Friday, October 12, 2012

Moving on..forward...ahead or whatever

Moving on
hmm, this is a recurring thought for me. recently, I attended the funeral of my sweet niece, 11 year old Maddie. I have thought about what it takes to move forward after a great tragedy. I have thought about moving past my past. I have reflected on moving past my kids behaviors and seeing my family as a family and not as a therapists dream. :)
Moving on, is easier said than done. Logically, I can see that there are times that I need to have a do over, or reset. I can see that but letting go is hard. Doing the letting go and moving forward? even harder.
I have been known to hold a grudge. I disliked that horribly, in myself. So, I have worked for years on letting go and moving forward. Guess what? the amazing thing is I actually felt good inside when I was able to let go of hurt, anger, frustration. Easy? I don't think so! worth it? Absolutely.

One of the hardest parts of experiencing a tragedy is people telling you they are sorry. I know people mean well, they really truly do but, I am not sorry.
These moments make me.
They build me up.
These experiences make me stronger than I ever thought to be.
Sorry? doesn't even begin to touch it. I am so thankful.
Weird, right?
But, I can really say this "I AM THANKFUL".
I have faced unfairness, bitterness, blame, anger, hate, frustration, misery, hurt, loss and so much more.
And guess what? I have prevailed. Not only prevailed but, I have learned how to deal with these emotions. I have learned how to help myself and others.
That makes me strong.
Moving on takes courage. Moving on takes strength. Moving forward takes a person willing to see the bigger picture. Moving ahead takes someone resilient enough to bend and flow with change.
Am I happy these things happen? No way. However, I understand that all of these experiences are for my good. They are for me to improve.
When we are able to look at life in this way, happiness and joy are quick to follow. That is because, you are able to see clearly,
"I have this trial but, in the end, I am going to be a better person for it".
Peace and contentment will follow and your misfortune will pass. Slow as molassess sometimes but, it WILL pass.
Thankfully, we don't live in this misery forever.
whatever you have to do to bring peace happiness in your life, do it!
Forgiveness comes
Respect that we don't know what someone else has gone through and what they have lived through to shape them.
keep in mind that experiences can be good or bad depending on how you view them.

So, move on...move ahead and move forward.
Goodness awaits you.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Well, I have been so busy that I haven't had time to write. But, I have been reflecting on the challenges that we all have. If only it was as easy as reading that sign and knowing that a particular challenge was coming my way soon. :)
Now, I enjoy the blessing of being a mom. This is both a blessing and a great challenge. The challenge comes when I can't keep my emotions from mixing with my kids. They also test your patience and their boundaries. Some days I want to hang my head and say "enough". there are days when I literally feel that I can not take one more thing.
Then, the moment is over and I am able to pick myself back up and go forward with faith.
Challenges come in many different forms and in many different ways. Some of us experience physical challenges. Some, emotional challenges. Some, mental challenges. Some a mixture of a few of these. There are many different kinds financial, jobs....well, you get the picture.
I am experiencing a big challenge right now. It might not seem so to you but to me it is huge. My challenge has been time or lack thereof. There does not seem to be enough time to do all that needs to be done or I simply don't have another ounce of energy to spare.
The light does come, you know. Sometimes you have to experience a longer challenge because you really need to learn the lesson behind the challenge. Don't lose faith. Don't lose hope. The light will come. There is a song I love so much, here are the words:
The message of this moment is so clear;
And as certain as the rising of the sun.
If your world is filled with darkness doubt and fear,
Just hold on, Hold on; the light will come.
Ev'ryone who's ever tried and failed
Stands much taller when the victory's won.
And those who've been in darkness for a while
Kneel much longer when the light has come.

It's a lesson ev'ry one of us must learn;
That the answers never come without a fight.
And when it seems you've struggled far too long,
Just hold on, hold on; there will be light.

Hold on. Hold on. The light will come.

When you feel trapped inside a never-ending night.
If you've forgotten how it feels to feel the light,
If you're half crazy thinking you're the only one
Who's afraid the light will never really come

Just hold on. Hold on! The light will come.

The message of this moment is so clear;
And as certain as the rising of the sun.
If your world is filled with darkness doubt and fear.
Just hold on, hold on, the light will come

Know that we all have our own challenges and struggles and we can be a support and strength to those around us, if we can share.
Sometimes, the message is "lose yourself in service to others and you forget about yourself"
When challenges enter your life, remember you are not alone. You are a warrior for the Lord. Lose yourself in Him and your self doubts and struggles will seem bearable.
When you see those around you know that they have similar thoughts and feelings that you do. You may think my challenge is easy but to me....
Love those around you. Stand Strong in your faith. Believe that the Lord will make those challenges bearable, He will share your burden. He may not let it go entirely but, He will make it manageable.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The real deal

