Sunday, August 18, 2013

Changes Are Coming

First, I want to begin by thanking those of you who have expressed to me that you miss reading my blog posts.  Honestly, in my head, I always felt that I had 1 reader, me!  Thank you for encouraging me and reminding me of a love I have of documenting my life.  My flame for blogging is igniting and I am ready to start up again.
I am however, going to be making a lot of changes in the very near future. 
I am not happy with blogger AT ALL!
I don't like that I have to post my pics to an online photo program to post them on my blog.  It then makes me post them to a social media site that I do not want to be a part of so anyone can look at them.  Grrr!  Not that I have any pictures that I would be ashamed of, but for privacy and copyright protection, this is a terrible method.
Second, blogger puts limits on my bandwidth and data concerning pictures and size of pictures.  I can understand where they are coming from when it is a free product, but it limits me in what I want to do.  If I am going to pay, then I will pay for what I want, own it outright and not be forced into any other programs to make a post.
With that said, I have had a ton of people talk to me, contact me, email me, text me about some of the recipes they see me eating.  I would really love to share everything I know and make it easy for all parties to have access to this information.  This blog site is not the best format for this purpose.
So, in the next couple of weeks, I have started my own website that will help me accomplish all of the goals I have set out to do.  I am WAY excited!  There are so many wonderful changes happening that I am tickled pink about them all. 
Until I get all my ducks in a row, here are a few updates of some things that I have been up to this summer! 

1.  I have been cooking a lot more at home!  I have been exploring making my own healthy meals and snacks and have been having a ball (literally, see below) doing it.  Below our my Super Protein Seed Chocolate Balls.  You keep them frozen and it is a cold chocolate fix that is UNBELIEVABLE!  I have so many more wonderful recipes that I am so excited to share.  I just purchased 3 knives, onion goggles and herb shears to add to my culinary skills.  Just you wait, Henry Higgins!  I just may be able to make much more than toast in the next few months! ;)

2.  I am loving my own garden, local gardens and farms.  This bowl below was given to me by my neighbor who has a garden a little bit bigger than mine and she owns chickens.  I took her my protein balls and she offered me coconut milk avocado ice cream.  Which was UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS!  As I am leaving her house, she sends me home with a bowl of fresh eggs, peppers and plums.  In return, I offer her to have free will to my cilantro and anything else in my garden.  What I love about gardening and farming is that there is an abundance and it creates a desire in the community to share.   Last week, Utah Natural Meats had an abundance of produce left over and Shayn drove his draft horses with a wagon giving away fresh produce to our neighborhood.  We were not home so I missed out.  But as I spent time with Kristen this week, people were complimenting and thanking her like crazy on the fresh, delicious produce!   Plants can soften the hearts of the people!

3.  We had our annual backyard camp out.  Shaeler wanted her own tent and so she set up her lady bug tent next to Brian's tent.  We watched movies out on the tent and I lasted until oooohhhhhh 11:00 pm and then bailed to go inside and sleep on my own comfy bed.  Chloe was extremely upset that she could not join us in the festivities and whined at the back door for part of the evening.  Shae moved into my nice, soft, -35 degree bag that Brian bought for me at Girls Camp and I slept peacefully in my own bed with Chloe tucked at my side.

As soon as I have everything ready, I will post my new website name and you will be able to find me over in a happier place of the world wide web!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Start of Something New

On May 30, 2103, Shae had her last day of school and I had my last day of my job........kind of.
And so we celebrated over the weekend. 
Shaeler and I have a tradition where we go downtown to have lunch on the last day of school.  We ate at the Lion House Pantry, we shopped at the Disney store and Claires, we got cookies at Ruby Snap and we went to the temple.

As the weekend rolled around, I have been working hard on my yard and dog gone it, I am going to have my garden this year.  The weeds are evil.  I knew if I plugged at it everyday, I would get it under control.   So far, I have 9/10 of it done.  The garden is clean and has been tilled and I am ready to plant!
Saturday, Shaeler and her buddies decided they would help me clean the house.  The scrubbed toilets, vacuumed, dusted, clean mirrors and mopped.  As a token of my gratitude, I took the ladies to Baskin Robbins for a treat.  Alas, I did not partake!  If that isn't proof of my dedication to not have ice cream, then I don't know what else to say.  I received a lot of pleasure in the ice cream mustaches.

