Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do it anyway...

Can't sleep...keep tossing and turning...keep dreaming...or thinking...or something?


As I am lying here this wonderful song keeps running through my mind; 
wanted to share the lyrics with you. (Martina McBride)
What a beautiful message of hope and courage!



You can spend your whole life buildin'
Something from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away 
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream 
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This worlds gone crazy 
And it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all YOUR heart 
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away 
love em anyway

God is great but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah I do it anyway, yeah, 

You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway, yeah, yeah

I sing
I dream
I love anyway, yeah. 

Sometimes life doesn't seem to be going in the direction we might have planned...
okay, most times it doesn't...
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should...
I question "WHY"
and find myself wanting to have a fit like a little child saying,
"Hey, this isn't fair!"
But I am coming to learn that during "these times" I find strength I didn't know I possessed.
I find the courage to keep dreaming even when my dreams seem foolish and unattainable.
I am finding it easier to pick myself back up, dust off my britches and forgive those who've knocked me down a notch or two.
I find an inner peace that comes from continuing to look up and forever opening my heart to what may come.
I am thankful for this little reminder than can sweetly sing away in the back of my mind prodding me on to
build it anyway,
dream it anyway,
believe it anyway,
and sing it anyway.

I will keep doing it all anyway, I know that there are great things in store for me, I can feel a change coming...scares the bajeebers right out of me...but I am ready and I will do it anyway!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Come What May...

and LOVE it!

My dear friend, Corrie, gave me a framed copy of this beautiful saying as a Christmas gift.

It could not have come at a more appropriate time in my life...
not that life is awful or disappointing or falling apart.
It is just changing.
It is challenging.
It is complex.
It is unexpected.
It is demanding.
It is intense.
It is unknown...


Sometimes the unknown is the very hardest part of all...
IF we knew what was around the next corner, we might find ourselves less apprehensive of the walk.  But...that is not the plan,
we would fail to grow.
Because, guess what???
We have the CHOICE to make that walk or turn around and not ever take a single extra step...
We really don't have to face that "scary corner" that lies ahead...
we could bury our head and avoid it OR we can push our way through with eagerness and courage!

I'm not sure what is coming.
I thought I knew...
I was excited,
I felt all giddy inside,
I was anticipating something BIG to be on my horizon.
I was ecstatic at the thought of living out part of my dreams,
BUT...as life sometimes shows us...things are not always as they seem.
In looking at some opportunities in life, we fail to see the BIG PICTURE...
Quite possibly the big picture for me wasn't fitting all together quite right...
a few pieces were missing,
or perhaps,
a few too many pieces were lying on the side of the puzzle not fitting in quite right.
Whatever the case may be...
I've decided to keep looking up...
keep believing,
and keep dreaming that AMAZING things are coming my way.
I'm just going to have to work like the dickens to bring them on...
I don't think they are going to walk in and plop themselves right into my lap (as it appeared was happening...maybe that saying "if it sounds/looks to good to be true, it probably is" was quite in effect)  Bummer!!!  Hate it when that happens...

BUT
the good news is...
I have thoughts, I have dreams, I have determination, I have the will to make something OUTSTANDING come to pass...

Now
I just have to roll my sleeves up and get to work!

Keep
your eyes watching...
This little girl is going to tackle the world and I plan to give it all I've got!

Come What May and LOVE it...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Most Beautiful Birthday...

The Christmas Story Told by Children and Youth

Please click on the link above and take just a few minutes...just shy of 4...to watch the most precious video you will ever see!

A little girl narrates the story of the birth of Jesus as a beautiful slideshow of the Savior is played...her sweet, simple thoughts on life and people are priceless and right on!

Merry Christmas to each of you...may you reach out to others in love and share your sweet smiles with everyone you meet during this season and the year to come!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh no, What's Wrong???

Have you ever received one of "those phone calls"?
The one that upon answering the phone -- the first words out of your mouth are, "Are you okay, what's wrong?"

Just yesterday, I was blissfully returning from a fabulous field trip with my kiddos and settling in for a little writing time when one of "those" calls came in...Unfortunately from my husband!

After work, he and our oldest son decided to go tackle a mountain or two.  Things didn't work out quite as he expected.  I understand the need for adrenaline, I understand that these boys need to be boys (no matter their age), I just wish they could get that adrenaline rush in a little safer way; one that returns them just as they left.

Now I need to just add in that this is not the first time I've received this heart-stopping phone call...I have no NEED to feel this adrenaline rush, yet it is forced upon me by all these boys of mine!  I have to stop and catch my breath each time one of them is hurt (luckily there have been very few times, but not a one of them is good for my heart!)
Yesterday...my hubby and his motorcycle had a little spat mid-mountain;
Chad lost...
he is now toting around a fancy little set of crutches!
Nothing is broken, his pride took a pretty substantial hit...but is still intact...whew!!!
His knee is a little unhappy, but will be okay soon providing he will relax and stay off of it.
This is where I come in ~ if he won't stay put, I'll just have to plop myself right on his lap and keep him there against his will.  And he can't do a thing about it, hehehehe  :0)

In the past I have always told him that I am happy to give him all the attention he needs...again I gently reminded him that there are easier ways than hurting himself to have me attend his every need.

I'm beginning to think he must enjoy me hanging around and waiting on him hand and foot.  Is there something alluring about your wife "serving" you?  Hmmmm....I'm wondering if that could be an adrenaline rush in itself???  Gonna have to think about that one a little...

Speaking of waiting on him hand and foot...the most adorable thing happened last night...The little girls came in and whispered in my ear asking me to wake them up early so they could make breakfast and a little card for their Daddy ~ they asked their Daddy to sleep in a little so they could get up and do something tasty for him ~ then they turned back to me and whispered, "We need to be up early, so can you wake us up at 10:00?"   I just had to giggle ~ sweet little things!!!

Well, I've probably taken away enough time from this adorable man of mine...so I'm going to go back to doting on him and try to sneak in a few safe ideas for that much desired adrenaline fix he simply must have in life; wonder if he'll buy any of them???  Good thing I love him so much or I'd have to hurt him!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Magical Gifts...

Tonight I had the pleasure of putting together a Christmas Party for the YW in my ward. 
HOW I LOVE these little ladies!

We started off our evening with their angelic voices singing the sweetest of Christmas Hymns.
I then posed this question: 
"What makes Christmas Magical for you?"
The responses were wonderful, so tender and genuine...my cup is overflowing!   
As I listened to them,
I could not help but reflect on my first realization of the beauty of this season and the reason for it...
I had always loved Christmas prior to this moment in my life...
I hadn't known what I'd been missing all those years...
I didn't know or understand The Magic nor did I know to be searching for more.
Looking back I can scarcely recall what I loved about this season...
possibly the hype and the excitement...
but it now holds a deeper, truer, intense understanding and love for me...
I find myself yearning for the music, the images, the magic, the beauty of this season. 
I love to spend time reflecting on the life of my Savior and the love, innocence, and faith of his mother, Mary. 
I feel so drawn to her.
I often wonder what it is about her that attracts my attention and makes me wish to be just as she was.  She and I share the same sacred role of motherhood  and as I think of her, my heart breaks...
I know the love she felt for Him, because I have felt that same love for each of my own children...
I cannot imagine the blessings or the struggles Mary faced as the mother of the Christ Child.
She was truly called of God to bring Him to earth, to love Him and raise Him to be all that He was meant to be; I believe she was prepared for the trials she would endure as she watched Him suffer for all.


