"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

I am not even sure where to start with this year. So many things threw things out of whack. For the second year, I was a co-director of the church-hosted community Nativity Exhibit. It turned out well with 657 nativities and over 2000 attendees. It also meant that my house has been a storage unit for the last month and all of my Christmas decorations have been up at the church. Decorating an entire church for Christmas kindof killed my Christmas mojo at home so even when things came home, they sat in the crates in the living room for a week (or two.)  Everything happened in slow stages - Ryan put up the tree and then it took me over a week to fluff it and put the lights up. I ran out of lights 3/4 of the way up and drove to 3 stores on Christmas Eve before I found more. Since Ryan was with Tim this Christmas, we are a day behind everyone. My sisters laughed when they called me on Christmas day and I told them I was just finishing decorating my tree! But it was all done before Ryan came home so no worries.

I really love decorating my tree although I miss Ryan terribly when I have to do it alone. Since Ryan was born, I started a tradition of a new ornament each year - something symbolic of the year, a milestone or something that reflects his spiritual growth. I've also purchased ornaments on vacations. Often I write on the back of the ornament the story behind it and it was really cool to wander down memory lane as I placed each one. So much love it on this tree. It will never win any decorating prizes, but I challenge anyone to find one with more love and meaning.

I bought myself the Lamb of God cds and even though they are the Easter story, I opened them and listened to them for the last week. They are amazing. So beautiful. And I loved, loved, loved listening to the Easter story as I decorated the tree. It felt like my testimony was being strengthened note upon note. The gospel felt fuller, more beautiful, deeper.

We had our Bethlehem dinner last night. It was nice. Quiet. Peaceful. It hasn't always been this way and last night I was glad that I persevered amidst the eye rolls to found this tradition. Last night made it all worth it.

Today is Christmas for us. We slept in until 8:30, opened gifts and had breakfast. I bought orange cinnamon rolls and sausage to go with the scrambled eggs. While appreciative, Ryan let me know that I could go back to my homemade cinnamon rolls next year. ;) By far the best gift were the stocking letters. I might cry just typing about them. So, so, so glad that I started this tradition.

I'm not sure what the rest of the day will hold. I bought all of the fixings for Christmas dinner, but right now, I don't feel the need to cook. It already feels like Christmas. My testimony feels renewed, my love ones close.

Love you all! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Bit of Zion

The last two summers Ry and I have spent in Nauvoo participating in the Nauvoo Pageant. It was the most incredible, cocooning blessing threaded with golden miracles. I feel a great kinship to prophets past who can not write one hundredth part. Part of that is that my words lack so much in trying to describe something so tender and sacred. Oh, I can tell you the details, the events, the laughter, the sights, the sweat, but some how I struggle to share the breadth of emotion, the many witnesses of the Spirit, the answered prayers, the healing, the peace, the love. Instead I sound like like a fanatic tied to a mythical era of the past. I wish somehow I could share how experiencing Nauvoo today is not about the past. It is so much about today. Gerald Lund named his book about the Nauvoo years "A Season of Joy" and it truly was that for us. It changed me in more ways than I can share. I do not think I overstate when I say it changed my eternity.

It was a bittersweet feeling to hear the whisperings of the Spirit tell me that our season in Nauvoo was drawing to a close for a while toward the end of our stay last year. I felt so incredibly grateful and blessed for the experience. Excited for what lay ahead and sad to say good bye. At the end of the pageant as the saints head west, Parley P. Pratt talks about them taking what Nauvoo had given them  in their hearts. I could relate.  Shortly after I came home, I had such a longing for home - for my mom, my family and my hometown. In an impulsive moment, I emailed my family telling them I missed them and that one day we should get together in our hometown. I think we all felt it because within weeks, cabins were reserved and the dates were set. 

The way Ryan's summer schedule worked out, I ended up flying out the end of June and he joined me 3 weeks later. I loved how much we missed each other and how good it was to see him at the airport. After he arrived, we drove to Hood River, OR - one of the most beautiful places on earth and my hometown. Seeing my family together again was priceless. Being together in the town we grew up in... I can't describe it. I was so surprised at how little had changed. 

Some highlights of the summer:
Hiking - 38 miles total (Hurricane Ridge, Little Mt. Si, Grand Forest Bainbridge Island twice, Tunnel Falls on Eagle creak trail, Lost Lake Trail
Smores
Food (all of it.So good)
Glowstick parents - my parents taped glow sticks to themselves and walked around the campground one night. They looked awesome! Just like walking stick people.

Grandpa and  Grandsons campout - so fun to see all of them smashed in the tent together talking, playing games and reading. 
Laundry room talks with my sisters
Riot Act - my brothers told my step sister and niece to ask me about "The Riot Act." They said I had read it a lot. Gullible they are because the girls sincerely asked me to "tell me the plot - maybe I've read it." Sorry, but that's a keeper for years girls!
Family pictures
County Fair - such a trip down memory lane
My home ward - I really expected so much to be different - I didn't expect to recognize many if any. Yet it wasn't that way. I did recognize so many and the joy of seeing these good, wonderful, sweet people who have had such an influence on my life - well my joy overflowed. I thought of the scripture in the Book of Mormon when they talk of the joy they felt when, after 14 years apart, they found they were still brothers in Christ.
Grandma - sweet grandma. I wish you could know how amazing she is. Her life could fill volumes. She has buried 3 husbands and two children. She has ranched and farmed and nursed. She has cared for the mentally ill, raised grandchildren, and championed the forgotten her entire life. And to this day, she is one of the most positive people I know. She ALWAYS is talking of her next project or thing she is going to learn. In her assisted living center, she takes care of all the residents. Everyone is her friend. She delights in the weekly discussion group they have that discusses politics, religion, and current events. And through it all, she is the binding influence in our family. It hit me hard this summer that time with her on earth is beginning to run shorter. I'm not ready for her to go. I spent time with her a couple of times during the trip, trying to imprint every nuance of her deep in my brain and heart. She is so strong. So positive. So encouraging. I don't know how any of us would have made it through my mom's death without her. I am proud to be her granddaughter.
Family Reunion - as I looked  around, I realized that it was one of those rare moments when everyone in our family and extended family was doing really well. Everyone was employed, relationships were healthy, goals were being realized. It was such a sweet blessing and one that I don't take lightly.

