Tuesday, December 07, 2010


This is a test. Of the emergency blogging system. If this post does not publish, I may have to give up on blogging all together! And resort to morse code. So if you live within a mile-ish radius of me, charge the walkie talkies, folks, I'm going old school! Unless this actually publishes. And if it does, I say you should ALL leave me super excited comments so I can continue blogging. Just like the whole clapping-so-Tinkerbell-will-live thing that happened in Peter Pan. Right?

*Insert pause while everyone is confused*

In other news, one of my sweet seminary students said today she would marry the Simster so that I could be her mother-in-law. Because I would be awesome. That touches my heart - and I would love to have her as my daughter-in-law, love to have pretty much any of them related to me. The whole 10-12 year age difference seems to be the only problem... hmm....

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 6

We went to a baptism this evening. For a mother and her son. And it made me think about the many blessings I have that are related to that ordinance. So today, I'm thankful I was baptized by immersion for the remission of my sins and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I was baptized by my dad when I was eight years old. I specifically remember being baptized on a Friday night because there was a BYU/Air Force football game on Saturday that - ahem - some of the parents/families involved wanted to attend (and I'm pretty sure we won, too). To be honest, I don't remember a ton about that day. I remember the two boys baptized the same day. I remember my grandma and aunt and uncle came to Colorado to join us. I remember the normal chill of the November evening. I remember a sweet sister who did my hair a little fancier than usual. I remember being more nervous that my dad would slip than nervous about me falling or not going under or anything. I remember walking into the water and being baptized. The water was actually pretty warm and when I came up out of it, I remember thinking, "Wow, I really don't feel that much different. Maybe I didn't have as many sins as I thought..." :) I guess I had expected a brand new person to take over my body. A sinless perfect one. But even though I was still me, I could feel warmth and peace. A confirmation that not only was my earthly family pleased to be there and witness my baptism, but my Heavenly Family was too.

Funny that I don't remember all of what happened. It's not that important, actually. I mean, I needed to be baptized to be cleansed from sin and to make my first covenant with Heavenly Father, but the day itself isn't that important. What I think is important is that I continue to remember and keep that covenant I made. That I would follow Jesus Christ and live as His disciple. My baptism symbolized a step in that direction. My path was now centered on Him.

I am grateful for that decision I made as an eight year old. Some might argue that I didn't know what I was doing at that age. Well, I definitely didn't know then what I know now. But because of goodly parents and teachers, I knew I wanted to follow Jesus. To be like Him. And remembering that day and the promises I made reminds me of who I am and where I am going and where I want to be. Remembering that day reminds me to try to raise my children with kindness. It reminds me that I need to forgive when I've been offended. It reminds me I need to ask for forgiveness when I've been stupid (which is pretty much all the time). It reminds me that even though I make mistakes and sin, repentance allows me to again be clean. Like I was that day.

(I recently found this picture of me with my parents after my baptism. And no, I didn't have really short hair. I just had my hair back in a ponytail thingy. And it was fancy.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 5

Thankful Thought for today: I am grateful (and super excited!) that my husband's awesome haiku WON his company's contest!

Another one of DH's super cool talents - who knew he was a rap/haiku artist? The winning entry out of 400 (about a Mobile Medication Cart the company is debuting):

Meds on the go, yo
Nurses love it, fo' sho'
Patients be chillin'

Nice, huh? Now he is going to be the proud owner of a brand new iPAD!!! When he entered the contest over a month ago, he told me if he won, he would give me the iPad. Because I adore all things Apple. And because he's sweet like that. Of course, I kind of thought it was a long shot to win, so I agreed. And then I teased him all month about "my" iPad. Don't worry about getting me a birthday present because I'll just wait for my iPad. It will be nice when I'm watching movies on my iPad. Etc.

So now that he won? He is still 100% planning on giving it to me. He says he will take my iPod touch (which I have definitely loved) and I can have the iPad. But I am feeling a little bit guilty... he's the one with the wondermous haiku. He's the one who is overworked and stressed (at times) and puts many many hours into this company. So really, it should be his. Not saying I wouldn't enjoy being the owner of it. Maybe we can just share it.

We'll have to see how this all pans out when mister iPad arrives. I'll keep you posted... :)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 4

(Please note: Blogger is doing something weird. My posts aren't publishing right away. It's kind of possessed. Hopefully it will straighten out so you'll see one post a day for all my thankful thoughts)

Because she turns 8 months old today (!) and I'm thinking about her, today I am grateful for the Buggs.

