Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas, a Wedding, and Moving Day, and Pics!

right side of kitchen
left side, getting cabinets on Monday!

bathroom w/huge shower

living room

bedroom/storage shelf/changing table

closet/Joseph's room/office
Fatty Bear in his fat bear suit
Wow! I feel like I haven't written in SO LONG. It's really only been 2 weeks or so, but it feels like so much has happened. So here's the update on our lives...

James finished his 5th semester of school on the 17th. He pulled through with all A's and 1 A-. Go James! He sometimes doubts that he will make all A's, but he always does. I'm so proud of him. That means we still don't have to pay for any tuition. :)

I missed the dedication of the new BYU-Idaho Center. Ironically, I've tried to get in several times, but it's always locked! What the heck!? Maybe once school starts next semester I'll be able to get a tour, finally.

Christmas, of course, was awesome. The Heads have some traditions that I quite like. We had clam chowder on Christmas Eve and acted out a little Nativity story. (Guess who got to be baby Jesus?) I was a sheep, a black sheep, to be specific. We came over on Christmas morning as well, but not before opening our presents to each other. I am so excited to have a spice rack, finally. I think it looks awesome in my new kitchen. James also got me some books, the companion books to The Giver, which is one of my favorite books ever. I am currently halfway through Gathering Blue and will soon start Messenger, which I've never read before. I was also excited to get some lotion from Bath and Body Works. Mmm. I love the smell. James got a new backpack and a hat that I made for him, and I gave Joseph some new sippy cups to try out soon, plus little cups to store his baby food. My parents gave us some gift cards, which I'm also excited about.

We then went to "the barn" for the rest of Christmas morning. I got some new shirts, a skirt, some pants, some books, and some other small things. James got his usual Nerf gun and promptly had a war with his brothers. Joseph got this awesome Mother Goose book and an adorable bear snow suit. Good thing, too, because it's been super cold. We went up to Grandma and Grandpa's in Victor for Christmas dinner after we'd eaten plenty of scrapple for breakfast. (Scrapple is basically fried slices of cooked cornmeal with ground sausage. You eat it with syrup.) We had a really nice time there.

Monday (the 27th) was moving day. I packed up the apartment while James worked on some finishing (but not final) touches on the new apartment. It was a very long day. We finished cleaning the apartment in Cougar Court at 10:00 p.m. and crashed once we got here.

Tuesday, we went to a wedding, luncheon, and reception for Allie, James's cousin. It was a wonderful, but extremely stressful day. In between the luncheon and reception, I was unpacking the kitchen. I soon learned that a) I feel incapacitated without a kitchen and b) Unpacking takes much longer in a small space, due to having to move things around a lot. The next two days were basically spent cleaning, unpacking, and rearranging, though not particularly in any order. Phew! I hope I never do that again! Our first night here, according to James, felt like sleeping a hotel room that was still under construction. However, everything has a place. There is a lot to be done still, but I really like it so far. There is still work to be done with soundproofing, but it's worked out well since we go to bed/get up around the same time as the rest of the family. Most of the time, I forget that we even live in their house.

We celebrated Jacob's birthday last night, and that was fun too. Pizza and cheesecake are an excellent combination, but a headache and sleep deprivation are not. I went to bed around 9:00 and slept until 8:00 this morning. It felt great. :)

Joseph can now officially say Dada! He is also getting much better at turning himself around and can move 180 degrees in seconds. It's a matter of weeks before he starts scooting, I think. I can't believe that he's 7 months old already!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Official New Year's Resolutions!

There are lots of things that I'd like to work on. These are just a few that I might actually get around to doing in 2011 (in no particular order).

Join the ward choir

Sew at least one small project a month

Knit at least one small project a month

Study and improve my Spanish (reading, writing, and speaking)

Read some classic Church books (Answers to Gospel Questions looks very interesting.)

Lose 10 lbs. (after Joseph is weaned)

Family scriptures and prayer every day

And of course....exercise. :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking Back

This year has been a year of big changes! Change sure makes things interesting, and it definitely makes time fly. I really liked a phrase that I read in Gospel Principles last week.

"If it is for our good, the Lord will work miracles for us."

I never realize how many miracles have happened in my life until I sit down and think about them. Not all miracles are big ones, but many come in the small "tender mercies" that the Lord blesses us with each day. These are some from this year. I know that there will be many more to come, even in these last few weeks of the year!

1. The year started off with my student teaching. The first time I looked at my class, I was deathly afraid of teaching them--or even being able to reach them. Through continual inspiration and lots of work, I learned to love my class and develop a greater love for teaching. Somehow, I was also able to get enough sleep to get through those demanding days!

2. I was able to graduate 2 months before Joseph was born, which gave me some much-needed time to relax. There hasn't been a ton of that since, but I'm glad for those 2 months spent reading and putting my feet up (literally--which helped me avoid looking all puffy!).

3. My pregnancy/birth went without complications. My recovery was also wonderfully short, which was a great blessing. I had dreaded it before and didn't completely know what to expect. Even all of my baby weight was gone quickly!

4. I have received countless little moments of joy with my little boy. Even though he is frustrating sometimes, the transition from full-time student to full-time mom has been awesome.

5. We have been able to afford him!

6. I've had the opportunity to teach Relief Society. I really think that this calling was more for me than anyone. I never used to bring the manual to church, but now I love it. It amazes me how much the inspiration can flow into my mind when I sit down and ask for it. It also amazes me how great of a teacher the Spirit is. I have so little to do with what the sisters get out of the class.

7. Both James and I have met some wonderful friends in our ward. I didn't want to go to a student ward, but I've loved it, despite all its quirks.

8. James was able to work full time during the summer, even though jobs are really scarce.

9. Because of James's work in the summer, we will have a wonderful apartment to move into which will save us tons of money. The speed at which the apartment has gone together is simply amazing. A month ago, it was still basically a room. A week and half from now, it will be a livable (and mostly done) apartment. I'm excited.

10. James has continued to make A's and earn his academic scholarship. What a blessing! BYU-I is so wonderful. I never once had to pay tuition. :)

little faux hawk baby!
Those are only the big miracles from this year, and I bet I'm leaving out a bunch. I'm so grateful for the gift of personal revelation. Whether I'm teaching, cooking, taking care of the baby, or not doing anything at all, I'm grateful for those little bits of light that come to my mind that help me live my life better. Inspiration has been especially important this year in making big decisions, and we have some more big decisions coming up soon. Looking back helps me realize that there's no reason to worry about the future.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stuff I've Seen Recently

I realized that I don't do much updating on the stuff I've done for dates! James and I both love movies and plays, so here are the ones I/we saw recently.

Harry Potter 7! Wow, it was JUST like the book, minus a few small details. I could have done without the smoky people scene, but it was a spectacular movie that left me feeling like the characters did. Can't wait for Part 2!

The Marriage of Figaro (play) We saw this on campus and really enjoyed it. I can't believe how different it is to watch an opera compared to even a plain old musical. Wow. It takes a lot of skill to make 3 people sing in harmony and have their words all rhyme. Mozart was a genius. The story was really interesting and funny too.

