Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Swim Lessons 2015

This week, J is doing swim lessons. Swimming has never been something he excels at. Last year he was in group swim lessons, with very little advancement. This year, we have a friend that volunteered to teach him. She is giving private lessons to a few people this year. Already in 2  half hour sessions, he is doing better than he ever has in the pool.  I am very proud of him.

As mentioned last night, we have a lot going on and having one more thing to drive to every day is a little bit of a challenge. In addition, I can't be out in the heat. I can feel it affecting my body, particularly my vision. Luckily, this summer is much milder than usual. Also, many of the symptoms I'm experiencing now are similar to the ones I experienced last summer. But last summer, I did not know why I felt the way I did. Understanding why is so much better this year.  Also, since I know what is going on, I can keep myself out of the heat and that helps significantly. Last year, I didn't understand that the heat was triggering my symptoms.

I'm very blessed to have helpful kids. K went with me and played in the splash pad with V while J was swimming.  and C stayed home with baby C.  I chose to get out of the air conditioned car and spend some time in the shade and with my cool towel. I definitely felt the effect still once it was over. Both of those things helped, but my body still felt it. Luckily, K has her permit and was driving. She is getting so good at driving.

I love the pictures of these two girls playing together in the pool. Looking at them helps me remember how very blessed I am.

On another note, I am blogging again. Fingers crossed I can keep it up. :-)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tough times

Oh boy!  Life is hard. I don't have a picture or a special event that I'm going to post about tonight, but I am trying to make it a habit to post more often.

CK has had some job changes. It necessitates him travelling to work a minimum of 45 minutes each way every day. Needless to say, we are searching for a new job. He misses us. We miss him. And, with my MS, I cannot function very well in the summer heat. Overall,  I am doing quite well, but it is still challenging.

In addition, baby C is a screamer. He is very grumpy very often. I think it is a combination of not being able to talk and communicate very well, missing his dad who is gone, and teething.  We have a lot of sleep deprived nights right now. And very grumpy days.

But, the struggles that we are experiencing now are but a small moment. I have faith that at some point we will look back on this time and see the Lord's hand leading us to something even better.  I cannot see the better yet, but I know it will come. I am blessed.

Friday, June 19, 2015

General Conference April 2015


Wowzee!!!  I knew I was very very behind, but a month without any posting???????  Even I didn't realize it was that bad.  We have had baseball, the last day of school water fight, awards ceremonies, family parties , scout camp, day camp, girls camp, end of school, etc and etc and etc.  None of which is documented!  ugh!

Right now is probably not a good time to blog either.  I have two screaming toddlers.  One that I moved to a toddler bed today.  -sigh-  It is a challenge.  The other doesn't really talk yet, so he just screams and screams.  We have had a lot of difficulties in our family lately too.  Most of the time I handle them well, but some days I don't.  I know that trials refine us, but it isn't fun to be in the middle of them!

For today, I am finally going to finish the post from General Conference back at the beginning of April.  We had such a marvelous time with General Conference.  It was wonderful to have all six of my children together and we were able to gather them at our feet to hear the words of the prophets.  As is custom, we took stickies (each one with a different color) and wrote down what we noticed or what struck us from each talk.  I never finished documenting what was written in October Conference and I didn't want that to happen again, so the lovely faces of the prophets still grace our walls.  I was lovingly told today that it was time to take them down.  True.  It is more than time.  But, I want to document it, so I will.....crying babies and all.  We will stop and start again, but hopefully it will all be done by the end of the day.  :)

I am doing this in no particular order this year (just the order in which K took the pictures for me).

This is Elder Anderson:
CK:  "Learn to recognize the hand of God in our lives."
Me:  "Can you see the hand of God in your own life?"
K:  "Don't be casual in your faith." and "His message is everywhere and for everyone."
C: "As you keep the commandments, he will open your spiritual eyes even further."
A:  "The church has grown considerably."  and "God is mindfull  (mindful) of every people."
J:  "It is awesome when you get resretchin (resurrection)."
V liked to post too, but she just scribbled, so I have no idea what she was saying.  She is just learning the routine.  Good enough for a 2 year old for sure!
 
