Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Looking for a cure for those summertime blues...

So....my kids have had year round school for the past 5 years and so our longest break has been about 5 weeks. But this year our district switched to 9 month school and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Don't get me wrong, I love having my kids home (mostly), but it is BLAZING hot here for June/July/August and trying to keep them busy and off the screeens is going to be challenging. When it is 105+ nobody wants to be playing outside unless it is in a pool. We will have regular swim days, but the other days is what I am worried about.

Here is what I was thinking....email me your ideas (or comment) that keep your kids busy and entertained during the summer months and I will put a blog post together listing all of them to give a bunch of ideas for all of us to use!

If you want to participate email me by the end of this week at vegasmom77 at gmail.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to help your wife turn 40 (gulp)

Okay here we go again (1st post somehow got deleted). Most of what my husband did, didn't cost much $$. It was really the thought that counted this time....here are a few things that he did:

  • He said when you turn 40 you get "Birthday Week" and he did little things for me all week such as:
  • Putting kids to bed so I didn't have to
  • giving me 40 hershey's kisses and hugs
  • writing 40 love notes that told me what he loved about me and hiding them around the house for me to find (my favorite thing he did all week....I am still finding them)
  • He had all of my siblings and all of his, plus both sets of parents write me a letter. They were so fun to read...they were filled with fun memories, uplifting thoughts and great advice.
  • He LISTENED to what I wanted...I didn't want a surprise party or black balloons, headstones etc. I wanted a small get together with close friends.
  • He was supportive and made me laugh...this was a hard birthday for me and he was sweet and helped me laugh my way through it.
  • He did give me new scriptures on my birthday which I have been wanting. My main gift was my weekend away the end of April.
  • He gave me TIME...he stayed home from work and made me breakfast (he is usually gone by 6 a.m.), he also came home early from work on my bday (much to my surprise). He also took 2 days off work so I could have a fun getaway with my sisters and mom.
I have such a wonderful, thoughtful husband and I realize more and more how blessed I am!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Yesterday my son was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. It was a Mommy "payday". Sometimes we have what feels like a thankless job...same things day in and day out. Cleaning up messes, fixing meals, cleaning up messes, driving carpools, cleaning up messes, being the disciplinarian..did I mention cleaning up messes?

But as I looked up at my son after his ordination and saw tears in his eyes and our eyes connected and I knew that he knew that he had just received an amazing gift and responsibility....it is ALL worth it. Every minute of that colicky infant who didn't sleep through the night till he was 18 months old, every minute of every ear infection we went through, every Family Home Evening where I was sure no one was paying attention, every night we read scriptures and kids were bouncing off the walls and I wanted to quit and bag it because it wasn't doing 'any good!", every minute of taking him to the eye doctor and having him scream his little lungs out when they would dilate his eyes to see if it was time to do surgery yet, watching him go back to the O.R. for eye surgery at 3 years old screaming for Mommy and breaking my heart....EVERY MINUTE worth that one moment!

But I didn't get just one moment yesterday, Heavenly Father blessed me with a few bonuses....I also got to watch him along with his Dad pass the sacrament to the congregation. I watched his Dad look at his boy with such pride and love as they "tag team" passed to the different rows. I caught his eye as he passed and winked at him and he got a huge smile on his face. He is a special boy and one that feels the spirit deeply.

Another bonus was when my 3 year old said, "My brother pass the sacrament to us...with his FRIENDS and with my DADDY! He is a big boy!" My 5 year old said, "I want to be 12 and be like my big brother."

Yesterday was a day filled with love and gratitude and humility.

Yesterday makes today's messes easier to clean up, it makes screaming children easier to deal with, it makes my mountains of laundry seem less daunting....those paydays are incredible and worth every second!

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Women's Conference notes

Not only did I get to spend Women's Conference with my sisters by blood...I also got to spend time with two of my sisters by choice...these two are my lifelong best friends..both amazing women!

I went to a class on studying and using scriptures to help us in our daily lives and through our trials. It was taught by two amazing women, but not anyone that you would have heard of before. They are "ordinary" women (although after their class I don't believe they are ordinary) that have found the best way for them to use the scriptures.

A couple of key points I loved...The principal of "Read until" which is that you read in the scriptures UNTIL you get the message that God wants you to have that day. Those messages are there if we will pray beforehand and have our hearts open to God's revelation. This personal message to us may come from the words of the scriptures, or it may come as a thought or piece of inspiration. This means we must ponder and listen as well. These personal messages show forth God's love for us and reveal to us His will for us that day. For me to be able to do this I have to wake up before my kids...which means 5:30 or 6, because there is NO quiet time once they are up!