Actor's Worst Nightmare (play) It was weird. Really. It also ended very abruptly. There were funny parts, but I felt like I was missing out on something, because I didn't get a lot of the references to other plays. Oh well. We got cheesecake.

Oklahoma (movie) I love the music! I've heard a lot of it before. Musicals are very enjoyable, I think. I've liked most of the ones I've seen, as long as they aren't obscene (like Chicago--never watch that one!). It's really funny to see how much technology has changed over the last 50 years. One thing I don't like about OK--that hired hand sure is a creep!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping Around

My mother-in-law gave me the assignment to shop around for cabinets and appliances. Wow. I had NO idea...

1. Cabinets are ridiculously expensive.
2. My current apartment is made out of the cheapest of cheap stuff available.
3. craigslist has such AMAZING deals sometimes, but not always.
4. Both the websites for Home Depot and Lowe's can be really easy to use or extremely annoying.
5. When it comes to designing even a tiny little apartment, the possibilities are mind-numbing! My mind is rather numb right now, so it feels really good to sit back and write.

Epic fail of the day, though...

My laptop's screen no longer stands upright. It has to be propped up with books. :( Hopefully, that is something that can be fixed for cheap!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Feel Crafty, Oh So Crafty

a hat and matching scarf
made before Joseph was born

Daddy's bowler hat

a headband for me!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peace on Earth

Lots of things can bring peace. Here are some that I found from skimming the scriptures this morning.

calming the storm

being whole

refraining from disputing

having faith and not fear

having one's home protected

the Gospel

glorifying God

being spiritually minded


the Spirit




"Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."


"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (Articles of Faith, 13)

I've always loved the 13th Article of Faith, even though it was the longest to memorize. I think it's a great summary of the way we should live our lives with integrity. It sums up pretty much everything that wasn't covered  in the previous 12 Articles.

I've come to realize that good entertainment doesn't come knocking at our doors. We have to be the ones to seek it out and judge it by the standards given to us by the Lord. Many movies that I used to watch I judged by rationalization. Well, everyone else in my ward likes it...and the bad part isn't that long. It's not part of the central theme anyway. I failed to listen to what the Spirit thought about those movies. To be truthful, he wasn't always there. I offended him by choosing to watch that stuff (and no, nothing was rated R.)

The standards that the Spirit "follows" don't change according to the whims of popular fads. I am grateful that society has set forth a rating system for movies, even though it's far from perfect. Having that guideline is certainly better than nothing. Because of the imperfection in that system, we have to be especially careful not to fall into the trap of rationalization. Society's standards are falling fast, but the Lord's have stayed the same.

We can rationalize all that we want, but no amount of rationalization can bring the Spirit back. God's standards are not up for discussion or review. 

Friday, December 3, 2010


Being a mom seems like an easy job from the outside. It's a job often done without any prior training. It would seem that, like any other job, all that is required is to check off a list of things to do.

I love my little guy!
Every day, I realize a little more how untrue that is. Some days, even when I finish my mental checklist, I still feel that I'm not doing enough to take care of Joseph. The last few days have been especially difficult, and I don't really know why. Every little thing kept getting on my nerves. It wasn't anyone else's fault that I was grouchy. However, gloomy weather and lack of sleep never help things much...

This month has been a little tough because I am once again waiting for something. I found reassurance through a quote from Elder Scott, "If you have determined to live righteously, don’t become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments. May the Holy Ghost prompt you to always make decisions that fortify your character and yield much joy and happiness." 

No sooner had I read that, when I received a phone call that said my lovely refund check is ready and I can come pick it up! Not being able to earn money with a paying job make me feel so inadequate sometimes, especially when our bank account gets low. The Lord knows me so well, though. Every time that I feel I've had enough (and then a little more), I finally come to terms with my life not being perfect. Then, not 5 minutes later, something like this happens. Hopefully, I will remember in the future to be at peace when trials come--not fight against them!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Homecoming & Talents

This past weekend was full of festivities due to the homecoming of my brother-in-law, Sam. I can't say that he looks a lot different, but he is very much like James was when he first returned from the mission: full of the fire of faith. I love to see recent RM's, because they really do have a certain glow about them. They also want to shout from the rooftops how amazing the Gospel is. It was really great to see family that we haven't seen for a while (since the family reunion in June.) A cousin also had a bridal shower, for which I made a cute apple print apron. I didn't use a pattern and it was different than I had originally planned, but I was pleased with the result. (That's all that really matters, right?) I wish I'd taken a picture, but I guess you'll have to take my word for it.

I was reading recently about the parable of the talents. I noticed the phrase "every man according to his several ability." We don't all come into this life equal, but we are all given talents, whether it be 5, 2, or 1. What really matters is what we do with them. When the day of reckoning came, the Savior was equally pleased with those who had received 5 and 2 talents. They had both doubled what they'd received. They were both made rulers over many things.

I used to think that I didn't really have any talents. After all, I don't play a sport and I can't play a musical instrument. I've never been a very good actress, storyteller, or comedian on the stage. It's taken me years to realize that I am still of great worth without those things. I'm okay with the fact that my capabilities are not those "stage talents" that make the crowd cheer.

It's a little early, but there are a few talents I really want to focus on. These are the things that I'm not so good at but want to be.

Singing--I'm going to join the ward choir again. It's been tough with a small baby, but I loved it before.

Sewing--I want to make at least one project a month. I may never venture into the realm of fancy clothing or using complicated patterns, but I can make some simple things.

Knitting--I want to learn some more stitches and also make one project a month. It's nice to have lots of warm things to wear, and it's fun to be able to design your own!

I will probably think of more things, but sports will probably never be on the list. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010


This entry is dedicated to my family, because I know they will read it eventually. It's been 5 whole years since I spent Thanksgiving with my family. I can remember helping make the pies the day before...half of them never making it to Thanksgiving. Mom always put me in charge of making the green bean casserole. I tried to steal as many French-fried onions as I could when she wasn't looking. When it was finally dinnertime, we crowded around the table and tried not to bump elbows too much. Sometimes we had the missionaries over, so we ate from our real plates instead of paper ones. Even with company, our silverware was always mismatched.

the whole crew in front of the Apex temple
2008, I think
I am thankful for eternal families. I don't know if I'll ever live close to my family again. There's a chance of that when James goes to grad school, but we just don't know as of right now. I am grateful for the new family that I became a a part of last July, and I am especially glad that my brother-in-law made it home from his mission, finally! (Luckily, I already knew him and did not just meet him for the first time.) I love my own little family, though it's definitely not complete. I love my husband and darling little boy. I can't wait until the other children get here and make our little family complete.