This is Elder Perry.  He actually has passed away since conference.  He will be missed.  He is a great man and the Spirit definitely was with him as he spoke.
CK:  "We must protect marriage and our families as the center of life and the key to happiness."
Me:  "We were and still are members of God's family.  Family is center of life and key to Eternal happiness."
K:  "Be a revolutionary:  go against the common pattern."  and "Families are the basic unit of eternity."
C:  "The family is eternal and important."
A:  "Marriage lasts forever."  and "Families will continue until eternity."

 
This is Elder Christofferson:
Me:  "Remember to have faith in promises to come if ideal is not here and now."
K:  "Protection of the family is not about convenience of adults."  and "the unideal can still have successes."  and "contribute to the divine plan."
C:  "The family is forever."
A:  "Marriage is forever and family can only be sustained by 2 people."
J:  "do not leisin (listen) to temptashn (temptation)."
 
This is Elder Cook:
Me:  "We can thrive and bloom if we are in the light of the Savior."
K:  "Wickedness creates vulnerability."  and "Perfect love of God = no contention."
C:  "The love of God in the home destroys contention."
A:  "We can bloom by following Christ's teachings."
J:  "Follow the Savior."
 
This is Elder Holland:
CK:  "God in His wisdom has a plan.  The fall and the atonement are crucial to that plan."
Me:  "Divine plan - creation, fall, atonement of Jesus Christ."
K:  "I cannot and will not fully comprehend the fall and the atonement."  and "this is not an existential exercise."
C:  "Jesus Christ did come and His atonement made up for the fall."
A:  "A hand will always stretch out to help when in need."
J:  "Hold to crist (Christ)."
 
This is Elder Bednar:
Me:  "Godly fear = reverence, respect, and awe for Jesus Christ.  Godly fear = beginning of knowledge."
K:  "Faith in Him hushes mortal fears."  and "Godly fear dispels mortal fears."
C:  "We should fear the Lord and we will be blessed."
A:  "Build your foundation on Christ."  and  "We can be blessed to hush our fear."
 
Elder Scott was ill and did not speak at this conference.   
This is President Eyring:
Me:  "Jesus wants us to succor others.  How can we do this?  Live the Law of the Fast."
K:  "Put away vanity"  and "Inspiration/revelation come from closeness to Him."  and "living the gospel brings the promised blessings."
A:  "How he told us that fasting is a blessing."
 
This is President Uchtdorf:
CK:  "Weakness can become strong by humility through the mercy of God." and "Living the Gospel isn't a burden, it is a joyful rehearsal for the next life."
Me:  "Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience, but bought through the blood of Christ."
K:  "God loves us perfectly and everlastingly." and "Prayer is for confessing, pleading, and thanking." and "See the atonement with new eyes."
C:  "Christ saves us after all we can do, not because."
A:  "Because of the atoning sacrifice death has no sting and the grave has not won."
J:  "Crist (Christ) is Awesome."
 
This is Elder Hales:
CK:  "We are responsible for safeguarding religious liberty."
Me:  "We are responsible to safeguard religious freedoms for our posterity."  and "Blessings of agency."
K:  "I have the right to share my witness."
C:  "We have a responsibility to defend our beliefs and respect others belifs (beliefs)."
A:  "To keep the commandments, we need to know the doctrines of the church."  and "Freedom to believe."
J:  "You have aginsy (agency)."
 
This is Elder Oaks:
Me:  "Don't let cares of this world choke out the things of God."
K:  "I have to be willing to accidentally offend." and "Our job is to be leaven, but not to be digested."
C:  "Don't let the cares of the world drown out the word of God."
A:  "Do not let the internet overcome you."  and "Do not be spiritually sidated (sedated)."  and "Our commitment is supposed to be a test."
 
