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Word for 2017

12 Jan

I really love new beginnings. There is so much hope in a fresh start.

In December, I was thinking that my word for the year would be


To help me remember not to focus on where I am or how far I am from perfection, but instead to just keep moving in the right direction.  So that’s definitely part of what I want to keep my focus on this year.

But then another word crossed my path and repeated itself several times and I know that it is what I really need to work on this year.


As we raise our children we teach them the remembrances of our culture.  I don’t mean we make them memorize facts and dates and state capitols.  I mean we teach them what we have learned as humans over the last 4000 years (plus or minus) .  We read to them our Mother Goose Rhymes and our fairy tales and folk tales.  We teach them folk songs.  We tell them the stories of our family members who lived and died.  We tell them how our family lived and how they died.

All these remembrances create an anchor for our children that tethers them to the past.  In the rushing ever changing river of now, they have a safety.  Their present and future have meaning because they can see it in the context of the past.  They can overcome hardship because they know that in our family we have had hard times before, and we overcame them.  Without a tether to the past, there is only the present.  The past and future have no meaning, and we are tossed about by each new meme on facebook.  We are touched or aghast or amused, but in the end it all means nothing if we have no tie to the past or responsibility to the future.

Jesus Christ broke bread and gave of it to his disciples and said, “This do in remembrance of me.”

He gave us an anchor, a tether that keeps us connected in the rushing river of life.  Through the power of his grace we overcome the trials large and small of life.  We can also overcome our own selves.  We are reborn in Christ and become his children as we take His name upon us.  This is why his name is “The Very Eternal Father.”  Thus remembrance of Him is remembrance of family.

Remembrance isn’t just remembering.  It is also doing.  We don’t remembrance.  We do things in remembrance of.  I know this has deeper significance than I can articulate right now.  It is something I want to spend a lot of time studying and thinking on this year.  I am looking forward to the learning.


Hey, Look at That, its 2016! In which I use alot of exclamation points!!!

12 Jan

I absolutely LOVE new beginnings and fresh starts.

A New Year is as fresh as it gets.

Don’t get me wrong, I make and work on goals all year round.  But there is something magical to me in the new year. I feel like my potential is unlimited, and hey! look I made it through last year.  That feels like a success

I started to type out my goals to share with you, but I got so bored I’m figuring you would be bored too.  So instead, let’s just say I’m focusing on being healthy-

Spiritually Healthy , Physically Healthy, and Financially Healthy.

Also, I’m trying to be more mindful.  More present.  I am a person who loves to think and I think all the time about the past and the future.  But my brain needs to be present for my kids more.  a lot more.  I have a serious Facebook/Pintrest addiction, too.

I vow to not check Facebook or Pintrest

during the hours of 3pm-9pm this year. 

Because I should be looking at my kids instead.  Yoga is helping me a little with meditation and I’m learning about what it means to be Mindful.  I’m reading a book called

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!

and it’s sister

Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford.*

Also, guess what?!  God is mindful!  I discovered this cool verse last week while reading with the family.

Alma 26:37  Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth.  Now this is my joy and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.  Amen.

I was super excited that this thing that has been on my heart for awhile is in the scriptures.  Just another nudge that, hey! I really should get better at this.

As a Family we started a non-negotiable Night-time routine.  Beginning at 7:30 we flash clean the big play room and kitchen, do baths/PJs/brush teeth, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and have Family Prayer.

Routines make things happen!

Anyways, that is my Word for 2016:


It means I’m going to focus my efforts on being in the present moment.  Interacting with my kiddie pies and Dear Husband instead of living in the dreamy future of Pintrest projects and the random click-bait of Facebook.

I think its gonna be good.


*Note: These are links to Amazon, but because I live in the unbelievable state of Missouri, they are not affiliate links.  Residents of Missouri are not allowed to be affiliates because of Missouri tax laws which Amazon thinks are unfair.  Sad day for me.  I cannot be making sweet moneys on my blog with my favorite online retailer.

Fresh start for Fourteen

8 Jan

I love the beginning of the New Year and the extra encouragement that comes with it for a fresh start at becoming a better person.

