24 September 2012

Alex Boye - Doing Good as a US Citizen

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song - and this arrangement - and this video!!!

I discovered these videos a month or so ago - and just never finished writing a blog post, sometimes I get so caught up in researching that I forget to come back and actually write the post! I really enjoyed learning more about Alex Boye . . . what an amazing person to go go along with his talents. I first learned about Alex Boye (see this podcast) a few years ago when I was a regular listener of The Cricket and the Seagull Fireside Chat by Steven Kapp Perry.

Here is the making of video.

Alex Boye became and American Citizen this year and had an amazing experience at his naturalization ceremony. I like this article by the Church News - Singer Now a Citizen.

And here is the video:

What an amazing immigrant who will love and contribute to his new country!

11 September 2012

James, James, Morrison, Morrison

James, James, Morrison Morrison,
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his mother
Though he was only three

These are the opening lines to a poem that I memorized in middle school. It is amazing how these lines have stayed with me for so many years. 

Here are two more poems that I learned as a kid – and still remember and say to my kids at random times, like when we are having graham crackers and milk, which I like better than animal crackers.

Poems - Little Turtle - Animal Crackers

This book is old – but very well loved. It fell apart and the cover was lost when I was a kid – and it was probably old then. The book is missing the first 18 pages, so I don’t even know the name of the book. But I loved it as a kid, and still have fond memories of it.

My kids and I have been attending a Poetry Bee once a month. It is like a spelling bee, but you recite poems instead. It has been very inspiring, and we have enjoyed learning new poems. Afterward the Poetry Bee we go for a walk by the river and enjoy the great atmosphere and company.

07 September 2012

Parking Garage Tips

I attended Time Out For Women with my mom and daughters tonight and it was a very fun and inspiring event.  However, the tips I have to share are from our parking garage adventures.

1. IF YOU know you are parking in a parking garage at an event center leave home early.

Woo Hop! We have been in the car a full 30 minutes and have no made it down 1 level in the parking garage!

2. If you will be driving in rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon . . . Leave home even earlier.

3. Make sure you know exactly what lane you need to be in to get to said parking garage. 

4. MAKE SURE YOU GET in the correct lane as early as possible. Failure to be in the correct lane means an additional trip around the block. 

5. Leave home earlier so you have extra time in case you do have to drive around the block.

Another level down - only 8 minutes that time.  There is hope.

6. If you are prone to motion sickness, getting dizzy, or afraid of heights be prepared with a paper bag and or pills. It is a long spiral drive up to the 7th floor.

7. If you didn't follow tip # 1 accept the fact that you are late to your meeting and pledge to leave earlier next time.

Another level down -  8 more minutes.

8. After your event visit with your friends. Walk around and look at displays. Try to find some new friends.

9. When you think it is time to go . . . Wait a few more minutes. Visit with another friend.

11. Go to the bathroom, even if there is a long line, it is ok, you have plenty of time.

7 more minutes and another level down. Progress.

12. When  you get to your vehicle check the line of traffic. Is it moving? More than an inch a minute? If not don't get in the car, it will be hot and stuffy. Turn around and leave the parking garage. Find a nice place to rest, maybe get a drink or even better ice cream. (This idea courtesy of my sister and her friends, the smart group)

Oh no, another level already. 5 minutes. I'm running out of time to write this blog post, driving is taking up too much time.

06 September 2012

I have a Little Brain too

It may have taken me years – but I am finally getting it. Books are important! I know, I’ve loved books for my entire life. I would often walk to the library several times a week to get new books while I was growing up, and one summer I kept track and read over a 100 books.

I’ve always enjoyed reading – but it has only been recently that I have finally learned to find important principles in books and apply them to my life – maybe it was the conveyor belt education where I taught to search for the answers to a long list of questions, or maybe it was just that I read books way to fast, just for pure enjoyment, and to find out what happens, instead of reading for deeper understanding, and maybe it is because I am reading as a Mom, and looking for ideas and concepts for my children to absorb through listening that I am noticing so many amazing ideas in books.

Now that I have begun to see principles in books it makes reading take a lot longer, because I am pausing to go – aha!, ooh, that is good, and wow, I want to write about that. So here goes . . .

I am reading “Me and My Little Brain” by John Fitzgerald to my boys. John and his Papa are having a discussion about Johns abilities:

“How do you know what you can do best?” I[John] asked.

“A great burning desire to become something is a good indication a person has the ability for it, “ Papa said. “A man who has this desire to become . . . almost always achieves his goal. And it is this gift of birth that divides people into all the vocation that are needed for mankind to survive. But there are some people who stifle this desire to be something they can be. They are motivated by admiration or envy to try to be something else. For example, J.D.[John], you were motivated by admiration for Alex Kramer to become a trader, although you lacked the ability to be a successful trader. As a result you failed.

. . .

Find your own identity and say to yourself, this is me, and I can’t be anybody but me. Know thyself and be thyself. That is the key to a happy and well-adjusted life.” (Me and My Little Brain, John Fitzgerald, pg 36)

Papa explains so well what I have been trying to teach my kids about the concept of “mission”. The philosophy of education that I subscribe to is called Thomas Jefferson Education (TJED), or Leadership Education. A very vital and key component of TJED is that everyone has a personal mission in life, and the purpose  of their education is being prepared to fulfill that mission. Inherently, I know that this is taught in my religion as well, I’m just not sure how. The exciting thing is that as I’m coming to understand the principles contained in TJED I am seeing them pop up books, in movies, in my scriptures, in life. I know that they were there all along, I just didn’t know how to recognize them.

It might have taken my little brain a long time to catch on(+ or – a hundred years), but know I am becoming . . . , I am searching my my identity (you, not them), I am learning to be happy(secure, not stressed), and I am striving to mentor my children, to help them to discover and prepare for their mission.

I want them to be who they were born to be.

Like Papa says, I want them to “Know thyself and be thyself.”

For even those of us with “little brains” deserve to be happy.



Isaac is taking a Human Anatomy class at TEACH Co-op this semester. The story goes that during lunch he was walking around with his paper brain hat on, and someone said to him, “I didn’t know you had one of those.”

03 September 2012

Payback or Pay it Forward

Last week I was finally able to pay back some debts that I owed. These weren’t financial debts, these were debts of service. In the last few years we have had a lot of rough spots. Time when I, as the Mom, especially, was really struggling to be able to do the things that Mom’s do, like clean the kitchen, make the meals, do the shopping, etc.

We have been very blessed to belong to a church that believes in reaching out and serving each other. Many time members of the Relief Society have brought us meals in our times of need, after the birth of babies, surgeries, etc. Several times they have also come and helped to clean the kitchen and vacuum the floors.

I remember one time especially helpful, physically I was well, however, I was fighting depression and mentally and spiritually was not in a very good place. One dear sister came over and helped me to clean my house. We worked as we visited, and she listened to me as I told her about Holly’s birth, and showed her pictures. I felt so blessed to have someone that would listen to me, and work with me, and the time she spent helped me out not only that time but other days as well as I remembered the love she shared with me.

I have so long been the one in need, and after Lydia’s birth I felt like it took me forever to recover. I know 6 weeks isn’t forever, but some days it sure felt like it. Again, I was so blessed to have wonderful daughters who are entirely capable of cooking, cleaning, and with a ride to the store, shopping. Also, the Relief Society stepped in again and meals were brought, along with cute outfits for Lydia, and my visiting teachers helped out by driving the girls and my grandma to the grocery store. It was a wonderful blessing, but still, I wanted to be able to give back.

Finally, I got my chance. Last week not only was I able to make a meal for a family in our ward, but I was also able to drive my friend to the doctors office. These were little things, and I was happy to do them.

