Sunday, July 16, 2017


Last week I listened to a BYU devotional by Eva Witesman about education; particularly regarding women.  The overview of her thoughts were that education is a commandment as the prophets have said and that means a spiritual not just temporal commandment.  The glory of God is intelligence.  Knowledge has spiritual value even if we never work.  Russel M. Nelson said- Education is a religious responsibility... don't cut short your education and abbreviate our eternal potential. Our learning is of value no matter what.  Come to it with a spirit of worship.  Henry B. Eyring said- don't discover too late that you missed an opportunity to prepare for a future only God could see for you.

Women can receive inspiration from God about their unique path in life, though it may not even make sense at the time, and those around them should not clip their wings.  She told of her plans to finish school and raise her children but then feeling prompted to keep going to earn a masters and then doctoral degree- though at the time she had great difficulty bearing children during that time and even adopting.  She mentioned a friend with the opposite experience: she had decided to get a doctoral degree but was prompted to stay home before she'd even received her graduate degree "all hands on deck" was the phase she used to describe her promptings.  She even homeschooled her kids at times to address their unique needs and struggles. God knows us and our children better than we know ourselves and he will inspire us to make the best choices for our unique circumstances.  His plan is the greatest of all.

Eliza R. Snow said, "Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and then they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise."

When God prepares leaders he expands their view.  Think of how much he taught young Joseph Smith with ideas never heard of!  Think of how he showed Moses a vision of the earth, every particle on it, each person thereon, and many lands all called earth.  Think of how he showed the Brother of Jared each person who ever lived from the beginning to the end.  Think of how when Christ came to the Nephites he taught them all things and they saw unspeakable things which they were forbidden to write.

As women are educated (and I would say not just formal schooling) they are better able to contribute in every facet of life whether that be the home, councils at church, or the community.  A spirit-led education will not end in only our own benefit (riches and the ability to look down your nose at others).  God's work and glory is to help his children so he will lead you along a path that will help you to benefit others with your knowledge, which will truly make us happy.

I have been trying to order my life and cut out unnecessary things.  I only have one class this fall and I keep considering dropping it- but I'll try...  it's just that we will most likely be fostering soon (I try not to think about that too much because it could be wonderful or horrifying or both and there's no sense worrying about what you can't see yet).  And I will mostly likely be homeschooling all or most of my kids.  Yep, it's a homeschool year.  Lots to do there...

I think about my goals (below) and how many hours there are in a day (about 16) and try to make it all fit but in a way that I feel relaxed so that I can have fun.  At times I've accomplished all my goals but I'm so driven that I'm no fun to be around.  The stress!  I don't want that.  The things I consider essential are:

1. Taking time with God and Jesus Christ, and to show that I always remember them through personal prayer and scripture study and time at the temple weekly.  I want to become a scriptorian if that's a word.
2. Taking time for Me for exercise (either with friends or at home), and taking the time to make my food and eat well so that I can feel good and be happy.  Taking time to practice my guitar.
3.  Taking time with my Husband.  We like to walk every day we can, and stretch together.  We also read 5 verses of scripture together every night.  Quick, easy.
4. Taking time for Family.  This encompasses so much.  The bulk of each day.  Meal prep, reading books, training children, sports, hiking, music, chores, family scriptures, prayer, fun, school, going to church and church activities, goals, driving everywhere, dancing and games, remembering extended family...
5. Taking time for Service.  I am horrible at this.  I have plans to visit others and rarely do because the first four items take all of me!  But I am thinking of the song, "Have I done any good in the world today?  Have I helped anyone in need?"  It's easy when those opportunities present themselves and you can serve someone easily.  Or for example, I always serve in my callings... but trying to go out of my way to go to someone's house and love them... much harder.  I have friends who are great at this at least to be my examples.
6. Education- either reading books at night (instead of watching t.v.) or taking classes, or learning trades, etc... to always be learning.  But to not take more than 1-2 hours a day.

Well that's enough of that.  I was so thankful to my big boys yesterday.  Dallas decided to clean out the garage and got his brothers involved and they really went at it.  Then we drove a huge load down to the dump and it felt so good!  And since there was more space in the garage parts of my house got cleaned out too!  We just have some shelves to get rid of and some old mattresses now.  Maybe the entertainment center in my room too.  Don't have time for t.v. and need more space anyway.  I love purging.  I am so thankful to our boys for doing that without even being asked.  They are hard workers.  Evan was dripping sweat!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Still trying to catch up on posting...

My friends are working on some cross-stitch stuff right now and I really liked the poem on this one because it speaks truth.  I would never do that much work though because I don't like the overall look of the picture.  Maybe I could use the poem and make my own cross-stitch pattern from other samples.  Or just write it or paint it to put on the wall....
Anyway, I have a fun time hanging out with everyone at the pool each day and talking with all the moms.  We're trying to figure out what sports to do in the fall and throughout the year since our charter school doesn't have any sports and getting to the other schools is difficult.  We don't all decide on the same things, but I love talking it out with everyone because it helps.  It's so hard to be a mom!  Trying to find time right now for 4-5 music lessons a week, plus sports so they can have some physical activity and social fun.  But nothing up here is close by...   I've been working on this for months to get our schedule figured out for the coming school year.  It's going to take about another month to iron out everything...

