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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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Overcoming

Occasionally I battle the anxiety that naturally accompanies trauma.  I find myself feeling afraid for no specific reason, and sometimes I have difficulty sleeping.  Sometimes feelings of shame creep inside of me...making me feel unclean.  But there are quiet moments when light prevails, and I am given to know that everything is as it should be.  I am often reminded that faith and fear cannot co-exist.  Knowing this enables me to overcome.  

The hard stretches are becoming fewer and farther in between, but every time I experience a breakthrough, I try to avoid being discouraged and just look at it as another step forward in the right direction.      

I’ve been enjoying life and motherhood very much lately.  Through the ebb and flow of parenting challenges, it’s always encouraging to find myself in a phase with more energy than usual - doing simple personal habits and necessary tasks with full purpose of heart.  

February and March have felt like that for me.

Mom & Brad’s wedding was a joyful event.  It’s impossible for me to describe the mixture of feelings that I had on that day, but the veil was thin, and it was an occasion I shall never forget.

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I found this sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  I read it every day followed by a fist pump.    

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Carlie enjoys getting dressed up and wearing heels on the days when music is the ’special’ at school.

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Gabe started a Christian Pre-school last month.    

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I had to post this picture of Jared & Cinderella dancing the night away.  This actually brought tears to my eyes watching them that night!  Priceless.

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My brother and his wife in the middle of a neighboring subdivision...  

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Me - chaperoning the 3rd grade field trip last week to the local planetarium.  OH - I forgot how silly & giggly 3rd graders are.

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And speaking of overcoming…we overcame the Norovirus.  (It went through every single one of us over a 10-day period.  It was really hard seeing this little guy so sick.)    

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But not without some help from A LOT of Outrageous Ginger Ale.  Truly, I am blessed with the best neighbors - one in particular who kept putting things like this (along with medical disinfectant wipes and Elderberry extract) on my doorstep every day that awful week.      

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