Saturday, August 28, 2010


So...I have my first substitute teaching job on Monday. I am so excited and also quite nervous. I love being in the schools. I feel like walking in to the elementary school here is like walking into church-like family. I haven't taught school since the '98-'99 school year, when I was pregnant with K. J is old enough to be with a friend for a day or two a week. While I can definitely use the money, I am more doing this to be prepared. What if my source of income changes? How can I support my kids? I just need to have my foot in the door. I need to know people and have experience under my belt. I want to be prepared.

Speaking of being prepared, I went to a funeral of a dear friend's mother today. It was a beautiful service. It left me thinking, "What do I want said about me at my funeral?" I want to be prepared by being the best me I can. I don't know when my time to go home will be. I want to have my children cherish the memory of me and know that I love my Savior, that I persevered through heartache, and that I try each and every day to live my life in accordance with God's standards. I want to be prepared.

Random, I know.

Friday, August 27, 2010

36 days!

I am already on the countdown: General Conference in 36 days! I cannot wait. I have a lot of work to do still with what I learned the last conference. My goal is to reread/relisten/rewatch every single General Conference talk between now and then. I hope this will prepare my heart to receive the inspiration that I need during this upcoming conference. Now that y'all know...please hold me responsible!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Time for Everything

So....I took the kids out for a first day of school treat. I brought my good friend, J, along with us since it was her first day of school, too (teaching). On the way back, I ended up on a side road that I have rarely driven on, talking to J, and not paying enough attention.

And so...something that has NEVER happened to me happened. I got pulled over. AND, first time being pulled over EVER and I got a ticket. Nope. No warning for me. Straight to a ticket. I deserved it though. I was speeding. I wasn't aware, but I was speeding. I deserved it. Still frustrating.

Oh well, there is absolutely a first time for everything!

First Day of School '10-'11

I was going to combine this post with one about all the fun things we did last week to celebrate our last week of summer. We really had a blast. But, today is a special enough day to deserve its own post! It is the first day of school!!!!

C is starting fourth grade! He hates school. He absolutely hates it. I thought I understood why, but maybe I need to revisit it. He spent the morning screaming about how he was not going to leave his bed nor the house because he was NOT going to school.

Yet, he wanted to ride the bus on the first day. This is the first first day of school in 7 years that I haven't been one of the zillion parents crowded in to the elementary school dropping off their children. But, I feel that he is definitely old enough to do it alone. I didn't think it would bother me, but watching him step on the bus I felt like I was losing my Mommy card or something.

Here he is this morning. I have a bunch of frowny, angry face ones, but he finally acquiesced and smiled for me. :)
Here comes the bus:
My two sixth graders were so nervous to start a new school this morning. Here they are. Don't they look ready? I cannot believe that this is the beginning of my 5th year having S before and after school. She truly is like a second daughter to me. Here they are:
I hope they did okay. I taught middle school, so I really wasn't nervous for them, until I got there. The teachers weren't as friendly and helpful as I was hoping. I am sure they did fine, but my heart sunk a little as I left them comparing schedules and realizing that they do not have even one class together!
I usually go with a friend or two for lunch on the first day of school. Today I went with A. She is one of my best friends and I just love her. J had so much fun with C. Those two boys are so much alike! I am so glad for the opportunity to go to lunch today. It has been a rough 24 hours and I sure needed that time away. I feel a lot better now. Amazing what friends do, huh?
And, just like always.....first day of school cookies! They are baking now. Here they are, ready to go in the oven. (I won't confess, though, how much dough I have already eaten!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Season: Alone Time

Life has many "seasons." There is a time for everything and everything in its time. Most seasons of my life I don't understand exactly, but all are dictated by the Lord and dedicated to Him. My CK season is done (at least for now). I had the horrible task of saying goodbye to him today. It hurt. Really hurt. It is one of the deepest pains I have EVER experienced. I know I will be back to crying myself to sleep tonight. I think that having the "no" answer and being obedient is much more difficult than having the "yes" answer and feeling confused. I have a whole new level of respect for M.

