Saturday, July 5, 2014

Power in the Temple

I went to the temple this afternoon. It has been a while. Since moving out of the Salt Lake Valley, we no longer have a 10 min drive to the temple. I can't believe how adding 20 minutes to that drive has changed everything!! I know people who have to drive hours and I'm worried about 20 minutes!! It's kind of crazy!

I chose to do initiatory work. I walked into the dressing room and entered the Initiatory room and was shocked! They have redone the whole thing! It was beautiful! The waiting room was very calming and comfortable. Much different than the previous one. I sat across from a large picture of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. I had never seen that picture before and wondered why they had chosen that picture to put in the waiting room. Were we to think of Mary? Did this event somehow tie into the initiatory? I plan on studying it in detail and see what I can learn.

I only did the work for four names. One was crossed out. I found that interesting as well. I've never experienced that before. There were two names that stuck out to me. The first was, Aleida Peters and the second, Paula Petronella Peters. I'm thinking they were mother and daughter. They came from the same town in the Netherlands. There was a difference of 19 years. These names caught my eye because they were so different. I love different names and when I'm at the temple, I love thinking about the people I am doing the work for. It gave me happy thoughts to know this mother and daughter were receiving their blessing on the same day!

When the temple worker was talking to me, I found myself listening so intently. I was thinking about every word coming out of her mouth. I'm not sure if it was because of the Ordain Women stuff in the news recently, or what. I just really listened and really liked what I heard! As I listened I realized something that I often forget: my Heavenly Father gives me power! He never intended me to be a weak, sitting on the sidelines kind of gal (which I've always known and have always been taught). That whole ordinance is talking about the power that is in my divine nature. Each body part of mine is blessed and given power! It was wonderful to listen to. It made me want to attend everyday, just to hear all those promises again. Those promises are for me! His power is for me! I am a daughter of God, who loves me...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sixth Grade Graduation

I've come to realize that while I'm helping my kids through their life, there are going to be events that cause me to remember things of my childhood. Today was one those days. 

I was at Grace's  6th grade graduation. The principal made a speech. Something I really liked from her speech was this advice, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."  I couldn't agree more with her, though I realize there are always those exceptions. Friends are important. As a mom, I will never downplay that. I just hope my kids keep being/making good friends.

During the day's events, I started thinking about my 6th grade graduation. I graduated form Hazel Grove Elementary in Lee's Summit, MO. I had only lived there for about 5 years, but the friends I made there are still fresh in my mind. I had good friends. And though a lot of them probably barley remember me, they will always hold a special place in my heart. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. I believe nothing can replace childhood friends.  The memories you make with them are irreplaceable! And for me, the lessons I learned from them changed me. A lot happened for me between the ages of 8 and 13.

I started thinking of Grace and how much she has grown and matured this year. She dealt with some drama this year. Drama that made her grow. Her growth was good. I remember the stuff I went through in 6th grade. It changed me for the better as well. In 6th grade I learned the importance of being kind, not swearing, and being true to who I am. I'm starting to think 6th grade is HUGE!!

I am grateful she had an amazing teacher to help her through the events this year. She loves Mrs. Nielsen! I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Nielsen saw goodness in Grace and reminded her daily how great she was. As we were telling her goodbye today, her last words to Grace were, "You're amazing." I love that another adult can see that in my Grace and would be so willing to tell her. I kept in touch with my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Dunn, for years! I hope Grace chooses to do the same.

We were leaving the gym and a friend stopped her and congratulated her- she graduated with "honors". I know it's only 6th grade, but she still worked hard! This lady (Angie Alvey) also said to her, "You're half way there!" GULP! 6 more years and this girl will be graduated form high school! Terror ran through me, but only for a minute. I reminded myself we were talking about Grace. Grace has a plan.

When she graduates, she will graduate with straight As so she can attend BYU-Idaho ( I asked her why not BYU. She didn't know. She just wants to go to Idaho.) She will get a degree in whatever she needs to be able to go to Paris and open a doughnut shop. Her best friend, Anneli, will have a beauty salon right next door. This has been her plan for a few years. It's a good plan for a 12 year old. I like the straight As part. And the doughnut part too. We like doughnuts in our house. I remember my 6th grade plan. I was going to come back to the mid-west and go to Kansas University and be roommates with my friend, Dana  Jackson. I never made it back and I never made it to college, but it was a good plan.