Everyone of my children is a delight. And each one brings a unique spirit, individual strengths and new challenges (at times) to our family. The more children I have, and the more I see how different their personalities/spirits are, the more I come to understand my Heavenly Father. So many children in earth's past, present, and future. All of them unique. But He still loves each one of us!

So the Buggs. Overall, she has been a great baby. My first one to sleep through the night on her own. The youngest to roll over, crawl, sit up, stand up, cruise, and probably walk (not quite there yet). My only thumb-sucker. At just after seven months, she popped out two teeth (the other kids have been 9+ months before getting teeth). She is extremely tolerant. I guess she has to be, because there's so much - ahem - LOVE for her from her siblings! Sometimes I catch both Sim and PJ basically laying on top of her and she's not making a peep. Just squirming and looking at them like "Umm... I love you too, can you please get off of me now?"

Eight months seems just too big already. I keep reminding myself to take those moments to just breathe in her babyness because it will be gone before I know it! I love to watch her wait for her daddy and then kick her legs in excitement when he smiles at her and picks her up. She's just what our family needs, she fills an important spot, and we love her!

And today, I'm thankful Heavenly Father entrusted her to me!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 3

Today I'm thankful for a reliable vehicle. Seems a bit silly, right, but for this soccer mom, it's a necessity. Especially since our little subdivision is right off of a busy highway and I can't easily walk/bike to anything.

Thank you Eisbär, my fantabulous swagger wagon, for taking me everywhere today...
  • to the school so the three youngers and I could eat lunch with the Bubbs
  • to my friend C's house where her very nice husband watched her two kids and my three while we went...
  • to get a massage 30 minutes away (yay!)
  • then back to grab a delicious burger and
  • then back to drop her off and pick up my kids
  • then home to my house
  • and out again after the Bubbs got home so we could take all four kids BACK to the school to pick up her fundraising stuff
  • and back home again
That's just today. Tomorrow I'll drive to and from ballet. Friday I'll drive Delfin (our other reliable vehicle) to and from seminary inservice, to the grocery store, to the high school football game. Saturday Eisbär will be headed to the church for a Super Saturday and a baptism. And that's probably not all :)

And looking ahead? He better train for this one, because in December, he'll be taking us to Nauvoo where we're going to spend Christmas with DH's family!

Such a blessing, our reliable vehicles. Maintenance can be a chore, it can be costly, but pretty much everyday Eisbär or Delfin gets us where we need to go. And I'm grateful!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 2

Today I am thankful for special times I spend with my family. I'm sure multiple posts this month will be related to my family. Because they are pretty much my life! And they are amazing!

But I digress. Specifically, I'm thinking about times where we should be working, cleaning our house, working on the yard, generally doing other stuff, but we don't. We go and enjoy ourselves as a family. And in with the mayhem of getting everyone ready, packing a diaper bag full of essentials + everything needed in case of disaster, finding the lost shoes and socks, doing PJ's hair for the 10th time because she loves to undo it faster than I can do it, buckling car seats, passing out water, etc - - - we eventually make it where we're going. And it's just nice. To be together, making memories, enjoying the good company of friends and other families, laughing more and (hopefully) grumping less. I know sometimes we overdo it and overschedule, but in general, the balance is good, and it makes times out and away even better.

(PS - Happy Belated Halloween! Don't you love our trunk or treatin' Star Wars family? Complete with Princess Jasmine/Amidala, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Leia, and Yoda. Fun times!)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thankful Thoughts, Day 1

So I haven't blogged for.ev.er, but November is giving me a chance to get back into it! Like many other people who blog, in honor of this month of Thanksgiving, I am going to share something I am grateful for each day. These will really be in no particular order, but they are all things that bless my life, and help me recognize and honor Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love him!

Thankful Thoughts, Day 1

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. And a Heavenly Father who loved us enough to give us the opportunity to be tested, tried, and to grow in ways we could only do on this Earth. He loves us so entirely He also provided a Savior to be our example, to suffer and atone for our sins, and die for us to provide a way for us to make it back.

Jesus Christ is my Redeemer, He is my advocate with the Father (see D&C 32:3). He not only went through indescribable pain to pay for my sins, He also suffered for my pains, sicknesses, and deepest sorrows. The sorrows that even with an amazingly awesome family, can't be understood by anyone but Him (see Isaiah 53:4-5). I know He knows. I have felt Him send the comforting Spirit. I have felt the Spirit whisper of soft encouragement in my struggles and in my weaknesses.

