"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Loni-Loo

Yesterday was Loni's 9th Birthday. It is hard to believe that 9 years have past since we were sent this precious little angel. She is such a blessing and I can't imagine our lives with out her.

Happy Birthday Sweetie,
Being your mommy is one of my greatest joys! Not a single day goes by that I don't thank Heavenly Father for sending you into our family. When I look at you I am amazed. You are beautiful and you are good. Thank for everything that you are, because you are my everything!!

I picked out a picture or two from each year of her life. It has been so fun watching her grow into such a lovely little girl.

We love you Sissy!

Friday, March 28, 2008

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days? Whew!! It can make you CRAZY!

I woke up yesterday and my kids couldn't get their acts together. "Get up!, Move it!, Finish your breakfast!, Brush your teeth!, You have 5 minutes and don't you dare leave your room looking like that!" I couldn't figure out what was wrong with them all.

I left for work and EVERYONE was was driving way too slow. "Come on people, I'm on a schedule here." Then there were the red lights and the train and the detour. Are you kidding me? What is going on?

At work (pre-school ballet) all of the girls were still on an Easter sugar high. "Ladies...ladies, on your spots. Quit pulling hair. We are not puppies, we are dancers!" It was all I could do to keep my voice soft and a smile on my face. Why can't parents teach their kids any manners?

Then at the grocery store an elderly lady stole my parking spot. The deli worker was on the phone. And the bagger didn't even offer to take out my groceries. How rude!

And finally last night, when I walked in the door after picking Johnny up from Gym at 9:00, Justin and Jalen had the nerve to ask if there was anything to eat. They are teenagers for goodness sake. They know where the pantry is. What do they think I am?

The saddest part of it all is knowing, that for some reason, this time next month everyone will start acting up again. What's up with that???

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keep Moving

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -Will Rogers

Yesterday I found my retainer. I had left it in my suitcase when we went to California last Thanksgiving. To my complete horror I couldn't even get it on. This can't be happening!! My braces were taken off 4 years ago. I want straight teeth! But, do I have to work on it for the rest of my life? Gee Whiz

Hmmm that made me think!! There are so many things in my life I need to work on. Will I ever get there and where is there? Sometimes I think I'm there, then I realize that I'm not even on the right road. Life is a CONSTANT battle. Winston Churchill said "Success is never final" Really?? Never? Depressing isn't it? Or maybe it is a blessing.

Yes I have a long way to go. But boy I sure have come a long way. I have found that when I am not pressing forward, I am moving back into my old comfortable ways, just like my teeth. And I am certainly not going to let that happen!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Feel My Savior's Love

I feel my Savior’s love In all the world around me.
His Spirit warms my soul Through evrything I see.
He knows I will follow him,Give all my life to him.
I feel my Savior’s love,The love He freely gives me.

I LOVE Easter. It is such a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the Atonement and it's significance in our lives. I am so blessed. I am grateful for the gospel and the plan of salvation. When I open my eyes and my heart, I am overcome with gratitude for all of my blessings. "And I say to myself, what a wonderful world"

Easter Sunday was such a beautiful day. Lonica was in her lovely Easter dress that Grammy had made. And the boys matched her in their yellow ties. So cute!! As we were rushing around to make it to church by 9:00, Jordan walked in the door to go to church with us. It was such a thoughtful act and I was so touched. I wanted him there so badly. I had even bought him a tie. (the power of positive thinking Ü) His showing up was an answer to my prayers. Attending church as a family is something I have always taken for granted. It's funny how life has a way of teaching you what is really important. I am learning to be grateful for the little things.
My sister (in-law) asked us to write down our thoughts about the Savior for her children this Easter. These testimonies were so simple and sweet that I decided to share them. We framed this to put in Jordan's Easter basket.

After church Erin and Patrick came up and we colored and hunted for eggs, played some games and ate way too much food. The day was just perfect. We've actually made it through another Winter and are ready for flowers, sunshine and warm weather. SPRING IS A GIFT!

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Soul

By now you probably figured out that I am BIG into the importance of a positive attitude.

If this doesn't make you SMILE then I don't know what will. Ü

Have a GREAT day!

I LOVE this clip. Pause my music and ENJOY!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just Stuff

Okay, I really need somebody to comment on how cool the pictures of Jalen turned out. I wanted him to feel special so I played around in photoshop and was totally excited with my comic strip version of him wrestling. Doesn't he look awesome? Yes I am fishing for complements. Ü I thought about asking you all to just lie and tell me that you loved the pics. But then I might have to refer you to my earlier post. hee hee So, I am just telling myself that you couldn't tell. I will have to work harder next time.

Here is the article from yesterdays paper.
Woo Hoo!! Justin scored again.

Try this out. Pretty CRAZY!!