This one is rather personal but, I thought I would share a day in my (ideal )life , it doesn't always happen this way. (not that anyone cares but, these blogs are more for me than anyone else)
We get up bright and early every morning (although the kiddos are sleeping until almost 7:15)
Then I say my morning prayer, ride my stationary bike a grueling 2 miles (hey, when you are out of shape any excercise seems grueling. Personal scripture study (hopefully) and the day gets off running. we have medicines to dole out, breakfast to eat, family scripture and prayer time, morning chores, and kids getting dressed, teeth brushed, hair done, beds made, rooms picked up, 3 diapers changed 3 small kiddos dressed.
Now, if I can make it through all of this (usually we are done by 9:30) without arguing with someone (next to impossible), raising my voice (which happens too often for my liking) or dealing with food hoarding, rough housing, screaming children (there are some little ones here), stealing, then it has been a good morning. .But, I usually deal with more than a few of them.
next, is to start laundry, scoop the dog poo out of the backyard, watch John work for a bit, check FB :), changing sheets (for some beds), putting laundry away, doing morning dishes this is amidst the cries for attention, the cries of can I ...?can I ....?can I...? he is touching me, he is tackling me, I am getting hit witha  pillow, laughter, giggles and hugs and kisses. then, we hit 11 am.

There is no comparison in our lives. We all have specific talents and then, Heavenly Father gives us a little more to extend our talents so that we can carry out His will. The thing is, I love my life. You wouldn't know it if you came over sometimes but, there is no place I would rather be than in the chaos noise and confusion of my life.
Now, just so you know, it is not as chaotic as you might think and mostly, I am a director of things that need to happen. The house isn't always clean (well, it is on Wed. nights when our fabulous Amy comes and cleans for me). So, if you want to see a clean house come after 9pm on Wed. cause that is about as long as it lasts. :)
I get frustrated, I mean really? why does no one flush the toliet, put toliet paper on a roll, turn off a light or close an exterior door? I just thought that was common sense, guess not.
I eat frosting from a spoon and ice cream from the container. I am lucky to get a shower and dressed some days. I drink CF diet coke by the 2 liter (quick). I read books when I can and would eat out every night if I could. (I am a burger/pizza girl no exotic taste buds here just kid ones)

Life throws us twists, turns and curves. It picks us up and drops us down. But, where are we emotionally when that happens? Do we still have faith, do we still trust in Heavenly Father's plan? Or do we give up and complain about our lot, and why me?

Then, after a full day of hashing out problems and stopping arguments, gently and lovingly correcting our children (I wish), cleaning up the spills, changing the last diaper (for an hour), taking out the trash, cleaning up a dirty house and cleaning it up again and repeating myself for a hundereth time. It is bedtime. we say prayers, we read a book, we give hugs and kisses, (i wish I could say we tuck in but, I am usually just too tired, sometimes I make it though). The house becomes quiet. I write a paper, while talking to John and eating ice cream (from a bowl, i promise) the sound of silence reigns. I can hear myself think, I can stay in the bathroom as long as I want, I can read my scriptures or listen to a general conference talk (the option is there, I mean).
While silence reigns and peace presides all I can think about is, while I love the quiet it is too quiet and I miss my kiddos. John and I kneel down and say a prayer thanking the Lord for a great day full of safety and joy. Then, we fall asleep (after sharing a few of the more humorous moments from the day and some shared  chuckles and laughter).
In the morning we happily wake (okay not really happily but, I do manage to get up) eager (might be streching that a bit) to see the kids and see what today will bring, all the while thanking Heavenly Father for providing me with so much more than i deserve.


Well, with my husband gone for a week I have been thinking a lot about partnerships.
I am thinking specifically of husband/wife partnerships.
I have been blessed to enjoy a great partnership with my husband for 21 years.That doesn't mean each and every one of those days have been shared in an equal partnership. Some day, he has to take up the extra slack and some days it is me who has too.
That is what a partnership is. Webster defines it as "A relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, as for the achievement of a specified goal."
Well, that is certainly true in my life. We, as parents and spouses, are reaching for a specified goal. Your goal is probably different than mine. That is okay. But, we (your family) are working together to reach the shared goal that we have established.
I am also in a partnership with Heavenly Father. John and I have a shared partnership that is together and seperate from each other. That is interesting. I have goals that are mine alone and John and I have shared goals.
there is never one person dominate over another in this type of partnership. The definition states a mutual cooperation and responsibility. Never should one person "rule or reign" over another. There should be a shared trust, a shared life together, a shared opportunity to grow and meet our goals together.
So, basically, I guess what I am trying to say is how grateful I am to have those shared responsibilities. It takes a lot of work in  marriage. It is hard work raising a family. The reason is because they are both so important. There is nothing on this Earth more important than these familial relationships. they are not always perfect, they are not always fun but they are so essential.
I love reading "The Family A proclamation to the World" the three paragraphs that I am going to quote explain my thoughts on marriage and family:

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

When I read this, I realize how important a family is to Heavenly Father's plan for me. In a world with constantly changing values, family life is often attacked viciously. It just testifies to me how important family life is.
Partnerships that are based on love, mutual respect and trust are the foundations that we lay for our children. Having grown up in a divorced home, I realize more than ever how much that "scarred" me. The decision to divorce was neccessary and I don't condemn it but there are many times we throw our realtionships away because we don't want to work on it. It is too hard. Well, you are right. it is hard because there is such value in the return. If we endure and try to get rid of our prideful nature, we can make marriages and families work.
Whenever I get upset, I have noticed that it mostly boils down to pridefulness, for me. I don't get the time to do....When will it be my turn to...why does that family seem to get everything while i have to...
I see the effects that a destruction of a family creates.I see it every day. Our families are worth our best effort. When we are tired or discouraged try harder. Don't give up. It is never hopeless.
I treasure my 3 way partnership. Cause, I tell you, I could not do this alone. Nor, will I ever have to because of my relationship with a loving Heavenly Father.

