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

Climb

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!



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"I can't even see your face"

"I can't even see your face!" Was the response of my 4 year old boy as we walked the black halls of our church checking doors and windows. My husband usually checks the building by himself, but we had just finished playing in the gym for Family Home Evening; and decided to do the rounds together.

As this sweet little hand was in mine, I couldn't help but think of us going through life hand in hand with our Savior. He teaches us and guides us through our daily life, even though we never see His face. One of my favorite scriptures came to mind:

"Be strong and of a good courage;
 be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; 
for the Lord thy God is with thee 
whithersoever thou goest."
- Joshua 1:9

Our Savior is continually encouraging us and reminding us that He is always there, in the brightness of day or the darkness of night. We can learn of Him and see His goodness in our lives daily when we read the scriptures.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
-Psalm 119:105

Reading the scriptures continuously will give us the light that can brighten our path along our sometimes dark and troubled life. When we read and study we receive the light He pours out on us. We can begin to see His hand holding ours, and the blessings He showers on us daily. 

I am thankful for the scriptures and the study that brings me closer to Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I can see His hand print in my life daily. My wonderful husband, my children, family and friends bless me beyond measure.

He is always holding our hand even when we can't see His face. But I'm sure if you look around, you can see His handprint all over your heart!




Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brothers who erase our mistakes

Today my 4 year old son and I were playing down stairs and I quickly stopped when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I spotted something on the side of our brick fireplace that is usually unseen unless at the right angle. I see " JUNE     CONNOR     HANSEN " written in chalk on three bricks all in a row. 

We had just had a BIG lesson learned 2 weeks ago when we found that June had been writing on her walls in her room and closet. She had to clean her walls and understand that we DON'T WRITE ON ANYTHING but PAPER! For heaven sakes, she's 6 and learned this when she was 2! I don't know what's gotten into her recently! Being in school this past year she has learned to write more and more and obviously can't contain her excitement long enough to grab a piece of paper. (sigh...)

I looked at the brick and asked Connor (who can't write), what happened here?
He said softly with his head down, "June wote our names on the wall."
At that moment, my phone started to ding upstairs. I turned and started walking up the stairs and I said aloud, "somebody's in trouble." I grabbed my phone and came back down to June's crime scene.


As I walked down the steps, I looked at Connor who was still looking at the brick, but instead of the frown I left, was a bright smile. I turned the corner and looked at the scene. He had quickly wiped as much of the chalk off the brick as he could, erasing most of the the evidence that convicted his sister. The mistake was still visible but 80% of the error was corrected.
I was overcome as tears started to fill my eyes. What a sweet brother helping his sister erase her mistakes. 

My mind was taken in thought of my older brother Jesus, who has helped me erase many of my mistakes. I have gone to him for help, guidance and added strength in hard times. He doesn't judge me; he teaches me, heals me, and lifts me up. There will always be a small mark left behind from past mistakes. They are a reminder of how merciful he is, and to try to never make that mistake again.

He has ALWAYS been there for me, to help me dig myself out of the hole I've made. 
He has helped heal my heart, feed my soul and erase my mistakes with his grace. 
Countless times I have fallen to my knees, begging for added strength; and innumerable times, he has blessed me with the help I needed to go on. 

Thank you for being my older brother. Thank you for your sacrifice for me, and all of our brothers and sisters. Thank you is not enough, I can never repay you for all you've blessed me with and the many mistakes you have helped erase over the years. I pray I can be more like you every day and help others find your light.