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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Hearts of the Children

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.- Alex Haley

We have been so lucky this past week to have Grammy and Grampy come and spend some time with us. They are always so supportive and helpful. We are totally spoiled when they are here. They may live 3 states away, but they make every effort to be here for all of our family's important events. Our lives are blessed because of these two wonderful people. Aren't they cute?

They drove all night so they would arrive on time for Lonica's dance competition. They are definitely her number one fans.

Grampy and Jalen had fun making fresh squeezed lemon-aide from the lemons off of Grampy's trees.

Lonica was delighted to have a private sewing lesson and made her doll this fabulous outfit.

Grampy taught Johnny how to fix a flat tire. Johnny was so excited that he tried to change Lonica's flat and accidentally put so much air in her tube that it exploded. But he learned his lesson and is now a pro.

Grampy and Loni shared their traditional glass of buttermilk. Weird I know. But they both love it.

Yesterday it was so sad to see them go. This is probably the last time they will visit us in this house. But I am grateful for the memories we have and the wonderful example they are to me. I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you for all that you are.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Count Your Many Blessings

Whenever I need a quick pick me up, I open up the book "Way to Be" by Pres. Hinckley. It is full of wonderful advice that really puts things in perspective. Today I came across a quote that was just what I needed to hear.

"Cultivate an attitude of optimism. Know that God is watching over you, that He will hear your prayers and will answer them, that He loves you and will make that love manifest."

What a great reminder. And, I have found this to be so true. When I make an effort to "cultivate" optimism, I am overcome with gratitude for all of the good in my life.

The past few weeks have been so hectic and crazy. There have been moments I really thought about check'n myself into a loony bin. Then, just when I thought I was at the end of my rope, my sweet son Johnny posted his 11 year old testimony on his blog. God truly is watching over me and IS manifesting His love. I just need to open my eyes.

Count your many blessings name them one by one, and it WILL surprise you!

Monday, May 19, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

Lately I have really had to remind myself to look on the bright side. There always is one you know. But sometimes the clouds seems to block the sun.

It looks like our house has sold. That makes me sad........ or maybe happy. I can't decide! I should probably go with the happy. Sometimes that can be easier said than done.

I really love my house. There is a little bit of me everywhere I look. I love my neighbors. I love my yard. I am happy here. But, it must be time for a change.

A little over a year ago Dathan, my dad and a friend of ours bought some land and started building a house as an investment. A few months into it, home sales slowed down. Now the house is finished and available. We decided to put our house up for sale and then wait to see which one sold first. So, I guess in the next month I will be moving into a big, beautiful, brand new house. It is exciting and scary.

What I need to do is take a deep breath, smile and have a whole lot of faith. In other words "make lemon-aide"

Good thing Grampy brought us a huge bag of lemons off of his trees in Calif. We can always count on him to make our day. Jalen had so much fun squeezing the juice and boy was it delicious.

Here is our recipe for fabulous fresh squeezed Lemon-aide

1 cup of Lemon Juice
1 cup of Sugar
1/2 gallon of water

Thank you Dad! We love you. (And we can't wait until the avocados are ripe)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boys To Men

Well I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mine was better than I could have imagined. My kids and my Sweetie did everything they could to make it a perfect day. I was served a delicious breakfast, Justin did an amazing job making me look good in his talk for Sacrament Meeting, and Loni's talk in primary was darling. We had bar-b-qued ribs for dinner and then roasted marshmallows in our newly dug fire pit that evening. How did I ever get so lucky? Hmmm was it luck?

Let's go back a couple years. It was right around Christmas time. My sister Erin was up for the weekend and heard my oldest son Jordan ask me what I wanted for Christmas. I quickly responded that I didn't need anything and he should save his money for something more important. The same answer I had been giving for every occasion that involved gift giving for years. Well Erin quickly let me know that she thought I was making a big mistake. She reminded me that I was preparing my 4 boys to one day be husbands and fathers. She believed that their future wives would not be pleased with spouses who were trained in this way. And of course she was right!

