Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Angels #3

Now that the kids are back in school, maybe I will have more time to blog. It is kind of like writing in my diary for all to see only a little more censored. :) If you could see my ACTUAL journal, you might be tempted to put me in a Psych Ward.
As I was writing in my journal today, my thoughts turned to my brother, Alan, who passed away almost a year ago. It was this week that he was moving in with us. I can't believe a year has passed already since then. So much has happened and changed.
It got me thinking about a group of angels that helped me through that hard time after his death. I would like to acknowledge them now.
The day I found out about his death, I attended church because the children had a Primary program that they were participating in and I didn't want to deprive them of that. I knew it would be very hard to be there in the emotional state I was in. I wanted to be alone, or so I thought. But this one angel saw me sitting there and put her arm around me and took me to Relief Society and kept her arm around me the whole time. She didn't mind that I was an emotional wreck, spewing snot and tears all over the place. She just hugged me even harder. She didn't say a word. I just felt her love.
I have thought about that over the last year. When you see people that are hurting so badly, it is hard to know what to do or say at that moment. But she just knew what I needed and did it.
Another angel that day. I called up my oldest and dearest friend in the early morning hours after finding out and told her the news. She told me she would be over that afternoon. She and her husband played with the kids while I sat in my room and tried to process everything. I was so glad the kids could play and be happy while I was having my break down. It allowed me to be able to really let it all out and grieve without trying to be strong for my kids. I didn't want to talk and she didn't try to get me to talk. She waited for me to open up. She was a rock for me that day and has been for me every day since I have known her.
Another angel. A friend who had recently lost her brother heard the news and she brought me some flowers with a card that said, "Here is something beautiful to look at when you first wake up in the morning to chase the bad dreams away." I loved it! It really did help me because it mostly let me know that someone else knew that kind of pain and they had made it through, and it let me know that someone cared.
One more angel. We were driving Alan's body up to Idaho. We got the news that we could get his body a day earlier than we had planned. We weren't quite prepared to go, but we wanted to get up there as soon as possible. In comes an angel. She had gathered snack foods and lunch foods for our family. It was a God-send. We had all the food we needed for the drive and were set to leave in no time. We hadn't told anyone our dilemma. But God knew and sent an angel.
I am so grateful for these angels that came in abundance during the most crucial time of need for me. Thinking back on it, it lifts me up and reminds me that I am loved and God knows my needs.
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011 it July already?

Game Night Box.
Kids mail boxes
Mommy's mail box
I am REALLY bad at updating. Life is busy but extremely good at the moment. I can't believe that half the year is gone. I remember back in January wondering what this year would hold for me and so far it has been...another roller coaster ride. :)
Rob and I did get to Hawaii. Then my son broke his arm the day after we got back. Then we lost Rob's mom after a long battle with Huntingtons disease. Football camps, Girls camp, Scout camp, is going by in a blur.
While we were in Hawaii, we visited the Pearl 1st Ward for church. They had a list of the Seven F's. I LOVED it so much I e-mailed it to myself so that I could use it. I'm sure you have all heard something like it before, but it is a good reminder.
Family prayer
Family scripture study
Family home evening
Family service
Family Fun
Family Council
Frequent Temple attendance
I noticed in particular the Family Service and Family Fun. I think it is a good principle that a family should work together and play together. We are usually all about the work because that is never ending. But I felt very strongly that we needed to make time to make sure we have fun. So I went out and bought a bunch of new games and put them into a container. This is the game night box and it is only to be used on game night. Again, not an original idea. The kids LOVE it, though. Every Saturday night is our family game night. I make snacks and treats and we all sit around the table and play games. I have already noticed a huge difference in my teenager. He joined us and even played with the younger kids. It was one of those "it is all worth it" moments.
Another thing I have implemented is our own "mail system". The kids would catch me in the middle of making dinner and attack me with all sorts of things they wanted me to see or hear or watch and I felt bad that I couldn't give them my undivided attention. It usually ends up being very stressful because I'm trying to get dinner ready before having to run off and take someone somewhere. Rob has been traveling alot this year, being gone almost every week. So it is all left up to me. So I had a brilliant friend of mine make a suggestion and I took it even further. Each one of the kids has their own little mail box that they got to decorate. I put them on a little shelf in our kitchen. I can use these to put little notes of encouragement or little gifts to let the kids know that I am thinking of them. I have a regular sized mail box on the counter for my kids to put things in that they want me to see or a note if they have something to say to me. I tell them that I would check my mail box at the end of every day so that they knew I would get to it when I could. They can also put little notes in each others mail boxes to encourage each other. It has been so fun. And who doesn't LOVE happy mail? I love getting letters in the mail from people. It is a lost art since e-mail was invented. But I love getting nice messages in e-mail, too, instead of the junk. It just brightens your day. :)
Update in a nutshell. I will eventually do a post ALL about Hawaii when I can get my computer to work properly. BEST VACATION EVER!!!!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Angel #2