However, when I read on facebook that another friend was having a rough week and feeling overwhelmed it was so exciting that I knew what I could do. The next day I loaded up my kids and we went made a surprise visit. I put Lydia in my moby wrap, rounded up a few of her kids, and with my kids we cleaned her kitchen. Emily said, as we were working, “It’s more fun to clean someone else’s kitchen.” That is what made me realize how wonderful being able to serve others makes you feel! I was able to payback -  by paying it forward -  some of the service that I had received by reaching out and serving others. And it felt wonderful!


I am so glad that I was able to take my kids with me, that they were excited and willing to serve. We should incorporate this pay it forward concept into our lives more often.

02 September 2012

Look Who’s Popped Out!


Obviously I haven’t used my laptop to write a blog post in a long time, I opened the program tonight and found this blog post that I wrote a long time ago ( I’m guessing about a week after Lydia was born) and never posted. But it is so cute – that I can’t not post it!  2 Sept 2012


Lydia 2 - for web copy

Our little Lydia arrived as scheduled by a planned C-Section. It was very different experience to have everything go according to a schedule . . .  and to happen so quickly. We arrived at the hospital at 6am, and at 8:12am we had a baby!

Brad and Lydia headed off to the recovery room while the doctors were still working on stitching me back up. By the time I got to the recovery room my Mom was there with Brad and Lydia and they had already sent out emails and text messages to the family!

It was Rebecca’s job to post the news on facebook and email my friends that are not on facebook. It seems like I read this facebook post on Facebook while I was still in the recovery room.


MaryAnn has been looking forward to “my baby sister” for quite awhile. When she got to the hospital she sat down with Rebecca and held Lydia, and told me, “My baby sister popped our of your tummy!” It was so adorable, made me laugh, and was basically true, how else do you explain a c-section to a 4 year old, and she figured it out all by herself.

Lydia Darleen Georgeson - 28 June 2012 - 10lbs - 21.5 inches

We are recovering well, and catching up on our sleep. The other kids are amazing at taking care of the house, and we have wonderful friends and church members who have been bringing in meals help out. We are truly blessed.

28 August 2012

Zucchini and the Book of Mormon

Did you know that there was Zucchini in the Book of Mormon? Well, neither did I, until Isaac told us that his primary class has been giving nicknames to the Book of Mormon characters, and Zucchini was the nickname for Zerahemnah. (Reminded me of Veggie Tales, but they don’t have any Book of Mormon videos).

During my recovery period after Lydia was born I had a lot of free time just sitting around, so I finally made a Pinterest account. It was a lot of fun, and I found a lot of neat ideas, but the ones that I like the most and have implemented in our home are the Scripture Journals. Do a google search and you will find lots of ideas, or check out my Devotional Board, my favorite source of inspiration is The Red Headed Hostess, but I really figured out how to do it with my kids from this post on Latter-Day Homeschooling.

We have doing our scripture journals for about a week now, and we are really enjoying them. We spend more time talking about the stories and the doctrine, trying to understand what is going on. The discussion is really good for the older kids, they get the scriptures so well, and want to dig deeper, but the younger kids were always goofing off, so now I am trying to work with the younger kids to draw pictures or write words to keep them interested in quieter. (This part doesn’t always work as well as I had hoped.)

Now back to Zucchini. I am not an artist, but that isn’t the point, the point is to try and convey something about the scriptures that will help us to remember the story or the doctrine. We were reading about Zerahemnah, and I remembered that Isaac called him Zucchini, so I drew this picture in his book for him, and then like a game of pictionary he had to figure out what it was.

Isaac Scripture Journal 27 August 2012

It took several kids to figure it out, but once they decided it looked like a fruit, and not a banana, they got it. Isaac busted up laughing at my drawing. I’ll interpret the picture for you now.

Zucchini (Zerahemnah) refused to make an oath of peace, then he was scalped. For more information check out this wiki article or Alma 44.


Inspire, not Require!

I don’t require my kids to write in their scripture journals, and the first couple of days Isaac barely even opened his up, but he has been starting to add stickers and copy the pictures off of the stickers a little bit the past few days. Today, he produced this!

Isaac Scripture Journal 28 August 2012

I think his artwork is much improved over mine. I didn’t even think about putting a face on my zucchini. I have a feeling he is going to remember the story of Zarahemnah for a very long time.


I was going to write this last night, but I went to bed instead. I took a nap today, so I decided to write this tonight, I realize that the article isn’t up to my usual, my writing style doesn’t seem to flow tonight. I really miss writing though, so I’m just going to plug on and hope that as I practice again my writing will again flow and improve and inspire.

16 July 2012

Good Bye Ally–Hello Ice Cream!

White Chocolate Ice Cream with Raspberries and Dark Chocolate Flakes
We had a goodbye party for Allyaska and Tyler at Subzero Ice Cream. I had never heard of this ice cream shop before and it was really “cool”. There must have been at least a million possible flavors of ice cream, since you got to make a lot of choices, from what kind of dairy product, to ice cream flavor, and mix ins! Those choices seemed endless. Dad had it easy, he noticed they had a Employee Favorite of German Chocolate Ice Cream. Kevin and MaryAnn just wanted gummy bears!

WP_002869Doesn’t this ice cream look amazing!
It was so delicious.

Kevin said we had to get a picture with Uncle Tyler!

WP_002919I only took Kevin and MaryAnn, the older kids were playing volleyball at the park with their friends. It is a good thing, the store wasn’t that big and we had a large group with us!WP_002926
We were trying to get everyone to stick out their tongues – look even Grandma stuck out her tongue!WP_002927
They were having so much fun together! Kevin, Ally, and MaryAnn have so much fun together. We had a great time while Ally was with us – we love you Ally!

Imagine, even Aunt Malinda sticks out her tongue!

Should I – or shouldn’t I.
WP_002888Alright – here is a picture of me – apx 36 hours before Lydia was born! I look happy, and as long as I didn’t move I felt ok, but moving was miserable and I was so ready to have a baby in my arms, not in my tummy!

26 June 2012

The Inner Vessel


Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say  unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also. Alma 60:23

Captain Moroni was not a whiner and complainer. He was the leader of an army. HE was a man of God. Of him it was said:

If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. Alma 48:17

He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed to be true – even if it meant he needed to issue a complaint. In Alma chapter 60 we read Moroni’s epistle to Pahoran, which begins, “I have somewhat to say unto them [Pahoran and other leaders]  by the way of condemnation” and then he goes on to explain the ways that he feels the armies have been mistreated and neglected. Then in verse 6 he politely says, “we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless states.”

What a great example of tact and diplomacy. Obviously, he is not afraid to defend himself, but he is kind and considerate in his manner of making his complaint known and trying to understand the situation at hand.

Throughout the whole chapter he eloquently alternates between making his case of the difficult war situation and reminding the leaders of their need to support the army in their fight for freedom in a most diplomatic manner. Verse 10 reads “And now, my beloved brethren-for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people.”

As I read this chapter in the context of my past year and trying to decide how to move forward with the next phase of my progression this concept of standing up for my beliefs and for freedom, through tact and diplomacy really made an impression on me. I realized I don’t have to let what others have done control my life, I can stand up to them, can explain the wrongs, can forgive, and be healed, no matter what their response.

“I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.” (verse 23) Moroni is in a war, he is fighting for freedom, and he threatens to fight the government if need be to get their support for the war. He is concerned that the government has been corrupted, and as a true freedom fighter he is willing do go to battle with the government.

