My Family

My Family

Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Going on a Trip

Not just for spring break,
but for BYU Women's Conference in May.
I'm jazzed about it.

The only thing that makes me nervous is all of the sitting I will be doing as a 6 1/2 month pregnant momma.
4 days of constant sitting may prove to be a little much...but I'm willing to take the risk.

I'll update you for certain after the fact!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Approaching

General Conference weekend is almost upon us.
My kids are so excited.
So am I.
My sister will be here, and after we wrap up the weekend, we're headed into our spring break!
We've got big plans, which will involve a break from blogging.
But, I should have smashing pictures at the end of it all.

It's been a crazy week...
Dance performance, occupational therapy, scouts, acheivement days (and that was just yesterday)!
Book club on Tuesday, more OT on Monday...just trying to juggle it all and stay sane in the process.

Oh, I got a couple of good mail packages out yesterday...it makes me HAPPY!!

I'm mulling over my life, and trying to think of something profound to blog about, but for now this will have to do!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd


Last week, when I was headed home from Phoenix, I stopped at Deseret Book to get some pictures of Christ for some Primary children.
They only had 4 of the picture I wanted, and the man behind the counter suggested I stop over at the small distribution center near the temple to see if they had more copies of the same picture.
(For the record, Distribution had them for $.10, whereas they were $.50 at Deseret.)
While I was there, I saw that "The Testaments" had been released on DVD.
I had seen it in April of 2003 when I went to General Conference with the Young Women I was serving at that time.
It was powerfully amazing at that point in my life, and I truly wanted my family to see it and feel the power of the Spirit that this film brings so beautifully to those who see it.
My family watched it in Mesa in 2005 at the visitors center near the temple there...while I was in a session at the temple...but I hadn't watched it again until Family Home Evening tonight.
We made an admendment to our no tv rule tonight, and put this in right after dinner...
By the time it was near the end, everyone was wholly engaged...and emotional.
I spent a few minutes afterward bearing my testimony, and even Nathan, our shyest son, asked for time to bear his testimony before family prayer.
Pick up a copy ($4.50 from Distribution/free shipping), or borrow a copy from your nearest meetinghouse library.
It is powerful.

Making Amends 101

Thomas and Bekah were throwing punches (honestly) at each other while we were getting ready for church yesterday.
Pat made them sit down next to each other and tell each other 3 nice things about each other.
It's funny to think that such a small thing could make a difference...but it works, without a hitch, EVERY single time.
In fact, it works so well, that in the past, when I have asked what the problem was the day after a "fight", neither party can remember the issue.
Pat did this growing up, and instituted it in our family.
We adjust the number of good things depending on the age of the kids involved, and the severity of the issue.
(We did get up to 20 nice things once, but I think that is our record.)
It is amazing to watch it change bitter, angry hearts to forgiving, positive, loving hearts.
My mom used to tell me it took 3 positive things to negate a negative...and this seems to prove that point.
I hope you try it soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Holy Growth Spurt!

Bekah had a dance performance tonight.
The last performance she had was in December,and we were reminded shortly before the performance to check and make sure their costumes fit.
Not a problem.
Although I thought it might be getting small, when she tried it on in December, it still came to her knees.

While that's not my favorite length, at the ginormous cost of a costume worn once or twice every 3 months, I'm willing to make it work for a while.

I didn't even think about trying it on her for this upcoming performance!
Tonight, she came out, ready to be buttoned in back...and her dress was halfway up her thighs.
Thank goodness for the bloomers underneath!
Honestly, she's grown at LEAST 3 inches in 3 months. And while I've noticed some of her pants had gotten too short, I hadn't stopped to think about measuring her.

That's a growth spurt.
She'll be getting a new costume...just in case you weren't sure.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Beauty


"This is a fire rainbow - The rarest of all occuring atmospheric phenomena.
(Picture captured this week on the Idaho/Washington border). The event lasted about 1 hour.
Clouds have to be cirrus, at least 20K in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals, and the sun has to hit the clouds at exactly 58 degrees.
I say its God's handiwork . Very beautiful sight!"
(quoted from an e-mail I received today)

I have to agree. God's work is amazing.

Enriched

My week has been enriched.
Truly.

