Monday, December 19, 2016


I am full of secrets right now. It's the season. Christmas is coming and everyone has been busy wrapping up those secrets to give to others. I have other secrets as well-all good. They will come out in their due time. I've been thinking about this a lot. The Lord has a ton of secrets. In Deuteronomy he talks about those secrets and how when they are revealed they aren't secret anymore. 

Moses has some of my favorite verses. In Moses 5:6-7 Adam is sacrificing on an altar to the Lord. An angel comes down and asks why he is doing this. Adam says, "I know not save the Lord commanded me." The angel goes on to explain the significance of this sacrifice. It is a truly marvelous purpose and plan. How wonderful that it is no longer a secret, and now Adam knows why. Sometimes I wonder when I will find out my why. Sometimes I get my why in pieces--line upon line, here a little, there a little. Other times it comes gushing through in talks or scripture. But almost ALL of the time I have to wait for it.

Right now I am waiting. Waiting for a lot of my why to be answered. I have a lot of questions, sometimes the same ones over and over, and I'm sure the Lord is a little bit tired of me asking. But one of my fears is that I missed something and because of that my life is taking a different direction than what it is intended. That is when I'm reminded that the Lord would never let that happen. As soon as we start to veer a little, if we are trying with all our might to do what's right, he will steer us back to where we need to be. How I love that the Lord is in charge, even if I don't always know the why. It does stretch my patience and faith, but as I look back my life has done things I never thought were possible. 

It's an exciting time to have a secret, it's an even more wonderful time when that secret is revealed and everyone can partake of it. I'm so thrilled to have the 'secret' of the gospel. It's now my responsibility to share it, to hand it out, to let people in on my secret. Be aware that you hold an amazing secret and we are here to share it. Share how much the Lord loves each one of us individually, share how families can be together forever, share about the wonderful refuge we have from the storms that are coming and swirling all around us. I love this life and am so glad I am part of the 'secret'!!

Monday, December 12, 2016


I have been so sick with a big fat head cold these past few days. I'll tell you what, it is miserable. I do not know how those who are constantly suffering from chronic pain, constant nose running from allergies, or anything that sticks around longer than 2 weeks. One thing I have learned though is sometimes you just have to rely on other people. That is not something I'm very good at and it will continue to be something I will work on for the rest of my life. Which is why Heavenly Father throws these little adventures at me.

I know for most of us there is an area in our life that needs constant work. I also know we are given trials to learn and grow in those areas. We are temporarily here on earth to perfect those attributes to the best of our ability. I know I will continually be put in positions where I will have to ask for help, rely on others, and delegate. I hope I will learn how and quickly, because being sick is yucky!!

One final thought, I am all about mental exercises. I think our brain is an amazing instrument that is underutilized in many ways. So think about what attribute you want to work on this year and picture where you will be with it in a year. If it's love, maybe picture your heart growing and you knowing more people in your area. For me I will be picturing an unstuffed nose and my children doing more of the chores and making dinners every night after I have taught them how.  Doesn't that sound delicious?

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Take the Compliment

Women--listen up!! When someone gives you a compliment take it! Say thank you and acknowledge that you did something grand. Can I tell you how many times people offer a compliment and the receiver says thank you and then points out all the flaws. Ladies--take the compliment. Someone is giving you a gift! When you receive a physical gift do you say thank you and then hand it back because you feel you don't deserve it? Um, no!! (well unless it's one million bucks or something outrageous like that) but in general you keep the gift and show your appreciation by being excited about it.

Well think of those compliments as gifts. Someone is taking time and effort to give you something of value. Don't devalue it by pointing out all the reasons you don't deserve it. You do deserve it and it should be treasured, just like any physical gift that is given you.

This month we are focusing on our Savior. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has put out a #LIGHTtheWORLD campaign. Today the focus is on helping others to see. When you receive a compliment SEE it as it truly is, a gift from a wonderful giver!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Musings

I had an epiphany this week. I've been trying to decide what to do with this blog since it seems to just be a bunch of random posts. And it probably is for the most part. But I feel like I need to continue doing it. In fact I feel really strongly about that. So for now, I will just be sharing different things each week. I don't know if there will be much rhyme or reason to it, but until I get further direction, it is what it is.