Last week I had an extremely hard few days. Have you ever had something said to you that hurt you and part of the reason it hurt so much was because at least some of it was true? That's what happened last week. Something was said (actually written) to me and it hurt me deeply. After a little discussion, the person in question assured me she wasn't intending to make me feel sad or upset. She just thought I needed to know.

After a good cry, it was clear to me that I can always do better. Be a better person. I fail in so many ways. I am imperfect. Pretty much the most imperfect person I know. This one of the main reasons I need my Savior. Because if I was perfect, I wouldn't need to rely on Him and His atoning sacrifice and His grace and His ability to succor me in my weakness and trials. BUT with Him, not only can I feel a renewed desire to be better, I can also understand that even though sometimes I'm not giving my 150%, I am usually hovering between 80-90%. (yeah, okay, edited now to say probably more like hovering around 40-50%. Maybe I was a bit too generous with my self-evaluation...:) And the advice I feel from Him? Sometimes I need to be more gentle with myself and satisfied with the 40%. My best isn't good enough, but my best (and even my not-so-best) can be good enough WITH Him. Because He makes all the difference.

So so grateful for my Savior.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wow. I mean, really, wow.

So... I have a tendency to check a few news websites in the mornings. Because I can. Because I have the internet. Because I like to have a general idea of what is happening outside our little family/home, church, school, friends, neighborhood, city, metro area, country bubble.

Today there was a headline "Fisher-Price Recalls More Than 10 Million Items". Um, say what?! Excuse me?! Everyone who has children between the ages of birth-8 probably has a plethora of Fisher Price items! Ahh! My children are going to DIE! So I need to see what the recall is, right? I went to the company's recall page to find out what is going on.

OH NO! Our little Fisher Price tricycle thingy has been recalled!!! What's wrong with it? Is it going to spontaneously combust? Does it have lead paint? Are the wheels going to malfunction and eat up my child's foot? Horrible images are flashing in my mind... I read on...

It turns out that they are being recalled (voluntarily) because of the key. The little key thingy shown in the insert above. It protrudes a bit from the bike and allows the kids to feel like they're putting a key in the ignition and driving away. My kids enjoy it. It's a nice feature. So what's the problem? Apparently, there have been reports of children falling on the keys. And getting hurt. Actually some reports (a whole 6) of genital bleeding from falling on the key. Ouch.

But okay, wow. Is it just me or is this getting a bit ridiculous? I mean, I am the first one to tell you I want my children to be safe. To never ever ever get hurt. Ever. Never. I can be a big bad mama bear on this. But it's not always realistic. And yes, I want the products I purchase for my children to be safe for them. But at the same time, as a parent and a consumer, I am perfectly capable of looking at a toy and thinking, "How could my child injure his/herself on this? Is it worth taking a risk?" Then I try to be involved in being near them as they're playing so I can kiss the boo boos when they happen. And I know they could fall on that key-thingy but I'm not too worried about letting them ride the tricycle. Even if the recall page says to "immediately place the trike out of the child's reach" and order a replacement kit to fix it.

So, am I wrong to think this is a bit silly? I assume the company is trying to avoid lawsuits, right? But where is the line drawn? How much responsibility do companies need to take when it comes to accidents happening with their products? I am pretty sure I played with rusty nails as a child. Sometimes. Because we were playing sardines and I was trying to hide on the top of the roof of our little barn/garage thingy at the back of the house and there were some nails by the fence I was climbing up to use to get on the roof. To play sardines. And technically I turned out okay. You know? But I digress. Products aren't perfect because people aren't perfect. Accidents happen. We all mess up. Just like doctors aren't perfect even though they try to be and probably are pretty perfect 98% of the time. And their malpractice insurance is astronomically high. So the costs are passed on to us and it's astronomically high for us to get care.

Funny how a little Barbie trike turns into me on a soapbox about health care... :) All I know is, sometimes life is not fair. And it doesn't make a bit of sense. Bad things happen to amazing people, and good things happen to less-than-stellar people. Good thing this life isn't the end. It will all be worked out. Our loving Father in Heaven is full of WISDOM, and it will all be worked out. The End.