Monday, June 25, 2012

what do we do in the summer time?

My Summer Plans

For the last 6 years, I have come up with a schedule of activities to keep my kiddos and I happy and busy for the summer. It has helped us all to look forward to summer and not dread it. well, with 15 children still at home this has become a fun way to enjoy time with them. This year, has not been my best because of a myriad of things but, I am looking to change that for the rest of the summer.

Step one: what do you like to do?  Taht is how we start planning. what kinds of things do you want to experience in a summer? anything you have always wanted to see?

Step two: What will your schedule look like? we do activities in the morning, have lunch then swim or relax in the afternoon. No more than 30 minutes of electronics in one day total not per person. And 1 hour of TV.

Step three: Plan! Plan! Plan! Look for opportunites that are afforable and kid friendly. We like FREE the best. Also, consider family passes. Hogle Zoo in SLC costs for one visit.
Seniors (65 and older):$9.75
Children (3 to 12):$9.75
Children 2 and younger:Free                                      
For a family member ship for one year, it costs $67.00 and they have many "sister" zoos in other states that are free or reduced costs

So, here is what our schedule looks like :
Week One  Art week: explore difefrent art mediums every day, go to an art museum (BYU has a free one), make tie die shirts, make a pet rock (remember those?) etc..

Week 2: Pirate/Knight week: explore life on the high seas and in a castle: Make paper hats and swords. Make a castle out of boxes, buy some eye patches, talk like pirates, make a lunch that ties in with the theme, read books about pirates or knights/princesses, make crowns

Week 3: Service: plan some service opportunities, see how a soup kitchen works, tour a local food bank, make donations, weed a garden, clean a room etc.. read about kids that do service around the country

Week 4: Celebrate the USA, write a serviceman/woman, make a flag out of popsicle sticks, visit veterans or gravesites of veterans, watch the Hope of America pageant on youtube, fireworks, make a cool dessert for 4th of July.

Week 5: adventure time: go on a hike, visit a tourist trap (hehe), go on a picnic, put up the tent in the back yard, tell campfire stories, have smores, tell stories with flashlights

Week 6: Bug/animal week: go on a bug hunt, have a picnic, make bread animals or bugs, have ants on a log or otehr bug treats, make coffee filter butterfly magnets

Week 7: Pioneer week. No electronics for 24 hours. Mmake dinner by grilling or by dutch oven, read about pioneers, learn pioneer games, watch a movie like Legacy or 17 Miracles that talk about pioneer life, go on a hike (pretend to be a pioneer) , visit a local pioneer village in SLC it is This is the PLace in Michigan it is Greenfield Village

Week 8: Carnival week: let your kids put togther a carnival, invite friends, make signs take donations for a charity, have simple games download carnival music, rent a cotton candy machine, amke baloon animals,learn to juggle, visit a carnival

Then we also incorporate a once a week trip to the library to participate in their summer program. teh governors summer reading program (when you finish, they send you a certificate and a free happy meal) we go to 7 peaks water park and fun things like that.

Think about lazy time...what do you see in the clouds game, things like that
or you could pick a favorite book and build a theme around it.

have fun...your family is worth it

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Oh, I couldn't do that, isn't it hard?"

I hear this a lot when people find out we do foster care. "oh, I couldn't do that, isn't it hard?"
So I decided to share a few realities and facts about my experience of doing foster care.