Unlike Moroni I can then move on, and begin working towards something better. The inner vessel that I need to clean is myself, and I can see that as I have made progression forgiveness and inner cleansing, I am also make progress in cleansing the outer vessel, my home and my relationships. It has been a marvelous change.

The next chapter contains Pahoran’s reply, and I can also learn much from him. “And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice i n the greatness of your heart.  . . . My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free.” Pahoran was a great man, he was open to listen to the condemnation given until him and to learn from it, he took it as advice, given in love and kindness and used it to make a better informed decision about the course of the war.

Like Pahoran I have received advice and learned lessons from many different resources, through reading scriptures, from leaders, from movies, from personal trials and sometimes the feelings that come pierce to the soul. They hurt. Personal growth is not easy. There is pain involved in learning, just as in fighting for freedom. The freedom I fight for is from the natural man, but like Pahoran I want to be steadfast in liberty and learn more about and from God, and then eventually be prepared to help in the great battle for Freedom that we all must fight together, but first I must clean the inner vessel of myself, then I can work to prepare my family and my community to fight the good fight for freedom.

20 June 2012

A Cry for Help

I wrote this last November, but the pain and the emotions were still to raw for me to post it. In light of my article on Forgiveness I decided that it was time to post this article as well. I am posting a lot of these articles to help others to understand that they are not alone in their grief, that others are suffering, and also to help those who support those that are suffering to understand what their loved ones may be going through.

I have rewritten this article to maintain anonymity of the people involved.


Walking down the hallway at church is a lot like walking in a mine field. I have no idea what I am going to run into. I try to stay focused on my kids and my tasks. I realize that everyone else has their own trials and really isn't interested in mine, or I’m not interested in sharing in such a public place and so I keep to myself. When I have time ... which isn't much, I am working on forgiving those that have hurt me, dealing with my grief, reaching out to others on my terms, and trying to heal.

I planned on being in my primary in class today. Usually If I need to go home I would have let someone know. I taught class last week, all by myself, so I had not reason to think that this week would be so hard.  . . . I don't even remember exactly what happened, but I became very emotional and escaped out to the van where I cried for a long time. When I finally pulled myself back together and came in to go to the bathroom and freshen up I was greeted by an open door to our classroom and all our sunbeams kids looking at me.

I did my best to go to class but the kids were very restless and I was in no condition to be patient with them. I was very frustrated. They have no idea why their teacher has been a mess for months. They never knew I was pregnant, and I never felt like it was appropriate for me to explain to them about death and grief and stillbirth. They are so young, and it wasn’t my place.  It hasn't been fair to them to have to put up with me.

I never know . . . It isn't like I plan to be upset. Something that doesn't affect me one day will really upset me another day. My hour in the car crying was actually really healing for me. I just have to take things one day or hour or minute at a time

Part of the reason church is so hard is because there are so many people  . . . deciding over and over what to say when asked "how are you ?" is so hard. Should I give the truthful answer, "I'm having a really rough time right now. My body aches all over, I'm not sure why. I'm still grieving the loss of my baby, she was due 2 weeks ago, and I'm pregnant again and I'm terrified that I will lose this baby as well. Other than that, we are all fed and dressed and at church today. How about you? Oh sorry was that to much information?

The other alternative is to lie and say "fine" when really although I may look put together and fine, I'M HURTING INSIDE and would really like someone to notice. 

I don’t know if it was bravery, or anger, or just plain stupidity, but I opened up a little bit, and tried to let someone know about my hour crying in the car. It was a cry for help, love, and understanding. I thought the person I talked to would understood that I am still having a hard time. Instead I ended up hurting her feelings, and then turning and walking away because I didn't want to become a crying mess in the hallway again. I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, I just wanted to be loved and understood.

Later I figured out what it was that upset me today, and it was such an innocent little occurrence. I saw a mother, with her brand new baby, a baby that was due the same week as Holly, who would have grown up and been in Holly's nursery class, been baptized the same month as Holly, and passed all the other milestones of life with Holly. Her arms and heart were full, and mine were empty and the tears came quick and I had to escape. I know as time passes I will be able to look at that little boy, or other little boys and girls that would have been Holly's friends and find joy in thinking of them, but today the pain was to raw, the emotions to great, the healing still to be done.


My husband informed me later that I had really upset my friend, and I have let that become a wedge between us, so much that we have only talked “church business” since then. I am now letting go of that pain, I am forgiving her for not recognizing my cry for help, and I am asking her to forgive me for hurting her feelings. I hope that we can now rebuild our relationship.

Nesting . . . Vicariously

WP_002827The time is getting close, this baby will be coming soon, and yesterday was definitely a day for nesting. The first thing I thought of when I woke up was how to organize the cupboards in the office. Weird. I assigned Rebecca the task on organizing the game cupboard and storing some games in the basement. She did a beautiful job, while I took it easy on the couch and attended a seminar online.

Before lunch I spent about 30 minutes helping the kids clean their hallway and organizing the shelves and the credenza. This work was physically hard on me and I was hurting when we were done, but, It looks so much better, especially my stairs that I had Rebecca vacuum. I love having clean stairs.

Later in the afternoon I tried napping, but couldn't, so I had Emily bring me some contact paper and some Costco Milk boxes. I covered 3 boxes, and my girls thought I was being weird. We use these milk boxes everywhere in the house. They are the perfect size for file folders, organizing books and projects, and the fridge. I don't usually take the time or effort to make them look pretty. I said, "Baby is coming soon, so I'm nesting." Then I had to explain nesting to the girls.

I then proceeded to enlist their help in cleaning out the rest of the office cupboards. I stored some stuff away and now I have an amazing TJED Closet space all ready to go. I was explaining the "closet" to Rebecca and she was like, but Mom, its summer. I said, "I know, but I'm nesting."

The final nesting project for the day was carried out even more vicariously. Over theWP_001263 weekend my sister in Tennessee texted and asked what I needed or wanted for the baby. Something new I'd never had or something that needed replaced. I finally thought of what she could do this morning. I've been searching unsuccessfully for a dresser for baby clothes. (I can't wash them until I have a place to put them.) I texted Bonnie and said what I really need is a dresser, you could try Craigslist (she is a Craigslist pro). I sent her a picture of the space I wanted to put the dresser. By 3 o'clock she sent me three links and within 30 minutes, and several more texts, I arranged for Brad to pick up this beautiful dresser.

I just realized that is not all, but this last one I did have to pay for, but it was worth it. Rebecca has a set of brothers for friends, and when one of them was here last week I randomly asked him if he hired out to do weed whacking, and he said "YES!" He arrived this afternoon with goggles, overalls and his weed whacker and made a good dent in the weeds in my yard! WOO HOO!

OVERALL, it was a very productive day and my nest is getting to be so much cleaner and beautiful, and ready for a new baby.

17 June 2012

The Person in the Mirror

I've been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my entire life. I've read the Book of Mormon numerous times. I know all the "sunday school" answers to the standard questions that are asked in class. I've read many books on church subjects, and had many experiences and trials in my life that have taught me many things. The 10 Commandments are easy to live, as are most of the other commandments, yet, there is one very important commandment with which I still struggle.


I understand the command given in Doctrine and Covenants 64:10 "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." I know that I must forgive, yet in the midst of the pain and suffering actually forgiving is very difficult. I was reminded of the intense need I had to forgive and move on as I attended my daughters Young Women’s class today.