The family might be failing as the basic unit of society today, but it will always be the basic unit of the celestial kingdom. I'm thankful that I come from an eternal family, married into one, and have been able to create my own. I know that I'll never be alone as long as I stay close (though not physically) to my family.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Book of Mormon Hero

I love Nephi. It's not that I haven't studied the other prophets in the Book of Mormon, it's that Nephi is still my favorite! I even like 2 Nephi. :)

A talk in Church yesterday mentioned some of my favorite qualities about him. He delighted in the scriptures. He frankly forgave those who had wronged him. He was obedient to all the of the commandments, yet still unfailingly humble. I think of the story of the broken bow. Everyone in the family, including Lehi, had starting murmuring about the lack of food. Nephi got to work and made a new bow. Before leaving, he asked his father, the prophet, where he should go for food. Nephi probably could have done it on his own, but he made sure to respect his father by asking him for direction first. He made no assumption that he could do the task on his own, even though he probably could have. He put his trust in the Lord.

The speaker mentioned that it is through our obedience that we gain the capacity to deal with our challenges. It was through Nephi's obedience that his life was spared so many times. He easily could have been killed by his brothers on several occasions, but the Lord protected him each time. It didn't save Nephi from all suffering, but he continued faithful to the commandments of God, giving thanks each time his life was miraculously spared.

I've never been threatened with death, almost drowned in a huge storm, or been forced to run away from home so my brothers wouldn't kill me. I've never seen an angel, written down the record of my nation, or been a prophet. Nephi's example is very inspiring to me. No matter what I go through, there's no excuse to give up and say that it's too hard!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Coo Coo

my big boy
Joseph has a funny habit of babbling at the most inopportune times: in the middle of Church, Institute, while I'm trying to listen to someone, etc. It's so adorable, though. He can say "ba", "ma", and "ga". Yes...that means he can say "Mama"!

Who care if he doesn't know what it means? I love it that he's starting to be a little person and not just a cute doll baby.

(His funniest sound is the one he's making right now--I call it the drooly Chewbacca.)

The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning

My schooling emphasized the importance of using metaphors, allegories, anecdotes, etc. to really make sure that a lesson hits home. I teach Relief Society once a month, and it's almost crazy how many ideas just pop into my head. I'm sure that they are not mine. There's no way that my brain came up with it all on its own.

This week, I've been studying about the Holy Ghost for my lesson on Sunday. The lesson did not explicitly mention the Spirit as a fire, but that thought kept popping up in my mind. I decided to study it further.

When one is baptized, it is often referred to as "baptism by water". Water is a cleansing agent in that it removes all visible dirt and grime--stuff on the outside. Water is what we use to clean our physical bodies. Water, however, it not enough to complete the process of sanctification.

Fire is necessary to really sanctify us. Not only does it remove impurities--ones that we cannot see--but it cleanses us from the inside (our spiritual bodies). The work that the fire does is more subtle. It works over a lifetime and, like a real fire, leaves a lasting mark on us. Once we've felt the warmth of fire, we desire to feel it again.

It's like washing dishes. Whether by hand or with a dishwasher, the process is the same. Dishes get scrubbed with soap and water, which is like baptism. Then, they are rinsed with lots of heat, which of course is made by  a heating coil (fire!). Soap and water make them clean, but the heat is what does the sanitizing. One without the other is only half of the process, and they must be done in that order.

We often overlook those tiny little "germs" in ourselves. After all, they are really hard to see! That's why we need the Spirit to help us with the process. We simply cannot do it on our own. You can't fix a problem when you don't think that there is one!

I was wondering how we can be really be compared to dishes when the Ensign fell open to Pres. Packer's talk, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel." Vessel = container or dish. Boom. Problem solved. I hope the lesson sounds half as cool to my students as it does to me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hopes and Dreams

Everybody has that list of things they'd like to accomplish one day, right? Here are mine, in no particular order.

Have 6 kids

Grow a garden and use it all

Own a sewing machine and use it

Teach the Gospel in some way every day

Try lots of new foods and recipes

Stay in shape

Bear testimony spontaneously and often

Get a master's degree

Go on a mission

Stay close to my family


This weekend, we went to the SLC area for a wedding reception and to visit James's aunt. It was really fun, but it reminded me of how much I don't like riding in the car for more than an hour. On Saturday, while we were on the way back, we got slightly lost in the ghetto of SLC.  We didn't intend on going there, but one wrong turn led to 20 minutes of wandering around in a place we didn't want to be.

All it takes is one wrong turn to end up on the wrong path! There is only one path home. It is well-marked with signs that let us know we are on the right road. If we leave it, we lost precious time as we try to make our way back. Sometimes it takes more than a simple U-turn. There are roadblocks, detours, and trains. We wander without guidance until we find our way back to the road overhead with its bright lights beckoning. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get back on the road. It will still lead us home!

The dark road is so distracting, full of dead ends and boarded up houses. The path meanders and doesn't really lead anywhere. Some may scoff at those who take the well-traveled road, saying that the scenic route is faster, prettier, or easier.

There is one road home. Where we are on the road may not matter as much as the fact that we are on it. It will always lead us to the place that we should be.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Wintertime, It's Wintertime, the Snow is Falling Down

And yes, it's all around the town. We got several inches of snow a few days ago. Surprisingly enough, it was the first real snowfall of the season. 

Fall was so beautiful this year, and I'm quite sad to see it go. But, despite all my wishing, the seasons will keep on changing. I will keep growing older, my baby will grow up, and my husband will lose his hair. (I think his hairline is already receding, but he doesn't believe me!) Sometimes I  look back on the days when I had few responsibilities. 10 years ago, I barely had to do anything for myself. My parents paid for everything, did my laundry, cooked my meals, and drove me where I needed to go. At school, I was just a student, nothing else.

It's interesting to see how my roles have changed. I am still a daughter and a student (though not formally). I have also become a teacher and a mother, as well as a nurturer, cook, wannabe seamstress, wife, sometimes chauffeur, and housekeeper. Taking care of a family is no small job, but there's no real way to compare it to the things I did 10 years ago. Is it easier? Certainly not. But is it worth all the stress? Definitely.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be a homemaker. My mother was and is the best example to me. I'm glad that she stays home and shows the world that it can be done with lots of kids and one income. I know that I'm doing the right thing, and the Lord has blessed us financially in many ways. We don't have extra money or even a whole lot to save, but we have enough. It takes so much faith (which I don't always have) to know that we will be able to pay for everything, but the Lord knows our needs. He goes above and beyond blessing us with just our needs, though. As any loving parent, he often gives us things that we don't deserve but He knows that they will make us happy.

I'm so grateful to be a mom. It's the best job in the world.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One in a Million

Yesterday at church, two babies got blessed. There were three other babies born in the last week. It would seem that Joseph, now 5 months old, has lost his novelty. He's not a newborn anymore, so he doesn't have mobs of people begging to hold him or catch a glimpse of him for the first time to see which parent he resembles more. It would almost seem that he's not as important as he used to be. The world is constantly changing. One fad replaces another before I can blink. Technology becomes outdated soon after it hits the shelves.

Heavenly Father does not see His children that way. He knows and loves us individually, no matter how long we've been around or how imperfect we are. He rejoices when His children succeed and choose the right, weeps when they feel pain, and laughs when they suck on their toes (as Joseph is doing right now). He understands each child and loves them all.

