easy for her to focus on. She has made the decision to move on...file for annullment, and look for the hope that lies ahead. HUGE decisions, and not what she would have chosen when she married 2 years ago, but at this point, it IS the answer... and there was such HOPE in making that decision, it was almost tangible.

I don't know what else to say right now...maybe I've said too much, but I did not mean to concern any of you family, friends, or readers.

Thank you for your love and prayers on my sister's behalf.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Missing in Action

At some point I will probably blog about the past week, but for now, I'll just leave a quote my sister told me as I spent the day with her (unexpectedly) on Tuesday, 5 hours from my home.

"Every day, somewhere, someone's world falls apart."

It's true.

I just wish it wasn't.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago

The morning of Sept. 11, 2001 was exciting for Pat and I.
We were making a trip to sign the final paperwork on our first home.
Going to bed the night before, we were thrilled thinking that on the morrow we would be homeowners!
As we woke up very early that morning, we had one purpose in get ready and start our trip to the title company.
Our hurried preparations were interrupted by a phone call from my cousin, telling me, with horror in her voice that I needed to turn on the television.
I nonchalantly walked in, flicked the power button, and waited, a little frustrated, while my cousin continued talking to me on the other end.
I had no idea what I was going to see.
I could not have imagined what came onto the screen.
Seeing first one plane, and then a second plane hit both World Trade Center towers, and seeing those towers fall, will be pictures literally burnt into my brain for the rest of my life.
I quickly called my husband to come and watch, and we both stood, shocked at the images, and reality, that was before us.

What we had anticipated being a joyous day for us, suddenly became bittersweet.
While our lives still were focused on the positive changes for the day, we were completely and utterly faced with how quickly reality could change.
We were saddened and horrified at what had happened within our world on this day.

Since September 11, 2001, I know our personal reality has never returned to encompass the trusting, the fearlessness, and the abandon with which we took things for granted.
I mourn and am sorrowful for the lives that were lost, and the negative impact that this experience has had on so many throughout our nation.

However, I know that I must press forward, teaching tolerance and trust in the lives of those who surround me.
It is the least I can do.
Live in faith, not in fear, and instill strength and love in my children.
Then they can take those gifts, and truly make this world a brighter and better place to live.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My First Meme

As near as I can tell a meme is where you blog about some aspect of your life that allows you, my dear readers, to get to know me (or in this case, my kids) better.
I've taken Thoroughly Mormon Millie's tag and run with it.
Here's the result:


Stephen (age 11)
1. Something I do well - "I do homework well. I listen to you well, and I ride my bike well."
2. Something I'd like to improve on - "Swimming all the way from one side of the pool to the other."
3. My favorite food - "Spaghetti-o's."
4. Three words that best describe me - "Honest, true, and obedient." (Pat says musical)
5. My happiest moment - " Hearing Mrs. Thompson (his 4th grade teacher) was in our ward. But probably my MOST happy moment was spending time with my family."
6. The most important thing in my life now - "Family and Middle School."
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
I think I was a little surprised to hear how important Middle School is to him right now.
I thought his self-perception was right on, as he has always been "honest, true and obedient". He actually expects the same of everyone around him.
It has been a bit of a struggle a couple of times at school because his nature is to expect righteousness from EVERYONE.
I was touched that his happy moment involved his family.

Emily (age 9)
1. Something I do well - "Draw. Ride bike. Cook."
2. Something I'd like to improve on - "Swimming."
3. My favorite food - "Creamed Eggs on Toast.'
4. Three words that best describe me - "Nice, good, adventurous."
5. My happiest moment - "My birthday, all of them."
6. The most important thing in my life now - "Family. Ladybugs (our name for Acheivement Days) and the gospel."
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
Not one of these answers surprised me.
She was a little irritated when I typed in some of "attitude" related comments.
I actually had to erase them for her to keep answering these questions.
Kind of humorous from my perspective.

Nathan (age 7)
1. Something I do well - "Riding my bike. Climbing the walls. Being nice and following the rules."
2. Something I'd like to improve on - "Riding my bike."
3. My favorite food - "Hallelujah Pasta, Macaroni and cheese, cereal, and pasghetti-o's"
4. Three words that best describe me - "Sharer, I climb trees good and I jump on the trampoline good (athletic), Kind-hearted."
5. My happiest moment - "I don't know. Playing with Sam."
6. The most important thing in my life now - "Mom and Dad. And (siblings) ."
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
I wasn't surprised by these either.
Especially the riding bike stuff.
Totally and completely his life right now.
I liked that he knows he is a good "sharer" and that he is good at being nice and following the rules.
Funny that he mentioned climbing the walls.
I'll have to blog about that later with some pictures.