Another principal I loved is:

"No scriptures, no answers."

"Know scriptures, know answers."

I admit that scriptures study is something I have not been very consistent at in the past. (more on consistency tomorrow when I write about Elder Bednar's talk). Last year with my difficult pregnancy and baby being in the NICU I NEEDED the scriptures and it changed my life and I have been very consistent since then. I honestly know what it feels like to hunger and thirst after them. When I don't read and ponder I feel it in my life. I am less patient with my kids, I don't get as much done and I am not happy! I also keep a small journal with my scriptures and write down promptings. When we change our focus from God hearing us to us hearing Him...our lives will change.

One of these women has not missed a day of reading her scriptures in 27 years, since she was 14 years old! She and her family have been going through a very challenging trial the past couple of years. She says in the midst of the deepest part of the trial she has felt immense peace...and you could see it in her, she had sucha bright countenance (and she has NINE children!). She knows that is from her preparation from the time she was 14 in reading scriptures and getting answers. That was incredible to me, this class was a life changing one for me!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day 1 year ago...kids could see their baby brother through a window but hadn't seen him in person yet.

On this "Mother's Day Eve" as one of my kids called it tonight...I wanted to share some thoughts from Women's Conference:

From Sister Beck, who is amazing..one of my favorite speakers ever!

She spoke very directly to Mother and the women of the church:

Don't confuse holding the priesthood and priesthood duties to the Power of the priesthood...

We as women can call on the power of the priesthood in our homes

God's power should be in our lives EVERY MINUTE!

Priesthood duty of women is the create life and nurture and teach

Some are shirking responsibility

Having children and how many to have is a GOSPEL decision

not financial, not convenience oriented and not driven by the world's opinion.

Creating, nurturing, teaching and influencing are non-negotiable responsibilities

Homemaking and motherhood duties can be works of beauty and importance if we have the right perspective.

Am I aligned with the Lord's vision of me and what he gave me in the pre-existence

or am I trying to escape my responsibilities?

Antidote for entitlement...that someone owes me something:

Think of the Savior and his sacrifice and remember who owes who what!

Go to the temple and pay attention!

Prepare yourself to receive God's message for YOU!

Do the things in your life that prepare your heart and mind to hear God's voice that is specific to you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hangin' with the ladies....

Last week I took a break from my life. You see I am celebrating a "big" birthday this year (in two weeks...gulp) and what I wanted most was to celebrate with my 4 sisters and my Mom. We have had a tradition for several years of going to BYU Women's Conference. I haven't been able to go for about 3 years due to having babies etc.... But this year I wanted to celebrate life with them! All 5 girls were able to go along with our Mom.

My sisters and Mom are AMAZING! Between the 6 of us we have 32 children. I just wanted to soak in their experience and wisdom in raising great kids because I tell you what my nieces and nephews are down to earth, hard working incredible people, many of whom are already adults and raising families of their own (I am a great aunt 9.5 times...the newest one is coming in July), and my parents 7 children didn't turn out too bad either :).

Going to those inspired classes was just what my soul needed. I gained so much insight as to what I need to do better as a wife and mother and as a woman of God. Mostly I realized that it starts with ME. I need to do better at the essentials and be better at all the usuals....studying (not just reading) the scriptures and the prophets words, exercising more regularly, you know the drill. However...most of all I realized I need to work on my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I need to put more effort into my personal prayers and take time to ponder throughout the day and be "still". From those efforts will come the inspiration for me and for my own family.

I was impressed when hearing these women who have gone through incredible challenges how they gained strong impressions and inspiration that was so personal to THEM and their families. I heard lots of suggestions from the speakers on how to better myself and my family. However what is most important is what I hear from the Teacher through His spirit for me personally. That is what I am trying to focus on and do better at.

A fun little side note....I am a big fan of CJane's blog. I read her daily. She and her sisters spoke at one session of Women's Conference (her sister is Stephanie Nielsen who survived a terrible plane crash). After the conference was over we were making our way out of the building to get some pictures of us sisters and Mom and who should I see but Courtney. I became part of the paparazzi and asked if I could get a photo with her. I have to say she is as real and witty and fun in person as she is on her blog. It was fun to meet her (oh and she put this photo on her blog today...my 15 minutes of fame).