Sunday, September 12, 2010

Family Time.....

This past week was Labor Day. What is Labor Day anyway? I thought it was a day that parents were able to utilize their children's time and talents and have them dedicate themselves to one full day of labor around the house. I guess I have been wrong all these years because my children think it is the last vacation of the year. Hmmmm? We went for a hike up to Stewart Falls in the morning. It was really nice. I was happy to be with all of my kids, well all except AJ. He decided to stay home. We hiked and talked and when we got to the falls
, Lissa was the only one who actually went behind the waterfall. Way to go Lissa! I knew if I got wet I would be miserable for the rest of the day.

The plan was to go on the hike in the morni
ng and then we were going to go to Park City and meet my brothers and their families and my parents out lunch. We would then hang out in Park City for the rest of the day.

Well, l
ets say that things didn't goes exactly the way they were supposed to. Jon parked close to a bush and when we backed out of the parking lot the very strong wicked bush yanked and pulled and actually tore the whole front bumper right off of his car. We were shocked and stood them with the most dumbfounded looks on our faces. How on earth could this happen? We decided it would not be safe to drive to Park City, so we headed home. All in all it was still a fun day since we spent it with family.
My birthday was a few weeks ago and for my birthday Jon gave me a massage table. I know that may seem like an odd gift, but the family has had a great time taking turns giving and receiving massages. It really came in handy when Tyler returned from running the Red Rock Relay, which by the way his teal placed 19 out of 185 teams, anyway, his legs were hurting so bag so Lissa, Jon and I took turns working him over on the table. It was fun to hear his groans of agony as we barely touched those aching muscles.

Things for us are good right now. We have some really tough challenges, but are facing them he
ad on and getting through as a family. We just finished a wonderful area conference and were fed some great spiritual thoughts. they give us courage to face the trials and be able to come out of them okay. Life is hard, I know that, but I have hope that each of us will be okay if we are surrounded by family. They are the ones who cheer us on. They are the ones who weep with us. They are the ones who stand by our side and lift us when we can't lift ourselves when we can't stand alone anymore. Thanks family for continuing to stand by me when I am week. I love you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Call me a slacker!

I know...since I have been home I have not been very faithful in keeping up with my blog. I keep saying that it is because I have not taken any pictures. That is such a lame excuse. I should take pictures of daily normal life. I am going to get better at that. It has been quite the transition since I have been home. I t was difficult to get back into the groove of things. The kids have all started school now and we seem to be on a schedule. I love routines and schedules, wait I only love my schedules.
Jon and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this month. Wow...I can't believe we have been married for twenty-five years. As I look back over time there are a lot of things I wish we could change, but know that those are the things that have made us grow closer and stronger. It is wonderful having someone to travel through life with. It has been such a roller coaster ride and I feel we have learned a lot from raising our family. We celebrated our anniversary by having all the kids back home together. We have been separated all summer. We had a great dinner and enjoyed talking about our experiences we each had. I love my kids. Being the mom is not easy. I have to remind myself of that every day.
I also celebrated my birthday this month. It was not too eventful since I received a migraine for my birthday. My boys were very sweet. Each one got me a gift. Tyler and Lissa bought pizza for everyone and gave me some beautiful roses. AJ gave me the most wonderful bouquet of Gerber daisies and Kelton gave me a scented oil warmer for the house. Logan ordered a gift for me from the inter net, but it has not come yet. I feel so loved.
We have had a few challenges the past week and once again our faith is being tested. I am trying to be strong, but feel so weak at times. I know that when we have some wonderful spiritual experience and can't help but share it with everyone, that makes Satan furious. He will do anything he can to stop us from sharing the gospel and the light with others. Oh how I hate him. I also know that there are many people on both sides of the veil that are helping us fight this battle. Sometimes it is just so hard to keep fighting. I wish I could raise my family in an isolation booth on a lovely beach in the Caribbean. (Wishful thinking?) To everyone out there that may be battling the forces of evil, hang on, band together and be strong. We will win. We have to win. I love this gospel it gives me hope in a world where everything seems so wicked. It gives me peace when there is turmoil all around and it gives me courage to take one more step forward each day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This is what the boys and I came home to from Nauvoo. It is amazing. Jon had our kitchen remodeled while we were in Nauvoo. I am so happy with the way things turned out. I had some great friends who picked out tile and things for me. Jon was great having to live in the mess that was created by the whole things. Thanks Jon. I am so happy that my husband did this for me. I just love my new kitchen. Now what should I start cooking?