Her faith is a source of strength and wonder to me! 
How I wish to emulate her ...



Moving on with our wonderful evening...
Each girl brought a little wrapped gift
that was placed in the center of the room. 

We had a blast, laughing and giggling, as I read aloud a story which caused us to pass the gifts from the left to the right and the right to the left and back and forth and all over the place... STORY at the end of this post...if you want to have some great laughs with a small or large crowd ~ YOU must do this...way FUN!!!

After our little "game", the girls loaded up plates of goodies while I gathered letters that had been written for each of them.  This night was to focus on the INDIVIDUAL GIFTS of each of these special young ladies!  My goal was for them to have something to turn to in moments of doubt or sorrow ~ letters to remind them of their worth, of the beautiful gifts and talents they each possess, of the love others have for them.  Each girl received a letter from another girl in the room, a letter from her parent, and a letter from her YW leader.  (This also counted toward her Personal Progress for Individual Worth) 
As the girls enjoyed their goodies, I walked around delivering each letter to the girls.  They began reading them and as I watched, there were girls laughing, then crying, then just smiling sweetly.  PERFECT!!!  Mission accomplished ~ Yippee!!!
My wish is that they will keep these and go to them during low times in their life...I know that during times that I struggle I find strength and the courage to keep pushing forward from the belief others have in me.

I will end this with the gratitude I have in my heart for Magical Moments...
Tonight truly was another to add to my list.

I know that we are put in certain places at certain times for certain reasons and I am certainly pleased that I have been placed here to work with these special girls ~ What a blessing they each are in my life!

HERE'S THE STORY ~ SOOOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!

A CHRISTMAS EVE TO REMEMBER


It was a beautiful Christmas Eve. The snow was falling. Everything seemed just RIGHT for the evening. There was enough hot chocolate LEFT to share with Santa, RIGHT there along with the plate of cookies Mrs. Wright had LEFT by the fireplace.

Everything was so perfect, that Mr. and Mrs. WRIGHT decided it would be a great time to drive across town and deliver Grandmother WRIGHT’S Christmas gift. Grandmother WRIGHT had not LEFT her home for a week. She was down in bed, as a bout of flu had LEFT her RIGHT weak.

Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT LEFT RIGHT away in their bright red car. They had just turned LEFT out of the driveway when Mrs. WRIGHT said to Mr. WRIGHT , “Oh my goodness! I LEFT Grandmother’s present RIGHT there on the kitchen counter.”

Mr.WRIGHT quickly turned RIGHT back into the driveway so fast that Mrs. WRIGHT was forced to lean LEFT as he did so. No harm done, though, and she hopped RIGHT out of the car and LEFT her door open. Heading quickly into the house, Mrs. WRIGHT said over her shoulder to Mr. WRIGHT, “I’ll be RIGHT back.”

Their dog, Snowball, who loved taking rides with Mr. WRIGHT in the car, saw the door open and ran and jumped RIGHT into the car, RIGHT over the front seat, and RIGHT into the back seat.About this time, Mrs. WRIGHT showed up with Grandmother’s present and said to Mr. WRIGHT, “It was RIGHT where I LEFT it! In the kitchen.”

Mrs. WRIGHT was surprised to see Snowball in the car. Mrs. WRIGHT thought they had LEFT him in the backyard. However, Mr. WRIGHT had forgotten and LEFT the gate unlocked. Mr. and Mrs. WRIGHT LEFT Snowball in the back seat of the car as they once again LEFT their driveway for Grandmother WRIGHT’S home.

As Mr. and Mrs. WRIGHT drove along enjoying the beautiful scenery they felt as if they had LEFT all their worries somewhere else. It was Christmas Eve and they were surrounded, on both the RIGHT and LEFT with new falling snow. They were filled with that wonderful feeling that often comes at Christmas time.

Pretty soon Mr. WRIGHT’S car turned RIGHT onto Holly Street where Grandmother WRIGHT lived. As they approached grandmother WRIGHT’S, they could see she had LEFT her porch light on as if she had been expecting them. It felt RIGHT chilly when they stepped out of the car. However, they LEFT their jackets in the car as they thought they would be RIGHT back.

They could see Grandmother WRIGHT peeking through the curtains as they walked up her steps. Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT were so relieved they had not LEFT grandmother WRIGHT’S gift at home. Snowball began to bark as he did not like being LEFT out of family outings.

Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT walked RIGHT up to the door and knocked. Snowball, who did not want to be LEFT alone in the car was RIGHT behind them. Grandmother WRIGHT must have been standing RIGHT by the door because she opened it RIGHT after they knocked. It LEFT them almost speechless to see Grandmother WRIGHT up and about.

Grandmother WRIGHT said, “What a wonderful surprise!” What she didn’t tell them was how she had been feeling RIGHT sorry for herself all day, thinking that she had been LEFT out of all the holiday celebrations because she’d been ill.

Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT were surprised too, and RIGHT happy at the same time to see that Grandmother WRIGHT had finally LEFT her bed. It was easy to see that her illness had not LEFT her weak, as she seemed RIGHT spry, too.

What a nice surprise for Grandmother WRIGHT. She had not been LEFT alone on Christmas Eve after all. Grandmother WRIGHT was so happy she wanted to celebrate what was LEFT of Christmas Eve. So Grandmother WRIGHT LEFT Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT and went RIGHT into the kitchen to stir up a pot of hot wassail.

She said, “I need my glasses to see this festive recipe, and I don’t RIGHTly remember where I LEFT them.” So the three of them LEFT the kitchen and looked all around to see where she might have LEFT them.Grandmother WRIGHT soon yelled out from her bedroom, “Well, here they are, RIGHT here where I LEFT them!” Sure enough, they had been RIGHT there on her night stand where she had LEFT them.

While Grandmother WRIGHT checked to make sure she had all the RIGHT ingredients for the hot wassail, Mr. WRIGHT built a fire in the fireplace. It LEFT all of them with a warm festive feeling as they sat on the cozy stuffed sofa, listening to soft Christmas music and sipping their wassail, which Grandma WRIGHT served at just the RIGHT temperature.

Then Mr. WRIGHT LEFT for a minute to check on Snowball. He was fast asleep, RIGHT there on the doorstep where they had LEFT him. Mr. WRIGHT and Mrs. WRIGHT will never forget this special evening as they were LEFT with the true spirit of Christmas in their hearts. They knew they had done the RIGHT thing, by sharing their Christmas Eve with Grandmother WRIGHT.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are you Happy???



