My Family

My Family

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Tonight, I feel peace.
Although my life has been more chaotic this week than most weeks, I feel more peace and serenity than I have in a long time.

It's not the circumstances of my life.
In just this past week, we finally got a signed contract on our new house in AZ, I fulfilled my calling (RSP) to the best of my ability, one of my best friends (Susan) passed away, and I withdrew my children from our wonderful schools.
Add to that a mild stomach flu that is going the rounds through our family, and it should be a week when I've created at least a couple of bald spots on my head from pulling my hair out.

However, along with the extra responsibility my calling has added, I have also received a measure of clarity and understanding of God's awareness of each of us.
He knows us.He knows our names, our fears, our struggles, and He desires to bless us.
We just need to turn to Him...daily, hourly, each minute if needed, and He will help carry the burdens we have been given.
How I love my Savior, and our Heavenly Father.
They carry me when the burdens are full and heavy...and they truly make the burdens light.
They give peace.
What more do we need?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Official!

(As if I haven't thrown enough surprises your way lately!)

Pat resigned from his job today here in New Mexico.
As of January 5th, he will be working for another mine in Arizona.
We'll be moving to Queen Creek the last week of 2008 or the first week of 2009.
We're still working out final details.
Sharing is half of the fun.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Halloween...2 weeks late.

Here's our Halloween lineup.
I love the fact that our kids can raid the dress up trunk, and with a few added items from the day after Halloween clearance come up with a bunch of costumes.
I try to hit Wal-Mart within the week after Halloween to scope out the best deals.
That's how we ended up with a cute little horse costume for just a few dollars.
Second hand stores are also really a good place to check for costumes (that's where we found Tigger...and that costume has been worn by at least 2 other kids in our family too.)

Nathan's choice from the time we started talking costumes was "Cub Scout". He said "Do your best!" to everyone as he passed out candy.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Today I was called as the Relief Society President for our ward here in New Mexico.
I'm not sure what that means for my blog just yet.
I just thought you would like to know.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Pictures

It's fun to look back at these pictures.

This boy will turn 8 tomorrow!

This girl is growing up too fast.
Looking at something Auntie Becca is showing them.
A really fun series of shots of little Isaac.

My sistah.
I love her.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Varied Randomness

A: General Conference was wonderful. I loved the talks from our leaders, and the inspiration that always fills my heart and my home when I listen, watch and then try to not only hear what was said, but put it into action also. My favorite talk was Elder Holland's. He bore witness that they are angels still. I KNOW that it true doctrine, and even more importantly, it makes me want to follow those promptings I receive so that I can bless the lives of others.

B: If last week encompassed the avoidance of housework, this week would have to be an example of fully embracing and desiring to make a difference in my home. I've been digging out my craft room for a few days, moving furniture around, and feeling quite efficient...even if it's not all the way finished.

C: Does anyone have any tricks for keeping kids shoes from disappearing? We do pretty well most of the time (the kids only have 1 pair of tennis shoes for school though), but when a pair comes up missing, it's a bit of a problem. We have some random pairs of hiking boots and/or "girly" shoes, but when 3 of the 5 school kids have had to wear those other options in the past week, it speaks of the need for a new system. Maybe I'll just have them line them up by the door the night before. We've done that in the past, and it worked ok...I just need to get back on top of it!

D: I LOVE cardmaking. I've gone to bed and dreamed about it the past couple of nights. I've also woken up thinking about it. I'll be posting a slew of creations at my card blog soon, so check it out if you'd like inspiration, or even just to see what I've been up to.

E: Pat and I have been taking a ballroom dancing class on Friday nights. We've learned the foxtrot, the eastern swing, the "slow" dance, and the cha-cha. This Friday will be our last class and we'll be learning the waltz. We've wanted to take a ballroom dancing class since we were newlyweds, so this has been wonderful.

F: Even if Isaac has mastered climbing the table, he's still winning my heart with that smile. (And the introduction to watermelon went REALLY well).

G: It definitely is fall here in Silver City. The morning and evening air has a chill to it, and it just doesn't get quite as warm during the day. I'll be watching for the leaves to change soon. We'll also be starting the pellet stove soon...and that means all of the kids will huddle around it every morning, squeezing into the spaces that the heat reaches the most effectively. I really and truly love the sound and feel of a fire (even if it is a pellet stove!) in our home.

