Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Armor of God

She is no longer set on my destruction. She and Cody have been much nicer. And I know why. Last Saturday I had to speak for an hour at a 4 stake youth conference. Last week was a terrible week. It seemed that Cody and Liz were set on destroying everything in their paths. I was in a really bad depressed place with a darkness hanging over me that I can't explain. I had one million things that needed to be done. All my older kids could do was tattle and fight. Every time I tried to study or prepare for that talk I got hung up and couldn't do it. Finally, Friday I was at my breaking point. I called my mother in law and had her come help with the kids so I could work. I worked on it all day and still it just wasn't coming together the way I wanted. After I came home from the Friday night activity I finally had Jeff give me a blessing and finally the darkness cleared and I was able to put it all together in a cohesive manner. In the end, the talk went well and many of the youth said they were touched.

I have never had that happen like that before. I have never been so stumped or had so much unleashed on me the week of a talk or presentation. It wasn't until that night before I spoke, when I really sat down to think about it did I understand. I was speaking on putting on the armor of God. I was basically going out to tell the kids how to resist Satan and his influence and how to stay on the Lord's side. Of course SATAN didn't want me to have the spirit or to give that talk! Part of my pat. blessing says that Satan will put roadblocks in my path at every chance and I need to be on guard to always recognize his actions. I wasn't on guard. I didn't get what was going on until it was almost too late. I am grateful again for the priesthood and for that blessing that let the light back in and made it possible for me to give that talk to the youth. There was an important message there for someone. Here is a quote I used in my talk and I think it's so true:

M. Russel Ballard said, “Long before the world was formed, Satan and those who followed after him raged against the forces of good and tried to overthrow the work of God. That struggle has not ended, only shifted battlegrounds. It is ruthless and relentless, and the objective of the battle is your eternal soul and mine.”

We all must “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. …
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” (Eph. 6:11–18.)

Happy Anniversary!

So, yesterday I woke up to roses going down all the stairs, around the corner and to the kitchen table. They started with white roses, then turned pink, then red. He said they symbolized our lives. First the friendship, then courtship then the true love. Awwww. I am so glad that 13 years ago I married Jeff.
He is a great dad. Each of our kids have their own song and he sings to them in their beds each night. He is crazy fun with them too - most recently, sending them flying off the stairs and across the dining room in his climbing harness. They love him mucho and always look forward to him being around.
I love how much time he wants to be with ME. He and I eat lunch together almost every day. We go out on dates every weekend. He basically choses me - always. I feel so loved. He is so funny and sometimes we just lay in bed and night and laugh and laugh. He truly is my best friend. He works really hard for our family and provides so well. He is handsome and smart and has a great vocabulary -(which I often challenge, but am always wrong.) I love him. Happy Anniversary Jeff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Santa

I asked Cody (he's 2) what he wanted from Santa this morning and this was his answer.

I want a big dinosaur with CRAZY eyes that has little spiders all over his face. And he can talk - he says, "Ahhh! Ahhh! Get all these spiders off my face."

If anyone happens to see one around will you let me know. :)

And because this blog was originally made for me to try harder to notice the hand of the Lord in my life everyday I will say that crazy comments like that make 2 year olds so fun and make yesterday ok. Days like that also make me thankful for great friends like Nickie who come over and help wipe up all the nail polish and then babysit my kids so I can go to lunch without them. I am grateful for good friends to go to lunch with and a sweet husband who said, "Why don't you just leave tonight - you need a break" when he got home. (and he bathed them while I was gone.) And lastly, I am grateful that I don't have to have a baby with no epidural today. Good luck Summer!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

End of the day

So now they lay all nestled snug in their beds, while visions of breaking everything in my house tomorrow dance through their heads . . .

Here is what happened during the shower. . .

And here is what happened tonight while I was out. I get a text from Jeff that reads , "Lizzy just broke something else."

I hope Drop Dead Fred hasn't come to live at my house. Maybe tomorrow it'll be a mud pie on the kitchen table. . .

I am dead serious

So when I got out of the shower and went downstairs this is what I heard Cody say before I saw what I saw, "Mom, it's the blood."

Pictures to follow. Why am I cursed?

Continuing fun . . .

Here's what she did while I was typing the last entry. Anyone have the number to poison control??

I have to go take a shower. I'm sure this is what my house will look like when I get out. Thanks kids. Smoochy love and snuggles.

The petting zoo lady and me

One day I was at the zoo with my kids. We proceeded to go to the stinkiest part of the whole zoo - the petting zoo. As I watched my kids chase goats and deer all around a small cage, I looked over and saw a worker quickly sweeping up the goat poop. As fast as she would get it swept up, 40 other goats would poop. It was a never ending battle. She just swept and swept and they just pooped and pooped. At that moment I felt a strong bond with that woman. I said to her, "You know, your job and my job aren't that much different. I feel like all I do all day is sweep up the goat droppings, just to have 10,000 more droppings fall somewhere else." She looked at me like I was stupid and speaking Chinese and went back to her work. But I'm not stupid. It is true. It's the truest analogy to motherhood I have yet found. Here is my week in pictures.

"Mom! The play room smells like barf!!"

After some searching I found the culprit. Leaking 2 day old rancid sippy cup. Perfect.

"Has your mother seen what you did?"

Thanks Cody for chopping your hair down to the nub. You are a fantastic kid!