So, let me start at the beginning. We didn't start doing foster care in the hopes that our family would be ginormous and allow all kinds of people to stare at us like we are a freak of nature. We started to do foster care because we had 4 beautiful children and wanted to help other children. We thought all of the children would rightfully, go back to their birth family. Obviously, that wasn't always the case but, we commited to these children when they came and after 9-12 mths they were part of the family and they stayed.
People tell me often, "Well at least you got your children the easy way...(meaning, I guess, no labor?)" Well, you are right. I went to bed Monday night and my family was "normal" by Tuesday night at dinner I had more children, who were/were not  clothed appropriately, had to find car seats. maybe diapers, beds, clothing and a variety of other things. They were most likely sullen or outright angry in temperment. They did NOT want to be in our home at all, they wanted to be at their home. They did not wnat me to touch them, bath them or cuddle with them, they wanted their birth parent. So, if you think that was easy...okay.
Then, "what if they have to go back? I could never do that." Well, you are right, sometimes they get to go home..Joyous day! Is it sad? absolutely but, let me tell you something, I am living with children that can't go home and they are angry, hurt and confused. This does "fade" with time and they do start to find joy in life again but they still think of random things at random times and life becomes hard again. So, is it sad when they leave? yes, but my momentary sadness is better than their hurt for long term.
I am consistently amazed at the resiliency of children. Not only that but they can be so incredibly loving and giving of themselves once you crack through the hurt/anger and confusion. My children are so welcoming, helpful and supportive of "new" children entering our home. It is stunning to watch. The bonds with siblings forge over time. They call each other their brothers and sisters. There is no difference to them. They fight and argue like siblings and they laugh and joke with each other like friends. They try so hard to mold their lives into something new and acceptable. These children are each a miracle and joy in our life. I have learned far more from watching them and experiencing them then I could ever teach them.
Does this all mean our lives are sunshine and roses? How I wish somedays but, then again, if life were like that I wouldn't have been able to experience the ride we are on right now. there are arguments. There is anger. There is craziness. There is jopy, There is sadness. There are tears. Basically, we are like every other family we just have a lot more emotions happening at the same time.
My favorite question of all time has to be, "are they all yours?" really? I know we don't all match in skin color but let me assure you, just like your children are yours these children are mine. They are either mine permanently or temporarily but rest assured they are mine. Heavenly Father allowed me to have them and help them in any way I can. I bathe them, feed, them, cuddle them and love them. And, I feel like that makes them mine. I don't ever really forget any of them. So..they are a part of me and my life. Can I offer a suggestion? Please, don't say things like that in front of them. It belittles their connection to me and my family. I know what you mean and you are just curious but they don't and it hurts when it is pointed out (repeatedly, cause you aren't the only one) that they might not "belong" in some way.
So, "Isn't it hard?" Yea, sometimes it is. My kiddos come in pairs or triples or quads. The first month I am always dying. It is so hard to get all of the appointments in and trying to get them on schedules and helping my other children adjust. Confusion, anxiety, and tears abound. My children find it hard initally to bring new children in. It is not because they don't want them here, it is because sometimes it triggers their move here. They don't mean to be upset, it is just a fact/way of life. Then, we all get adjusted and settled to a new routine. Do you remember what it was like when something significant happened in your life? I am speaking specifically of a new baby? Do you remember how that turns your life upside down? Well, try 3 or 4 at a time. Our last placement was a 2, 1 and 4 month old. That was hard. But, we plowed through and they are all doing so well. They are truly a part of our family. In essence, there is nothing easy about being a foster parent. There is also nothing easy about being a parent. I don't see myself as a foster parent. I see myself as a mom trying my best to provide the emotional and physical support that my children need. And, they are ALL my children. I cry when they leave (and for a while after) and eat ice cream when they leave. I find some random item of theirs and I start crying again. Much like when my 3 oldest children moved out. I would go in their rooms and cry because it is sad. But, we are all on a journey and I am not always the best fit for them or them for me.

My children are worth all of my joy, sadness and love. I hurt with them, I cry with and for them. Just like I do for my birth children.
So, "isn't it hard?" My standard answer, "If you do it right...Absolutely."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Choice and accountability

Well, we may or may not be adding 3 more little ones to our family. So this started me thinking about choices. The choices people make and the choices I make.
Choices- Heavenly Father gives us all free agency. Free Agency allows each one of us the power to choose for ourselves. Heavenly Father doesn't demand we make changes He loves and encourages us to make changes but allows us our choice.
We have control over our choices but we don't have control over our consequences. That is such a hard lesson for people to learn. they often feel that they weren't allowed to make a choice and that circumstances put them into this situation. or better yet? bad luck.
I am not sure I believe in luck. I believe in blessings and I believe in good choices resulting in good consequences. Does this mean if I live a good life bad things won't happen to me? I was reminded of something the other day about the wise man building his house upon a rock and the follish man building his house upon the sand...The rain came and fell upon both of them but, the difference is what is our foundation built upon? sand or rock?
People think sometimes that they are the "only ones that have bad things happen to them". I say,"Bull".
We ALL have bad things happen to us. the difference is how we choose to respond to those bad things. The difference is do we make necessary changes to reach out for the good or do we allow life to get us down and to heap burdens upon us? I have many "bad" things that happen to me but, being negative doesn't serve me well or serve my family. It never makes me feel better to commiserate with something and complain about my life and problems. I do share complaints with my friends but, it still doesn't fix nor serve me well to do so.
Getting back to choices, I have made many choices that have brought me to this moment on this day in this second and I wouldn't change a one of them. The reason? Because it has made me who I am. I can certainly sit down and bemoan the fact that my parents are divorced and alcohol has played a part in my dad's life  for more years than I can remember. But, that won't change the facts. Nor, will it help me in any way. The experience has actually allowed me to understand partially how my adoptive children feel being brought into a new environment and not living with a birth parent. i can also understand (to some degree) what their life may have been like. i can relate. and, I won't even get started on John's expereinces and what we have been through together.
No one has an easy life without challenges and struggle, NO ONE!
Your choices determine your life and your attitude.
It is so hard for me to witness the destruction of a family. Unfortunately, with the lifestyle I lead I see this happen often. Let me repeat this is NEVER an easy thing to witness. While I love the children in my home so much, it makes me so sad knowing the struggles and heartache everyone has to endure in the future because of choices.
Kids deserve a loving and stable environment. Seeing the children grow and progress in my home makes me feel happy but also sad that their birth parents don't have the opportunity to see this progression. I ache for the birth families and for the children. (of course, that is one of the reasons we now have 18 children in our home). I can't ignore a child.
Ultimately my choices have led me to be doing foster care and caring for 59 children now. And a birth parents choices have led them to the place they are in.
Regardless, Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. He wants strong families. Our society does so much to weaken the importance of family and family life. It is a sad state when we don't value the fundamental unit of society, a family.