I didn't take many pictures and part of it was a deliberate choice. I didn't want to experience the summer behind the lens. I found myself really seeing things, imprinting the memories to revisit for years to come. I know that I will most likely forget the details, the images and I probably will wish I had more pictures. But I don't think I the emotions of this summer will fade.

I love my family. I was told once that I was born of good stock and, looking around the tables, I so agreed. My family is hard working. They are dependable. They are loyal. They have integrity. They are quick witted, sassy, and enjoy life. Every one of them will feed you and share whatever they have to help someone else. I've seen them do it. Service is like second nature for all of them. I cherished this summer with them. I loved that I could see so much good in all of them. Growing up, sometimes I only saw the things that bugged me. I love that while we are all so different, we can love each other so well.

Many have made comments about us missing Nauvoo this summer and I have missed it lately, but I did not miss it at all this summer. Zion and Heaven are both full of love and family - I had both this summer.

All of the cousins with Aunt Tracy

3rd Annual Dog Pile on Ryan (no tears yet)

Sisters

My dad, brothers & sisters

Family: Missing a few, but most of us


Lexi, Ryan and Ella - These kiddos adore each other. 




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Too Funny

Last night Ry was on the couch watching a show on the laptop. Suddenly he turns and asks me, "Mom, what is a communist?" I began to answer, "Well, when I was your age-" when he interrupts- "Nevermind. Tell me when you tuck me in bed." And when back to his show. Too funny.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Someone should really update this blog...

but not at 2:00a.m.! Soon, I promise. Soon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Staycation List





My friend Alisa is tremendously creative. I love watching her and have gleaned so many ideas from her. One tradition they have in their family is an annual "Beach Week". Yet, many years they don't go to the beach! I've learned from her and a few others that a vacation is more about an attitude than an actual place. Over the last few days, I decided to write down some of my gleaned ideas and a few of my own. The result is the Staycation List:

First some Tips:

  1. Presentation: the Red Envelope tradition. Alisa started a tradition that I have now copied where a Red Envelope appears at the breakfast table every day the month of December with a note of some kind of fun activity her family will do that day to celebrate the season. It is amazing how much fun things can be when they come from the Red Envelope. She and I have discussed how cool it would be to do the same thing over the summer only have a Summer Fun Yellow Envelope, or it could be plain one decorated. The idea is the presentation and the anticipation. The envelope = family fun. (Ryan loves the Red Envelope at Christmas)
  2. Official start/stop date/time – Set aside the dates – a long weekend, a week vacation, etc. Get in the car and drive around the block (or walk around the block) at the beginning of your staycation. “Arrive” back at home when your staycation is over. Decide ahead of time what is not “going on” your trip (i.e. tv, work, friends, church activities, etc.) Turn off your phone. Eliminate or reduce computer time (email). Visit another ward (congregation) that Sunday. 
  3. Ask! Pray to find what you need to make your staycation wonderful and then borrow from friends and neighbors as prompted
  4. Music! Music creates memories. Be deliberate and incorporate music in your staycation.
  5. Mom and Dad participate! My greatest memories are when my parents worked and played along side of us kids. Vacations are about doing something out of the ordinary and everyone participating. It isn't playtime for the kids - it is vacation for the family. 
  6. Vacation clothes – pj’s all day, comfortable, barefoot, swim suits, mis-matched, etc. Make it work for your family and make it fun! 
Without further ado, I present the list (feel free to comment with additional suggestions):


At Home
Make forts in the living room and read books by flashlight (sleep in the forts overnight)
Build a tree house in the back yard (use only what you have on hand or free cycle)
Build a fire pit in the back yard (free cycle the bricks) Check out Alisa's here (and they didn't spend one dime.)
Camp in the back yard
Stargaze / Cloud watch
Climb trees
Candle or lamp light dinners
Board games
Movie night w/popcorn
Marshmallow roast over a fire or the kitchen stove
“Snowball” fight (old flour or cornstarch tied into old nylons)
Car Wash
Sports – in the back yard or at a park (baseball, basketball, soccer)
Video/wii game Olympics (borrow one if you don’t have one)
Re-arrange furniture or bedroom swap
Recess games (tic tac toe, hopscotch, wee games, tag, Button Button, etc)
Dance night – learn salsa, cha cha, line dancing, etc. (youtube clips or videos from the library)
Music!!! (each family member chooses for one day or have daily themes)
Family band – learn to play spoons, drum a pot, make instruments, etc.
Family Read Aloud – choose a book to read aloud during your vacation (Patrick McMannus, Wilson Rawls, Ramona, Skippy Jon Jones, etc.)
Conversation Jar
Write your Story – scrapbook, photo albums, Journal
Letter writing day
Family Time Capsule (letters, pictures, personal data – height, weight, etc to be opened on a specific date in the future)
Scavenger hunt (house or neighborhood)
Sidewalk chalk art
Lashings Races (use scout books to learn lashings and then have races)
Box Playhouse – decorate a recycled appliance box into a playhouse


Seasonal
Rake leaves / Shovel snow (make sure to play!)
Puddle Stomp / Dance in the rain

Educational
Amazing Race – “visit” a country by checking out books and learning all about it. Make traditional cuisine for dinner, dress up like their traditional clothing, visit them online. Check out music from that country. Find an online pen pal in that country, learn their language. If $  is non-existent, choose a 3rd world country.
Science – learn about the environment of your area – native plants, animals, history. Tour any available community resources (free ones)

Crafts
Sand Castles
Make a quilt
Press flowers
Art – drawing, water colors, make your own paint
Origami
Finger print art
Recycled 2-liter bottle terrarium, ocean floor, ant farm, butterfly garden
Create – driftwood planes, recycled stuff, button necklaces,
Magnet sculptures with nuts and bolts
Seashell art
Grass / pine needle weaving
Bird feeders/nest builders
Hanging herbs/flower arranging
Melted crayon art (bits of crayon and wax paper)
Leaf rubbings
Daisy crowns
Lego Creations (great instructions online)
Make paper (use flowers, etc. to make)