This beautiful little sign is from Pinterest...I cannot take the credit for it.
How I wish it were in my home...I must create my own version!

I just have to say, I so completely agree with the premise that
"It is thankful people who are happy."  


We can all find things in the world to be worried about or ungrateful for;
unfair or unjust things in our lives abound!  
It's just part of this life...but that doesn't mean we should all lose hope and walk around hanging our heads and feeling mopey and sad like Eeyore.
.
If you wish to feel happiness surging through your body...
search for the many things you should be grateful for, it won't be hard, just open your eyes and your heart and look around...they are EVERYWHERE...
 and guess what ~
YOU Cannot Help But Feel Happy!!!
It just happens, 
give it a shot, you'll see I am right!


In no time at all you'll be doin' the Happy Dance in your kitchen  :0)




My hope is that during this week coming upon Thanksgiving that you will realize the beauty and wonders that abound in your life and that you will find deep joy in them.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends...(I am grateful and thankful for YOU!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Defeated? Really???

For any of you who were concerned that I was not okay, or possibly losin' it...I'm GOOD!

Remember, I am too big of a brat to be defeated...a little beat down somedays...BUT NEVER DEFEATED!

Gotta go back to a quote that makes me giggle every time I read it.

"BE the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, "OH CRAP, SHE'S UP!"

I will always strive to be just that woman...I will always stand for what is good and true...I will never be afraid to be who I am.  And most importantly I will be proud of who I am!

So, if you were worried, let it wash away.
I am still standing,
I am standing Tall
(well, as tall as I can get)
and I will keep getting back up when I have been knocked down,
YOU can count on it!!!

Wishing you a perfectly lovely day!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seattle!

If all of our kiddos were grown, I'd be strongly considering spending a few months living here!

Chad and I had so much fun.  Granted it was only about 24 hours worth of fun in this amazing city...but I will take what I can get!

We arrived Friday evening and had dinner in the Space Needle...
the view--nothing short of breathtaking!
The spinning dining room gave a feeling I hadn't expected ~ but after a few minutes I was oriented and all was okay in my little world!

Looking out over the city, I was quite sure I would NEVER want to live in a place as busy as this...
but it was so intriguing to witness...
I will say, I still feel that I could never live in place this busy (at least not while raising kiddos),
BUT...

after spending Saturday enjoying what this city had to offer,
I could be convinced to visit long term
(again, only if my kiddos weren't little people...not the place I'd want to be raising them). 
My one requirement would be that I live downtown within walking distance of Pikes Place Market and the Pier. 
No desire to have to drive anywhere or to have to attempt parking once I had driven. 

The market was charming beyond description! 

I've never in my life seen veggies and fruit and cheeses that I could say I felt excited about. 
I even had to photograph them...
that's how much in love I was with this produce! 
I know, I'm a little off my rocker, you'd have had to be there to appreciate it!

The one experience I could have done without, actually occurred as I was snappin' photos of that amazing produce. 
This "guy", all I can recall of him was that he had dark hair, dark eyes, a powerful voice and he stood a good shoulder and head above me...anyway, he came up and said, "Hey, you can't be taking pictures..."  I must have looked a little shocked and he told me he was just joking. 
Okay...dumb joke!
Then!
He asks me a question that stumps me...
"How do you get a cougar off your front porch?" 
Well, I am clueless as to what this man is saying to me. 
All I can think is why would a cougar be on your front porch. 
And if there is one there, stay inside!!!! 
Well, this is what he says next...
"Offer to buy her a pizza and invite her in." 

Yep, you go it...

I stood there with a blank look on my face...

I'm still thinking that we are talking about an animal and wondering why on earth a cougar would be sitting on your front porch. 
Then all of a sudden,
I realize this guy is picking up on me, and I might add in a VERY RUDE sort of manner. 
I must have given him my shocked look, he kindly touched my shoulder and apologized. 
I ran back up to my hubby and stayed quite close to his side the remainder of my time there!

Not sure I could handle something like that again. 
I've not had that kind of experience in sooooo many years! 
And I really didn't even know what to think or how to handle it.
I told my hubby about it and he just smiled and held my hand, I think he was laughing inside, but didn't want me to see it.  I'm a little slow sometimes.
Anyway..moving on...

Here are some of my yummy produce photos...I hope you love them as much as I did! Fresh Veggies and Fruit at Pike Place Market

Check out the garlic...BIGGEST garlic I've ever seen!!!


That is the coolest cauliflower ever!!!
Why have I never seen these things?


Different colored carrots and giant sized radishes...I just cannot get enough of this place!
type=text

Can you see the price tag on these amazing bouquets???
$10!
I could not believe my eyes!
The most beautiful flowers...
How I wanted to buy up bundles of them...
but they would never have survived our long drive home...
so photos would just have to suffice!

My other favorite place in the market was this sweet little Chinese Man...
ADORABLE!
He was an artisan...JEWELRY...
Chad saw his work while I was off on my little picture taking adventure.
Well, Chad loved his work and wanted me to come home with something "Special",
so I am now the very happy owner of a beautiful, unique, one of a kind bracelet.
I was sold as I listened to this sweet man speak...
I kinda have something for the Chinese ~
I'm thinking it must have something to do with such wonderful experiences with Accupuncture.
I know, once again, I'm a little strange, but this man was adorable.
I think that if he had just been any old person, I may not have been as drawn to his work. 
But he just had such a sweet little way about him.
He worked and molded the bracelet and as he did, he put it on and said,
"Oh, look it was made just for you, perfect fit...copper good for you...look good on you..."
I just loved him and walked away with a little something to have as a reminder of my splendid weekend in Seattle.

Well, after our wonderful little time in the market, we went on a CRUISE!!!!

It was only a 2 hour cruise, but it was oh so beautiful!!  It was called the Locks Cruise...quite interesting...
we traveled
 (hmmm.what do you call it when you are traveling on water??? 
we didn't actually sail since we weren't on a sailboat...
I guess we cruised through the water...
sounds good to me)
So, we cruised through the Seattle area checking out all the sites...
I thought we were on a fairly large "ship"? 
Boy, I should have done a little more thinking before writing about all of this.
Anyway, as I was saying,
I thought our ship was fairly large,
but in all actuality we were mighty shrimpy comparatively speaking.
It was Fascinating to see all the huge ships and the sailboats and the house boats. 
Oh how I loved the houseboats...
so charming!
I really wanted to just jump on board one and check it out. 
Instead I just admired them from my ship. 
 Don't you like that, "my ship"? 


I took so many photos,
but I loved the way the sunshine shimmers on the water with the landscape of the city behind. 