Today's musings are about fitting in. Many youth are shocked to hear that this still matters to adults. In our church, when someone chooses to join it, one thing to help them acclimate and have an enjoyable experience is to have a friend. Usually this is already the case as it's a friend that guides them to the church in the first place. But sometimes it is through other means that people join our religion. How do you make a friend? Well there are several things you can do like be nice, introduce yourself, etc..., but the thing I think we really should be asking ourselves is how can we BE a friend. Too many times I've come into situations where friendships are already established and no matter how hard I try I am not accepted. Now I understand that on some level it is up to me to be friendly, but what if you try and try again and you still feel as if you are thought of last, your are not in on the inside or outside joke, you have tried to compliment, sit next to them, go out of your way to invite them to things, and yet still, you are just an acquaintance. Well I have some ideas for you--

1. You are not alone. Yes you have the Savior as your guide, but look around, I know there is probably at least one other person who feels as you do. Without fail when we cover a topic such as this in Relief Society I am always surprised at the amount of people who feel this exact same way. Figure out who they are and throw a party to help them feel included.

2. Go visiting teaching. Some of my best friends have come from my companionships and the ladies I visit teach. It is no mistake the Lord (and the RS president) puts us with the people they do. Get to know them, take them to lunch, invite them out for a walk, or go help them clean a bathroom.

3. Do your calling. I have made many wonderful friendships in my callings as well. I have one friend who has told me our friendship 'was forged in the fires of girls camp'. How do you like that for a friend?!

4. Prayer for friends. Say what? Heavenly Father wants you to be happy. He is the last person who would want you friendless, feeling helpless and alone. Pray to find a friend!!

I love my life and I love my friends!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Moms bring Great Joy

I am fortunate to have my mom right around the corner from me. She was out for a walk yesterday and stopped by. I had the mom that had 7 kids and made lunch for them everyday until I graduated from high school. I had the mom who stayed up late sewing a new school bag for me even though she had a newborn. I had the mom that took a my kids when we had to rush to the hospital with one of them. I have a loving, giving, kind, mother who is always there for me and brings me such Joy.

I do 'share' my Mom with 6 other siblings, their spouses, and all the grandkids. How much Joy she brings our posterity!!

Make sure you tell your Mom how much Joy she brings you--Share Joy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Giving Back Brings Joy

What ways can you give back to your community, your family, your school, your church?  I have found that no matter where I give back it always makes me feel so happy and brings such Joy to more than myself. We've been blessed with a little extra here and there and BYU has always been so kind to us, so every once and awhile we try to give back. We went to a luncheon today were we met people who excelled because of the generous help of others who have given back. How I love our BYU community. I feel so at home there and enjoy every time I am there. Outside my window I have the perfect view of the 'Y'. It is one of my favorite places to think and appreciate all that school has given me. My husband, a stronger testimony of my convictions, friends, and even a degree!  Oh what Joy my life is because of the giving of others!!

Give Back--Share Joy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Going on an Adventure Brings Joy!

Today was a grand adventure! We hit two more states to add to our collection. We are up to 49 and just have one left. If you continue with this blog, you will see which one, but for today we headed to Arkansas and Tennessee. What an adventure. My husband thought it would be a good idea to hit both those states in one day. We are flying in, getting pictures, and flying out. What a whirlwind!! We are enjoying a few days off from school, and he wanted to make sure we were home for some of it.

I love hearing about others adventures and comparing notes on places we should have visited or food we shouldn't have eaten. Whether it is on facebook, instagram, or just stories we can share, it is always a grand Adventure!