Food
Baking day (make cinnamon rolls, fry bread w/ honey butter, cookies)
Read Aloud dinner (food from your read aloud)
Fondue party, chat-n-chowder, sweet nothings (sweets), pioneer food.
Popsicles, ice cream, homemade frosty’s or smoothies, lemonade, root beer floats,
Use crazy ice cubes (stars or other), crazy straws, cookie cutters
Food Art – smiley face pancakes, peaches w/ chez slice on a toothpick = sail boat, ants on a log (pb on celery w/ raisins), honey bees, cookie cutter sandwiches, apple smiles, Family fun has great ideas
Camp food – tin foil dinners, hot dog roasts, pork-n-beans, banana boats, marshmallows, s’mores , dutch oven (eat camp food cooked in/on your oven by lantern light)
China dishes dinner – regular meal with best dishes, dress up, and manners, classical music, and flower centerpiece

Away
Library (make a special meal from food mentioned in books read aloud)
Walk – by the lake, river, down a fun street, across a college campus
Water – run through the sprinklers, a spray park or local fountain, water guns/spray bottles, water balloons
Swim (river or lake or free pool)
Bike Ride/roller blade/skate board
Barnes and Noble Sat. night music concert
Free Summer concerts /Plays in the park or at college campus
Free days for – zoo, museums, local interests
Watch/support the runners in the Komen Breast Cancer 5k (tons of great music and tons of fun people)
Letter boxing / Geo caching
Archery or outdoorsman shops (often they will let you shoot a few for free and are good to talk to the kids)
Wildlife Refuges (normally free)
Bird Watching
Coupons – for treats, summer reading rewards, etc.
Hike – park, waterfall, mountains, etc.
Camp away from home (keep it very simple to keep it cheap)

Service
Walk dogs at the local pound/shelter
Yard work for elderly
Yard work for a cemetery
Pick up trash in a park
Letter writing to elderly or missionaries

The Spirit of Christmas ~ Thoughtful Consideration

I've thought about posting this for years. Like breastfeeding, homeschooling, religion, politics, and a hundred other subjects, I've found Santa Claus to be one of the sacred cows in our culture. So I've said little if anything at all. But I do have some thoughts. I have an opinion. I have a voice. And if I can't share my voice on own my blog, where can I share it? Please know that the following is not my attempt to convert anyone to my way of thinking. Or to judge others' way of doing things. It is purely an attempt to share one more voice and to record how I came to some of the thoughts I have. 


It is funny how little things can become big, personal things. Tim and I dated while attending Weber State University. He was a Sociology major and one of his favorite professors was Dr. Gilespie. Every year Dr. Gilespie would hold his annual "Anti-Claus" lecture/debate. Intregued, we went. To say it was thought provoking might be an understatement. I had never considered Christmas without Santa Claus. They went hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly or hot chocolate and marshmallows. I didn't buy into all he said, but I also couldn't discount much of what he said either. More than anything, I came away with a determination to purposefully create a meaningful holiday. For me, it became more about focusing on Christ than eliminating Santa.However, I also found that as I spent more time and effort on Christ, the result was that Santa (decor, songs, fables) became almost non-existent in our home.

I purposely purchased decor that reflected Christ. I started collecting Nativities and hope one day to have one in every part of the house. We found Christ in many of our typical decorations - the tree, the lights, the ornaments, the colors, the wreaths, the music, the scents, the gifts all have special meanings that have remind us of Christ. I kept the decorations and traditions that reflected Christ and we do have a few Santa things - a beautiful quilted wall hanging lovingly made by Ry's first piano teacher and a couple of ornaments from my childhood - things that spoke of love, family, service.

I also studied up on the tradition of St. Nicholas. If the legends are even partly true, he was a good, righteous man. He was generous, especially to the poor, needy, and the children. Three known historical accounts tell of him secretly leaving gold in the stockings or shoes of families in need. He spent much of his time imprisoned for his beliefs and was a frequent champion of the unjustly accused. The more I learned of St. Nicholas, the more I felt like he led a Christ-like life. I loved his generosity, his love, his unselfishness, his convictions, his work. I decided to keep the stockings traditions.

Growing up, our stockings were filled with an orange, nuts, hard candy, some chocolate and a small gift or two. I kept those traditions. To capture the spirit of St. Nicholas, we all exchanged stockings each year and the kids LOVED deciding on the perfect gifts and filling the assigned stocking. I found they were much more excited about the one they filled than their own. After they had gone to bed, I slipped a letter into each stocking. The Christmas letters have become one of my favorite Christmas traditions by far. I have loved the search for the right word to adequately express my heart for each family member. I have loved 'seeing' them in a different light and noticing things about them that might otherwise have been forgotten. I love that Ryan has a collection of love letters from his mother. I love that in the business of the season, I found time to express what mattered most to me. I love that the letter is the first thing Ryan opens on Christmas morning. I love that he has started writing a letter to me and slipping it in my stocking on Christmas Eve.

When asked if I believe in Santa, I began to say, "I believe in the spirit of St. Nicholas" and I do. I began to look for ways our family could help others through out the season. Some years that has been delivering gifts, other times volunteering in the community, others spending our time with others. We talk often of the best gifts for Christ, what those look like, and how St. Nicholas lived his life. I spent some time and created a Christmas Devotional book where we would sing songs, read scriptures and tell inspiring Christmas stories. Often the devotionals would end with a challenge to service others and soak up the celebration of the season. I don't think there has been a single year yet that we have done all of the devotionals. Life gets in the way sometimes. But that has also kept if fresh each year.

I've never asked Ry (or any other kids in my home) what they wanted for Christmas. Rather the question has always been, "What are you giving for Christmas?" Such a simple change of words completely changes the focus and attitude. We have given 3 gifts, which when added to the stocking and gifts from grandparents/extended family has always felt like a very full Christmas. Had Ryan had siblings, we would have had the kids make gifts for each other as well. I have loved how limiting the number of gifts has simplified the season for me. I have been able to enjoy the month instead of feeling rushed.

Over the years, I haven't condemned Santa nor actively eliminated him. I found that as I purposely chose traditions that reflected Christ, I had less time, money or opportunity to focus on Santa. I found that I didn't have time to visit Santa at the mall. I spent time scouring the internet for Christmas music that I loved and I found I had little time available for music I only liked. I found that I as I filled the season with the best things for us, there was little left over for other good things. Our culture permeates Santa Claus and Ryan has not been denied the opportunity to sit on his lap, watch the movies and sing the songs at the stores, school and activities. I just haven't invited him to our home. I have no regrets. I am so grateful we went to the Anti-Claus debate so many years ago not because it has taken anything away from Christmas, but because it has added so much more. I am grateful that I was provoked to thoughtful consideration and choose what has been best for us.