Sometimes our 6th grade plans don't work out. I hope Grace's does. I think she would fit perfectly in Paris. I hope she gets to accomplish all she wants to. But if not, I hope she will always remember how amazing her life is anyway. The number one thing life has taught me is that good things come from surprises. We just have to be willing to find them!!

getting certificate

 Grace and Martha (one of her good friends who chose not to believe all the "stuff")

Grace and Mrs. Nielsen

I just wanted to remember a few cute things from this memory:

*Grace held a poll on Instagram helping her to decide what to wear
* We went to lunch afterwards to Apple Bee's. She had burgers, I had steak. We shared.
*Her crush (Brandon, also her teacher's son) gave her a high five goodbye. She was excited!

I can't believe she'll be in jr high!!!  Knock 'em dead, Grace!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Journal or Scrapbook?

When I started this blog, I knew I would share the events of my little spot in this world. I really like how it started. I would just share the nothingness, but everything, of our day. After a little while it morphed into little snip-its about me. Now, I feel like this blog has become more like a scrapbook that I work on when I have time.

I realize my life is crazy. I am pulled every which way, never really knowing where I'm going. But I never thought I wouldn't take the time to write about my experiences in this journey. I want to do better. I want to share the exciting, the mundane, the whatever. I hope to turn this back into something I take the time for. I want to read this 10 years from now and still find the enjoyment in simple things. It can be so easy to take those for granted. The simple things. I don't want to be lame like that. How do I not be so lame?

I thought that was the end of this post, but it's not.

I just walked into the living room and saw the mess that my family has left in their paths today. It reminded me what an overwhelming day today has been. Dustin has been out of town. When he is out of town, I get lazy. We get lazy. You see, he's the organized, clean freak in our home. I'm not. I grew up in a home with 11 children for crying out loud. A few things out of place doesn't send me to the wall wanting to bash my head against it. I can walk around without ever noticing it.

I noticed it tonight. I don't think it means I'm going to get all organized and crazy. It still didn't bother me. Is it weird that I wanted to take a picture of the mess? I feel like maybe I should have captured a moment of what our house looks like after a crazy day. The people in my new neighborhood have yet to see anything out of place. I've been trying really hard to keep my new house clean. I like it a whole lot more when it's clean. But it's not the true me. I don't think a family of eight could live in the confusion that is me. Maybe it's good we live like Dustin. It felt good to let the lazy, disorganized monster out for a second. Now I need to go clean it. Tomorrow will come way too fast and I won't have time to take care of it then.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Late Night Thoughts

I always find myself awake late when Dustin is gone. It used to be when he worked graves as a police officer. Tonight, it is because he is traveling for work. I hate feeling lonely at night. You would think I wouldn't. There are 6 other little bodies in this home! During the day I'm fine. I have all my "mother chores" to keep me busy. At night, my mind has a lot of time to wander. And boy does it! 

It's always crazy too. Last night I drifted off to sleep worrying about being alone in the house and thinking of all the things that could happen. It rolled over into my dream. All night I was trying to escape a kidnapper. It was so real and detailed. I woke up telling myself that it would've been an awesome movie! I should have written it all down when it was fresh. I could've been rich!!

I always end up thinking about my life after raising kids. I never get a real chance to do this in the midst of chaos. And letting my mind really wander enough to comprehend and prepare for it starts giving me anxiety. Which is really weird because I really like the thought of having something else in my life that defines me differently. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom. In my opinion it is the greatest thing I will ever do. I just like the thought of diapers, laundry and playing referee not consuming all of me. So I find it ironic that the thought of these being minimized freaks me out!!

I end up sifting through old photos, pulling out incomplete scrapbooks and crying A LOT! I look at my babies and they are getting so big! I can't believe it. It went too fast and I wan a do over, but not was hard work the first time and I know it won't be easier the 2nd. That;s the funny thing to me! I really enjoy my kids at the stage they are in (Britten doesn't count. He just entered the stage I hate most). They are fun and active! They are smart and independent-just working on Becca's ability to get her own bowls and cups. They are sweet and caring. I have been blessed with great kids!

