Thursday, April 28, 2016

General Conference April 2016

Okay, so now it has been almost a month since April General Conference.  I began this post the Monday after conference ended.  Didn't finish it.  But, this is such an incredible treasure to me that I am going to finish as much as I can now.  

My whole family loves General Conference.  Even V, who is 3, counted down the days to General Conference, although I sincerely doubt that she even had any clue what it was.  I love gathering my family around to hear the words of modern prophets.  I feel that the world is in such turmoil...politics, natural disasters, new moral issues, and so forth, that I am so grateful I have a place to turn to be grounded and at peace.  I am grateful my children can feel this grounding also.  It is such a blessing to me.

This time, I did not order the pictures via calling or via session in which they spoke.  I only order them via where they are located around our living room (I guess I was a lazy picture taker...it was easier).

So, we begin with President Eyring:
CK:  "It is our responsibility to be fertile ground for the seed to grow."
Me:  "Feeling the closeness of the Savior depends on each of us."
C:  "If we humble ourselves and listen to the talks, we will hear what we need."
J:  "Nurish (nourish) the seed."


Elder Rasband:
CK:  "Be a light in the growing darkness."
Me:  "The apostles are no strangers to the challenges/problems of today's youth."
K:  "Questions are an indication of a further desire to learn." and "When we reach out, we are powerful."
C:  "Listen to and stand with the prophets."
J:  "The profets (prophets) are true."


Elder Holland:
CK:  "Don't give up when life doesn't meet your expectations.  The Lord blesses those who want to improve."
Me:  "Every day will be magnificent - God wants it to be."
K:  "The devil tries to convince us that we will never progress." and "We get credit for trying." and "Heaven is cheering me on!"
C:  "Love God and try your best even after you make mistakes and tomorrow and the future will be better than today."
J:  "Try to keep your faith - get stronger."


President Monson:
CK:  "The choices we make will determine if we reach our goal."
Me:  "Choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong."
K:  "Our choices (all of them) determine if we reach our goal." and "The path we follow in this life determines our destination in the next life."
C:  "Small choices can have a big impact." and "Choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
J:  "More telples (temples)."


Elder Stevenson:
CK:  "Priesthood keys unlock the vehicle that will take us back to the presence of God."
Me:  "Never ever do we have to question again, 'Where are the keys?'"
C:  "Prepare for mission, go to the temple, find names of ancestors, go forward with faith."
J:  "Do not ask where are the keys."


Elder Christofferson:
CK:  "The most essential of a father's responsibilities is to turn the hearts of his children to Heavenly Father."
Me:  "Fathers are unique and irreplaceable."
K:  "Fathers are unique and irreplaceable." and "Make up your mind to honor your father."
C:  "Prepare to be a father by honoring your parents, being righteous, serving others."
J:  "Fathers are good - not just moms."


Elder Cook:
CK:  "The temple is a place of tranquility and peace in a tumultuous world."
Me:  "See yourself in the temple."
K:  "There is nothing the Lord could do to help us that He hasn't done."
C:  "Strive to always be worthy of a temple recommend, because the temple is a place of refuge."
J:  "Prepare yourself for the temple."


CK:  "Combined with prayer, family councils invite the Savior to our presence."
Me:  "Family councils provide ways to strengthen, protect, and nurture cherished relationships."
K:  "Councils are the Lord's way." and "With His help, we can improve."
C:  "Family time brings love and blessings and helps protect our family from distractions and evil."
J:  "Listen to Jesus - famly (family) bonding time is asetrl (essential)."


Elder Anderson:
CK:  "Do all we can to strengthen the love of the Savior in all we do."
Me:  "A child's spiritual DNA is perfect, even if their earthly situation isn't ideal."
K:  "It is vital to embrace other youth."
C:  "Do whatever you can to help children/youth to church and support those who don't have support at home."
J:  "Jesus knows you."


Elder Oaks:
CK:  "Without opposition, there would be no growth."
Me:  "Oppositions further our growth towards what our Heavenly Father would have us become."
K:  "Opposition is inevitable and even necessary." and "Some things can only be learned by faith."
C:  "Our ultimate test is to have faith that making righteous choices is better for us in the long run."
J:  "Opicishon (opposition) shows how faithful you are."