I don’t require myself to actually begin my new goals until the first Monday of the year. Usually I need the extra time to decide for sure what my goals are!

My word for this year is TRUST.

My #1 goal is to get our family budget under control (well myself under control and following the budget.) I’ve wrestled with our budget for all of the 14 years we have been married and I’ve bungled it for all of those years. I believe that what I need is to slow down and TRUST that when problems arise, if I wait, God will show me a solution that does not involve running to my Visa card hoping it will save me. Spend less than we make is the goal and I’m determined to make it happen this year.

It feels like a no fun goal, but I keep reminding myself how good it feels when I make something or repair something or figure out how to use what we already have. It is a much longer lasting happy feeling than the short term thrill of buying stuff.

Goal #2- keep eating healthy. We made a huge change in how we eat last year and I want to keep it up and keep improving. I have not decided if I have a goal to lose weight. I have already lost all the weight I gained during my last pregnancy. let me make sure you didn’t miss that: I HAVE LOST ALL 22 POUNDS THAT I GAINED WHILE PREGNANT LAST YEAR, due mostly to the strict diet I had to follow because of having gestational diabetes. I really could lose 20 lbs. if I lost 25, I would weigh less than the DH for the first time since …ever. So I want to be fit and I’m pretty sure I want to lose that 25 pounds, I’m just still pumped about having lost so much already.

Goal #3- make quiet time each day to read the scriptures and listen to what God has to tell me. This is most likely going to mean I have to get up at 5:30 am and if the baby wants to eat right then, I will have to find another time later, but I know this is important for me to do.

Goal #4- more meaningful time with the kiddie pies. We eat dinner as a family every evening and are “together” in the evening after that. But the DH will be on his phone. Some child will be playing on my phone. The 13 year old will be on his computer. The two year old will be watching a movie– in other words, even though we are together, we are not TOGETHER. So I have plans for more interacting that include Art Journaling, reading aloud, and playing games. Also, I have plans to have my housework done so I can really focus on the kids and what they want to tell me. That hour before bedtime will belong to them.

That’s it. I want to keep things simple since we have a new baby and I know that it’s hard to get dinner and laundry done when I have a new baby, let alone manage anything else. Perhaps even these few goals are unreachable, but they are what I really feel strongly about, so I’m sure the reaching will be good for me.

The Word for 2013

7 Feb
Christ Mormon

Christ Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

I have a cousin who chooses a word or phrase each year to go along with her New Year’s resolutions.  When I first saw this idea, I loved it!  However, in January, I wasn’t sure what I really wanted from this year.  I was really struggling with the tension between things I want to do and things I need to do.  Struggling with how I want things to be and how things really are.  It’s been an eventful month for me though, and my mind and heart have grown.  I’ve realized what my word for the year needs to be:


That’s right.  Not Tolerance, but acceptance.  Acceptance of my role in my family.  Acceptance of situations in life beyond my control–because until I accept the situation, I can’t do anything productive about it.  I have to be able to say “Here is where I am.  Now what am I going to do about it.”  rather than “But I don’t want it to be like this, it should be like that.”

oh, those dangerous words “Should be.”  So much judgement is hidden in those words.  So many lies are said with those words.

Most of all, acceptance of God’s will in my life.  I have to be willing to let go of trying to control my life and do what I know God wants for me to do.  It is kind of scary to say alright, I’m going to allow this to be and trust that God’s plan is the better one.  My brain says, “but what if it is God’s plan means I’ll won’t get to do what I want.”  I have to answer with faith that God’s plan will be better than mine was.

Have you ever experienced this:  Where something you have heard and talked about your whole life–really taken for granted–is suddenly so real and amazing to you?

It’s happened for me a few times recently.

Something we all say like “God is always there for you.” or “The atonement of Jesus Christ can heal any hurt.”

I remember sitting in church a few years ago, going over a problem in my mind and thinking, “There is no way.  How can Jesus solve this pain for me?  I don’t know if he can.”