Thomas (age 5)
1. Something I do well - "This, (he gave me a kiss on the cheek, ahhh). Being with mommy. Pretzel sitting, criss-cross applesauce (at school)."
2. Something I'd like to improve on - "Run faster, and get a bike."
3. My favorite food - "Macaroni and cheese, and chips, and cheese, dipping chips in cheese."
4. Three words that best describe me - (from mom and dad) analytical, marches to the beat of his own drum, affectionate.
5. My happiest moment - "Being with mommy and daddy and (my family) and my friends, and the whole world, AND Jesus."
6. The most important thing in my life now - "Being with Mommy forever."
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
I'm glad we are getting him a bike for his birthday in October.
We sold his broken, hand-me down one that needed $20 worth of repair in our hugely successful yard sale.
I was really touched with his affection and love of family.
He surprised me a little with the comment about being happy with Jesus.
Do you think the fact that it is Sunday influenced these answers?

Rebekah (age 4)
1. Something I do well - "Not telling lies, being good and know what's right, play with dollies, oh, and I dance."
2. Something I'd like to improve on - "Have snacks. (he he)" "Writing (my name)
3. My favorite food - "Pizza. With macaroni on it."
4. Three words that best describe me - vivacious, fun-loving, (from Pat) dancie-prancie
5. My happiest moment - "Dancing and singing."
6. The most important thing in my life now - "Calling someone (on the phone)."
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
I loved the first thing she talked about was "not telling lies".
She has been working very hard at being honest.
She dances everywhere.
All dance, all the time.
Oh, and I laughed at her "calling someone" comment.
She constantly has a play phone to her ear and "calls" people all the time.
I have actually had to interrupt her "conversations" to talk to her.
Samuel (20 months)
1. Something I do well - Climb, make my brothers and sisters laugh, listen to mom and dad.
2. Something I'd like to improve on - Sleeping through the night
3. My favorite food - Chocolate chips! Cereal, and bread.
4. Three words that best describe me - silly, obedient, good-natured
5. My happiest moment - Finding a bag of chocolate chips left out on the counter! Oh, and going outside!
6. The most important thing in my life now - My sippy cup.
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers?
I would say these answers were VERY predictable! (he he!)
This was very fun and insightful.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Admirable Characteristics

This little boy here, Nathan, has officially begun his bike riding career.
He has spent the last month and a half taking his bike out to the road and walking back and forth, trying to learn how to ride.
Any time his dad was home before dark, he would convince him to come out and help him learn to ride his bike.
Yesterday, for the first time, he rode more than a couple of inches!

His perserverance is amazing.
He is diligent in anything he chooses to do.
I would be a better person if I followed his example.
Amazing what our children teach us, isn't it?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


It's true.
In the house, I don't wear shoes.
We laugh about how many times I have been barefoot and pregnant.

Being barefoot outside is a totally different story.
At my home, we have really nasty, sharp rocks in a lot of places.
They seriously hurt when you step on them shoeless.
I wince in pain if I ever choose to make a run to the van without my trusty shoes on...and that is like 18 inches from the door.

For my children, (the Amazing Barefoot Wonders) however, those sharp rocks do nothing to slow them down.
Even if they go out with shoes on, before too much time elapses, they are, most certainly, barefoot.
It's one of those crazy abilities I guess we lose as we get older.

Do you remember running around sans shoes when you were younger?
Do you still?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


(**This is not to be interpeted as a sad post. It was actually written with great joy in my heart, and I was hoping to share some of that joy with you!**)

It's an interesting thing to live away from the general hustle and bustle of what we call "life".
Our home is located a fair distance from the heart of our city.
People don't just drop in as they are passing by.
It's definitely purposeful when someone is in our "neighborhood".
It's actually what I would consider one of the perks of where we live.

Except sometimes I get somewhat lonely.
I think how nice it would be to have someone drive by, see us in the yard, and stop to chat.
Or how much I would like to wave to my neighbor next door, or invite them over for lunch and a quick chat.