President Nelson spoke in the Priesthood session, so we did not watch together as a family and do our notes.  :)


Elder Renlund:
CK:  "We need to develop the desire to stop causing God grief.  He 'owes' us nothing."
Me:  "Sacrament = indispensable to a spiritual foundation."
K:  "He did this just for me." and "Because of the Atonement, all will be right."
C:  "By partaking of the sacrament, you will feel God's nearness and become closer to Him."
J:  "Jesus loves you."


Elder Bednar:
CK:  "Ordinances invite spiritual purpose and power our lives."
Me:  "Prepare conscientiously for the sacrament."
K:  "Baptism is worthless if you do not know its meaning." and "Ordinances should impact every aspect of discipleship." and "The feeling of baptism can be ongoing." and "The plan IS rigorous." 
C:  "Prepare to take the sacrament with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and we can receive forgiveness."


Elder Hales:
CK:  "Don't let personal feelings overpower the promptings of the Spirit."
Me:  "Seeking the Holy Ghost in minor decisions trivializes the Holy Ghost.  We have agency."
K:  "We can continually feel the Holy Ghost." and "The Holy Ghost helps us discern false prophets."
C:  "To receive personal revelation, study out your questions, then pray to the Lord with a decision to see if it is right."
J:  "The Holy Ghost is real.  Do not forsake him."



President Uctdorf:
CK:  "A lost sheep is worthy of rescue because it is loved by the shepherd."
Me:  "Obedience = process by which we discover what we are truly made of."
K:  "What matters to Him is that I am His child and that He loves me." and "There's nothing good unless you do it."
J:  "Your faith can be rebuilt."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tulips

Yesterday for part of my birthday we went to you pick tulip place.  Because I absolutely love tulips.

Each of my family members picked a flower just for me.  (The red wrapped bunch). CK picked orange, K picked yellow, C picked white, J picked red, V picked purple, and Little C picked pink.  Love love love.

The bunch of flowers that is wrapped in purple I picked.  I have a dear friend, J, that knew I wanted to go to the tulip place, so she gave me a gift certificate for my birthday.

What a great afternoon we had. The kids got out of school early because it was an early release day. We went to lunch at a random place that we'd never heard of, but we stopped there and ate at this mom and pop sub shop. It was very good. Then we went up to the tulips and enjoyed time together picking tulips and taking a couple of pictures.  We even ate my birthday brownies there. We attempted to have me blow out the candles, but the wind did it for me.

Then, we came home. The traffic was horrible, because there was a lot of construction. We picked up the babysitter on the way home and then hurriedly changed.  We took the kids to their dad, then CK and I went to see Star Wars. Then we had a quick dinner late and came back and took the babysitter home.

What an amazing birthday! I felt loved and blessed all day long.

Friday, February 26, 2016

39!

Today, I am 39.  Crazy!  Time just flies by.  I don't feel any older than 25, but I am.  I have six children, the oldest is 16.  I am definitely not 25.

I seriously have such a wonderful life.  I love my family and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  My life is overflowing with blessings and I feel so loved and taken care of by those above.

This morning, K decorated three doorways (notice that I am old enough that it took THREE doorways!) in our home with streamers about me (I don't know how she even thought of 39!).  But, they will soon fall and I wanted to remember them...so these are what the streamers say:

  1. humble
  2. strong
  3. looks out for others
  4. nice
  5. good to talk to
  6. kind
  7. always learning
  8. accountable
  9. faithful
  10. empathetic
  11. beautiful
  12. silly
  13. fun
  14. considerate
  15. the life of the party 
  16. optimistic
  17. righteous
  18. good listener
  19. interesting
  20. resilient
  21. inspiring
  22. sweet
  23. supportive
  24. willing to sacrifice
  25. selfless
  26. smart
  27. hilarious
  28. caring
  29. great smile
  30. hard worker
  31. friendly
  32. thoughtful
  33. willing to serve
  34. creative
  35. courageous
  36. extraordinary
  37. outgoing
  38. open-minded
  39. helpful
I really don't know if I can claim all of these attributes, but they are definitely ones to strive for.  J was so excited this morning to let me know that I am now 13 + 13 + 13.  Lovely.  I am old.  But, it did get me thinking.  Where was I at 13, 26, and now at 39?