Now, my season is to be alone. I am never all the way alone, but I mean without a man. I have been so lucky and blessed that almost since the day my divorce was final I have had a man/men to talk to and/or date. I have been blessed to come to know many wonderful men. At this point, though, I have a season of learning, discovery, and growth just for me. I want to develop my talents, hobbies, and professional opportunities. I want to be the very best mother I can-the one my children need and deserve. I want to be prepared to be the best wife I can be in every single aspect. I want to be ready to embrace my future step-children with all my heart. I want to serve with all that is within me, listen to the Lord every day, and strive to completely align my life with His will for me.

It is a new season. I don't know how long it will be or where I will be for my next season, but, for now, I am alone and I am okay with that. Every season that is as the Lord dictates I will embrace, including this one. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Okay...I still want to catch up from our summer trip....I know it is a month and a half late, but I have a lot I still want to say.

But, today's post has to be about J (for those that don't realize it....he used to be LD....but he has outgrown that name and now is just J). There are some things I don't want to forget.
  1. We were having a serious talk. In the middle somewhere (for some reason I don't remember now) I asked J if he'd like it if I married CK. He said "no." He then continued that he doesn't want me to EVER remarry. When I asked why he said, "Because then he would sleep in your bed and I couldn't come in there and sleep with you if I get scared." Makes sense, eh?
  2. In another reflective moment, he asked me, "When will Grandma get resurrected?" What faith. What a testimony. Not "if" but "when."
  3. Finally, this evening he was saying his personal prayer. This is part of what he asked Heavenly Father, "Please bless all of us to stay alive until we are a grandpa or a grandma and then after we die, help us to get resurrected." I guess death has been on his mind lately with the passing of my grandma, but it was sweet to hear the honest and sincere prayer of a 3-year-old who is adamant that he does not want to die until he is a grandpa.

How I love this boy. I am so lucky and blessed to be his Mama. What a joy it is to have three wonderful kids that I love with all my heart. I am doing the best I can in raising them. I am so grateful that the difference is made up by a loving God and Savior, that where I lack, they step in and help.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I copied the idea for this post from my dear niece, K. I thought it was such a good idea that I copied.

For me, many of my hopes and dreams were shattered in the last couple of years. The life I was living was wonderful and in the middle of accomplishing most of my dreams. Yet, I am pleased to report that those shattered dreams have been replaced by new hopes and dreams and I am excited and happy for my future.

  • Have my children lead happy, accomplished, and fulfilled lives.
  • Become a temple worker.
  • Go back to school either for a master's or a second degree....probably in accounting, architecture, school library science, or school counseling.
  • Serve at least three missions.
  • Marry in the temple to the man of my dreams.
  • Be an amazing and loving step-mom.
  • Travel...particularly to Guatemala and to Europe.
  • Write a book about being an LDS divorced woman and the struggles and triumphs that entails, particularly how relying on the Lord changes everything.
  • Put in a swimming pool.
  • Remain debt-free, with the exception of my house. If I can't afford it, I don't need it.
  • Become a professional organizer.
  • Have more children (after marrying that man of my dreams, of course!)
  • Watch all my children (the three I have now, my step children, and my future children) be raised in righteousness, serve missions, attend the temple, and marry in the House of the Lord.
  • Run a non-profit budgeting center to help families learn how to budget and carry out the plans.
  • Build a house...from scratch. Only hiring out for a few things. I love power tools and I love building. I would love to participate in framing, drywalling, electrical, painting, and everything else.
  • Foster children.
  • Smile, laugh, and enjoy every day.
  • Die knowing that I have done the work I was sent here to do and hopefully can rejoice in hearing, "Well done, my good and faithful [daughter]!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blast from the past: June 28, 2010: K's 11th birthday!

