North Rim Grand Canyon

It’s been forever. Life is hectic. I can’t fit in everything I’d like to do.

But… here’s a bit.

We went on a 10-day trip to Utah. It was hard. It was fun.

I was just going through pictures and was able to auto-merge these photos we took into a panoramic version. Cool, eh? You can even see the fire in the distance on the left side. If we would have gone to the south rim, that fire would have smoked the entire view (as it did in 2001-ish when we went there). So, I’m super glad we went to the North Rim.


The end. For now…

The parable of the happy cat lady

Today was a long one. Started at 3 a.m. when Scotty decided he couldn’t sleep… on and off until 5.
Up at 6 to ready for our yard sale.
{first one we’ve ever hosted, btw…
a ton of work… but needful under the circumstances}
Saw a fabulous sunrise.
Sold oodles of stuff… came out ahead with $800.
Mostly we were just so glad to see the stuff goooooo…
going, going gone… more breathing room in our house!

yard sale.
movie to see inside-out. {more on that later}
nice reward for kiddos helping at said yard sale.

quickie dinner of yellow rice and big chicken, made by my love, Jimmy.
and then off to the General Women’s Meeting at the Stake Center with Hannah.
Loved the messages.
This was the last message, shared by Elder Uchtdorf. His parable of faith, hope, and charity was a cheerful one… about the happy cat lady (as someone on instagram put it!).
walk through life uchtdorf

I’m hoping as we go through the challenges of the next few months of moving that we will find the bits of joy scattered… the tender mercies given to us by God… and have faith in every single footstep… and hope in Christ to lift us up… and love for others.

Choose Kindness

choose kindness
We have been practicing KINDNESS in our home. Especially during the day when Liza is home with mom and scotty.

Asking nicely the first time!
Being agreeable.
Sharing. Kindness to friends and their siblings.
Obeying even when it’s hard.

Solving problems appropriately.
step 1: ask nicely.
step 2. wait quietly until it’s a good time for mom to assist.
step 3. say thank you.

And while we’re at it… practicing optimism is always a good thing too. Definitely something we need right now as we are swiftly preparing for a move to Texas. It’s wild, people! But things will work out (as we often remind ourselves).

choose optimism

The Temple Elevates

temple elevate

Aunt JuJu came to visit

04 april 201415
Julie came to visit from Virginia! It was the first time we’ve seen her since she, Brock, and Kota moved last summer. She is about 26 weeks pregnant with a girlie and she looked so cute! It was delightful to chat with Julie. She loves the kiddos. She took Hannah for a dessert run to the Slurp. She got to see BYU Women’s Lacrosse games and visit with friends. We loved having her stay with us. Zuzu especially loved seeing JuJu so she could show her all the pretty dresses and dance moves.

(don’t you dare comment on the morning hair/pjs/no make-up/ we all had on Conference morning. We enjoyed a nice Crepe and fruit/pudding breakfast with those siblings who dared get up before 8 a.m. It was fun to visit and have Paul, Jill, Michael & Shelby, & Juju there! John… where were you?)

Strengthen the Family

Alma 37:37 “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good.”

is the theme for the week. We had a lesson on obedience… on doing the Lord’s will, not ours. Our Savior was a perfect example of this principle.

I have been full-force thoughtful about CTR Camp this week. We have about 15 people signed up. I anticipate we could have had almost 30.

Saturday night as I went to bed, a thought… “All that I do, as a mother, needs to strengthen my family. Is CTR Camp really strengthening my family or is it causing more stress than benefit?”

Julie Beck: “A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. With personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.” (April 2010)

CTR Camp is awesome… it’s such a good thing. But is it the best for my family at this time?

Dallin H. Oaks: “We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

“Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” (October 2007)

When I went to the temple on Friday the thought of ‘SIMPLIFY and SLOW DOWN’ kept going through my mind.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.

“When stress levels rise… too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

“My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.”

“Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.” (October 2010)

So CTR Camp is cancelled for 2013. I’ve cried my eyes out about it. My heart is sad. But I know, overall, it’s much better.

I don’t necessarily have less weight on my shoulders… only a shifted weight. I feel the greater importance of being there mentally and emotionally for my children and husband.

Is CTR Camp dead? No way! It’s just going to have to hibernate for a few years.

sigh… liza is sick

This is about how happy Eliza has been this week.
Saturday = slight fever and lethargic
Saturday night = 103 fever & barf all over mom at 3 a.m. Grossest Barf EVER!
Sunday = stayed home from church with dad. fever. small barf.
Monday = fever subsides. still won’t eat or drink much. no good nap.
Tuesday = Doctor. No strep. Eyes still red. Breath still sick smelling.
Wednesday = Rash. We think it’s Roseola.
Thursday = Still fussy all morning. Won’t eat. Diarrhea. Finally try Melissa – the miracle essential oil? We’ll see if it helps. Napping in the a.m.
Friday = Let’s hope she’s doing better so mom and dad can go on their anniversary date.


I am encouraged by every success

This was a perfectly happy moment. We had just finished dinner. The kids were watching a new Piano Guys movie on the computer. ‘Liza was just hanging out with me at the table. She is a sweet girlie. I love that she was grabbing at her toes. I felt content.And ya know… about 10 seconds later, there was trouble that erupted with the other kids. But for a moment I was encouraged by how content and happy I felt. Life is good… even with ups and downs… this I will remember.

Until we meet again

We heard today that our sweet friend, James Walker, from Tennessee, passed away. We met him when Bishop Barton asked Jimmy to teach James to read. He was 65 and never learned to read well. He made a little progress but mostly we were glad to be friends with him. He had an interesting life and interesting stories. He loved the drawings our kids gave him, as he never was married or had kids of his own. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving 2007 after enjoying a fabulous dinner at the Harmers.

James Edward “Ruff” Walker, resident of the Kirk Community in Fayette County and retired dairy farmer and manufacturing company employee died Wednesday evening, December 7, 2011 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Collierville. He was 69 years of age and died following an extended illness.

Mr. Walker was born April 28, 1942 in Oakland, Tennessee. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leroy Frances Walker and Katie Bell Hughes Walker. He received his education in the Fayette County Public School System and was a lifelong resident of Fayette County. He was a dairy farmer throughout his life and in earlier years was employed by the Wonder Products Company of Collierville and Harts Manufacturing Company of Collierville.

He was a member of the Collierville Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Fishing was a favorite pastime and Mr. Walker also enjoyed caring for his pet cats and raising chickens at his residence.

my van is filled with… liquid gold?

I drove to Costco in the minivan with the empty light on. I had delayed this unfortunate event long enough. It had to be done. I’ve been filling the tank half full to spread the $$ out over pay periods. But since there is no end in sight for high gas prices, I sighed and filled her up. $58.55 later, I choked and drove away. The good side… Costco was 15 cents cheaper than anywhere else. And I guess today I’m grateful I don’t have a suburban to guzzle the gas.

I remember when I was at BYU and I was driving to Logan, I saw gas for $0.99/gallon in Brigham City. I almost took a photo of the price board at Chevrons. But I shrugged it off and figured it would come again. Not so people!

Can we just drill for our own oil on U.S. property instead of buying it from terrorists… already? Ok – maybe that wouldn’t solve the problem… but I think it’s a good idea.