"Who gave Lizzy a pen??"

"MMMMMmmmm. The laundry smells minty."

Who sends a full pack of gum through the wash? Jeff, do you have any ideas?

"She can't stay in nursery. What if it's pink eye?"

I'm pretty sure it's "blood eye" but ok. She's great in class. (And by great I mean the DEVIL) I'll take her.

I have no pictures of Jeff in the ER all morning Sunday.

I give up. The crap is going to have to pile up. I'm going to take a long, long nap.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Liz and Jeff

I was just taking a little trip down memory lane tonight and looking through about 1 billion pictures that fill my computer to the brim and I came across this one. I had totally forgotten about it but it is one of my all time favorites. Lizzy wasn't one month old. I don't know why she is making that crazy face. But tonight as both Liz and Jeff aren't feeling well, I am thankful for these two people in my life and hope they feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stolen post

I want to paste a copy of Shelby's post today because it was beautiful and so important. I loved her words and the talk she found. Sorry for the cyber theft.

The Dawning of a Brighter Day

Anyone who knows me probably can't imagine I would write a title like that on a day like today. Back in January when I was
getting daily radiation therapy, I had to drive about 45 minutes each way. I became addicted to talk radio (we have a great FM
station here). It was the beginning of the election frenzy and I was on board. Since then I have listened to and read everything
I could get my hands on. I mourned when Romney had to bow out. I cheered when Sarah Palin and her big family and
conservative values joined Mccain. I think I began to scare people a little with my obsession. I teared up as I voted yesterday
and prayed hard for Mccain. I was angry with Obama and his supporters. Angry that abortion was fine with them. Angry that
we didn't know what he was up to or what he really was going to do. Angry that that was ok with so many Americans. I love
America. I didn't want "change" for change's sake. I love freedom of Religion. I want to be able to say that I am pro-life and
that I believe marriage is between a man and a woman without being told I'm a bigot or that I didn't care about women. I love
capitalism. I was sad that we had gone through 13 years of really hard times to get Jaymee into a practice only to have it
taken away. I love that we are the most generous country on earth. I didn't like being told we weren't. But I have to stop right
there. I've gotten off course and forgotten what I learned today. My point is that I was passionate about this election.

Last night when I saw that Obama had won I cried and cried. Unfortunately, Jaym was in a benadryl coma because he lost a
battle with poison ivy making us a huge fire pit in the back yard so I was all alone in my grief. I came upstairs and began to
pray. I prayed that my sadness could be replaced with peace. I prayed to know that this was indeed the will of the Lord. I don't
like being angry. I don't like those dark feelings. I begged Heavenly Father to grant me understanding and then I went to
sleep. It was a restless night. I tossed and turned and wrote a scathing blog in my mind about how it's the end of the world
and it stinks. Also, every time I woke up, however, the phrase "perilous times must come" came to my thoughts. Over and
over all night long.

This morning when I woke up, I went straight to my computer and typed in the phrase in to the search on lds.org. A talk by
President Hinckley came up called "the Dawning of a Brighter Day". It says that "peril is not a new condition for the human
family." It mentions the war in heaven, Noah's day and other times in the Old Testament, the wars in the Book of Mormon
and about poor Moroni wandering alone without a people because they had all been killed off. It talks about the apostasy and
the plague where 50 million people died and those who were left worried whether humanity had a future at all.

But then came the Renaissance. Light, science, healing, art. The Restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It didn't mean evil was gone - evil manifested itself as persecution and hatred. Charles Dickens was quoted saying,"It was the
best of times and the worst of times... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
was the winter of despair.”

We are in a great time. The work of the Lord is moving across the earth. Knowledge increases every day. People can be cured
of cancer. The world is more educated than ever. President Hinckley said,"Man’s ingenuity knows no end when the God of
heaven inspires and pours out light and knowledge."

These are also perilous times. It would seem as if many people are choosing evil over good. Or choosing not to care. The end of
his talk was the part I was supposed to read the most. I'm just going to paste it here because I can't say it any better:

"Do we really comprehend, do we understand the tremendous significance of that which we have? This is the summation of
the generations of man, the concluding chapter in the entire panorama of the human experience.

But this does not put us in a position of superiority. Rather, it should humble us. It places upon us an unforgiving responsibility
to reach out with concern for all others in the Spirit of the Master, who taught, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”
(Matt. 19:19). We must cast out self-righteousness and rise above petty self-interest.

We must do all that is required in moving forward the work of the Lord in building His kingdom in the earth. We can never
compromise the doctrine which has come through revelation, but we can live and work with others, respecting their beliefs and
admiring their virtues, joining hands in opposition to the sophistries, the quarrels, the hatred—those perils which have been
with man from the beginning.

Without surrendering any element of our doctrine, we can be neighborly, we can be helpful, we can be kind and

We of this generation are the end harvest of all that has gone before. It is not enough to simply be known as a member of this
Church. A solemn obligation rests upon us. Let us face it and work at it.

We must live as true followers of the Christ, with charity toward all, returning good for evil, teaching by example the ways of
the Lord, and accomplishing the vast service He has outlined for us.