I understand only a tiny part of that love He feels for me because of how I feel about my child. Long before Joseph was born, I dreamed of having a baby that I could hold in my arms and call my own. His arrival was none too soon, and I look forward to the day when he will have brothers and sisters.

God gives us children to teach us how to love. We may fail to love our fellow man for his imperfections, but it is so easy to love a child, even an imperfect one.

Class Registration from Hades!

Okay, there's really only one thing driving me mad right now, and that is class registration at BYU-I. I'm not even the one taking classes. James put me in charge of signing up for classes for my brother-in-law, who returns home from his mission in a little over two weeks. Yay! Anyway, there are several things about BYU-I's website that are just plain stupid.

1. You can't find anything.
2. The course search has way too many possible options, leaving you with 50 pages of stuff or nothing at all.
3. You can't use the back/forward button.
4. Classes change codes every 2 years.
5. Those codes are never updated in the degree audit tool, so you have to load your degree audit, find the class name, then go back into class registration and figure out the new code for yourself. Um, why not keep the class codes the same? Or at least put the old code in parentheses? Is it really that hard?
6. Old catalogs have classes that don't exist anymore!
7. The new website claims to be more user-friendly. HA.

I could go on, but all I'll say is that I'm really glad that I don't have to register! Luckily, my brother-in-law will end up with a decent schedule and all the classes he wanted.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nothin' Much

I guess if you asked what I've done this week, I'd probably say, "Not much." Really, I've just been doing my same old routine, which is fine, because I like routine. As long as I have one set in place and get all the normal stuff done, then I am allowed to have some fun. That might sound crazy, but I just have to be doing something. Sundays are hard for me, because I don't like to "relax" for too long. (Luckily, Joseph doesn't like for me to relax much either!)

I like Fridays. Even though my job is basically the same 24/7 (though not usually 24 any more!), Fridays just feel relaxing. Saturdays are the only days (not counting Sunday) that James can be at home and semi-relax. I say semi because he will be starting to work on our future apartment tomorrow and has lots of homework (like a 10-page paper).

I wasn't in a such a good mood yesterday, and I don't really want to remember what I was like. Some contributing factors were definitely having a sharp pain in my hand from who knows what, a whiny baby, and dinner not turning out like I wanted. But that's okay. I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, but today is already a much better one. I made dinner early so it can just be popped in the oven later, Joseph did not spit baby food all over me, and I'm almost done with an excellent book called Three Cups of Tea. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's very inspiring. Our first refund check came too, even though it was only 67 dollars. Hey, every penny counts. Poor James had a crown and 5 fillings done earlier this week. No dental insurance = lots of money coming from us. I'm glad I researched dentists to find the cheapest one! Who knew that he'd need some of the most expensive procedures!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Weekend

We had a great time this weekend celebrating Halloween. Okay, that sounds strange. What were we celebrating? Gluttony? Maybe. Either way, I love Halloween. It's a great reason to eat lots of candy and dress up in a silly costume. Plus, I LOVE pumpkin. ( On Friday, James's aunt had an awesome party with lots of "spooky" food. We got to hang out with lots of the cousins. Saturday, we watched Night at the Museum 2 and went to a comedy show on campus. It was lots of fun. Some of our first dates 4 years ago were to comedy shows on campus. Good memories.

"Brother Joseph", the Dalmatian, and my dance costume
A talk in church really impressed me. No matter where we live, it can always be a house of God. The guy talking said that he and his wife had moved to a trailer to save money. In 2 months, we will be moving into "the barn" to save money. Not wanting to make such a change was a result of my own pride and caring too much about what others would think. It really doesn't matter what they think. When we make the right decisions, the Lord will always be pleased with us. James and I are making this decision because it was inspired and it will keep us out of debt. Yes, even with kidney stone surgery, school, having a baby, being a stay-at-home mom, and James's intense dental work this month, we have been blessed and have managed to pay for everything. Such miracles can only come after we've done our part, which often requires great sacrifice. I truly believe that sacrifice means giving up something in exchange for something greater. The tricky part is just seeing that what we've received really is greater.

Friday, October 29, 2010

There and Back Again & Baby Food

the goodies! (plus a cute hat for Joseph)
Thankfully, my in-laws returned safely from Ecuador around 2 on Thursday. They brought us some yummy goodies: real vanilla, cocoa, and these wonderful wafers with a Nutella-like filling. (They're gone already, of course.)

I made Joseph some baby food to freeze and used my food mill for the first time. It was so much fun! It reminds me of those Play doh toys where you squeeze the dough through to make hair, only you're doing it with food. I don't think I've seen many things that look nastier than mashed up peas. To make food for the whole week, all I had to do was cook one carrot, a handful of peas, and a half a cup of oatmeal. Total time: an hour. Cost? Well under a dollar. A good friend of mine recommended a wonderful website that has all the information that anyone could possibly need on making baby food. I'm so excited to save lots of money!

James in his new jersey and pants
By the way, the website is

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Builds Character

I really liked the talk from Conference about building character. It often seems that we have endless lists of good qualities that we need to have before we pass on to the next life. I think that there's really only one: charity. Charity is the last quality listed in any long list found in the scriptures. It is the ultimate good quality to have. However, I don't think that it is merely some conglomeration of a bunch of other good stuff. Charity is one word that describes perfection, yet we lack the resources in our language to fully describe it, hence the long list of other qualities. If we fully understood the word "charity" then we wouldn't really need the long list before it to really define what it is. Language is a funny thing. The more I've studied it, the more I realize how imperfect it is sometimes in describing the things of God. Only a language of God could fully do that, so that it why He speak to us through revelation and the Spirit.

In D&C 121:45, this process is described as "distil[ling] upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." What an interesting way to phrase that! To distil means to "precipitate in drops" or, interestingly enough, "to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time." (Merriam-Webster dictionary) That's exactly the way that knowledge of a doctrine comes. The more we are obedient, the more "drops" we receive. And what happens when we've received enough of those "drops"?

We never thirst again. I'm still thirsty, so I have work to do! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy, Pt. 2

I can't believe that the 2 weeks are almost up! My in-laws will be back on Thursday, which means I get to go home. I am so happy! It's not that it hasn't been fun, but it's never the same when you're not at your own home. (Ironically, this will be my home soon enough, but not in the same way. I'll be in an apt. upstairs and not be in charge of all the kids!)

Joseph has really started enjoying solid food. He had bananas for a couple of days, so now we're progressing to squash. I blend it up with a little milk, and he just can't get enough of it! He's been sleeping really well at night too. Last night, he slept for 11 hours! That's definitely his record so far. It's really nice to get a full night of sleep (or close enough to one) since I've been running around so much.

It's finally looking like fall, with forecasts of snow today. I guess I'm still in denial, since we've made it for so long this year without any wintry weather. Oh well. It's inevitable.