A picture that was posted on Facebook by a friend made me think of my second angel. First, the background. I was 15 and going into my sophomore year when we moved from Idaho to Wisconsin. I was anorexic at the time and my self-esteem was slim to nonexistent. I developed a love for volleyball and tried out for the team in Wisconsin. I made starting team! But the girls that had lived there their whole life were not too happy because one of their friends got cut. They blamed me. That made life very interesting. I was playing volleyball with a group of girls that hated me. But I stuck with it. One in particular singled me out because rumor had it that her boyfriend said he thought I was cute. She would trip me in the halls, call me names, throw basketballs at my head in PE, write naughty names on my locker, shove me into lockers and so forth. That first year in a new school was hell. But in comes my angel...

This angel was my Sunday school teacher. She was always so upbeat and positive and taught me that if I didn't feel confident I just needed to fake it until I make it. She was always encouraging me to try new things and put myself out there. That was pretty terrifying for me and still is, but I tried out for the school musical because of her encouragement and got the lead role. She came to my musicals and supported me any way she could. She had 6 children of her own and her marriage was falling apart, but she never acted like it was a burden or too much trouble to support me. She went beyond her calling and cared for me. She eventually became my Laurel advisor and I feel that it was a direct blessing from Heavenly Father that she continue to be put in a place where she could influence me. It was the summer before my Senior year. I was homesick for Idaho. I missed my friends desperately. Well, she picked up on this and invited me to go on a road trip with her and some of her kids. They were headed West for some reason, I don't really remember, but she offered to drive out of her way to drop me off in Idaho so that I could see all my friends before we all graduated. It was amazing to me! Then she picked me up and we went sight-seeing in Yellowstone on the way home and stayed in Jackson Hole. It was a blast. One of the highlights of my life. But her influence didn't stop there. She encouraged me all through my Senior year and helped me with my Laurel project and gave me the confidence to put on a talent show for the ward. She would take me shopping with her girls and treated me like her own daughters. She was always telling me how cute I was and trying to dress me up in something other than frumpy clothes....poor woman had her work cut out for her. :) I eventually overcame my anorexia. When I went off to college she had me drive with her boys so that I was watched out for.

She eventually got divorced. But she never once complained about her life or what was happening. She made me feel like I was a priority and worth her time. I can't hardly believe it when I look back now. Doesn't she seem too good to be true?

What I took from her was the desire to go the extra mile in my callings. I want people to know that I genuinely love them and would do anything for them, not just because I am their Visiting Teacher or the Beehive advisor...but because I care about them as a person. I don't always have as much time as I would like to be there for them, but I try to do what I can. I also try to see the positive in everything and try not to complain about anything. I also fake my confidence and hopefully after 20 years I'm a little closer to making it than faking it. :) I love her dearly and I hope she knows how much she means to me and that she made a huge difference in my life. I wish I could repay her, but I will probably just have to pay it forward to some one else.
Has this angel ever crossed your path? Thanks for stopping by! :) Krissi

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Sometimes I say some pretty boneheaded things. For example...once I said, in all seriousness, "Cupcakes are like little mini cakes." Yes...those words actually came out of my mouth. Or sometimes I will say something I think is funny and if I don't get the response I was looking for the first time, I will repeat myself. Still no response. Well, maybe if I say it ONE more time...nope. I usually try to pass it off as "I'm a Blond" behavior, but it can only go so far.