I simply cannot wait to visit somewhere, anywhere again. 
I am finding that it doesn't matter where we go,
I am always fascinated and intrigued by the newness that each location offers.
I'm pretty easy to please...we've only traveled a very few times...
I never felt I could leave all our kids, I am too busy being the Momma.
It feels like such a treat to be able to leave for a weekend with my hubby and not worry about our kiddos (okay I did worry about them, but I knew they were okay)
The point being, it's just a good thing to be able to have a little time away, to run around having a good time, being crazy, doing anything you wish, and not having to worry about watching and making sure everyone is safe and sound and accounted for and not wandered off somewhere lost.

But no matter if my kiddos are there or not, I find I am always drawn to things that make kids smile...
I cannot pass by a carousel
without wishing to jump on and find the most magnificent horse to hoist myself upon. 
I love the lights, the music, the joy...
I feel just like a little child...giddy with excitement!


I think I need to have a date with Sleepless in Seattle...
it might just become my favorite movie!

So happy to have had this time in Seattle...LOVED EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!!!

I'm Defeated...

the very thought of dealing with some things brings a desperate, despairing feeling of inadequacy to my soul.

It matters not the strength that we possess if we fail to recognize it within ourselves.

This is the point I've reached,
I know I possess the strength but find it difficult to see it within myself...
my strength has been weakened and I feel less than who I truly am...
I have had cause to question just who I am and I find that I feel defeated before I even begin...

Yet as I write those words,
I am immediately stricken with the thought that I am only defeated if I allow myself to be...


I am in charge, I am in control of me...
I do not have to turn that over to another,
I do not need to feel weak or small because of another,
I do not need to change who I am to please another,
I do not have to lessen the spirit within me to appease the crowds,
I do not have to withhold the deepest, most sincere thoughts that I have for fear of offending another,
I do not have to conform to be accepted...

All that I have to do is to be me,
to follow the Spirit that guides me,
to share the light that has been given to me and to not be afraid to do so...

I'm Defeated ONLY when I allow myself to be...

Have you ever been faced with something that just feels bigger than you are? 
Something that makes you want to shrink at the very thought of dealing with "it"?
Something that tears at your very core?
Something that, no matter how difficult it will be to handle, must be handled and not swept under the carpet?

Of course you have! 
We all have...
I guess this would fall under the "test" part of life...the part that makes us wiggle in our seats or wish to hide our heads in the sand!

The past couple of weeks, I have been tormented
(YES that is truly how I've felt!)
with a task that is before me. 
I have been asked to do something that goes against what I feel is right.
It goes against the very things that make my life what it is. 
How can one set aside a deep part of themselves to please another? 
Why would we even do that? 
Better yet, WHY would anyone ask that of another? 
Why can't we all just love and accept each other...without condition, without judgement, without condemnation...

The emotion that I have felt while dealing with this situation has been overwhelming. 
I feel that I am generally pretty level headed, that I look at life in the most positive way possible, that I see the good in others and that I truly live my life in the hope of blessing others around me.

So...
When I am asked to do something contrary to what I am "okay" with, my little world feels under attack
I feel as though I've just survived one massive earthquake,
I've come out and I'm still on top;
then the thought comes;
surely there will be the aftershocks of that massive quake...can I withstand those? 
Am I too weak? 
Will they hurt too much? 
Will I remain standing at the end of this "test"?

I am grateful that my structure, my foundation, is strong and sure...
It's strength has been tested!
And with the aftershocks that are looming in my future
I find it imperative to take stock of where I stand, am I prepared for what is to come?
Do I know what I believe? 
Am I prepared to stand up for those things that are the most important in my world? 
As uncomfortable as this all feels, I know I will be stronger for it.
It is simply another of those times that I need to grow... 

I will admit that I haven't liked one single moment of this little earthquake!!!
I'd really prefer to just have a little temper-tantrum, screaming, hitting, kicking and just generally flipping out, but since that wouldn't really be appropriate for someone my age, I'll just whine and complain that sometimes life isn't fair...and it's not...

Why does growth have to be so stinkin' painful? 

Makes me think of the long nights when one of our little ones would wake crying and miserable, as they suffer growing pains ...
I have always felt helpless, I can't make that pain go away.
I can kiss them and try to make it better, I can rub where it hurts, I can lay with them and try to comfort them, but I cannot make it end.

I recall so many nights just thinking how unfair it was for this sweet little person of mine to be in such real pain.  And as time goes on, they will each experience other kinds of pain as they grow and unfortunately, my little kiss will probably not end that pain either.

Why must we suffer through hard times?  Why does it have to hurt so? 

The best guess I can come up with is that during our struggles and our suffering we experience feelings that become so deep within that they will never be forgotten.  Our moments of growth and understanding need to be remembered, they cannot be lost or we may at some future point also become lost.  I actually think we NEED these hard, ugly, confusing, heart-wrenching experiences.

The other part of this answer is one I find more and more the older I become.  It is during these times that I realize I cannot do it all on my own.
I need help! 
I need guidance!
I need my Savior to step in and pick up the pieces when they have all crumbled down around my feet and I don't have the strength to even bend over. 
He stands ready to pick it all up and put it all back together. 
I am lousy at asking Him to step in...
He has to be so frustrated with me on a continual basis. 
I'm sure He'd love to take a 2x4 and whack me right upside the head and knock a little sense into me.
But you know what...
He "gets" me. 
He knows I am stubborn and that I think I can do it alone, I am a brat and I want to be independent, I don't want to have to ask for help, I just want to figure it all out and move on to happier days...I'm thinking He must feel its high time for me to get this lesson down.  And you know what it has been magnificent...He answers my prayers by showing me witness after witness of exactly what I most need.  I am truly blessed by his kindness and understanding.

So in closing this whole dump my heart out on my blog for the whole world to see and wonder why the heck I open myself up like this...

I'm defeated only when I allow myself to be...
and
I do not give up that easily
I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED (remember, I am a brat!)
I will stand strong
I will stand for what I believe in
I will do it with a smile on my face
and with love in my heart.

I will come out knowing who I am
with more assurance than before this little quake in my life.
My testimony will be strengthened, I will stand solid and unshakable. 
And when this is all over and I move on...
my hope is to help another stand when they feel they no longer have the strength to do so.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hay Rides, A Little "Culture", and Flower Child Moments...

What a truly amazing last two weeks we've enjoyed!

Besides our regular routine, which is mighty amazing in itself...we managed to sneak in a few extras!

A field trip to the pumpkin patch!
Love those hay rides and choosing "just the right pumpkin!"  
I'm tellin' ya this can be a very long process...patience is in order!

The next amazing thing the little girls and I did was quite unexpected.  At the last minute, I had a friend offer 3 tickets for us to attend a production at The Morrison Center.  It was a Korean Cultural Night...if only I had the words to describe this night...what I can tell you is that I have a new found love of these beautiful people.  I went with a little apprehension...simply ignorance on my part...I left with an overflowing heart and eyes that had freely spilled over the edges.  I was moved at their kindness and sincere humility when addressing our Veterans.   They thanked them for their service in a way that touched me more than I had experienced ever in my lifetime!  Their music, dance and Tae Kwon Do exhibit were superb...breathtaking at moments.  I felt inspired to learn more of this people, I felt saddened at the state of North Korea and lastly I felt a longing to expose my children to people, customs and cultures throughout this world.  The latter, I do attempt to do on a very regular basis, but the feeling is stronger than ever.