May we live worthy of the glorious endowment of light and understanding and eternal truth which has come to us through all
the perils of the past. Somehow, among all who have walked the earth, we have been brought forth in this unique and
remarkable season. Be grateful, and above all be faithful. This is my humble prayer, as I bear witness of the truth of this work,
in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I am humbled today that even though I don't always do my part, the Lord reaches out and answers my prayers. He lead me to
this talk and I do feel peace. I feel like getting over my feelings about the election and showing a greater love to all of the
people around me. That's all I have power over. Our country and its fate is and always has been in the hands of the Lord. We
need to do our best and be grateful to live in such an amazing time.

Sorry this is so long. I had to share.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's because Adrienne is the coolest

Adrienne. You are great.

And what the heck is Adam doing in the background? A dance? At a funeral?


Right before we left for Utah we had our ward trunk or treat. Jeff and I were McCain and Palin. We never do stuff like this so I thought I'd post a few - especially before the election is over tonight.
Now every time Sarah Palin is on TV my two year Cody says, "Look mom! It's you!" I think it's hilarious that he understands who I was that night. Too funny.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Uncle Gordon

My uncle died yesterday of a massive heart attack. Why? I can't help but keep asking why? He was in good shape. He exercised. He got a clean bill of health at his physical 4 months ago. And yesterday he got up and went to play racquetball and while he was there he died. He was so young. His kids are too young. He just became a grandpa for the first time 3 weeks ago.

This picture was on my cousins blog tonight. It sums him up. He was the fun, happy Uncle that always hugged you and messed up your hair and laughed and was always smiling. His wife is one of my favorite people in the whole world. She is always smiling and upbeat. I am not looking forward to watching her ache. I am so sad for them. The only consolation I feel is that through the principles of the gospel we know that they can be together not just for this life but for eternity.
That doesn't stop the tears from falling. This is all very familiar. My brothers and sisters were too young too when my dad died. I know the pain ahead and the sadness. I know how much I hate not having my dad around - even 13 years later. But I also know the comfort brought by the Holy Ghost. I also know the peace that can be felt when it's needed. They will be ok. We are ok. But it's just feels so unfair. I love you Smart family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christmas card

I just re-read last night's post. Sounds like one of those Christmas cards -"My kids are better and smarter than everyone in the world."
Sorry. . . that my kids are better and smarter than yours.

Ha Ha! I just threw up a little.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Kids

Parent Teacher Conferences. I love the kindergarten ones - where you sit in the tiny chairs and pretend that it's normal that your knees are higher than the table.
All my kids teachers raved about them this time. Courtney's teacher called her the "darling of the class" and said that he wished that he had 28 Courtneys. (He's an ex football player for the Minnesota Vikings.) He said that one time Courtney taught him an easier way to do a math problem and he had her teach the whole class.
Chandler's teacher said that she has never seen a fourth grader who writes so well and someday when he is famous he will have to sign a copy of his book for her. She said she reads his stuff out loud to the class and even runs it over to other teachers once and a while and says, "really, my student wrote this." I told her it was so nice to have a teacher that praised him and valued his talent because last year his teacher . . . didn't. She said, "Last year's teacher probably was just jealous that her 3rd grader could write better than her!" She also said something about how she wishes that Riley Evans would stop going on democratic rants in the middle of silent reading.
Then I went to Blake's. Watching him sit there with that huge grin on his face while his teacher went on and on about what a sweet, good, honest and helpful boy his is was priceless. He loves school and she said, "This will be my easiest conference."
WOW! Who knew my kids were so fantastic? I better be nice to them from now on.
Oh and Cody and Liz got report cards too. Cody did great. Mostly A's. He got a C in eating. Doesn't put down much more than French fries and hot dogs these days. Lizzy - mostly F's in behavior and getting along with others.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hunky Dentist

No cavities today. I was a year over due for a cleaning, something about the shoemakers children having no shoes .. .but anyhow, no cavities. And a lecture about not flossing.

I am also grateful today that Jeff works so close to home and comes home for lunch almost every day. Well, that's just a plain lie. More like - he takes me out to lunch almost every day. What fun that we get to spend so much time together.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Into the mind and heart of Blake

I've been recording some of Blake's prayers on my family blog for some time and I thought I would post a few here. Each one is a different entry from the last year sometime.

(This was Oct. 20, 2008) Last night Jeff asked Cody if he wanted to pray and Blake said, "Don't ask for candy Cody, He (meaning Heavenly Father) doesn't have any." Like he had tried that before and it didn't work. Ah ha ha.

Saturday, September 6, 2008
Another Blake Prayer
It's been a while since I've written here but tonight was another sweet Blake prayer.He said, "And bless the kids in my school class that need help, that they will feel the Spirit and know how to choose the right."

I think I need to just tape record Blake's prayers at night. He always makes me smile. Here is tonight's (I'm paraphrasing). "Thank you for that Santa that came to the church. And thanks for Jesus that keeps that eye on us. And thank you for that activity thing that we take the activities out of every day and then do the activity (the advent calendar) and for that other activity (nativity) that we play with." (Grammy Price sent him a fisher price nativity) I forgot half of what I loved so much but he just prays so dang cute and from the heart.
Earlier today he was playing with the nativity and this is what I overheard. "Are you that EVIL wise man? Yes! I am! Well . . .blah blah blah." I love it.

Last night in Blake's prayer he said,
"Thank you for The Book of Mormon and President Monson and that the church is so special." I love him!
He also said the other day, "Mom, why can't we just go see Jesus instead of having to stay here and just learn about Him?" He thinks a lot about the gospel and I can tell he has a sweet little testimony already.