This week I was honored to attend, not one, but two Enrichment meetings.
Our regularly scheduled Enrichment night was this Tuesday.
Also, in our stake, there is a daytime enrichment meeting that includes lunch on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
It originally started as an excuse for the older sisters in the stake to get together and be social, since it was difficult for many of them to drive or get out at night.
When enough younger moms expressed interest in coming, a nursery was added, and viola!, I had the option of attending another meeting.

Evening enrichment was amazing.
Our leader has given her heart and 110% every month since she was called.
(I know because I worked with her for about 18 of those months).
This month was no exception.
The only difference for me was I am no longer the Enrichment counselor, and so I saw this night for the first time as a participant rather than as a "inside man".
That committee (from the leader on down) worked their tails off!
We had a progressive dinner (physical food), and each room had a speaker (spiritual food).
Here are a couple of things I came away with:

If you are too busy to read your scriptures, you are just TOO busy.

"Ye are the Salt of the Earth"
Salt: a sign of the covenant, representational of preservation from corruption, the power to be the seasoning, savoring, preserving influence in the world.
"When men are called into mine everlasting gospel and covenant with an everlasting covenant, theay are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men." D&C 101:39

(Salt was used as a cleansing preservative in biblical days. Nothing else saved things from decay and rot as well as salt.)


A handout was given in a class where we tied quilts as we talked about humanitarian service.
It said:
A CANDLE
A candle's but a simple thing
It starts with just a bit of string
But dipped and dipped with patient hand
It gathers wax upon the strand
Until complete and snowy white
It gives at last a lovely light.

Life seems so like that bit of string
Each deed we do, a simple thing
Yet day by day if on life's strand
We work with patient heart and hand
It gathers joy, makes dark days bright,
And gives at last, a lovely light.

The sister had that poem memorized.
It is powerful to hear someone share something they have internalized.

It made me think of "good mail".
When is the last time you sent someone something just to let them know they were important to you??
If you can't remember the last time, make some time and do it soon.
It makes you happy, and brightens their day too!!


Today's meeting was on the brain function, and we focused on how if you truly think something, it comes to be.
My favorite part was this:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson

Inspiration is amazing.
It touches us, sometimes unexpectedly, but changes our hearts and our minds.
I am grateful to have been enriched.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Quandry

To Upgrade Dish or not to Upgrade Dish...

We've debated for a long time about getting a DVR...and it would actually be cheaper to go with Direct TV in the short run...but I really like the format of the guide on Dish.
The quandry is that we aren't watching TV...as a family, on school nights, so it's after the kids are in bed that we turn it on (although I do end up recording American Idol two nights a week...I can't miss that!).
I love Food TV, The Learning Channel, and Pat loves The History Channel and Sci-Fi.
My little ones love Nick Jr. and Little Einsteins on Disney Channel, none of which we now get because we are striving to be true tightwads, so we just pay a $5 access fee and $5.99 per month (plus tax) for our local channels.
It's a steal at $12.59 per month.
But...I miss the upgrades, the "extra" channels...the ability to zone out to the tune of Good Eats.

Honestly, I know the answer, but I don't want to do it.
With our debt snowball hanging inside of the cabinet directly behind me, I should just stick out the locals for another year and a half...after which time we will have all debt other than house or car paid off...and I can choose whatever option I want with no guilt.

Just remind me it's worth it.
That listening to the prophet is worth it, and getting out of debt is paramount.
That I really don't need a DVR in my house...
That I can do without Food Network for another year and a half.
That I don't need to watch an episode of "What Not to Wear" to get applicable fashion tips for my life, tomorrow.

So, weigh in...
Give a me your opinion...
Let me know where you stand.
I'll be waiting anxiously to have you influence me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity-jig

It's been a whirlwind of days...but I'm home.

My friend Susan is in great spirits, especially considering the fact that she just endured major surgery.
I really enjoyed spending the time with her...but I must admit it is odd to come home and still have a weekend ahead after having a "girls weekend".
I've spent a lot of time with her, but it's always been on the weekend, so I come home and head into a new week, so it's different to be looking at a weekend ahead.