Period Films I Adore~

I've always loved the past. I have a picture of a two yr. old me decked out in a yellow pioneer dress complete with a white eyelet pinafore and bonnet. I LOVED that dress. I still remember the day when my mom said we had to give it away, that I was way too big for it. I was nine. (In my defense, I don't think I had worn it for a few years, but I loved it so much I wanted to keep it forever.)

I love these movies. Often when I am home alone, I will put one on just for company in the house. I love the messages of my favorites. So here there are: (if anyone has any to add to the list, please let me know!)

Jane Austin-
Sense and Sensibility (2008)
Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth edition)
Emma (both the Kate Beckinsale and 2010 versions)
Northanger Abbey
Becoming Jane

Elizabeth Gaskill-
Wives and Daughters
North and South (BBC)
Cranford
Return to Cranford

Dickens-
Little Doritt
Our Mutual Friend
Nicholas Nickleby

Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre (Toby Stephens - Masterpiece Classic)

Thomas Hardy-
Under the Greenwood Tree

Victor Hugo-
Les Miserables (Liam Neeson)

Others-
Larkrise to Candleford (BBC)
Bright Star
Amazing Grace
The Importance of Being Ernest
Anna and the King
Ever After
Little Woman
Love Comes Softly and Loves Enduring Promise
Sarah Plain and Tall and Skylark
Sommersby
The Man from Snowy River
Seasons of the Heart
Sweet Land

Mother's Day 2011

I wrote this last Mother's Day but didn't get it published. More like a journal entry but I finally decided to share it.

I want to record this weekend before I forget. This weekend is the last weekend that Ryan will be with me for some time. For the next 5 weekends, he will go to his dad's. I set aside some appointments for me (hair) and left my huge bag of grading at school and decided to focus on him.

Sat.
We slept in. Glorious! We leisurely made our way through a morning routine. I purchased our plane tickets online for the summer. Eventually we were ready to go by noon. We left for the science museum- just us. One the way, we talked through the car wash. Once there, we rode the Segways together - my first time. We worked together to make the pulley contraption move the weight. We had robot arm wars. Ryan rode the flight simulator and lets just say I don't think I will ever ride with him as a pilot - he clipped a few trees, seems to love rolling the plane and I suspect it was a crash landing. We shared a basket of fries and walked around the gardens. I had no idea the gardens where there and they are gorgeous! We dreamt together what we would like in our dream backyard. We watched the Extreme Sports Imax movie which now has Ryan regretting he signed up for Snowboarding for his Snow Sports merit badge. :)

Once home, I switched laundry and played on the internet, while Ryan mowed the lawn. Then he played on the internet while I weeded the flower beds. He opted to stay home while I ran a mother's day gift to a friend. While out, I remembered I needed to pick something up from a sister in our ward. She didn't have my item, but I was able to spend a few minutes talking with a sister I haven't seen in a long time. We both lost our husbands around the same time - mine to divorce and her's to death. It was good to talk to her. Afterward, I ran to Walmart for a few things. Once home we had a late night dinner of salmon, stir fry veggies and rice - some of Ry's favorites.
Sunday began with the 6am alarm as church begins at 8. We got going and were there early. I remembered to wear my locket from my parents. I felt emotional before we even left! The hymns always bring a lump to my throat and I spent most of the time holding the book and wiping tears. The sacrament hymn was "I Stand All Amazed" - I love that song and sing it often to Ry when I am tucking him in at night. I love watching Ryan pass the sacrament. The talks were wonderful - some of the best I've heard on Mother's Day. They were from the heart, personal, intimate stories. They spoke of Christ, they uplifted and inspired. I loved them. After, I gave my first primary lesson on John ch. 9. It went well and I could see the kids were paying attention.

After church, the missionaries came over for dinner. We had baked french toast with homemade syrup, apples and apple dip and smoothies. Lots of sugar today! After dinner, we pulled out the conversation jar and shared "one funny and one spiritual story from our college days" (or school days in Ryan's case) We shared the Lamb of God cd music with them and some of Molly Davis' cd and sent them home with a bar of my favorite soap.
I took a nap. Afterward, I made up some pans of baked french toast and some apple dip and delivered to some of the best mom's I know. I spent time talking at two of the homes. At the end of the evening, I felt like I had been a ministering angel. And I had followed the spirit - at the last minute, I had changed my delivery route and was were I needed to be at the right time.

I got home late - 10pm, but I never wanted the weekend to end so we put in Secretariat and watched together until we fell asleep. It was a good weekend - a beautiful weekend that didn't end up how I had planned. We ended up doing most of the things that Ryan wanted to do. Mother's day weekend this year was one of the best but mostly because most of it wasn't about me - It was about Ryan and serving so many around me. My cup is dripping down the sides...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

My friend Pamela posted this recipe on a board we visit. Her description - A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!! I agree. Super wonderful, especially in the blistering heat when you do not want to turn on your oven. 


CROCK POT BAKED POTATOES

Scrub potatoes
Soak potatoes overnight in water with sea salt
Poke holes in potatoes
Coat potatoes with olive oil
Stand potatoes up in crock pot on their ends

DO NOT ADD WATER to the crock pot
Put lid on crock pot
Cook on high for four hours

Summer Reading

Bookcase in my tiny living room. I LOVE books in the living room. Actually in every room. Thinking about it, I have at least one bookcase in every room of my house except the bathroom and that is only because of a lack of space. 