This video from Mormon Messages was shown at the end of class, and it reminded me that I have always wanted to be the type of person, who, like Chris, had already decided that in a tragedy he would forgive. I feel ashamed that I have held onto my hurt feelings over simple misunderstandings, miscommunications, and deeds  that I considered inappropriate. The grudges that I have held are only hurting me. The people that I have been unable to forgive probably don’t even realize that they have hurt me.
Last summer I took a trip by myself to have time and space to read, to pray, to sleep and to work through my emotions. I plead for the love in my soul to forgive those that I felt had wronged me. I attended the temple and felt like I was able to make a huge amount of progress in my healing and forgiving, but forgiveness isn't a one time event. It isn't something that can be listed on a checklist and marked of as complete. Just as at baptism we are cleansed of all our sins, we are not done. We are going to sin again, it is the way of the natural man. Heavenly Father has a plan though, he has provided us with the weekly ordinance of the sacrament to renew our baptismal covenants and to be clean once again.

So it is with forgiveness. We are going to spend our live surrounded by others who inadvertently in large or small ways will hurt our feelings, innocently, or without even knowing that they have caused any harm. We must choose to forgive, even if those who you must forgive don't ask for forgiveness, or even know that they have hurt you.

Logically I understand that, we must forgive, and the act of forgiving is more for us, than it is for the other person. Where I am really struggling is with healing the hurt within myself, protecting myself from being hurt again, and with learning to trust those who have hurt me. Do I share with them how I am struggling, do I explain to them the pain that they caused me, and how to I find the peace in my heart that is needed to reach out to these people in friendship.
President Uchtdorf in his April 2012 conference address, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy" said:
We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters.
I realized again, that I need to pray and ask God to give me a forgiving heart, to replace the hurt in my heart with love, to help me remember to accept people for who they are and where they are on the path back to our Heavenly Father. I need to develop more charity, more pure love of Christ. I love this quote from the same talk by President Uchtdorf:
The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other.
I have allowed my eyes to become clouded, to keep me from seeing others as they truly are, priceless children of Heavenly Father, who have an inner genius, divine nature given them by God. Instead of looking for their inner genius I have been only looking at their flaws. Obviously, "remaineth [in me] the greater sin" (Doctrine & Covenants 64:9). I am the one that needs to repent. I must spend some time looking at my own heart, and forgive myself for holding onto these grudges for so long. I must figure out a way to love my enemies, to show them that they are forgiven and to forgive myself.
I highly recommend President Uchtdorf's talk, "The Merciful Attain Mercy" and I will leave with this final quote from his talk:
When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves. Sometimes, of all the people in the world, the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of our forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror

16 June 2012

I Choose Birthdays

Today was not supposed to have been Holly’s birthday, it was way to early in my pregnancy for her to have survived outside the womb, and yet she had already been dead a couple of weeks. Yet, I will always think of the 16th of June as Holly’s birthday, to think of it as anything else is too painful. I even had to look up the date that Kyle died because I couldn’t remember when that was, but I remember his birthday.

Birthday’s are supposed to be happy times,
so I choose to remember birthdays.

A friend shared this song with me earlier this week and immediately I planned to share it today.

Gone Too Soon by Daughtry
Today could have been the day,
That you blow out your candles,
Make a wish as you close your eyes.

Today could have been the day,
Everybody was laughing,
Instead I just sit here and cry,

Who would you be?
What would you look like,
When you looked at me for the very first time?

Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life.
Not a day goes by,
That I don't think of you,

I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose,
Such a ray of light we never knew,
Gone too soon, yeah.

Would you have been president
Or a painter, an author, who sang like your mother?

One thing is evident,
Would've given all I had,
Would've loved you like no other.

Who would you be,
What would you look like,
Would you have my smile and her eyes?

Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life.
Not a day goes by,
That I don't think of you,

I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose,
Such a ray of light we never knew,
Gone too soon, yeah.
Not a day goes by,

I'm always asking why.
Not a day goes by,
That I don't think of you,

I'm always asking why this crazy world had to lose,
Such a beautiful light we never knew,

Gone too soon,
You were gone too soon
Not a day goes by,
That I don't think of you.

I don’t dwell on these questions, because I understand the plan of salvation, I know that my babies are safe, and are busy doing the work that they need to do in Heaven, and that they will have a chance to again inhabit their mortal bodies and grow up, and attain the Celestial Kingdom.

I am the one that has the more difficult task, my entrance into the Celestial Kingdom is not guaranteed. I need to do my part hear on earth to more diligently fulfill my earthly role, to become the best wife and mother I can be, to study the scriptures, to gain the knowledge and experience that I need to be prepared to be with my loved ones again, to be able to raise their earthly bodies, and to be with them forever.

Happy Birthday, Holly! I love you, and miss you. I planted flowers in containers on the front porch today in your honor. You will always be in my heart, and part of my family.

14 June 2012

Angel in Disguise

We were blessed this week by an Angel in Disguise who left a brand new in the box bassinet on the front porch to be discovered by my husband on his way out the door to work one morning. I will admit, I really wanted a bassinet and posted on facebook and in my Relief Society email list that I would like to borrow one for a few months. I never expected a brand new one to appear so mysteriously, and I don’t know who to thank personally, so this is my Thank You to the Angel in Disguise.

WP_002785Brad, Isaac and the kids set it up, and it is beautiful, and amazing. I don’t think any of my babies have had something so nice.

I am not even sure how to describe how much this bassinet means to me. The last year has been a rough one, it was a year ago today that we had a much anticipated 20 week ultrasound. Rebecca, Emily came with Brad and I, and we were all excited to find out if we were going to be adding another girl or boy to our family. Instead, we were devastated to learn that there was no heartbeat.

I felt so bad for my girls, especially Rebecca. She had been with me a year previously when at 11? weeks we discovered that there was no heartbeat. However, this time was much more shocking because, although I had my worries, I was sure everything was ok, because I had been feeling the baby move. Apparently what I had been feeling was a fetus floating around in amniotic fluid and bumping into me. Even with the understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the understanding of Heavenly Father’s plan, the reality of life is shock, grief, pain and sorrow.

Overcoming that grief and facing a new pregnancy has been difficult. Kicks from the baby bring an assurance that she is still there and wanting to join our family, but the excitement of a new baby hasn’t come as easily as it has in the past. I have had to make a real effort to talk about the baby, to bond with her as she has grown and developed, and to find peace in my soul.

MaryAnn has been a real help in this, at 4 she doesn’t understand or remember that disappointment of last year, and she is genuinely excited to have a baby sister growing in Mom’s tummy (and a pretend one in her tummy).   She loves to play with her baby dolls, and if I’m not careful she would take over all the furniture meant for my baby, so the bassinet is off limits to her babies, except for the little boxes underneath, they make great beds for her dolls.

I am so thankful to the Angel in Disguise who has presented this beautiful resting place for our new baby, for the peace and anticipation that it has helped to bring to my heart, for the reminder of the goodness of others, and the miracle of having babies.

13 June 2012


MaryAnn climbed up on the kitchen to check the chart all by herself.  In an attempted to make our household run smoothly when our new baby arrives we made household assignments which include all the meal prep, kitchen chores and MaryAnn's Helper.

MaryAnn doesn't always want a helper, and sometimes she can do the job on her own, and sometimes I just assign the helper to ignore MaryAnn and do the job for her, but at least we have a system in place.

"Who is taking me to bed?" is so much more fun to hear than I don't want to go to bed.

11 June 2012

Memories of Strawberry Jam


Grandpa Glasgow came over today and helped Rebecca and Emily make 3 batches of Strawberry Jam. I am very grateful for his help. After the way that I felt yesterday I didn’t think I would be any help in making the jam. However, I felt pretty good most of the day today. It was so nice that I could help out as needed, interact peacefully with Kevin and MaryAnn, and work on some other projects while the jam making got taken care of without me.