(Stay tuned... the Bubbs had a birthday, we have a new arrival in the family to blog about, my baby brother's getting home from his mission today - yay! - seminary is just amazing, and baby T is trying to walk or something! Never a dull moment! Well, actually, some of the moments are kind of dull. But we're too busy to remember when the dull moments happened. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have a really fantastic husband. Really, I do. I definitely don't usually deserve him...he's always doing the little things to show he loves me. Like taking off a few hours of work so I can sleep when I'm sick. Or tidying up the kitchen at night so that I don't have to do it in the morning before seminary. Or watching kids while I have a girls night out or go to Time Out for Women. Or tucking me in and telling me to sleep when he's just as exhausted as I am. He really does stuff like this all the time for me.

Like yesterday. My power cable to my laptop broke. There was a short in the wire or something. I adore my Mac Book, but the proprietary-ness of Apple meant that a new one was 30 minutes and $80 away. And my life is sort of on my laptop. Work, seminary, kid stuff, financial stuff, etc. The hassle of using a backup and/or a different computer made me grumpy. In the morning, I used a netbook of his for work, but it was far from ideal.

So in his sweetness, DH took my power cable, did some google-ing, found some info, took the cable apart, put the wires back together, and reassembled the whole thing. And doing all of this meant he came to bed after 1am. It's not pretty :) but it IS very functional. He saw my need (well, mostly my selfish desire to have my computer) and he filled it. Selflessly. Just because he does that kind of thing.

I blog about this because it's ME that needs that reminder. So I'll remember to appreciate stuff he does even when sometimes he's doing other things I'm not a big fan of... :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baby T Update

So... it's Sunday. And I'm home from church. Because the kiddos are sick. The worst part? They're not THAT sick. They have enough energy to run around, fight, yell, umm.. fight, run around, etc. But they are sick enough that I didn't feel comfortable sending their germs into primary and nursery and giving those germs to all the other children. That would not be very fair. And I couldn't foresee having to keep them with me through all of the meetings. So long story shorter... we're at home. Perfect time to blog about the Buggs.

Can't believe it, but she's already SIX months old!!
Some milestones she's reached:
  • She started eating baby food a few weeks ago and took to it like a fish takes to water. Seriously! She scarfs it all down, prefers to have her veggies mixed in with her fruits (who wouldn't?) and stares longingly at our food when we eat. It's probably just a matter of time before she's eating what we're having.
  • She is a CrAzY mover! She started rolling just after three months, starting crawling right at five months, and now she's already pushing her legs to a standing position while she's crawling and she's pulling herself up on some of the furniture. I blink and she's already on the other side of the room. My hypothesis, since my kids haven't usually been fast movers: she's trying to get away from the Buns. 'Cause the Buns likes to sit on her. And grab her. And kick her. And sit on her. I would want to walk too, if I were the Buggs. And then run away :)
  • She is... a THUMB SUCKER! What?! Where did this come from?! I have always been kinda proud of the fact that my kids have all just taken a pacifier and have given it up at 12 months and had no problem with it. So that's what I get. I have a little thumb sucker.
I have been trying to dissuade her. I have. I take out her thumb and replace it with the binky. Yeah, take that! BUT - before I know it, the binky is out and the thumb is in. Especially for naps and bedtime. I'm pretty sure she waits until I've left the room and then emphatically tosses out the binky and sticks in that thumb. I won't worry, though, since the paper I got from the doctor says "Thumb-sucking peaks at around seven months, and most children stop between 9-12 months". So that's my plan. It will work, right? Plus I guess it's kind of cute.

Stats? She's 15.5 pounds (35th percentile), and 26in (50th percentile). And overall, a pretty happy, good kid. We couldn't imagine life without her! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Letter

Dear Some-Random-Sickness,

I don't care if you're a virus or a sinus infection or an ear infection or the flu. Just please go away. Puh-lease! Pretty please with a cherry on top? I'm not too proud to beg either. Really. Getting up at 4am for seminary has already been doing some kicking of my trash, I really don't need you to join in.

Thank you. I would write more but now I am going to try medicating myself and go climb back into bed. I think I am going to hire a babysitter so I can sleep. And FYI, I'll be sending you the bill. I think you at least owe me that much.

Miserably Yours,


Monday, August 30, 2010

Transition Complete!

We had whirlwind week trying to get ready for seminary to start. We looked at paint colors, bought sample paint, painted splotches, didn't like the splotches, bought new paint, decided on final colors, moved the couches and reorganized the formal living room, bought more paint, painted and painted and painted, moved the TV above the fireplace and DH took care of mostly hiding all the cables, we put up a large tile board (to write on) and sheet metal to use for putting up things with magnets. We picked out and hung curtains, put together a little "teacher's desk/podium" for me to use, put up pictures, spot-cleaned the carpet, and set up chairs.