I am free to read!!!!! I have stayed up late reading into wee hours of the morning. I have woken in the morning to my books next to me and have lazed in bed reading for a few more hours. I've finished 3 books so far and have to share two of them with you - so,so, so good.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - a wonderfully fun read. Loved it! Charming and beguiling are great descriptors. Less than half way through the book I looked up the authors to see if there were more of the books as I was falling in love with the characters. I was saddened to learn that the principal author, Mary Ann Shaffer, passed away before completing the book. I am so glad that her niece, Anne Burrows, finished it to share with the world. The entire novel is a series of letters which is something new to me. It was so much fun.It made me want to pick up a pen and write lovely letters to all I know. I also realized how different letter writing is and how much I can improve. The book also made me want to discover some books that are mentioned that I have never read. And it made me miss book groups I've participate with in the past. Sharing a book together is wonderful bonding - like a secret treasure you found together. When I first moved to Oklahoma eight years ago, I joined a book group. Loved it. Most of us read the books and freely shared our love/hate relationships with them. Once, Caroline choose the book "The Secret Garden" as the book for the next month. We got to together but with all the busy-ness of that month, it was one of the rare times that no one had read the book. We spent the evening visiting instead. I was able to get to the book a month or so later and I. LOVED. IT. I will never forget whispering together through most of the next meeting with Caroline, sharing our favorite parts and what we took away from it. It made me just bubble to share it with her and find that she loved it too. Caroline is now a published children's author, (and her book is wonderful!) We rarely see each other, but in the words of Anne Shirley, she is a kindred spirit.

The other book I want to share is "Mama'a Bank Account" - love, love, love this book! Super easy read that I may read to my 3rd graders this next year. Much along the lines of "Cheaper by the Dozen" - oozes so much family goodness, fiscal responsibility and gospel messages. This is a great family read aloud.

I also want to link Montserrat's (of Chocolate on my Cranium) summer reading program. Such a great idea. I may do it for myself or start it for my students.

And lastly, two huge thumbs up for www.abebooks.com. I bought a ton of books from them for $1.00 each. I have been extremely happy with all of them. Full book shelves make me happy!
The bookcase in my bedroom. Running out of space. Must be about time to move to a bigger place because getting rid of some of my books is not an option. 

A Day in my Life

I wrote this May 17 but never had time to edit or publish.

6:00 Alarm goes off. Up. Read some scriptures for my lesson. Start cover letter for Resume to ELL director.

6:40 Shower

6:55 Wake Ryan, dress, make up, etc,

7:20 leave the house, drop off Ry, drive to school.

7:50 Pick up students (all 29), handle problems, work out lunch issues, finish 3 fluency tests

8:45 Morning meeting

9:10 - 11:00 Space unit with students

11 pick up sack lunches, take back to room and monitor kids while eating and recess. Show Spanish speakers new English games on computer and how to play.

12 Drop off kids at Super kids day. Run home to get dvds, laptop, portable dvd player, and Japan box.

12:25 pick up McDonald's lunch for Mrs. Brinson (another teacher) and myself - eat most of mine in the car.

1:00 unload everything ( 2 trips) set up "Tangled" movie (because Super Kids Fun day is cut short because of weather), help Meg (another teacher) with her dvd, open Japan box, set up Estella (part-time aide) with corrections, clean off desk.

1:30 Pick up kids early from super kids day. Bring back and handled problems, soaking wet kids, bathroom for everyone, move desks and set up for movie with popcorn. Review rules and necessary items for zoo tomorrow.

2:00 Start movie. I work on Zoo folder, groups, etc. at desk. Actually sit for first time all day. Monitor kids.

3:15 Movie is over. Parents picking up because of huge thunderstorm outside.

3:30 - 4 get kids out the door. People everywhere with parents trying to pick up kids. CHAOS!

4:30 Go to the bank and exchange Ryan's mangled $20. He ran over it with the mower on Friday.

5:00 Home. Cleaned up the kitchen and started the dishes soaking. Start a load of laundry

5:30 Set up the printer to the laptop and look up scout merit badges stuff. Print and staple packets of the current merit badges Ry is working on - Reading, Cooking, Personal Management, Personal Fitness, & Citizenship in community. Remind Ry to get uniform.

6:20 leave for Scouts

6:30 - 7:10 teach scouts Citizenship in the Community.

7:20 - 7:40 drive to North Edmond. Talk to friend Shara on the way and see how things are going with daughter difficulties.

7:40 - 8: 20 pick up Japan stuff from Garretts. Brenda shows me how to have the kids make a Samauri soldier hat. Go through stuff and she tells me what most of it is.Can barely get huge box into my car.

8:30 - 9:00 drive back to church. Talk to Cindy on the way. Oil light comes on 1/2 a block from the church.

9:00 - 9:30 Ryan and I clean the church - garbages, bathrooms, fountains, and general pick-up.

9:30 walk to nearest gas station and buy 2 qts. of oil. Return and put in car.

10 drive home. Ry grabs some food in front of an old episode of MacGyver. I wash the dishes, switch the laundry and sweep the floor. Make brownies.

11 get Ryan in bed. Finally sit down to check email. Respond to 2-3 emails. Read some of the SS lesson for Sunday.

11:30 get brownies out of oven. Go to bed. Actually lay in bed exhausted but unable shut off my brain for 30+ mins.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Motherhood

I have some thoughts I'd like to share about motherhood. I've thought about them for a long time, so hopefully soon, I will find a way to share them on paper (monitor?) in a concise, intelligible manner. In the meantime, I ran across this artist and this talk that she gave at BYU education week. Wow. I love what she says about being a mother and family. I went through the 31 domestic paintings first and then went back through them as I listened to her talk (it is about 20+ mins. long.) and then fell in love with them, or rather the message they share and the thoughts, determinations, appreciation they have inspired. Which one is your favorite and why? (I'll share my favs and why in a couple of days.)
Julie

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Make It Happen

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. Lots of rocking about in the boat on what appears to be the same sea has had  me less than enthused to chronicle it all. But I am back now so....

Family Home Evening. Our church encourages us to spend time together as a family every Monday night. They encourage it so much that no other activities are never allowed on Mondays. It is essential, sacred family time. Family Home Evening was a hit and miss growing up. I can only imagine how hard it was to corral 6 kids and as I was older, our schedules were all over the place. Interestingly enough, I do remember a long stretch of Family Home Evenings around the time I was 12. I don't remember the sibling 'discussions' (fighting) although I am sure there was some. I don't remember the lessons. I do remember learning the words to the hymn "Choose the Right" and every time I hear it or sing it, it takes me back to black vinyl couch, the house on Sherman street, and my family. I do know that I felt the spirit during some of the Family Home Evenings because I remember the feeling.

Family Home Evening has been a bit of a hit or miss with my family as well. Our family dynamic is completely different than the typical. It is just Ryan and I all the time. It has felt silly when I tried to have family night the typical way and we would trade 'jobs' - one give the prayer, the other the song, back to the first for a lesson, etc. Ryan and I talk all the time and I found that many of our FHE lessons felt forced, canned, spiritless especially in contrast to our many other discussions. And sometimes it felt like the activities highlighted the fact that we are only two rather than being fun activities together.