This is President Monson:
CK:  "Temple attendance will help us overcome temptations and bear our trials."
Me:  "Temples help us overcome temptations and bear trials."
K:  "Beauty and order and rest are found in temples." and "Follow His steps carefully."
C:  "Temples bring peace."
A:  "At the temple, we can find peace." and "We can be comforted at the temple."
 
This is Elder Ballard.  He spoke at the Priesthood Session, so we do not have family stickies for him this conference. 
This is Elder Nelson:
CK:  "Sabbath was made for man.  Take advantage of it."
Me:  "How can I make the Sabbath a delight?"
K:  "How will I change because of this conference?"
C:  "The Sabbath is God's gift to us."
A:  "God created the Sabbath for man.  And for us to spend family time on the Sabbath."
J:  "Cep (Keep) the sabithe (Sabbath) holy."
 

This is President Packer:
Me:  "If we truly repent, we bear no scars by accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ."
K:  "Family is the great adventure of our lives."
A: "Through the righous (righteous) power, we can gain happiness." and "Every debt must be payed." and "The atonment (atonement) is individual."

So, actually it did take me two days, but I finished!  Yippee!  I have loved reading through the notes that we took the day of the conference.  C had a band competition, J had a baseball game, and CK was called upon to help a family in need.  So, we did not have everyone here for every talk.  But I felt the spirit with each note written by each person.  My kids, as well as CK and I, were bearing our testimonies as we commented on what we learned.  It is so cool.  I hope I come back and reread this often.  I hope my children will also.  There is power here.  I feel it.  I am so blessed.  I love the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Life isn't easy, but I have so much in which to rejoice!  :) 

 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Our Week (May 11- May 15, 2015)

So, I am very very very behind on blogging.  But, I feel it is important so I will keep trying and keep trying.  Today I have been blessed with a few moments, so I will use them.  Hopefully, I can keep up a little better.....after all, after this last week baseball is over and so it the AP test.  Should ease things up quite a bit.

One thing that slows me down with my blogging is my beautiful new camera.  I don't have a time efficient way to take pictures off the camera and resize them and add them to the blog.  What makes it a little harder, is that I have some pictures on the awesome camera and some on my phone.  Finding which is where and getting them off is a challenge that I just don't make time for.

This week has been another busy week.  I think that if I at least document what happened (even if the pictures never make it), that we can remember the week at least somewhat.  And, after all, I blog as part of my family's history.  It really is for us.

So, these are some of the major happenings of the past week (not even close to ALL we did...it was a busy week!), but these are the major things (most of which I have pictures for....fingers crossed that I add them!)

Monday:  We began baseball playoffs for both boys.  J's game was at six.  C's game was at 8.  J's team ended up middle of the pack.  We weren't sure how they would do in this round 1.  They won!  It was awesome.  They played well, including J.  He has improved so very much.  My sister and her family made the effort to drive down and be there to support the boys and that was fun, too!

After going to get Kalina from her AP review, I was able to watch C's game.  C's team has had a difficult year.  They hadn't won a game and were bottom of the barrel.  We figured they would end up losing.  :(  This was the VERY BEST that their team played ALL season!  They did very well.  C got a fly ball and he got hits both times at bat.  In the end, they still lost (9-10), but it was an amazing way to finish the year.  For these poor boys I think maybe it was more difficult, though, since they played so very well.

I am grateful to CK for making it work for us to be there together for all of both games.  The little ones got tired.  Well, we all got tired.  It was a late night, but we were able to be there together.  I think it was a sacrifice worth making.

Tuesday:  Among some other things, I took C to the high school to play his trumpet and try out for high school band.  In our high school, they have three bands.  Results were posted Friday night......and C made the highest band!!!!  As a freshman!  WooHoo!!!

Wednesday:  Slightly lighter:  pack meeting, AP review, and K had her letter jacket fitting.  Yes, K lettered in choir this year!  Wow!  Great job, K!

Thursday:  K took her AP World History test.  We won't know the results until summer, but I am sure she did really well.  She has taken it seriously and has studied hard since the beginning of the year.  Since she took an AP test last year, she knew a little bit more of what was involved and worked so hard for it!