We finished up a sensational month of learning and our 4 youngest kiddos particpated in The History Fair ~ I was so proud of their efforts.  They truly did some amazing work.  One presented The Statue of Liberty, another Castles, another The War of 1812 and lastly Leonardo da Vinci.  I could not have been more pleased with them.  They learned so much and presented what they had learned to an audience...love these opportunties for them!

At the end of our month, we always have a big ol' whoppin' party to celebrate the country we've studied for that month.  This month was Germany...oh my goodness, can I just say, their food is mighty scrumptuous!  We cooked and cooked and ate and ate!  Our menu included some wonderful salads ~ German Potato Salad and a Nudel Salad -- both were so yummy, lots of vinegar!  We also made pretzels, these were a hit!!!  The kids loved making them and eating them was quite a pleasure.  We decided to make Dampfnudels...wasn't too sure how these might taste...we were very pleasantly surprised!  They are basically a dumpling sort of goodie...only so much better...light and fluffy and deliciously sweet.  Then we topped them with a divine vanilla sauce and a bavarian creme that I'd have to say was the VERY BEST I'd ever tasted (and I made it!!!)  Love it when that happens!  We had samplings of Chocolate Nougat candies and a German Chocolate Cake.  Good thing we only do this party once a month or I'm afraid we'd be racking up the pounds!!!  The kids decorated our classroom to look like OCTOBERFEST in Germany...Blue and White are the colors of choice in Germany...the kids went crazy with streamers all over...it was fantastic! 

Each month we have a little book club featuring a book from the American Girls Series...we are currently working on Felicity...I LOVE THESE BOOKS!!!!  This month's book was Felicity Learns A Lesson ~ loved the lessons and the time I had to discuss all that this little gem had to offer.  We were able to get into a discussion of just why the colonists would have thrown tea into the water...at first my younger kids were appalled, by the time we were done with our conversation they understood so much more about our freedoms and why we must stand for what we believe in.  What a beautiful way to teach such an important lesson!!!

Halloween was very fun for our family...My favorite part was one evening when my daughter came to me and thanked me for not being too lame to dress up and have fun.  Now, had you seen me this particular evening, you may have thought I was crazy...I did!  And quite honestly I was a little uncomfortable with being dressed up in such a wild sort of way...FLOWER CHILD / Hippy!  But she thought I was great and was thankful for me...then I jokingly said to my oldest son..."I bet you wish I was a little more lame and wouldn't dress up"...I fully expected him to agree with me ~ instead he said, "Yeah, I'm glad you're crazy!" 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Journey Through Our Solar System...

SO...Just how BIG is our Solar System???

We found out today ( on a small scale )

If you read my last post about the Solar System, I mentioned that I'd be adding in our little journey as we VISITED each and every planet today...Yep, All in ONE day!  Amazing!!!


Here's how we did it ~~

Each pace, or large step
(hopefully equal to about 3 feet)
represented 3,600,000 miles!  
That's BIG, let it sink in for a moment...okay, now we'll move on.

We started our Space Journey at the Sun and made our way to each and every planet in our Solar System.
(here's another way to look at how we figured this...each inch represents One Hundred Thousand Miles)
100,000 miles every inch we went....mighty impressive!


We did some serious walking today!!!
I've never traveled so many miles in a days time!  :0)
I found these measurements on a website that unfortunately I did not write down and I cannot for the life of me remember what it was...so if you were wondering how I became so smart and was able to figure all this out...don't be impressed...I just copied someone's else's brilliant mind!
Wish I could claim it, but I just can't!!!  Actually what I really wish is that my brain was half as brilliant as those that come up with some of this stuff!

 Let's get back on track...
You simply have to do this if you want a glimpse of just how vast our solar system is...mind boggling!!!  We started in our front yard and had a great big hula-hoop leaned against our white picket fence to represent the Sun.
I gave "planets" to several of the kids to carry along as we made our way on this amazing journey.

We had to be quite a sight...25 crazy people walking down my lane and then down to the end of the road and half way down the next street, walking in giant steps, counting ever so loudly until reaching our next destination!

Here's how it went ~
First, let's go back over the order of the planets...this is so super cute if you don't already know it...the kids remember it easily and it's a fun way to recall all the planets in order from the sun...
My Very Excellent Momma Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas!!!
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto


Now that we've reminded ourselves of the planets we'll be looking for first...it's time to get busy!

Again, our "Hula-Hoop Sun"
 
was placed against the fence.  Let's start finding our planets...How many steps away would the first one be????

First planet just 10 steps away from the Sun ~ MERCURY.
The child carrying Mercury set it in place
and we called out for the next planet ~ VENUS...
take another 9 paces and place Venus.
Then onto EARTH...
mighty close, only another 7 paces.
WOW, the Earth is very close to the Sun (or so it appeared)  
At this point it was time for a little review...
just how far away is the Earth from the Sun ~
a whopping 93 MILLION MILES!!!!
Holy Smokes...we've done some serious traveling!
And all in just a few meager steps.

Time to visit MARS!
Just a few easy steps - 14 to be exact!

At this point it started becoming FUN!

I pointed out that we had now made it through all of the Inner Planets...
What came next?
They all knew ~ Hooray!!!
THE ASTEROID BELT...

And then what?

JUPITER, of course...We were approaching the outer planets!!!

So we'd been used to just taking a few steps...this time they started gasping a little as I had them guess how many steps we should take to find the location of Jupiter.

95 Paces to Jupiter!
The child holding Jupiter placed it in position ~ Our Giant Planet was now set and it was time to move on...much more traveling to do!

Next Stop would be Saturn ~ another 112 paces.

Then on to Uranus ~ they were starting to wonder if we'd ever reach all the way to Pluto ~ we had to take another 249 paces to reach Uranus!!!

I loved the guesses they'd give!  I think they were starting to get a little worried...our paces kept increasing with each planet we visited!

Neptune would be our next planet to visit!  In just 281 paces we'd arrive!!!

After FINALLY arriving at Neptune,
I had several kids say,
"maybe we should just skip Pluto, remember they don't even consider it a planet anymore!"
I would have nothing to do with that!!!
We'd made it this far and we would make it all the way to Pluto!

We had an easy 242 Paces to go.  When we arrived at Pluto, we all wanted to celebrate!!!  We placed a tiny little mustard seed on the ground to represent our little dwarf planet.

Oh dear...and now for the march back to the Sun.  You would have thought that these kiddos would be tuckered out at this point.  Think again!  Most of them took off running.  This lovely body of mine doesn't really enjoy running, but I couldn't let them all leave me in the dust, so I did my best to keep up.  I didn't say that I actually kept up with all of them, I just did my best.  :0)

The only thing that I feel could have made this day any more spectacular would have been if I had the ability and the location for us to go in a single straight line for them to actually "see" just how far we had traveled.  I think they still got it, but if we could have had a pair of binoculars to spot the sun...would that not have been simply amazing??!!