But then again, we all have choices don't we?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I am more than...

I am more than a number on a scale.
I am more than a wife.
I am more than a student.
I am more than a mom.(of some stinkin cool kiddos)
I am more than a homemaker.
I am more than a housekeeper.
I am more than a substitute teacher.
I am more than the gray in my hair.
I am more than the wrinkles on my face.
I am more than a good friend.
I am more than a confidant.
I am more than a smiling face.
I am more than a facebook status.
I am more than a blog post.
I am more than a cook.
I am more than a pant size.
I am more than....

I am more than I thought I could be but, not as much as I want to be. I am more confident than I though possible. I am more organized than I ever imagined. I am more...

I think we should all realize that we are more. We often compare our weakness with someones strength. I am more than that. I am more than gossip.

I think we should know our value in the world. We don't have to be supermodels or rich to have a fantastic life. We have a fantastic life if we allow ourselves to.

My husband is great at reminding me of some of my strengths. It is good to know sometimes that what I do matters. What you do matters too.

What is your list? What are you more than? There is one that values you more than you know. More than you can comprehend.

I am worth more. I am worth the love I feel. I am worth compliments.

I am of worth and value to my Heavenly Father. I am a treasured daughter of a Heavenly Father. I am more.....

So are you....

Friday, June 1, 2012

replace fear with...

I have started a new blog post three times already. I haven't had the right topic so, the words haven't come very easy.
I am thinking this is the right fit for this moment.
Why is it so hard to learn lessons? A lot of the time, I know what I should be doing and I know why I should be doing it but, I don't. I also know the results of not doing what I should. You would think I would have learned by now.
I was talking to a sweet young lady the other day about, well...basically fear. (at least that's what I got out of it). FEAR:is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat.
Fear restricts us from who we need to become. Fear can motivate us to do good but that should not be a motivating factor. If you feel fear, you need to reach out to your Heavenly Father. John always says (I am not sure if I am quoting someone else but I am giving credit to John) : "replace your fear with an act of faith." How do you do that though?
How do you look at something that has happened in your life and not fear it? You trust in you Heavenly father. You trust that He will carry you. You trust that He will never let you fall. You trust...
Trust is an interesting word as well because it can be scary and hard to trust people. How do you replace that fear of trust with an act of faith? I don't have all of the answers for your life. (Unfortunate, I know).
I can only tell you how things have gone down in my life and the examples from my husband's life.
I can only tell you that many fear inducing things have happened over our lifetimes. Some days are down right hard. But, we joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1993, together. That began our journey of overcoming fear. For me, finding the strength and stability this church has to offer, made me start to replace fear with faith. My doubts have withered (but not gone away entirely). My life has meaning, purpose and direction becuase Heavenly Father became my compass, my guide, my iron rod.When you have that kind of influence in your life fear tends to take a back seat. Because you trust that there is someone greater than you.
That is where trust starts...You start to trust in the one who can and will never leave you. Then, you trust in more things little by little.
Fear is interesting, I think. You think you have a handle on things and then fear creeps its way back in.
This is probably disjointed thoughts and makes no sense to anyone but me.
I was just thinking about this beautiful lady who doubts herself and what she can become. I am here to say mostly to myself and her that we are all scared of things especially if you have lived through hard times. But replace that fear with trust and faith. Things will work out. It will all work out. At times like these, I understand why hard things happened to me. Because, it helps me to relate to others in similar situations. I know what it is like. It isn;t easy to overcome fear and it can linger in your life. I know that I have hope and faith that the one day the fear will completely dissipate. That love will overpower that fear. I will be filled with light and love as I put my trust in Him.
I have been blessed with a great family who teaches me so much more than I could ever teach them. How blessed I have been and continue to be when I trust what He has planned for me. I never would have thought it possible for me to have this many children. But, I do and it is because I trust that the Lord will keep his part of teh promise. I will do this earthly job and He will help me in all areas I need.
So, replace fear with faith. Pray until you feel like praying then pray some more. fear will slowly be replaced by the light that shines inside of you as you are able to free yourself from the overwhelming fear that fills you.
You are a beloved child of a Heavenly Father that loves you and as such put your trust in Him, He will allow that trust to flow to those around you. Seek out the good.
Fill your cup so that it overflows and radiates the joy within. Forget about the things you can't change. You lived this life for a reason that you will come to know and appreciate one day. If I didn't have my expereinces how could I possibly understand the hurt that my children feel? how could I say," you know what I have been there and it stinks!"
Fear and doubts do not come from Heavenly Father. They will always come but one person seeks to exploit those weaknesses and one person seeks to strengthen them. So, who will you follow? Who will you change for?That is for you to decide
"But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


My oldest child was married this weekend. My oldest son took leave this weekend and surprised me for a 38 hour visit. Aleceeya took care of the little guys for me for 2 days. It was an amazing weekend.
My thoughts have run the gamut this week along with my emotions.
My daughter is no longer solely mine. I have to share her now with her husband. My role in her life has shifted. UGH! That is painful.
At the same time, I share in her joy. Wow...

