My Family

My Family

Friday, October 04, 2013


It's been a little more than a week...and amazingly, I'm extremely happy with the results of my commitments mentioned on Sept. 23rd.

I definitely haven't been perfect...but WOW!
All I can say is, what a difference!

I have successfully kept my early morning time on Facebook/Pinterest down to under a half hour & when I check periodically throughout the day, it is typically a very quick on & off.
I'm reading a grand total of 3 blogs regularly, which takes about 5 minutes...and then I'm off & doing more important things.
Facebook is truly off of my phone, and all of a sudden, my phone is considerably less important to me.

I feel a renewed desire to develop my own creativity.
I'm engaging more fully with my children.
I'm more introspective and likely to keep an internal goal that I have set.
I'm generally happier.

So hasta la vista extensive computer time.
I'm moving on to productivity.

Can you join me?

Monday, September 23, 2013


For quite a while, I've been feeling prompted, driven, moved...whatever term you may use to limit my time on the computer.
It's an odd thing, really...because it truly is a rare occasion that I sit down to watch a movie...and there are no television shows that I'm willing to sacrifice my time to commit to watching regularly.
Put a laptop in my hand, however, and I'm sucked in.
Frequently checking Facebook and Pinterest...seeing what's changing in the online world.

Over the course of the past month, for the first time in 18 years, I've had a regular 2 hours worth of time that I have been able to spend doing whatever *I* want as my Natalie sleeps and all of my other kids are in school.
It's been AMAZING.

Suddenly, crafting at 10pm isn't my only option.
I've completed more projects in the past month and held more classes than I ever have before.
And I'm happy.
Happy, in an "I'm accomplishing something" sort of way.
(Not that raising children and taking care of their needs isn't an accomplishment, but it's an accomplishment that takes months & years to see the results.)

I'm not sure why it is I struggle so much with trying to follow what it is that I feel is God's path for me.  I knew 2 months ago that Facebook needed to be removed from my phone.
So I took it off.
And then I put it back on.
And then took it off again.
And then opened it in my Safari browser so that I could still access it easily, but not really put it back on my phone.
Hard-headed somewhat, wouldn't you say?

So, while I've been telling you changes were coming for a couple of months I've felt the Lord working on my heart, now is my time to truly commit...
First to myself,
then to the Lord,
and finally...because a couple of you asked about it, to you.

1) First and foremost, I will start my day with family devotional, family prayer (by 5:45!!) and then personal scripture study and personal prayer.
2) I will check my e-mails and Facebook messages second thing in the morning.  If there is any urgent business I will attend to it then.
3) If desired, I will spend about 2 hours in productive computer projects.  (These may include working on the computer...writing, organizing photos, paying bills, family history, even potentially blogging or scrapbooking in MDS...or other things I may not be thinking of yet) checking Facebook though.  (And I'm deleting almost all of the dozen blogs I've narrowed my list down to off of my bookmarks bar...very little take-away from the majority of them.)
4) After that...the computer will go off for a while.  I'm going to baby step toward getting my house in FlyLady's mission of the day will be on my agenda.

That's as far as I'm going to commit today.
I'll check in here within the week and let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck....and if you need me, call me.  :D

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I made the choice this spring that regardless of how tight our finances were or how hard I had to work, that I would find a way to get to the Stampin' Up! convention in Salt Lake City this summer.
My oldest daughter's 16th birthday was on the opening day of convention, so I had planned on flying up late that night after spending the day with her.
In early April, she decided to attend an all-girls conference called Time to Blossom during the week of her birthday.
She worked incredibly hard to earn money to pay for it our family budget constraints are definitely a hinderance to us paying for something like that outright.
Once I knew she was committed and wouldn't be home on her birthday, I felt no worries or concerns about leaving in time to be there for ALL of convention.
In the end, she had an AMAZING week and birthday, and I LOVED convention & all it taught me.

I have an AMAZINGLY supportive husband and family.
I am so grateful for them and how they provide strength, help and inspiration as needed.
I have gained some of my closest friends as we have stamped together, and I truly count my customers as my dear friends.
Both of these groups made it possible for me to go to convention this year...each "stamping penny" was put toward my plane ticket and the cost of registration, and my family "held down the fort" while I was gone.

I continue to be amazed that I am doing something I love so dearly.
Teaching others to find themselves...reconnect with their precious to me.
It's the true reason I do what I do.
I believe that women need opportunities to connect...and just create...and I have been given the tools to provide those opportunities for others.
What an incredible blessing...and NOT one I take for granted.