I thought about the time I made strawberry jam 13 years ago. It was near the beginning of May, Emily’s due date to be exact (whatever day that was) and I was making Strawberry Jam. I either was helped by Rebecca (18 months) or Rebecca and Heather, my best friend, but I’m not so clear on that. I just remember that it was Emily’s due date, we thought that she was going to be a boy, and I was so proud that even though I was exactly 9 months pregnant I was capable of making Strawberry Jam, I always did love being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen!

I also remember Brad and I both thought that Emily was going to be a boy.May 2011 Scans0000952A We had an ultrasound, but it was later in pregnancy and they couldn’t tell us girl or boy, so I had picked out a cute boy outfit and had it packed in my bag ready to go, I ended up saving it for Isaac. Sometime that jam making day, I realized that if it was a girl I would feel really bad for not having a girl outfit at the hospital with me, so I went shopping. Coming home outfits are important business, but to tell you the truth I have no idea if this is coming home day or not!

This is probably i though, we took a lot fewer pictures before digital camera’s, and although she looks 2 months old, she never was a small baby, Emily was 10lbs 8.5 ounces at birth.

MaryAnn–Future Blogger

I was talking on the phone to my Mom tonight and she informed me that MaryAnn had posted on my blog. I am glad she told me, I might not have noticed since I usually post from either Windows Live Writer or by email from my phone.

MaryAnn did sit down at the laptop very intently for about 10 minutes before Family Home Evening and she told us that she was typing. Apparently, she opened windows live writer, typed a message, and published it!

Remember this day, someday you will be able to say you read MaryAnn’s first blog post!



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10 June 2012

False Alarm

I was feeling pretty miserable at church this morning. I couldn't even bring myself to go into the chapel. Instead I sat in the foyer and tried not to fall asleep. The only reason I was still at church the 3rd hour was to listen to Isaac give a talk in primary.

When I looked in the mirror I thought, "I LOOK LIKE CRAP! AND I FEEL LIKE IT TOO."  Yesterday was the first time i had admitted to myself and others that I was done. I am tired of being pregnant, and i am sore and huge and "great with child" as my friend so nicely put it today.

All of my other pregnancies I have been PROUD (but hopefully not prideful) of the fact that I felt good, had no morning sickness, and wasn't bothered by going 10 days late. I liked being pregnant.

This pregnancy in many ways has been so much harder than any other pregnancy I have experienced. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.

My body is getting worn out, i have to admit I feel 15 years older than I did when I was so excited with every new day of being pregnant and could wait until i would have a cute baby bump so everyone would know that I was pregnant. At the time i thought pregnancy was so easy . . . And so exciting. Now I qualify for extra tests, just because I am over 35 years of age. Now i feel like I'm ready to be done. Its not just excitement of seeing the baby it is not being pregnant anymore that i am looking forward too. I am learning how to empathize with the women who have hard pregnancies, and I'm glad that I made it to the final 3 weeks before I got to this point of doneness.

Oh yea, about the false alarm and the picture. We got the crib set up on Friday and little mommy MaryAnn has taken over. Her babies need a place to sleep and their diapers changed and to drink from Mommy's water bottle. I am not sure where my baby is going to get to sleep. (Hint-maybe someone, like Grandpa Keith, could make her a bed for her babies - Please?)

I realized when i came home from church and couldn't sleep that i was having contractions. They weren't painful, but they were frequent. After telling Brad all my worries about not being ready for the baby he carried in 3 buckets of baby clothes and cloth diapers for me to sort out and he found the baby car seat washed it up. We now have a huge pile of laundry to do but mowing that if we were going to have a  baby today at least the girls could finish getting ready for the babies homecoming, made me feel better.

The DR told me on Thursday that if i was in active labor they would go ahead and do the c-section and the baby wouldn't even be considered preterm now.

We went to the hospital and sure enough i was having contractions abt every 2 minutes but i wasn't progressing at all, so they sent me home. I was miserable coming home and had a headache but after i had a snack, 2 Tylenol, and dinner i finally felt decent again about 9 o'clock. I felt my best of the whole day about 10ish, so i decided to document my day.

Now I am tired enough that I can go to sleep, I hope, and see what tomorrow brings.

I'm still having these wimpy little contractions.

09 June 2012

Nursery Rhymes

I’ve been curious about the local Poetry Club that meets once a month for about the last year, but we’ve never been able to go – until this month.

Two days before the meeting was able to download the book, Poetry Bee: Rekindling The Lost Art of Recitation by Emmalene Beck (Who runs our local poetry club).

The beginning level at the poetry bee is Nursery Rhymes so I printed out the 25 nursery rhymes and taped them onto 3 x 5 cards and then started sharing them with my kids. It was so much fun.  It is amazing when Inspire,not Require works. Isaac sat down and read all 25 and then asked me to quiz him. Wow!

My kids are not new to memorizing, we have been memorizing scriptures since we started homeschooling 7 years ago. During devotional we had a practice session on scriptures that we have been practicing for years and realized that we know the references at the end as it fits into the rhythm of the verse, but we rely heavily on the picture and the first couple of words to repeat the scripture.

We invited our neighbors, the “Groesbeck’s”, over for the afternoon and shared with them the nursery rhymes. It was so much fun. I would have some kids stand up to act out the nursery rhyme and they all had a lot of fun. Watching “jack and jill” tumble off the couch, “the cat” frighten “the mouse” and “the kings men and their horses” try to fix(or destroy) humpty dumpty was very entertaining.

The best one however, was so spontaneous, and so perfect. I didn’t tell the kids which nursery rhyme was coming up, I just chose people and positioned them, so I had 3 girls (L, MaryAnn, and S) sitting on the coffee table, and J (10 year old boy) sitting vintage_georgie_porgie_mother_goose_nursery_rhyme_invitation-p161307699858808720b23ck_400next to me. Even before I began reading, Isaac figured out what I was doing, and started to snicker. I read, “Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie, kissed the girls”. J starts flippin out, “eww, grosss, now way” but a blur from across the room jumps up and plants a kiss right on L. It was my 6 year old, Kevin! We started to laugh, while J is still complaining about the grossness of kisssing his own sisters, and my little 4 year old. Next thing I know, Kevin jumps up again, and Kisses S. Their Mom is laughing, and saying “it’s a good thing your Dad isn’t here.”


Then in the middle of all the chaos, I hear crying. Little MaryAnn is sitting in between these 2 girls, crying, because she didn’t get kissed. So I encourage Kevin to kiss her also. Then I look back down at the nursery rhyme and realize, she was right on cue, Georgie Porgie “made them cry”!

What a great memory and so much fun! I might have to keep an eye on that boy of mine though!

02 June 2012

Family Dance

We had a great time at the DHSA/TEACH Co-op Family Dance. The youth danced almost solidly for 2 hours and had a great time. We had some brief instruction in the swing, and the little kids enjoyed running and dancing. The adults danced some and socialized some, our bodies and lungs aren't as young as we wish.

We will cherish the memories and look forward with anticipation to the next family dance.

Kevin's smile is BACK!

Kevin has the most amazing smile. I was so sad when his smile was lost for awhile because of his stitches. Of course, i totally understood that stitches in the corner of the lip would make smiling difficult . . . but I was so excited the day his smile came back!

01 June 2012

A Successful Challenge

Last month my sister challenged me to a Blog Post a day for the Month of May. I took the challenge seriously and have enjoyed it very much.  I knew that I was a few days behind and planned to double up and write several in one day, but alas, late last night I realized that end of the month and come – and now is gone.

