Monday, February 28, 2011

Really Sick

On Friday morning, I was surprised to find Abigail and Sophia ready to go while Bella was still laying on the couch in her jammies. LG explained that he told Bella she could stay home from school as she had thrown up minutes before.

"Alright", I said, "but you look fine to me Bella, maybe you should try to go." Bella was having none of that. I let her stay home. She acted fine all day long.

I picked up Abigail after school; Bella was at home with Daddy and wasn't in the car for the conversation. Abigail felt it pressing to explain to me that Bella had succeeded at faking it. I told dad this morning that she did not throw up.

All she did was burp and spit.

As Abigail tattled away, I was thinking to myself that I wished I was a morning person so I could catch these things better. I was also thinking it was o.k. because Bella entertained her baby sister while I went back to bed for a few more zzz's. And this mom can never get enough sleep. So if you don't like how I roll, just pretend I was sick. I can also burp and spit on demand.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My voice

A friend had this video posted on facebook tonight.

It didn't make me want to sing; it made me want to listen.

It made me want to use my voice better as a mother.

No more screaming. Only loving.

No more criticizing. Only encouraging.

No more frustrations. Only moments to embrace.

I am blessed by God to raise four beautiful daughters.

Sometimes I fail miserably, but because of God's grace, I still have a shot every day at being their biggest fan. I get every day to become the kind of mother I want to be.

I hope someday when I am gone, and they are hanging with their children or grandchildren, my girls will have a moment when they say to themselves: "That was the voice of my mother coming out of my own mouth." And I hope whatever they said was something that I would be proud of.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Not so glee

I have this problem.
I can hardly admit it.
It's an addiction that a Mormon doesn't like to talk about.
We try to keep it in the closet as much as possible.

Once in a while it just comes bursting out though.
I need to rid myself of the guilt.
The Glee induced guilt.
It doesn't feel glee.

Yesterday I was sitting watching the show after school.
Hulu is my best friend, ever since Caroline lost our digital converter remote.
The girls gathered around.
I always get nervous about this.
I know I shouldn't let them watch such trash.
This episode was particularly trashy.
I try to justify saying it gives us an open communication
about the evils of today's world.

Well the show was all about under-aged drinking.
Just as the girls gathered around,
the main characters were gathering at a party.
Before I knew it, they were all drinking heavily
and doing stupid things associated with intoxication.

I said, "See kids, this is why Dad and I won't allow you to go to parties where there is drinking."

Later, Bella wandered off for an after school snack.
As she came walking back towards our TV viewing via PC,
she immediately noticed that the characters
had advanced to drinking at school.
Without missing a breathe, she hollars,
"See Mom, this is why you shouldn't allow us to go to school."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My friend Aimee gave the women of our congregation 
a wonderful lesson on Sunday.
It was about the eternal principle of work.
Work is something I have thought a lot about lately. 
Which is funny given this quote I just read.

You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.  ~Author Unknown

Looking at the quotes on the internet today allowed me to hang myself. I am guilty. I admit it. I think too much and work too little. Especially at times when I am under a lot of stress.
Maybe I should say that I eat too much and work too little. That might be more accurate.

I thought that you all may enjoy some of my favorite quotes about work. 

Some people dream of success... 
while others wake up and work hard at it.  ~Author Unknown

Be not afraid of going slowly; 
be afraid only of standing still.  ~Chinese Proverb

Things may come to those who wait, 
but only the things left by those who hustle.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Opportunity is missed by most people 
because it is dressed in overalls 
and looks like work.  ~Thomas Edison

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.  ~Author Unknown

I am also attaching this cool little video. It's inspiring. And let's face it, I need some inspiration so that I can get off this computer, put the oreos away, and get the laundry done.

For those of you not familiar with the Latter Day Saint (Mormon) culture,

watch until the end when this kid goes on his Mormon mission.

Think about what it would be like 
to send your kid off for two years 
knowing you would only be able 
to talk on the phone twice a year.
And tell me that your mom heart doesn't just burst into tears.

Inspiring people of my faith work and sacrifice every day. 
First of all, every position in our charge is filled by lay ministry (for lack of better terms). Nobody gets paid.
Our Bishops (equivalent to Baptist pastors) work full-time jobs, are married and usually have kids, and administrate and shepherd the whole congregation.

We currently have over 50,000 full-time missionaries 
serving 18mo-2year missions all around the world. 
And they work so very hard. 
I know because I was one of them.
We worked every day from 6:30 in the a.m. until 9:30 in the p.m.
The schedule was grueling.
Even on the Sabbath, missionaries didn't get rest from their full-time missionary service.
We would take 8 hours of one day a week to accomplish 
letter writing, grocery buying,  laundry doing, and apartment cleaning.
We were lucky to sneak away an hour or two for actual rest, 
which I would usually try to find some kind of physical challenge. 
I was very happy when I had companions 
who liked to hike or play volleyball or basketball.
I need to rediscover the work ethic I had back then. 

