Monday, February 29, 2016

value experiences

ALMA 57: 21 Yea, and they did aobey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their bmothers had taught them.
I've been working on personal progress again.  I decided it would be a great idea to complete the program and earn a medallion once again.  Every time they come out with a new necklace I want to earn it :)

So I've been working on the value of faith and it's been a very sweet experience.  One of the things I have to do is to discuss the roles of mothers with someone.  It just so happened that last night while I was face timing Jenna and Clayton we talked about mothers, a lot.  Normally I try to listen to my grown children and be supportive and a good example without telling them what to do too much.  Jenna and Clayton have no children yet.  They are also making lots of career decisions and school decisions.  I am very impressed with their process.  They are thoughtful and prayerful about their choices, and I have every confidence that they will choose well the path the Lord wants them to follow.  They are good people :)

I have been so grateful for my experiences being a mother.  When I was a new mom it was unexpected and unplanned and totally life changing.  If I live to be a million years old I will never forget those first hours, holding baby Dani and nursing her and thinking "I am responsible for this person, to make sure she knows God's commandments and grows up to be a good person, more that a good person a person who follows the Lord, who is His disciple, who is obedient." Suddenly all that I was taught and all that I believed became so much more important and so much more the focus of my life.  Suddenly my ability to love grew so much bigger than I imagined it could.  I was so grateful that I could stay home and take care of her, and then Sierra and Jenna.  Financially it wasn't easy.  Mark and I were young and didn't have any college under our belts really.  He worked hard and I babysat a lot of different kids to make a little extra money. We had two great grandmas that babysat for us while I went to school, which was also very important to me and it worked out great.  
Obviously our marriage was difficult and not what it should be but despite those challenges I look back on those days of being a young mom as very fun and joyful and full of love.  I loved those girls so much.  We went to the park almost every day, we went to the library often, we went to McDonald's and Target a lot.  We read lots of books and watched lots of Disney movies and played games and they played together and with other little kids.  We baked and painted and chalked and splashed around our kiddie pool,  We went fun places as often as we could, the zoo, the beach, the mountains, to festivals, to the beach (I know I said that twice) and a couple of times to Disneyland.  I think of that as Being a mother: Chapter 1

Chapter 2 was being a single mom.  Again my own parents came to the rescue and we lived with them for over a year.  That was a happy time as well.  The girls loved being with my sisters and it was safe and secure for us all as I finished school and started working full time as an adult .  When we moved out the grandmas still played a huge role in the girls lives. 
We were very blessed during those years and I felt the Lord's presence and help making up the lack while I had to work outside the home.  We didn't go to the park every day anymore but we enjoyed library trips, reading lots of books, weekend park trips, Disney movies, cooking together, swimming in our apartment pool, hanging out in my classroom before and after school, going to primary, beach trips, playing sports and other fun things. 

Chapter 3 Blended family.  That was tougher than I imagined it would be.  It came with lots of adventures, moving to TX and then to MD.  Having 3 more wonderful blessings. Lots more travelling to Florida, Ohio, Utah, the Carolina's, NY, Canada.  Lots more lessons and activities of all kinds, soccer, swim team, horseback riding, girl scouts, boy scouts, dance.  Lots more going to the park and the library.  Again I was soooo happy to be home.  To plan parties and drive to dances and to help with homework, to make after school treats and yummy dinners, to chaperon field trips, watch games, play and read.  Being married is not easy for me.  It wasn't easy the first time, and it isn't easy the second time.  The first 16 years of the second marriage were the hardest but it's getting much better, I guess I'm getting easier to live with finally :)Being a mom is easy.  Easy in the I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. These kids are a delight, I love coloring, I love baking, I love the playground and the park and the zoo.  I love watching them go off on adventures and being there when they return.  I am never bored . Of cource there are hard parts, kids who make bad choices, or who are snarky, or who fight with their siblings.  There are times when there isn't enough energy, $$, time, patience, clean sheets, room on the bed, or left over cookies for everyone to have thirds but that's part of the package. I will be eternally grateful to Rob for marrying me and becoming dad to my three girls and letting me be home and to mother the way I think is best. 
I have never considered myself a working mom, except during the single years, although I have subbed and done other little odd part time things, it's always been on the kids scheduled, which has been so important to both of us.