I also do some pretty boneheaded things. Like one time I was at a friend's house. This friend and I are just starting to get to know each other and I think she was testing the waters to see if she actually wanted to pursue a friendship with me. Well, my daughter, Bella, was stinky and I hadn't thought to bring the diaper bag. It never fails. Your children always poop when you don't bring the diaper bag. So I asked if I could borrow a diaper from her. She just happened to have one, even though she had potty-trained her youngest. So I proceeded to change Bella, but I did it on her coffee table not even thinking that my friend might be horribly offended by it. I realized it while I was changing Bella, but what do you say at a moment like that? "Oh, sorry, I hope you don't eat off your coffee table!" So I say nothing and act like it was the most normal thing in the world. I DID wipe the table off with a wipe just to make sure it was clean. MORTIFIED!

But here is the thing...once I do or say something boneheaded, I play it over and over in my mind, working myself up into a tizzy thinking that CERTAINLY no one would want to be my friend after saying or doing something so stupid. Am I alone in this? Is this a female thing? Are there any men out there that do this, too? Looking for some perspective. What's that saying? "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." That is Mark Twain. My new motto.

This was my deep thought for today! :)


Monday, April 4, 2011


I do not get much quiet time during my day. I don't regret it or resent it. It is simple fact. So I have found that I cherish my shower time. It is quiet, the water is warm, I feel clean, renewed, refreshed. So it makes sense that THAT is the place where I receive the most inspiration. I first learned that I would have twins during shower time. I thought Heavenly Father was joking until the ultrasound proved it to be true. There have been many other things that I have learned through my shower time. Many of the things I have been pondering about and writing about come from there. So I am curious..where are you when you receive your inspiration?

One of the things I have been feeling lately has to do with my children. I have learned so much about the nature of our Heavenly Father by being a parent myself. Right now I am dealing with a teenager and a pre-teen. It is like one day they just turn on you and you don't recognize them anymore. So the thing that struck me in the shower today was this little parallel:

I have raised my children from babies, taught them, watched them learn and grow and I have a pretty good idea of who they are and what they are capable of. I have seen their talents and listened to their fears and desires. Now Jason is rebelling and testing the boundaries. He has become very angry and ornery and won't say a kind word to anybody. I want to shake him and say, "This is NOT who you are! I love you and want what is best for you. Why are you fighting against me?" It then struck me that Heavenly Father feels the same way. He knows who each one of us is, what we are capable of, what are talents are. Sometimes we fight against him. We have forgotten who we are and are trying to figure it out on our own. He lovingly says to us, "I love you, I want what is best for you, why are you fighting against me?" He watches us make mistakes and picks us back up, but always, ALWAYS, He loves us and will keep trying to help us. That is how I feel about my children. I would do anything for them, I will always love them and be there for them. I now understand better what my parents have been going through and dealing with for many years, when I, at times, would judge and say, "Why do you put up with that?"

As my children are growing so quickly, I feel a sense of urgency and I am questioning myself, wondering if I have taught them everything they will need to know to become amazing adults. I am questioning if I have instilled in them the knowledge that I LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY. I am wondering if they have all of the tools necessary to heal from the mistakes I have made as a parent. I want to hold them, love them, spend every minute I can with them. I pray that I have not wasted the time I have been given with them and have not spent that time on things that are of no importance.

Thanks for joining me in my deep thought from the shower today.

Krissi :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angel #1

I have been thinking about the angels in my life. There are just so many that I had a hard time deciding who I wanted to write about first. I decided to start with an angel from my early childhood. This angel will never know what she means to me because I will probably never run into her again. She played a brief role on the stage of my life, but had a huge impact on me.

I was about 8 years old. Home life was not that great. My father at the time was not a pleasant person to be around, from what I remember. He would come home and we would have to gage what kind of mood he was in. I would try to clean the house and be the best little girl I could be so that he would come home and be happy. Sorry, this story starts off as kind of a downer, but you need to know the whole story so that you can grasp what this angel did for me. This angel was a neighbor. She didn't have any kids my age, but she had younger kids and I loved to go over and play with them. She would have me babysit sometimes. But she took an interest in me for some reason. She would invite me over and teach me about art and poetry. She would have me spend the night and we would paint our nails and do our hair. She taught me how to ride a horse. She was one of those people that was very eccentric and didn't quite fit in, but I LOVED her. She actually reminds me of the main character in the book "The Ladies Auxiliary" by Tova Mirvis. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. It is one of my favorite books probably because it reminds me of this angel.