Also on Thursday, J has his round 2 baseball game.  It was so fun to be there and support him.  His team hung in there really well at the beginning, but ended up losing (to the #1 team in the league).  J got two hits (doubles both) with two at bats.  He had quite a few RBIs.

Due to the game, we missed J's PACE Evening with the Experts, where the GT kids display their research project and project.

Friday:  J had field day at school.  I am so very grateful that the weather was a little cooler and cloudy.  My MS body doesn't do well in heat, especially in the sun.  Because it was cloudy, I took Baby C and V and we went and supported J.  I am so glad I got to go.  It is important to me to be there are support them as much as I can.

Also on Friday (again, among other things), was C's final middle school band concert.  It was amazing.  I am wondering why we ever paid for symphony tickets when we could for free go listen to the honor band of the middle school.  He was one of two awarded Outstanding 8th grade boy.  :)  He was also one of three nominated for best musician (he did not win that one).

So, that is part of our past week.  Documented!  WooHoo!

This week is lighter, but still plenty to do, of course.  It is the end of the school year after all.  And, our old home goes on the market tomorrow.  It is a bittersweet time for sure.  I loved that home.  It is very nice.  I really love it.  I hope that a very nice young family buys it.  The local schools are amazing.  The neighbors are great.  The yard is an extended size.  It is great, but a little small (1600 s.f.).  I know I shouldn't be sentimental about a THING, but I do feel a loss as we work to sell it.  How grateful I am that our renters are so gracious as we put it on the market!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

So, the interesting thing is that yesterday morning (Saturday at 4 am) I was up feeding Baby C.  I thought through this whole post and had it all planned out.  Do I remember it now?  No.  Not a bit.

But, I still want to celebrate this very special day.

There are many, many, many women that have inspired me, taught me, loved me, influenced me, and just made a huge impact on my life.  But, today I will focus on those three women that I call Mom.

First, my Mom.  She is the one that gave birth to me and raised me.  She is amazing in so very many ways.  I am grateful that she chose to stay home with me.  I am grateful that she taught me the gospel from before I could talk.  Her faith and example is inspiring.  Through her example, she taught me what is most important in life.  She taught me how to sacrifice for others.  She taught me how to be selfless, especially as she was for me!  I am so grateful that I was sent to her.  I love you, Mom.

Next is my Mami.  She is my first mother-in-law.  She is an example of love without boundaries.  She has taught me about huge sacrifices for the gospel.  She shows me all the time that I will always be her daughter, even though her son and I have gotten divorced.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She has taught me how to slow down and enjoy the life I have been given, while never giving up on bettering myself.  Te Quiero, Mami!

And, my third Mom.  She is my second mother-in-law.  She has shown such acceptance and love to me and my children I already had before marrying CK.  She is a great example of putting all kids and grandkids first in her life.  She accepts and loves each and every one with their own unique personalities and talents.  She hates it that we live so far away, but she takes the time to mail us a small thoughtful package for every holiday.  She, like my other Moms, has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is inspiring.  I love you, Mom.

But, it isn't just my moms that make my day special, there are six wonderful people that have made ME a mom.  I love them all so very much.  They are my life.  I am so blessed to have them.

K was (and is) my first.  She inspires me with her integrity and great desire to always do what is right.
C is my first son.  He is an example of service and a willingness to help me.
A is my daughter that wasn't mine at first.  While she is technically my step-daughter, we love each other with a true love.  She has taught me how to accept and love all.
J is such fun.  He is an example of enjoying the moment.  I love his cuddling and desire to be close to me.
V is a uniting bundle of energy.  She gets so excited to be around any of us.  She helps all feel happy and good!
Baby C is my little baby that isn't so little.  He loves to laugh and it is infectious.  I love to hear it.