Joseph has something to say:

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Friday, October 22, 2010


Bananas all over that chubby face :)
Okay, just a little. Let's just imagine that you have one child and all of a sudden have four (though this gig is only for 2 weeks!). Maybe it's just that Fridays are usually a little more relaxing for me. I've come to realize why my mom loved it when we were all in school and almost dreaded summer vacation. It's easy to keep track of my own schedule. When I was single, I did what I wanted. Then, I got married and added in James's schedule. No biggie there either, because he can at least drive! This week has flown by in a blur of play practices, driver's ed, homework, mutual, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brushing teeth, making sure the kids get some sleep, diaper changes, trying to squeeze in dates, family prayer, scriptures, and keeping the peace as the baby cries in the background 'cuz he's hungry again or somebody is unhappy with somebody else for some silly reason. When James is home, he has lots of homework. On school days, he's not home till 7.

I will definitely live. There are a couple things I'm going to do...

Thank my own mother. She did (and does) more than a human is possibly capable of doing without going insane.

Thank James's mother for also not going insane.

Only have 2 kids...20 years apart.

Okay, I was just kidding on the last one. I'm just so tired! Thank goodness that tomorrow is Saturday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Nomming the water bottle :)
Anyone who knows me knows that patience is NOT my virtue. Until today, I never realized how little patience I have with myself sometimes.  Each day, I feel that I have to do a certain amount of work to feel like I'm worth something. If my schedule of plans doesn't work out, it can be really frustrating. In the words of Pres. Packer, "Not so!" It's by the small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. I can't do everything, but I can do enough for my home and family. All of these small things will eventually bring to pass greatness. The hardest part is just waiting to understand that big picture and not just see the small, seemingly unimportant details of everyday life.

Each load of laundry matters. Each diaper matters. All those moments that I try to make a successful home matter. It might not be a perfect home, but it will be enough. That in itself is all that really matters.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Isn't babysitting a funny word? I'm currently at my in-laws' house while they are in Ecuador for the next 2 weeks. The only baby here is mine, so we're technically just taking care of the teenagers. Really, I'm doing the same thing I usually do during the day but pretending to be in charge and following a nicely-written out schedule. I guess that by definition, I'm teenwatching and not really babysitting, even though I do a certain amount of sitting during the day.

(Don't we all?)

I started another blog to put my recipes in. It was just weird to put them in this one. The link is on the side, if you're interested. I make no claims at being a gourmet, exotic cook, but cooking is certainly one of my favorite things to do. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Joseph's First Swim

We went to Green Canyon on Saturday. Did I mention that I love that place? The water is the perfect temperature, a nice 95 degrees, so there are no blue lips to be found.

We went with James's family and grandparents. Joseph got to sit in a little floatie that was almost too big for him. He was expressionless and first and just kind of sat there, but he started splashing after a while. He's never minded his baths too much. It was really funny how he'd splash, get it in his eyes, blink with a confused expression, and then start over again. What a cutie! I wish I'd gotten a picture.

We ate dinner at Green Canyon before coming home. Yum! Cornbread with chili is so delicious. :)

"Bad things happen to good people,"

is a quote I've often heard accompanied by a sympathetic look and the shake of a head. But do they really? I believe I've mentioned this before, but I think I could go into more detail. (By the way, this idea is from my dad, who has many great ideas.)

I'd like to state the phrase in a different way: "Good things always happen to good people." However, that doesn't always mean that these things will be pleasant. There have been many good, yet painful things that have happened in my life. Most recently, I think about the birth of my darling baby. Most would not argue that this experience is both painful and good. Through the Atonement, Christ suffered for all the pains of the world, yet this was a good thing that yielded wonderful results for us. Without a sinless life and willing heart, it would not have been possible "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)

It is through the things we lack that we come to appreciate what we do have. God giveth, and He also taketh away. The story of Job is often quoted to show the development of Job's character. God wasn't trying to destroy Job's faith. He let those painful (but not bad) experiences happen to Job to further develop Job's faith. I love the happy ending of the story. Not only does Job regain everything he had, but he receives double of his worldly possessions. The only thing that doesn't appear to be doubled is his family, which is a great testimony of eternal families. His family was doubled, because his deceased children would be waiting for him on the other side!

I believe that it is good to be a on both sides of "giving" and "taking". Sometimes we lack worldly possessions, so it takes more faith to give. No matter how little we have, there is always something we can give. On the flip side, no matter how much we have, we can always be grateful for the blessings we receive.

Christ gave his life for us, so what have I to complain about? Nothing, really. Such a sacrifice is not required of me, so I should never complain about the few things I give up, namely sleep, time, and energy. My contribution is such a small one, but like all others, I'll never be able to measure its effects.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple Pie and My Cutie Pie

I've been meaning to go to the BYU-I orchard for a very long time, because they have apples for 50 cents a pound. Unless you have a tree in your yard, there's nothing cheaper. I brought home 15 lbs! After making a pie, eating some (of course), and dehydrating 2 batches in the dryer, I didn't have many left. I'm thinking of going back soon so I can make James some applesauce. I was really impressed by the orchard. There are so many different types of apples that I've never seen or heard of. I never liked apples, but I definitely do now! The dried ones are really yummy plain or sprinkled with a little cinnamon and sugar. My favorite dried apples are the Granny Smith. :)

15 lbs. = about 2 grocery bags full

I couldn't believe some of the colors I saw!

I had lots of fun (possibly too much) in using this gadget.

The scraps made a wonderful pie.

Only 9 apples left!

I got about 5 quart-sized bags of dehydrated apples. YUM! 

Joseph had a checkup yesterday, and he's doing great. He weighs almost 15 lbs. now and is 26 inches long. He also had his shots this week and did great. He wasn't too grumpy and only cried for about 30 seconds this time. I'm not sure when I'll start feeding him solid food, but he's technically old enough and probably ready. It will probably be some time this month. I'm actually really looking forward to it! It's not going to cost much either, since I'm going to do what people did for thousands of years...make my own baby food. :)

This past week has really flown by. I just need to figure out what I'm doing this weekend. James is in FA 100, so we're pretty much booked for the rest of the month, but this week is still free. What to do? As long as it doesn't rain like it did yesterday, I think we have lots of possibilities with this beautiful fall weather.

The house smells like apples and cinnamon.

I love fall.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Impressions on Agency

This weekend was definitely an accomplishment for me. I stayed awake for all 8 hours of Conference! I didn't even feel sleepy! This was with no help from Joseph, who is still apparently going through a growth spurt. He keeps waking up every 3 hours at night. Luckily, he's only awake for 15 minutes at a time before going back to bed. It's much better than when he took 40 minutes to eat as a newbie!

Anyway, Conference always seems to have some kind of theme to it, or at least something that stands out to me more than anything else. The two themes I noticed this time were faith and agency. I thought it was interesting that the one talk (they're all jumbled now) talked about the friend who didn't have a good understanding of agency. It's such a vital part of the Plan of Salvation. Those who don't understand agency tend to abuse it, and that's definitely the reason that the world is in its current condition. People still want to believe that they are free to choose their actions AND consequences, hence many of the horrible things that are going on. They also think they can get away with their poor choices "as long as it's not hurting anyone else."