Share the Adventure--Share Joy!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Your Hobby brings Joy

All my children are in youth group at our church and tonight is their night to be gone. This leaves Dave and I home alone. You would think we would do something together, but we really enjoy our alone time and don't get it too often. So I will be in my office, alone, doing one of my favorite hobbies, taking a card class online. I love making certain crafty things--LOVE IT!! But working with paper and stamps is really high up there. Joy, for me, is enjoying time doing what I love.

Since I'm making cards I can easily send those to people and share my hobby. That brings me great Joy!

Share your hobby--Share Joy!!

Joy is A Favorite Treat

I could probably post this one everyday because let's be honest, I love treats. But there are those rare treats you get that are seasonal, or homemade (and you don't have the recipe). Whatever they are I got one last night. We were at another band competition (because we live at those right now) but it happened to be at BYU. One of my happiest places on earth--right next to Disneyland and the Temple!! Anyway we were at the stadium and one of our incentives for going was to be able to buy a cougar tail. What is a cougar tail you ask?  Only a foot (at least) long maple bar, one of my all-time favorite donuts. And since I'm actually a pretty healthy eater, I don't get donuts very much, so when I do I better make the most of it!!

Of course I did share with one of my children. Let's be honest, the rest of them wanted their own. It was so delicious and both of us felt the pure joy, or maybe the sugar rush, of those yummy, hard to find treats!!

Share a favorite treat--Share Joy!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Joy is the Sound of Rain

Especially when you are inside and protected from the elements. Rain brings me pure Joy. I am an Oregonian at heart and rain reminds me of green grass, jumping in puddles, and running through it laughing. We could always tell a true Oregonian because during a rainy day they went without an umbrella.

How in the world do I share rain? Well I now live in a state that is constantly in drought mode, so in our end of the US rain is a symbol of life. It represents that we will have crops grow, enough water to drink, and lakes to play in over the summer. All of that is shared by our state both for the people who live here and those who come visit.

Share Joy--Enjoy Rain!

Joy is Being Inspired

Yesterday I went to a meeting with my husband. One of our General Authorities spoke (a leader in our church). It was great, but what struck me was how inspiring these people can be when they speak. It reminds me to continually strive to do better. Not just do better, but keep doing better. This particular General Authority talked about the sacrifices people make in order to accomplish something they deem very important. His wife discussed the wonderful opportunities we have.

So my two inspiring thoughts were, what opportunities do I have everyday because of where I live, because of my family, or because of my circumstances. I have many.

My next thought was what are some things I think are so important that I would sacrifice a lot for them, and am I making those sacrifices? Sometimes yes, but sometimes I'm selfish and just plain don't want too. That is when I go to a meeting and get inspired!!

Share Inspiration--Share Joy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Catching Up With Old Friends is Joy

I had a mini reunion today with some of my college roommates. I haven't seen them in awhile and it was so good to get together. Even if it was only for an afternoon. It brings me such Joy to relieve those memories and see that they are doing really well.

Good Friends--Bring Joy

Joy is Your Team Pulling out a Win

I put my Christmas lights up early this week. Want to know why? Because they are my favorite colors--blue & white!! I felt justified since BYU is still playing in their first football season under a new head coach. We've been to several games already, but last night's game (which went into the wee hours) came down to double overtime!! We pulled out a win, but it was the ONLY time we led throughout the whole game.

Joy is when all your hard work results in a win, even if it comes down to the wire. It's up to you to decide what constitutes a win, but last night the number on the scoreboard made that decision easy. That Joy was shared all over Cougar Nation last night and I was glad to be a part of it.

Work Hard and Win Some Joy!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Buying Gifts Brings Joy

One of my favorite things is to see the priceless look of Joy on my kids faces when they open up that gift that they have been wanting FOREVER!! I also love surprising people with something they weren't expecting like showing up with a treat for someone who has had a bad day, or a half gallon of ice cream for someone to tell then good job. Whatever the reason buying gifts for others is one of my favorite things to do.

Today my husband and I were doing just that. Tonight I have bridal shower to attend and I bought a gift I'm especially excited to give. What a treat and treasure to share a little bit of the Joy I feel when thinking of others.