But of course, He did solve it.  And now when I hear someone say, “Jesus can heal any hurt.”  I wonder to myself what the story behind that testimony is.  Because it isn’t just something I repeat because I’ve heard it.  It’s something I know from real experience now.

So for this year, I feel like I have learned better what it really means to do God’s will and trust in Him that what happens will be a blessing for me and my family.

I still have my Jonah days, where I want to run away and follow my plan instead.

But my guiding focus for this year is acceptance.  So less Jonah days.

Like Peter, I’m going to try walking on water.  Some days, I’m sure the wind boisterous will distract me and I’ll start to sink.  In fact, some days I’ll probably plummet towards the bottom and it will be loud and messy and terrible.  But other days, I’ll remember to stay focused on my Savior and keep afloat–even maybe keep my head above most of the waves.

What is your focus for this year?

Is there a connection between this post and this one?  Now that I think about it, yes.  But mostly because the atonement of Christ really does cover everything.

Matthew 14:26-32 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.   And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

The Lord Can’t Drive a Parked Car

10 Jan


I’ve felt so uninspired the last 2 weeks.  So directionless.  Just going through the motions.

I made resolutions and I made a schedule.  I’ve known that my major goal for the year is to be more “on purpose” as a mom.  I want to have great Family Home Evenings and learning going on every day.  I even planned to have a little spiritual thought at breakfast every morning to start the day off right (since we do our scripture reading right after dinner.)

But I couldn’t decide what scriptures to read or what to focus on, so I haven’t done any of it.

This morning after the Kiddie pies got on the bus, and the babies were still asleep (for once), I decided to straighten up the living room and there on the couch was my January copy of the Ensign.  I haven’t read a single page out of it yet, so I thought, I’ll just sit down and read an article.

It was just what I needed!  A little later the baby woke up and I just kept on reading while I fed her oatmeal.  I feel like I’ve gotten this huge shot of energy injected right into my arm.

As I’ve continued cleaning the house this morning, my mind has been overflowing with ideas, and not just ideas for what to focus on teaching my kids.  I know what I want to personally study this year in the scriptures–at least where to start.  I’ve got ideas for a book I want to write, ideas for projects the house needs, and just

ENTHUSIASM  for life!

I’ve accomplished more in 2 hours this morning getting work done as I have in the last 2 days.

The Words of God are Powerful and as soon as I got them inside me, my life got injected with power!

Like my title says, the Lord can’t drive a parked car.  I had to get my engine going!

1 Nephi 17:30-31

And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were bexpedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and creviled against Moses and against the true and living God.

 31 And it came to pass that according to his word he did adestroy them; and according to his word he did blead them; and according to his word he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his word.

On the Menu this Week

5 Jan

I made a schedule.  It is the mother of all schedules.  It is a plan.

If I follow the plan, all my wildest dreams will come true.

My new year’s resolution is to follow the schecule, follow the plan.

Part of the plan is to have biweekly menu plans and only shop twice a month for groceries.  This will save me time for sure and probably money, as well.

Here is this coming week’s plan:

Menu for Week of January 6
                  Breakfast: Oven Peaches and Cream French Toast
                  Lunch:  Tomato Soup & Melted Cheese Sandwiches
                  Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Eggnog Cranberry Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Puerco Adobo, Brown Rice, & Cole Slaw
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Apple Cinnamon Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Taco Soup, Bread & Butter
                  Breakfast: Crock Pot Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Freezer Raviolli, Alfredo Sauce, Steamed Broccoli
                  Breakfast: Apricot Ginger Refrigerator Oatmeal
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Green Salad & Ranch Dressing
                  Breakfast: CrockPot Banana & Coconut Milk Cracked Wheat Mush
                  Lunch: Sandwiches or Leftovers
                  Dinner: Quinoa Broccoli Casserole, Garlic Bread
                  Breakfast: Applesauce Muffins
                  Lunch: Pasta Salad
                  Dinner: Garlic-Lime Chicken & Baked Sweet Potatoes


You’ll notice that Sunday-Friday breakfasts are actually made the night before.  The crockpot mush recipes are actually steel-cut oat recipes from Monica at The Yummy Life.  I’m trying them with cracked wheat.  I think they’ll work just fine.  Lunches are simple.  So that the Man-of-the-House can take leftovers to work for his lunch, Sunday-Thursday dinners are ones that reheat well.   If for some reason there are no leftovers, He’ll get salad with cooked chicken added.

