My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kaydon's Arrow of Light

First of all, we seriously have the raddest Cub Scout masters ever! They are so creative and they make every single award seem like the greatest accomplishment. Last night, Kaydon received his Arrow of Light. I couldn't be there because I was completing my service hours. My sweet mom was there with him. He kept his face painted so that I could see it all when I got home. He was SO proud of his accomplishment, as he should be! The arrow of light that he received is an actual arrow. It's pretty amazing! Three of my four boys have received this award. Colton is next! So proud of my boys!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Season

This cute sign from Cute Miss Birdie hangs in my office. I look at it all day. It IS never too late to live your happily ever after. We can choose to be sad, angry, envious, frustrated, scared, hurt, or happy, optimistic, thankful, kind, and patient. It's our choice. My season right now is a season of single parenthood. It's a season of activity. My body is working so well. I work it out five to six days a week. It moves and bends and sweats. I go to school three days a week. My brain learns, expands, and grows. I work full-time five days a week. My communication skills get better, my creativity expands, my job skills grow. I am a single mom to four growing boys 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My patience is tested, my humility is necessary, my love stretches to points I never thought possible. We laugh and we cry. We play and we work. We hug and we smack butts. My season isn't the season I planned on. It isn't the season I wanted. It isn't the season that I would have considered a success. But, it's good. It's a great season. I am unbelievably blessed with four boys. I am blessed with extended family who support us and love us and care about us. I am blessed with good people around me who buoy me up when I feel like I am sinking. This is my season. And it is good.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Queen

I love, love, love the message in the Mormon Message video attached. It talks about deep beauty - the kind that can't be painted on, or colored on, or worn with the clothes we choose. It is within us. We have a divine nature, given to us because we are inherently daughters of our Heavenly Father. I love how she talks about the way that the Prophet introduced his sweet wife. She was, and is, his queen. We are all queens. I have written the word "Queen" on my white board in my office to remind me of the divine nature that I have been given. It also reminds me that I have the ability, and really the responsibility to share my deep beauty with others. It isn't about what we look like at all. It is about what is deep down inside of us and how we present and project that to others. I love this message! https://www.lds.org/youth/video/deep-beauty?lang=eng

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Service Hours

Last night was my first time attending to my service hours. As part of my EDU 1400 class (Study of Disabilities) I am required to complete 15 service hours with disabled people. I have the amazing opportunity to work at Granite Peaks Community Ed every Wednesday night in Taylorsville. OH. MY. GOSH. I wanted to take these people home with me! As the buses and parents unloaded these sweet people and the building filled with noise and energy, the Spirit was evident throughout that space. They were so stinking excited to get started with their activities! For the first hour, I helped a group "cook" a snack. We made breadsticks, meatballs and dipping sauce. They were the best stirrers, pourers, cutters, and cookers ever! And, boy can they eat!! I love that they don't hold back. They don't concern themselves with image or perception. It tasted good, so they ate that stuff all.gone. The second hour, I assisted with karoake. OH. MY. GOSH. Karoake has never, ever been so fun. They are so out-going and so proud and so happy and so excited. And the songs they chose... KORN, USHER, Sesame Street, Mary Poppins, Mama Mia, Christina Perri, the Bumble Bee song, You are my sunshine... I could NOT get enough of them! They asked me over and over if I would be back next week. My answer: "HECK YES! And the week after that and the week after that and the week after that and the week after that! Oh my goodness they melted my heart and left a lasting impression on me. I can't wait for next week!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Uncle Brandon & Aunt Carrie's Hot Dog Extravaganza

My brother and sister-in-law have an annual hot dog extravaganza. It's pretty much awesome. We go to a super fun parkish forestish mountainish location. The food is great. The company is better. My boys are free to run and play and climb and eat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I posted. That's not because nothing has happened, because at our house There.Is.Always.Something!! For instance: Last week, early in the morning, Colton came running in the house to tell Nana that he shot his slingshot and broke the neighbor's car window. Excellent. That neighbor never liked us anyway. Nana told me that it WAS, indeed, a good shot! Colton is doing well in school this year, thanks to the BEST teacher in the world. For real. Kaydon had her last year and she is amazing. Colton and Kaydon are loving soccer and their new scout troops. Kaydon is liking fifth grade. He gets to be on the security detail, which is rad beyond words. They are both amazing at wearing their glasses, even though Colton's already broke in half. Rad. Luckily, I had a warranty and they were replaced for free. Colton is doing well in therapy and the new medications are helping SO much! Braxton has had a tough, tough adjustment to Junior High. I've said it before and I'll say it again... 6th graders do not belong in Junior High. He is doing better. He loves baseball and loves his team. He passed the Sacrament for the first time last Sunday and did awesome! Jackson prepared the Sacrament for the first time last week. He also did awesome. Jacks is really missing football this year. He will be back at it next year. Jackson gets his braces off in a month or so, fingers crossed! I decided to chop my hair off. It hasn't been good. I cried for hours, which is SO not like me. I have never cared that much about my hair. For some reason, it was like the world came to an end for me. School is going well for me. I begin my service hours tonight for my Studies of Disabilities class. I am really excited about that! I am really enjoying my classes this semester. I have been reading my Patriarchal blessing nightly. It's amazing to me how the meaning of it changes for me as I get older. I have gained such a testimony of the Priesthood and these blessings over the last week. There is NO doubt that Heavenly Father has a plan for ME and for YOU and that He really does have it all under control. I continue to workout three-four times a week for my physical "strong and fit" and I read the scriptures daily and watch Mormon messages at night for my spiritual "strong and fit." School keeps me on my toes for my mental "strong and fit." It's been a great goal for our family to strive for so far this school year.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Braxton starts Baseball

