Wednesday, March 7, 2018

They LIVED....

June related a dream she had a few months ago to me and I wanted to share it! She loves telling me her dreams, good and bad.

She said she had a dream about two seals; one grey, and one pink, that loved each other.

They got separated but after yelling for each other they were reunited.

Then they had a fun wedding and got married.

She then said, "I'll just finish there because the rest was just them talking to each other and living their lives."

She then walked off to go get dressed, pleased with her dream.

I started thinking about the last thing she said, "I'll just finish there because the rest was just them talking to each other and living their lives."

That is EXACTLY what life is about. TALKING and LIVING your LIFE!
Your life isn't over after you are settled and happily married.

I think many people think their lives need to be full of surprises, fun twists and excitement. But most full wonderful lives don't consist of daily surprises. If we always had surprises, they wouldn't be surprises anymore, they would turn into being normal.

I've been interviewed by one cousin and one niece while they were in college, asking what I thought were some of the most important qualities of a marriage.

The biggest thing I ALWAYS say is COMMUNICATION! One thing I learned quickly in our 9 years of marriage is that we are BOTH not mind readers!
If you have a problem big or small, SAY IT!

Lack of Communication in Marriage Example:

My poor husband would come home in our first years of marriage with me asking.... "notice anything different?"
He would look at me with panic in his eyes, knowing I wanted him to notice SOMETHING (big or small, that to me, was "IMPORTANT" and he needed to make a POSITIVE comment. I only wanted praise, no corrective opinions were welcome.) The poor man would start searching, though the house, looking EVERYWHERE for something I did differently. I would always be "put out" when he didn't notice my new hair TRIM, or a small picture I hung up in our living room. (Good heavens I was a pill!)

We talked about it one night when I was annoyed from his lack of sight, and after a good discussion, we both decided it would be best if I TOLD HIM what I wanted him to look at, and he would comment with appropriate praises. He could share his opinion with me on what I had accomplished and we could discuss them if we needed to. This way, he wouldn't come home to more stress after just returning from a stressful job. Good grief, we've come a long way, I'm so glad! Poor Josh. Thank you for sticking with me through that!

Women... most of our men have single tunneled vision. Give them a break and tell them what you have fixed, painted, or rearranged. They will gladly comment on it. And LET them comment on it, be braced for alternative options and decided together!

It's a WIN-WIN! You aren't grumbling about their lack of acknowledgment, and they aren't going crazy trying to please you when they clearly have NO IDEA what you have done.

I love this "Seal Dream" June had. She has a beautiful imagination and I'm glad she shared it with me. I spoke to her later telling her, that "talking and living your life" is a WONDERFUL thing, it isn't boring at all!

"Talking to each other and living your life" is a BEAUTIFUL way to say "day to day every things."

When we simply talk to each other we gain insight, understanding and love for one another. It happens in ALL relationships.

Talk together, cry together, laugh together and live a glorious life!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Climbing the Ladder - "I'm right here, keep going"

On Saturday evening my husband and I decided to clean out a "cellar" in our home that was located beneath our garage floor. The only access into this medium sized concrete room was through a square hole in the corner of our garage. There were no stairs; only a ladder could be lowered into the room to gain entry. We wondered why the builders of our home wanted a "bomb" shelter/ cellar/ storage area under their garage, but what not, it's ours to use now. So, we decided to sweep and clean it out to use as an extra storage room. Our two kids were very excited to see this underground room when we deemed the project done. To quicken the children's entry, my husband lowered our small children one by one down to me. As I set them onto the ground their eyes were filled with excitement to see what mom and dad had been doing for the past hour or so. They instantly started begging to use the space for a secret spy mission base. My husband and I gently refused their offer, by saying... "Sorry, but no." They were disappointed for two seconds, but got over it quickly. 

We noticed the hour and realized a while back daylight was fading. We still had one more project to finish as a family before the night was over, we needed to cut some wood. My husband urged our daughter to go up the ladder first so we could all follow her and get started on our last project. She was a little hesitant at first but with some gentle coaxing, and reassuring, she ascended the ladder. Our five year old son was not as easy to persuade to ascend the ladder. With the first shaky step he said, "I can't do this, it's scary." Even though he had been on small ladders before, this 8 foot ladder towered in front of our small child. My husband and I reassured him, "It's okay buddy, you can do this." He wen't up one step, "Mom are you there? Will you catch me? I'm scared." I quickly said, "Yes, Connor I am RIGHT HERE. I've got you." I placed my hand on his back for extra support. He slowly crept up another step and kept hesitating. I assured him again, "Keep going, I've got you, you're doing great!" Another foot up, "I'm still here.... keep going..." Three more steps to go.... "You've got it bud, I'm right here. He got nervous towards the top, my husband and I directed him where to put his hands and he emerged onto the garage floor. As I climbed up the ladder at a lightning fast pace compared to our son, I heard him say loudly in an exaggerating tone, "LAND! SWEET LAND!" As I climbed out I saw him pretending to kiss the garage floor. (I don't know where he gets his dramatic flair...) I giggled and sighed at my funny kids. After my husband emerged from the "cellar" we all reconvened and went out to start cutting wood.