I have a son who sacrificed so much to try and visit me and surprise me for the weekend. I wasn't expecting that at all. When he walked in through the front door, I thought I was seeing things. I couldn't believe I had the privilege of seeing him again. It reminds me of what it will feel like to see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again. I wish I could express the utter sense of joy and love that I felt in that one small moment.
Moments...I guess that is what I have been thinking about.
Moments in time.
This moment was beautiful. All i wanted to do was hug my son and I was granted that privilege again. Know that when your children get bigger it is harder. They leave, they come back, they have problems that you can't solve. They are a part of you and yet they have their own life to lead seperately from you. that is very hard. You are not the center anymore.
So, back to moments.
There are moments in our lives when you feel like you can not bear the weight of your trials another second.
There are moments of such pure joy that you think life could not get any better.
There are moments filled with such regret that you are not sure you can make things right.
Moments of heartache, moments of peace, contentment, happiness, and perfection.
Each and every moment, though, is an opportunity to re-evaluate what life is about and how to achieve this feeling again or how to improve so I don't feel this way again.
To often we strive for that moment of perfection. What we don't realize is that trying to attain perfection is not necessary to have a great life. The only perfect person was the Savior. Even He didn't experience a perfect life. But, he did have moments. Just like we do.
Moments that remind us that this is why we are here.
I had a few moments this past weekend when I thought, "I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve. This is what my life can be like everyday as I strive to return to my Heavenly Father". It was a glimpse or a moment of the pure love of Christ. I felt that love by being blessed to have all of my children with me for a few days.
It was overwhelming. I am not sure my mortal body could experience that depth of love and emotion everyday. I certainly would like to try and that is why we have moments.
What is your moment?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Let Them Be Little

I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand.
You felt so good in it; no bigger than a minute.
How it amazes me you're changin' with every blink.
Faster than a flower blooms, they grow up all too soon.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give 'em hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

I never felt so much in one little tender touch.
I live for those kisses, your prayers an' your wishes.
An' now you're teachin' me how only a child can see.
Tonight, while we're on our knees, all I ask is:

Please, let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

The so innocent, precious soul:
You turn around, an' it's time to let them go.

So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give 'em praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let them sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little.

Let them be little.

I have been listening to this song lately by Billy dean. I always thought my young children would never grow up. I thought they would be little forever. I had my friends tell me to "enjoy this because they grow up so fast". I thought "Really? when? cause you have no idea what it is like. "
Now that 3 of my children are graduated and "on their own", I have to say they were right.
I rushed and rushed and while I enjoyed them, I am not sure I appreciated the simple joy they bring to my life.
I have the chance to change that with 15 children still under 13. This time I am trying to enjoy them more. I spend more time cuddling and less time mopping.
I spend more time playing cats cradle and less worrying about making dinner.
I like to sit and read witha  child or two cuddled up with me than worry about getting the laundry done.
I don't always do great with this because I like to live in a clean house too.
It is fun to be the one they come to when they have good grades to share and funny stories that happened at school.
I was so busy trying to teach them how to do things that would make them more independent that I forgot to let them be little more.
Now, my oldest will be married in a few days with a little one of her own on the way. I will encourage her to let me enjoy this little one. I hope I can instill the importance of enjoying the moments that happen with her little ones.
The Lord put so much into our little ones. I have a beautiful little one now that smiles at me whenever we make eye contact. Her whole body smiles and I can't help but be overwhelemed with love, joy and peace when I see that.
I know that my other children had the same effect on me but I have forgotten among the arguing, dirty looks, and rebelliousness that occurs as the seek their independence.
It isn't coincidence that you have the life you do with your little ones. You were entrusted by the Lord to raise them. this is no small committment ore responsibility. You can be assured that problems will happen at every age.
I was telling John that I wish the biggest problem I had with my older children was a dirty diaper ir messy cupboards. I would trade it back. I can't do that though. i have to figure out these older ages just like I had to figure out the younger ones.
Enjoy the age they are. It doesn't mean that you have to be happy that they have drawn on the walls, or emptied the toliet paper roll AGAIN, or that they flushed the remote but, I promise there is humor to be found if you look for it.
Laugh, lay and play with your babies because I promise, "they will grow up so fast and you will wish for this time again". We are always looking ahead that we sometimes miss what is right in front of us. We think " i have to teach them this now because later..." That is true. But, it doesn't all have to be about formal teaching. You are teaching so much more when we enjoy their success, find humor in the mess and relax with them.
You are so important in your childs life. I do promise that you will forget the messes they created and you will wistfully reflect on their cuteness and what you did together. You are raising the whole child not just a part.
Love them more and Let Them be long as you can.