I think one of the biggest problems in anyone's life is the way we react to situations. Many times when I don't get enough sleep, I wake up almost wanting to be grouchy. People should realize that I need 9 hours, not 7! I should get breakfast in bed, a nap, and plenty of sympathy! Of course this attitude leaves me feeling horrible by the time James leaves for school. What right do I have to behave this way? None! It's the mere dread of being tired throughout the day that "makes" me feel this way, not that my morning is inherently bad.

The past few days, I tried changing how I felt when I woke up (for the fourth and final time). It's been surprisingly easy to start the day in a good mood and to keep it that way. It's not anyone's fault if I've been grumpy in the past. Nope, only mine. I've come to realize that being happy is worth so much more than sending poor, innocent James off to school feeling like he did something wrong when he didn't. I will always be jealous when I see him sleeping peacefully when I get up in the middle of the night, but that's my job! I choose from this day forth to be a morning person. It's probably going to take a lifetime to perfect, but I know that the world will be a better place when I choose to see it that way.

I am ever grateful for the gift of agency and that the Lord has given me commandments that help me keep using this gift to its fullest. (It's the gift that keeps on giving, right?)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things Just Work Out

No, I don't mean working out in the exercise sense. I've been slacking in that department. I feel impressed to write about some of the tender mercies that I've experienced in my life recently and over the past few years.

I don't know how or why certain events happen in the way they do, but I'm glad for it. I never knew how much my life would be blessed by coming to BYU-I, but it has certainly been a wonderful 4 years. The Lord has been looking out for me all along.

James was one of the first people I met here. I'm grateful every day for the impression he's made on me, and I'm sure glad that I get to keep him forever. :)

I got a great education in a major I might not have picked, but I found my niche in teaching. Teaching others is what I really love to do, and going to school here made me realize my potential to be a teacher.

I was able to get my degree and have a baby only 2 months later. As much as I loved teaching, I was ready for Joseph to join our family. He is a blessing every day. As I sit here and watch him grab his feet and drool, I have to smile. He teaches me something every day.

We have been blessed with exactly what we need. I stay home with Joseph, so we live on a part-time job for most of the year while James works hard in school. The future is uncertain, but it's bright. Things tend to happen--ER visits, possible root canals, moving to a new apartment--and these things require faith. I am still amazed in the ways that the Lord provides for us.

I'm glad my parents taught me to work hard, pay tithing, and have faith. By always doing those three things, there's no way that we can ever go wrong.

Now, I have a diaper to change. :)

A Good Week

This week started off a little crazy, but it's ended very well. Dad left us on Tuesday, so we got the house back in order and I went grocery shopping. We've been eating the junk food stash that he left with us. :) Too bad it's almost gone already...When it comes to Doritos, I have absolutely no willpower. They must contain some addicting ingredient. I just haven't figured out what that is yet.

James and I had the opportunity to go to the temple last night for sealings. It was great, as always. It always reminds me of the day we got married. I can't believe that it's been about 15 months now. I also can't believe that Joseph is 4 months old! He has changed in so many ways. He loves to grab things and can hold his head up when on his tummy. He has also learned how to squeal. It's the cutest thing! I think he's done with his most recent growth spurt (thank goodness), so I'm getting sleep again. Growth spurts are no fun, but I guess they're a necessary part of a baby's life. It drove me nuts to wake up 3 times during the night when he had started sleeping through the night. I can't complain. I really do have a good baby.

Yesterday was one of coincidences. James went to a meditation class on campus, so I decided to take a little walk to my old home, the Hinckley building. I ran into 2 former roommates (pretty much the only ones still here), a guy from my home stake, and James's best friend who just got off his mission on Wednesday. Considering that forum hour is when no one is actually on campus, I'm thinking that it was an inspired decision to take that walk. It was really great to see familiar faces. I'm already starting to feel out of place on campus. I don't have any more classes to take, and that's a strange thought.

I'm really looking forward to Conference this weekend. I hope that Christian gets the opportunity to go to the Conference center from the MTC. Who knows? It's weird to think that I won't see him for 2 years, that Joseph will be a toddler, and that I might even have another baby by then. I think it will go by pretty fast, though. Christian will be an excellent missionary--no doubt. Hopefully I remember to write!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dad's Visit

It's been really fun having Dad here. It's also really cool how the timing worked out. Dad had some meetings in Salt Lake for work, and Christian reports to the MTC this Wednesday. That meant a gap of 3 or so days that Dad could come visit us!

We had a nice dinner on Friday. Saturday, we hung out and had dinner at Ying Yang. It's pretty cheap for Chinese and pretty tasty too. Of course we had to get some dessert at G's Dairy. I love that place! Real ice cream is the stuff that you have to chew and can only eat about 4 ounces before you're full. The turtle cheesecake is my favorite!

I attended the Relief Society broadcast. I especially liked Pres. Monson's talk about judging others. As an example, he told the story about the lady who criticized her neighbor's dirty laundry when she was really looking through her own dirty windows! I'll admit it--my windows get pretty dirty. Sometimes I just want to shut the blinds and forget about ever cleaning them. :)

We watched a little bit of Bonanza. Talk about cheesy! Yet there's something really nice about those old shows. People are either good or bad. Maybe they can't act, but it's clearly defined that good guys are good and bad guys are bad. There's no flip-flopping or claiming that bad deeds are necessary in order to achieve a good purpose. Many TV shows on the air today have such twisted morals! They suck people in by starting off nice and relatively clean, but they get progressively darker and less wholesome. I hate that. That's why we don't watch TV. We've thought about hooking up our free cable, but it's just not going to happen. It's just not worth it to me.

Sunday was a nice day too. It was James's grandpa's birthday, so we had dinner at their house in Rigby. They gave us some apples, so I'm making an apple pie today. Dad and I are also making a trip to Wal-mart to get some junk food and eating dinner out tonight. It's been a few months since James and I ate somewhere "nice". It sure is fun to eat out, though I can't see why someone would do it all the time. I mean, wouldn't it lose its appeal and make you go broke after a while? Eating out for me means that I don't know how to make the dish at home. I do love figuring out how to make stuff that the restaurant can make. It usually saves a ton of money, and I can modify it to my taste.

It's been a good weekend. I can't believe that Christian reports this Wednesday to the MTC! He's going to be a great missionary, though. He has lots of great Gospel insights, many things that I've never thought about before. We sure will miss him, but we will also be glad to be getting Myles here in January. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


Just a contrast to my last post...I feel so much better! I still have no idea what I ate that gave me such a horrible time, but I'm sure glad that it's over. I had a few very emotional moments this week when I was weak, tired, and stressed from taking care of Joseph, but that all seems so long ago now.

I missed him while we were on our date. :(
James and I went on a date to a RS activity last night. It was great! We got a nice, free dinner of alfredo, cheesecake, salad, and bread. There was also a dance with live music and even fake candles on the tables. I don't remember the last time we went out to dinner, but it was most likely before Joseph was born. That made it extra special. :) We are still such terrible dancers, but we had a great time.

On the topic of wellness: It's interesting how many things come into play for one to be completely "well", or scripturally, "whole". Being physically healthy is only a small part of it, but it definitely has a large impact on everything else. Because I was physically unwell, I was also emotionally unwell (not in the terminal sense, of course). I was grouchy and not myself. That caused me to not be in tune with the Spirit, so my home felt like a place of discord, rather than one of harmony.