Why do I do this? I really don't understand. I don't consider myself scared of change or an anxious person. It's annoying because if I want to plan past being a mom, my emotions take over and I completely shut down! I'm trying to plan my life here!!! It would be nice if I could get some cooperation.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I've been feeling extremely grateful for this wonderful family I've been given. It's always nice when I actually stop and reflect. I can't believe all that I've been given and it's so easy to take it all for granted. When you are busy living life you sometimes forget to stop and take it all in. I know I have. I'm not doing to good on  my goal to LIVE this year. 

We are approaching the half mark for this year- can you believe it? I'm going to refocus and live for what really counts. I don't want to look back and realize I was too busy with unimportant things and can't remember the important ones.

I haven't written as much as I like or taken enough pictures. I'll sahre what I have and try to do better in the future.

Our Life in April

We visited a local park...

Britten ate pb&j for the first time (I threw in some of a banana too)

We celebrated Easter (kind of I ended up out of town and coming home Easter morning. We never made it to church!)

The week before was our neighborhood Easter egg hunt. Ryan had to work so he wasn't there. The rest of us got to watch Britten's first Easter egg hunt!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not My Words, But Ever so Much My Heart

I came across this article. The author spoke exactly what I have felt. It is all about the Ordain Women organization that is asking for the priesthood to be given to the women of the church. Now, I do have to let it be known, I am not against women having the priesthood if that is what is to be revealed through those set apart to receive such revelation. In fact, I love doing initiatory work in the temple.  Not only am I promised such tremendous blessings through the priesthood, but it is women who are the Lord's mouthpiece promising them to me! I really don't understand how these women have overlooked this great blessing. Instead of rejoicing in it, they are not satisfied and it's not good enough. 

Anyway, I'll stop talking and just let you read the link.

You'll have to tell me what you think!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aching For My Daughter

I find it ironic that last night I was all positive and this next post is anything but! Such is the life of being a mother....

Occasionally I will steal my kids' handheld devices and take a peek at what's on them- I'm one of those moms. Tonight it was Grace's iPod.  I searched thorough it, all of it. It made me really, REALLY sad. It also left me mad and determined to do something for her.

After scrolling through an enormous amount of text messages (who knew 12 year-olds had so much to talk about), and even more Instagram posts, I discovered that my daughter doesn't think she's beautiful. Not only that, she's dying for someone to tell her! I thought this would be something I would never have to worry about because 1) her dad tells her all the time how pretty she is and 2) I never felt that way growing up, so she should too, right? WRONG!

This mom has just been schooled about kids "now-a-days" and how social media just might have more pull than you would like.

Holy cow! Kids are competitive!  Her text massages were nothing but preteen girls looking for the others' approval. 

"Oh, you're so gorgeous! I wish I was as beautiful as you- insert sad face"
"Oh whatever! You're sooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous- insert happy face"

or this one:

Please rate me! Above would be different things they can post to rate how great, how beautiful, how wonderful, blah, blah, blah, blah...

then I'd read a text:

"You're so lucky he put that for you. He didn't put anything for me. I wish he thought I was pretty."

My heart sank. I felt like I had failed my daughter. I never recall thinking I was not good enough or pretty enough. ME! I have always felt comfortable in my own skin. ME! The girl with the chubby legs, yellow teeth, and a slight mustache growing above her lip! These were all insecurities I had, but I always knew I was pretty. I'm 50 lbs heavier than I was in high school, but I still feel I'm pretty! So how can my daughter who is thin, has gorgeous green eyes, and totally lacking facial hair not feel that way?! How did she not get the message I was trying to send by always being confident, happy, and quiet about the weight I had gained?

I've decided that being a quiet example just might not be good enough now. Our kids have things screaming at them that they need to do better, be better, look better. I decided this mom needs to be louder than those ugly voices, text messages, or photo posts. 

So, I was!

It was 11:00 at night, but I marched to her room where she was sleeping and I woke her - it took a little while.

Me: Grace, do you not feel you're pretty?
Grace: (she shakes her head no)
Me: Why? What makes you feel that way?
Grace: I don't know. I just feel it sometimes.
Me: Grace, you are beautiful! Don't let anyone, or anything, make you feel differently. Who cares if some boy doesn't think you're pretty. All that matters is how you feel about yourself. I want you to start looking at yourself different. I want you to tell yourself how pretty you are. You don't need any one's approval. You are perfect the way your are! 

It was short and sweet and to the point. I think she got it. I hope she got it! If not, I don't know what else to do...I guess keep telling her. Eventually she'll believe me.



How does she not see it?