I prayed about it. I started gleaning bits from friends and my testimony of FHE began to deepen. My friend Kim mentioned that their family had been working on it - no matter how short that they spent some time together each Monday night and that they called it Family Home Evening - that is was a distinguished time for her kids. My friend Alisa shared some of her family nights on her blog and I noticed that they did FHE right after dinner, around the table. Another friend, Lindsay, constantly links her discussions to lds.org and the wealth of clips/discussions there. Hmmmm. Ideas began to form. I began to desire it more for my family. My heart started to want this - This was essential to my family.

As I continued to pray and ponder how to make this something special for my family, some inspiration came. First, I moved pizza night from Friday to Monday. Perfect idea because pizza holds an allure I will never understand. It made Monday nights instantly special and helped with accountability - no FHE = no pizza. And I made FHE part of dinner. We rarely (never?) skip meals so if they were tied together... the logic followed we wouldn't skip FHE.

The next thing I have done is to add more 'people' to our family. Ryan loves movies and tv. He is very visual. So I decided to base our lessons on what I could find on lds.org. I have found therre are TONS of video clips. This has made a HUGE difference for us. Now, it feels like we are both learning rather than one teaching (preaching) and the other hearing the lesson (lecture). By 'inviting' others voices has really helped our family nights feel different, special, unique.

So here is how last night looked in our family:

Prayer- over the food and FHE

Lesson - while we ate grilled cheese sandwiches (we are saving $ for vacations so no pizza for a few weeks), we watched a clip on Chastity on lds.org. Then we watched the video on Joseph in Egypt and discussed his story from the scriptures and finally,  we watched a clip of testimonies on chastity from other youth. We talked about it. Since neither of us are dating, we talked about attitude, discussions with friends, choosing friends, and media- issues of where we are now.  We ended the lesson with reading For the Strength of Youth section on Chastity and deciding that next week's lesson will be on Family.

Activity- after the lesson, we drove over to the car wash and vacuumed out the car. It took 10 mins. of vacuuming to get it cleaned out if that tells you anything.

Treat - We came home and had graham cracker/chocolate bar 'cookies'. I had planned to roast marshmallows and have s'mores, but Ryan didn't want to take the time to roast them. Works for me.

Prayer - we ended with our family prayer for the evening.

I share all of this only to share my conviction that Family Home Evening is about your family. Make it work for you. Make it unique to everyone else. Make it a tradition. Make it memorable. Make it yours. Make it happen.

I also share this because being a single parent presents challenges. Being a single parent of an only child  presents challenges. Both are challenges that are not always represented in FHE lessons, manuals, crafts, or examples. Challenges that require thinking outside of the box.

I am a gleaner of ideas, creator of none so I would love to hear from any of you with additional ideas, FHE hits and misses, the good and the bad, what works for you and what doesn't. Most importantly- make it happen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Few of My Loves...

General Conference is this weekend and I can hardly wait. It isn't so much about the talks, although I love them. (My problem is I have a hard time concentrating, thinking and continuing to listen at the same time. I much prefer to re-read the talks, see the words, highlight and take notes, stop, consider, look things up and come back to the talk and all of those things are nigh to impossible during the live sessions.) But I do love conference. I love the feeling of unity, of kindred spirits, of gathering from all over the world to sit and listen to the Lord's words. I love that I feel a part of something so wonderful, so grand, so holy, all the while sitting in my living room alone. Just watching the lines of saints waiting for their seats makes me tear up. And I love the spring flowers! Flowers are like a soothing touch - a caress. Do the gardeners have any idea how much I appreciate their hours of love and labor?  And I love the music! One of these days I want to experience conference in the tabernacle and conference center just to hear the music, to feel the vibrations,  the energy. I can only imagine how it must sound it person when it sounds that amazing over the internet.

The last week before conference is always hard - I always feel beaten down by the world, overwhelmed by the lists, powerless against those mightier than I. I am hungry for the unity of the saints and the words of the Lord.

I ran across this link to Conference Packets. They are the best I've ever seen and I just wanted to share. 

I also wanted to share a couple of blogs that have touched me deeply. I have others, but these two I really wanted to share tonight.
Resolved 2 Worship - I have really loved glimpses into this family and I love her playlist. I put it on most mornings while we are getting ready for school and Ryan has many of the songs memorized. She has made me think about my relationship with the Lord and with others so many times. I love, love, love the pictures on this site.

Chocolate on My Cranium - I always come away so uplifted and encouraged from Chocolate's messages. So much love, wisdom, and joy are freely shared here. Chocolate has a new blog that I am loving as well called Society Sunday - I love the content and I love the layout & graphics of this site.

I have never met either of these women and yet they have made an impact on me.They have helped me to think, ponder, consider, prioritize, and love more. They have encouraged my heart, strengthened my convictions, and exemplified grace. I love that they both have large families and are both pregnant with wanted babes. I love that they love their children, find joy in being mothers, that they cherish their marriages. I love that they embrace beauty and that they create, and most of all, I love that they love the Lord.

Much Love,
Julie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 'O The Morning to Ya!

I missed Pi day (3/14) so I don't want to miss the opportunity to wish you all a very happy St. Patrick's day. I am reposting my thoughts from two years ago -I love St. Patrick Day! I have corned beef in the crock pot and will be having potatoes and cabbage later today. If I am feeling up to it, I may make some Irish Soda Bread as well. Yum!

St. Patrick's Day




Having bright red hair and fair skin, I have been asked many times if I am Irish. I believe we have a few drops way back when, but I have come to love this holiday for more reasons than just ancestry. First, I have been to Ireland. In college I was part of a touring singing/dancing group which toured the British Isles for 5 weeks. We performed in Belfast, Cork, & Limerick. I kissed the Blarney stone & roamed the Blarney castle ruins. I had an amazing time and would go back in a heart beat.