H: I'm signing off for now from this random post. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It's so nice to know I'm not alone when it comes to needing motivation to get and keep my home clean.
I was able to score a couple of "quick wins"...things that helped me feel successful and therefore more motivated.

I did get the following things done (even with 2 sick little boys begging to be held most of the day).
Laundry sorted (yep, it's still piled up, but at least there is some order to the laundry room now)
Dining Room floor swept into the kitchen (It made a nice pile to sort through and have the kids pick up)
Pat came home and worked on the dishes until they were done...and that helped SOOO much!!

Today I plan to fold laundry, do the dishes, and vacuum.
I have 4 little ones who ran fevers yesterday afternoon and through the night, so my level of accomplishments will depend on their needs, but I definitely feel like I CAN do it today rather than not even knowing where to start.

Thanks for all of you words of encouragement and support.
It really does make a difference.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Neglecting the Mess

It's Monday morning...and usually I attack the weekend clutter and dishes with a vengeance and "tame the beast" before the week gets totally out of control.

Today, I just flat out don't want to.
I mean I do, but I don't know where to start.

That's a frustrating feeling...and I know it won't get any better until do something about it.
Any motivating thoughts?
Do you feel this way too sometimes?

Monday, September 22, 2008

City of Rocks

About 30 minutes from our little town there is a state park known as "City of Rocks". If we ever want a fun place for a picnic, or are looking for a quick day trip, this is often our destination.
On Saturday evening, we headed out there with Uncle Oliver and Auntie Laura for an evening picnic. These pictures capture just a little of the size of the rocks.
The kids climb EVERYTHING...and I've never seen one of them hesitate.
I become a nervous wreck once it starts to get dark though...I have visions of the kids misstepping off of a boulder and us having to rush to the hospital.
I love this photo of Isaac's feet and Pat's hands.
I'm trying to make sure I get pictures taken of myself whenever we are taking pictures.
This one is of Laura and Isaac and me.
This picture of Oliver is one of my favorite pictures of the evening.

It was absolutely wonderful to get away with Pat's brother and his wife!
The kids have already asked when we're headed back.
Anyone up for a visit? (We'll throw in a trip out to the City of Rocks too!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good for the Heart

It's always good to have time with extended family.

This past weekend, we headed to Arizona...Pat and the kids stayed with his parents in Kearny while I headed into Mesa to visit with my dear friend Susan who is battling cancer.

These are some of the pictures I took before we headed home Sunday afternoon.
Grandma and Lucy

Stephen and Granddad

Pat and his parents

Pat and his mom

Quick snapshot of me taken by Pat after I took all of the other pictures

Monday, September 01, 2008

Today's Work

I spent the day refinishing a dresser and bookshelf that were given to us.
(Thanks, Sandy!)
They started out bright red, yellow and blue, had a short period where they were primer white and then spray paint brown.
They ended up being a brown/cherry mottled color.

I am quite happy with the end result.
I had a few doubts along the way, and had to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up a few supplies mid-project (that's always a little frustrating), but at the end of this holiday, I'm happy that this job turned out the way that it did.
Pat spent the day hanging siding on the shed...and is exhausted tonight.
We definitely made the most of this day off!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Heart is Full

I found Stephanie Nielson's blog for a couple of years now, and she was consistently an inspiration to me. She always found joy in life and her family, and she did an excellent job sharing that joy with her blog readers.

A couple of weeks ago, she and her husband were in a plane crash and critically burned.

(It actually happened in my hometown, St. Johns, AZ.)

Stephanie and Christian have been in the hospital (Maricopa County Hosptal burn unit) and will remain there for many months, trying to recover from their burns and injuries.

Their four children are with extended family, and I cry every time I read about the transitions that are happening because of the joy and love that are being shown by and to the entire extended family.

If you read my blog, and haven't yet done so, you can donate to the Stephanie and Christian Nielson Recovery fund. (Their care is expected to cost well into the millions, with their insurance being maxed out soon).

Two other ways to donate are:
***Donate to the "Stephanie Nielson Fund" at any Wells Fargo.
***Donate at any Bank of America under the "Christian and Stephanie Nielson Rehab Fund."

