Monday, March 29, 2010

Maddy's Birthday Party!

We made it!! Maddy is turning one, and we would love to have you join us to celebrate! We will have cake, and nibbles. If you have a picture of Maddy, bring either a print or email it and we will have a collage of Maddy memories from the first year!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010
6:00pm - 8:00pm
916 Laurel Lane

I am hoping to get an idea of how many to plan for, so if you and/or your family is coming, please just leave a comment with the total number. The more the merrier!! See you then!! (If you are FaceBook, just accept on the event page for the party!)

Want a new necklace and to help someone else?

I am not a very fashion forward person. A ponytail and simple hoop earrings are my usual compliments to jeans, a sweater and my wedding ring. Sometimes I like to dress up, but it isn't a common thing. So, I don't usually go looking for jewelry, but I saw this website, and really liked a lot of the things Kendra makes. I also love the idea that for every piece of jewelry that is bought, they will give a necklace to a woman in Dress for Success. So, check it out!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coolest tutorial ever!!

You gotta check out my mom's new tutorial. She makes these great balls for her grandkids when they turn one. I remember that we had one when I was growing up, and they are great. I am not great at sewing, but if you love to sew, this is for you!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Follow the Prophet....

The Sunday School lesson I am teaching tomorrow is about the importance of prophets and following the things they tell us. As I have been studying the lesson, it has hit me how important it is to know that the Lord still talks to prophets on the earth. The doors of heaven are not closed, God has not forgotten us. He still lives, He still loves us, and He still tells His children how to follow His commandments.

Here is a thought from our modern day prophet...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Maddy's Favorite Song

This is what Maddy and I have been listening to lately.....we just danced to it all over the room!!

Yummy Fabrics

Want a chance to win some free fabrics? Check out my sister's blog here.

For anyone who is looking for a great place to buy cute fabrics, this place seems to have a great variety!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Today Michael and I drove to Bend. We had to get some paperwork from the court, have Michael sign it and then drop it off to the Sheriff's office. Not very exciting, and it didn't take that long. If it didn't have to be done in Bend, we could have done the whole thing in less than an hour. But, Bend is a 3+ hour drive away, and since we had lunch with a friend too, and got lost once, it took us all day. So, while spending eight hours in the car together, we had a chance to talk.

One of the things I have always loved about Michael is that he is easy to talk to, and that we enjoy sharing thoughts and ideas with one another. When we first met, as friends, we would exchange a couple hundred emails in month. A lot of them were about writing stories, but at least as many were about funny, hard, silly or difficult things that were going on in our lives. When we met for lunch the first time we talked straight through my lunch hour, and I was almost late getting back to work. We were friends for quite a while before we started dating, and we got to know each other pretty well through all of our online and in person conversations.

When we did start officially dating, Michael would oftentimes drive with me when I went to pick up my kids, or take them back to their dad's house. During those drives we talked about our hopes, dreams, heartaches, and even shared a secret or two. There are two main ways back and forth between Bend and Oregon City, and we spent hours driving over them, talking and talking.

Today as we drove, we reminisced about those times. We shared a few things that happened, or we thought about during those times, that we didn't share when they happened. It was fun to remember the first time we kissed, and then share how we each reacted when we were back at out our places that nice. I told him some of my funny "bad date" stories that it didn't seem quite right to share with Michael when he was my boyfriend.

After looking back at that time, and all that has come since, I am so grateful to have met Michael, and that he is now my husband. Not everything was easy then, and there are still hard things now, but we both look back, and feel gratitude, love and no regrets. What a great ride we are still having!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is this your temporary home?

I love this song. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. I think that there are always times when we miss being with Heavenly Father. I think that our longing to be back with Him, is part of what makes us want to follow His plan here on earth, so that we can be back in His presence again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We are a Rocking Family!

Today Sarah threw a rock at Joshua and hit him in the arm. He has a small bruise on his arm, and a slightly bigger one on his elbow. Otherwise, he is fine.

Sarah is particularly hard to punish in a way that deters her from doing something again. She tends to look at punishment as something to be endured and ignored. She has a great imagination, and whether it is a time-out, or extra chores, she tends to pretend her way through them.

We can't let Sarah decide that throwing rocks is an okay way to deal with frustration, even with a bossy older brother. So, after the rock throwing incident, the rocks (there were several pieces of a larger rock that Josh had found at the beach yesterday) got a two day time-out. (We find that giving the object they are fighting over a time-out is often the best way to stop the fighting.) Then, Michael took Sarah outside.

First, they filled up the bottom of a bucket with rocks from the driveway. Then, they went out to the back yard. Michael told Sarah that since she likes throwing rocks, that she had to throw all of the rocks in the bucket. At first she tried to throw several at a time, but Michael told her she had to do them one at a time, and to throw them as far as she could.

When she was about halfway through the rocks in the bucket, she asked if she could stop. Michael asked her if she knew why she was throwing rocks. She said she didn't know, so he explained that if she needs to throw rocks, this is the right way to do it, and if she ever threw a rock at a person again, that the bucket would be filled halfway up, and she would have to throw all of the rocks.

When she came in, she told me that she wasn't ever going to throw rocks again. She apologized to Joshua, without being told to, and she didn't fight with anyone for the rest of the day.

