Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Submission to Motherhood and Rocket

“Until I submitted my life and my heart to the demands of my little ones, I was never at ease or released to be at peace to enjoy my role as a mom; to live with grace through my years in my role as a mother.” - Sally Clarkson in Serving Without Resentment 

I am going to try really hard to capture the essence of our Summer thus far, but I’ve felt a little discombobulated as of late.  Maybe it’s the fact that all of us are ready for more of a routine.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m wearing multiple hats right now.  The air has changed a bit, too - not so hot which is nice…but making me think about the busy season ahead and everything around the corner…school starting, the Primary Program, setting up pre-school for Gabe, and harvest (which is crazy town for Jared).  SOS!

Years ago I told a good friend of mine that motherhood was rarely peaceful for me.  I proceeded to tell her all the other things I was trying to juggle in addition to motherhood.  We concluded that full submission to motherhood would probably give us the greatest chance for obtaining peace...if we could tame ourselves enough to do so. Lol!

I suppose there’s some truth to that, but I’ve also discovered that involvement in other dimensions of life can be quite healthy, too.  I know it’s different for every woman, and I don’t judge.  Each woman has their own unique divine nature with opportunities for growth in other areas of life, too, and how grateful I am for that.

But for now, I’ll keep sporting the MOM crown and taking care of our new puppy, Rocket.        

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Puppy Love Forever.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ride the Brand, Love the Land

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I found myself at yet another wonderful Salt Lake City seminar with my husband last month.  Typically the annual seminar is held every July, but it was earlier than normal this year.  Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, spoke to the wives for the women's luncheon.  What an awesome afternoon it was!  It seemed as though there were about 100 of us present.  

She shared an interesting story about a group of wild horses who were trained to assist the workers in one of the Church’s first farmland developments back in the early 1900s.  She told about the horses' great contributions to the workload -  their fire, tenacity, and never-ending drive.  However, at the end of the day, they all had one major fault.  For some reason - as soon as the work was done for the day - they’d all want to rush back towards the island across the river where they came from.  The workers could hardly contain the horses from jumping in the river to swim back towards their home.  

She encouraged all of us ladies NOT to be like those wild horses, not to turn back…looking for something more.  We are to put away childish things…to be wives who embrace the land, ride the brand, and make home wherever we are...to create that peaceful haven for our husband’s to come home to after a long day’s work…to find joy in every day of this blessed journey.  

“No one leads a perfect or stress-free life.  No one.  The key to happiness is gratitude.  Seek daily divine intervention and be grateful.” - Sister Oscarson

The Florida segment created THIS AWESOME VIDEO (click here) that I love; it involves several of the gentlemen Jared works with and portrays the spirit of this great company.  Jared’s experience as General Manager of the Church-owned farms in Argentina was an experience we will always endear, and furthermore - what a blessing it is to continue to rub shoulders with our Argentine friends every year at this annual seminar!

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 ^^^ Monica & I at the Old Jerusalem site in Elberta, UT (the set for all recent Church Bible videos) ^^^  

A group of us women were able to tour this site during the seminar.  Being a dedicated site, we were asked to keep our photos sacred - but just note that the emphasis here is on how incredible it is that I’m able to reunite with Moni every year.  She is one of my dearest friends, and I love her.  Our conversations may be simple, but the love behind our words overrides any language barrier in our way.  Our hearts understand each other.  

AgriNorthwest (here in Washington) has been a great fit for us.  We anticipate being here for years to come, and I know the Lord has brought us here for a reason.  I’m happy for Jared and his choice career.  I love this company more each year and appreciate the added blessing of being under the umbrella of the Church.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nurse Log

  One of the great blessings of conjoining with a new family is being able to rub shoulders with people I would’ve never known otherwise.  Brad has a first cousin named Amy who lost her husband a few years ago.  She is quickly becoming one of my heroes.  She shared this beautiful analogy on social media a few weeks ago.  I was deeply touched, and I find myself going back to her words again and again.  

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"I found this wonderful tree a couple weekends ago when I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and was hiking near Snoqualmie Falls (outside Seattle). This tree is a symbolic reminder for my life as a widow.