Mushroom Stroganoff with a vegan cream sauce

Sam had to get a baby tooth extracted because it wouldn't leave and was messing up his teeth.  He was very nervous!  But after the shots, it was easy peasy.

We've really been enjoying this recipe for cold no bake cookies on these hot days! The kids make them!
Melt together: 1/2 cup almond butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil. Remove from heat and stir in: 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then stir in until coated: 2 1/2 cups of oats (or substitute some of that with coconut). These are the old fashioned rolled oats not quick oats. Then just refrigerate one hour and they're ready to eat! Keep in the fridge.

Getting free food at Chick-fil-A!

 Swim lessons.  Evan scored a goal in the last water polo game! 

 Charles fights me everyday saying, "Scared!", but then gets in and has a great time.  He's so funny.

Native American dancing at the Naturalization ceremony.  Several people from many countries becoming citizens and our scout troop did the flag ceremony at the opening and close of it on the 4th of July.  It was held inside the ruins of the church at Quarai an hour from our home.

Before the naturalization ceremony we went to the small parade the town next to us puts on.  Mostly for the candy.  Leia is obsessed with candy and threw a lot of fits.  I was impressed with the need to make this parade better with music and such.  But it's not really my town...

Great vegan salad from Sprouts!

Karisa is writing this post.  While we wait for Pat to post about Scout Camp and other stuff... some photos I want to remember...

S and D in our pool

Scouts doing their thing

E's end of school year Civil War performance.  Sorry if I already posted it

Sleeping buddies
End of school year!

Leia's performance

Leia's cute letters and artwork.

She reads everywhere!
I think playing the violin has her disoriented.  Now she can't figure out how to hold a ukelele.
The boys leaving on the Father-Son's campout.  No girls allowed!
More Leia stuff
Leia's second to last reading list.  She was one of the top readers at the end of first grade.  Whenever a new list was released, she passed it off immediately and didn't need to practice at all because she reads so much already.
This was her final history test (backwards).  She got 100%.  I never had to help her.  She had a great teacher and learned everything so well on her own.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


I got to teach a lesson in primary today about kindness.  The prophet chose to speak about that at the last General Conference with his limited strength.  Kindness and charity (the pure love of Christ).

I have been going to the temple Saturday mornings and have really felt taught each time I go.  I can see why its been called the Lord's university. Words that I've heard many times before suddenly have more than the surface meaning to them.  I am thankful that the Lord finds me in a teachable enough state to impress new things on my mind.  The more I go, the more I look forward to going.  Just like the more I read my scriptures, the more I look forward to reading them.  I guess that could work for anything.  The more you exercise, the more you look forward to it.  The more you eat well, the more you develop a taste for fruits and vegetables rather than junk food.  Below are some pictures of the gorgeous mornings I get to see on my way to the temple!

However, I lament, as did Nephi, at what a wretched person I am because of my weakness.  Too much pride; too little patience.

George the cat says all I have to do it eat, sleep, and play.  But I can't take anything he says seriously.  He sleeps in the sink!

I just feel so much anxiety all the time and I can't figure out why this increase.  My fortune cookie says a road trip with friends is just what I need.  I wish! 

I heard a neat TedxTalk (sp?) by James Perry (from Studio C)- how I stumbled on a purpose.  When I'm feeling anxiety over not being as awesome as other people or just not being able to do it all, I say, "Well at least I'm not killing puppies."  Sounds morbid, but if you watch the talk, you'll understand.  It just is something that helps you put things into perspective and relax when you need to.

My friend Misty B. gave such a wonderful talk today in sacrament meeting about gratitude. Misty's talk was of the importance of expressing gratitude in all things, and how in doing this, we literally change our brains.  I've heard all this before, but it's different when delivered by the Spirit.  She told the story of a mother in another TedTalk (Hailey Bartholomew-365), who had a beautiful experience as she actively looked for things to be grateful for.

The blessings of being grateful are many, but one is that you make people around you feel like they're enough.  What a gift to make those around you feel like they're enough!

Cultivate the virtue of gratitude

Speaking of road trips, Rick and Sunny and their kids just stopped by overnight on a long road trip.  It was great to see them.  I was pretty stressed out though.  The house was a super mess, and it's all so overwhelming.  Thankfully Pat and the kids are good cleaners.  I've been purging and rearranging things to try to make the house prettier and more functional.  But it's always a mess, as is my car.  Entropy! We had a delicious dinner (Navajo tacos with Indian fry bread), the kids played a lot, and we went for a walk.  Then Pat and Rick played a game together and became super boring so I went to bed :)  I left early the next day to go to the temple and they left shortly after me on their way.

Evan achieved his Arrow of Light (highest award in Cub Scouts) and had his cross-over ceremony into Boy Scouts.  We're sure proud of him.  It was a little sad because they normally have a really neat ceremony with candles and boy scouts dressed in animal skins and special words.  I forgot about all that and only remembered when he mentioned it.  Apparently he'd been paying attention and expected it to happen for him like for the other boys.  I felt so bad! I'm proud that he handled it so well!

He's been working a lot this summer taking care of our neighbors animals.  Mike came over and paid him $70 in ones!  It was hilarious when Evan told us later.  Made him so happy.  He likes taking care of others animals and I never have to wake him up or remind him in the morning or evening.  He just takes care of it and does a wonderful job!  I wish I had a him for when we go out of town.