Buy a gift--Share Joy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Temple Brings Joy

I try to go to the temple often, and when I do I am reminded of my priorities. When we remember what's really important and understand that the day to day stresses and life's little anxious moments are only temporary, sometimes it's a little bit easier to get through them. Oh what Joy that brings to my heart and soul! I love to see the temple and what it represents. A while ago there was a conference talk about putting a picture of the temple in each child's room to remind them of that goal--to always be worthy to go to the temple.

That's how I spread that Joy. Putting little reminders of temples all over, just to remember.
Look to the Temple--Spread Joy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Music Brings Joy

Who doesn't love the sound of a good beat, or the uplifting lyrics of a favorite song. Tonight we are headed up to a band competition to see our high school band compete. I have 2 kids in this competition and they have worked really hard on their show. I hope they do well, but what really brings me Joy is how well they can play their instruments. Good music has always brought me Joy and I'm so grateful for the many ways we get to hear it. We only live a few miles from the school, so one of the ways this band shares their Joy of music is on a clear cold night when they are out practicing you can hear them. It really is an amazing sound!! Share the Joy, Share good music!!

The Smell of Clean is Joy

Monday is laundry day, and with six people in our family, that's about all I do on Monday. But when everything is folded nicely in their baskets, and the kids are wearing clothes that smell good and look presentable, that brings me Joy.  Oh how I love when we look clean!

And we share it by smelling decent around our friends. What a relief!!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Homemade Bread is JOY!

This morning I woke up early and mixed up some homemade bread. The smell alone makes me smile. We try to have homemade bread, apples, and cheese every Sunday evening for our dinner. It's a simple meal, but so delicious, especially when it is straight from the oven.

Sharing homemade bread to bring people Joy is easy. You just take a loaf over to someone. But today I got up extra early to make it because I wanted it to be done in time for church. My 14-year-old son had asked me to make some for the sacrament bread two weeks ago. What a pleasure to be able to share my bread with the ward. (although they may not all think so ;))

Share bread--Share Joy!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The warmth that is JOY!

This morning I chose to have Joy pretty early on. I get to sleep in on Saturdays so my Joy stemmed from my alarm sounding at 5 (instead of 4:30) and instead of getting up on this gloomy, cold morning, I appreciated being under my warm covers for a little bit longer. I chose the Joy of being in my nice warm bed, especially with the brisk weather outside. Doesn't that warm feeling of being safe and protected away from the elements make you so happy!!

And how exactly would I share that? Simple, I cranked up the heat in our house so everyone else could feel that warmth!!! Of course then my husband asked if it was 1000 degrees in here, but whatever, I shared JOY!

Choosing Joy 365 Days of the Year

I've been studying about JOY. How it's a choice and the only person that can take it away from you is you. So what if I did 365 things a year, or one thing a day to bring me joy. What if I made a conscious effort to focus on one thing that creates an overwhelming sense of pleasure, a pure feeling of happiness, a wonderful consciousness of JOY. It's an interesting concept. Can I find something different every day that will bring me joy?

Another interesting thought is once I have found joy how do I share it? I do like to please people, but more than that, when I have joy I want others to share in that with me. I want them to feel that Joy. So how do I do that? I guess first thing is first,  I will try to post weekly things I find Joy in, then I will figure out how to share that Joy.  The sharing part may not happen all the time, but it is something I will try hard to do.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Want to hear something funny.....?

I was doing so well on my EMBARK, but the Lord likes to make it more perfect for me. It has been made for me. I won't go into the long process it took to get me here, but let me tell you about my five minutes for each letter thing.

E--is still exercise, and it is still just rolling out of bed and jogging down the stairs. When my mind is not awake, as I do choose to embark, then it wanders. Let's be honest, this is not uncommon. So to keep it in place I need to be a little more awake then I would be if I just rolled out of bed!

M--Meditation. If you are LDS this means to pray (seriously, look it up in the topical guide), for others it's ponder, consider, think. I talk to God and let him know what I'm thinking I'm going to do today, and what I might need some strength to get through. You may want to ponder your day and what it holds, what you need to get done, etc...