Whew! All of that would have been much easier without DH working a 40+ hour week and our four children traipsing in and out and around. We also didn't get much work time in the evenings - on Tuesday we went to the state fair, Wednesday we watched some friends' kids, Thursday we got to go to the temple to watch some friends be sealed to each other for time and eternity, Saturday we had the missionaries over for dinner... We ended up doing a lot between 9pm and 2am. And we're definitely not done - next up, fixing up the downstairs/powder bathroom. Here are the pics...




The pictures don't really do it justice. I really love the colors we ended up with and I think it's looking great!

AND this morning was my first day of teaching! It was nerve-wracking; I could barely sleep because I was anxious and excited. I think it went pretty well. I had 25 students and all of them stayed awake and most of them even laughed at my jokes. :) I of course keep thinking about how I could have done a better job for the first day, but hopefully I will get more comfortable as the days go by. And just keep praying they keep coming back!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little lost...

It's a Wednesday evening. And I am at home. I'm feeling a little lost because for pretty much the past two and a half years, I have spent Wednesday evenings at Young Women (youth group at my Church). On Sunday I was released from my calling as YW President. It has been a little harder than I thought it would be. I have spent almost every waking moment (and some sleeping ones too!) these last 2+ years thinking about these precious girls. Daughters of a Heavenly Father, who loves them. Girls who are striving so hard to live righteously and morally in a crazy world. I have LOVED attending activities, teaching lessons, going to baptisms at the temple with them, chaperoning dances, going to Girls Camp, attending their various activities, crying with them, laughing with them, praying for them, worrying about them, watching them love and take care of each other, basking in the light of their testimonies, and just thanking my Heavenly Father for the blessing it is to have this calling. I will so so so so so so miss them!!! But I know it is time to move on and I know the new president (one of my sweet friends) will do amazing things and help the girls grow in new ways.

My ultimate goal is for my sweet YW to remember two things about me: 1 - that I have a strong testimony of my Savior and of the gospel and 2 - that I LOVE every single one of them individually, that I recognize their individual talents and trials and care deeply about them. I hope I have accomplished these two things!

Here's a tribute to my girls -

And I intentionally picked "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" because before I was released, I was actually given a new calling....

Early Morning Seminary Teacher!!!

I am SOOOOOOOO excited! I have been aspiring to this calling for pretty much ever - I love love teaching and I love love teenagers (Yep, I'm crazy) So I really have the best of both worlds - getting released as YW President but I still get to see most of my awesome girls! EVERY morning! At 5:45am! With lots of exclamation marks! :)

Seminary will be at our house, and there are 24-30 students, so DH and I have been diligently fixing up the living room as a classroom. I'll have to post the finished product!

Change is good. Waving goodbye but saying hello!

Oh yeah...

... with the craziness of the first day of school, we almost forgot about our
8 year anniversary!!

Holy cow, eight years ago I could not have imagined what life would be like today. To be honest, I definitely wouldn't have thought I would have four children with one entering Kindergarten! Although marriage is definitely an adjustment, recognizing differences and accepting changes and compromising, it's the best decision I ever made. To be sealed for eternity to my fantabulous, adorable husband :) He deserves an award for putting up with me... but we celebrated by going to the
North Texas State Fair!
One of my young women was in the Miss Teen North Texas State Fair pageant and we decided to go to support her. Of course, the fair wouldn't be complete without the livestock, rodeo, overpriced food, and kiddie rides. The kids had a blast, it was a perfect Texas evening after the rain cooled us off, and it was nice to spend our anniversary with the most important people in my life!

The Bubbs was our anniversary photographer... this is take #1...

And take #2. Not bad, huh? I especially love how the Buggs is trying to get my chip. Back away from the nachos, baby. I'm very territorial with my cheesy goodness!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Letter to the Bubbs

Dear Bubbs,

Today I took you to your first day of Kindergarten. You have been nothing but excited for the past few weeks, and today was finally the day! Last night I asked you if you were nervous or scared for the day and you told me you were just excited!!

This morning we got up, ate a yummy oatmeal breakfast, got dressed, watched where the bus will come to pick you up tomorrow morning, did your hair, painted your nails, grabbed your backpack and drove to the school. You walked in so confidently and when we got to your classroom, you dropped off your stuff and let go of my hand and sat down at a little table without looking back. Sitting now with your new classmates. New friends in the making.