How Smart Is Your Right Foot? Just try this. It is from an orthopedic surgeon.......This will boggle your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your right foot, but, you can't. It's preprogrammed in your brain!

1. WITHOUT anyone watching you (They will think you are GOOFY) and while sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make Clockwise Circles.

2. Now......while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your Right Hand. Your foot will change direction. I told you so!!! And there's nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done, You are going to try it again, if you've not already done so.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Staying on Top

Jalen at his match 3/18/08
President Hinckley dedicated his book WAY TO BE!, "to a generation of young people who will rise to meet the exciting opportunities of a new and challenging day".

I couldn't read that statement without thinking of my 13 year old son Jalen. As I look down the list of "Be's", he's got them all. And the attribute that especially stands out is BE POSITIVE.

This year Jalen decided to give wrestling a try. My first instinct was to talk him out of it. Jay is my mellow, not real aggressive child. I wanted to protect him from being hurt physically as well as emotionally. Isn't that what mommies do? But, I held my tongue and my breath and waited to see what would happen.

As the season was ready to begin Jalen reported that there were 4 boys in his weight division. They had all challenged each other and Jalen came out in the varsity spot. I was delighted and so proud of his effort. Jalen wasn't even surprised. In fact, he expected it. What an example!

This season has been tough. He is still learning the in's and out's of the sport. But he gives it his all and fights to stay on top. Wrestling is like life. It is easy to let yourself get down and takes a whole lot of effort to stay on top of things.

"In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out!"
President Gorden B. Hinckley

"Rhino" By Jalen 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hot Wheels

Jordan has been working hard and a few weeks ago bought himself a car. Its perfect for him and we think he made a great choice. He had to learn to drive a stick to get it off the lot. Pretty funny! It is a white Rodeo and is in really good shape. Now he comes to visit a lot more often. It's a win, win situation. We're happy because we get to see him. And he's happy because he gets to eat all of our food.

He looks great in it if I do say so myself.

Honesty is the Best Policy

How many times have we told our kids that they should ALWAYS tell the TRUTH. Well last Thursday I had to learn my lesson the hard way.

My friend called me at about 1:00 p.m. She was out running errands and wanted to stop by and pick up her daughters dance shoe that had been left in my car the night before. I panicked!! I still had breakfast dishes sitting on the table and was laying around in my PAJAMAS reading. Yes at 1:00 in the afternoon.

Yikes! I had to think fast. "Um, I'm not home." It was the best I could come up with. "But since Johnny is off track, I will have him go set it on the porch." Whew, that was a close call. I grabbed the shoe and opened the door to place it in the newly assigned spot. And to my complete horror, there she was in my driveway. I wanted to shrivel up and die!

She started crack'n up. The situation was pretty hilarious and it was a great item of conversation at our once a month girls lunch the next day. But I can't get it off of my mind. This is a great friend. Will she wonder now at what else I have lied about? Will she still consider me a person of integrity? Will she trust me the way that she has in the past? The sad thing is, she wouldn't have even cared if I was in my pajamas. I am being tormented by something that didn't even matter in the first place.

So some advice: NEVER tell a lie. No, not even a silly little one. "We believe in being honest" and now I know why!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Mist of Darkness

At church I teach the 15-16 year old Sunday school class. I LOVE it! In fact this is quite possibly the best kept secret in the church. I get to spend time with the wonderful, fun, and smart youth of our ward. But still, they don't know as much as me and my weeknights are free. It's perfect! I don't get nervous or feel intimidated. I actually enjoy and look forward to the time we spend together.

As this year started out our lesson was on Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life. Oh brother...Haven't we all heard this one a million times. Oh well, what do you do? I taught the lesson. I drew each object on the board. We talked about what they represented. Lesson complete! Let's move on.

Then it happened. A month or so ago I had an experience that I will never forget. I woke up at about 2:00 a.m. and I could see it, my chalkboard, cartoon drawing of Lehi's vision. Why didn't I get it before? The iron rod went right through the mist of darkness, not around it, not over it, but right through it. To make it to the Tree of Life (eternal life) we ALL must make it through the mist of darkness. Why did this matter? I was in the mist!

Last October my oldest son Jordan received his mission call. Yippie!! Our family was so excited. This is what we had been anticipating for his whole life. We couldn't have been happier. We all got busy preparing for his departure. But then, a month and a half later the bubble popped. He "changed his mind". He decided that he was scared and wasn't sure of what he was doing. He wanted time to think about it, and he was moving out. What? I couldn't believe what was happening. I felt helpless, scared, worried, mad, confused, embarrassed, devastated, etc. I didn't know what to do, or how to help. We prayed, fasted and attended the temple. And then he left. It was the darkest time of my life. How could God let this happen to my sweet son?

I continued with the normal routine. But, I was being overcome by doubt. We had tried to hold regular Family Home Evenings. We had been reading the scriptures together. We had been praying, and attending church as a family. Now I wondered why we bothered? What was the point if this was going to be the outcome? I was loosing my grip on the rod.