It is nice when a little creativity can get threw to Sarah. She is the hardest of all the kids to come up with effect punishments that help her learn not to repeat bad actions. I am so glad that Michael thought of this, and that I had the good sense to let him handle the implementation of technique. I am very lucky to have such a creative husband, who loves my children as much as I do!

In slightly different rock news, Michael sprained his foot when he stepped on a rock wrong, when we were at the beach yesterday. They x-rayed it today at the doctor's office, and they are pretty sure there is no break, but they will have a radiologist check it on Monday to be sure. He is hurting a lot, so he is spending a lot of time with his feet up. It makes me even more grateful that he was willing to go out rock throwing with Sarah this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Angels all around us.....

That not only are you a daughter or son of your Heavenly Father, but everyone that you come in contact, every day, is a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father too.

We are all spiritual beings, having earthly experiences. Some of those experiences may seem harder than others, but all of us are having experiences that help us learn, grow, and stretch. We all have struggles, and we all need :earthly angels" to help us through those struggles. Sometimes those angels are family members, other times they are friends or members of our church. Oftentimes those angels are doctors, teachers, counselors or others who have dedicated their lives to helping professions. Sometimes those angels are people we meet only once, or who we don't know at all.

No matter what our circumstances or challenges, we all have the opportunity to help out others who may need it. Even if your family doesn't see you as someone who can help others, or you have made mistakes, you can be someone's angel. There is nothing that we can do, or that can happen to us that makes us unable to care for others, serve others, and make a difference in the life of someone else.

I know that my life has been touched by countless people, and most have been a positive part of my growth. Even those who have brought painful experiences have allowed me to become stronger, and to be more clear about what I need and what I will accept from others. I have learned how to set better boundaries because of those who haven't had them.

I am grateful to know that I am an eternal daughter of God, and that as I learn and grow, I will become closer to Him. I pray each day that I will be able to touch the life of someone else, and that I will be led to do the will of my Father.

In my house this morning......

In my house this morning there is....

One wonderful husband, who took the kids for a walk so that I could get some extra sleep.

Two twins who are super-excited about having at least twenty people listen to them read stories from the books that their teachers sent home with them.

Three kids who are thrilled that Spring Break is longer than usual, with ten days of time off. Today is the first day, and they can barely contain their excitement.

Four shelves of left-overs in my fridge that need to be eaten up.

Five days to play with the big kids before they go to their dad's for the rest of spring break.

Six loads of laundry that have piled up and need to get done.

Seven cards to write to friends and let them know I love them.

Eight items on the Scout committee agenda for our meeting tonight.

Nine containers of truffles and dipped caramels to take to the PTA dinner for the teachers at Mt. Pleasant.

Hope your house is full of wonderful things this morning too!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thinking of you....

To all my friends, who I may not have written a card to.... To all my family who I am not close..... To all my long ago classmates, who I see on Facebook occasionally....

I hope that life is treating you well.

I hope that most of your prayers are answered in the way that you want.

I hope that when life is tough that there is someone there to help pick you up.

I hope that when you are sad, you find ways to serve others, and in doing so bring happiness to those you serve and yourself.

I hope that when you are happy that your smile lights up someone's life.

I hope that when you read this, that you will know someone cares.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My cool mom!

So, my mom is very cool in lots of ways, and one of them is the music she loves. So, go to her post today, and then play the song. It had me and Maddy dancing when we heard it!

My mom play ukulele, I am pretty sure my granddad taught her how. I never learned to play, but maybe Maddy will, since she seems like ukulele music too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

More time together

I haven't posted for the last two weeks, because I wanted to give myself a little time to process, before I talked about events in our family. A little over a week ago, Michael was laid off from his job. It looks like they are slowly shutting down his whole division, so there is almost no chance that he will get to be rehired by that company.

This has meant a number of changes for our family over the last 10 days. We had to go apply for food stamps and the Oregon Health Plan, for the kids. The process was long and grueling, and involved a lot of paperwork and finding documentation. We are grateful that we will qualify next month for both, which will help us survive this period of our lives. We also found out we qualify for a government program which will help pay for the COBRA of our health insurance. This will make it so that Michael and I can keep our insurance, and allow us to have the kids double covered. That is especially important for Maddy, since OHP wouldn't cover all of the treatments that she needs.

We were grateful to find out that Michael will qualify for unemployment, starting next week, and that it will be enough for us to cover our car payment, COBRA, our loan payment and have enough for gas for the vehicles, etc. It is not enough for us to keep up his current spousal support payments, so we are going through the process of having the court re-evaluate what his payments will be. It is involving multiple trips to Bend, since that is where his divorce was filed, but at least it allows us to have the possibility of some relief from that, since those payments are more than he will receive from unemployment.

All of us are finding hidden blessings, as well as challenges, in having Michael home all the time. He is learning to adjust to the pace of "home life" while we are all busier trying to get all the applications and paperwork done. The older kids enjoy spending more time with Michael, and have liked having someone besides me to help with homework. They also have been able to talk Michael into driving them to school much more often than they usually were able to convince me. Michael has been using my editing skills on his cover letters, and we both have been making time for ht other one to have scripture study breaks every day.

There are certainly moments of sadness and despair, but we are working hard to remain grateful and focused on the many blessing in our lives. We have started a family gratitude journal. Michael and I write in it regularly, and we invite the kids to share what they are thankful for at Family Home Evening, and include that in our Monday entrees. I may post some of those entries at some point.