I haven't written much lately and I truly have a lot that I would like to share.  It isn't in the cards at this time in my life.  I have been blessed with 24 hours a day, but I cannot fulfill every desire of my heart and so I pick and choose and strive every day to do what matters most.  In general, I think I am succeeding at that, but it means things I cherish (such as blogging) sometimes get kicked off the iceberg.  I am relatively healthy.  I am quite happy.  I love Jesus Christ and I am striving to be like Him.  I love my family more than I thought was possible to love.  I am happy.  :)

P.S.  CK and I are having expensive dates.....we went to dinner last night and ended up purchasing a new dining set.  Hmmmm....maybe we shouldn't go out any more.  :)  :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So behind....I think it is a perpetual state.

I have so much that has happened. We are doing so much.  CK does not believe in absolutes, but in this case, I do. I think this is the busiest we have ever been.

We have a minimum of four baseball practices a week and a minimum of 3 games, usually four.  In addition, we are preparing for K to go to girls camp, C to go to scout camp, & J to go to Cub Scout day camp.  This involves a lot of fundraising. And fundraising takes time.

In addition, A is coming to spend a week and a half with us. I cannot wait. I am so excited.  And my parents are here, currently with my sister, but they will spend a few nights with our family as well.

It just all adds up to crazy crazy crazy.

One thing that started the crazy and I have not documented is that we went to Missouri. We left for Missouri 3 weeks ago tomorrow. We went and stayed in a house there. We spent Friday driving.  We spent Saturday organizing, shopping, and going to see A perform in a play. 

Sunday, we went to church and spent some quality family time. Mom K was there with us too. She also came to see A's play.

Monday, A had to go back to school, and we left and drove to Kansas City.  We got to go see Independence and Liberty Jail. 

We stayed in a hotel that night. In the morning, CK and I went and did a session at the Kansas City Temple.  We went back to the hotel, gathered up all the kids, and CK, K, and C went and did baptisms while I sat outside with the three littles.  Then, we drove home.

The funny thing is that the day before our trip, we had an ice day and school was canceled.  We had 4 or 5 days off of school in the two weeks prior to spring break. 

The rest of spring break was fun, too. Wednesday, we just unpacked and recuperated.  Thursday we went and saw a movie. Friday we were going to do donuts at the park for breakfast, but it was pouring rain. So, we met my sister and her kids at Krispy Kreme. That was our fun for the day.  And it always is fun to get the cousins together.

I do have a few pictures that I will add to this perhaps.  Many of our pictures in Missouri I took with my new camera.  That makes it harder to post. Not only is it not as convenient as the phone, they are huge files and I will have to save them as smaller files.  I am hopeful that I will get to it, but, do you remember how crazy this time of life is for us right now?

I really cannot complain. Life is busy. Probably too busy. But, I have such wonderful children. I have a wonderful husband who has started a new job and now commutes an hour each way.  But, while he is exhausted, he does not complain. He just comes home and starts right in to helping me. What a great guy.  I love Jesus Christ. I am more and more aware of how much He has done for me.  I am certain I still know very little, but I am learning. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the joy that it brings me. See? I cannot complain. I have a very blessed life.

Friday, March 6, 2015

My Birthday

 
My birthday was a great day.  My friend, Sister G came and babysat our littles and CK and I went to the temple. 
After the temple, we went out to lunch.  Yum!
 
J loves to be of service and made me a surprise snack to celebrate my birthday.
All the kids had activities that night, but we got done and met up at Denny's for a quick birthday dinner.  I sure love my family!

From the kids, I asked for each of them to give me something individual to do with them.  They were very creative.
 K is taking me to an orchestra performance and a treat after.
C and I are going bowling.
A and I are going to a movie and baking cookies.
J and I are going minature golfing.
V and I are going to Storytime and then a picnic in the park.
Baby C and I are going on walks just the two of us.

And, then, for the most expensive present I have ever had (besides my wedding ring), CK gave me a NICE camera.  I have wanted one for years and I already love it.  I think blogging will be a little harder since I cannot do it from my phone, but I already wasn't doing a good job.  Hopefully I can improve!