As a mother, it's a big job to ensure the wellness of another person. Taking care of a baby requires more than just knowledge of when the baby needs food, sleep, or a new diaper. There is no book comprehensive enough, because every child is so different. I love my little Joseph. I'm so glad that he's my baby. No matter how big he is, he always will be! :)

We are so excited that my dad is coming to visit this weekend. He gets here today, so we're going to celebrate with a yummy meal: BBQ pork, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and peach crisp. I'm hungry already.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I just want to say that I HATE BEING SICK! Taking care of a baby when you don't feel quite right is hard! There are no breaks unless the baby takes a nap, and that is no guarantee for Joseph at this age. I am so glad that James will be home later this evening to help out.

I realize more and more why children need two parents. I might be the only one to feed Joseph, but James does SO much to help out. Sometimes I'm just too worn out to play with Joseph anymore, but James is always willing to make him laugh. It's the sweetest sound in the world. James is so good at being the goofy daddy. I don't know how single parents do it. There are days that I feel that I'm about to go nuts...and I only have one kid. It's such a sacrifice of time and energy. Joseph has been going through another growth spurt, and it's tough. Combined with being sick, my energy is completely sapped--not to complain, though. I enjoy good health and have a very healthy, cute baby. Days like this make me so grateful to have overall good health.

I think that hardest part of being sick (for me) is the effect on my mood. It's been a stressful few days because of lots of changes that will be coming up. James and I have both received impressions to move in with his family. The apartment upstairs isn't even done yet! The more I think about it, the more sad I am to be leaving this apartment and moving into a smaller one. Yet, we moved a year ago from our first apartment, and everything worked out just fine. There are so many things I'll miss: having 2 bedrooms, a dishwasher, a great ward, and awesome friends so close by. Argh! It's just so frustrating sometimes to get an impression like that. It makes perfect sense to move, but it's not what I want. Not at all. I guess you could say that it hurts my pride, because I said I'd never live with my parents (or husband's parents) unless I really had to. This is one of those moments where I really need to work on accepting the will of the Lord and learning how to want what He wants for me. It's going to take some time, so I'm really glad that this impression came early and not in December. The Lord knows me better than I know myself, and He knew I'd need some time to come to terms with it. *Sigh*

There must be a reason that I heard Pres. Clark's talk about the poison of entitlement twice this past week. I am certainly "entitled" to happiness as anyone else, but that doesn't mean that I won't have to work for it! Happiness is always found in doing the right thing, whether it makes sense or not.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I remember a Hershey's ad from the 90's (I think) that proclaimed, "Change is bad. The Hershey bar: unchanged since <whatever year it was that they said>." Theoretically, there is no reason for that Hershey bar to ever change. After all, why would you want to change something that's already perfect? (Not taking into consideration all those who don't consider Hershey's chocolate to be perfect, though I think it's pretty darn good.)

We need change. Change in itself is a trial. Sometimes, those trials come with us when we're born. Sometimes, we seek them out. At other times, they seem to be randomly forced upon us. For me, I think that change is one of the biggest tests of my faith. I like to be comfortable where I am. I don't like to move. That applies to both the apartment I live in and in my faith. It's all too easy to get complacent and feel that everything is perfect. When we start thinking that, we're always wrong. When life seems too easy, I know that I should expect the unexpected...but I never know exactly what I should be expecting!

There have been several times in my life that the Lord has specifically required me to step outside of my comfort zone. All of these times required big changes: coming to school in Idaho, choosing to go into teaching when I hated speaking in front of people, marrying a guy I had to wait 2 years for, and having a baby right after graduation when I could have gotten a decent-paying job. It would seem that these choices didn't make sense, yet there is no denying that they were the right choices--and changes--to make in my life. I have no doubts about them. I still feel that they were all the right decisions.

The hardest decisions for me are the ones that I don't want to make, even though I feel that they are right. Those are the ones that aren't logical to me in the first place. One such decision I made last summer when I stayed in Rexburg. I had much better opportunities to make money elsewhere, but I knew it was the right thing to do in staying. The job I got? Same thing. It was the last job on earth that I wanted, but it worked out perfectly for my situation.

Now comes the time for another change. What will it be? I guess that remains to be seen. I feel that life is "almost" easy at the moment and that I've gotten a little complacent. But I've been through change before, so bring it on!

It's Days Like This...

...that make me really appreciate the days when I sit at home and have nothing to do! Here's how it began. I woke up, got ready, cleaned the kitchen, fed Joseph, and prepared dinner while he was down for a nap. By then, it was time for James to come home for lunch. We had some wonderful leftovers, cleaned that up, and then I took him back to school. Joseph ate two more times in that time period. I think he's going though a growth spurt. Then, I went with Melodie to run some errands and watch the Homecoming parade for MHS. It was nice. I even got some free taffy, not feeling too weird as I ran into the road to grab it before it got run over by silly, screaming teenagers with spray-painted red and white faces, hair, name it. (As a side note, Sally Beauty Supply had a sign on the door proclaiming their lack of the aforementioned colors in spray-on hair dye. Lol.)
I'll admit it. I was really happy when this happened.

Joseph had had enough by this point, so he cried all the way home from getting some ice cream. G's Dairy Delights is just that...delightful. People can say all they want about custard and yogurt, but I think there's nothing better in the world than some good, thick ice cream.

I made some cookies to take up to Grandma's tomorrow, folded the laundry from earlier in the day, and sat down for a few minutes. Joseph woke up and ate again. That brings me up to the present. All I've got to do is cook the dinner, deliver it to a girl who just had a baby, eat my own, drop off Joseph, pick up James, and go to the temple with him! Hurray for ward temple night! I don't think the day could end better than that!

I really don't know what I'll do when I have more than one kid, either. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Nom nom nom...
It's really quite funny to be a new mother of a 95% perfect baby and to hear all the assumptions that people often have. "Oh, you must be dead tired." "I bet he keeps you up all night." "You must never get anything done." I guess I never realized how much perspective plays in viewing a good night's sleep. A good night, I think, is only having to wake up once. When Joseph was first born, he'd wake up two or three times, but now he's down to once or not waking up at all. A father remarked to me that "sleeping well" is only defined as not waking up at all! I guess that by that definition, I haven't "slept well" more than 3 or 4 times in the last 9 months or so. (Pregnancy in its later stages is NOT very restful, even if you're at home all day and don't already have kids to take care of.) I am grateful that my baby is not even close to what I call the "worst-case scenario" baby that everyone warned me about for months before he was born. When he's all wrapped up in his blanket and peacefully sleeping, the phrase "bundle of joy" runs through my mind. :)

James and I went to our first movie in the theater since Joseph was born! I actually really recommend it. I feel the need to support every good, clean movie that comes out, since there are SO FEW that aren't completely stupid or pointless animated junk. This movie has the typical violence related to magic/fantasy, but that's it. (No swearing, no innuendos, and no junk.) It may be a little predictable, but it has a happy ending and a very likable main character. It's called the Sorcerer's Apprentice (with Nicolas Cage). We are definitely renting it when it gets to RedBox, which will probably be soon.