This kid has some crazy ideas these days. So we are driving home from Wallmart today and he says, "What was that zooming up in the sky? I think it was Jesus Christ." Then a few minutes later he said, "Is Jesus Christ for real mom?" And I said, "Yes he is Blake" and he said, "Well then where is he?" And I said,"Up in Heaven." And Blake said, "Well, where is heaven then?" And I said, "We aren't sure Blake. It's far away - maybe up in the sky, someplace we can't see." Then he said,"I know. Heaven in up in that place like Utah. Not the Utah where your grammy lives - but the other Utah - the one where all the dead people live." Ha ha. His mind is constantly going.

So tonight this was in Blake's prayer. "And please bless Santa that he can get a wii for his birthday - like in a week or in two weeks."
I'm not sure what to do with Blake's crazy prayers. A few months ago he uttered this one," . . . Thank you for my Pokemon cards and all that crap." That sparked a lesson on better language! (but I did want to sit back and giggle and giggle when he said it.) I love my kids. I love what they are learning and I can't remember a time when I prayed for santa to get a gift. Not once. What a sweet boy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So much for every day . . .

Dang it. How did Eyring do it?? I can't ever remember to write on here.
Right now I am grateful for the fun month of trips. We do almost nothing all year and then take our two biggest trips within 2 weeks! How fun. We love the Martineaus and enjoyed going to Powell with them so much and then again to Disneyland. The Ives came too to Disneyland and it was such fun. Every kid just grabbed whoevers hand was closest and off we all went. I am grateful for fun friends and good kids and the opportunity we had to go on these trips before the economy tanked. ( Too bad Lizzy and Cody got left behind both times!) Thanks to all the family and friends who watched them while we were gone too. You guys are awesome! (Wellmans, Gordons, Petersons)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hey Elder Uchtdorf

Hey Elder Uchtdorf! Look at my jam! I made my own jam. Who knew it was like two strawberries and 4,000 lbs of sugar? Look at my clean spaces. Look at my garden. (Don't look at my bread - it turned out like doorstops and paperweights, just like you suggested it would. ) I even cut out 6 monkeys during conference. Someday I will sew them. Thanks for telling me to create. I so needed it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Priesthood Blessings

Today I am grateful for priesthood blessings. My neighbor has been to the hospital twice this week and just hasn't been feeling well and the missionaries came and gave her a blessing this morning. It was beautiful. The spirit was strong. I am so grateful that the Lord gave a little of his power and authority to the men of this church. I am thankful for 4 random men on a plane that answered a call over the PA last year and, I feel, saved my husbands life. I am grateful for five extra years we got with my dad - due to miracles that I know started with priesthood blessings. I am grateful for that first back to school blessing that I got shortly after my dad died. It was from my uncle Gordon and he said many of the same beautiful things my dad had always said to me. It was that night that I realized that all those blessings I had received from my dad all those years didn't just come from my dad - but from my HEAVENLY Father and that He knew me and loved me and that my life would always be blessed because of the priesthood holders in it. I am thankful that I am married to a man who honors his priesthood and blesses our family. I am grateful for righteous brothers who honor theirs and serve and bless my mom in Utah. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and the sacrifices he gave to help restore this gospel to the earth.
We are so blessed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Best picture ever! This is why I love her.

Blake and Michael

I miss her. I want her to come back. She was so much fun and made me laugh all day. Her kids and my kids were the same ages. She disciplined her kids the same way I did and liked the things I did and ate food like I did. (Except she ate wacky flaxseed and peppers dipped in NO ranch) I loved her testimony and how everyone always said to her, "You look like that girl . . . Helen Hunt." I loved how much Michael and Blake loved each other and how well they played and how I'd watch her kids and she'd watch mine and it was easy to ask her. I loved that she loved to read too and always had a suggestion or loved what I suggested to her. I miss the way the very end of her nose moves up and down when she talks and how she always made me want to be a better mom like her. I've been sad about her being gone all day.
But she's coming for Christmas and may even stay with us for a few days. Yea!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


My neighbor came with me last night to the broadcast. She is not a member of the church but has been investigating it. Tonight she brought over two pies. She said, "I just kept mulling around in my mind the words that he (Elder Uchtdorf) said and I just wanted to create!" She even found an area and cleaned it up and made it beautiful just like he suggested. . . "create a space." Her husband joked, "You can go with Melanie to those meetings whenever you want." Isn't that great? I love how we all were so touched and hopped to it. I made a great dinner complete with rolls and a broccoli salad. I don't do that enough and I used to really enjoy creating in that way. Now on to the monkeys . . .

I am so grateful for the leadership of this church and for conference which happens twice a year. Last night we went to the Relief Society broadcast from Salt Lake and it was wonderful. I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk! He said so many things that as women we need to hear. Let me share just a little of what was said. He said (speaking of women) " . . they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than on that which has been accomplished and who they really are." I think this is one of Satan's greatest tools. I think he loves to jump in there and tell us that we aren't important and that our contributions don't matter. He is very good at showing us other's strengths and comparing them to our weaknesses. It is easy to think that everyone is better and more talented than us and that we have very little to contribute. But then he said these beautiful words. "Remember, you are spirit daughters of the most creative being in the universe! Isn't it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it, your spirit body is a masterpiece created with the beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination." Wow. Who am I to ever think that I am not of worth! He even said later that we all have talents and mentioned that "flowing laughter" in one's home is a talent! Yea! I came home with a new sense of purpose and just happier to have felt the spirit. I also went to that broadcast with some friends, including my neighbor Norma and then to dinner afterwards. Perfect.
Then I had to opportunity to go chaperon the Laurel/Priest activity until midnight. Well, um, like I was saying, the broadcast and dinner was fantastic. I am so grateful for my membership in this church.