If I was still in public school I would have gotten a 74% on my assignment – and instead of going to bed last night after a very busy day in which I was gone or had company from 10 in the morning until 11 at night, I would have stayed up another couple of hours to write a few more posts so that I could “get my A”.

I’ve learned something over the years though. An “A” isn’t the end all of who I am. I don’t need an “A” to know that I am a good person, that I am of worth to myself, my kids or my husband, or my friends.

I need to spend time with them, that is what matters to them, and that is what I did yesterday. I took the kids swimming, we visited with friends who stopped by to see us, I went shopping for new glasses with Rebecca, and I attended my homeschooling Mom’s meeting, and then visited with another friend. When I came home I took time to talk to Grandma, and then went to bed with my husband.

All of those things were much more vital than a couple more blog posts. I count this challenge as a success! I have loved the time spent reviewing what I learned at the TJED forum, and sharing some of my joys in raising my children. I am so happy to be writing again, because I know that through writing is how we can process that things that we hear, read, and do and make them truly part of who we are becoming.

I plan to keep writing – maybe not every day – but often.

Bedtimes–Vital Family Culture

I’ve been thinking a lot about something said in the “Mentoring the Hero Generation” class I attended at the TJED Forum. Kent Bowlers talked about how as they gathered their family each night for family prayer it usually took them 45 minutes. WOW, I thought, that is a long time. He then went on to explain that it was a part of their family culture, and a vital part.

As I thought more about it I realized that 45 minutes actually isn’t that uncommon at our house. We had just been looking at it the wrong way.

In the April 2012 Ensign article, “Taking Time to Talk and Listen” by Rosemary M. Wixom, she quotes President Faust:

“One of the main problem in families today is that we spend less and less time together . . . Time together is precious time-time needed to talk, to listen, to encourage, and to show how to do things” – President James E. Faust (“Enriching Family Life,” Ensign, May 1983)

This reminded me of how much I have really come to enjoy our family gathering time in the evenings as I have changed my mindset from one of – “come on, hurry up, sit down, pay attention, stop goofing off, let’s read scriptures, it’s already late, past your bedtime” to and calm and relaxed attitude of “ We are all here together, isn’t this wonderful that we all can cuddle, and play, and talk about our day, read family scriptures, and pray together.”

Sister Wixom goes on to remind us that “Bedtime is a perfect time to talk.” I’ve spent years trying to rush my little ones off to bed so I could have some “ME” time, but I know in my heart that it would be so much better to spend the few extra minutes talking to them and enjoying bedtime, than the opposite fight at the end of the day to get them to stay in bed. The frustration caused and extra time spend doesn’t help my peace of mind – or theirs. Its time for a cultural change in our home to a more relaxed and loving bedtime routine for the whole family.

I’ll end with this quote from the same article, “Parents, talk about an interest of your child. Laugh about the past—and dream about the future. Silly conversation can even unfold into a meaningful discussion.”  What a great reminder to enjoy the silliness of children, and to allow the time for the meaningful discussion to come. We can create the family culture that we desire in our house, and evening are the time for inspiring our families, that takes time, so we must give it the time that it requires.

30 May 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gift–For Homeschool Moms!


I met these 2 amazing ladies at the TJED Forum. They were passing out bookmarks with this Manifesto on them, and I loved it.

Not only did I love the words and the message, but I loved the design and the colors.

Of course, it got dumped in my bag with everything else.

A week or so later I was trying to come up with a Teacher Appreciation gift to pass out to all the wonderful Mom’s and teachers at our TEACH Co-op. I remembered this lovely manifesto and was so excited to find out that they had it available on their website as a free download with the challenge “If our manifesto resonates with you, take it and claim it as your own!”

I did just that, and made laminated bookmarks to pass out to my fellow teachers and homeschool Mom’s.

I now need to grab myself a copy and place it with my scriptures so I can read it everyday – and memorize it – because I Want to make it my Own. I want to become the kind of person it describes!


The list of errands to run and projects to complete this morning before leaving town was longer than I had time to complete, but I was able to rearrange and combine a few errands and finished the most important ones. My house isn’t as clean as I would have liked, and the car was only on a quarter of a tank of gas when we pulled out of the driveway for our trip to La Grande, Oregon.

I had it all figured out though, Dr. Carter said I had to stop every hour and run around the car twice to prevent blood clots in my legs, and Ontario was an hour away and I knew we had enough gas to get that far. Since we had to stop anyway, we could get gas and I could walk. Perfect Planning.

Only that isn’t the way it happened. Somehow, neither Brad nor I saw a exit sign for Ontario, and neither one of us wanted to go Weiser, and we still had about an eighth of a tank of gas, so we just kept driving, sure that there would be another opportunity to gas up soon. I looked up a gas station on the GPS, and figured we would get there with about 20 miles to spare. Brad spotted the Texaco sign and we pulled off, only to discover that that station was no longer functioning. We drove another half a mile to discover that we were on our way to nowhere..

After turning around, we began to get worried. We were still 30 miles from Baker City, and we had no idea if there was a gas station between here and there. The GPS could find gas stations within a radius of about 5 – 10 miles, but when I programed them in I discovered that it would take me 20 miles or more to get to them, because we had already passed them, and would need to go to an exit, turn around and go back.

I had been silently praying for awhile by this time, worried that it was my fault that I hadn’t gassed up the car before we left, worried that Brad was worrying and feeling like it was his fault, and pleading for calmness, that this experience wouldn’t cause us to get upset at each other.

I asked Rebecca to explain the situation to the kids and ask them to pray. Kevin offered the prayer and we continued on our way. I encouraged Brad to slow down, and to coast down the hills to try and conserve gas, while I pulled out our travel club card and called to find out if they could locate a gas stations that was closer to us. The operator told me that the nearest station was Baker City, which was what we already supposed to be the case. He did confirm that if we ran out of gas they could deliver gas to us.

We continued driving, and I was texting my Mom and asked her to pray for us as well. I was thinking about asking Brad if we should pull off at the next exit and call for gas, so that we didn’t experience technical difficulties when the car ran out, when Brad spotted a very welcome roadsign. A freeway sign, indicating that gas was available at the exit in 1 mile. We were almost afraid to believe that it might really be true. We had already passed the vacant Texaco station.

Yet, we soon passed another sign indicating gas ahead in Durkee. We were hopeful, and prayerful that there would be gas available. Right by the EXIT their was a huge sign – GAS – and we could see the ancient looking gas station, and 2 cars in front – it looked promising. I told the kids the gas station was older than I was – the gas pumps didn’t even accept credit cards, but they did pump gas!

We got out to stretch our legs and use the restrooms (ancient plumbing and automatic towel dispensers). As we climbed back into the car we had a family prayer of thankfulness, we had been greatly blessed with a gas station, right when we needed it. In answer to my Mom’s text of “Where are you?” I was able to text back, “Durkee and full of GAS.”

I think we will all remember the lesson learned on this trip of the answer to our prayers, and to fill up with gas before leaving town.



My parents paid attention on their way through Ontario the next day and reported that the Ontario exit was not well marked, there was only 1 sign, under and overpass and immediately before the exit. I think that made Brad feel a little bit better about missing Ontario. Off course, my Dad wanted to tell me that Ontario had disappeared off the map.

25 May 2012

Isaac’s Good Samaritan

I was stopped at stoplight about 5 miles from home when I looked in my rearview mirror to discover a young man walking up to my car window carrying 2 baseball mitts. Out of curiosity I rolled down my window and he said, “These were on your rear bumper".