That brings to mind the whole issue of perspective again. This movie didn't get very good reviews. I don't particularly like movie reviewers. All they care about is some new, breathtaking movie that presents ideas that have never been heard of before, never taking into consideration how much junk the movie has in it. Just because a story has been told before, it doesn't mean that it can't be a good movie. Look at the Gospel. If these movie reviewers were reviewing our magazines and Sunday School curriculum, they would hate every issue or book written after 1835. We need review. We also need good movies that tell the story of good triumphing over evil. Good people really do get happy endings!

So when it comes to perspective...I choose to be optimistic. There's no real point in bemoaning that I still wake up in the middle of the night. There's also no point in complaining about all the bad movies. It would take too long anyway. I appreciate all the good things in life, no matter how small.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I can't help but feel grateful for this past week. It's been a pretty normal week, but also one of change. Fall has definitely arrived in Idaho, so that means no more sandals for me. It also means no more leisurely walks to the park in the warm sunshine. Summer this year was but a fleeting moment. Yesterday made me appreciate those 6 weeks of summer even more.

We had planned to take a trip to the park and zoo, but alas, nasty weather greeted us. Along with the chill breeze, there were ominous gray clouds and bone-chilling rain. I am grateful for the rain. It reminds me of those sunny days when going outside took little effort and we opened our windows at night to feel the cool breeze. Now, we hide from the elements as much as possible and turn on the heat. Although our trip to the zoo didn't happen, I am grateful for the day that did. I had James at home almost all day, the first weekday since I don't know when. We had a little picnic in our living room and then went on a drive. Instead of the zoo, we ended up browsing the mall and Ross, where I finally bought myself some some really cheap jeans. I love jeans. I think they're my favorite kind of pants in the world. Plus, I'll never make it through the winter without them. They might be a mile too long, but I am grateful that I know how to hem them, even if I don't have perfect sewing skills.

My pride and joy
James started school today. I am grateful that we have the opportunity to have such an amazing school. I loved going to BYU-I, but I am also grateful to have graduated. Seeing everyone else start school makes me a little sad, like I'm missing out on something, but I know that my time in school is done--for now.

I am grateful for this little baby that brightens my days. I thought I had discovered myself, but I realized that I hadn't until he was born. I know that there are more children to follow. This little family is just getting started. I am ever grateful for eternal families and for my own family that lives so far away. Yet, the light of the Gospel connects us. I do not despair at the distance, and those moments I have with my family are cherished even more than ever.

I am grateful for faith and prayer. Without these two, it wouldn't be possible to know all the things that I do. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is certainly true. There's no way it couldn't be. Even I, as a simple homemaker, find great joy and fulfillment in my life each day that I remember the far-reaching effects of my work.

I am grateful that the Lord has entrusted me with such responsibility. I hope that I may always live up to my privileges.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cressing and Blessing

The beautiful valley
Funny faces for the camera

It's been a very eventful weekend. I didn't even realize how much I actually do sometimes! We went to Cress Creek on Saturday evening. It was a gorgeous day. I love the awesome view of the valley.

I had this giant box of peaches (20 plus lbs), so I made some peach freezer jam. It tastes absolutely delicious! I can't believe how easy it is to make freezer jam. It's certainly cheaper and, in my opinion, tastes much better than the stuff they sell at the store. Mmm.
After: As you can see, I got TONS of jam! We still have a drawer full of peaches in the fridge too.

James blessed Joseph on Sunday. It was beautiful. It's a good thing that Mom sent 2 blessing outfits, because Joseph pooped ALL OVER the first one. The second one fit a little better anyway. I can't believe how fast this kid is growing! He's getting so tall! After church, we had a nice dinner with the family. I do love funeral potatoes (aka cheesy potatoes or hash brown casserole outside of Utah and Idaho).

Great Grandpa, Daddy, Joseph, and Grandpa

All dressed up

Friday, September 3, 2010

Angry Editorial Writers

It's funny what I end up thinking about in the middle of the night while I'm feeding Joseph. Most of the time, it's around 3:30 a.m., a time when any sane person should be sleeping. Last night (or this morning), some thoughts came to my mind that have been circulating around for a while now. What drives people to make the choices they do?

As I look back on my own life, I realize that people don't make choices that they think are really wrong or really bad. A person who lies, steals, cheats, etc. usually feels that the action is somehow justified--or that other people will be better off by that choice (lying, for example, to avoid hurting someone's feelings).

While reading the Scroll (BYU-I's silly newspaper), I realized something else about choices. Those who are making these "not so bad" choices still feel guilty, but they don't quite recognize their feelings as guilt. In the editorials, an exchange often occurs like this.

Person 1: "The prophet has reminded us about X, so everyone should be following this counsel."
Person 2: (angrily) "What makes you think that this applies to everyone? I know a person who, because of Y, cannot possibly follow X. You are a closed-minded fool who doesn't stop to consider those poor people whose feelings you're hurting right now."

Those editorials happen on a weekly basis, and they can be irksome to read after a while. It's the same old thing over and over. Never do the actual exceptions to the rules respond angrily. Nope, it's those "friends of the exceptions" who have a hard time with it.

I have a theory as to why.

Nephi declares, "Wherefore, the bguilty taketh the ctruth to be hard, for it dcutteth them to the very center." (1 Ne. 16:2)

Those angry editorial writers are probably the ones that most needed the reminder of whatever the prophet said. They know they are guilty but almost don't realize it, because it's been disguised as something else: so-called sympathy for "those poor people who can't possibly follow the rules."

The actual exceptions know who they are. All who make correct choices, whether it be following the rule or the exception, have felt the assurance from the Spirit that their choices are right. Therefore, they take no offense at the supposedly closed-minded who don't happen to mention their specific situation. Why would they care? They still know they're doing the right thing, despite what anybody says. The Spirit does not make us feel offended, but our anger at others often offends the Spirit.

I think that the most vehement opposition comes from these "angry editorial writers." I had been married only 2 months when I got pregnant. I had several rude comments from classmates that suggested it was an accident and that I was making a mistake not to seek a job. These comments confused and then almost offended me at first. I thought to myself, Why would someone not be inclined to rejoice with me? After all, I'm having a baby! It's not like I caught some dreadful disease!

I know that I made the right choice, and I have never regretted it! A scripture I read this morning reminded me of that time in my life:

"And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many arevelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen bangels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had cheard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken." (Jacob 7:5)

So what's my point? 

The choices we make are either good or bad. Even the "not so bad" ones are still bad. If you've made a good choice, you will know by the Spirit that it's right. It won't matter if you're the exception or the general rule. When you meet opposition to your choice, take no offense and don't be shaken. If you do, then that's a bad choice! If the choice you've made is wrong, even slightly, it will be harder to recognize. If you meet opposition and feel that you have to defend yourself, you're probably doing something wrong.

Please take no offense at anything I've written, but just know that it certainly applies to exceptions.