Monday, April 30, 2012

How do you define service?

So, I was at the Geneva Heights Family History Library last night. I have been our wards Family History Consultant for 8 years now. (I think I have almost beat the Stake President).
I volunteer there on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays. I love it! I started off with a a couple of hundred names in my family history, now I have 3,000. That is a good chunk of names.
Anyway, the last 2 Sundays I have been working on indexing. Last Sunday, I indexed part of the 1940 census (as an aside, one of the easiest I have ever indexed). Last night, I indexed World War II draft registration cards. That was fun. I registered a whole bunch of Chinese men who were living in the United States. Sorry, I digress.
A young lady came in wanting to get started on her Family History. She was looking for a connection for her great grandmother. She was trying to find out if the record she had was the right lady. Well, we found out it wasn't. Then, we found several records that were and that listed additional siblings (she didn't know about) and her great great grandmother lived next door so, we were able to get a jump start on the next generation for her. All thanks to the Census records.
Now, a person could obviously see that this is service. It made me feel great to help her. She was so excited that this could be the person  they have been looking for.
I started thinking about service. i do service everyday. Not formally but, every meal I make, every diaper I change, every item I pick up is service.
I don't look at my day to day life as doing service. I think of it more like my job. I felt so much joy, as I usually do, when I provided her with some service. I should be feeling that same joy at home if I look at my life as a service mission.Have you ever heard anyone talk about their mission like this,"gosh! i couldn't believe of the laundry i had to do for those people!" "if i have to change one more diaper for this family, I am going to scream."? of course not, i could go clean someone elses house all day long and feel a profound sense of joy and fulfillment but, why don't I feel that way at home all the time?
I think it is because I have been looking at my life in the wrong way.
I look at the repetitiveness and the routine of it and loose sight of the valuable service I am performing each and every day.
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture. It just has to be done with love. I can manage that. Because, there is certainly no one in this world I love more than my family.
So don't look at your responsibilities as a chore or obligation. Look at them as a chance to service those that you love the most.
I know it isn't easy when there is whining, arguing and fighting but if your fmaily begins to see the joy you have in serving them, I believe there attitudes  while chnage. Your home life will become what we all desire, a heaven on earth. Where you can be peaceful and relaxed and enjoy the fleeting time of raising your family.
It will become the refuge from the trials that beset us. So, find joy in your service. Find joy in your life. When we work on these concepts a step at a time, we will feel the Lord's presence even more in our lives. You can do this. One step at a time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about compliments.
Why are they so hard to accept? Why do I feel embarrassed when someone does give me a sincere compliment?
Compliment :an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; especially : an admiring remark b : formal and respectful recognition
Is it because I am a woman that it is hard to feel worthy of the praise or esteem bestowed upon me? At the same time, I secretly, and I mean secretly, (until now!) really want the praise. 
I think it has to do with trying to be humble. But that doesn't mean I have to hide my light under a bushel.
I agonize over compliments and how to receive them. Do i kindly say," Thank you you're right I am pretty amazing! Thanks for noticing!"? How can I be humble and still accept the esteem, respect, affection, or admiration of others?
Well... I think I have figured it out for me. I truly appreciate that people make those sincere comments. The fact is I don't think I do anything wonderful. I am just trying to be the best person I can, just like you. I am just trying to figure out my path the same way you are. We just each go about our day putting one step in front of the other and at first I thought, "there is nothing to admire in that."!
How wrong I am. There is great respect to be had when we see each other working through our trials and struggles. There is something noble in seeing people parent their children and try to raise them in such a way that they can avoid outside influences.
It doesn't mean I am not humble. I know that I am doing the Lord's work for me. Isn't that noble? I am finding joy in my life, that is admirable. 
We need to look at compliments as what they are. You friends saying, "hey, we notice you. You are loved! we draw strength from seeing you do what you do."
I never know what to say to people. How about a simple, " Thank you. I appreciate your kind words" Instead of feeling unworthy and blowing the compliment off.
The fact is the when I am complimented, it comes down to how I feel about me.
Do I feel worthy of love? Do I feel good about me? Do I love me? Am I struggling today and I just can't see what everyone else sees?
This is when a compliment should benefit you the most. when you are stuck in the trenches and can't see what everyone else sees. This is when you friends are saying "keep going, keep moving you are doing great."
Keep reminding yourself that Heavenly Father knows your struggles and He sees you as competent 
lovely person. He only sees you as beautiful and strong enough to lead your family back to him even with the rotten world around you. (hard to soak in, huh?)
Love the compliments. Love yourself. Look at yourself and try to see what we see. Don't belittle that which is most precious. You are worthy of the compliments you receive. You are strength, you are joy, you are love. No one can do exactly what you do. That is a fact.
Compliments. hmmm....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Comparing apples to oranges...