Of course the only picture I have scanned is when I wasn't actually working.
Hey, but at least there are no oreos in the photo.
Even though my vest and white shirt getup is making me obsess over the creme filled centers.

Man, I am stressed out.
It's no wonder why I am avoiding work. I don't want to do it.

I wonder why we could never get this guy to come to church with us. Check out his resemblance to Jesus.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hiking with Maria

This is Maria.

Maria loves to hike.

She also loves our family,
even though she has threatened to never speak to us again
since we are moving to Utah, and leaving her beloved Tennessee.

we called Maria,
so she could take us to one of her favorite local trails.
She said it was kind of steep,
but I convinced her we could do it.
We headed to House Mountain.
Where the only trail condition is steep.
We all wore out our calves packing 30 pound Caroline.

Maria tried really hard to get a nice family photo for us.

I think she did a pretty good job. Given the incompetency of her models.

I am certain we would have quit before getting to the top without Maria's help.
Or one of our kids would have fallen off a cliff.

 Look she got a great shot. If only LG was looking at the camera this would have been the perfect photo to say goodbye to our life in Tennessee.

Even our dog  loves Maria.

Maria said it all would be worth it
when we got to the top.

 I believe she was right.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Really Important Stuff

If your mom tells you that you can only have one treat.
And you really want chocolate AND caramel.
Just buy rolos.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hokey Pokey

Jordan, my brother-in-law is funny. I really really love hanging with him and his wife Meagan. In fact, they are some of my favorite people to hang with. Jordan is one of the only stay at home dad bloggers that I know. Read this recent funny post. He is teaching his kids well. The shirt that Jordan is wearing in the above photo says "I work out every day", and it has a wii controller on it. This shirt goes perfectly with the theme from Jordan's background on his blog: Super Mario.

So, a funny story about my dear Jordan. It is completely inappropriate and that is why he will love this post. Another thing I love about Jordan is that he actually reads my blog; even my own family doesn't do that.

One night a while back we were all sitting around a campfire at my in-laws. We got talking about stuff. I can't even remember how it went. I waited too long to blog it. I think that somehow we got talking about the love life of my mother and father in law. Not in specifics, but just in general fun. I said something about hanky panky.

Jordan then chimes in with, "No, you know they don't call it that when it involves a Virgina Tech grad?" My father in law is a proud Hokie. My mom and dad don't do the hanky panky...they do the Hokey Pokey.

I know I am not doing the real incident justice, and I am sure that Jordan will clarify the details, but all I can say is that I have not laughed that hard in a very long time. I couldn't breathe.

And it's moments like these that bond Jordan and I together. We thrive on impropriety. And really, life would be so boring without people like us.

Oh yeah. This joke went on forever. Put your right hand in. Put your right hand out. Put your whole self in. Put your left hand in. Still laughing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The World Is Just Awesome : Discovery Channel

Do you remember this old post?

Here is another great video about the world that I love.

Why do kids make me so emotional?

I love great teachers. hmm. Maybe I should write a song about it.

Bella and I spent our date night watching Boom De Ya Da videos.

Here is one of our favorites:

Go here to watch all kinds of entertaining videos:

This one is for the guys:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I like Books.

A person who won't read
has no advantage
over one who can't.

~Mark Twain

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm a Tennessee Mormon

So, we're moving back to Utah.
I am experiencing a full spectrum of emotions.
I am sad yet happy.
I am depressed yet hopeful.
I am relieved yet stressed.
I am excited yet contemplative.
I have been planning and organizing yet reflecting and pondering.
No wonder why I just want to stay in bed all day.
My mind and body are exhausted, and I haven't even started cleaning or packing.

We love our home in Knoxville, Tennessee.
We especially love being members of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
in Tennessee.

Our fellow church members are close-knit.
It becomes cliche,
but we really are
One great big family.

We have to stick together.
As we are attacked on all sides.
The other inhabitants of
The Bible belt
actually believe all kinds of falsehoods
about us.
we are very much a refuge
for one another.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Garbage

While in marriage counseling a while back the subject of garbage became a stumbling block. I complained that he knew it was his job and that he never did it. This was my complaint in general. I was begging for my husband to do his part.

Imagine my surprise when LG answered the counselor's question of why he didn't take the garbage out if he knew it was his job. "She always does it first. She never gives me a chance." What?? I felt betrayed. How many times had I run out to the meet the garbage man in my underwear, like my newest favorite blogger? Yes, there were many times that I just went ahead and did it after school the day before so that I wouldn't forget, but there were also many more that I didn't do it all because I hoped he would, and he didn't. In fact, he may have done it once without my reminder. Once in 12 years.