13...was my first birthday after moving to Colorado.  We lived in a nice rental home while we looked for a home to buy.  I loved having my family around me.  Even though the move was difficult, I was beginning to make friends and feeling slightly more comfortable.  

26...We had just recently moved to Texas (about a year before).  We still lived in an apartment, but we were looking at buying our first home.  K was 3, C was 1.  I was a busy mom of two littles (hmmm...second verse same as the first....hmmm).

39...No recent moving this time.  We have lived in this home nearly four years.  I have a great husband, six kids (16, 14, 12, 9, 3, and 2), and a very old dog.  I do have MS, but I am functioning quite well.  I have to be wary of heat especially and fatigue somewhat too.  Things I love but don't spend much (if any) time on include:  quilting, organizing, photography.  I also love being mom: playing with littles, supporting bigs, and laughing together with them all.  I do make time for this, although my heart aches with how fleeting it is.  For this reason, I know I need to return to blogging more often, so I have a record of my life.  It will not stay this way for long.

So, Happy Birthday to Me!  I guess this also means that my blog is 9+ years old.  :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Little C is 2!!!!!


Last Saturday, Baby C (or really now Little C) turned 2.  These are pictures from my phone that I could easily upload.  I have dozens more on my fancy camera.  I will upload them soon, but they are big and I haven't found a way to make them smaller (yet).  My old program did it easily until I upgraded it and then it didn't.

These pictures are of him eating his birthday breakfast (donuts), smiling for his "number day" picture with a cheesy grin, decorating his brownies with me (he really wanted to!!), then eating said brownie.

His day was very low-key.  We ate donuts for breakfast.  We opened gifts.  It was a chilly day and he LOVES the park, so we went to McDonald's to play on the playplace.  We thought if we went at 3:00  it would be pretty empty, but it was super busy.  My sister and her family all came to be there for him.  It was great!  Then, we did homemade pizza (he doesn't like much food, but he does like pizza) and brownies.  It was perfect for him .  (Hopefully I do get the other pictures on the blog!)  C had basketball and K had a solo competition, so they weren't here much, but that is becoming standard these days.

I love this little guy.  I love his laugh.  I love that he cuddles.  I love that he completes our family so well.  Happy Birthday, C!

Just Life

I am sick.  Blehh!  Sickness really isn't fun, but it does teach you what it is like to be healthy!  I will appreciate tomorrow so much more!

Being sick, I have spent much of the day resting on the couch.  And looking at my phone to keep me entertained.  I realized that 6 years ago today was the big huge snow storm.  I went back on this blog to look at the pictures.  Then, I just had to keep reading.

LOVED it!  I loved seeing pictures of my kids (that have changed dramatically in 6 years!).  I loved reading about CK and seeing our love develop.  I loved it so much.  I have done a disservice to myself and others by not keeping this blog better up to date!  Again, I want to try harder.

I did work on and order a photo book with our January 2016 pictures.  I intend to make a book each month.  The kids absolutely love to go through them.  I do, too!  And, I love pictures sooooooooooooooo much, but where are most of them?  Hidden somewhere in a digital format.  Pre-digital, I was very good at printing photos, dating them, and putting them into albums.  I even dipped into scrapbooking.  I decided it wasn't really my thing.  I am not really crafty, but it didn't hurt to try.  But, with digital, I became the mom that took multiple photos of the same event and then couldn't choose which one to use and then just gave up because the thousands of photos can be overwhelming.

I did not do New Year's Resolutions this year, but beginning in December, I choose to focus on three goals to help make me a better person:

  1. Drink more water (did great at the beginning....now not so great.)
  2. Work on pictures and make them a priority (I did, in fact, work on and order a book!)
  3. Don't complain.  (I think I wrote already about this...I have discovered that I am a closet complainer!  Time to change!)
So, the cool thing about this life...we can always start new.  We can always be better.  We will always fall, but we can always try again.  What an incredible blessing!