I stood to the side and watched for a few minutes, but you didn't look back at me. Even though you can be a little shy, today I saw a sure-of-herself little girl, excitement shining in her eyes and a smile on her face. And my hand felt empty. I know you'll still hold my hand and give me snuggles and let me tickle you for years to come, but this is the beginning. A new adventure for our family. You are the trailblazer but next year Sim will join you. And then PJ. And when you're in 5th grade, we'll even be bringing the Buggs.

I only shed a few tears. I, too, am putting on my excited big girl face today. Because I am confident too. Confident that you will grow this year. That you will make new friends and learn new things. Confident that you will make good choices and begin to understand how to rely on Heavenly Father when your mommy & daddy aren't there. Confident that my Father in Heaven will take care of my baby. You have talents to develop and to share - you love reading and coloring and you have a gentle heart and care about helping others and being a friend. As your momma, I know you'll be an asset to your little Kindergarten class. :)

But princess, my hand still feels empty. And there's a void in our house today. We miss you; is it 2:50pm yet? When it is, I'll be waiting for you - ready to hear EVERYTHING about the day and to put that hand of yours right back where it belongs. In mine.

Love always and forever,

PS - had to include this picture. Totally the kind of mom to try to butter up the teacher. Yep, that'd be me. Yep, it's filled with chocolate dipped fortune cookies. Yep, I'm pretty much awesome :) (But most of the thanks goes to the eighteen25 blog for the great idea!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Two-hugemungous-bottlenecking-semis,

I need to apologize to you. I was sitting there waiting for one of you to pass the other so that I could start exceeding the speed limit again. I was running slightly late and was really interested in going 75mph not like 60ish mph. Please forgive me for sending grumpy thoughts at you and debating whether or not I needed to call your posted "Tell Me How I'm Driving!" toll free number. I hope you'll excuse the eye-rolling and muttered "Get off the freeway!" comments. I truly was in the wrong.

Because I need to thank you for blocking my speed demon-ness this morning. Thanks to you, I pulled through the speed trap on I-35 cruising at a measly 63mph. Those state troopers drooling while they waited for some poor (non-law-abiding) citizen to zoom through had nothing on me. And I definitely was not in the mood for a ticket. And I owe it all to you! As a token of my appreciation, feel free to drop by for dinner anytime you're in the area.



(PS - Baby T had her four-month well-child check today - hence the lateness and the speeding. And the four kids at the doctor. But that's another story. Stats - height: 25 inches (75%); weight: 13lbs 2oz (25%); head circumference: 40.75 cm (50%). Everything's looking good!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Girls Camp begins in 31 hours. Wow.

But although I should be packing, planning, making lists and checking them twice, I am kind of in a daze. My sweet Grandma is in the hospital (a surprise to all) and she's almost definitely not going to make it. And I am so sad and a little bit in shock. I didn't think it would be that hard. In fact, she's almost 95 so really, I've been kind of preparing for this for, well, pretty much my whole life. But now I don't feel ready. There are many things I wish I would have said or done in the past few weeks but now don't have the chance. I've always felt so close to her and I selfishly do not want her to be gone. Not yet. But I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of life after death and that families can be together forever. We will see her again, of this I am certain. It brings me peace.

Like my sister, I plan to post some memories and tributes, but can't bring myself to do it right now.

But until then - you can see the video of Grandma and the Buggs. I keep watching it over and over because it's so precious to me.

Or read my mother's day tribute that includes her.

See her with me and the three older kiddos.

This is Grandma with her namesake (PJ's middle name is Grandma's name)

Here's one of my last pictures of her. Oh, how she's loved my babies! And how they've loved her...

Love you Grandma! With all my heart!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scripture Reading...

This is the post in which I tout the greatness of reading the scriptures. I am definitely a fan. The scriptures are my daily dose of eternal reality. When I am caught up in the demands of life, they help me build my foundation on Jesus Christ, inspire me to improve myself and resist temptation, and give me the motivation I need to keep going on those days that are extra hard.

I have NEVER been a fan of electronic scripture reading. Like a technological eternity ag0 (2002), my DH (boyfriend at the time) purchased a Handspring Visor for me. He put the scriptures on it. I never, well hardly ever, used it for the scriptures. If I'm being honest, I was annoyed when the men other members would bring their "PDAs" and look up scriptures on them in Sunday School. I mean, how can you enjoy reading on that little screen when you can have the real thing in front of you, the crisp pages, the highlighting colored pencils, writing notes in the margins... I just didn't get it.

