How to Change!

Just a few notes and thoughts from “He did deliver me from Bondage” book by Colleen Harrison. It used to be a resource in the church’s addiction program until they wrote their own program. I love that it’s full of study of the Book of Mormon. It addresses any challenge we might have that make us feel out of control or unable to govern ourselves. Learning to completely humble self and rely wholly on Jesus Christ for strength will change our hearts, our vision, and our choices. I’m at the very beginning, again, because I started it 2 years ago and only got to page 13. Once I got to the “action”part, I pooped out. Oops. This time I’ve got this!!! I’d recommend this book to anyone who emotionally eats, has or knows someone with an addiction, or anyone striving to have a better balance of life activities or choices. Thanks to @snyderem for sharing this book a few years ago.

Smith Family Sacrament Meeting

Today Eliza gave a sacrament meeting talk on Love. It was so cute helping her write it. It was just her style and very sweet. She colored each time Love was mentioned.

For Sunday School, Hannah, Max, and Abe each prepared 2 sections of the first Preach my Gospel lesson. They taught about God, Jesus Christ, the apostasy and Joseph Smith’s Revelation, and receiving answers to prayer. I’m grateful for the opportunity we have to do church at home. I love that we can pick the topics, that each one in our family participates in some way every week, and they are learning how to teach, share testimony, and give talks. Each are things we try to teach but having more family time actually makes it possible. I love that bonus to this Corona Quarantine time. I’ve also loved having Abe and Max blessing and passing the sacrament. What a sacred ordinance to be a part of in our home.

Words of the Year 2020

Eliza and I have been doing a 3×5 art-card-a-day project. Wanting to think on a solid topic that had been in my mind, I thought I’d digitally create word art. Not very artsy but it’s important to my heart so I’ll count it.

FAITHFUL…. Not just faith, but one who is full of faith, one who acts in faith. I gathered Bible Dictionary definitions, gospel topic’s reference, scriptures, and conference quotes for the compilation (nothing referenced, sorry!).

FAITHFUL led to HOPE which led to LIGHT and then LOVE. They are basic principles of the gospel, but when my heart is discouraged or feels dark or depressed, I need these simple truths to relight my attitude and perspective … like Spiritual Affirmations.

Each word is something I am striving to be in these specific circumstances of 2020:

  • Be faithful to the truth I know through study and prayer.
  • Focusing on Hope in Christ to bring Joy to dark days.
  • Looking to the light and acting in ways that bring light, doing things to fill my soul with light.
  • Love. Praying with all my heart to be filled with the Love of God to manage my own emotions and mental health, mothering kids of all ages, as well as loving and teaching one with unique brain differences.

#faithfulness #hope #light #love

#GodsLove

Today…

Today …

Outside my window… Bright Texas Sunshine. 62 degrees which is perfect! Falling Leaves.

I am thinking… about how to help our family be more peaceful and happy together. We’ve had so much arguing and nit-picking lately with all the kids. It seems someone is always crying, or arguing, or fussing or having to do push-ups as a consequence. We need each other. Our family is all we have for eternity (well, and God!). I really am praying we can figure out how to have a better spirit in our home and help those children with mega issues to be more peaceable.

I am wondering… how in the world I’ll go a month without sugar. I decided to do it on Monday. And yesterday I didn’t have any treats or sweets or chocolate. That is huge! I have to improve my health on 2-3 points or my insurance is kicking me out of the ‘wellness health discount” or whatever it is. $150 more each month is way too much on insurance premiums so I’m kicking it into high gear. Plus, who decides to potty train a Scotty and go without sugar on the same week. Crazy mom!

I am Praying: for the way to a new treadmill. So silly. But i keep hoping I’ll either win one on a give-a-way… or more eternally beneficial and principled to find the pennies to save (on top of my idaho vacation fund) to buy one. We had one for 12 years that I tried to use but was never very consistent … but it died last year. But I’ve just got to commit to exercising 6 days a week and in Texas heat and humidity, indoor exercise is how it has to be, unfortunately. But I know if I exercise, it will encourage me to eat healthy… And vice-versa. Anyhoo… so tricky to balance health and exercise as a mom of many.