One last thing, while reading 2010 posts regarding CK, I mentioned some of his awesome qualities.  I also admitted that we were still courting, but I knew that he would continue to treat me well after being married.  He totally has!!  He gives me the very best that he has to give.  Every day.  Every minute.  I always come first.  I didn't know that this was possible.  But, it is not only possible, I have it!  I am so blessed!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Family scripture picture

So, I have this fancy schmancy new camera that is amazing and a fancy schmancy new laptop that is also amazing.  But, no matter how I try I cannot figure out how to get my pictures to work on my laptop.  I load them and they are put somewhere that I cannot access.  I cannot save them at a lower resolution.  I really am at a loss and it is very frustrating.

But, I did finally get this picture uploaded on on the blog.  Woot Woot!  Our primary has asked each family to take a picture of their family doing family scripture study.  We study every day, but it has been hard to add taking a picture to the study time.  Finally, we did it last night.  Sadly, A isn't with us so our family is not complete, but this is what our study looks like much of the time.  The calm toddlers is deceptive, but other than that, this is how we roll at our home.

I love that we study the scriptures together.  We do three days a week of Doctrine and Covenants and four days a week of Book of Mormon.  We are almost done with both, but we will just continue the Book of Mormon reading by starting again as we always do, but we will also read the New Testament.  I am soooooooooooooooo excited about this.  I long to know my Savior more and have my kids know Him more too.  This is a great way to do it.  :)

It would take a while to catch up on all that goes on in a busy household of 8, but a few things include...V cut her own hair necessitating a haircut, C is playing basketball and last Saturday they only had 5 players, so he played all of two back to back games, Little C will turn 2 in 12 days.  Crazy!

We are in the middle of trying to schedule many things.  The planner part of me is screaming in agony that we just cannot get things planned (trying to work with many others).  But, this will all work out too.

I am happy.  Life is good.  I love my life.  I love my family.  I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love my home.  I love my cars.  I love my relative good health.  Life is good.  I am blessed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mom of six

Yep, here I am again...more journaling than posting pictures for posterity.

Being a mom of six means a lot of crying and screaming, at least at my house.  Tonight was even more than most nights.

CK, K, and C are at the temple.  A is in St. Louis.  I was here tonight with J, V, and Little C.  And...there was a lot of screaming.  I think V and Little C are just exhausted.  We had my nephew, E, here today.  They had so much fun and it was awesome, but I think their little bodies were just worn out.  In addition, we ate after CK, K, and C left so dinner was later.  That didn't help.

Sometimes I truly wonder what I am doing being a mom at all, let alone to six kids.  I love each of them so very much and my heart is overflowing with gratitude that I get to be their mom, but I still wonder if I am up to the task.  At the same time, my heart aches that they are growing up.  I am so proud of them and pleased with their choices in life, but the thought of them leaving home is already leaving a non-fillable void.  I am trying to remember "The Best is Yet to Be."  This means that as I lean on the Savior, the years in front of me will be amazing.  Life with children-in-laws and grandkids will be glorious.  I think I will always miss the littles at home, but I will also be grateful that I don't have nights of screaming sometimes.  It is all up to me and my attitude.

I am currently downloading pictures to my computer.  :)  Maybe next post will be more fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Follow Up from Yesterday

Here I sit...two days in a row at my computer!  Wowzee!

I still haven't put pictures on the computer...but that will come...hopefully.

As a follow-up from yesterday's post, I just feel so blessed by the Spirit witnessing to me that indeed The Best is Yet to Be.  When I see my failings and I have regrets, I just remember that I am a work in progress and the Best is Yet to Be!

For instance, I regret not spending time with our beautiful Christmas Tree.  Silly, I know, but it was in the piano room and life was crazy and we rarely gathered near it at all.  But, as I was feeling down about this, I remembered that the Best is Yet to Be and I can be better next year.

I also had the opportunity to go to a dear dear friend's son's baptism this morning.  As we waited for the ward in front of him, they played some Mormon Messages.  I didn't do well this year at sharing those on Social Media.  I have a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  I just didn't share it this year very well.  But, as I again felt regret and remorse, I remembered that the Best is Yet to Be and I know that I can be better.  Not all at once, but little by little.

The Spirit that has accompanied these realizations helps me remember that this Eternal Progression is all because of our Savior.  His atonement helps me to become better and to be more than I ever could be on my own.

What a great way to begin 2016!

I have no doubt of the Lord's tender mercies for all.  I know that includes me and I feel blessed to know this.

So, I may not have any pictures up yet....but...The Best is Yet to Be!  :)