Brian and I took them to Jump'n Bounce the night before, so I pretty much rank as the coolest mom ever! ;)  Proof is in the pudding.  They cleaned my house the next day!
Saturday night, the Hendrickson's came over to visit as Chad fixed our computer.  So wonderful to have their company and have heart felt talks.  They are an amazing family and we are so blessed to call them our dear friends.  Thank you to Chad because now I have the Internet back on my desktop computer.  Woowee!  Thank you Ann for trusting me to share your heart.  Great things are coming your way, I know it!
Monday was my first "official" day home and handling the Rentmeister Construction and Rentmeister Electric work.  What I thought would be a very calm day, turned out to be very busy.  So much happening in building the spec home and so many details to decide.  Now we are at the hard stuff to choose.  Tile, granite, cabinet colors, paint colors, and on and on.  At one point I had the thought, "wait  a minute, I feel busier than I was at my old job."  Dang it!  Well, at least I cut the commute out, right?
I am most excited about the new personal things that I am doing in my life.  It's all part of the healing process, and  being home is helping me heal some emotional wounds.  I am getting stronger every day.  Something new has started and I cannot wait to travel down this road.  There is great joy in this journey and I am so blessed!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Sanctity of Women and Mothers

I don't know why, but for the last few months, I have been thinking a ton about my role as a woman and a mother.  Bear with me as I just throw out random thoughts.

There is definitely a war on women that has increased dramatically over the last 5 years.  I can see it, feel it and sadly witness it every day of my life.   There is very little sanctity and reverence for women and the role of mothers and wives.

I know for myself, my role as a mother is what I am hardest on myself about.  I have been given the gift of one child and I so desperately don't want to look back and have any regrets.  I have been blessed to mother one of God's divine daughters and it is my nature that she deserves only the best from me.

Last night, we had a family home evening with some of our dear friends and Sister B.  We gathered to hear her story of surviving World War II.  She is from Germany and was 6 years old when the war started.  Her family was LDS at that time, but it was not the Nazi's they feared, it was the Russians and the Polishes (?) that made them run and flee for their lives multiple times.  She shared stories of sleeping in ditches, seeing dead bodies all the time, her hometown being completely bombed, her mother being taken to be raped and murdered and then a divine hand changed the soldiers mind and sent her mother back to take care of her children.  She talked of farmers who took them in and sleeping on the ground with straw for months.  She calmly explained how multiple family members had passed away and how her mother would figure out how and where to bury them.   Her grandfather was buried in a farmer's field with no casket and they buried him with as much dirt and rock as they could by hand so the animals would not try to dig him up.  She talked about how they had no food and their 2 year old brother slowly died from starvation.  Their mother was able to get a small white casket for him and he was able to be buried in a garden.  A few weeks later, her grandmother died and bloated up with water.  As they were taking her casket to a cemetery, they pushed her casket in a 2 wheel cart and water seeped out of the casket and left a trail.  She lost an Aunt who she believes died in a concentration camp.  She was hit by a car by 3 Russian soldiers and a nurse.  She had a 4 week hospital stay and was taken out before she was completely healed because they were being kicked out of the country again.  She got gangrene on her arm and the bone was not set correctly.  They wanted to amputate her arm, but her mother slowly saved her arm by placing chamomile leaves on it as they were fleeing the country.  They were placed on 1 of 2 trains to go into Chekoslavakya (sp?) and after their trained passed over a bridge, the second train did not make it over the bridge.  I was later told that she could hear the screams of the people as the second train fell. 

We sat in awe of this wonderful woman as she shared her life experiences.   When she was done, I asked her what helped her heal through such traumatic experiences?  She said 3 things:

First, her mother.  Her mother had incredible strength and never gave up even in their darkest moments. 

Second, their faith.  Her mother had a strong faith in the church and she loved to sing in the ward choir.  When they were able to finally settle with a small community in Chekoslavakya (sp?), her mother taught Primary for many years and the children loved her testimony and her music.  Her mother held strong in the church even after her husband abandoned her and the children to serve in the military and had multiple relationships.  As they were running, her mother always had their Book of Mormon with them.

Third, was the music.  They would sing Hymns and songs from their mother to help them get through.  She said the music always brought joy and they loved to sing.

All 3 still tie back to the influence of a righteous mother.  Sister B showed us her scars on her arm and she is living proof of endurance, hope and love.  I was inspired by her life and determination and her mother's example.  It was a mother's love that saved them all. 