Chapter 4: mini family:
We only have our three little chickens lefts at home.  The big girls are grown and on their own.  They are all doing really well and my job as mom is different.  While I would want a Walton's extended family table each night, with the girls and husbands and kids and my kids and Rob and I all together that's just not reality or even what's best for them and being a mom is all about what's best for them.  So I talk on the phone, I give advice when asked, I give a listening ear always, I share my life, I pray for them, I look forward to being with them  and I hope I make their lives better, safer, more joyful.  I hope that they see me and have a good role model.  And I am happy happy happy that I still have the bonus part left.  The Hannah , Ethan and Grace that still need homework help, and have games to watch and dances to be driven to, socks to wash, chores to do, places to travel, books to read, FHE lessons to prepare for, talents to develop, cookies to bake, Disneyland days, movies to watch, scripture reading/wrestling matches at night, and hectic get out the doors in the mornings. 

Chapter 5: Being a Grandma.  The best.  It's a repeat of the love and excitement and fun and magic of childhood.  It's the joy of family growing and the chance to make a difference, be an example, and to love love love. 

A mother is especially designed by the hand of God to nurture and love.  A father is made to preside, provide.  A mother and father work together to make sure the family is safe and taken care of. Children are nurtured and grow up well when this happens.  I know mom's who have to work, my two sisters work and are wonderful women and mothers.  I am grateful that for now I haven't had to.  Different seasons of life call for different things.  The kids are getting much bigger now and while I'd like to always be here at home full time, will I? I don't know. I do know I think that's the best place for a mom to be and we should have the best as our ideal.  Because there are so many mommy wars, and judging on both sides ( I think this is because parenting is a passionate pursuit) I want to state, for the record, that I think there are wonderful moms who work, and their kids turn out great, with the same success % as stay at home moms. And there are not so great ones. And stay at home moms can be great, or not.  It's hard both ways, with sacrifices both ways.  Women who love their children and want to do a good job will, despite any obstacles.  That said I believe the best place for a mom is at home with her kids. 

Being a mother is a joy, don't be afraid Jenna, look forward with anticipation and enthusiasm.  And Sierra, Hannah and Grace.  

and I can check faith off my list.  :)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dancing Feet

After many months of training today was the big day. It was so much fun to go watch and Grace and her team did really well.
Our school took a lot of medals and ribbons including Grace's fourth in the east coast swing!! So fun!
It was a cheery and upbeat afternoon.
After we went to in and out to celebrate. 
The rest of the day:
Hannah went to Emily Abramson's Sweet 16. Had lots of fun! Emily is a nice girl, she and Han are going to be YCL partners at camp this year.
Dad and Grace polished rocks in the garage.
Ethan invited a couple of boys over. Preston and Josh were able to come. They've been eating and playing basketball and video games.
I drove Hannah and Shelby out to 100E and G-10 to the boondocks flashlight tag tri-stake priest and laurel activity. Luckily Shelby's mom is picking them up. Hopefully Han comes home with no broken bones... It is DARK out there. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Finally Friday

Head cold. :(
Luckily I got to stay home with these two. 

Also I went grocery shopping.

Today was R's day off, he spent it at a shooting class. He's gone to a couple times and is learning a lot. It's not really a class more like a workshop but he likes it and it's good to know what you are doing, especially with guns.

Pepsi died today. Rob helped Grace bury him. Then he cheered her up by working in the garage with her on her rocks.