ANYWAY, I sooooo suggest this to anyone that wishes to make an impression to a group of kiddos!  This one will have them gasping!  What a magnificent day!!!

One more wish...
How I would love to be the driver of that lovely little MAGIC SCHOOL BUS!
We'd be making some spectacular field trips...
oh well, for now we'll just have to use a little imagination and a whole bunch of creativity!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Outta This World!

I've been teaching all our kiddos along with a group that comes to my home 2 days a week all about the Solar System.  I have absolutely LOVED this!  Quite possibly one the reasons I love teaching so much is because I love learning so much!
I don't believe for a second that we know it all,
nor do I believe we should make children think that we do.
I love having the opportunity to say, "I really don't know the answer to that, BUT I will find out and let you know next time we come together."  
I don't know about other people, but my kiddos think I know EVERYTHING, well the older ones used to think this and the little ones still do!
I feel it's really important to let them know that we just keep on learning new things every day, EVEN MOM!  

The month of October has been devoted to learning about the Solar System for our Science Class ~ I'm tellin' ya what!  I think I need an entire year to do it justice...not gonna happen, so I just picked out the gems that I felt were most important.  And if I've done my job right...all these kids will have the desire to keep on learning  on their own, so it matters little the amount of time I put in for them!

I'll highlight a few for you ~ hope you're ready to learn something new (and if you already know it all, well ~ you are way ahead of me!)

The first of the month my kids and I made a model that spans our classroom of our Solar System.  I could not be happier with it (well, if Jupiter would stay where it was supposed to that might make me happier, but besides that minor problem, I have loved it and it has served its purpose well)  We did our best to depict the size and color of the planets as well as their relation to the sun.  If any of you homeschooling mommas are looking for ideas, I have them for you!!!  To make your very own Solar System...look below!  :0)  After the directions, I'm also going to take you on a little journey through our Solar System ~ We walked and visited EVERY single planet today...can I just tell you it was amazing and rather enlightening!!!!

Directions for a ton of fun!!!!
For the Sun ~ Find a giant round yellow plastic tablecloth and hang it in the corner. (I found one at the Dollar Store and it is perfect!)
Next you just need a little tiny bouncy ball for Mercury - drill a small hole in the center and hang it from fishing line.  (All of your planets will hang from the ceiling being suspended by fishing line and 3 hooks (but not fishing hooks...hooks that you screw into the ceiling, just thought I should clarify that one) -- one in the center and one on either end)
Then comes Venus - we found a small Yellow Tennis ball, again just drill a little hole through it and hang it up.
Earth is next in the lineup - Earth and Venus are very similar in size, so we used another tennis ball only in blue.  (wishing I could have found something with blue and green...but it worked)
Now we come to Mars - The RED planet, so yes find yourself a small red ball, smaller than Earth and Venus.

That does it for the inner planets...
at this point if you were super creative you could add in the ASTEROID BELT!  So wishing I would have done this...I still may ~ in fact, before next Tuesday when we all meet again, I'm thinking I should really have that there for the kids to all see (a picture in your mind will stay forever!  or at least close to forever!!!)

Alrighty, let's start on the outer planets - 
our GAS GIANTS!!!!

1st in line is our largest planet ~ JUPITER...Jupiter was just a smidge more work, but not too much!  Find yourself the biggest ball you can and then cover it with butcher paper, if you want add a little brown coloring (my kids did the honor here!) then don't forget to add your big red spot!  Tape it on and then figure out a way better than I did to make that hummer stay suspended in air!  Basically just wrap fishing line like crazy all over it and then cross your fingers and maybe go ahead and do your toes, too and then hang it up.
(A little helpful side note!)  The biggest reason for the middle hook in your ceiling is to hang Jupiter on one side of it and Saturn on the opposite, pretty much as close as you can to the hook.  They are some big heavy planets and they want to do some serious sagging!
Okay, let's move on...the next one was definitely the most work, BUT SO WORTH IT!  SATURN looks amazing hanging in my classroom, I love it!  So why was it so much work, well because I chose to do the ring around it...all of the outer planets really should have had them (especially Uranus, but we'll get to that in a moment or two) but I was a tad bit too lazy after doing the rings of Saturn.  So here's what we did...Find yourself a big old yellow ball, then grab a piece of RED poster board (this will be for your ring)  Cut a big hole out of the center of the poster board and then round your edges a little.  OH...Forgot to mention this one....USE the leftover hole from the red ring for JUPITER'S SPOT!!!  Works perfect  :0)
Okay back to Saturn...we suspended the ring and the planet separately, took a little work, but it looks great.  To hang the ring, we just poked a few holes and hung it from the fishing line.  I didn't even try to keep it perfectly level and it looks "perfect"!

Moving on to Uranus...
(still not exactly sure how I should pronounce this one, he he he)
Sorry, that's just the way I am!
Guess none of you really needed me to add that in, oh well, too late!
Uranus is a pretty cool place...
what makes it pretty spectacular to me is that the rings and the planet are on a tilt, soooo if you are smart enough to figure out how to hang those rings, go for it...and when you are done, shoot me a little note so I can add that, too!  I just grabbed a small green ball  (not tiny...much larger than Earth and Venus, but smaller than Jupiter and Saturn)   Remember the last four planets are called gas GIANTS for a reason  :0)  They are biggies!!!

We're getting close to the end, next in line is Neptune.  Use the same size ball as you did for Uranus, only make sure this one is Blue.  I was lucky enough to find these two balls in kind of a "pearly" look, they just make me happy!.

Okay at this point, the Scientific Smart People would say we are done...
But I wasn't quite satisfied...and since this is my classroom and I get to be the teacher...I've decided to overrule the smartie pants and do it my own way!!!
 I grew up believing that we still have one more little planet hanging out there
and by darn-it my kiddos are gonna know about it...
so, yes, I added PLUTO in.
I used a tiny brown bead.
For anyone who cares...I did make sure to let them all know that Pluto is officially now referred to as a dwarf planet...but hey, planet is still in the title and I for one find nothing wrong with being small...therefore I found it mighty deserving of hanging out in my classroom!

Now for a moment of honesty...REMEMBER at the beginning when I said I don't know everything...well the honest to goodness truth is that I don't know A LOT of things.  There was a big one that I learned doing this little exercise.
While at the store purchasing our supplies for our solar system, I picked up a bundle of stars that I thought I'd just hang around as well, I was so very happy at the thought of stars hanging from my ceiling...much to my dismay, I found that we have only ONE STAR in our Solar System....For those of you who were not aware of this (I'm really hoping I'm not the only one!)...Yes, The SUN is our ONLY Star in the Solar System...all the ones we see out our windows or while gazing up in the sky are in our galaxy, but not in our solar system.
I stumped most of the kids with this question, and a few of the moms.
BUT NOW, every single one of those kiddos know just how many stars are present in our solar system.