. . . And I really am grateful that we were able to jump in on the regional Laurel Priest activity so last minute. We had 55 kids there from our stake and it looked like they were having a blast.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I love that our family has found a sport we all love. Our kids signed up for swim team this summer and LOVED it. Blake has even signed up for swim school this winter. He loves it too. So, wanting to be that great mother who understood her kids pain, I signed up for an adult swim class twice a week too. It has been hard to get there - but the times I have gone, that coach has about killed me. First night - 60 laps. Yes. Me, the fat, lazy one swam 60 laps. Anytime I'd stop to rest she'd say, "Stop hanging on that wall!! Get moving." Anyway, I have learned so much! I love it too. I'd probably actually lose some weight too, if I didn't eat half a bag of buttered movie popcorn and half a box of milk duds right before practice. Oh well. I guess I've stayed off that heart attack for one more day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Gospel

This blog was made not to keep a record of all our family happenings - but to record the hand of the Lord in our lives everyday. Today I am grateful for the resurrection and the knowledge that we have through the gospel of Jesus Christ that there is a life after this one. My good friend's mother died today. She had been quadriplegic for 13 years. As my family sat down to read the Book of Mormon together tonight we were in 2 Nephi 9. It was all about the resurrection. (I love how that always happens! The scriptures always apply to our daily lives!) We had a beautiful discussion with our children about the plan and about how Nickie's mom can now be free of that body that didn't work and that one day she will be restored to a perfect body that moves the way she wants it to and can fully function again.
I remember the morning that my dad died. Right as my mom and I realized that he was gone, we knelt down and thanked our Heavenly Father for our blessings and the knowledge we had of the gospel and that this separation from our Dad was just temporary and that we would be able to return to live with him again. The Spirit was so strong and confirmed the truthfulness of this to our hearts. My heart is breaking for Nickie to lose her last parent while she is yet so young. I am so sad for her at this time. But I am happy for her mother to be free from that body and that she is now reunited with her husband that died just 3 years ago. The gospel is true. It is such a comfort and I love it.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today I am grateful for family. I am grateful to be a part of two great families. I love the Wellmans and am glad that I married into such a welcoming and friendly family. We all get along so well. It was so fun to see 5,000 cousins running around chasing a stray kitten last night and to all be present for Renee's blessing. There is so much love and support there. We are going to miss the Hardins as they move to Utah and part of me is jealous that they get to move within 10 minutes of my family - the Prices. They too, are such a loving and supportive group and I loved being with all of them for so long this summer. I have awesome brothers and a great sister in law up there and fun nieces and nephews spread all over. Shelby and her family was just here last week and it was such a blast. I'm begging Lexi to move to Phoenix because I would love to be near her every day. I hope that is what Heaven is going to be like. One big street of Prices and Wellmans playing kick the can all night and Ticket to Ride until morning. I certainly see the hand of the Lord in my life as I look about my two extended families.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Tonight I am grateful for laughing. Last night we had some friends over to play games and laughed ourselves silly. When we went to bed we kept giggling about things we had said. Finally Jeff had to tell me to be quiet because every time he'd start to fall asleep - I'd start laughing again. Then tonight we went with the above same friends to hear a comedian named Jim Gaffigan? Hilarious. I almost cried. And then we got stuck in the car on the billioneth floor waiting for every car in the parking garage to get out before us and (I WAS SO THIRSTY) we retold like every joke the guy had said and laughed our heads off a second time. Even the drive thru (to FINALLY get some water) was crazy funny. Happy Birthday Summer. I'm grateful for all the laughs - my stomach hurts.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Today I am grateful that every time I start a new diet I find some reason to make some extra great treat and blow the diet all to crap the very first day. Maybe because I always start my diets on Monday and then by FHE I think, "Wow - the kids really need a great treat . . . " (but really I'M STARVING) and there it goes. Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls. Mmmmm. They took all day to make but so worth it.
I love watching my family during Family Home Evening. Tonight as Blake was leading the closing song Lizzy ran up beside him and pretended to lead too. Darling. Also Jeff had the kids act out the Good Samaritan during the lesson and it was awesome to watch Cody beat up Blake and then steal all his money. I love Family Home Evening.

Also - a side note: We are getting addicted to Haught Fresh donuts from Krispy Kreme. Last week our friends brought us a box from Mesa and Cody snuck like 5 of them. Well the next day Shelby was here and bought some glazed donuts from FRYS and Cody took one of them and said, "Ugg Theses donuts are grossie!" I guess he has become a true donut connoisseur like his mommy. How funny that a two year old could totally tell the difference.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blake's Prayers

I love Blake's prayers. Every now and again I just have to write them down. Tonight he said, "And please bless the kids in my school class that need help, that they will be able to feel the Spirit and know how to choose the right." He's 5. He's the best.