Hannah went to a party at Braydon's. There were a good number of kids there and I think they all had fun. We went early to pick her and S up so I could visit with Julia. Win win!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

books I read this week

 Hail to the Chef is the second book in the white house chef series.  It was a lot of fun to read.  Again the perfect combo of food talk, intrigue and a familiar and longed for setting.  Ollie is a great character, she is brave, a bit of a busy body (but not in a bad way) and patriotic.  A very fun read.
 Fannie Flagg has long been one of my favorite authors.  In this book "The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion" she tells a story that really drew me in.  It was about an older southern lady and her even older and VERY southern mother and the angst of their relationship. As well as the story of 4 sisters from Wisconsin who become WASP's during WWII.   Their lives have a surprising connection and Fannie (that's what I call her in my head) mingles the courage and struggles of living during the war and the charm of life in the south with the common life experience of trying to find out who we are, and what we can do for others, and how to make a difference in the world, that every person grapples with.  Loved it! Couldn't put it down.
This one was a dystopic novel, most of the population of the world is wiped out by a fast acting and deadly flu.  Now the survivors live without electricity, the Internet, antibiotics, borders, government or law.  It weaves together the stories of a small group of survivors with looks back at life "before" and life in the present.  It's sort of hopeless and depressing, although I kept reading because I was interested in how it all tied together.  Not something I'd normally read.  I got drawn in by the cover...I thought it was going to be about an expedition to Africa or somewhere with the cute tents lit up against the dark sky!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More shopping

Spring is everywhere in the desert. Not a day goes by when I am not seeing some beautiful blossoms. So pretty!
Yesterday and today I subbed in Special Ed. Yesterday was in a severe class, some hitting and spitting and chasing down runners but other than that it was great. Today was middle school and the kids were great. Tomorrow is middle school history, we'll see how that goes:)
After school we needed to go on a mall trip. Grace has her ballroom dance competition this Saturday and she really needed a dress. We found a really pretty twirly one at JCP. 
Hannah also needed to get a bday present for Emily's birthday on Saturday.
We had to buy lots of clothes lately, everyone is growing and things are wearing out. As they do. 
Monday I had to take Ethan shopping for shoes and shorts and shirts. He has grown the most. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Hebrews Chapter 11

By faith we understand the word and work of God—The faith of the ancients was centered in Christ—By faith, men subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and worked miracles.
 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrificethan Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
 11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that countryfrom whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
 21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
 22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
 23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a properchild; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and ofJephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Sometimes in my study a chapter or verse will stick out to me. Last week it was this one, what a powerful sermon on faith. Faith is a feeling or a belief but more than that it is an action. An outward manifestation of our inner convictions. Faith is works. I read this probably three days in a row and spent a lot of time thinking on it.
Time well spent. 
How Percy spends his time:

Hanging with Ziva
Late night snacking.

He's adjusting well.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day of rest

Alarm went off this morning.
I got up, made breakfast and got ready for the Lancaster ward conference. 
Also made dinner in the crock pot.
Went to the conference. It was my turn to speak at the 2nd hour meeting with the leaders.
All went well.
Came home.
Made lunch.
Went to my ward with the fam. Was invited to speak to the young women the third hour.
Came home and finished making dinner.
Ate and then left for our stake youth committee meeting, where I got to speak, but briefly.
Drove Madelynne home.
Drove self home.
Made dessert for the fam, and Shawn who was over working on some work stuff with Rob. 
Family had cleaned up the kitchen while I was gone! Yay!!!

Off to bed, no more day of rest fun for now:)

Also the poppies are blooming and are so cheerful and the moon was beautiful tonight.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Death Valley

We've been wanting to go to Death Valley. I don't know why really but we did, and we went, and it was really fun.

The drive was a little longer than I expected. It was also a lot more beautiful than I expected. The rocks and terrain were amazing. Wild flowers were blooming everywhere and they smelled so good and looked sweet and pretty!
We drove and stopped at several different hiking locations. 
There were lots of rocks to climb. Lots of tourists, we heard at least 7 different languages being spoken. It was warm and sweaty and dusty and we went thru a 24 case of water bottles.
We got lost on the way home and I almost peed my pants (tmi) but luckily we stumbled upon Trona CA and they had a rest area. 
It was a full and fun day.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Field trip

Today the GaTE class had a field trip to the Blue Ribbon Children's festival at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in LA. 