B--Books. D&C 109:7, "seek ye out the best books" 5 minutes of a good book is awesome. Right now I am reading Elder Bednar's book on loving to learn. Previously I was reading Elder Ballards book about councils. These are some of the best books and there are so many others. In His Steps, What would Jesus do, is another one of my favorites and not by an LDS author.

A--agenda, this is where you calendar your day. Plan it out, and then look at it. Here is my downfall, I'm so good about planning it that I forget to take a look throughout the day. I can't tell you how many times I go back, at the end of the day, and realize I missed an easy task that would have taken 2 minutes to accomplish and made someone's day. DON'T DO THAT.

R--recommit. The Lord spoke to me one day as I was studying my scriptures. I was reading 1 Corinthians 7:2-3 and pondering how to live a benevolent life. Being benevolent is so many things, all of them good, but it takes work to be that kind of person. I realized I have to recommit each day to be that person. To recommit I take 5 minutes and think about the tasks to accomplish that day, the places I have to be, and the people I may be around and recommit to being the best me when I do those things. It's a visual process. I also have to be ready for the unexpected to happen and visualize how I will act, or react when something gets thrown in my way that is so very unexpected. Recommit EVERYDAY to be that person. It takes work, but in the end it is so worth it!

K--finally that keep a journal thing comes into play. After I've done the first 5 things it goes without saying that sometimes I am prompted to change my day some, to run an errand for the Lord, or I am enlighten by something I read. That journal is always handy to record those thoughts. I read a story once about a mother entering the room of her son.  He had done some things that weren't producing his best self, and the mother was there to offer advice on how to become happier and better. The son immediately took out a notebook and started writing. The mother asked what he was doing and the son replied he was taking notes to make sure he could go back, reread her words, and remember what she said and how to incorporate those into his life. Touched the mother was more than happy to share even more words of wisdom. How does God feel, when giving us these inspiring thoughts or feelings, and we choose to write them down and to remember them, incorporate them, and go back and ponder them? In my mind I can imagine that He will be even more inclined to continue giving us that inspiration. And oh what a sacred thing this is!

This is my half hour of the day. I am a work in progress, so I am still working on it, and occasionally I will tweak it. But boy does it start my day off right! Everyday I am ready to EMBARK!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

B=Bended Knee

Every morning when my clock alarms at 5:15 I do 2 things right away. I head to the bathroom, then come back to my bed and on bended I start to discuss with my Heavenly Father the plans of my day. I'm not always awake, and I have been known to fall back asleep, but regardless, this is the B in my Embark. Without that extra help every morning, without that conversation, without that knowledge that he is there and listening, my mornings would not be so fulfilling.

I do find it humorous that both things I do in the morning start with B. Let's be honest, who doesn't make a quick trip to the lavatory first thing in the morning. It's almost a necessity the older you get. But bending your knees to talk with God is not something that people make a habit of. Yet both are necessary for us to start our day off right--unless of course you want to chance a little mishap sometime either with pee, or in a spiritual sense. 

So for 3-5 of my minutes every morning I commune with God. I give him a rundown of my day, ask him to help me be aware of when someone my need something, and ask him to help me be okay and happy when things don't go according to plan. This one is always the hardest for my. I love having control over situations and although I'm usually okay, I don't usually have my happy face on. A goal that I am working towards. 

So think about what you would want to discuss every morning with someone who loves you. Ask how you can be better. Prioritize what is the most important, and then go with the flow! You got this, have a great day!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

M-Mentally ready and prepared

I love keeping a calendar and making lists and being ultra organized in that regard. What I am terrible at is after making those lists, calendaring, and organizing I then put them away and 'forget' to look at them. What good is all this organization going to do for me if I don't look at what I'm actually suppose to be doing?! It really is completely illogical. But in my head I believe once it is written down I will totally remember it. To sum it up, this is just dumb. There really is no other way to look at it. Which is why I chose M to represent being mentally ready and prepared. I should add being mentally ready and prepared for my day.