My mother and father-in-law were here for the 3 days, with help from a friend in the ward on Tuesday (I left before they arrived).
I actually did not see them at all, as they left for home about 1 hour before I got home.
I pulled in about 10:30pm, but was able to accomplish some "big city" stuff.

Tonight we have (undisclosed) plans.
Tomorrow is Pat's birthday...
Sunday...Ward Conference...
Busy days ahead...

Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers on Susan's behalf.
I know they mean the world to her.

Monday, March 12, 2007

By Request

At Andrya's request, here's my version of what Pat wrote about last week on his blog.

Birth Story of Stephen Joseph John
Late last Monday night (8-14-1995), and early Tuesday morning, I kept being woken up by contractions. Finally, about 4:40am, I woke Pat up and asked him to rub my lower back because it was hurting so badly. He was a little reluctant…mostly because he thought he’d be leaving for work in an hour. I finally rewoke him up about 10 minutes later and asked him to start timing my contractions because I couldn’t go back to sleep. We started timing them, and were surprised to find they were between 2 and 3 minutes apart, and lasting for 30 to 45 seconds. After about 1 ½ hours, we called the doctor-Dr. John D. Holmes-, and he said to call him back in another hour. I decided to go and take a bath to help relax my back, and that threw my contractions totally out of synch. We called Dr. Holmes back and told him that the contractions had become really erratic and his conclusion was that I was having false labor. (Pat and I had gone for a walk around the (Mesa) Temple after the bath to try and get the contractions to be regular again, and it hadn’t helped). After we called the doctor, we both decided another hour or so of sleep would be good and then Pat could leave for a ½ day of work. During our nap, I kept waking up—in pain—from contractions. Finally, about 9:30am, when I was having to hold back tears and really breathe through the contractions, I called the doctor’s office and explained how I was feeling. I was told to come in for a check-up, which Pat and I left for immediately.
Dr. Holmes checked me and told Pat and I that I was dialated to 3 cm and effaced 80% and that we needed to go to the hospital and check in. We went to Mesa Lutheran Hospital and checked in. We were assigned to room #625, and from there we called Mom and Becca Lunt (who had planned on leaving for Thatcher to move Becca into her dorm on Tuesday) who were at our house, and Susan Ludwig (a very dear friend) who was at Johnson school. All of them showed up within an hour and stayed until Stephen was born. (Boy, we were na├»ve…thinking my first baby would show up fast!!)
The day progressed quickly. I chose to take some Stadol, a painkiller, and although it helped some, I decided to get an epidural as well. The interesting thing was that at one point I felt very strongly that if I wanted an epidural, I needed to ask for it then. I did ask, and then waited 45 minutes to an hour for the doctor to come and take care of it. They also had to try 3 times before it was properly inserted.
After the initial insertion of the epidural, I rested for about 20 or 30 minutes, and then, the medication wasn’t having any effect any more. At this point, I was dialated to 7 cm and going through transitional labor. In other words, my contractions were extraordinarily strong, and I had little or no painkiller in my system. Mom Lunt, Becca, and Susuan had left just before the pain got intense, (This is the point where my mom started talking about the palm trees swaying in the wind and I very tersely said, “Mom, BE QUIET!) and Mom John and Coleen John (my sister-in-law) had just showed up. Mom John, Coleen and Pat were there to help me through this part of my labor. (Mom John really did make the comment about the pain just getting worse, and if I could have said anything other than “MOM!” at that point, I would have told her to shut up…and that is not like me…but hey, transitional labor brings out the best in all of us, right?)
At about 7pm, Dr Holmes came into the room and checked me and said I could start pushing. From then until 8:47pm, I was working with everyone to help Stephen be born. I could feel a little bit of movement, and the others in the room kept me posted as to what was happening from their perspective. Finally, (at the very end), Dr. Holmes came rushing in and gave me an episiotomy, and four pushes later, our first son, Stephen Joseph John was born. Dr. Holmes put him on my chest, and when I spoke to Stephen, he looked right into my face and stopped crying. Pat cut the umbilical cord, and we were able to just hold and love Stephen his first minutes of life. (The funny thing was that even 3 or 4 minutes after he was born, no one had checked to see if he was a boy! Finally, one of the nurses asked, and of course it was Stephen, but it was somewhat comical.)
The labor and delivery were things I would have done again the very next hour for a joy and reward as special as my little son. I have no serious complaints—just the rejoicings of my heart and of having a healthy child.
(Written 8-22-1995)

Heading Out

I'll be back on Friday...
I'm headed to help my dear friend Susan after her 2nd masectomy.
My mother and father-in law will be here to watch the kids as Pat couldn't take the time off.
It's a first for me to leave my kids for 3 whole school days.
I'm sure they will do well.
I, on the other hand, may have some mental adjustments to make.