Do you see the old tree that died and how there are new trees growing around the old? The old tree that died is called a nurse log and gives nutrients to the new trees. The new trees can grow better from the nurse log rather than starting over in new ground. I was in awe of this forest with all of its many shades of green moss, ferns and leaves. This forest didn't stop when a tree died, it kept growing and adding to the forest and used the nutrients from trees that had come and gone.

I'm sure you see the symbolism. I'm 2.5 years out and I feel like I have learned and grown from this tragedy of losing my husband. I hope to keep becoming better and making something beautiful with this life instead of feeling like my life is over too. A beautiful life for me and my children is still in store even despite a huge loss in my forest."

  Some days I wake up feeling a bit overwhelmed, unsure of how to keep moving forward - but I, too, know that there is significant life in store, and I trust that my forest will be bigger and greener and more incredible than ever could’ve imagined as new growth emerges from nurse logs and time marches on.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Spring Break & The Flying Pig Farm

Well, hello again!  How are you?  I’ve missed you.  We’re enjoying summer, but here I am in July - finally catching a moment to breathe and reflect on the beautiful season spring was.  Spring Break in April was the perfect time to rejuvenate and get our wits about us in order to jump into the busy end-of-school-year mayhem.  Jared took the kids on a ride or two through the yard in this rig.  I loved watching Luke’s face through it all; he was pretty nervous, but yet I know he really enjoyed it.

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^^^ A front yard picnic during lunchtime. ^^^

I love picnics in the yard and find myself doing them a lot these days.  

The kids and I took the four hour drive to "The Flying Pig Farm" in Kuna, Idaho to visit my mom & Grandpa Brad for the first time as a new married couple.  As Carlie likes to say, "Wow...just wow.”  (She is so funny about life; I love her grateful heart.)  I fell in love with Kuna and the feeling I had there.  I know Heavenly Father’s hand is in all things; I find great comfort knowing that my mom has a special companion by her side.  With each step I take through this journey, perspective is altered.  Blessings are emerging through the heartache, and I’m learning that God’s plan knows no bounds.      

I foresee many great trips ahead of us to Kuna, and I’m grateful that my children have another grandpa to love in their lives.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Welcome Spring!

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^^^Some days, I’d rather be at the beach, too, Gabe, but I’ll take this gorgeous weather any day! ^^^  

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 ^^^ It seems like I had a lot of play-dates growing up.  I was the only girl in my family, so I’m guessing my parents wanted to make sure I had plenty of girl time, haha!.  I’ve been trying to do a little better in that area for my own kids.  Sometimes it’s just easiest to be us, but we’re lucky to have great neighbors and a large primary full of children my kids’ ages. ^^^

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^^^ Red looks good on you, Luke! ^^^

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^^^ The traditional Golden Egg…full of silver coins!  My maternal grandparents sent the kids this surprise in the mail the other day.  Per tradition, the Golden Egg has always been an important part of Easter Egg Hunts when I was growing up.  I have so many fun memories of all the cousins desperately trying to find that Golden Egg. ^^^    

Thank you for being on time this year, Spring!  We’re loving the sunshine and beautiful blossoms.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Encouragement and Easter Weekend Fun

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.  Don't settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.” - Steve Jobs

I’m grateful to be a wife and a mother, and I believe both of those things are a great work.  I’m also grateful to be actively involved in my church.  I love all the people and children I serve with each week.       

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Egg-stremely egg-cited (corny, I know) about her finger nail polish coloring technique (flicking finger nail polish on the surface of shallow water and then lightly skimming the egg atop the swirled colored water).

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Carlie played a great game on Saturday.

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After our Sabbath meetings, we enjoyed a yummy ham dinner w/cheesy potatoes...and a beautiful Easter sunset. 

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

EASTER & the general women's conference

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The General Women’s Conference last night was just awesome.  I look forward to it all year long…especially now that I get to take one of my daughters with me!  And I love that it fell on Easter weekend this year.  We attended the broadcast in our stake center next to the Columbia River Temple.  The overall feeling I came away with was that service needs to be our purpose in life…ever reaching out to those in our circle of influence.  I especially loved the question to consider — “What if their story were my story?" 