Fast-forward to 2009. I downgraded my cell phone and bought an iPod Touch. Which I adore. I love all my music on there, my organizer apps (to-do lists, calendaring, grocery lists, contacts, etc), a few games, a few that keep the kids entertained. Maybe someday I'll post my personal top 10 list of iPod apps. And then, I went ahead and bought this...

It's not free (and actually, the LDS Church now offers an official free LDS scriptures app that isn't too shabby). But I'm going to stick to this one because it's what I already have notes in and what I know. I didn't start using it right away. In fact, I didn't start using it on a regular basis until March 15. That's when I started reading the Book of Mormon again as part of working on my Personal Progress, Virtue value project. I made a goal to complete the entire book by the end of Girls Camp on June 23. Enter this scripture app. Wow! I LOVE it! Here are the reasons why:
  1. I can read, highlight, make notes, cross-reference stuff ONE-HANDED. Which means I can read while I'm taking care of Baby T! Total breakthrough! Totally using my nursing time much more efficiently.
  2. It has some great highlighting options. I can highlight text, change the appearance of the text (text color, bold, underline, italics). There are a bunch of different color combinations and I can have my own system for highlighting.
  3. It has a great note-taking feature. You just click on the verse and you can type in a personal note. Then the notes can use different icons and different colors as well.
  4. It has a great bookmarking system where I can create folders and save verses in those folders. For example, when I'm praying about and preparing a lesson or talk, I can create a folder and then save a verse in the folder as I'm searching so that I can go back later to put it all together.
  5. It also has a personalizing tagging system. You can assign a tag to a verse or chapter. Right now, as I work on personal progress, when I'm reading scriptures that go along with a certain value experience, I can tag that verse with the name of the value.
  6. There's a lot of material (scriptures, manuals, resources) available and I can cross-reference sections in a resource or manual to scriptures as I wish. Or create a bookmark from a section/quote I really like from a manual.
  7. I can get more content from the website or make my own content and send it to my iPod (like for lessons or talks). I haven't done this much because it already has so much I don't need a ton more. But it's a nice feature! I can also backup my data (highlighting, notes, tags, etc) to the website.
  8. I can email myself my bookmarks. If a choose a bookmark folder and email it, it will come as an htm file that I can open and it includes all my highlighting and notes!
  9. Search feature is intuitive and works quickly and well when I'm trying to find something specific.
  10. It is portable! Now when I'm in a waiting room at a doctor's office, instead of picking up a magazine to read, I find myself reading my scriptures! If I can't fall asleep in bed at night, I can read on my iPod without turning on the lights and bugging DH.
So it totally works for me. Of course, some of these features are found on the official LDS scripture app, so I strongly encourage you to try that one first. But this is working for me. I still use my scriptures and I take them to church and enjoy using them, but on a day-to-day basis, I find myself using my iPod scriptures more and more. Portable and uplifting, it's a win-win!

(PS - No one paid me to write this review. And no one gave me anything for free for doing this. I just really like my scriptures and my iPod. The End. Thanks.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Random. I mean, really random. Really.

So... I've never been a HUGE runner. I mean, I never really loved it as a kid, but I never really hated it either. I think my best mile run time in high school was just around 8 minutes. But - I've picked up running here and there and then something usually got in the way (read: being pregnant) and I would stop. And now, I'm at it again. And I. am. LOVING it! Totally my drug of choice, my natural high. I'm working up to it, but I've done 2 miles each day this week. I need to find someone to run a 5K with around here so I'll actually have more of a goal. Though I do think I'll take my rest day tomorrow and do some strength training...

In other news, I am enjoying summer foods already. I made Avocado & Peach Coladas the other day (picture courtesy of Gourmet Mom On The Go) - holy yumminess batman and my kids had NO idea the avocado was even in there! DH wouldn't have known either but he saw me put it in the blender... And yesterday for lunch? A Strawberry Spinach Salad that was to DIE for! So so tasty! And today I'm making a Fruit Pizza to take to a baby shower. I'm in food heaven...

In other news, the Buggs is growing like crazy! My other kids never rolled over until almost five months (or later). Well, the Buggs is not even three months and she's rolling (back to front) and totally trying to sit up all the time. Theory about the rolling over? Trying to get away from her overattentive siblings...

In other news, the Buns is in the beginning stages of potty training. 'Nuff said. Please pray for me.