I used to try and run from this feeling of loneliness and watch things I would never put into action...Food Network, Home and Garden TV, or anything else that just let me "be" somewhere else for a while.
I would call anyone and everyone I could think of, just to chat.
(And if you know me, I'm not really a chatty person).
Really, I didn't want to be, you know, ALONE.

This spring, I was given one of the biggest trials, and biggest blessings of my life.
I spent 2 months feeling absolutely, completely, heartachingly forgotten.
Everyone I had depended on for moral support was busy.
It wasn't that they didn't care, I knew they did, but they just weren't available.
Things were more hectic and everyone was more occupied than I had ever experienced in my life with good, close friends and family.
I seriously floundered emotionally.
I could not figure out where to turn, because regardless of where I turned, there were no soft arms to fall into, no shoulders to cry on, and no one to pick up the pieces I was frantically trying to put into place.
And realistically, I knew that I was struggling, because honestly, there is too much going on in my life and too many people depending on me for me to operate without any support.

I would be lying to tell you that there weren't bright spots.
Occassionally someone would call, just to say "I'm thinking of you", not for a favor, but because they really cared.
I got a note in the mail that made me feel incredibly special.
A simple smile or heartfelt "How are you?" when I saw someone I knew buoyed me up for much longer than the giver could have imagined.
But those were spots that did not begin to touch the depth of loneliness in my heart.

I still remember the night when I decided I was finished feeling this way (READ--seriously seeking a solution, NOT suicidal guys, c'mon...!).
I simply did not want to continue experiencing the sadness in my heart I was dealing with.
I had reached a point where I seriously needed to know someone cared, and I knew I had to have support from somewhere to be able to go forward emotionally.

I did the only thing I knew that was left to do.
I prayed.
It wasn't a simple, "I need help!" prayer.
No, this was a gut-wrenching, honest, lay it all on the table prayer of, "I don't know where else to turn, Heavenly Father. I need a friend. Someone who can be there for me NOW...because I'm not feeling the support I need from anyone around me."
And yes, there were tears involved.

It's always amazing to me when we put that scripture to the test, you know the one that says, "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you?" how quickly the answers come.
I didn't get a phone call or a letter that night.
My husband didn't come put his arms around me and tell me everything was going to get better.
Instead, I was reminded of the absolute love and peace that our Savior, Jesus Christ offers us.
His love, His friendship, His acceptance, is the purest, strongest, most real love we will ever encounter in our lives.
And it's always there for us.
And it's so real, and so strong, that once you have felt it in your life, it's impossible to say you are alone anymore.

So, on days like today, when I am feeling a little lonely, instead of running from this feeling like I used to, and finding ways to escape it, I simply know this:
I simply need to make a little more time in my day to reconnect with God, to re-establish that relationship that I have let slip a little, and let Him know He is important to me too.
And when I make the time for that, you know what?

I know now what I should have known all along,
With the Savior as my constant guide and friend,
I'll never feel completely alone again.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My View

Some of you may know that this August, New Mexico has had more rainfall than we usually experience within an entire year.
It has been a huge blessing in many ways, as it has replenished many of our aquifers, but with so much rain falling on already saturated ground, it has also been the cause of much flooding.

Last week, after a rainstorm, I looked out and saw this from my front porch.

Noah, when he saw this in the sky, knew this "bow" was a token of a covenant between he and the Lord that the earth would never be fully flooded again.
I don't ever look at a rainbow without thinking of God's love for each one of us.
It reminds me of my promises to the Lord to live a Christlike life.
Admist all of my stuggles and imperfections, a reminder, like this one, interpeted as God's love for me as His child, was a beautiful thing to behold.

Genesis 9:12-15:
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Good Mail

So, inspired by Dana (of Charmed Designs on my links), I got my own little pile of "good mail" ready to send out.
The whole concept (as I understand it) is that random acts of mail kindness are easy to create, and fully within your power.
Whether you write a note, or send something you've created to people you know, it's sure to brighten their day.
After all, aren't you sick of bills and junk mail?
Everyone could use a little "good mail" today.
Start a campaign of your own!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day

Quickly approaching....

It has been an extremely long week.
Pat has been at work early and stayed late every day.
He's also been busy with college, home teaching and Scouts.
It will be a blessing to have him home for 3 days.

We purposely opted to not go camping with friends this weekend, in exchange for what we hope is a quiet weekend at home.
Perhaps we'll picnic and geocache on Monday.
It sounds wonderful to me.

What are you doing this weekend?