I guess I remember being young and wandering all over a store with no idea what to give my mom or dad. Of course I knew they were fine with anything. I still worried. And so I thought I was saving my kids from the stress. But my eyes were opened.

So, what to do? I wanted gift giving to be fun and positive. I wanted my boys to feel successful and excited with their choices. Here is what has worked for me.

A few weeks in advance I start dropping reminders of the upcoming occasion. For example, "Can you believe my birthday is in 3 weeks?". Then I make a list of things I want and need. I am still pretty easy to please and my lists usually consist of pretty simple things.

Now you might think that knowing everything you are going to get doesn't sound like any fun at all. But it sure has worked for us. On Mother's Day morning my kids, even the big and tough ones, couldn't wait for me to open their gifts. It was awesome!

Here was my Mother's Day wish list:

a book
body wash
flip flops
ankle socks
lip gloss with spf 15
a wallet

Guess what?? I got it all. But I never imagined that Loni would paint me picture and pick out sunglasses as cool as these.

Or that Jordan would have picked out (all on his own) this book.

Justin bought me this cool black wallet and threw in TWO-1 1/2 lb bags of Reese's Pieces (my all time fav. treat). I also got enough socks that I can wear a new pair every day for just over two weeks. Heavenly!!! Jalen got me body wash AND a new pouf. Yippie! From Johnny I got a great picture of him, a fabulous letter and a cute pair of black flip flop. (my flip flops are always black)

Everything I wanted and more. So, I am proud to say mission accomplished. I think my boys are heading in the right direction. Thank you Erin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

WE LOVE YOU MOM!!!!!☺ were crazy about you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself!

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."
~ Eric Hoffer

Last night Loni asked me to come and read her new post. It was so darling and heartfelt that I wanted to share it with you.

It was just what I needed to hear and such a lovely reminder. Thank you Sweetie.

"...And a little child shall lead them" ~ Isa 11:6

This will make your day!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Too Funny!

Well, it has officially started, my absolute busiest time of the year. April and May are months that I am barely able to find time to sleep. My boys keep me running to games, practices, conditioning, trainings, etc. It is competition season for my daughter and my dance team. And it just so happens to be the months that most dance studio's contract for pictures. In the past 6 weeks my cousin and I have taken pictures at 4 studios and we have 3 more in the next two weeks. That requires hundreds of hours in taking, ordering, sorting, packaging and delivering pictures. It's crazy, but hey.....someone's got to do it!

I have had so many thoughts and ideas that I have wanted to share. I just can't seem to justify the time that it would require. This story however, was just too good to keep to myself. I know that I have written an very high percentage of my post about my son Justin. What the heck, here I go again.

Our house happens to be up for sale. (I will save the details of that for another day) Yesterday a Realtor called that he was going to bring a family by around 4:00. So, we decided to go to the movies. Unfortunately, Justin had to be at work at 5:00 so he stayed behind. Not wanting to be in the house when the Realtor got here, Justin grabbed a blanket and went out in the back and fell asleep on the tramp.

A while later he woke up to voices. The family was in the back yard and he wasn't sure what to do. It was obvious to him that they did not realize that he was out there. He hid himself under the blanket praying that they would go away. His version is so funny. He claims that it was the worst experience of his life. He was under the blanket panicking and fretting over what to do, when things took a turn for the worse.

The kids started jumping on the tramp. WITH JUSTIN IN THE MIDDLE, HIDING UNDER A BLANKET. The image of that is soooo hilarious!!!! It only took a couple bounces and the blanket started coming off of his legs. He was caught. He sat up and endured a few seconds of awkward silence. The realtor's jaw hit the floor and the kids were scared speechless. Finally the father, after gathering his kids, said "takin' a little nap". Justin just grabbed the blanket apologized and walked in the house. He wanted to shrivel up and die!

Well we may not get a sale. But this will be a house they will never forget.