I learned that even in a group of 6,000 women, I am unique & have gifts and abilities that God needs me to use.
My goal is to listen to how He talks to me & my heart and then DO those things.
That's the hard part.

Ultimately, convention, for me, was about rediscovering myself all over again...and being happy with who I am and the path I am on.

Pretty worth the price of admission, wouldn't you say?

Friday, May 03, 2013

This Boy

He's not quite a boy any more.
We're down to just a couple of weeks before he graduates from high school and then he's off on his newest adventures.

It's interesting to reflect...for in my mind's eye I can see him as a newborn, as a toddler, as a little boy, getting baptized, receiving the Aaronic Priesthood, and turning 16...all within just a blink of an eye.
All of the characteristics that melded together to create the young man he is today have been there most of his life...and have been refined in a way that is remarkable.

It's nice to know we have eternity together...
Letting go is going to be hard.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

On following

I'm reminded often that "The Lord is in the details".
From where we live to those whom we live near & interact with on a regular basis, our paths don't cross by chance, and our actions do not simply impact us alone.

I have wondered lately, as I have watched my father-in-law leave this world what impact I will have on the world around me.
It's not important to me to be known by many...but rather, I pray that those who did know me will be better for having associated with me.
If I can buoy others up, strengthen them in their weaknesses, and follow the path I feel the Lord has for me, it will be enough.

If I could dream large though, even for a minute or two:
I would love to write...more than I do.
I would love to be a motivational speaker, and strengthen & guide others on their life path.
I would love to serve a mission or two (or three).
I would love to raise my family in righteousness and watch my grandchildren grow up near me.
I would love to lose over 100 pounds and be able to do many things actively with my husband and family into my later years.
I would love to have an original card design published.

But most importantly, I would like to go to bed each night knowing that I had done what the Lord needed me to do...
following the still small voice that prompts me in His path & in His way.
And if my dreams don't come to fruition, ultimately, I will have the peace of knowing God knows the details that will bring me the most happiness and the most joy eternally.

And so...I trust.
And pray to hear His voice each day.
And follow.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Upon Awakening

Sleep evaded me last night.
Fitful tossing & turning made for interrupted & chaotic dreams (none of which I can remember now).

But then, I got to sleep in this morning...
a full 30 minutes longer than usual.

And as I sit here on the computer, clicking through my stamping blogs, the thought enters my mind:
Why do you do this?
Does it serve a purpose for you anymore?
(To turn the computer on first thing...before the kids are even gone and surf through ideas that ultimately 98% of the time end up having no bearing on my creativity).

I tell you...
Changes...they are ahead for me.
I can feel it.

So today, I will be evaluating all things technology laden and how they are impacting my life and the importance of them long term.

I'm not going away...that I promise.
But my routine will likely change in the days ahead.
Especially my morning routine.

For upon awaking, I want to feel focused and motivated.
Strengthened and blessed...and able to walk the path the Lord would have me on.
Not distracted and unengaged with those whom I love best, and most especially, not so distant from the Lord that I struggle to hear His voice & His direction in my life.

Monday, April 08, 2013

It's Over

General Conference that is.

I had high hopes this year that THIS conference would be the one where all of my children sat, listened, conversed politely with each other and with us, and truly enjoyed every moment of the 2 day conference.

My hopes weren't dashed, but they certainly weren't met either.

I don't know that they ever will be.
Perhaps they are unrealistic.

And yet, perhaps, those expectations lead us to something that we wouldn't achieve without having set them in the first place.

I spent a couple of hours in the week leading up to conference printing off packets & activities for each child...bought new notebooks (on CLEARANCE nonetheless), and new pens and crayons so that we would have everything at our fingertips.

We chose the word PREPARE as our family word to focus for 2013, and I definitely felt that I was fulfilling that on Friday as I looked at what I had ready for my children for Saturday and Sunday.

And Saturday morning, I wasn't disappointed.  My kids all gathered in the loft, without prodding or encouragement, and found their packet and acted like they were going to actually listen...and they did!  I couldn't believe it.  It was the moment (well, the hours) I had dreamed of for 17 years.  Even the littlest two were compliant and pleasant.  HUGE, HUGE, HUGE for my family.

By Sunday afternoon, I felt like a completely different person in a completely different family.
Even the few minutes that President Monson spoke in the afternoon session was riddled with "Stop that please!" or "Be QUIET!" and finally..."Please just go into your room."

And that's my reality.

So I'll focus on one talk at a time, first for myself, and then prayerfully, consider what it is my family needs to learn...and we'll teach portions of it, 10 minutes at a time in Family Home Evening, or in quiet, individual moments with each child.

That much I can do.

And if I alone am changed, then it was enough.