“Ohh, My!” I said in awe and amazement, and thankfulness. “Thank you so much.” and after he handed over the soaking wet baseball mitts he was gone and the light turned green as I rolled up my window and marveled at how blessed Isaac was the the mitts hadn’t fallen off my car in the previous five miles and that some stranger, a good Samaritan had taken the opportunity to return them to me,


Isaac and Jr’s baseball mitts (recreated)

23 May 2012

Power of Calm

The Power of Calm

I got this great CD at the TJED forum from Nicholeen Peck. I listened to it on the way home from forum and really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I listened to it again today, and started to take notes, but since I was also working on the computer at the same time I missed quite a bit and my notes are incomplete. I really need to listen to it again, and actually take notes. I know that I can work on becoming more calm (yesterday was a bad day for example) and I know that my kids would enjoy being more calm themselves, they just have learned (from me) how to not be calm.
A funny thing, my friend, Patty, wrote on her blog yesterday a post that totally tied right in with my blog post. Check it out on her blog Shiver Academy – and the article The Real Baby Steps.

Notes that I got today.
Steps for having the Power of Calm

1. Power Struggle
If we aren’t calm then we feed our children’s anger.

As you can see out of the 6 steps, I only caught the first step.

Another Strategy – The Rule of 3
3 Things, 3 Times
Instruction – Out of Instructional Control
1. Pre – Teach
2. Instruction
3. Correction

1. Major Maintenance
2. Problem Solving (sodas)
3. Lose Privileges

Mom, Homeschool Teacher, Wife–C-

I am so thankful that I don’t have to work for a living. I have not been doing a very good job this last week or so of spending time on my priorities in life. I have let my self get really involved in a couple of  scrapbooking projects, that I am really excited about, and am really enjoying, but I realized today that I have let a lot of my other responsibilities slip . . . it is really showed today in my attitude and my kids attitude.

Grading myself a C- might even be to high.

I have done all that I can do on my scrapbooking projects unless I get some more information and pictures from other people. I have sent out a bunch of emails and facebook messages today, if people don’t respond I guess they will just get empty holes on their scrapbook page. I really hate to do that – but I can honestly say that on this project I have honestly done my very best.

Which is a lot more than what I can say about my mothering skills this past week. So, I now resolve that tomorrow I will spend time with my kids. I won’t work on my scrapbook project until after storytime, and then I will limit my time to 1 hour. Then I will focus on my family again until after the little kids are in bed.

Tomorrow, I will focus on my priorities – That of being a Wife, a Mom, and a Homeschool Teacher.

21 May 2012

Mutella & Crackers

WP_002572The past 2 weeks have found MaryAnn covered in nutella about once a day. When she is hungry she asks for “Mutella and Crackers”. She often gets Kevin to help her and then after about 20 minutes of peace and quiet I have a table and 2 happy kids covered in a sticky chocolate substance.

Last week we were out of Nutella and I was supposed to by some at the store, but I forgot when I went to Costco. I had a disappointed(read crying) little girl on my hands.

The next day I was telling Grandma Georgeson about how much MaryAnn loved Nutella and that I had forgotten to by her some. Grandma pulled a brand new jar of Nutella out of the cupboard and gave it to MaryAnn, she was so excited to have her own jar of Nutella!

Today we were at my parents and MaryAnn was hungry and asked if Grandma Glasgow had “Mutella and Crackers”? Grandma Glasgow also loves Nutella so MaryAnn was able to have her favorite snack. I got in big trouble when I tried to eat a couple of her crackers.

19 May 2012

It’s Here–It’s Here–It’s Here!


My book arrived today! I am so happy with the way that it turned out!

I have been working diligently for the past couple of months on this scrapbook to take to the McKenzie reunion next weekend. I love being a investigative reporter, digging through pictures and trying to piece together stories to turn into beautiful digital scrapbook pages. I am so excited to be able to share this one with my extended family at the reunion next weekend.

Eternal Marriage - Let Me Scrapbook<br />

This is the cover of the book. I had it printed as an  8 x 8 softcover at VIOVIO.com. The processing and shipping turnaround was great. The cover of the actual book looks more green than blue – but the rest of the colors in the book look just like on the screen. The price was amazing – this book has 34 pages and it cost less than $20!

I’ve been using Snapfish to publish my books – but I think I am switching to Viovio now. I have no complaints about Snapfish, their user interface is better than Viovio, and if you watch for coupons and sales you can get great deals. Viovio’s book designer was kind of a pain to use, but I uploaded this book as a PDF and that was so simple and the price is right!

18 May 2012

4 Stitches

The boys had all gone on a Father’s and Sons Campout with Brad’s Dad, Keith. I was busy working on scrapbooking when Patty showed up to crash Emily’s birthday party, she had brought 5 girls with her, and didn’t want to drive back later, so we were visiting. My cell phone rang, I noticed it was Brad and said, “Weird, he never calls me,” and immediately worried what was wrong.

A Mother’s heart knows, Kevin needed to be seen by a doctor, he had tripped and ran into a post, and ended up with hole in his cheek, right by his lip. I told Brad to take him to the Hospital in Nampa, and was going to calmly go back to visiting. Brad, however, had other plans, he wanted me to come go to the hospital, so he could go back to the campout, all their stuff was still there afterall.

I agreed to meet him and told him to send me a glympse and I would send him one and we would figure out where to meet along the way. I quickly refilled my water bottle, asked Patty to chaperone the party, pointed out that there was food on the counter that needed put away and headed out the door.

As I pulled out of the driveway I offered a prayer, and then I realized that I didn’t want to go by myself. I was worried that I might need to hold Kevin, and reading a map while driving wasn’t safe, so I quickly called Brad’s Mom and asked her to drive me. She had already heard from Keith so she knew the situation. I stopped at her house and we headed out towards Kuna to meet the boys.

Glympse made it so easy to meet up, we only waited about 20 seconds for them to arrive. Kevin was bandaged up nicely so I didn’t even get to see what had happened until we were already in the ER room. While we waiting to be admitted, Kevin wanted to play on my phone. He didn’t want to talk or drink, it hurt his mouth to much. After the Doctor examined him I took this picture.


Kevin was so brave, the injury was to close to the mouth to use numbing cream, so they had to go straight to the needle of lidocaine. It seemed like tiny needle, but a big syringe to me. Kevin barely even twitched with most of the pokes (there were about 5) but he did squeeze my hand tight and said “ouch” once or twice. The doctor was really impressed with Kevin’s stillness and bravery.

It took a while for him to get stitched up, the doctor said it was in a very tricky place on the edge of the lip. He put one stitch deep inside, and 3 on the outside. The should dissolve in about 5 days. After he was all taken care of I wouldn’t say he was talkative, but he did talk a little bit. He never had dinner, but didn’t want to eat, but I did manage to get him to try a little bit of ice cream, after the chaos settled down.

We arrived home about 10:20pm. Almost everyone at the party was still there, including a few more adults. I showed them Kevin’s picture  briefly told them about Kevin. The kids tried disappearing downstairs so the adults could talk, but I needed to have my house to myself so I could tuck in my little ones and recoup myself, so I kicked them all out. I thanked Patty for coming and crashing the party, it was a huge blessing that she was there and I could just walk out and leave a houseful of teenage girls without worrying.

I finished eating my Pizza while listening to Emily and Rebecca tell me about the party. It sounds like everyone had a great time, Emily’s friends gave her some very nice gifts, and the party was a huge success.

I just gave Kevin some tylenol to help with the pain when the lidocaine wears off and he was able to drink some water with a straw. He is watching tv for a few more minutes, then it is off to bed with all of us.