Shelby's family was here this week and as I think about the hand of the Lord in our lives this week it is definitely that Shelby is doing so well and that she was able to beat cancer this year. Last year this week was when she came down for the Creative Escape convention and on the last night she came out to stay with me. She had been having some pain in her chest and so I took her to the ER and we found out that night that she had a huge mass in her chest and by the end of the week we knew that she had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It's been a rough year - but I am so glad that she was healed and that she is healthy and still with us. I love her so much and count my blessings every day that she is ok. If you haven't, check out her blog www.shelbysjourney.blogspot.com Start at the beginning. You'll be inspired.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Surprise Stake Young Women

Today I am grateful for the youth in this stake. I finally boxed up all the food and supplies that the girls gathered up at camp to give to the troops in Iraq. My whole guest room was filled with stuff! I weighed it as we packed it in the truck - 325lbs of goods was generously donated from the young women and their leaders. Up at camp the girls decorated pillow cases for wounded solders and wrote letters of gratitude to send to the men and women in Iraq. Their letters were beautiful and heartfelt and many included their testimonies of the gospel. What great girls we have. I am proud of them and I love them.
I am also very grateful for the troops serving our country. I can't imagine how hard it would be to have my husband gone for over a year, worrying every day that I could lose him. These families sacrifice so much. I am so glad that Toni Huskey thought of serving the troops for our service project at camp. Way to go!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Provide means . . .

Today I am grateful that this scripture is true. 1 Nephi 17:3 "And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them . . ." Most of the time we have to take that leap of faith FIRST, pay that tithing or give up that bad habit. Then he will take care of us; make the money last, help us find the resources to kick that habit etc. Sometimes it happens in reverse order. Sometimes the Lord provides the means and then asks the commandment of us. Either way, I know that when the Lord needs us to do something he will always provide a way for it to happen.
A month ago Jeff got in a car accident. We decided to get a new car and put the money that the insurance gave us for his old one in the bank for a "rainy day." Yesterday that money was unexpectedly needed and we had it. I know for a fact that the Lord will always "provide means" for us when we try to keep his commandments and do what he asks.
It's not always financial means either. In dental school Chandler was getting ready to be born and we needed to kick Courtney out of her crib to put Chandler in it. We didn't have any money to go buy a new bed for her. Shortly there after, I walked out back and our neighbor had thrown away a perfectly good futon (minus a few very fixable broken slats). I asked if I could have it and she said, "Sure." I needed a bed for my child and the windows of Heaven opened and poured one down for me. It wasn't brand new or fancy - but it was just what we needed and I knew that Heavenly Father provided a means for us because we were paying our tithing, serving in the church and doing what had been asked of us.
Another time, after Courtney was born we had been living with my Grandma in Ogden and needed to find our own place. There were no apartments near where we wanted to be and the ones that were further away were more money than we could afford. (I had decided to quit teaching school and stay home to raise Courtney. Jeff had a part time job while going to school and I was going to go back to waiting tables part time at night so that we wouldn't have to put Courtney in daycare.) Anyway, we did not see how this was going to work. Our limited incomes couldn't really afford for me to stay home with this new baby, but I knew that is what we had been instructed by the Lord to do if possible. So we fasted about it. That day in church this awesome couple in our ward came up to us and said, "We are going on a mission and would like someone to live in our house rent-free while we are gone. Would you be interested?"

"If it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them . . ."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Double Suicide

I'm grateful tonight that my husband is smart. Here's why. We were sitting is his new car in the garage trying to figure out how to sinc his phone with some hands free bluetooth thing and it was a long, confusing process and we were reading the manuals and trying all different ways to hook it up and Jeff stops and says, "Um we better stop this or open the garage. We're committing suicide." HELLO!!! We had been sitting in the garage with the garage door closed for 45 minutes with the engine blazing. Wouldn't that have been the worst story ever if our kids would have come out in the morning and found us dead in the car with the manuals on our chest and one big confused look on our faces?!
So tonight I am grateful that we are alive. (and that we figured out how to sinc his phone to the car.)