Whenever I was with her I felt free and that I could be anything and say anything I wanted. She helped me set free my creative side. She would get exuberant over anything I did, but it felt genuine. My favorite memory was a rainbow I made out of yarn on a piece of paper and then I wrote a poem to go with it. I don't remember the details, I only remember the feelings. How she made me feel important and talented and like I had something special to offer. Another of my favorite memories was of her letting me ride a horse around her back yard. I fell in love with horses after that and tried to draw them, pet them, and ride them any chance I could! She doesn't know it but she shaped so much of what I love today. I love art, poetry, music, to create, and to appreciate the beauty around me in nature, all thanks to her. It became an outlet for me when I didn't feel I could open up and say what I wanted to say.

One day when my father finally lost it, he was throwing furniture all over the house, papers, books, the piano, anything he could get his hands on and was yelling at my mother and throwing things at her, I grabbed my two sisters and my brother and ran to my angel's house. I felt safe there and knew that we would be taken care of. She called the police and kept us entertained while the police took care of the situation.

From her I gained a desire to take an interest in children that seem quiet and introverted, to help them learn how to express themselves through music or art. It is what prompted me to want to become a child psychologist. I never finished my degree, but I have nine children to practice on. :) I try to teach my kids how to create and find their own voice now.

Shortly after that my mom remarried and we moved and I don't know what happened to my angel. I think she moved as well. I pray she received many blessings for being an angel to me in my time of need.

Has this angel ever crossed your path?

Thanks for stopping by. :)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Freezer Meals FRIDAY!

See these two beautiful women? I LOVE these women! Tami Lyman and Jenn Bronson. We decided to get together and do freezer meals. It was a learning process. :) We got together a couple days before and decided on some meals we wanted to make. My suggestion is to use meals that your family already eats so that you aren't introducing something new to them. They won't like it as well. We chose lasagna, chix enchiladas, chix and broccoli casserole, poppyseed chix casserole, then we did a soup base for chix tortilla soup and 6 lbs. of cooked hamburger (I added taco seasoning to mine for tacos, taco soup and nachos), and some chix marinated to grill, and also some chix for burritos. It was marinated in carne asada seasonings.

We gathered our grocery list based on ingredients and then looked online for the best prices. Jenn is a member of this online thingy (love the technical term) that shows you what the deals are in several local grocery stores. Ones in red are "stock up on it" prices. Ones in blue are a good deal but only get it if you need it. Walmart will match any price if you bring in the ad. So we had one person do the shopping at Walmart. We found great prices on chix breasts and hamburger. Hence a lot of chix dishes. :) We want to do more beef recipes next time. Then we just split the bill three ways. We figure we can each take turns doing the shopping and whose house we are cooking at.

We got together Friday morning and started cooking the meat. We discovered that some of the cooking can be done the night before so that we aren't just standing waiting for all the meat to cook. We had 60 lbs of chix and 18 lbs of hamburger and 3 lbs. of Italian sausage. YIKES!

Jenn, who is our health GURU, insisted we drain the hamburger and she even wanted to rinse it but we told her drained was fine. :) Here is all the fat we drained off the hamburger and sausage. Jenn even took paper towels and soaked up more grease. LOL she cracks me up. But thanks to her, we will be healthier. :)

I made lasagnas and the marinades and the enchiladas at the table. We did get some tinfoil pans to freeze them in, but a tip I learned is to put some Saran Wrap in your 9x13 pan and then put your food in it. Freeze it then pull it out by the Wrap and wrap it up and then wrap it in tinfoil. Then when you are ready to cook it, you pull the wraps off and place it back into your 9x13 pan and cook. This saves on pans and space in your freezer. They stack nicely. :)

We had a blast! Great conversation and it only took us 6 hours (with kids and lunch in the midst) to make:
1 meatless lasagna
1 lasagna with sausage
3 ziploc bags of chix marinated for the grill
3 ziploc bags of cooked taco meat (2lbs in each)
1 pan chix enchiladas
1 ziploc bag poppyseed casserole
1 pan chix and broccoli casserole
1 bag Spanish rice
1 bag chix carne asada marinade
2 bags chix tortillas soup base
Next we want to do a stew mix, chix pot pie, lentil soup, cafe rio meat, and some steak marinades. I am going to do some crepes to freeze. They are great for dessert or for putting chix marsala or other things in. 15 meals for $90 ( about $6 a meal) isn't bad for our family size, plus some of them give leftovers so they will last for more than one meal. I am using mine for when my parents come to watch the kids while hubby and I are in Hawaii.
You are welcome, Mom. :D
If you have any tips you would like to share, PLEASE DO! We are still learning. :) If you would like any of the specific recipes we used, shoot me an e-mail and I will send them to you.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Men Are That They Might Have JOY