Later, after everyone was cleaned from our dusty efforts of the evening and we tucked the kids in bed. As I climbed into bed my mind kept wandering to the two minutes of "ladder help" I gave to our children. I couldn't help but think this is EXACTLY how the Lord treats us on our earthly climb toward heaven. We are continually climbing through life and reaching certain steps along the way. 

Sometimes we shakily go through life, especially when trials come, we are afraid at what will change. Our whole perspective changes with each step. We look back at the past steps we have taken, and we glance up at the forward progression we have yet to accomplish. And still, there He is, touching our shoulder, saying, "It's okay, I'm right here." Sometimes our feet slip, sometimes we lose our grip, and sometimes we fall off the ladder completely. We are scared and taken back when something as sure as our own footing gets knocked off.  Or, we get crushed at the knowledge that we have to start all over again and go through the same steps that took us so long to tackle before. Yet, the Savior of our souls IS and ALWAYS will be there. He will be there to help us gain our footing, give us direction on where to place our hands and feet as we continue on life's upward slope. And for those who fall completely off the ladder, He is there to help you pick yourself up and start over. Motivating you with words of comfort, inspiration and love. He will continue to say, "It's okay.... I'm right here.... I've got you."

I can hear him say it now, "I've been where you are, I've been scared, I've been frightened, I've been so afraid that I didn't want to accomplish what I was sent here for. I have literally felt everything you are feeling right now. Please remember, I did all of this for you, and I'm here now to help you come back home."

Our Savior, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, He made it possible to come back to Him. He will be there to help us correct our mistakes, and help us understand what we did wrong so we can have confidence as we continue to ascend through life. 

But we also need to understand WHEN TO ASK. We have to ASK for His help. My son asked, "Mom, are you there?" He asked for assistance and reassurance. It's the same with help from our Savior. The Savior himself said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) He is there, we just have to go to Him, ASK for His help when steps are shaky in life and He will fill us with strength and peace.

John 16:33
"These things I have spoken unto you, that IN ME ye might have PEACE. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD."

Joshua 1:5
"...I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

Psalm 34:17-19
"17. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of their troubles.
18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of contrite spirit.
19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them ALL."

Ladders and life.... oh, my... I don't know what I would do without my Savior. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Little Red needed her Glasses

The kids and I have recently been reading old fairy tales and nursery rhymes. A few days ago when we came upon Little Red Riding Hood. While reading the story, we came to the part where Little Red was noticing the drastic changes in her grandma.

My kids asked plainly, "Why didn't she SEE the wolf?!" 

I simply said, "She must not have had her glasses on!" Ha ha. 

So in honor of this funny moment, I made this picture for my brother-in-law Carl. 
He's an optometrist, and thought he would get a kick out of it.

Don't forget to have your eye exam and to wear your glasses! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Seek for things of a BETTER

One of my most favorite recent scriptures I have studied is in 
Doctrine and Covenants 25:10. It says, 

"And verily I say into thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better."

I have enjoyed pondering this scripture over the past few weeks, and yesterday I overheard a general conference talk quote this scripture again. I thought after having it so close to my mind and then again hearing it from someone else, I needed to write my thoughts about it. Not just to the world, but to my children, for this blog is my "testimony journal."

If there is anything important to write down, I believe that your testimony is the most important thing to document for your children and future family.

The world is constantly changing. From ideals, morals, fashions, designs, and much more. But one of the few things that is always constant is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the strong stable rock, while the sandy world continually shifts around us. Anyone can get sucked up into "things of the world." Dwelling on things that make the world view you as important, or changing your ideals to please other people's changing emotions. 

Change can be wonderful, but it can also be a personal demise. Change to things of "a better" can bless your life and the lives around you. Continual self evaluation of who you want to be, and who the Lord wants you to be is something everyone needs to constantly check. 

"Knowing where you are going and how you expect to get there 
can bring meaning, purpose and accomplishment to life."
-M. Russell Ballard

"Our task is to become our best selves.
One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again,
no failure ever need be final."
-Thomas S. Monson

Changing to the "things of the world" will leave you constantly adjusting your personality and life to please others instead of pleasing God. It's hard, especially in your school years to not worry about what others think of you. What clothes you wear, what brand of shoes you own, what extra curricular activities are "cooler" than others, how you speak and treat others etc. 
Who are they to judge what you do, and say who you should be?

