Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Out For Women

I attended my first Time Out For Women in Phoenix a few weekends ago with some of my favorite women. Being with these girls throughout the weekend was definitely the highlight. I seem to learn more from them just being in their presence than from all those lectures. But I did enjoy some lectures/talks as well.

Here are a few notes that got jotted down during that weekend:

  • 1- "Happiness is a City in the State of Mind"

  • 2- Adam and Eve were given the commandment, "Be HAPPY and find JOY therein." (I had never thought of that as a commandment from God. . . major attitude shift)

  • 3- One of the presenters requested us to ask ourselves the question, "What is it like being married to ME?" This question has lead to some thoughtful insight. . . no need to go there.

  • 4- In order for a plant to grow, it requires being planted in healthy soil, regular watering, and then a lot of direct sun light. And so it is with raising children: the child needs to be planted in a healthy home, be "watered" regularly, i.e. showered with love and appreciation, lots of teaching, healthy motivation and guidance. After that, we have to make sure the child is put under the direct light of the Savior. In other words, create moments and an environment where the child can feel His love and direction. We do the planting and the watering, then pray for sunshine. We do all we can as parents, and the Savior does the rest. This analogy was very insightful for me.

  • 5- Find Abundance in life. Learn to be content with what we have.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Under the Knife

Family Night Fun!

Angels Among Us

Our family became acquanted with some true "angels" when we moved into our first house in Mesa 6 years ago. The Carneys were the prior owners of the home, and we got to know them through that transaction.

Since then, they have become such close friends of our family. The kids refer to them as "like grandparents". Whenever they see, or even sense a need, it is immediately filled. Every holiday we have all been spoiled with goodies, gifts, and warm cards. Every summer we enjoy numerous swimming parties in their backyard that always include yummy dinners and great visiting. Every winter we enjoy buckets of grapefruit and oranges, as much as we can handle.

Since moving about 30 minutes South a year ago, I wondered if we'd see them as much. I didn't expect the Carneys to drop off treats for the kids like they used to. But they still do. We enjoyed their visit this past Monday evening. They walked in the door with their hands full of goodie bags for the kids, Halloween home decor, a few Christmas accessories, and a HUGE bag of chocolate chips. (She knows I LOVE to bake). The kids' eyes were huge with excitement--just like Christmas!

The Carneys are some of the most Christlike people I know. They think of others, always serving and lifting others' burdens. They are complimentary towards others and towards each other. They work together well and support each other in their personal activities. They constantly show love to all around them. Whenever I am in their presence, I am inspired by their generosity and kindness. And whenever they leave, John and I always look at each other and say, "Wow, they are amazing." I hope to be more like them someday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giving it another try. . .

In our last house, we tried gardening a few times, all with no success. Here in our new house, there's not a lot of space around the yard that receives enough direct sunlight to plant anything. So, John and I built two 4 X 4 foot boxes and set them on some decorative rock in the backyard. With 32 square feet of space, we planted strawberries, two kinds of lettuse, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and squash. It provided a great project for the kids to be involved in. We just hope things start growing.
Here's what we started with:

Here's how it ended up:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Try, Try, Try Again

John caught Andersen trying to put on roller skates the other morning. Here's a few pictures that tell the story.
Check me out Dad. I put these skates on all by

No problems here. I'm holding up just fine.


I think I've gotten enough for one day. Now help me take these things off.

One More Under My Belt

I ran my third half marathon last weekend, this time with my older brother. My training was sporatic, as well as my energy level and sleep schedule during the 8-week training. Because of these factors, I didn't have any lofty goals of reaching my PR but just wanted to finish and get it over with. It was probably my worst race yet. My chip time is 2:15:10--nothing to brag about. Someday I'd like to get it under 2:10. . . someday.

Around mile 8, my left knee started bugging me and caused a lot of pain with every step. The pain subsided when I walked, so I took it easy from then on and walked probably a minute for every 10.

The race itself isn't what I love about the whole thing. I love looking at a week-by-week calendar on my mirror every morning that dictates what I do for exercise that day. I love crossing each day off on the calendar after finishing the required work-out. I love seeing progress that comes with time. I love the motivation that accompanies a far off goal of running a race.

With the race behind me now, I have a harder time getting myself up and out the door to exercise each day. The motivation is not there anymore. Time to find another goal to work towards.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some things Never Change

As a young girl, I remember listening to my mom talk about her good friends from her college years. She would see them occasionally (every couple of years), talk on the phone once in a while, and exchange Christmas cards.

I remember thinking how strange the whole thing sounded. You can't be friends with someone that you hardly ever see or talk to. "Friends", in my childish mind, meant someone that you saw almost daily out on the street, that you saw in church and at school, that you talked to and played with and spent time with--daily.

Now I understand. I went to college with a deep desire that I too could find "those" kind of friends--where friendship stays close and strong regardless of time or distance. That first freshman semester, I met up with some amazing women. Since then, we have moved far away from each other and have all been involved in different things. We don't play with each other, talk to each other, or spend time daily. But we're still great friends.

Since college 13 years ago, we have met up maybe 3 times for a short weekend where we leave behind our "mom" and "wife" titles and get to be simply "girl friends" again. I always return to my other titles refreshed, uplifted, and motivated to do better, be better, and become more.

This past week we met up at a beautiful cabin the the White mountains of AZ for a week. And this time, it wasn't just the 5 of us. With husbands and children in the mix, we have turned into 25. I loved being together. I loved watching them in their new roles as wife and mother. I loved learning from them in our late night visits. I loved seeing our kids play together. I loved cooking and cleaning the kitchen together. I loved visiting and relaxing on the porch together.

Thanks for coming girls! As always, I have come home refreshed, uplifted, and motivated to do better, be better, and become more. You inspire me!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Break is Coming to an End. . . all too soon!

I love having the kids home, all to myself. Being on a modified year-round school schedule, my kids have been home from school for the past 11 school days. One more day home before they all return back to studying, homework, piano lessons, bed times, scouts, and schedules. Tomorrow, we'll have to do laundry and get to bed on time. But today, we have done nothing but pure play. Yes, there is plenty of dirt in this house, laundry is piling high, and the lawns need to be mowed--but not today.

We visited the library, read lots of books, took naps, danced in the family room, jumped on the tramp, exercised together, played catch in the backyard, and talked to grandparents. A lot of my favorite things with my most favorite people.

Marjorie Hinckley believed that unstructured days with her children taught more than a relentless pursuit of talents; "I hope you enjoy your children; if not, you're in trouble."

Some days, I might be 'in trouble'. But not today. Tomorrow might be another story, but today was perfect in my eyes. Even with a dirty kitchen floor.