In this part of my 3-5 minutes of EMBARK I look at my calendar, make sure it has everything I need on it, and then focus on what I absolutely need to get done. Then I picture completing it. That's it. It's really easy. I just was making it way too complicated. The trick is to actually LOOK at the calendar, your list, or whatever else you have for that day. Mind-blowing really!! There are a ton of ideas on the internet of ways to calendar. I have my own system, but everyone can find something that fits them. Yours might be a post it on the fridge. Whatever it is look at it and picture accomplishing it. It's a mental game and if you can see how you might finish it, it will get done. Now I'm not naive enough to believe everyday is going to go perfectly, nothing will come up, and you will get everything done you need/want too. So here are a few suggestions to help with that.

When you look at your calendar pick your top 4-6 things that HAVE to get done. Then picture finishing those.

Give yourself permission to change those 4-6 things. Life throws us curve balls all the time. Are we going to hit them or are we going to be completely inflexible and end up miserable because we struck out. It's our choice! But giving myself permission to change it up throughout the day means I've already planned that things won't go according to plan.

When you finish your items pause and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You accomplished something and it should be noted. So what if it was to put in a load of laundry, you did it. Don't forget to recognize the value of finishing. You are amazing!

Tomorrow is a new day and some of those 4-6 things might carry over into it. That is so fun and exciting don't you think?! Now you will have pictured yourself completing it two days in a row. Good for you!!

Are you mentally prepared to handle today? I feel any help I can get is well worth it. What is the harm in giving myself extra ammunition to handle the day?! EMBARK on the adventure of the day!!


Sunday, March 13, 2016


You know the feeling you get when you can't sleep the night before Christmas morning and then when morning does come you are so excited to get up?! Well that's the feeling I've been trying to have at 5 am, which is my official wake-up time. It has NOT been working. So I finally came up with something to get me up in the morning. After reading and researching, because I love to read, I found this fascinating system called S.A.V.E.R.S. It is from a book called "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. Basically each letter stands for an activity you have to do in the morning to prepare you for the day.  The idea is to get up half an hour early, work on these activities each for 3-5 minutes, and the result is how much you get accomplished. Everything else I was trying was not working, so I thought, sure, why not?!

I'm all about applying things I learn to my personal situation. I wanted something a little different than what Hal Elrod had suggested. I looked around for an action word and settled on EMBARK. This was the youth theme for the LDS church last year and it fit perfectly with what I was trying to accomplish. Each morning I want to embark on an exciting new adventure, because everyday is a new adventure. Here are what my letters stand for, E-exercise, M-mentally prepare and be ready, B-bended knee, A-aims or affirmations, R-Read, K-Keep a journal. Some of these are self-explanatory, but I felt a blog post could be dedicated to each one.

The first one being E for exercise. Remember this is just a 3-5 minute thing. That can be a brisk walk on the treadmill, a walk around your block, jumping jacks, burpees (ewww!) or some downward dog. I do pilates, and there are some great 5-8 minutes workouts on youtube. This totally wakes me up for the day. One morning it was an arm workout where I thought my arms were going to fall off. I was definitely not going to fall back asleep after that one!! This does not count for my normal exercise routines. It really is just a wake-up call to get me going.

One thing I should add, I don't always do EMBARK in order. Some mornings. I do B first (which is another blog post). It really is what applies to me to help me be the best person. So how do you get up in the morning? What have you been inspired to try? Everyday is a new adventure so EMBARK and see what awesome things will happen!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wait for the Karma

I was reading in 2 Nephi and Lehi was talking to his sons. In particular he was talking to Laman and Lemuel. Lehi was telling them not to be mean to Nephi (I'm sure hundreds if not thousands of parents can relate to having to tell their oldest to be nice to their youngest) It was verse 25 in chapter 1 that really gave me cause to pause. Lehi says: "But I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare."