See you soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Update

We were off-line FOREVER...(it felt like)!
At Pat's request we were updating to WildBlue Satellite internet...for about $5 more than we were paying, it should be better, more consistent service.
However, there were a few glitches in getting it set up, but it is now up and running!
(And I have to give kudos to my husband for taking the time to run the cable under the house instead of tacking up against the wall as the satellite guy suggested.
Oh, and I have to admit that it was a bit of a shock to see how young the installer was...ends up that he's graduating from HS in May...a senior, doing a darn good job hooking up our computer!)

Today was my Intro to Card-Making class.
I had 7 people signed up for it, but only 5 showed up.
That was plenty for a first class.
The age range was from about 10-70, so we had quite a diverse group.
Aside from a few measurement issues, I felt really good about the class.
It actually left me wanting to do it again, even if I was on my feet for about 3 hours straight.
It's unfortunate that as a pregnant woman, I really feel that time on my feet in my lower back.
(It was remedied by a 2 hour nap when I got home!)
I know that the choice I made to become a Stampin' Up demonstrator was not a mistake...I am more excited about it after today than before (and I was excited before).
I'll be teaching again for certain on April 14th, and I may try and squeeze another class in on a Thursday night before March is over.
I asked some questions of the "students" before they left, and all of their feedback was very positive...they all left feeling not only had they accomplished something, but also that they had enough starting knowledge to try again on their own.

I haven't blogged much about our new car search, but it's quite a story.
I'll save it for another day.

I have sharing time in Primary tomorrow, and I haven't even checked to see what I'm going to do...so I'd better jet and get focused on making tomorrow work.

Oh, and sorry I missed your birthday, Hyrum.
I really did think about you all day!

Happy Belated Birthday, Hyrum!

My brother, Hyrum, is 18 months older than me.
Yesterday, he turned 37 years old...(that seems quite old to me, my brother!)

When we were very young, I believe we added a few gray hairs to my mother's head.
Although I was younger, I seemingly tagged along in numerous hair-raising antics that I am sure my mastermind brother came up with.
There was the climb up the homemade ladder on my dad's family farm in Duncan (with rungs about 18 inches apart) when we were 3 years and 18 months respectively.
Reportedly, we were sitting on the very steeply pitched roof of the farmhouse looking at the cows a couple of fields over.
I've also heard about the tea party with baby aspirin.
I remember the tree climbing, the spins in the dryer as we re-enacted the carnival, tossing a full soda bottle back and forth until I ended up with a huge knot on my forehead, and many days exploring things at Grandma's house.

In high school, I depended on him for advice, especially when it came to boys.
I could talk long into the night about who did what and always respected his opinion.

It was odd for me to be the oldest at home when he left for college in Indiana...(holy mackrel, that was a long way from home!), and even odder when he was gone for 2 years on his mission to Tampa, Florida.

I'm sure it was quite the change for him to attend the junior college I had just finished at when he returned from his mission.
I had lived for years being "Hyrum's sister", but I think for him, it was the first time people had known me first.
It was there that he met his wife and married her in 1992.

He and his family have always made great efforts to visit us on a regular basis...which is so nice for us.
They live in Plano, Texas, and so far, we just haven't been able to swing a trip out there.
It has become a summertime tradition for them to come and stay with our family and make some memories together.

I'll always be grateful for the path he forged through high school, and how he helped me find myself.
I miss the long talks we used to have...
Funny how growing up and having a family changes the focus from your siblings to your own immediate family.

Thanks for being my big brother and always seeing the good in me!!
Happy birthday, my brother!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Reliance

It's funny how much we pride ourselves on being "self-reliant".
It's a wonderful thing to be in a place where you don't really have to depend on anyone else...