Two Pieces of bread in a ziploc bag

Sunday we had to go speak up in the Wenden Branch. It is about 2 hours west of Surprise. In the summer they have very few people who attend because most of the town are snowbirds. (That's the reason that members of the stake are all assigned to go up and speak there - because they don't have enough members there to speak each week.) Anyway, when we sat down I looked over at the sacrament table and there were two pieces of bread in a ziploc bag for the sacrament. Jeff is in charge of bringing the bread for our ward each week and we use almost a whole loaf! I looked out at the congregation and there were about 9 people there. Including the branch presidency, the missionaries, pianist and music conductor there were about 15 people. It reminded me of my mission and the small little branches in which I served. But suddenly, I was filled with the sweetest feeling that the church is true wherever you are and that the Lord would of course love to have all His chapels overflowing with people but he also will pour out his spirit in a room of just a few people. There is only one young woman in the whole branch. How valiant she has to be - to be the only member in her whole school - and yet she comes to that little branch every week and loves the Lord. I am proud of those who live the gospel where they are so few in number. This little branch got chastised by their high counselor about not attending the blood drive in Surprise. The message was for everyone in the stake but picture the sacrifice THEY have to make - a four hour round trip to attend. We only have to drive 4 minutes up the street and yet many of us didn't attend either. We complain that the temple is and hour away - it's 3 hours for those members, and still they go. I guess today I am grateful for THEIR diligence and example and also for the ease me and my family have with so many members around and so many youth to buoy up my kids and keep them strong.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I need to add just one more thing. This week was Blake's birthday and I am so grateful for that sweet boy. He is just good. He is mellow and happy and gets along with everyone. He is obedient and kind and loves his brothers and sisters. He's just an all around good kid. The night before his birthday I asked him if he wanted cupcakes or a cake for his birthday and he thought about it for a minute, smiled and said, "Well mom, go to the store and which one is less - get me that one." Really. My five year old wanted me to go ahead and get the cheapest one - let's save money mom. What five year old thinks like that?? He demands nothing. Appreciates everything. I love Blake. He has been a huge blessing in my life for these past 5 years. Sometimes I catch myself just looking at him and smiling so big. He is my only child with brown eyes like me. There was something about him - even before he was born that I felt very close to. I don't love being pregnant. I never was one of those women who rubbed my belly and smiled and sang songs to myself and read books to my fetusus? feti? Anyway, with Blake it was different. I did find myself sometimes just loving that belly full of baby. I can't explain it. I sound like a jerk. "Get those babies out of me . . STAT!" But really it's the truth. What can I say? I never loved being pregnant. It would be like loving the flu. I just didn't.
Focus back on Blake . . . I just felt that there was something really special about him and there is. He has had some problems with stuttering off and on for the past 2 years and one time when it was particularly bad, he got a priesthood blessing from Jeff. He was told that he would one day be a great orator and that his word would be heard around the world. Wow. The Lord has great things in store for my boy. I am so grateful to have him. I love him.

Room for the prophet

Thank you Shelby for your gentle prodding for me to return to this blog. I am a slacker. I have all these great goals and ambitions and they last about 5.6 seconds. One of the parts I liked the best in Eyring's talk was how he said that no matter how tired he was or whatever that he always found the time to write at least something everyday. I guess that's why I'm not an apostle. :)
But here is my thought for today. So, recently I put on the BYU channel in the morning. President Monson was speaking at a BYU devotional (from 2004 I think). Anyway, he was telling the funniest stories and I was busting and thought, "I need to tape this for my whole family to watch!" So I pushed the record button on my ti-vo and it said I didn't have any room and I needed to delete something. So I quickly went to my recorded list and there tried to figure out which of the thousand hours of olympics I could erase. "Was Tuesday the night with the women's gymnastics?? I think Courtney wanted to watch that . . . Is this the race I started watching the other night and fell asleep? . . . " Anyway, to make a long story short, by the time I erased enough junk, I had missed much of the prophet's talk. Dang it.
Then I began to think. Is this how my life is? Is this how WE all are a little? We have plenty of time and energy for the things that don't really matter and often are left with "no room" for the things that do. I want to follow the prophet and read my scriptures every day and serve everyone and visit teach etc. etc. and yet so often I don't leave room for it. So today I am happy for my little experience with the ti-vo because it reminded me that I need to re-prioritize once again and make sure I have room for what's most important.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Recently I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who is not a member of the church and she was saying that she really envied the "community" that we share in this church. Tonight we had a Stake Young Men/Young Women carnival and all the wards made booths and ran them and I think it was pretty successful night. The kids really seemed to have a good time. But as I watched all these men and women set up, man and take down the booths, clean the grounds, mop and vacuum the floors, clean the bathrooms, haul garbage etc., I suddenly was very grateful for this "community" that I am a part of. No one got paid a dime to do any of that work tonight. No one got much recognition. People just did it because that is what we do. We serve and help each other and clean up afterwards. Men sweep and pick up soggy cupcakes off the parking lot street side by side with the women. We study and prepare lessons and paint peoples homes and babysit children and make quilts for those in need. When post-partum depression gets the best of you, someone comes over and cries with you and pats your back and takes the baby back home with her so you can just get some sleep.

A few years ago a friend of mine on our street had to go on bed rest with her pregnancy. My neighbor Michelle and I went down to her home and started arranging some help. I said, "Ok, I'll take your daughter and watch her tomorrow and bring you dinner and then Michelle will take her the next day . . . etc." She stopped and looked at us with the most bewildered look on her face and she asked, "Why would you do all that?" And honestly, I was surprised. "Why WOULDN'T we?" "Isn't that what you just DO when someone needs it?"
How many times had I followed my mom up to someone's door carrying the corn or the vegetable that went with their dinner my mom had prepared? How many people climbed out of the woodwork and helped my family as my dad lost his battle with cancer at such a young age? People cleaned our pool for free, painted our house! brought us meal after meal, mowed our lawn - the list is endless. When my sister was diagnosed with cancer last year the same thing happened - endless help, meals, babysitting, love, treats: she was spoiled rotten. It made us all want to get cancer a little. How grateful I am to be part of this wonderful church, whose members help and love and serve each other because it's just what we've been taught to do and we think it's normal. It's not. It's unique and it's wonderful and it's the way the Lord planned it. He didn't mean for any of us to be alone or to have to shoulder our burdens by ourselves. That's why we visit teach and home teach and serve in the nursery. And then our kids sit back and see all of this going on and grow up thinking, "It's just what you do." I am so grateful for this tonight.