So let me get this straight, even though Laman and Lemuel are all sorts of mean to Nephi, including trying to kill him, all Nephi cares about is their eternal welfare? I can't tell you how many times I have NOT done this. When someone is mean all I want is for them to get what is coming to them. For them to get their 'just rewards'. Instead, you are telling me that I should think, "Oh I hope they are able to get into the celestial kingdom, what can I do to help them with that?" This is when I realized, man do I have a LOT of repenting to do.

This is not a new concept, in fact it's relatively old. In the Old Testament it discusses turning the other cheek and loving your neighbor. I just figured that mostly meant when they were treating others poorly, but me?! Oh no they didn't!!! And so I am now pondering how I treat solicitors both on the phone and at the door, the kids who call my kids dumb, the parents who scream at me for who knows what, and even that neighbor who lets their cat run wild and get in my yard ALL THE TIME! (Hello, there is a reason I do not have pets!) What's even worse is sometimes it's my own family members that I hope will get brought down a notch because boy are they asking for it. I'm suppose to be concerned about their eternal welfare. Wow!

So my question to you is think of that annoying person or the one you just can't stand and ask yourself, how are you treating them? Are you hoping Karma wins out? Or are you wondering if better behavior from you or just treating them nicely would further your relationship both with the person you are focusing on and with God?

Monday, February 08, 2016

For the Goal!!

I wish that read for the gold, but no, it is for the goal. This past fall I finished up quite a few things that had been some major goals I set for myself. It felt thrilling to accomplish some hard things. Number one, of course, was finally becoming an official alumni of BYU. Now I can have my photo in their magazine and be legit! Knowing I was going to complete a lot of things in the near future, this summer, I pondered what I should take on next. Never a dull moment in our house, we decided to achieve something together. Visiting all 50 states before my oldest leaves us all behind for the great unknown (sniff). We already had several under our belts and so we started making plans, rearranging schedules, coordinating flights, finding hotels, and most importantly decided where our stops will be in each state.

It has been such an education for our kids and for us. I start planning the trips, adding in adventures we might want to try and good places to eat. (it really is about the food) Then I take it to the family and we decide what more we want to add or take away. Once that is accomplished we start researching the places we are going to visit so the kids have some sort of background. We've watched several documentaries, including ones on Bonnie and Clyde and Buddy Holly. The United States history is fascinating. 

We are over halfway there and truly enjoying all there is to see. Plus we've had experiences that we would not have had otherwise. Everything from holding alligators, to meeting famous celebrities, to running with the buffalo, and seeing a moon rock. It really has been an inspired goal and we have so many stories that show how we have been in the right place at the right time. Plus we have been able to see family while checking off the states. 

So what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? This is what I say: Go for the Goal!!

Enjoying Alabama at Horseshoe Bend National Park

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Roses are Red.....

My daughter has these outlandish ideas and then tries to pull them off. Really they aren't that outlandish, they are cute and fun, and for the most part they work out well. The latest was making cookie bags. She was asked to make cookies for BYD (also known as Bishops Youth Discussion), where the youth in her church group go to someone's house and discuss issues that are occurring in their everyday lives.

She made a double batch that turned into an overload--despite the rest of us chowing down on the dough. Her brilliant idea to get rid of the rest of them was to put cute little poems on the outside of sandwich bags with a cookie in them to hand to people who are sad. She started with the roses are red, violets are blue, and then we started coming up with the rest. It led to some gross, hysterical, and sweet poems. One of my favorites..Roses are red, Violets are blue, here is a cookie, just for you, or Roses are red, the sidewalk is gray, here's a cookie to brighten your day.

You can imagine, with boys in the house, the wonderful poems that didn't quite make the cut Roses are red, Violets are blue, Here's some cookie to eat while you poo. Roses are red, Violets are blue, this bag is empty no cookies for you.

Sister Marriott said, "Great joy comes when those boats--our children--grow into mighty seafaring vessels filled with gospel light and ready to "embark in the service of God.""

Are we teaching our children to think of others and serve them? Am I thinking of others in order to serve them? Sometimes I wonder if I lack the light, or time, or ambition to want to help shoulder someone else's burdens. I am grateful for this simple lesson from my children.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Stay Focused!