Because of all the craziness and going unexpectedly out of town, K's birthday was a bit of an adventure. She had stayed behind with the wonderful S family so that she could attend College for Kids. When my grandma did pass away and the funeral was scheduled, she still had to miss the last week, but, at least she got to be there for a time.

My sister and her family also live in Texas. They took K with them on the drive to Colorado. I don't know if she helped or hurt, but it became a family with 5 kids with her there. Once in Colorado, we had to decide how to get her to Utah. We wanted to be together on her birthday. My mom had recently undergone surgery and was not supposed to travel much either. We finally decided that the two of them would fly together.

They got to fly on her birthday. She loved it. She enjoyed the flight and even more than that, our friends at Southwest got over the PA system and had the entire plane sing "Happy Birthday" to her. How she loved that!!!!! She will always remember this birthday. They even re-announced it as they approached Salt Lake City...."Time is_. Temperatures is_. And, don't forget it is K's 11th birthday!"

Here we are picking her up at the airport:
Her cousins and her aunt and I had planned a surprise birthday party for her. We kept her out of the basement all day long. When we went down there, her cousins had decorated it so nicely for her. She was pleased and surprised!
Her other aunt, Z, is a master face painter. She is much sought after for festivals and shows. She also does glimmer tattoos, which every body loves. She came and painted faces as a special guest at K's party. Here she is with J:
We ate K's favorite meal for dinner (also my favorite!): carne asada, plantains, frijoles, etc.. YUMMY!
Crazy face-painted cousins!
Time to open presents:

Finally, time for cake! I made lemonade cake...her favorite and we used candies to make a "peace sign." She loved it!
I tried to be a tiger with J. He looks better than I!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Game Challenge Update: 18

With two hours to go, K and I are up to 18 games. We definitely aren't going to make it to 4o, but we have been having a blast! We are playing games we either forgot we had or haven't played in a while since others have become our favorites.

We started after church (about 12:30). We even ate our lunches while playing! We also took a break earlier while I took a nap and she prepared her Family Home Evening lesson. We are now preparing to take a scripture reading time break (it is the Sabbath, after all!). We definitely won't make it to 40, but we don't care....we are loving it and loving each other! :)
This is our completed so far today pile:
7. Oh The Places You'll Go
8. War
9. Connect 4
10. UNO Flash
11. Blokus
12. Doodle Dice
13. Farkle
14. Phase 10 Twist
15. Hungry, Hungry Hippos
16. Split Second
17. Book of Mormon Mania
18. Go Fish

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Goal: 40 different games. Time: 32 hours

XDH has the boys out of town. K stayed here to attend a dear friend's birthday party. The unexpected benefit has been that we will have 36 hours (minus the party and sleeping, of course) of mother-daughter time!!! :)

We went school clothes shopping and school supplies shopping.
K went to her party.
Then....I took her on a "date" to Yogurtland. Fun and yummy! We loved it. It is a self-serve frozen yogurt bar where you pay by the ounce. The atmosphere is fun. The food is yummy. Doing something new and exciting: priceless. (Thanks, JK...who took us there last night for girls' night!)

Now, we began at 10:15 tonight our goal: 40 different games played before the boys get home tomorrow night at 6:00 pm. That leaves us with less than 32 hours....and sleep and church and showers and breakfast all that have to be done in there.....we will see how far we get. So far, we are having a lot of fun trying and that is what matters. If it becomes a chore, we will just stop.

So far:
  1. Blink
  2. Dutch Blitz
  3. Scrabble Slam
  4. Pit
  5. Twister
  6. Lego Rockband

Broken Hearted....AGAIN!

Here I am again. Same song. Same dance. Same place. Same hurts. Will I ever stop hurting? What is it with me and the men I've loved. Why can't we ever get the same answers? Now, it is my turn for the "no." Again. As I spent time in the temple today, the answers came clearly. Not CK. Not now. Maybe not ever. I don't know, but I know that my tear ducts still work. What I thought were my future plans are now shattered. I think I have been slow to listen and the Lord has been patient with me to tell me again. It still hurts. -sigh- "The best is yet to be. Look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed to the future." ~Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (Repeat to self over and over...until it sinks in.)