" . . and now as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; Yea and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, (or take our the trash or mop the floor after a youth activity when you'd probably rather be home watching the Olympics) and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in . . . " (Book of Mormon Mosiah 18:8-9)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I think it was Elder Packer who said, "A testimony is found in the bearing of it." So many times in my life I have found this to be true. I remember one time on my mission in Japan we were at a mission conference and my mission president realized that we were not getting many opportunities to bear our tesimonies because people just didn't want to listen. He said, "Today bear your testimony. I don't care if you bear it to a light post or to a dog, but take the opportunity to bear your testimony." That night I remember riding my bike home along this canal. Bats were dive bombing us as we rode and then and there I remembered what our president had said and I just started saying my testimony out loud. I spoke of the things that I knew and about what I was grateful for. As I began to testify, the spirit flooded my soul and testified TO ME that what I was saying was true. I remember tears falling down my face as I spoke to no one (except maybe the bats) about what I believed. When we take the time to testify of our beliefs - it not only helps others but it helps us.
So tonight I was talking to my neighbor about the church and her feelings. She has been meeting with the missionaries for some time. She is an amazing lady and has really felt the spirit when they come to visit her and her family, but still there is some confusion. As we were talking it lead to a chance for me to share my testimony with her. As I said, "I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the heavens aren't closed and families can be together forever. . . " I was overcome. Tears came to both of our eyes and we could feel the spirit so strong. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who doesn't leave us alone in this world to figure it all out. I am grateful that he pours down his spirit on us so we can KNOW his will for us and what is right. I am so thankful that when I take the opportunity to testify about what I believe that the Holy Ghost confirms it not only to others, but to me too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Ok so I'm terrible at setting and keeping goals. I kept this blog for 5 whole days. I read my scriptures like 7 days in a row - and then go weeks without emerging myself again. WHY?
Cuz I am slacker city that's why. I wish I was better at getting done what needs to be done in my life. (You should see my laundry pile!) But instead I wander around on random people's blogs, watch a thousand hours of olympics every night and still miss on the important things more often than I would like.
I guess that is what I am grateful for tonight; repentance. I am grateful that the Lord always lets us try again tomorrow and encourages us and cheers us on even when we eat that third maple bar on the first day of our diet. I want to be good and do what is right. I really do. I fast and pray all the time to be able to improve myself and conquer my laziness and do the million things every day that I know I SHOULD. Maybe that's why it is our life's goal to conquer the natural man and become more like the Savior. I sure can't do it by myself. I need his help EVERY day. I need to lean on Him more and rely on Him more and try harder.
See you tomorrow?? Let's hope.
(Also I want to thank my sweet husband for his kindness about my speaking in CA. It was really fun and I felt very prompted to say specific things that I know my Heavenly Father wanted those kids in CA to hear. They were a fantastic bunch and I was so impressed by the strength in that small group. We had a blast driving out there with the Haught's and meeting Shawn's friends the The Balls. (Even though Tonya Ball was the nicest person we've ever met and she set the standard for "wifehood?" so high that I will never reach it.) Our faces hurt from laughing so hard on the way home. The Haught's are fun people and I enjoyed sweating to death with them outside of Tonapah. I'm grateful too for Karen for watching our kids for those two days so we could go. What a nice Grandma. My kids love her and had a great time.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

"your word will be well accepted"

We went to California this weekend where Melanie and a friend from the ward were asked to speak at a youth conference. It was a great weekend filled with a wonderful spirit and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and rub shoulders with some genuinely good people and an impressive, small group of good young men and women. As Melanie spoke I was in awe of her ability to speak and teach the gospel to these youth. She has an amazing ability to have the audience laughing one minute, silent the next, and tearful the next. Each time I watch her speak I reflect upon her home coming talk from her mission and remember how impressed I was. I knew in that moment she was the kind of person I wanted to be around and resolved to make her mine. Of course, I was successful in that endeavor and the rest is history.
I am blessed to have such a wonderful wife who is a fantastic mother to my kids. I am so proud of her for using her talents to motivate so many others to follow Christ. Melanie you still amaze me.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Cody fell off the top of the ladder on the playground in the back yard today and hit his head hard on our curbing. I guess the hand of the Lord saved that from being worse. He had a big knot on the back of his head and cried and cried but survived.

Lizzy survived her temper tantrum through FHE. Luckily she wasn't killed or suffocated by Jeff or I. Jeff survived after asking the question, "So how's your diet going?" after I had had a bacon cheeseburger for dinner and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. I guess it was a good day after all.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we fast for 2 meals the first Sunday of every month. We believe that fasting coupled with prayer is a powerful tool in communicating with our Heavenly Father. Many times in my life I have fasted and prayed together with other family members for the health of someone we loved or personally to receive answers to personal prayers and questions. Anyway, after our kids turn 8 and are baptized we have them fast one meal on that Sunday and pray for something that they are thinking about or for someone who may need help. This afternoon when Chandler was about to eat lunch I asked him what he was fasting for. He told me that he was fasting for his Aunt Dany. (She had been trying to get pregnant for about a year and half and she finally is!) I then asked him why he was fasting for her now? And he said, "I was fasting today mom that her baby would be ok and that she wouldn't lose it like Marie did." (His best friend's mom miscarried a while back). What a sweet, thoughtful boy. I was so impressed that he would think of that on his own and fast for that purpose. I am grateful for my membership in this church and how it teaches us to be thoughtful and selfless from the youngest ages. I love Chandler and am grateful for his pure little heart today.