Secondly, I learned about St. Patrick. He was an amazing man and has become an example of faith for me. He was born Maewyn Succat in Scotland around 373 AD to a Roman Christian family. The Roman Empire was close to collapse and was being invaded by enemies. When he was 16, he was kidnapped & taken to Ireland. He became a slave to Irish chieftains and sold around. He spent much of his time alone tending the sheep & praying. He said,

"Every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed - the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers and almost as many in the night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountains; and I felt no harm, and there was no sloth in me - as now I see, because the spirit within me was fervent. "
After 6 years of being a slave he had a dream where a voice told him that a ship was waiting for him. He felt that God was telling him to escape. He made it to the sea where he convinced a ship captain to carry him home to England. Once home, he was determined to dedicate his life to God amidst his father's protests. He went on to France to study religion and become a priest. He had another dream in that he felt God called him to be a missionary to Ireland. He began his mission in 430 AD (age 57) amid constant danger. He spent the next 30 years preaching the gospel of Christ. He was ridiculed, persecuted, and imprisoned. He wrote, "Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who ruled everywhere." Legend says that he used the 3-leafed shamrock to teach the principle of the Godhead. History records that St. Patrick founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 people. Many of his converts became missionaries to Scotland, England, Germany & Belgium. St. Patrick died in Ireland on March 17, 460 AD. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral carrying so many candles & torches that the sky was as light as day.("The Holiday Book" by Jill Connelly)

Lastly, I was a missionary. I served for 18 months in Santiago, Chile. It was an amazing experience which I remember every day. One day I hope to go back. For me, St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of missionary work. I can relate to his love for the Irish people. I have that same love for the Chilean people. I also love that green is the color of St. Patrick's Day - green is the color of life and it reminds me of the new life we have with the gospel of Christ. The gospel makes us new again, full of life & possibilities, full of hope for the future.

Stretch your faith today. Exercise your spiritual muscle. Share your testimony with those around you in deed and in word.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet agin, 
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Irish Blessing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I am...

I love, love, love this!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Scales of Education

I think that the little good I may be doing as a teacher is being greatly outweighed by the heavy hand of the system. Sigh.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Temples of My Life

I follow several blogs but one stands out among the rest - Monserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium. I love her wisdom, her depth of spirit, how much she shares. I love her testimony and example of marriage and motherhood. I check her blog almost daily and always, always come away uplifted.

Today, tears dripped down my cheeks as she shared about temples. You won't be disappointed. Take a few minutes and go watch it. Make sure to watch all of the clips - they are all so good.


As a youth, I got to participate in 3 Dance Festivals. Two occasions I danced in the Ukrainian dance. One of the steps was so hard for me to learn - it took me weeks, maybe even months, to learn the step. It is the only step that I can still do 25 years later. I cried as I saw their costumes - exactly like mine was so many years ago. I felt such a kinship and love for those wonderful youth in the video. When I first danced the Ukrainian dance, the cold war was still going strong. To think of the miracles that have happened in my lifetime, truly humbles me.

I love the simpleness of her words about the temple, and especially the words of others in the clip "Why Mormons Build Temples." I have so many layers of testimony and experience with the temples. I went to the temple last weekend and the blessings of that morning keep rippling out. I cherish the temple. I wish I was a powerful and articulate writer who could paint the emotions, the spirit, the joy, the promises, the revelation, the peace of the temple. I wish I could make you feel how thin, how transparent, the veil between mortality and immortality are in the temples. Instead, I leave with you my testimony of temples. I cherish the temple. They are the House of the Lord, built to His holiness.

For my grandchildren, these are the temples of my life:

Idaho Falls Temple: My first temple experience. My family was sealed together in this temple. I remember it still. I remember us all kneeling together around the alter, my mom holding my baby sister Cindy. I remember the feeling of love and eternity. I was 6 years old.

(I also attended this temple while at Ricks College for two years.) 

Seattle Temple: I remember the surprise, excitement and pure joy when this temple was announced. I remember saving money to help build it and all of the service opportunities for the open house. I remember going through the open house and the long lines waiting for hours in the rain to tour the temple. All of my youth years were at this temple. Some of my earliest lessons in symbolism were learned here. One last thing - there are many life size statures on the grounds of this temple that I love. So beautiful. For years I said I would be married in this temple - maybe one day. 

Portland, Oregon Temple: I was so surprised when they announced this temple and while thrilled, I felt a twinge of guilt. We had a temple close by (it was only 5 hours to Seattle) when so many of the world did not. I loved the Seattle temple and was not ready to move on. I soon learned that love for the temples increases, it doesn't transfer. This temple is amazingly beautiful. The grounds, the building, the doors, the arboretum, the art work, the rooms inside - one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. A couple of tender memories with this temple - just before the open house, our ward had a display of all of the things members had made to donate to the temple. It was so sacred. There were hand crocheted alter cloths, art work, blankets for children, shawls, tissue & scripture covers, linens, white clothing for all, especially children. All of it done by hand. It touched my heart deeply to see so much love expressed for the Lord and for each other.

This temple is where I remember my mom. She was with me the first time I went through as an adult. She was there for my wedding. I remember helping her (she was in a wheel chair) at my sisters wedding. I have felt her there so many times.

This is also the temple where all of my family have been married. So many memories of weddings at this temple. Lastly, this is the temple where I took Ryan for his 'first' temple trip. (another post sometime)
Salt Lake City temple: My parents took me to this temple the day before I entered the Missionary Training Center on my mission to Santiago, Chile. While I have only been inside a couple of times, I have walked these grounds countless times. This temple is steeped in symbols, sacrifice and devotion and for that alone, I love this temple. 


Provo Temple: I attended this temple weekly for 8 weeks while in the missionary training center. A HUGE part of my love of the temple was developed during this time. I learned to feel so comfortable in the temple and my eyes were opened, just a bit, to the mysteries of God. I learned some questions that have taken years of study to find answers. How grateful I am for that journey. 

Santiago, Chile Temple: I attended this temple twice. Sweet, rich experience to hear the temple sessions in Spanish. The last time I went through, I was shocked at how many members from all of my areas came to go through with me before I left for home. I cried A LOT. So many emotions. The sisters called me "La Llorona" - the crier. Said with much love and smiles. :)


Ogden, Utah Temple: I attended this temple while I went to Weber State University. Many times Tim and I would attend together, both while we were dating and after we were married. Many decisions were taken to the Lord in the temple. This was the temple were I participated in a Temple Worship day - we were there from 6 am - 2 pm and in that time participated in every ordinance of the temple. It was amazing. I want to do it again sometime. 

