Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thankful for my Family.

Ever since we moved I have been ever more thankful for my family. I love all of them. Each member is unique with talents, gifts, challenges and joy. I love it all!
We had the opportunity for 6 of us siblings, their spouses and children get together over Thanksgiving. That made 12 adults and 24 children! Crazy times!
I wish I had taken more pictures but here are a few from our days together.

We went to the park

then stopped for apple donuts and cider

Played with cousins

Ate a super large and yummy dinner (sorry no pics from Thanksgiving day)

And went to Bridal Veil Falls.

I look forward to many more events spent with family near and far building more memories.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Time Out For Women

I have just begun a new journal for me of personal experiences. I wrote there of my experience this last week. I debated on keeping that private but have decided that I do not share my spiritual experiences or my testimony often enough so I thought I would this time.
This is a long post so I do not expect you to read it all. that is ok. I am really posting this for me anyway!

Sometimes as women we need to take a time out. A time to reflect on our role as wife, mother, sister and individual. Deseret Books has put on a conference for the last 7 years. I have had the opportunity to go with my Mother the first 2 years it was in Sacramento. The 3rd year was the year my Mom had a stroke just weeks before. She still wanted me to go. I did for her with mixed emotions. Since that year I have not been back.

When I saw that this conference was coming to Salt Lake City for the first time I felt the importance of going with my sisters and sister-in-laws. I am so happy that all of my sisters here in Utah were able to go. Amber came down from Logan with her newest 3 month old baby, Brooklyn. I was able to pick up Sonia and Starr before we picked up Lisa. Our wonderful husbands all pitched in to help with our kids so that we could head to SLC early.

We got in about 11am. With the conference not starting until 6:30pm we had plenty of time to walk around Temple Square. We saw the Christus in the visitors center and listened to a presentation about the importance of family and the plan of redemption.

Then we saw the Joseph Smith movie. After struggling with parts of my testimony this last year this was just what I needed. It was reminder that Joseph Smith was a man, a person just like the rest of us. He was pre-ordained to play his role in the restoration of the Church. Had he received a patriarchal blessing would it have said, "to bring back the true church of Christ." Can you imagine having that said? If you said no, why not? What does your blessing say? Something about holding a calling in Young Womens and touching the lives of those around you? Maybe it says that you will be a mother and raise children unto the Lord. Or that you will have the opportunity to be an example to thousands.

Wether we are Joseph Smith or we are a primary worker we have been pre-ordained to play our role in sharing the gospel and strengthening those around us. Each of our roles are important. The thing I find inspiring about Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ is not that they filled their roles but rather they listened the promptings of the spirit and trusted those promptings. They acted on them. It was not easy. They were tarred and feathered, betrayed by good friends, spit upon, dealt with infertility and the loss of children, hated. We each go through our own trials. I may not be physically tortured but I have my own struggles.

So how do I learn by the prophets and others? I learn that I need to follow the promptings of the savior without question. I need to learn that by following the the Lord this does not mean I will not have problems. What it means is that I can have peace. When faced with trial or even certain death I can achieve the peace that Joseph Smith felt in Carthage Jail and that Christ had in Gethsemane. I can know without fear that I have fulfilled my mission that I was ordained to do.

After seeing this movie and having dinner we starting our weekend at the conference. Each year Sheri Dew chooses the most amazing speakers and musicians to share their experiences and testimonies with us.

We heard from Wendy Watson Nelson who told us our motto needs to be: NOT EVEN ONCE. How much easier is our life if we can answer the questions to have you done drugs, smoked, drank alcohol, broke the law of chastity or broke the commandments with the answer a resounding NOT EVEN ONCE.

What about questions like have you forgotten to say your daily prayers, had weekly family home evening, read daily scriptures. Can these by answered NOT EVEN ONCE have I missed a time.

This answer may not apply to some of us who have made mistakes and that our motto can be NEVER AGAIN. This can apply when we do miss our daily scripture study. I promise to NEVER AGAIN miss a time to strengthen my testimony.