Brax Man started his baseball season last night. He has never played baseball before. He struck out swinging and then walked with an RBI. I was so proud of him! He never backed down. He had some great swings. He played left field and right field and was a great teammate! I love being out at the ball field. I love watching my boys play soccer and football, too. Don't get me wrong, I love watching them do whatever they love doing. But there is something about being at the baseball field that just makes me so happy, at home, calm, at peace, comforted. It's how I grew up. It's my comfort zone. I love it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August Service Project

Our August service project was an experience that I've had before, one that I've never forgotten. Brooklyn and I were at Walmart. I don't even remember what we were getting... pajamas I think. We were in line, which if you've been at Walmart you know can be quite the experience. Brooklyn was in the cart, but she was begging for every.single.item. her little eyes could focus on in that line. I was tired. The lady in front of us looked to be about the same age as me. She had four kids, a baby who was in the cart, two little boys who were crawling all over the floor, and a little girl who appeared to be about 9 or 10. I could see so much adult in that little girls eyes. She seemed to really be her mom's helper, someone who had a lot of responsibility to help her mom. The mom looked drained... not physically so much as emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. The cart was full of items such as hot dogs, top ramen, cup of noodles, pasta, baby food, and milk. There was nothing of any substance. It was all cheap food, enough to fill the kiddos bellies. When the cashier gave her the total, with all of the food already in her cart, she tried five or six different credit cards. Every single one of them was declined. The line was long behind us. It was a Saturday. Her kids were tired and hungry. She said to the cashier that she was sure that she got just the amount that would fit on her credit card, then asked if she could take some of it back so that she could get something. I quietly told the cashier to leave it all in the cart, to let her go and I would pay for it. He asked if I was serious. Of course I was serious! I've been in that position! More than once! Trying to separate my groceries amongst all of my nearly maxed out credit cards! It happens like monthly to me! It just so happened that on this day, at that time, I had enough for my few items and her food. She looked at me and said, "No! How will I pay you back?" I told her that she wouldn't. I asked her to go home and feed her children. She just stood there, not moving. "How will I pay you back?" I repeated, "You won't. And that's okay." She didn't leave the store. She explained to her daughter what had happened and then appeared to be waiting for me. Brooklyn and I rushed out of the store after I paid. She might have felt blessed. She might have felt the Lord's hand in her life at that very moment, but not more than I did... guaranteed. She might have known for that moment that she was a daughter of a knowing and loving Heavenly Father, but I knew that too. I was put in that situation at that moment, that VERY second, so that I could be an instrument in His hands, and I was honored. **** About three years ago, at the same Walmart, I was feeding my kids at the McDonalds in the front of the store. I am a people watcher, FYI. Like cannot get enough of people! I was watching people in the lines and couldn't take my eyes off of a mother and son in the first line. She had pressure stockings on her arms, hands, and legs and had visible burns on her face and neck. The little boy had the exact same pressure stockings on various parts of his body. They had two carts worth of food. It was taking her a long time to put each item on the conveyer belt. It was clearly painful for her. The line behind her was like 10 people deep, I swear. At the end of the check-out I could tell by her actions and the actions of the cashier that there was a problem. Soon, the check-out line was blinking for a manager. I walked up to the cashier and asked what the problem was. She explained that the girl had left her debit card/credit card/form of payment at home. I handed her my debit card for the $300 groceries. That was all I had on my debit card for the month for groceries, gas, kids hair cuts, insurance, bills, you name it. I didn't think twice. I paid for her groceries and walked away and sat back down with my children. I have never forgotten that feeling! That day! The look on her face! I'm sure that she forgot about it after a day or so, but I never forgot about it. I have felt so immensely blessed that I had that opportunity and that I TOOK it! How many times are we in a position to be HIS hands, and we don't take it. I feel so lucky! *** I have no doubt that when we serve His children, we are taken care of. I don't remember what happened that month after my money was gone, but obviously we were taken care of. The feelings that we can have when we directly serve His children is incredible, like no other feeling!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Boys Ordination

How cool is it that two of my boys were ordained on Sunday? Jackson was ordained to the office of Teacher. Braxton received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained to the office of Deacon. These boys are great kids! They are so fun and so funny. Uncle Brandon ordained Braxton and Bob Baird ordained Jackson. Josh, Aunt Carrie, Nana and I were there. It was fantastic! After church, the two of them went and did their fast offerings. Then they came by the house to make Josh drive them back to the church. I really love these boys and I know that they know the importance of the Priesthood.