I have been thinking about this scripture (2 Nephi 2:21) for a few months now. I look around me and see so many people struggling. The concept of THRIVING not just surviving has struck me over and over. How does one thrive amidst all the turmoil? That has been my question. I was studying in 1 Nephi 11 where Nephi is shown the same vision of the Tree of Life as his father, but he receives the meaning to everything in the dream. The tree of life represents the love of God. When Lehi partook of the fruit of the tree he felt "exceedingly great joy" (1 Nephi 8:12) Growing up I always thought that the joy he felt was a result of having completed the journey faithfully and in reaching the tree of life. But there were others who reached the tree and partook of the fruit and felt ashamed and turned away. So what exactly did the fruit represent? Then I started thinking about the love of God. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17) These are some of my favorite scriptures. It says so much in just a few verses. First, God is not a spiteful, vengeful God. He loves us so much that He sent his Son to save us, not condemn us. I think a lot of people misunderstand the nature of God. "For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) It states plainly that God's main focus is to bring us home to have eternal life with him. That means that He will do everything in His power to accomplish His work. In order to do this He prepared the way for us by being willing to sacrifice His Son that we might have a way back. So the Love of God is really the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. What fruits did the sacrifice of Christ provide for us? The atonement which allows us to repent and be forgiven and change. Lehi felt exceedingly great joy when he partook of the "fruit" or the atonement. The atonement covers so many things. It covers our sorrow, our disappointment, offenses that we have suffered at someone else's hands, and the pain from making mistakes ourselves. So that is the key to feeling that joy, not at the end of the journey, but all throughout the journey. We must partake of the "fruit" over and over in our life to feel that joy.

Another thing I have been pondering is nature. I was sitting in the parking lot one time, waiting for one of my children to come out and I had the window rolled down. There was a tree with a slight breeze rustling the leaves. All of a sudden I was filled with such comfort and peace and it struck me that the tree was feeling joy. I could feel happiness emanating from it. Then I pictured the birds and how joyful they seemed when they were looking for food or building a nest or singing their song outside my window in the morning. They hop from place to place and just exude joy. It seems to come so easy to them. Think of the majestic mountains standing strong and tall and immovable. Don't they seem to radiate happiness and peace? Why? How? It got me thinking of a phrase I heard in relation to the creation. "That they might feel joy in filling the measure of their creation." The things God created are filling the measure of their creation. The tree was created to stand and grow and provide fruit. It doesn't fight against this, it is doing what it was created to do, no complaining, no murmuring. It just does it. And in doing so it feels joy. When my will is in line with Heavenly Father's I have felt peace, and comfort and joy. He knows what is best for me, what I alone can accomplish. Why do I fight it sometimes? Maybe I think I know better, that maybe God just doesn't understand how hard it really is. But when I turn it over to Him and try to do what He has asked of me, I feel JOY. Not just a fleeting moment of pleasure, but joy felt deep inside my whole being. I need to fill the measure of my creation in order to feel true joy as nature exhibits all around me. I need to let go and trust that God will not lead me astray. He is working to bring to pass MY immortality and MY eternal life. Just as the Savior wrought the atonement for each one of us individually, so too is God working for each one of us as individuals. He didn't say that he was working to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of MEN or of Mankind as a general rule. He said "of MAN", singular. One person at a time.
Just my thoughts on how to THRIVE and find Joy throughout the journey.
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Touched By An Angel

A new post so soon? CRAZY, I know! Yesterday, I played the organ for church. When I do that I get to sit on the stand and just watch the people in the congregation. They probably don't know how closely I watch them. :) But I am inspired by watching them. I sit and ponder about what each of their crosses are that they have been called to carry in this life. I wonder if they know how truly amazing they are.