The saddest part of knowing this is that there is a quote that I adore...
"Shoot for the moon.  
Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Dang it all...NOT TRUE!
We'll just be floating around "out there" if we miss the moon (just don't miss it is all I can suggest!)...
so that is the one bummer that I've felt during my month of studying.

Okay...this post (as well as most of them that I ever do) is getting pretty lengthy...so, I think I'll just end it here and do another one with our Solar System Journey...


IF I CAN EVER figure out how to get pictures off my phone, I'll add some so you can see these wonderful little creations of ours.  Until then, just use your imagination (I happen to think that is a better choice anyway)


Ta ta

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All googly-eyed and holding hands...

Early this morning while in the shower a thought came to me,
well many thoughts came to me...
that seems to be one of the few places that are quiet in my world....
anyway, one of the thoughts that came (very strongly I might add!) was to share a message that I had written quite a few years ago, and in addition to share the message my husband had also written.  

A little background...
these messages were shared by us to an audience of married couples,
the topic of the evening? ~ (drum roll, please)...
Marriage...

This was a beautiful evening, one I'm sure I will never forget.  It does something amazing within you to sit and prepare your thoughts and feelings on such a sacred subject and then I was blessed with a double-whammy...I was able to hear exactly what my husbands thoughts on this same subject were.  Oh, happy day! Okay, sorry I just had to reminisce for a moment...I'll now return to what I was trying to say before my mind went off on one of its tangents.

This topic, Marriage,  is on my mind a lot, not only because I am married, but because I treasure my marriage and the very ideal of marriage.  I am saddened when I see other marriages and relationships crumbling.  My husband shared something with me recently that was said to him.  We'd been with some other couples at the temple a few weeks ago...one of his friends commented later to him, "You and Stacey look like newlyweds...you hold hands and you are all googly-eyed at one another."

Okay, at first that was a tad bit embarrassing, UNTIL I thought about it...
WE REALLY are like Newlyweds...
the magic and the spark and the desire to be with one another as often as possible has never gone away...I adore him and I know that he feels the same for me.  I don't have to guess how he feels, I don't have to wonder, I don't have to assume that he still loves me after all of these years.

Maybe that's the key!!!

I have someone very close to me that once said her husband never tells her he loves her...
she made a comment to him about it and his reply was simply, 
"I told you I loved you once, if that ever changes I'll let you know."  
Well, honestly I laughed at first and then inside I cried.  

KNOWING
and HEARING 
and FEELING LOVE
 is imperative to ALL PEOPLE...
BIG PEOPLE, little PEOPLE...
we all NEED and CRAVE and SURVIVE because of LOVE!

So, here is the message that I shared many years ago.  For any of you who follow my crazy rambling thoughts on this blog, you will know that I am striving with all of my might to FOLLOW PROMPTINGS when they come and I do believe one came to me early this morning for a reason...so here goes!

Strengthening Marriage -- November 2002


            What is Love?  President Hinckley describes love in a wondrous way.  He said, “Love is of the very essence of life.  It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow.  Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day.  Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death.  How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors.    He goes on to say, “I am one who believes that love, like faith, is a gift of God.”

            Do we look at our spouses as a gift from God?  The love that they bring and share with us is truly a gift.  I do know with an assurity that my husband is a gift to me.  I waited a great deal of my life for something or someone as wonderful as he is.  When I met my husband, I had no confidence in myself, was afraid of saying what I may have thought or felt about anything, whether it was of importance or not.  I did not believe I had any self worth and actually questioned many times why he would even want to spend any amount of time with me.  What I have come to find after many wonderful years with him is that I am a worthwhile person, the things I have to say are important and he wants to hear what I think and feel.  He has brought me to a point in life where I can believe in myself, and I look at life in a new way.  The joy that he brings to me each and every day is immeasurable, and this is only because he tries, he encourages, he uplifts, he builds me, he cares for me and he truly loves me. 

            Do you do things for your husbands to let them know how special they are to you?  These can be, and usually are the simplest of things, but can be the most meaningful to your spouse, mostly because they will know these “little things” are meant just for them.  For instance, I know certain things that my husband likes and I try, although not often enough, to make these for him-he loves my chocolate chip cookies and each time I make them he just raves that they are the very best cookies ever.  Such a simple thing, but he loves them!  Another thing I occasionally do is stop by Lee’s Candies in Boise and pick up some of their dipping chocolate, this is also a nice little treat that lets him know I am thinking of him.  Chad and I attended a couples overnight retreat with our ward a couple of years ago and had the opportunity of listening to a speaker whose subject was also on Marriage.  She read a paper to the group that was written in the 1950’s and was published in a popular magazine.  (Regretfully, I could not find a copy of it.)  It addressed how a wife should prepare for her husband to return home from work.  As we listened, most of us were snickering and I’m sure all of us thought to ourselves that these were definitely things from the past, people just don’t do that now.  There were things on the list such as preparing your children by cleaning them up and having them sit quietly until their father arrived home, this way he could walk into a peaceful home.  (Unfortunately at my home, this is a very rare happening, when Dad walks in the door he is immediately attacked and there is no quiet…but I know he would much rather have it that way)  Other items on the list were as simple as cleaning up the house, making sure dinner was ready to be served or at least cooking, help him to relax when he arrives and be sure to wear a bow in your hair to assure that you will be looking your best.  Well, Chad and I talked about these little things and giggled over many of them, and even now when he calls me to let me know he’s on his way home, he’ll say, “Make sure you have a bow in your hair,” and we both laugh!  Some of these things may seem outrageous and a lot of pressure on a wife, but as I really put some thought into them, the entire message was to simply prepare a nice place for your husband to come home to, that he feels welcomed, loved and appreciated.  When Chad calls me to say he’s on his way home, our children and I all scatter through the different rooms in our home, each person taking a room and we try to tidy up those things that aren’t in order.  Lighting a candle or two is also a really nice touch – but far more important than all of these things – I can’t wait to see my husband, when I know he’ll be home shortly I’m excited to see him and he can sense this.  I’m sure that one of the highlights of his day is returning to a home full of children attacking him before he can even shut the door behind him and to a wife who is smiling and very happy to see him.  Please don’t think that everything is always tidy and perfect, because that is not the case, the point is just that I do try and he knows that.  The beauty of this is that he knows that I will have these things done if at all possible and I know he does appreciate it when this is the appearance of our home.  But when things are a disaster and things lay about in total disarray, he will just come in and help out with those things that remain unfinished.  (Team Work.)   