Monday, August 9, 2010 has been one week since I have been home from Nauvoo. I never thought it would be an adjustment, but it has. It is hard being home. There is a part of me that still wants to be in Nauvoo. I have a yearning that calls me back. It is a yearning to be close to those who have gone before and left such a heritage. I will remember them always. I will also remember those we left behind in Nauvoo. We met some great people there and it was hard to say goodbye to them. Each one touched our lives in a very special way, but there is one person that is extra special to us. Karen is the most amazing women. She is extra special. She put up with us for 8 weeks. She loved us unconditionally. She listened, laughed, shared, cried and loved with us. Each morning she and I would put on her aprons...I say her because she shared them with me...and serve the guests at the inn. I called them our uniforms. She would share anything. She is what I would call an angel on earth. She taught us so many important lessons. Lessons that changed lives. Lessons we all needed to learn. She is a saint. I can't help but compare her to Emma. Dear, sweet Emma was faced with trial and tribulation after trial and tribulation. She continued to give and sacrifice all that she had. This is Karen. She gives and gives and then gives some more. There is a story told about Emma standing at her second story window waving a red table cloth to her children as they crossed the Mississippi to the Montrose side. Emma would never cross the river. They knew her love as she waved good bye with her red table cloth. When they would come to visit her, she would once again wave the red table cloth so that they could see her waiting for them. She welcomed them with open arms. She also had to wave good bye to her friends and loved ones as they pointed their wagons west and began their journey. Karen has had to say good bye to many loved ones as they too point their vehicles of transportation west and head home. It was so difficult when AJ and I had to leave and head west. We have a work to do here in the west and it broke our hearts to leave Dear Karen in the East. Like Emma, Karen remains faithful and strong, doing what she can to build the kingdom in beautiful Nauvoo. It is not easy and often lonely. If anyone knows Karen she doesn't have a red table cloth to wave, but is always willing to welcome you back with open arms. The scriptures say that Emma was an elect lady. I revere Karen with the same title. We love you my friend. You will always have a place in our hearts. I will stand in the west waving my tablecloth for you as I anxiously await your arrival. God Bless You!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Few Lasts...

The last week in Nauvoo was really quite emotional. It was hard toknow that I was continually doing the last of something. It was the last night of pageant, the last vanilla cookie, the last load of laundry, the last walk to the temple, the last time to see favorite missionaries etc. It broke my heart. There were a few things we did the last week that were pretty fun. We had dinner with the Jones' and they drove us out to a tree in Nauvoo that is 300 years old. It was amazing. It looks like something right out of The Lion King!
This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice, but I love that the Jones' are in the picture with us. Oh how we love them.
We walked to the Ashby's and the Snow's to say our farewells to Melvin. Melvin does not like me, but he likes AJ and Karen. It is cute to watch him, but I really don't like touching him. He is so prickly. AJ things Melvin rocks and
would love to take him home. Can you imagine just what the neighbors would say when they saw him walking a raccoon on a leash through the neighborhood? Good ole Melvin! He loves to eat cookies and will climb right up your leg to get them. He is not climbing up my leg! In fact he is not climbing anywhere near me. I held him once and that was enough for me. I will enjoy him from a distance.

We also had to say good-bye to Emma's Willow. Emma is a wonderful example of strength and courage. Many people are too quick to judge her, but I have come to appreciate and love dear, sweet Emma. I am sure that just as Kim said, "Many tears were shed at this willow." Emma had to do hard things and I have learned that each one of us are required to do hard things. Will we face the challenges with courage and faith or will we falter?

One of the sweetest people in Nauvoo is Alma. Alma did our laundry for the Inn. The boys would always tell me, "Nobody makes clothes or sheets smell as good as Alma." Everyday she would write cute sweet notes for 'Superboy' AJ on strips of toilet paper. Each note ended with a scripture for him to look up and read. We came to love Alma. We called her our Sunshine. When we would come home from work there was our sunshine to greet us. She is such an amazing lady. The morning that we left, Alma got dressed up and rode her bike to the house. She played her guitar and sang, "Each Life That Touches Ours." That morning we witnesses a true Christlike gift. It was a pure gift from the heart and each of us wept. Thank you Sunshine for such a touching gift. We will never, ever forget you! She also gave AJ and I a gift she had purchased, but the gift we loved the most was the song she sang and the hugs she left with us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nauvoo 2010
Lessons Learned

There are many things I learned while living in Nauvoo this summer. Some things were easy to learn and others took a little longer. I will cherish the friends and memories that were made this summer and I will never forget the experiences that took place. It was an amazing summer. I hope that when my boys remember Nauvoo, they will remember the summer they shared an attic with their mother and learned about their ancestors and heritage. I hope that they will know their mother loves them and loved sharing Nauvoo with them.

  1. Mississippi Mud Cake doesn’t really come from the bottom of the Mississippi River.
  2. Frogs, turtles, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, geese, deer, fox, snakes, rabbits and bats do not hurt us.
  3. Chiggers are not our friends.
  4. Miracles happen daily.
  5. It all begins and ends with family.
  6. Sacrifice builds character.
  7. A mother will do anything for her children’s well
  8. True friendship is a gift to be cherished.
  9. Grandmother’s house is only a short walk away.
  10. two friends joined at the heart really do become one.
  11. Vanilla Bread Pudding makes every meal taste better.
  12. Raccoons don’t like me.
  13. Sunsets are breathtaking.
  14. Thunder and Lighting storms are extremely loud and truly amazing.
  15. Angels sing in cellars.
  16. Nauvoo changes people and heals hearts, even if you don’t try.
  17. Guardian angels attend your side in the form of yellow butterflies.
  18. We all can do hard things.
  19. We know them and they know us.
  20. No matter what happens during the day, fireflies always come out at matter what.

  21. Yes, I love the lessons learned and adore the memories created the summer of 2010 in Nauvoo.