There was one woman who brought tears to my eyes. She wasn't doing anything show-stopping or anything people would take notice of. All she was doing was holding someone's baby for them. But that isn't all. I happen to know that she wanted to have more children. She is about my age and was blessed with two beautiful children, but she desperately wanted more. What touched me was the way she was glowing when she held that baby girl. She stroked her face lovingly. She rocked her back and forth. She was RADIANT with the love and the joy she felt! I felt so much love for her! Other good qualities she has: Her husband and children are THE center of her universe. She always says what is on her mind. That is a quality I wish I had. She has the best laugh. She is strong and determined to finish what she starts. She is an Angel.

So I started to think about ALL of the beautiful women I know in my life. Each one that has touched me, but doesn't even know. I decided that I am going to do a series of posts entitled "Touched by an Angel". These posts will be dedicated to the "Angels" that cross my path. I won't mention any names in case they might be mortified that I wrote about them. :) Maybe you'll recognize who I'm talking about, but more importantly, maybe you will recognize the "Type" of angel I am talking about because you know someone just like that in your life.

One thing I came to realize about myself this past year is that I am a person who searches out beautiful things and tries to incorporate them into my life. It could be a beautiful piece of art, or a piece of music, the lyrics to a song or a short, touching story. But the most rewarding thing I try to seek out is "beautiful" women. Not that they are beautiful as the world portrays beauty. I am talking about the light that shines from within. I see a trait that they have that I want to exhibit and I learn from watching them. What is sad is that most of these women don't even know the light they have to offer. By doing these posts, I am hoping that women will start to see who we are and what we can accomplish. We might not be CEO of a major corporation, we might not write a best-selling novel, we might not ever be on the cover of People magazine, we will NEVER be Oprah, but we work our magic through small and simple means, touching one heart at a time through little acts of kindness.
SO STAY TUNED! I don't know how frequently I will write them. They will come as I'm inspired. :) I hope you will join me as I seek out the Angels among us.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Take Two Steps Forward....

and one step back and you've made a little progress. That is a line from a song I heard growing up. First, off on a little tangent...everything I ever needed to know I learned from Janeen Brady. She helped write a series called "Standin' Tall". If you've never heard of it, I suggest you google them and buy them for your kids. You won't be sorry you did. :)

So back to my topic...okay, another tangent...if anyone ever does a story of my mediocre and mundane life, it really MUST be a musical. I can think of a song for every situation I have ever faced in my life. I sometimes think that I could speak so much more eloquently through the words of music. Wow...I think I'm coming down with adult ADD.

NOW on to my my topic. Does anyone else feel that this is the pattern of your life? You seem to make some giant leaps forward and then you come across a snag or a minor set-back. Then I'm bounding off again, learning, growing, line upon line, precept upon precept, two steps forward then one step back. But I am such an impatient person. I want to know it all NOW! I don't want to learn a step at a time and I definitely don't want to take any steps back. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming realizing all the things I need to learn to become like my Heavenly Father. Some days are so good and I'm feeling on top of the world and then some days I can't hardly face it all. The back and forth is agonizing at times. So I was pondering and reading in the scriptures and this Book of Mormon study manual I have from my good ol' days at BYU and something just HIT me!

President Spencer W. Kimball: "We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a GLAD HEART, (emphasis added) eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be only for a day or a year. Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility. We were willing to take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this WITHOUT MURMUR (again emphasis added), complaint, or unreasonable demands."

I could all of a sudden see myself back in the premortal existence and we were being told the plan. We could see all of the various trials we would face and the sorrow that would come. Knowing what I know now and am feeling at times in my life, what would have made me eagerly accept it with a glad heart? Only one thing. I could see what the end result would be and it must have been breathtakingly beautiful and wonderful. I could see what I would become when I was through with this life after facing each new challenge and I longed for it like nothing else. And really, this life is such a short time compared to all of eternity. I probably thought to myself, "I only have to endure a few short earth years to receive all of the blessings of eternity? Done!" So this is what I keep in my mind as I'm going through life's trials. When I am done with this trial I will be changed and stronger and one step closer to becoming something beautiful and Celestial.