Girls' Night....7, 5, 3, 1 (odd number countdown)

Girls' Night=

7 friends

5 hours

3 different places

1 AWESOME night!

Thanks, ladies! To all that we missed tonight: please join us next time, we missed you!!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Men are that they might have JOY"


I forgot how good it felt. I haven't been in months. Today I finally redeemed a gift certificate I had for a one hour hot stone massage. HEAVEN! I so needed it today. Loved it. I love this spa, too. I have been impressed every time I have gone. Now...time to save up money so I can go again! :)

Torn Heart


I am so lucky right now to have the opportunity to talk to/ text/ date many wonderful men. Dating in your thirties was not my plan and it is a challenge, but it is also fun, too. I am letting the Lord guide my path.

At this moment (until the Lord opens another door or closes one of them), my heart really is torn: between the man I love and the man I have had "yes" answers on. It would be so much easier if the two were the same. But, at least for now, they are not. I am a "planner." I want to plan every aspect of my life. It is difficult for me to let go completely and let the Lord have the "To Do" list. But, that is what I want to and will do. I will leave it all up to Him and try not to figure it out alone. I've tried that. I cannot do it.

Right now, I am missing my kids as they spend an extended weekend with XDH. But, I am also enjoying accomplishing some of the things that are easier without children underfoot. I have been to work out, I am headed to the temple, and I am hosting a girls' night tonight. Life is good. I am happy. I KNOW I will always be taken care of and okay. I am truly one of the lucky ones.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Water Park Day!

Today I woke up so grumpy. I had a million things to take care of and probably not enough time. But, that is not why I was grumpy...I have no idea why I was grumpy, I just was. But, among so many other things to do today, I had made plans to meet a friend and her kids at a local water park. So, we went.

Here is would've been a super cute picture, but the goldfish in his mouth ruined it a little.
This is K's best friend, E. They had so much fun together. We don't get very many opportunities to be together and I am so glad we did get to today.
By the time we were done, the grumpies were gone, the kids were happy, a sunburn was on my chest, and I had a new lease on life. :)
We also picked up my dear mother-in-law on the way home. It is so wonderful to have her around. She got to join us last night for Family Home Evening and tonight for piano lessons, library, dinner, baths, and scriptures and prayer. Another evening in our family's life and we got to share it with her. What a great opportunity to build the generational bonds.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8.9.10 =

Today's date!!!!

I am such a numbers girl and I have been so excited waiting for today.....8.9.10 only happens once in a lifetime. :) I wish I could be born today or get married today or do something else really cool. But, it is just another day, only memorialized by this post.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Trip...Continued..FAMILY ROCKS! (June 25-June 27)

I cannot believe how many pictures I have to go through! We really packed it in while were out of town last month. After being in Idaho, we drove to Utah to my awesome and incredible sister-in-law's house. They had a bunch of family in town for a wedding, but they still lovingly put us up unexpectedly. What a great example of hospitality and love.

The second night we were there, we went to Savior of the World...a musical performed by the youth of the Stake. It was incredible. The Spirit was very strong. I know it touched me and I know it touched C. K was still in Texas with our good friends. We were missing her and wishing she was there. Here are those family-filled days in pictures:
Papi O. and J at Savior of the World....these two have a very special bond and I have dozens of pictures with Papi O carrying J.
On Saturday, we went to a festival where my other dear sis-in-law was painting faces and applying glimmer tattoos. Both were very cool. My nephew, A, was also in town for football camp. We had the extra special and unusual opportunity to have all the grandsons together at once. So...of course I had to take a picture.