I have been thinking a lot about comparing apples to oranges. There are things that are similar about apples and oranges, for example: they are both a fruit, they are both roundish and they tend to be sweet. That is where the similarities stop.
We often compare ourselves (apples) to others (oranges). While we have some of the same characteristics, for example we are both women, we live in a house, we drive a car etc...
Our similarities stop there. We are unique and there is no one quite like you.
You are a daughter of a Heavenly Father that loves and values you and what you give to this life.  He doesn't compare you to me. For example, a person with 3 kids will relate an experience they have had with their children. Then they say something like, well but, that is nothing for you. Actually, every good and nad time that you have had with your children, I have probably shared too. Three kids are hard, so are four and five and six. I remember having my first and not being able to go anywhere because i had to get so much stuff ready. Now? I can relate to first time parents. It is hard. I just have some more experience.
Heavenly Father doesn't love me any more than you. He doesn't value my contribution to society more than He values yours. YOU are the one He values.
You can't compare your life to someone elses'. It is just not fair. I was watching a cute family with a few children. The parents were so patient, loving and kind. I told John, "I wish I could be more like that." and his reply? "You are in your own way. If they had experienced what you have throughout your life and they had as many children that struggle through various issues, whose to say they would behave like they are now. You can't compare yourself to them. That isn't fair." Comparing apples to oranges again.
I compare your strengths to my weakness and how fair is that? Heavenly Father blessed all of us with individual, spectacular gifts. Do not think for a second that I manage my life perfectly every second of the day and that my house is clean and organized (you should see my shoe pile). and you are not allowed to ask John anything about my habits! But anyway, my gifts are different than yours. Heavenly Father has asked me to care for these children and I have asked Him to do 95% of the work. I do my best and He makes up for my failings. sometimes that is 95% sometimes it is only 3%.
But He doesn't compare me to you. He doesn't say "wow she is really wasting the talent I gave her" that even sounds silly. Instead, He says, what opportunites can I present that will help her to magnify that talent? I sometimes wonder, what I still haven't learned after having 59 children in our home. I must be a tough nut to crack.
I guess all I mean is realize your divine potential. Comparing yourself won't get you anywhere, just miserable because you will think you never match up to the other people. when you feel that way, think of some strengths you have, think about the blessings you enjoy and pray for forgiveness for belittling your talents and blessings. Satan is a crafty guy and he will do his best to make sure that you feel as insignificant as possible. Don't let him win. You hold all of the power here. You can change your life and you can do it this second. Little by little you will realize that you are special and important too. You matter! You are loved! You are appreciated for what you do! You are not insignificant! You are a Beloved daughter of your Heavenly Father and He loves you, as do many others around you. Be the best person you can be and Heavenly Father makes up for the rest.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be the Calm in the Storm

It has been a long time since I have been on here. There is so much to tell.
First, our oldest daughter is getting married in 2 weeks. That is crazy to me.
Second, our oldest son is in the ARMY and has been gone for several months and won't be home until November *sigh*.
We added 3 little ones to our brood and now have 18 gorgeous children.
I am almost done with school and graduate in December.
Now that you are all caught up on the happenings here...

Sometimes, I am just plain busy. I have often refelcted on talks from LDS General Conference where they tell me to simplify. We are always re-evaluating and thinking about things we can cut out to make our lives run more smoothly. Sometimes, you just can't. Our lives are just busy, sometimes.

Your busy and my busy are completely seperate too. What I do may seem to be boring and slow and what are you complaining about.Yours may be extremely hectic and I can't see how it could possibly work.
So, here are my words of wisdom. Are you the calm in the storm? Our lives can be busy and active and hectic but, how do you feel about it? That is what matters. If you are yelling and barking orders and feel like you don't have any time for yourself then, change needs to happen.
I definately set the pace for my family. If I am hectic and frantic (like last night preparing for my daughter's bridal shower) the kids respond accordingly. Ironically enough, I often expect them to be the calm ones while I am having my "breakdown".  When I am the calm amidst the storms life takes on a new meaning and experience for my children.
I have noticed how stupid I sound when I yell at my children to "calm down!". Seriously, I know better. They need me to model that behavior first. Then, they can see how it is done.
So, be the calm in the storm for your children. If you can manage that during all of your schedule I think you are right on track. I think that is what LDS prophets and apostles are trying to teach us.
Jesus Christ was the calm in the storm as well. He gave us the example of not getting frantic but being calm and dealing with what is happening around us. The result? The apostles were able to start being calm knowing that He was their anchor.
You are your child's anchor. No one else is JUST YOU.
Does that mean we don't all lose it at some point? Nah! It just means we learn to be better. Every minute should be spent on improving ourselves. You are never DONE for the day and start over in the morning. Take a second to start over now. become who you are meant to be.
I want you to know, that I struggle just like you. NO ONE is immune! Don't let anyone tell you they are because they aren't being completely honest. We all just have different struggles and challenges.
So, love yourself despite your weaknesses you will be happier and so will your family.
This sounds like a chinese proverb but here it goes...A ripple of water (change) starts with a small rock(you). The best way to change the world is to start within your own homes.