President Howard W. Hunter: "At various times in our lives, probably at repeated times in our lives, we do have to acknowledge that God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.' (Isaiah 55:8)"

This past year has taught me this more than anything. Either you believe you are here by chance with no purpose and to just SURVIVE, or you believe that there is a loving Heavenly Father who is so invested in your future that he has "prepared the way for you through the wilderness". As I have studied the scriptures, this point has jumped out at me over and over; with the Israelites, with the Jaredites, with Lehi and Nephi. God prepared the way for them to make it through the wilderness. Would He not do the same for me? We are all travelers through the wilderness of life and I have seen God's hand preparing the way for me through the challenges I am facing. There are great blessings that come through facing the difficulties. We must keep our eyes open for what can be gained on the other side when we finally make it through. The other side yielded the "Promised Land". When we are in the midst of those trials it seems unbearable at times, but I look towards the other side to see what I will have gained by coming through it. Pain fades, memories fade, but the lessons can be remembered and become a part of our character.

Again, a song to put the point so eloquently; " How Firm a Foundation" Hymn #85
"When through the fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply,
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."
This was really more for my benefit. It's me thinking out loud....
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

McKenna Update

I don't know how many of you are familiar with my daughter McKenna and her heart defects. For a run down you can visit the page we set up to connect with loved ones while we were in the hospital and click on "McKenna's story". It has been a while since I had to really address this issue because her last surgery was such a success; she leads a pretty normal life. They had to reconstruct her heart when she was four and it took 3 surgeries before that just to get her big enough that they could do the reconstructive heart surgery. It used to consume my thoughts and actions pretty much every day, wondering if she needed surgery, wondering if she was going to survive. Then we moved to Colorado and it was like a new life. No one knew about her and the stress and the trauma we had been through with her. There really wasn't a need to bring it up so I put it all in the back of my mind.

Last year I had a chance to home school all of the kids and I got to really watch McKenna and see how she was doing. I started seeing that she wasn't doing as well as the doctors hoped she would. They were hoping not to have to do another surgery until she was almost a teenager. They will have to do at least a couple more heart surgeries because as she grows the gortex parts they used to re-plumb her heart don't grow with her and that causes her oxygen levels to get lower. Before, they would let her O2 stats get into the low 70's before they would do anything. She is in the 80's right now and you can already tell a difference. It is different watching her now that she is more active and can express what is going on a little better. She gets frequent headaches, she tells me she can't feel her feet, she feels dizzy, all of it a little worrisome. Sometimes she just doesn't feel good and so she tries to put a name to her pain, but just can't, saying her legs hurt, her arm hurts and I can't DO anything to help her...just hold her and give her some love. I know they won't do anything until she gets a lot worse. You can see her heart beating it is working so hard. Her hair and nails stop growing so her body can use the energy somewhere else, she eats a ton but loses weight. But now that she is older and more active and needs to be in school, it will be hard. She looks tired, her eyes droop, she turns dusky, she has a dry cough because as her heart works harder it enlarges and pushes up against her esophagus. I'm beginning to feel like I did the first few years. The old worries creep back. We have been so blessed to have these last 5 years not really having to think about it other than when we visit the dentist (she has to take antibiotics just to have her teeth cleaned), or every year when it's time for flu shots (getting influenza can put her in the hospital). She actually contracted it a couple weeks ago (despite the flu shot) and missed quite a bit of school, another worry.

Rob and I decided that when she needs the next surgery we are doing it in Minnesota. The team there did all of her surgeries and knows her case. They came up with the plan of how to fix her heart because the surgery had never been done before. That presents all sorts of fun things to deal with. Like how we are going to get there, what we are going to do with the kids, because I stay with her in the hospital 24/7 while she is recovering, or will our insurance cover it...

The one thing I know is that it is all in God's hands. He has taken care of us in the past and I have no doubt that He will keep on doing it. So no stress, just ironing out little details and .......waiting. That is the hardest part for me. Having to watch your child suffer, not being able to do anything to help it and just knowing that it will get worse before it gets better. Just thought I would update everyone on the current situation. Nothing urgent, but just things I am dealing with in silence. Prayers are always greatly appreciated. :)
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Am Needy

Most people when they think of someone being needy tie a negative connotation to it. I had someone tell me once, recently, that I must be a needy person in order for my husband to be able to put up with me or love me. Ever since that statement I have pondered what that means. How is being independent and not needing anyone become what we strive for in this life? How does that represent strength and power? I have to admit that I fell into that trap. I thought that I was strong and independent and didn't NEED anyone or anything because when you need someone and they let you down, it just causes pain. If you need something and don't get it, it causes pain. So I decided I would not ever need anything.