I went as a chaperone. It was an interesting day. The chaperones had to carpool down so I was in a car with 3 ladies I had not previously met. We ended up having a fun time and having lots to talk about. One lady is a head shaved, tattooed, roller derby star, PTA president mom who was super sweet. The other two were more run of the mill moms like me, although I was oldest and had the most kids.
The music center was beautiful. We saw Black Violin and the Rennie something hip hop dance group. It was surprisingly amazing. The violinist were really good,playing a fusion of classical and hip hop. They had a lot of energy and were very engaging. 
Somehow the kids knew a lot of the songs and sang along and danced along. 
It took us 3 hours to get there, so we missed our show. Luckily they had a second show and squeezed us in.

After school Ethan wanted to go see his school play soccer. So we are here now. It's 7-0 right now so I feel safe in saying: They won. Hannah wants to go after to watch the girls high school team play.  Then tonight is APYW. Lots of fun stuff. 

Also tonight we are grilling salmon. Yum!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


That word conjures up negative images ...but that is not my intention. It was however a busy meeting full day. 

Met my alarm clock. 5am. Never my fav.

8am met with Ramona and Wendy for some girls camp planning. We made a lot of progress and felt really good about it. 

Went to Costco after.

Hung out with el gato, who had a meeting with my earrings, which he thought were tasty and my cheek (scratch).

Picked up Hannah from her after school directors meeting. We went to chipotle for my fav lean and green, also I didn't cheat all day. Sad that that is note worthy.

Met up with Amber to deliver food from costco so she could take it to the homeless shelter.

Got the kidlets home from school and then went to a presidency meeting at Mary's, where I learned that our awesome camp planning was not going to fly. 

Came home, had dinner with the fam.

Then R took Grace to her activity day meeting and I went to LV ward's New Beginnings. 

Now I'm meeting my pillow:)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gato de Diablo

I'm a little fond of this little gato. Not a lot but he is cute.
I subbed today in a severe special needs class. It's an easy sub day because the classes have a lot of aides that are awesome. I just help out. It's kind of sad though and I felt very grateful for my healthy & able bodied, verbal, stinkers. 
What else? The weather is great. The kids had mutual. Tonight is my favorite TV night. Finished a good book today, have a stack to choose from for the next one. Good day.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Friends for dinner

Yesterday we had a broadcast conference. It was really great. Pres. Crawley spoke first and he gave a powerful sermon, then we had a wonderful broadcast from Salt Lake. Elder Renlund spoke and was so awesome. His message was strong and rang with truth, and he was funny at times too. Sister Oscarson spoke and I always love her. The whole thing was uplifting and inspiring. Good day!
In the evening Wes and Nellie came over for dinner. We had a good visit and some yummy food. It was spur of the moment, at church we just decided to get together and just eat whatever random food we could find. 
Today Rob cleaned and spruced up the grill and grill area. Then he went to work for half a day(ish). Hannah and I drove down to Valencia to pick up the laptop. We enjoyed the stores and the sunny weather. She drove all the way there and all the way back and did really well. 
This evening we invited the Fasts over for dinner. We played dicecapades and grilled. We had a really nice visit. They like animals and have more than we do, which is great for Grace who enjoyed showing her little herd off.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Valentines Day"

Tomorrow is actually Valentine's Day but we pretty much celebrated today.
First off isn't this owl beautiful! Not Valentinesy but his coloring is gorgeous. What an amazing world God made for us!
Also I want the boys to build this for summer. (Also not valentiney)
Rob got me these beautiful flowers. I used to not want to get flowers, they are $ and not practical. Lately, like the last 5 years, though I have loved it and think it's so sweet and beautiful!
Today I helped drive the youth to an ice skating activity. Both Hannah and Ethan had a fun time, as did all the youth I believe . We took San Fransquito canyon road from the church and it was such a pretty drive. I really enjoyed it.
On the way home we drove thru McD for fries and ice cream cones cuz I'm such a nice driver:)
Rob got Grace this cute kitty chocolate box. She was sad this morning because I said I'd take her skating IF she finished her chores in time. She didn't. For the record her chores were super easy: she had to clean her room, which meant make her bed and put her dirty clothes in the hamper because the rest was clean. She had to swap the laundry from the dryer to my bed. She had to windex the sliding door and clean HER footprints off the glass. That's it. 
Ethan had to take out all the trash and put in new trash bags, and clean his room and help R with something.
H had to clean the inside of the car and her bedroom and bathroom. Not too hard folks.
Anyway she didn't get to go and she thought it was very unjust. And her very nice dad helped her with her chores and to clean her hamster cage and got her a treat.
Tonight is the Valentines dance. 
Sawyer and Hannah looked pretty in pink! (And handsome)
R and I went to Outback during the dance. 
We got to FaceTime the birthday boy who now knows how to wobbly walk!!!