I have learned a lesson. Life is not going to be an easy ride. Not for anyone! We all have to make it through the yucky, scary mist. I am not the same person I was six months ago. Our family is stronger, our prayers have purpose, we are learning to rely on the Lord and as long as we can hold on, we are going to be okay.

"Oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt." matthew 14:31

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Wonder

Sometimes, when I have a minute or two, I wonder if I'm getting it right. I look at my kids and see such greatness. They truly amaze me. Not only are they gifted mentally and physically, they are such hard workers with high ambitions. I guess the right word is driven. They have set goals for themselves and are willing to do what ever it takes to accomplish those goals. As parents, Dathan and I do all that we can to help them out. Wouldn't anyone? Sometimes I wonder???

Do the neighbors think we're crazy as we are always running here and there? Do our friends roll their eyes because our kids have to schedule their playtime? Is it okay that we get up at 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast as a family because no one is home in the evening? Do we need to simplify our lives? Should our kids be more "normal"?

I do know one thing. Johnny will never make his goal of the Olympics sitting at home playing X BOX. Lonica will never get into the best dance conservatories watching The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. If Justin is to earn a scholarship , Jalen wants to be an famous artist or Jordan is to become successful, mediocrity is not an option. Excellence is a process that must be continually improved.

"It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness." Seneca

We have made the decision to go for it. We are shooting for the stars. Somebody is going to make it. Why not us? We are committed and will give it our all.

But still when I lay in bed at night I wonder!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dancing Queen

This past weekend was a busy one. Besides a wrestling match, soccer game and gymnastics meet, we had Lonica's first dance competition of the season. She has been practicing and working on new skills for months. So Saturday was her chance to go and show off her stuff.

She competed as a junior, intermediate dancer in two solo categories, lyrical and jazz. And, I just have to say, "WOW!!" She came out and brought down the house. She was born to perform. Combine that with countless hours of rehearsals and well ...I am sure that you can guess the outcome.

She did great on both dances. She took 1st on her jazz, and queen on her lyrical. Then she was crowned the Overall High Point Queen for her lyrical solo. Which meant that she scored higher on that dance than all the other girls in the Junior age group (8-12). Remember, she is only 8. That was totally unexpected for me. In fact, I had left the awards ceremony and was down in the dressing room when another mom called to let me know that she had won. Can you believe it?

She truly is a "Dancing Queen"

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Will to Win

This year Justin started school at a newly built high school. The decision was made that Seniors wouldn't transfer over, allowing them to graduate from the school that they felt loyal to. So Justin, as a Junior, is the oldest at the school and will also be in the first graduating class next year.
Fun for Justin. Not so great for the athletic dept.

A few weeks ago the school held their soccer tryouts. Congratulations to Justin for not only making the team, but for also being voted the captain. At the parents meeting we were informed that besides obviously not having any Seniors, there are only 5 Juniors on the team. "Oh my gosh" I thought "We are going to be slaughtered"

Friday was the first game and I am happy to announce that our team came out and played like champions. The game ended with a score of 4-0. Justin played the whole game and actually scored the 4th goal. He gave it his all and it was so exciting! No one expected this win (especially not the other team). It seemed impossible. But luckily these boys believed they could do it, and they did. Way to go guys.

"Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools." Napoleon Bonaparte

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why Not Today?

Yesterday I had a long talk with Johnny. He loves gymnastics, trains for 3 and a half hours-4 days a week, and is doing a phenomenal job. However, he continues to struggle on the pommel horse. It's a tough event, especially for an 11 year old. He has yet to complete his routine without falling. When I ask him how he is doing, his answers are something like: "it's impossible", "I'll never be able to do it" and "I suck".

As a mother I am constantly looking for ways to motivate him. I know that most of the problem is his attitude. Each day when I drop him off at the gym I have him repeat a quote I love "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" (Henry Ford). He says it, but does he believe it? Obviously not!

So, we talked. Together we agreed that one day he would get this routine. One day he would move on to harder skills. One day he would look back and think that this routine was a piece of cake. And then I looked him in the eye and said "Why not today?" As soon as I said it I knew it was perfect. It was inspired. In an instant our lives were changed.

There are so many things I don't try because I say to myself "It's impossible", "I'll never be able to do it" and "I suck". Today however, I woke up and thought of a few things that I have been wanting to do, but because I am too lazy, too complacent, or too scared, haven't. Then I immediately heard the words "why not today?". I couldn't come up with any good reasons.

Today I am starting a family blog. Today I am going to look into taking a few classes at the university. Today I am going to start writing a book that I have been thinking about for a while. Today is an adventure. It is exciting and full of possibilities.

Will Johnny get his pommel routine today? You know, I think he just might. Why not?