Last night we got a major snowstorm.

Tangent--why does the east coast get to name their snowstorms and we don't? It's not like ours are any less crazy and wild.

Anyway, we had our ward conference yesterday and our Stake President talked about staying focused. He used the analogy of riding his mountain bike and not being able to make a turn. Confused at his lack of control he asked his riding partner what he was doing wrong. His riding partner pointed out that instead of focusing on not going over the edge he should focus on where he wanted to end up.

As I drove my kids to school in blizzard like conditions this morning (hereafter it shall be known as Agnes), I recalled that story. Instead of focusing on not sliding off the side of the road I started picturing in my mind the school I wanted to end up at. I did everything I could to get my children safely to the end point. Agnes was a little bit difficult and made the roads icy slick. Not to mention my right tire was going flat (another story for another time), so it took a little more time then I had anticipated. But I made it, and safely.

So begs the question what are we focused on? Finishing laundry? The dishes piled high in the sink? The annoying cat who has decided to use your yard as its personal litter box? I hope some of my focus is on what matters most. In a talk given by Elder Pearson he says, "We can fill our lives with accomplishment and well-doing, but in the end, if we do not enter into sacred covenants to follow Christ and faithfully keep them, we will have utterly and completely missed the mark."

Today I will still do laundry and the dishes and the carpool and make dinner, but I will also focus on making my home a place where covenants are kept and not broken. And, thanks to Agnes, I will be here, in my home, all day, so I can focus on that!!

Monday, February 01, 2016

Freak out!

We watched our niece this weekend. She is quite the little sassy thing. She is only one, but with her vast vocabulary we really kept picturing her as a 3 year old. She understands just about everything we are saying and will repeat new words later, using them in context. Hence the title of this post. We heard a loud noise and I said it freaked me out. Later we were asking our niece if she wanted Dave to read to her and she said, "No, freak out!" She's not too fond of Dave.

As I thought about this, of course, the obvious thing to learn is watch what I say around my children. But the not so obvious is learning to think before I speak. I heard a noise and that was the first thing that popped out of my mouth because I was not even thinking about it. How many times do I reach for my go-to habit. For example my son leaves his stuff lying around all the time, when he returns home from school do I immediately reprimand him for his inability to remember to put things away. This would be my go-to habit. What if I decided to change that for one day and as soon as he walked in the door tell him how happy I was that he remembered to go to school that day, or remembered to wear shoes, or even remembered to put his bowl in the sink after he used it. Really what if I just started with asking him how his day was?! What is my go-to habit that I need to think about and change?

I am amazed at the power of our minds and if we just used them a bit more, I think, we would be amazed at what changes can be made! So don't 'freak out', just think about it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Back to Blog

I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I finally read an article and felt inspired to get back to business. I have a lot to say, but it mostly stays in my head. It makes me giggle out loud so I thought I'd share some of the entertainment that is going on up there!!

Joy is the theme for today, and finding it always. This summer and fall we finished up quite a few extracurriculars (including my graduation from BYU). Now I've been home praying to know what is next. I've been inspired with a few things, but really finding Joy in my situation right now is the focus. (I could go on a whole other rant with the word focus) Mostly Joy in my children. I will lose them all in the next 6 years. I haven't even hit 40 yet and already I'm starting to feel the empty nester stage. There are some nights where it's just the hubby and I.

So as with all things it is the small and simple things that bring about the great. To find Joy I look to the small and simple things. Since I'm a list maker I put it down in my trusty handy notebook the things that bring me Joy that day. I'll give you one--my daily calendar. I received one of those 365 day calendars that you tear off. Mine is Happiness is... and it shows a picture of something that brings me happiness. Today it happens to be balloons. But my favorite so far has been finding the perfect pair of jeans.

What brings you joy? What is a small and simple thing that puts a smile on your face? Really you could sum up this post with two words--Find Joy!

My Family-My Joy