17 May 2012

Check and Not Check

McKenzie Ancestors Scrapbook – Check

Bank – Check

Grandma’s Prescriptions – Check

Hunger Games Class - Check

Devotional - Check

House Clean

Dishes Clean

Kids Fed – Check (only because I didn’t have to cook today)

T.E.A.C.H. Co-Op Yearbook – Check

Kids in Bed – Check

Totally Exhausted – Check

Blog Post – Check

Signing Off - Check

16 May 2012

The Hunger Games

About 3 weeks ago I read the Hunger Games, after the first movie came out. I know, I know, people have been raving about them for years, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to read them after a little research into the basic idea of the books. I remembered reading “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson the final day of my Honors English class my sophomore year, and felt that this series just expounded on that theme, and that it was a disturbing theme. I also was pretty sure I didn’t want my daughters to read them . . . at least not yet.

Rebecca finally convinced me that all her friends from co-op had read them . . .  and that she was old enough she could handle them, her Grandma agreed that she should read them, and Brad wanted to read them as well, so we finally borrowed the books from Grandma.

Rebecca stayed up until almost 3 in the morning finishing the first book, and Brad also made time to read every night. I still wasn’t convinced, and as usual I was to busy to find time to read, but one afternoon I was headed out the door and knew I would have 2 hours just waiting around, so I grabbed The Hunger Games to read.

This is from Rebecca’s facebook account.


She really enjoyed teasing me about being obsessed with reading the trilogy. When I said I was done, I had completed all 3 books.

I did really enjoy the books, and I read them really fast, but I knew that I really needed to discuss them with Rebecca. There was so much in the books that I didn’t know if she understood, or if I even understood them.

My new friend Kristal told me about an online class from Leadership Education Academy that was on The Hunger Games, for youth, and that they encouraged parents to join their youth. I was probably more excited about the class than Rebecca. We finally got signed up, late, and have been trying to do about 3 weeks worth of work in the past 3 days. I am really enjoying reading the first book again, slower this time, and looking for things like allusion, foreshadowing, symbolism, etc. I feel almost like I’m back in high school, because I haven’t read a book in this manner for so long, and I need a reminder on literary devices.

I started out with watching this free webinar for parents on the appropriateness of allowing our children to read The Hunger Games. I remember learning about Utopian novels in high school, but I don’t ever remember hearing the term Dystopia before, even though I know I read Animal Farm, “The Lottery”, and loved Wrinkle In Time, which are all dystopian.

This has been a great reminder for me that I need to continue my education, and that the best way to inspire my kids, is to lead the way and invite them to join with me.

So, I’ve been taking notes, observing Truths, and Aha’s in the book, and thinking about what I can write a paper on for the final class, because, even though technically I’m auditing the class, I plan on writing the paper. Look for it in about 4 weeks.

14 May 2012

A Mother's Life

I saw this fun video at the TJED Forum, and thought it would be a great blog post for Mother's Day.

This reminded me of another one of my favorite Mom Video's - and then I also discovered some new ones. My girls love to watch this one with me -

This one is a very nice tribute to Mother's!


An now for some more Hillary Weeks!

We do mountains of laundry at our house, but I am one of the very lucky ones, we have 3 sets of washers and dryers, my older kids do their own laundry, my husband helps out a lot with our laundry, Grandma Mackley folds all the downstairs laundry, and matches socks!!! I don't know how we would survive laundry without Grandma.

Emily has even started taking over most to the little kids and kitchen laundry, so really I'm a very lucky Mom.

Happy Mother's Day! (a day late) I was on vacation yesterday.

13 May 2012

A Crucible Experience

My 3 older kids had a crucible experience today. They performed in the Cantus Youth Choirs Finale Concert: Guilty Pleasures. It was an amazing concert! Fun songs, soul stirring songs, fabulous music, and young singers with great talents, and well trained respect that allows everyone’s hard work and dedication to shine through.

What is a crucible experience? I just really began to understand that concept myself today as I listened to a the mp3 Crucible Experiences: Why Every Scholar Needs Them,  by Kathy Mellor and Andrew Hummiston from the 2011 TJED Forum. As I understand it a crucible experience in one in which you grow and become a better person. It is greatly enhanced by having a mentor to lead you through this experience and to help you discover and understand the experience and gain additional learning.

They explained that there are 4 types of crucible experiences. The first type is a Prepared Public Performance. This is what my kids experienced tonight. Over the past few months they have been working diligently with their Mentors (the conductors) gain experience and training in their musical abilities. They have been practicing on their own, or with SmartMusic to perfect and memorize their parts, and then returning each week to the mentors for more instruction, clarification, and additional assignments.

Tonight was the crucible, where their practice, diligence, hard work and training was put to the test. They got up in front of a large audience, their hearts raced, adrenaline pumped, they fought butterflies and didn’t panic. They performed marvelously. They became better people, they learned that they could do it, and with each concert they become better and more confident in their abilities.

I’m thankful for the many mentors and volunteers that are a part of Cantus, for providing my children with this amazing opportunity to be a part of a choir, to be challenged, to be taught, to find joy in music, singing, and performing. These are experiences that I don’t know how to give my children any other way, and they are so important to their development as outstanding youth.

12 May 2012

I’m Happy

She loves to talk, and wants to be heard. She will repeat the same thing over and over again until she is sure that you have heard her and responded to her. (Sometimes this can be a little annoying.) I think she is going to be a great communicator, because, “ok”, “yes” and “sure”, don’t count as an appropriate response. She actually wants to hear you repeat back what she is telling you, which is a great communication skill.


I’m Happy” & “You’re my Friend” are 2 of my favorite things that I hear from my 4 year old MaryAnn. She loves to come tell me “I’m happy” and I love to hear it, it brightens my day and helps me to remember the importance of a happy attitude! She also like to count and name her friends. She will say, “Becca’s my friend, Isaac’s my friend, Emily’s my friend, Kevin’s my friend, and You’re my friend.”

I am so happy that she has a relationship with all of her siblings. I know that homeschooling allows her to spend time with her older siblings and that they get to love and serve each other everyday, and that is so important to me.


I’m happy and I’m so glad that MaryAnn is not only my friend, but my daughter, and I love her so much!

10 May 2012

My crazy day . . . come and gone

Another day has come and gone – and I crazy one at that. Co-op is the only thing right now that we have to get up and get gone for – and I love that. I really enjoy sleeping in and snuggling with my kids in the morning. We left the house this morning with dishes still on the table, we did put all the food away though.

Co-op itself was crazy with trying to get the rest of the pictures needed for the yearbook, and figure out what classes are going to be offered next semester. I volunteered to teach 3 different classes, so I won’t know for awhile which one I am teaching, it just depends on how the schedule works itself out for all the different teachers and levels and classes. I’m glad we have such amazing directors who figure all the at out and keep the co-op running so smoothly.

I had another silly doctors appointment. It kind of drives me crazy to drive 20 minutes to pee in a cup, get my blood pressure taken, and see the doctor for 5 minutes. I can feel the baby kick, I have not symptoms, and no questions, so I’m out the door for the 20 minute drive home. I’d rather have been sleeping, which is exactly what I did as soon as I walked in the door. (My 2 older girls were already napping, while the young kids entertained themselves with the X-BOX, what’s wrong with this picture, nothing!)

An hour later I had to wake up and take the girls to a choir activity. I sat in the car and used my laptop. At least I was able to get a few things done.

When we got home again it was time to eat a late late dinner, read scriptures and then I actually joined Brad and the kids in playing a game. Trek to Zion is the game I got the family for Easter, and I’ve never had a chance to play it yet. It was fun, and we had a great time, and I almost won.

Thankfully my husband loaded the dishwasher before heading to bed, while I indexed my batch for the day (I should do 3 more before they expire, oops) and wrote my blog post.

Good Night!