One of my ALL time favorite quotes is,

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

You choose who you want to be! Not the world, not the people around you, YOU CHOOSE! It is one of our greatest blessings. We have the freedom to choose who we want to be! We are in TOTAL control of what we allow, and who we allow into our lives. 

Anyone can adjust their personality and take what they like and dislike to create who they want to be. I have learned from EVERYONE around me and have created who I am today. 

I learned from school, that I didn't want to make others feel bad about themselves by name calling. I hated being called names like "nerd," "weird," "dumb," etc. I kept a strong face during those years and acted like they didn't bother me, but deep down they hurt. I promised myself I would never cause those feelings of worthlessness in anyone by name calling. 

Someone opened the door for me at school, I felt good when I was simply placed before someone else in a small chivalrous act that rarely happens today. 

My Aunt Judy wrote me a birthday card in my middle school "awkward years" that changed my LIFE! She told me how special I was, how beautiful I was, and how sweet I was to others. She told me things that I didn't see as traits I possessed. She made me feel special when friends were few, and kind words from others were even fewer. I promised to always share compliments about others through cards, texts or emails. Any kind word spoken from the heart is never unnoticed.

"Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient will remember them for a lifetime."
-Thomas S. Monson

In more adult years I would be around others who would gossip or talk negatively about someone, even their close friends, I wondered what they said about me when I was absent? I decided then and there that I NEVER wanted to talk bad about ANYONE; I didn't understand their circumstances or life experiences to lead them to such decisions.

"There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize.
Thus the commandment.
"Judge Not."
-Thomas S. Monson 

I found at a young age that I decided who I wanted to be. I recognized I didn't want to make certain choices that people who were close to me were making. I saw the negative effects that came from those choices and knew I didn't want to go down that path. 

You choose who you want to be. Take the influences around you, good and bad and mold yourself like clay into the person YOU choose to be! 

True joy and happiness comes when you are working hard to align your goals and priorities with those that are in sync with the Lord's.
I pray we can always, "lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better," because there is too much beauty in this world around us to go unnoticed. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

He shares our prayers

Today my children have yet again taught me something special and new.

We just returned from church and were talking about our lessons we had received. June then said, "Mom, when we sang "Families can be Together Forever" in sacrament meeting, I almost couldn't sing because I was thinking of Grandma Luana, because that was her favorite song."
(Here's a little background; my husband, Josh's, Grandma passed away a few months ago, and we sang that song at her funeral. We also sang it EVERY TIME we saw Grandma Luana. She would sing it in the middle of restaurants, basketball games and more! She suffered from Alzheimers but NEVER forgot the words and tune to the song, "Families can be together Forever." When she passed away, her coffin had "Families are Forever" with a temple embroidered on the inside lining. 
So today, June was so sweet and mentioned that while we sang that closing song, (A.K.A. Grandma Luana's song) she felt her spirit.
 (I'm glad she felt it too, because I was bawling my eyes out, I could't keep it together either)

I asked June, "Why do you think you felt that way?" 
June said, "Because she is with us."
I agreed, and said, "She is always there, it's so cool! She is like your special guardian angel!"
She said, "So can I pray to her?"
My husband then chimed in and said, "No we only pray to Heavenly Father."
Connor our 4 year old then said, "Yeah, then He shares our prayers!"

That last comment took me back and in a moment my mind when a million miles an hour. 
I thought, "Of course! That's exactly how it happens! He shares our prayers of need, comfort and trial with our deceased loved ones and dispatches them to come to our aide."

I recently gave a presentation with my sister Candace on "Angels Among Us." So my mind has been often on angels and truly how close they are to us. There is a BEAUTIFUL book called "Covenant Keepers" by, Wendy Watson Nelson. There is an excerpt in her book all about Angels. We based our presentation around that part of her book.

One quote she shared in her book was from President Joseph F. Smith. He said: “When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred [and] friends . . . . In like manner, our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, of reproof and instruction to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.”

I am so thankful to know that there are truly Angels Among us. That Heavenly Father hears our prayerful pleas, and as Connor put it, "shares our prayers." He shares our prayers so He can "dispatch" our ancestors, kindred and friends to come to our aide.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for "sharing our prayers." We need thy help and the help of our loved ones who currently reside on the other side. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


WHAT A BUSY MORNING! I went to volunteer at my daughter's school this morning while my sister Candace, watched my little boy, Connor. When I was done, I met them at the community center to play queens court volleyball with some other friends for an hour. We parted exhausted ways, then came home and fixed lunch. 