            Is your husband your best friend?  Your husband should be the person you desire to tell everything to, that you would want to spend all of your time with.  I think my husband and I could spend days on end together and never run out of things to talk about and to laugh about.  We can take a trip somewhere and regardless of the distance we never need to turn on a radio because we just enjoy talking and sharing things with one another.  I admire my husband and respect him.  I look to him for advice and guidance.  I count on him to be there at all times and he always has been and undoubtedly will always be.  It is truly a blessing to be married to your best friend, to share the same hopes and dreams.  It is so wonderful to look at the little people that together you bring into this world and work together to help them to become whatever their hearts desire.  If you do not have this kind of a relationship with your spouse, take the time to get to know them, take the time to do special things for them, spend time doing anything and everything together, not separately – this does not mean you have to be without your children, but there are definitely times when that is a necessity...Sometimes you need to just be husband and wife instead of mom and dad, this allows you to be silly, crazy, to laugh and enjoy just that special someone.  Be creative and have fun planning things for just you and your spouse, or for the whole family.  These are the times you make the most wonderful memories.  One of the very most important blessings of a happy marriage is what it does for your children.  They can see what life should really be like, they will desire to have the same kind of marriage.  Our oldest daughter Shealyn will say things to us like, “You guys are so weird, always kissing and hugging and laughing!”  She has also said that she is afraid to grow up because she knows she will never be able to find anyone who will be like Dad.  Isn’t that wonderful!!!  She will not settle for less than she deserves, she will also marry her best friend, because that is what she sees in us and wants to have the same happiness we enjoy.   When your husband is your best friend, life is so beautiful!

            Try to overlook little faults that you may find with one another.  A quote that I really treasure is, 
“Love is not blind – it sees more, not less.  
But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”
If you will think about these lines, I think you will see their importance.  When we see our spouses in the whole, instead of breaking out little bits here and there, we can potentially see the wonderful person they truly are.  Too many couples feel discontent with their marriages, they find fault after fault in the person they are married to.  Try to look past these things and treasure all of the good that is in your spouse and you will find it difficult to name anything that really bothers you about your loved one.

            President Hinckley said in a regional conference in 1995, “Any man who will make his wife’s comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come.”  He said this after discussing selfishness, anger, arguments, losing tempers, etc.  To have a successful marriage there cannot be selfishness, marriage works when both people would do anything to assure the happiness of the other. 

            Please cherish and value your spouse, always find the good in them, do all in your power to please and uplift them.  Spend as much time just being with and enjoying everything they bring into your life. 

And remember that special person is a gift…your gift from God.




Alrighty...NOW FOR MY HUBBY'S MESSAGE...


Little side note -- I just told him (that sweet man in my world!) that I was writing this blog and WHY I was writing it (the newlywed comment from our friend)  
Here is one more reason to love him...
He said, "Well in the grand scheme of things we are newlyweds...I've got eternity with you...we've only begun!  And I'm gonna do my best to keep us feeling like newlyweds!"



What Makes A Marriage Work By Chad Lytle  -  November 2002

            My wife is an amazing person.  She can do anything she sets her mind to and accomplish tasks quicker than most.  For instance, just yesterday, she informed me the speakers for this meeting could not make it and asked if I would be willing to fill in.  I said, “No way, I mean, I’m working late and have an event I am attending after that.  Then there is work tomorrow, when would I find time to write a talk unless I don’t sleep.”  She just looked at me and …well here I am, and I know what makes a marriage work, two little words.  When she asked again with that sad little look and said, “pleeeaase,” what could I do, but say, “Yes Dear”. 

            I have a copy of the Ten Virtues That Will Heal our Hearts and our Homes by Gordon B. Hinckley that I am going to go over and then expand a little on each point.
Love, Honesty, Morality, Civility, Learning, Forgiveness and Mercy,
Thrift and Industry, Gratitude, Optimism, and Faith.

Love: 
Do you love your wife or are you in love with your wife?
I have fourteen ways to show her that you are in love with her. 
  1. First thing in the morning start out with “Good morning and I love you.”
  2. When you leave for work, give her a real kiss goodbye.
  3. Think of her throughout the day, and call her to tell her that you love her.
  4. Make plans for a date.
  5. Buy her flowers for no reason what so ever.
  6. Come home with a loving embrace and tell her that you love her.
  7. Tell her how nice she looks.
  8. Acknowledge what she has accomplished in the house.
  9. Ask her how her day went, and then listen.
  10. Compliment dinner, be grateful you’re not eating at McDonalds again.
  11. Help out with household chores she may not have had time for.
  12. No T.V.  Participate in a conversation about anything.  (We load up our kids and go on drives anywhere or nowhere in particular and talk about everything or make plans to do other things.)
  13. At bedtime, tell her again how beautiful she is and that you love her.
  14. Make love to her like it was the first time again.

Honesty:
When the bishop interviews you, one of the biggest questions that he asks is if you are honest in all of your dealings.  There is a saying that is hard to cheat an honest man.  If you are not honest with others, then you cannot be trusted at home or worse yet away from home.  Mistrust in a marriage usually leads to divorce. 

Morality:
How many immoral people do you know who are happy?  Immorality leads directly to hell without pass and go.  It comes in many forms such as pornography, movies, music, and corrupts our minds with evil thoughts of discontent with whom we are and whom we are married to.  No one can be happy and immoral at the same time.

Civility:
Never belittle one another.  Don’t argue in front of your children.  Your idea is not the only way.  Speak kindly of one another, especially in front of others.  Build each other up. 

Learning:
Get to know each other by conversation.  People change so keep talking to one another.  Do you know her favorite food, color, activity?  Can you order for her at a restaurant? What are her views on things such as politics or discipline?  Do you really know or do you just think you know?

Forgiveness and Mercy:
Two words, You’re Wrong, no matter how right you think you are, you’re wrong!  Any man can be a stubborn jerk and say “my way or no way”.  A real man learns to swallow his pride and beg for forgiveness from the Angel in his life for being a stubborn jerk.  As well as being big enough to say, “It’s ok, I still love you anyway.”

Thrift and Industry:
Work, work, work.  Work as if your family depended on it (Because they do!) and then try to save some, so if there is no hay to make, at least you can still eat. 

Gratitude:
Are you thankful?  Thankful that you are loved by a beautiful woman? Thankful that she cooks for you, cleans for you, listens to you and cares for you as well as your children.  If you are grateful for all of these things, then let her know by thanking her everyday for all of her hard work and for her love. 

Optimism:
Always look for the good things in your life.  You are respected as the leader of your family.  You have a wife who will be there for you to help in anyway she can.  You and your wife have the gospel and are teaching your children to walk uprightly before God and with that what else matters?!

Faith:
Have faith in your life.  Faith in yourself, because confidence is appealing.  Have faith in your wife that she can do anything and she will.  Have faith in your children that they can choose the right and they will.  Have faith in your God and all things are possible. 

In closing, I would like to say that I am IN LOVE with my wife.  She is the light of my life, and the joy in my soul.  Remember to listen to her and tell her how beautiful she is.  Mean what you say when you say you love her so that she can respond, “I know.”  I truly believe that if you will put your wife on a pedestal and compliment her for all that she does for you then she will make room for you to stand beside her.