I reflect now back to myself, and I am reflecting on how my love could help and strengthen my daughter in the war on her, myself and women in general.  Thank you Sister B!  I have had some very strong impressions come to me.  Now, if I could just have the same courage to act upon them!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So much~

Life has been quite the adventure for us lately!   So many wonderful blessings and experiences.  I fear this post could turn into a novel.  So I will keep it brief and to the point that I can.  April is my absolute favorite time of the year and I am enjoying every day that I can.   The funniest part about 2013, is that it has been a year of new experiences and adventures.  I find myself saying all the time that this is a first for me and I have found so much joy in it all.   Here is my list of "firsts" so far:

Shrimp - love
Avocado's - Madly in love
Salmon - love
Brazil Nuts- love
Pumpkin Seeds -love
Green Powder - love
Sauna's -Madly in love
Yoga - love
Zumba - love
Tennis ball massages - love
Dressing your Truth - love
Child Whisperer - Madly love
Cooking with the radio blaring - Madly love
Shooting a gun - kind of like....
New skin care and lotions - Madly love
The Blood Sugar Solution - Madly love
Vegetable broth - kind of like...
A purposeful effort to only see the good in others - love
Bangs - like
Walking on a frozen lake - no likey
Working with a herbalist - Madly love
Ashawaganda - love
Instantly forgiving - love
Talking to my hero's - Madly love - Madly love

Rentmeister Construction has broken ground for the new spec home.  We were able to get the plans approved and we immediately started digging a hole.  Yesterday, the foundation walls were poured and we will move on to the waterproofing, the window wells and then back filling the dirt.  In about 2 weeks, they will start framing.  Very exciting!!

General Conference was a very spiritual weekend for me.  A couple of days before, my presidency and I drove down to the conference center and were taught at the feet of the General YW Presidency.  Literally.  We sat on the front row, directly in front of the podium.  If you go and watch the online training, you can see my head directly below Sister Dalton.  IT.WAS.AMAZING!!!  Afterwards, I explained to my friends that I needed a moment.  With all of my courage, I walked on stage and talked directly and individually to Sister Cook, Sister Dibb and Sister Dalton.  It was a sacred moment for me that I will never forget.  I expressed my sincerest gratitude and love to these women.  I am sure that I don't understand all that they have sacrificed and worked so hard to help me in what I am doing, and I felt a very strong impression to let these women know that they changed my life and I will always love and adore them.

We also took Shaeler to the Conference Center for the first time on the Saturday Afternoon session.  The greatest thing happened while we were there.  We ran into Audrey, Natalie, Lance and Miranda and so we sat together as a family at the Conference Center.  We were able to have dinner at the Blue Lemon (BEST SALMON OF MY LIFE) and then drive home in tears because mom and dad did not buy Shae something at the Disney store.  Oy vey!

We gave our Sunday tickets to friends who wanted to take their son for the first time and so together as a family, we vegged out in the Sun room and watched conference together.  You know what makes conference even better?  Popcorn! 

Stake Young Women Presidency was very busy this week as it was our Leadership training for our ward presidencies.  We made fresh chicken sandwich croissants with veggies and fruit as sides.  Shauna made Lemon cookies and Brother Burt was gracious to cut lemons and limes for me with a dull (my finger nail is sharper) knife.  We stayed together and everyone did their best to cut down their time so we were short and powerful.  I was so pleased with the evening and I think we expressed our hearts desires for the wards.  LOVE my YW color flags that we hang up!  I am so blessed to work with the women that I do.  They are my sisters in the gospel and it is so fun to work with them, laugh with them and grow with them. 

As we are planning Girls Camp, I am so excited for all the amazing ideas and events that are coming forward.  Wallsburg project was approved and we are making the camp ground a much better place and that is the coolest thing ever!

On Saturday, I was invited to attend an Endowment Session of a dear young women whom I love and adore.  This kid has been called to serve a mission in New Mexico.  I am so proud of her!  What an amazing moment to sit next to her and watch as she was making covenants with the Lord.  It was one of the crowning moments as a young woman leader.   Getting them to the temple is what Young Women's is all about.  I was blown away by the Spirit and the experience.  One I will never forget.

On the health front, we are all doing a lot better.  Shaeler has not thrown up in over a month (knock on wood) and she is being very good about trying new healthy foods.  She understands better the needs of proteins in her meals and asks for them to help balance out her plate.  Brian is also doing fantastic!  He eats healthy, workouts out a couple times a week and has lost 14 pounds.  He is looking so much healthier and he is feeling a ton better too.  Just got to get that guy to handle stress a little bit better.  I am plugging along with my health also.  It has been 3 months on Thursday that I stopped eating sugar, dairy and gluten.  CRAZY, huh?  So many aspects of my health has improved tremendously.  I feel so very blessed for my health and strength.  There are a few things that are still bothering me that I am starting to get help with.  I am so excited for the help and support.