So, marriage counseling became our tool to reveal the truth. The truth was somewhere in the middle. I took the garbage out too much and he didn't enough. Wow. What a revelation.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Loving me

I have learned something about myself.
Most people may have the same problem.

I am a lifelong sufferer of not loving myself.
For many reasons I have never felt worthy of true love.

Lately, I have been getting in touch with the reasons.
Many have validity and many don't.

I have taken these things to my God.
I have come to peace with them.

And I have felt God's loving arms around me.
And He says he loves me.

And now I can say I love me too.
I hope I can love me more.

Friday, February 04, 2011


As many of you know, I have been in an intensive 12 step study.
My class has been specifically for codependence.
Through this class and working the 12 steps, I have personally experienced God's healing hand.
I wish everyone could feel the peace and power that I have.
It has been hard work, but worth every step and every tear.

I wanted to share the first three steps in abbreviation.

1-I can't do this anymore.
2- God can.
3- I think I will let Him.

I have learned that I will be "three-stepping" for the rest of my life. It can be a one step occurrence, but in that one step, we figure out that we can hand ourselves over to God's care. And when we do it, it feels so good that we want to keep doing it. This simple concept actually works. It works miracles.
LG asked me last week how I had become the zen master. He wanted to know what I had done with his wife. I am living in a state of peace. And that's not like me. Not like me at all.

How did I do it? I let God do it for me! For the first time in my life, I learned how to hand my whole self over. The 12 steps taught me how to get past myself. I literally had to take myself out as the boundary between God and me. Taking out the unhealthy Alice gave God the power to emerge a whole new creature. My new creature knows how to trust. And she places her trust in God. Because why place my trust in anything else? God is the one who is all powerful. Before I thought I could pretend to be Him; I tried to control the universe. And all I was doing was getting in God's way.

I can't believe my mouth. It is constantly saying things like this:

God's got my back.
God knows what's best.
God can deal with that.
God won't let me suffer anything that isn't absolutely necessary.
God loves me.
God will bless me.

And I believe all of these things with all my heart. Because God showed me how to trust.

So when you see a US coin, and it has a simple little message in it. "In God we trust." Know that those four words really do hold all power to your happiness.

You probably think that you already trust God. I sure didn't think that I wasn't trusting God adequately. At 21, I turned my whole life over to be a full-time missionary. Hadn't I got married to who He told me to marry? I had kids way earlier than I wanted to because He told me to. I kept the commandments to the best of my ability. I went to church every Sunday. I paid a full tithe. I prayed and studied scripture.

But it was all mechanical. And I was a mess. Because when the mortgage wasn't going to get paid, I fretted. When the kids fought, I felt like a failure. When I couldn't really be there for people like I thought I should, I couldn't deal with it. When people were unkind to me, I fell apart. When I didn't get my way, I would be angry.

And now, you can slap me in my face, and I will praise my God for giving me a face and you a hand. And I will know that if you walk away from me forever I can stand on my own two feet because God will hold them in place.

And that is the power of three stepping. In God I trust. And you just can't believe how good God really is. He wants to hold me and comfort me and make me happy. He doesn't want to tell me what I am doing wrong. He wants me to know how everything He created in me, was by His hand and for His purposes.

I have learned this concept of trusting in the Lord my whole life. It had specific relativity in 1994 when I met my husband while we were both missionaries, yet he had a girlfriend waiting for him at home. I knew he was my husband yet there was nothing I could do but keep serving my mission and hope for the best. I couldn't even talk to LG about it because missionaries don't date. I read this message over and over. You would think I would have gotten the hang of trusting then, but I didn't completely.

It wasn't until I went back to the little girl Alice and convinced her that trusting was the right thing to do, that I could give my whole self over. Somehow the little girl Alice who had been disappointed or neglected or let down wouldn't let the grown up Alice let go.

But the little girl Alice and her 37 year old counterpart have finally come together because of God's power. And the only way I could make it happen was by letting God do it for me.

Can you tell I am in a really good place right now?
Trusting is phenomenal. And I just learned how to spell that word this morning. It took me 15 minutes of searching online. Phenomenal is a great way to feel.

Trust = phenomenal.

If you aren't feeling phenomenal, then ask yourself what is keeping you from trusting? And go back to that time and place and tell yourself to trust in God. He's got your back. Really.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Facebook - January 2011

None of you will probably read this, but I thought this would be a great way of recording my state of mind on a monthly basis.

1/1 Graffiti - Welcome to Knoxville TN. Our roads suck and so do our red traffic lights.

1/2 My year in Status - It was a hard year, but even hard years are worth living.

1/3 14 books in 2 months...not bad at all...I'm almost feeling proud of myself.