Good day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Punch bowl

Off Friday's are the best. We got the kids off to school and Ziva to the spa and then Rob and I went to Devils Punchbowl for a nice hike. We had a really fun time. The weather was perfect and unlike last time we were there the water was running in the creek bed on the bottom. We scrambled around following the water to its source and enjoyed the beauty of God's creations. It was a good morning.

Hannah had play practice after school. Grace and Dad went shooting. 
In the evening Han and I went to Target. 
Grace is in pet heaven with a dog, a kitten, and two robos. She is a lucky girl.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

mid week

Hannah went to school and seminary today.  She also stayed after school for rehearsal.  She's doing well and even though her foot hurts she's getting around just fine.

This morning I met Julie and we went to the mall.  I needed to buy some soap.  Then we went to Chipotle and had a nice lunch and a long talk.

After school I met Mary at the stake center and we cleaned out our closets.

Finally in the evening Rob and Ethan went to get hair cuts. I took the girls to the mall.  Grace wanted to use her old navy gift card.  She got a cute pair of pants.  I bought Hannah a pretty pink dress online in the fall, that she wanted, and that she's never worn.  When we got it she wasn't sure she liked it.  Saturday is the Valentines Dance and so she said she'd wear it but wanted a pretty sweater to wear with it because the top looks funny.   We looked all around and didn't find one.  She did find a really cute shirt and a heart sweater for ice skating Saturday morning.

Grace and I have been reading Little House at night. Tonight we were interrupted by a devil cat.  That kitty has SHARP claws.  At one point he went clawing up my back trying to get something and Yeo-ouch! now I'm all scratched up!  How old do cats have to be before you declaw them?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Not as planned

This morning I took Hannah to the lab at 6am. The time they open. I figured she'd be first in line, we'd get to seminary a bit late and the rest of the day would go as normal. 
It turns out she needed a three hour glucose test. The doc thinks she has PCOS and so ran an extensive lab panel to figure out what's going on. She's very thorough. Luckily Rob was able to get the kids to school and I wasn't working so it was fine. Also luckily we both had books with us. She did well although she did feel a little nauseous. 
I took her to school and she lasted a couple hours before her foot hurt too much. 
After school Sawyer came over. We played dicecapades for awhile and then they did whatever and I did laundry. 

We grilled salmon for dinner. It turned out really well.

Grace had ballroom.
Percy is Grace's homework partner. We have to have a rotating sleep schedule for him. Tonight its the boy's turn. 
My vacuum wasn't sucking. Rob and Ethan fixed it.

The weather was gorgeous today. Sunny and in the 70s. I opened all the windows and enjoyed the smell of sunshine. 
A cats work is never done: he has to help everyone with their work.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Half pint

Today is Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday. Random fun fact. 
When I was growing up we always watched Little House On The Praire. I think it came on tv on Monday nights. Our whole family would sit and laugh at the funny antics of Nellie, and the happy family times of the Ingalls. I thought that Laura and Manly's relationship was SO romantic and aspired to have a similar one. (I didn't FYI but a girl can dream). I don't think any of my daughters have read the books. Maybe I can read them with Grace before she gets a day older. 
Ramona and I met this morning to do some camp planning. I'm excited for camp!
Tonight Grace gets measured for her ballet recital costume. She's going to be a beautiful white rabbit.
Also tonight Grace gets her favorite dinner, Hawaiian Haystacks. She's been asking for it since her birthday and I've finally got everything together to 
make it.
This morning I also watched a very inspiring video on the life of a sweet relief society president in the UK. Her name is Carol Gray. She has a wonderful story of service and charity.