All the grandsons with their grandpa.
These three cousins absolutely love each other. Crazy kids.
More boy cousin time.
J and his cousin, G, loved each other so much. They are only a few months apart. Every afternoon, either L or I would read them books before they both laid down for a nap. Here is L reading to them.
Told ya there would be another...I didn't even realize I uploaded two of them. :)
S, CR, and their Sunday best...on a trampoline. Usually it is not a Sabbath activity, but....cousins are together only so infrequently that we bent the rules.

Me with my dear in-laws. Oh, how I love them!
J and G playing together. Later, KB, the oldest of the cousins came out and drew with them. She is so good with them and all the kids love her.

A and me. Wow! He is so tall. When I first joined the family, he was only 2 or 3. Wow!
CB giving rides to G and J. They all had so much fun. It was like pulling teeth to get them to come in again when it was bedtime.
How I love, love, love our family! We always have a wonderful time. It makes me so wish we lived closer so the cousins could experience more time together. We are counting down the days until we get to be together again. I think it will be for Thanksgiving since I don't have the kids for Christmas this year. Maybe XDH will take them for Christmas. They would love to go twice in the fall/winter!!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Exhausted...for good reason

Wow! I am sooooo exhausted. I haven't yet recovered fully from my spur-of-the-moment trip out of town. And....this week we have gone glasses shopping/purchased glasses, spent a lot of time with my in-laws who made a surprise visit into town, went to Six Flags in 108 degree heat, and went to the museum (with my in-laws). I am absolutely exhausted. I cannot remember ever being this tired....I don't even think I have recovered from my trip to Colorado/Utah/Idaho. More fun tomorrow, too. :)

Here are the last few days in pictures:

This other state I visited is sooooooooooooo pretty. I had never been there, but it reminded me of Portland (I used to live there). Above is a picture I took as I drove to return the rental car. It doesn't even do it justice. WOW!

Above is a view from the plane as I was going home. Looking through the window, I spent hours thinking of how immensely awe-inspiring God is. All flesh is in his hands, including me and my odd trip out of town.
Now for the kids and their glasses. Above is the "before" picture and below is the "after." Both of them chose their own glasses and I think they did a GREAT job!

My dear father-in-law with J. They love each other and we all love ice cream in this heat. Yesterday we broke the rules and ate ice cream first before lunch! Oh well, this we only get one life, we have to live it, right?
Now, Six Flags. This was the first thing we did and we were already sweating to death. HOT!

Lunch. C intentionally made a silly wasn't that he had food in there. :) Silly kid.

Up in the tower above the park. Beautiful.

This is my very favorite ride....maybe in my whole life. C and I rode it and I absolutely LOVED it. I could've done it all day long. This picture was taken from up in the tower.

Ready for the parade after a very LONG day!

The light parade was so fun!
Today at the museum. We went to a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit. He was so amazing. Here is K after helping recreate an arch.
Another part of the exhibit was creating and testing a suspension bridge. Here is J with Papi O.
C's wheels were turning in his brain as he used materials to invent a windmill.
K created a tower (with a "K" on top).
She also created a fan hat with a fan always at her disposal (stuck in the back).
At the energy exhibit...Papi O, Mami R, and C, J, and K. We loved being together.
J is shopping...very seriously, of course. Not a job to be taken lightly!
They have an outside fountain outside the museum. Perfect for a day like today. On the way home, we read a sign that put the temperature at 115. I think it might've been a little high, but probably not too much. Yikes! That is hot!
K and C loved the fountain and were soaked. Papi O and I each went through once and got drenched that one time! If you look carefully, you can see C's face with pure joy through the fountain. It was the end of a wonderful day. :)
It is now 10:12 and I am so tired. I will read my scriptures and go to bed. Hopefully receiving enough energy to be ready for the Primary activity tomorrow morning! ZZZZZZZZ... (good night).
PS....I am trying to not share too much personal information, but I have to mention that CK and I are taking a week-long discovery break. I don't know what the outcome will be, but I definitely know that I miss my best friend.