Dallas, TX temple: This was our temple for the two years we lived in Oklahoma while Tim attended Law School. Luckily, we had friends living in the Dallas area as it was a three hour drive. We would stay the weekend with them, they would watch Ryan for us, and we attended the temple together. While only 3 1/2 hours away, attending this temple became a large test of our faith. Our car broke down every. time. we. went. And I mean serious break downs. Stressful, but we have really good memories of those times. We always had the money to cover the repairs, just barely (like cents left over. )


Oklahoma City temple: I was again surprised to learn of a temple being built so close to us - it felt like the gospel was spreading by leaps and bounds. This temple became special in that we were close enough to watch it being built. Every other Sunday we would drive out to the construction site and sit for a few minutes searching to make out the layout, the next steps and marveling at the miracle springing up before our eyes. I love the cobblestone bricks out front and the coziness of it. We helped with the open house as ushers - I loved how people would catch their breath at the beauty of the celestial room. 
We left for a family reunion the day before the dedication and then moved to Oregon. We helped build this temple but did not attend a session for over three years. This temple played largely in our answers to return to Oklahoma and it was a sweet experience to attend for the first time. This place was my safe haven during the divorce months. I felt the Lord so close at that time and have heard his voice. 

 Ryan and I had the privilege of cleaning out the flower beds and landscaping the grounds one spring. Ryan wasn't too sure of this 'privilege' but after was so glad that we did it. I had a hard time getting him to go when it was time. 

This is also the temple that Ryan first entered. It was an incredibly sweet experience for my dad to baptize me and then Ryan for some of our ancestors. 

Nauvoo, Illinois temple: I get teary-eyed just seeing this temple and remembering. I remember walking on the ground where the temple now stands at a 10 yr. old when there was nothing but grass and a faint impression of the foundation stones. I remember seeing a model under glass of it and looking at the remaining sunstones. Ryan and I drove into Nauvoo at about 6:00 in the evening July 2009 and the summer sun was lighting the temple as you see in this picture.  As we drove up the hill, we turned the corner and there it was. It took my breath away. It still does. It was magnificent. Gleaming. Amazing. I cried. I couldn't believe I was seeing it. So much healing has taken place in this sacred spot over the last two years. So much strength given. 

As part of the Nauvoo pageant, we build the temple on stage and at the end, spotlights light the temple in the background. Our first year in pageant, I got to be one of the sisters who keeps the temple banners from touching the ground as the temple is raised. I loved the emotions and spirit I felt as I sang with all of my heart Praise to the Man while the temple banners raised from my outstretched hands. After it was built, Ryan would find me in the crowd and we would spend a few minutes together gazing at the temple, tears silently drifting down our cheeks. Then, we would pack our bags and with one last look at the temple, leave for Utah. I loved that Ryan and the girls in our family would always step out from the wagon train and have one last look at the temple - no one ever told them to do it. Every night, when the temple was about to be lit, all of the kids would stop what they were doing backstage to look at the temple. 

Ry and I walked the grounds that first year, looking at all of the carvings in the rock and I was able to attend a session with the adults. 

Last year (2010) was even better. This time Ryan was old enough to help his grandpa (my dad) and the men built the framework of the temple. I was in the RS sewing circles sewing shirts for the workmen. This year, I was a runner, actually carrying a temple banner and hooking it into the framework to be lifted up. I watched my dad and step-mom walk through the temple on stage. Again, Ryan found me each night and put his arm around me as we gazed at the temple. This year, Ryan was 12 and my dad baptized Ryan and my step-sister Heather. This year, I attended a temple session with my dad, step-mom and sister. This year I saw artifacts preserved at the temple I had never seen before. I learned about the miraculous hand of God in rebuilding the temple. 

I wish the pictures could do it justice, but they don't. You have to experience Nauvoo. 


There they all are. The temples of my life so far. I cherish each of them. They are the House of the Lord. His spirit dwells within their walls. The work there is sacred, the blessings eternal. The mysterious of God are unfolded - numberless layers of understanding. The eternal mingles with the temporal in the house of the Lord. Go and hear his voice. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who is this Kid?


Oh, just the kid who will be going to the State Inventor's Exposition with his solar paneled cell phone recharger! And the kid who made his school baseball team! Have I mentioned how much I love this guy? Congrats Ryan! You rock!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

Legend says that today is the anniversary of St. Valentine's death. He was put to death for disobeying the Roman Emperor by marrying soldiers to their sweethearts. The tradition of notes of appreciation came from the newlyweds slipping notes of gratitude through the bars when he was in jail. Notes of gratitude - love that. 

I left Ry a couple of notes for him to find throughout the day. We went out to eat at Chen's Buffet (I ate TONS of shrimp and salmon!) At home, we had our first dance lesson in the kitchen, talked about girls and dating, read scriptures together and then watched Princess Bride together. He hadn't seen it in a long time so it was really fun to crack up at parts of it. Friends delivered cookies which were awesome! 

Appreciate your loved ones!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love

"A afriend loveth at all times..." Proverbs 7:17


A friend brought us a treat last Sunday with this quote. Loved it. 


I am not a facebook fan - I rarely post and have never cared much for the wall feature. But I do love facebook for the one reason I use it - as a 'phone book' of my life. I have loved finding and catching up with friends that I haven't seen in years. Today I had a friend request from a sweet young woman that used to go on splits with me in my first area in Chile. It has been over 15 years and she found me. I loved catching up on her, her mission (yeah!), her marriage and family. Absolutely made my day! So today, I LOVE facebook. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love


" When you are in Love you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams. "
-- Dr Suese

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love


"I love you, not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you."
--Roy Croft

I stopped by my friend Alisa's for a few minutes yesterday. We visited for a bit and kids played through out the house as some friends were over. I didn't say much to the kids and was surprised to see one of her kiddos run to the front door to wave good--bye as I was leaving. The smile on his face was huge. Such a simple, silly thing but it squeezed my heart. Kids have the power to make me want to be better. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love

This scripture is near to my heart.


Your words have been astout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
 14Ye have said, It is avain to serve God: and what bprofit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
 15And now we call the aproud happy; yea, they that workbwickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
 16¶Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a abook ofbremembrance was written before him for them that feared theLord, and that thought upon his name.
 17And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my bjewels; and I will cspare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
                                                                                                   Malachi 3: 13 - 17