Sometimes though, I think we become too independent and tend to push others away.
Many of the sisters I talk with are actually quite lonely...but not quite sure how to reach out to the others around them.

This week, my van has been at the body shop (getting the lock fixed from the break-in in OCTOBER...and no, I did not purposely procrastinate getting it in).
I have had to rely on my friends and ward sisters to help me with getting the kids to school, and home from school.
Typically, it stresses me out immensely to have to ask for help...but this time, I've just been hugely grateful that people are willing to help me and my family out.

I'll be calling the body shop here in a few minutes...hopefully, the van is done...but truly, this has been a blessing for me to humble myself enough to rely on others.
The Lord has given me lots of opportunities lately to be humbled, and instead of feeling frustrated, I feel blessed.
I'm grateful for the perspective of gratitude...it makes my heart happy.
I truly am reliant on God...for everything.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Product / Book Endorsements

Just for the record, I believe this is a first for me...a blog about things that I endorse for myself, my family, and all others involved.

Above, you'll see a DVD case for Sam's favorite show(s): Little Einsteins
I love it because each episode highlights a classical music piece and an art masterpiece.
Truly palatable to an adult as well as a child...and I tend not to love "Playhouse Disney" stuff.
This book was recommended to me by my friend Dawn...and I really enjoyed reading it.
It is in many ways a coming of age story and a story of self discovery.
I tend to like juvenile and young adult novels because they tend to be clean...and this one is worth a read.
This was a book I found on our library shelf of "new books" and I just picked up a copy for Emily at the school book fair.
It was a compelling read.
Pat even picked it up and read it in a day or two.
It's another story where the main character, Miri, finds the strength she possesses as the story unfolds.
I loved this book.
We picked these up last year when Albertsons had the 10 for $10 sale.
I originally just wanted to try them out, but found that we really liked them.
They aren't quite the same as coffee cake, but they have a similar topping.
They make a nice side for a larger breakfast, or are good all alone.
I saw this yesterday in the great and spacious building on a hill (our local Wal-Mart).
My first opinion of the filling (straight from the tub) was that it was a bit tart.
(I grew up on Jell-o cheesecake from a box...so this may be truer to some other cheesecakes.)
I've put it into a graham cracker crust for tonight, and have cherry and blueberry topping...so I'll update with the end result.

That's it for today...
What have you found lately that you love?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Reading

I spent my 2nd day with the stomach flu here at home today.
After a long nap, I got up and started some reading...trying to eke some spirituality out of the day.

I had never finished the majority of the articles in the February 2007 Ensign.
I have a tendendcy to skim over the Ensign when it arrives and read anything that jumps out of me at that point, and then I put it aside for "another time" (which seldom presents itself).

Three articles in particular stood out to me:

The Good Samaritan:
Forgotten Symbols
John W. Welch
Lessons from the New Testament:
Turning the Other Cheek
H. Bryan Richards
“My Ways Are Not Your Ways”
Clayton M. Christensen


These are definitely thought provoking articles.
I enjoyed the points that were focused on...and plan on reading my Ensign a little more completely in the future.

Blog Ignored

1 pregnant mom + 1 ward sister (Suzanne Dye) willing to help with housework (which means I work hard too) + 1 cardmaking class + 1 nasty stomach flu virus = 1 Blog ignored

I'm hoping next week isn't quite as crazy.

Introduction to Card Making

On March 10th, I'll be teaching an "Introduction to Cardmaking" class at the newly opened "Aunt Judy's Attic".
Here are the cards I've created with 2 pieces of patterned papers and 3 pieces of cardstock.



Judy decided to move forward with her dream of opening a quilting/scrapbooking/gift shop, and quit her job as a veterinary assistant.
I first heard about the "new store" when she approached us at one of the craft fairs we did, and asked if any of us would be willing to teach classes when her store opened.
Being NEWLY pregnant, and feeling slightly overwhelmed, I hemmed and hawed, and was quite non-committal.
It wasn't until last month when I went in to visit the "attic" for the first time that I finally committed to teach this class.
I've been pretty nervous about it...but am getting more excited as the time draws nearer.

Oh yes, and for the record, I am now a Stampin' Up demonstrator too.
Holy cow...what has come over me??