Part of being healthy is doing something you love.  Well, I love clothes, makeup and hair and Jessica got me sucked into Living your Truth.  I can't stop reading about the 4 energy types and how they dress, do their hair etc.  It's addicting!  A ton of fun and some great conversations with so many women, I am stunned.  Who knew that we all love to know our type and then analyze each other.  Lots of fun!  Highly recommend reading the books!  Call me if you want to know my true type! Ha!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sweet is the Feeling

We had an amazing weekend and Easter. 
As you already know, we celebrate Easter all week, starting with Palm Sunday and go throughout the entire week.  As Shaeler is getting older, I am able to do some activities that really get her thinking.  We still play and have fun, but Palm Sunday really got to her this year.
When the Savior entered Jerusalem, the people shouted "Hosanna" and laid palm branches in front of the Savior's path.  We went into a lot of detail about the how important spiritually and physically the Palm branches symbolism is in this story.   The people gave to the Savior something that was of great value to them on many levels. 
As a family, we talked about if the Savior was coming tomorrow to our home, what would we do and give to him to honor Him.  There was a moment that Shae got emotional as to the great sacrifice we would be willing to give if we really wanted to honor who He is and what He has done. 
I'm hoping it was a "wheat stroke" moment in our family painting.
We drove down to the cabin Wednesday afternoon.  As per my request, we stopped at the Young Living Family Farms to check out their oils and business.   It was a neat little stop and I was able to purchase hand sanitizer for me and Kristen that is toxic free and healthy for you!
The weather down at the cabin was beautiful!  I always dread Easter in March, especially when we are at the cabin because it means two things:  snow and cold.
This year, we were in the 60's everyday.  We played, hiked, swung and had a ton of fun.
Brian had me shoot the gun for the first time while we were down there.  It was hard emotionally and physically, especially when you do not know what to expect.  I loaded the gun, shot a bullet and then unloaded the gun and made sure that I went through all the proper safety steps to make sure that the gun was fully unloaded.  It is a pattern I want to become comfortable with.  SAFETY FIRST and ALWAYS!
Friday, we drove into Bryce Canyon and dropped Brian and his dad off on their bikes for a 42.5 mile bike ride back to the cabin.  The others drove up into Bryce to hike around and Joyce, Shaeler and I stayed behind, did a little shopping, ate some lunch and then found the boys and kept tabs on them to make sure they made it home safely.  
They had a great ride!

When it comes to the toys and eggs, we celebrate that part on Saturday.  Shaeler wanted Legos and Swedish fish.  That was all.  I threw in a couple extra things that I thought she might enjoy!  When the cousins gathered around to disperse the candy from the egg hunt equally, Shaeler turned down the opportunity and passed on having a bag full of candy.  Later when we got home, I asked her why she didn't want any of the candy.  She explained to me that being in the "No Cavity Club" meant more to her than eating candy at that time.  WOW!! Who is this kid??  8 going on 30??   That was a very mature decision to make and stick to.  SO PROUD OF MY GIRL!!

Shae brought home a book from her school about princesses and it had a few craft items that she wanted to make down at the cabin.  She made this princess door knob sign that hung on our bedroom door.

Shaeler dumped out her Easter basket!  Awesome!
A picture of our Love One Another board.  I love doing this every year as it sets a very loving and sweet spirit at the cabin.

Wall to wall beds upstairs!  Brian and I and Mark and Natalie got new beds this Easter.   Brand new queen size mattresses!! I was in heaven.  I put a down quilt and extra pillows on our bed.  Now our room downstairs looks like a hotel suite.  Just need to get a lamp!

Year after year, we head down to the cabin and I notice the smallest changes here and there.

I take this shot every year.  It will be interesting to do a comparison after a 20 year period.  Some things are the same and some things are different.
That is exactly how it is for our family Easter each year.   Some things we do the same (money egg, dutch oven potato's and ham, LOA poster) and some things need to change with the seasons.  I took a different perspective with my nieces and nephews for their spiritual lessons this year.  I focused on the family.  We did some really great activities that they participated in and I hope they got a lot out of it.  I cherish the moments of laughter, the moments of closeness and the moments that I can help bring the Spirit.  How grateful I am for the opportunity to teach during the Easter weekend. 
There is a change happening in me.  It is hard to describe, but it is something very good.  I am putting all my trust in the masters hands and I know that he can mold me into what he knows that I can be. Like the picture above, I am the same, but there are very subtle changes happening that I know are directly from my Father above.


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