But it is a lie. We all need something. We all want love and acceptance. It is the most basic need in every human being and even animals. Think about the lengths people go to to get that love and acceptance. Gangs form because they want to feel needed and like they belong somewhere. Spouses have affairs because they just want to feel loved and valued. Some fill those needs with something else, like food, or buying new shoes all the time. Those are some of the unhealthy ways people try to cope. There are some healthier ways people try to cope. Women have this strong need to be loved and accepted. We love to get together and then we talk...a lot...all in an effort to compare with other women and see that we are okay, that we have emotional connections. Facebook is all about getting that love and acceptance from peers. We post a status about something going on in our life and hope that people will respond or "like" what we have said. When we get a lot of responses we feel good about ourselves. If we don't get a response, we feel a little down, like no one cares. I find it somewhat humorous and yet, it demonstrates that we are all needy.

So I have been thinking about my needs lately. Our spouse is one of those people that should be filling our needs. We have basically promised to forsake all others and only need that one person. We also promise to fill that one person's needs. But is it fair for me to need something from my spouse that would suggest he needs to change something about himself in order to fill that need? It seems so selfish and yet, if we are filling each others needs it can be the most rewarding and perhaps the one relationship we would need in our life in order to feel safe and happy. If those needs are being met then we wouldn't feel like we have to have them filled somewhere else. Friendships are nice just because we want to feel connected, but they aren't obligated to fill your needs like a spouse. Even turning to friendships to fill the needs we aren't getting from our spouse can be unhealthy. I guess the conclusion I came to is that my relationship with my spouse is the most important relationship and needs to come first (aside from my relationship with my Heavenly Father).

What if your spouse isn't filling your needs? I had a friend share her experience with me about her husband not being who she needed him to be. She talked about how that is where the atonement comes into play. Christ makes up the difference for that person's shortcomings. He fills the holes. When we rely on the Savior to fill those needs, it frees our spouse to be able to change at their own pace without the disapproval and disappointment coming from us. We just accept them for who they are with patience and love. That is what my husband did for me. He loved me unconditionally and allowed me to work through some things and change. Now I am in a better place to fill his needs and he is working to fill mine.

So yes, I AM NEEDY and I'm not going to apologize for it. I need love, acceptance, appreciation, and I need friendships and to know that I am okay. Those who don't think they need anything or anyone are really hurting themselves. They aren't open to closeness with their spouse or to real friendships. I know from personal experience. Just food for thought. What needs do you have and how do you go about filling them?
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I grew up as a tom-boy. I didn't start wearing make-up or even know how to put on make-up until I turned 30. So it is a mystery to me that I have girls that are girly-girl. We have a friend whose daughter has been in the Miss Colorado Outstanding Teen Pageant a couple of times and they need Princesses. So my girls JUMPED at the chance! But I have to admit they are gorgeous. Watch out, Rob!!!! Get that shot-gun ready....

The dresses were hand-made by Janet Kurihara. Her daughter, Sam, is in the pagaent. Aren't the dresses amazing?

Bug even has the Princess Pout down already. Here we are waiting for the big show to start.

Emi said that she would like to be in one of these pagaents. They can win a lot of scholoarship money. For the younger girls, they don't have the swimsuit competition. It is called the Fitness Wear competition. They are promoting healthy lifestyles and being fit. We'll see if she really means it or not...

I wish I had McKenna's eyebrows. She is so beautiful.

Bug's eyes are so gorgeous! Her poor little face. A few days before she was running to catch the bus and slipped and landed flat on her nose! It is bruised pretty badly, but her first question amidst her tears was, "Will they still let me be in the pagaent?" She is hilarious. One other time she got a big bump on her head and I asked her if she was okay and still wanted to go to the park. She said, "I'm fine, but I don't want to go to the park because I'm HIDEOUS!" Exact words...
I tried to cover the bruises as best I could with make-up.

Here's a side view of the hair. Thank you to show choir in 9th grade that helped me to learn how to do hair at least!

I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. :)
And it was cheaper than having someone else do it.

All that waiting around for the big moment. At least they feel like Princesses for a short time and that is what matters the most.