In other news, Girls Camp countdown - 25 days! We took a long day trip to see the camp this week. (My four kids were angels! Three hours there, three hours back and they barely complained! What a blessing!) The location is gorgeous and we are right on the lake. Swimming is a minute away, showers a minute away, hiking and fishing five minutes away. I'm getting soo excited and hope the girls have a wonderful time and come back with more love for their Savior and each other!

In other news, I really need to get back to my pre-pregnancy size. I gained 40 lbs with the Buggs. And I've lost 33 of those lbs, but I still can't fit into most of my pre-prego capris and shorts. And we're in 90 degree Texas weather, people. I can't be wandering around in jeans!

In other news, I am in the process of getting my Texas teaching credentials. No big plans on the horizon to start teaching again, but we'd like to have the option available.

In other news, I went to a friend's open house this week. She is selling cute cute flowers, headbands, bows and more. I came home with a stash and my girls are loving it!

In other news, my house is kind of a mess. Just thought I would share. That's on my list of things to accomplish today. I also thought I'd throw that in so that if you live near me, you won't wonder why I don't answer the door if you come by today...

In other news, even if I don't have a pretty house, I have sort of pretty feet. Well, foot. Thank you Bubbs for the priceless photo.

In other news, I am totally famous. Thank you Serene :) You should check out her blog. Adorable children, funniness, and many mentions of chocolate. Can it get any better?

In other news, I am supposed to be leaving my house in 10 minutes and I still need to blow dry my hair. Yikes! Signing off...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Things I'm thinking about right now that make me happy:
  1. That I got a chance to teach early-morning seminary last week (I aspire to that calling - hint hint bishop!)
  2. My calling serving in YW - what wonderful girls and great leaders to work with!
  3. Catching DH strumming his guitar in his office
  4. Watching PJ lovingly take care of her baby just like I take care of the Buggs (and just FYI, if you see her hitting and throwing her baby, I promise I don't do that to the Buggs! :)
  5. Listening to the Bubbs say her personal prayers in her bed at night
  6. Teaching my last day of co-op preschool last week
  7. Surviving a trip to the zoo with all four kids. And really enjoying it - great friends, great company, good kids... Just wasn't loving the humidity and the sweat!
  8. Watching my kids play with their cousins
  9. The Buggs sleeping seven hours last night! Straight through! Once we confirmed she wasn't dead, it was a.maze.ing!
  10. Diet Caffeine-free Dr. Pepper. My almost guilt-free guilty pleasure :)
  11. Watching my kids help daddy make homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner
  12. Chicken Salad on rolls. Yummmm....
  13. Pool preK graduation party. Swimming will be crazy this summer with four kids, but you gotta love mornings at the pool
  14. Scripture reading on my iPod (totally needs it's very own post. That's how much I love it!)
  15. Laughing at the funny things Simster says. The first thing he told daddy about the zoo? "We saw lion poop!" (Yes, only my kids, I know. We are rather open about bodily functions around here. Thank you DH...)
  16. Going to see a play tomorrow night that a YW is in
  17. Fruit smoothies or ice cream while watching Sue Thomas FBEye with DH
  18. Two words: Girls Camp!
  19. Enjoying my own funniness. I love laughing at my own jokes. Which is probably good because not many other people do...I'm kind of an acquired taste. Hee hee here I go again
  20. The gorgeous after-storm night outside - 65 degrees and perfect!
This list makes me happy. I have some other not-so-happy things on my mind right now, mostly thinking about some burdens some friends and family are carrying and wishing I could carry their trials for them. At least do more to ease their burdens. Wishing I could fix things because I love them. I will keep praying. Prayers work, even if they aren't answered in our timing. I was reading in Alma 34:39 today about not being led away by the devil and the thought popped into my mind - "Prayer all day keeps the devil away" It will. It truly does keep us closer to our Father in Heaven and allows the Savior to minister to us.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Meeting the 53rd great-grandchild

What a sweet moment - Baby T loves Grandma as much as I do!

Tball through the Eyes of the Bubbs

So Simster is doing modified Tball right now (they call it blastball). It is way cute to watch him, but I'll admit, it's a tad boring. The little boys all get to bat, someone fields it and throws it to first base and then first base throws it home. Rinse and Repeat.

I gave the Bubbs the camera during the last game (our fabulous cousins joined us for this one!) and the photo shoot really says a lot about Tball in the eyes of a five-year-old sister...