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.