I do serve an afterschool snack to my kids each day, which will be
veggies & dip, strawberry yogurt, popcorn, oatmeal cookies & milk,  green smoothies, things like that.

At the beginning of every week I make a big green salad and a fruit salad and we eat those with dinner each night.

I subscribed to the Grocery Shrink’s Weekly Menu Mailer for about four months, and the biggest thing I learned was to plan food for every meal.  Previously, I have only planned dinners and bought the groceries for that plus eggs & milk.  I never had enough food in the house and my plans never worked.  I learned from Angela to plan lunches and snacks (especially on the weekend when everyone is home all day.)


Dyin’ to be at Dianne’s

7 Nov

This is my dad’s little sister, my Aunt Dianne.  I’ve told you about her Cheddar Pear Pie before.  Which is delicious and also, it is delicious.

My family has our own Happy Birthday song that we tag on the end of the one everbody knows.  One of the lines is “May your birthdays be bright with cheer and delight.”  Because my dad’s other sister is named Chere, I always amended the song in my head to “May your birthdays be bright with Chere and Dianne.”  It was like a birthday wish to get to visit them in the next year.

Well this year, I got to visit Aunt Dianne.  I and 9 members of my family stayed at her house for a few days when my bro Eddie got married in August.

 We drove about 20 hours, including through the night, to get there.

(I suppose I shouldn’t say “we” drove, as my dad and bro Jimmy did most of the driving.  I did lots of talking to keep the drivers from getting bored.  I’m selfless like that.)

Anyways, I’m sure that if you’ve been on a long trip like that, you know that sort of nauseous bleck feeling you start to get after eating trail mix and celery sticks in the car for 2 days.  Even when you have your choice of 5 different kinds of peppermint gum (thanks, Dad) you eventually start feeling a little green.

We entered Utah valley at about 2-3 o’clock in the afternoon.  Dad offered to stop at Burger King, or something, but it was just an hour or so until Aunt Dianne’s and we all voted to wait.  A Whopper might be warm and taste good going down, but then it sits there in your gut feeling oily and heavy–especially if you are already kinda bleh.  We were sure Aunt Dianne would have a better option, and she did!

We landed at her house, crowded in and somewhat bashfully admitted that we were starving and tired of car food.  Well Aunt Dianne told us to sit down and before we knew it, there was a huge pot of pasta soup and loaves of homemade bread and lots of sliced up cucumbers from her garden: all my favorite comfort foods loaded on one table.   The 10 of us plus a couple more who were already at her house gobbled down as much of that delicious soup and bread as we could hold and then we all had glorious naps on her many comfy couches.

This is the “Love Sack”.  It is much coveted by all.

All that weekend, Aunt Dianne fed us delicious food and it all just appeared out of her cupboards and fridge like magic.  If we ate it all, more appeared, until we were stuffed.  Even the night that 70 aunts & uncles & cousins showed up to gab and laugh, she calmly produced food for us all.

And she had time to sit down and talk and be interested in what was going on in our lives and laugh at our jokes and loan us her stockings when ours got snags.

It was the most restful retreat I’ve ever gone too, and I felt like a new woman when I got home.  I got back the energy and enthusiasm for life that I’d been missing since my last baby was born.

part of that rejuvenation came from hanging out with these 2 amazing women.

This is the kind of hostess I want to be when I’m grown up.  The kind that can seemingly effortlessly produce food to feed a crown.  (I know it actually takes work and good planning too.)  The kind of hostess where everyone who visits feels welcome and at peace.

Until then, I’m lucky to have friends & family who are willing to come over and pretend with me that the food was great and the fun was seamless; even if there’s a pot on the stove billowing smoke and I’m hastily scrabbling together the ingredients to something else and there’s a pile of dirty dishes behind me.  One day, their faith and long suffering will be rewarded (I hope.)