Also, if you'd like to read about Stephanie and her family before the accident, her blog is

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vacation Days 4-10

We met up with Pat's brother Keith, and his family on Saturday at Thanksgiving Point.
It was so hot (the whole time we were in Utah!) that we decided to go through the dinosaur museum first.
It was a fantastic, kid-oriented museum!
The kids had a fantastic time and really enjoyed all of the dinosaurs and prehistoric life exhibits.Bekah and Isabella playing in the water/sand room.
There was a whole area that was devoted to sand/water play.
The idea is to replicate flooding/river flow/etc that covered the dinosaurs and allowed the fossils to be made. Samuel was so excited to climb on this lizard.
I actually have a picture of all of the kids around/on this's like he was begging to be climbed on.
Oh, no! A shark!
Later that afternoon, we headed on a hike with Lorin.
He took us up toward Silver Lake.
This was the view on the way to our hiking place.
Isn't it breathtaking?

The hike was along the side of a creek...and the kids had to stop multiple times to play in the ice cold water. The next day was Sunday, and after attending church with my mom, we headed up to a "cabin" over by Kamas to spend a couple of days with Coleen and her boys. It was a beautiful cabin...plently of space for all of us to spread out...and lots of beautiful views. The kids and their cousins enjoyed breakfast on the balcony.That afternoon, Coleen and I headed into Park City to hit the outlet mall there to do some very focused back-to-school shopping for Stephen. All of the kids and Pat went on a walk near the cabin. This is one of the photos they snapped along the way. Emily was in charge of the camera most of the way on this hike and we have about 20 botanical shots of the beautiful foilage along the way. Interesting to see what your kids think is "picture material". The next day, we headed up to one of Pat's family's favorite camping spots: Trial Lake. Pat was determined that we would make the hike to Star Lake, so we headed up that way after lunch. While the scenery was beautiful...the flies were awful! I've never been so bothered by bugs in my life. At least they weren't highly inclined to bite...(horse and deer flies, ugh!)This is one view of Star Lake. There are so many beautiful lakes in Utah...and beautiful areas surrounding them. Count your blessings my Utah friends.I snapped this shot as we were hiking out. Pat was teaching the family how to skip rocks, so they were searching for the right kind of skipping rocks.The next morning was our last at the cabin. I came out from getting ready to this sight: Yogamaster in the house (thanks to WiiFit). All of the kids saw him doing the yoga and joined in. It was priceless.
After an entire day of packing and cleaning the cabin, we headed down the hill, toward SLC, for a family picnic at Liberty honor of Diana and Isaac's birthdays. My little Isaac turned 1...and Diana's birthday was the next day. It was wonderful to see so much of our family...thank you so much for making the effort to be there!

Thursday we split up and both left the camera at home (I should have taken it with me!). Pat and the older kids went to Lagoon for the day, and my mom and I took the younger 3 on many adventures...including Chuck E. Cheese and Build-A-Bear. Both of those places were a new experience for Bekah and Sam...and they loved every minute of it. We were all exhausted at the end of the day, though.
Friday, we spent the day helping my mom clear room in her garage and put storage items in her "basement". It took a lot of time and energy, but the end result was well worth.
Our final item to finish up Friday afternoon was school shoe shopping. It was relatively painless...thanks to Famous Footwear and their buy one get one half off sale. It would nice to have more options here in NM...but we took advantage of the chance we had to shop somewhere other than Wal-Mart.
When we got back from shoe shopping, we started loading the Suburban for the drive home. We left pretty much on schedule, (4:30am) and hit Arches National Park on the way home. It is a beautiful park...lots to see from the road, and plenty of places to hike. We wanted another 5 or 6 hours to explore, but didn't have it in our schedule. Arches "cheese". Our final major stop of the day was at Four Corners National Monument. Here is our Four Corners "cheese" picture.
Just after this, the wind kicked up the dust so badly that the vendors started packing up their wares and heading home. It was an amazing dust/rain storm.
We finally pulled into our home about midnight on Saturday. 20 hours of traveling/sightseeing in one day was a little insane...but very worth it to be home. There really is no place like home.