As I was wolfing down my lunch, (I was STARVING after volleyball, whatever I ate for breakfast was NOT enough!) my husband called. He filled me in on his morning errands, and asked what I had planned for the rest of the day. I told him I was planning on shoveling our walks and doing some laundry. 

(We live right across from our church house. We have sort of taken on the chore of shoveling the sidewalks when it snows. Not hard, just takes time and effort around the large building.)

Josh hinted, "If you have time, you could maybe go over to the church and shovel the sidewalks; whatever you don't do, I will have to after work." 
I thought for a millisecond....I can take this two ways; 
1. Be insulted he asked me to do MORE than what I had planned for the day, or 
2. Look at it as an opportunity to get outside with our little boy and do some service. 

I decided to take it as an open invitation to do some service for my husband, our church building, and to get some added cardio to my already "cardioed" body from volleyball. 
(Everyone needs a little more cardio! Heart Healthy!)

I said we would try to get to the church, even though I fully intended to go over with Connor. I wanted it to be a little surprise; even though with the rate the snow is falling he might have to go over again anyway. We ended the conversation and Connor and I cleaned up lunch.

We got bundled up from head to toe and went outside in the continual falling snow. Connor helped shovel our driveway into what looked like a maze. It was so cute! I shoveled our side walks and "helped" him with the driveway. He's a GREAT helper for a 4 year old!

We trudged across the thick snow covered road and immediately began our task. Connor was such a good sport. Most little kids would start whining at this point, but not him! He was very much into our secret assignment. 

Push after push, step after step, we rounded one corner, then the next. I was focused on sidewalk and wasn't even looking around. Connor then said behind me, "Mom! Can I go climb that mountain?" I looked up and didn't even notice the mountain of snow 25 feet away that the tractors had piled up from the parking lot this morning. I said, "SURE! go for it!" I stood on the sidewalk watching and cheering him on. (As a mom, you know that you need to cheer for them every step of the way, or they get disappointed and keep asking to see if you're watching!)
Connor said waving me over, "Mom, you too!"
I said, "No I'm good, I'll watch." 
(I SERIOUSLY don't remember the last time I climbed a giant pile of snow! Over 15 years, at least!)

I noticed immediately after his first few attempts to get his feet into the snow, that he wasn't going to make it up without my help. His boots were not getting traction on the snow and he couldn't get a good footing. I put my shovel down and walked over to my sweet little boy. 
I held his hand and helped him up get his first step. 
Next, I climbed up next to him and realized he was going up the slick straight side. I looked over and noticed that only 12 inches to the right was a very "bumpy" easier way up, for BOTH of us. I then released my hand and started to step hard on the snow and make, "steps" for Connor to climb by himself. He could easily make the journey with the new path and knowledge of, "mom is at the top and I can climb this mountain if I can follow her footsteps."

I stood at the top, watching Connor, cheering him on and guiding him in his footing. I couldn't help but think that our Savior is at the top of our life mountain. He has gone before us and has shown us an easier path in life if we just accept it. He continually gives us guidance and assurance as we listen to the Prophet and read the scriptures. He knows how to help us along our hike, because he has made that journey himself. He wants us to follow His footsteps and keep climbing! Keep going, don't give up until you reach the top. 

I am so thankful for sweet small experiences like this that help build my testimony. They make me realize that our Savior is in EVERYTHING we do, if we just have the eyes to see Him. 

"If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill."
Henry B. Eyring

Friday, January 13, 2017

June's Optimism

Josh and I were going on a date. I was trying to shove food down my kid's throat before my niece Carly was going to be here to babysit. June was having trouble eating the ham and bean soup tonight (even though she liked it 2 weeks ago when I made it for the first time... sigh...).

Sour face after sour face as she acted like she was gagging her soup down, I told June sternly, 

"June, please eat this soup! You need to be grateful for what you have! Some kids don't even have food to eat! Can you please be grateful!? 

June sat there for a second and then replied with a HUGE smile, "YES MOM! I will be THANKFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE! I will eat this food even though I don't like it very much!"

My eyes grew 3 sizes and wondered where in the world where this optimism came from!?

 I squealed and hugged her! I said, "YES JUNE! YES! ALWAYS THINK THAT! Promise me you will always think that!"

She promised she would always be thankful for her food even though she didn't like some things I made.

My niece Carly wrote on Facebook later that evening of the experience she had with June while we were gone:

"Tonight before I put my two little cousins, June and Connor, to bed, June gave a family prayer. In it she said, "We are grateful for all of the wonderful people you created and put on this earth, even if they don't like to read your lovely scriptures. We are thankful for the food you put on the world, even if we don't like to eat some of it." It made me laugh and I am very grateful for a 6 year old cousin who sees the bright side of things and how much of a grateful heart she has."

I love our sweet girl!