I am thankful for…
Jimmy… He works tirelessly for our family. At work and at home.
Scotty… He is quite the character that keeps us laughing when he’s feeling jolly.
Eiza… Lately she’s been a good friend to me. She’ll rub my back and enjoy talking with me.
Truman… So grateful on days when Truman gets up and gets going off to school with a happy heart.
Max… has so much faith! Grateful for his natural testimony.
Abe… working hard and accomplishing good things in honors band trumpet. He came in 3rd chair for district trumpet out of all the middle schools.
Hannah…. this girlie gets up early for seminary and is mastering the “I can do hard things” life with so much going on with homework, friends, driver’s ed. And she is a dear heart at home for all.

I am lovin’: SLEEP! seriously love a good’s night’s sleep. Love my cozy blanket on my bed right now. Love taking a respite from the stress of life. Sleep … it does a mama’s emotions good!

From the learning rooms…
Hannah: Christmas Music. Playing the Organ. Patience with friends and life circumstances.
Abraham: How to build a boomerang out of paint sticks in Engineering.
Maxwell: Spelling Bee on Monday! Go Max!
Truman: a need for fidget toys to help with focus. Learned to whistle.
Eliza: Just learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
Scotty: Learning to go potty. Wahoo!

From the kitchen… another batch of Fire Cider. Hannah made sweet potato, black bean, corn Flautas. Pretty yummy & healthy. Little kids didn’t agree and there were tears all over the place.

I am wearing… my favorite t-shirt cardigan (hand-me-down from Mary), Old Navy California bear shirt, Jeans (with a new hole in the knee. arg!), Pink nike shoes that are not comfortable. And since I actually got ready today I’m going to comment that I’m wearing mascara and lipstick. bonus!

I am remembering… days when I was just mostly exhausted physically for carrying and helping little ones. Now it’s more emotionally exhausting than physically. Love my kids so much! But wow… balancing life is a tricky business.

I am creating… a few scrapbooks for Christmas. I’m not sure how and when I’ll get them done, but I have oodles of free $ to shutterfly that expire in December. Eliza has been begging for a photo album. And Max appreciates them as well.

I am going… to the temple tomorrow. Wahoo! So excited! #templelight

I am reading… I just read the entire Jonquil Brothers books by Sarah Eden. It was so silly to read them all but it was so fun to have my twice-a-year-read-a-thon.

I am hoping… for happy family days ahead. Hoping to accomplish this by having our family memorize the Living Christ. At least start it this month… and hopefully finish by Easter? Hoping…

I am hearing… Scotty’s tv show. I don’t remember what it’s called. But it’s so hard to watch such a toddler show so poorly made. Ugh. But Scotty likes it. I’m trying to convince him to watch Wreck it Ralph Movie. I think he’d like it. He loves fixing things with tools with Jimmy. But he won’t give it a try.

Around the house… Messes. We still haven’t picked up sufficiently from our house guests the past week. Toys scattered about. So often I ask the kids to each put away 25 or 50 or even 100 things just to get things tidied up better. Crazy that we even have that many things. Which brings me to the discussion of getting rid of much of our stuff. Gotta sort through and figure out how to do that. BUT … we have the Christmas tree up and even though it’s not decorated yet, the #ChristmasLight is awesome!

One of my favorite things… Apple Cider Vinegar. Ewwww. Not my tastiest thing but a healthy thing. But it ought to be noted that I honestly think it has helped my immune system. The only time I’ve been really sick in the past 6 months was the week I stopped taking it. I honestly think it’s disgusting, though cayenne pepper helps cover the taste. I put a tsp or Tblsp in a glass of water and drink it as fast as I can. Then I drink another cup of plain water to help wash it down.

A few plans for the weekend: Stake Conference.

A scripture I like: Philippians 4: 8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” I heard this the other day and it was a good reminder to keep thoughts positive and to focus on the good in our life. Of course there are hard things. Of course there are occasional doubts. But there is faith and hope and light and goodness to fill our hearts and minds with.

A Song I like: Aiming for Hope by David Archuleta

A picture I love:
I just really loved my hair short. Even though it made my neck look like a football player’s… and my family didn’t love it as much as I did, it was just a fun haircut for that time of my life when little Eliza was a wee babe. Plus, I remember I loved green that year. Color of the year probably! Plus, newborns! So much snuggles and baby smiles and smells.  Plus, I was skinnier then.  So funny that’s my new goal is to look like I did after baby #5.  Yikes!  Baby Steps.

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.

north-rim-shrunk-panaroma

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!

anyhoo…
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?)