Cheryl A. Esplin said, "We live in a contentious world. We give service when we don’t criticize, when we refuse to gossip, when we don’t judge, when we smile, when we say thank you, and when we are patient and kind.”  

Another favorite came from Niell F. Marriott:  “What does the Savior do continually?  He nurtures.  He creates.  He encourages growth and goodness.  Women and sisters, we can do these things!"

Happy Easter!  The promise of the Resurrection is real!  I find no greater joy than in my efforts to be an honest disciple of Christ.  I need Him every day, and I’m grateful to revere Him now and always.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

popcorn popping & thoughts on thumb sucking

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Luke is 15 months old now, and I’m pretty sure it’s been one of the fastest ventures from 0-15 months I’ve experienced yet!  Each child just grows up faster & faster, darn it!  

He’s happiest of all when he’s outside…or doing something really dangerous...like climbing.  Last month he climbed a box speaker in our basement.  He fell (of course) - leaving the bridge of his nose with a pretty deep puncture wound.  It scared me really bad, but he was okay.  I’m a little worried it might leave a permanent scar, but I’m sure it’s just going to take some time.

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And…he’s a thumb sucker alright, about like AnnMarie was.  Oh, I learned a lot about thumb sucking through our experience with AnnMarie.  She being our first child, I was so paranoid about her sucking her thumb, & I’m not sure we handled it the best in those early years (nagging, scolding, and just taking it out over & over again), but I guess there’s a reason the oldest child is often referred to as the guinea pig, right?  I remember noticing a few issues with the alignment of her front teeth and being overly concerned by it, but honestly, when I look back at her 2-3 yr. old pictures now, I don’t even notice a thing!  

I personally recommend against bitter tasting products that you put on the thumb itself (sticky, messy, and ineffective - at least for us).  AnnMarie was just so darn stubborn about it that’d she’d suck her thumb regardless of the taste and how long is lasted.  I tasted it myself just to give it a fair shake, and yes, it was awful…and stayed in my mouth for DAYS after...making everything taste like metal.  Yuck.

Even still…I’ve read that the majority of thumb suckers break the habit on their own before turning five years old.  Others quit closer to eight.  AnnMarie stopped completely a few months after her 3rd birthday largely due to an incentive program we initiated that motivated her to stop...but not until after A LOT of trial and error.  Given that whole experience, I’m not too concerned about Luke’s habit, especially during toddlerhood when he feels that he really needs his thumb and it truly offers him that secure, happy feeling he’s seeking.

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 Anyway, just thoughts for now.  Each child is so different, and what worked for one may not work for another.  Time will tell.  Regardless, there’s something very sweet about it, and I look forward to him waking up every day just so I can kiss on his fat little cheeks.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

outside after supper & a few thoughts on Easter

OH - how I’m so enjoying this warmer weather.  My whole being just feels better when I can get outside and take it all in.  The cherry blossom trees around these parts are just gorgeous right now!  We’ve been able to get outside after supper which is always fun.         

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Our tree project is coming along nicely thanks to Jared.  We’re up to 40 trees planted along our back fence line so far...with about 20 to go.     

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I’ve been making a more deliberate effort this week leading up to Easter to just focus on & teach my children about the events during the final week before Christ’s Crucifixion & Resurrection.  THIS has been a great guide!  My relationship with the Savior has become a very personal one.  I know He lives!  I feel His love for me daily!  With Him nothing is impossible - and all disappointments in this life can be overcome. 

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Soccer 2015-2016

Spring soccer started up a few weeks ago!  The teams are pretty much the same from last fall, so it’s basically a continuation of the previous season.  My good neighbor & friend had a daughter on AnnMarie’s team, and she took these pictures for me in the fall.  I was so glad, too, because I wasn’t able to attend very many games during that time.  AnnMarie’s turning into a pretty good little soccer player, but the best part about it is how much she loves it!     

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Jared coached Carlie’s team and is continuing to do so this spring.  It’s a really cute group of girls, and Carlie’s a fireball as usual with her hot pink socks.  I’m looking forward to watching both girls play this afternoon.    

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