1/4 Ahhhh...peace and quiet. And the kids haven't even gone back to school. I love 2011.

1/4 Ritalin is a miracle drug. I wonder if they make something like if for people without ADD...oh yeah, it's called speed...where can I get some? I want to be as productive as (to remain anonymous) has been in the last week.

1/4 We enjoyed downtown Knoxville withy my kids and in-laws today. Movie at the TN Theater, dinner at Market Square, and ended if off with the Sunsphere. I guess we won't have any regrets if we end up having to move when LG gets his dream job...I do want to go to some Civil War sites. Anyone have any favorites?

1/5 the whole family is reading b4 bed tonight...from classic scarlett letter 2 robert jordan all the way dwn to 39 clues, the tales of beatle bard and roald dahl...back to schl tomorrow...sometimes I wish we all could just read at home.

1/7 picture of Sonic smoothie - mama's treat for doing daddy's morning duty.

1/7 picture of local newspaper foreclosures. Sign of bad economy: 6 pages of foreclosures in KnoxNews.

1/7 Would anyone like a free dog? We got her from the shelter last year and she is house trained and great with kids. She is about 2 years old, 12 lbs. and part chihuahua. She loves to walk/jog (she runs FAST), and is great with other dogs (she prefers dogs bigger than her). We will give you her kennel also.

1/7 Just saw True Grit....wondering how it got such good reviews...I can't hande such graphics...yuck

1/8 We are not defined by what happens to us, but prepared. (not sure who said it but it's true)

1/9 I am grateful for a yankee superintendent who doesn't call off school for snow until the snow is actually falling...I am hoping that my kids get to go to school tomorrow because this mom needs some quiet time. LOL

1/10 I haven't shoveled that much lovely powder since the Winter of '02 when we still lived in Utah. Man, I wish I could go skiing.

1/11 NNNNNOOooooo, not ANOTHER snowday!!! At least when my kids r home 4 a month at a time in the summer, we can leave the house.

1/13 its mamas night to be alone but of course I'm going to hang w my sisters at church

1/14 toasted whole wheat bread with peanut butter, bananas and marshmallow fluff washed down with a glass of 1% milk and I don't even have any healthy food resolutions.

1/14 one of my friends just wrote "sick" as their status update and I almost hit the "like" button until I realized that could be construed as mean.

1/14 is anyone up for a girls night out tonight?

1/14 Call me old school, but I will always be a Scorpio and Pluto is still a planet.

1/15 I am writing a searchless and moral inventory...good stuff.

1/16 So so interesting. I can't stand reading the perfect Mormon Mommy blogs nor can I stand reading the ones written by completely negative haters, but it seems that these are the kind of blogs that get read the most.

1/17 is calculating cost of living in different parts of the country...wish I could somehow get back to sunny California, but I am not sure there is room there for a conservative like me.

1/18 I must read The Scarlett Letter.

1/19 I am LOVING Steven Tyler and JLO. After last season's fiasco with Ellen DeGeneras. I am so happy that I will be able to watch the whole American Idol season this year.

1/19 Best moment of the night on AI: the twin brother in tears. Everyone should have someone who loves that much.

1/21 I wonder if they got the idea for Diego's awesome backpack from the original batman. However, I don't wonder why LG likes watching the show with Caroline.

1/22 about to watch the social network. Lots of unnecessary sex scenes, and kind of documentarish..

1/23 LG's super excited about our new weekly couple planning meeting

1/24 My congregation would like to collaborate with other churches/support organizations to provide a free carnival for local families who care for children with special needs. Would any of you like to get involved, or do you have any connections with people who would?

1/24 My little did this happen..she's the quietest one. LOL Sophia is gorgeous and I loved watching the joy on her face.

1/24 My Bella playing ball...somebody in this family was bound to do something that dad will enjoy eventually. Love you Bella. You are great on that court.

1/24 does anyone know about Spring Softball signups in fountain city or powell? Bella wants to play.

1/25 Does anyone know of any great online resources where I can get weekly healthy menus with accompanying shopping lists?

1/27 I really think that Mitt Romney could be the next Ronald Regan for US economy. C'mon people if our citizens can elect a Catholic, an undeclared Muslim..isn't it about time we gave the Mormon a real chance?

1/27 Steven Tyler is a big old teddy bear. I just love him.

1/27 I had an epiphany yesterday. God doesn't love any of his children less than others. It's just that we children vary in our ability to receive his love. Whoa. This answered a philosophical question that has bothered me for years. Am I getting that wise or was I just really dumb?

1/28 If LG gets a job out of state he is gonna have to drag me away and brave some serious kicking and screaming.

1/30 hopes LG will survive church today; I'm staying home

1/30 the sounds of my man, 4 daughters and our dog outside together are music to my really stuffed up ears