I learned that whatever Christ wants me to do I will do.Sher Dew then spoke about our influence as wife, mother, ward member, neighbor, etc. We need to remember that we are being watched and that we have a profound influence on thousands of people.

Who do we look to for influence? Are we watching what our neighbors spend money on so we can buy the same things? Or do we look to the scriptures, the prophets, the strong men and women?Strong Families are created by Strong Women. I want a strong family so I guess I have my work cut about for me!

She said that sometimes we act as if we are going to stay here on earth but we aren't, we won't, we can't. Living to be happy and comfortable here on earth should not be our goal.

So how do we make our goal beyond that?

1. Know who we are - we are children of our heavenly father

2. Understand the atonement and take advantage of it in our lives.

3. Receive personal revelation so we can know for assurity how the Lord feels about us personally.

Mary Ellen Edmunds spoke of our Life Assurance policy. Jesus has paid all the premiums and we get all the benefits. All we need to do is accept and live by the agreement we made him. Then we get it all: happiness, family, heritage, the kingdom. Mary Ellen is a happy person. She is a great speaker. It is easy to believe her when she says that optimism is a choice. It is an attitude of happiness. She spoke of faith and assurance. Hope helps us feel things we can't see. But this is only half of the sentence. It should go like this: Assurance and hope help us feel things we can't see when we come unto HIM. Jesus wants us to come home. He is waiting to help us all we need to do is ask.

Michael Wilcox spoke of the scriptures. He reminded us of the importance of personal revelation and listening to the promptings we receive even when a prophet speaks. He said that sometimes we do not do as we have been asked by our leaders but we do another equally as good thing. As long as we are following our personally revelation we are doing what the Lord wants. He talked of the importance of listening but also of asking. The Lord is ready and he is the only one who can help. We can come to him with all things. I will saying this prayer tonight: Master if thou will thou canst make me clean.

Emily Watts spoke of the trials of our life. They make us who we need to be. Sometimes though we make the trials into a big tangled mess as we try to solve the trial by ourselves. If we take the trial to the Lord at any stage he can untangle us. She spoke of our fruit and how some fruit ripens sooner than others. You water and nurture the fruit but how and when it ripens depends on the SON. The fruit can be who I become through my trial as a parent. When is it my season to be ripe?

The Lord knows each of us. He knows our situation. I was chosen to be the mother for my children because I am the BEST Mom for them. I have been chosen and trusted by the Lord for this job.

Kris Belcher is blind. She shared her very touching story of her eye cancer discovered at the age of 7 months and the many surgeries and experiences leading up to the full blindness she experienced 6 years ago. Through many struggles she has learned that you can choose to throw a tantrum, be sad and cry through your trials or you can pray and let Heavenly Father know of your sadness, disappointment and frustration and let him help. Heavenly Father won't give you anything you can't handle WITHOUT THE SAVIOR.

Through this weekend I was touched by the spirit. I learned that I do not know everything I want to know. More importantly I learned that I know enough.


that I am where I need to be right now.I
am loved.that I have felt the spirit touch me in my life.
I will see my Mother again.I can be forgiven.
Jesus lives for children need me.
I have talents.I need to pray more.
I want to be happy and happiness comes from the Lord.
It is up to me to seek for answers.
Heavenly Father wants more for me.
I am married to the perfect man for me.

I am so glad to have had this experience. It was wonderful to spend time with my sisters. I love them all so much. I am grateful for a family that puts effort into family. I love that we can overlook the minor things and focus on the goal. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband. I know that I can leave for a time out and that the house will be clean, the kids will be fed and alive. I know that he is the best person for them because he is their father. I am also thankful for him as a supporter of me. He knows when I need comfort, when I need space, when to rub my back and when to pray for me. He has been there for me through many trials and continues to be my rock. I only pray that I can be as good and strong as he is.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


For the past few years we have done a family theme and I have loved Halloween! This year the kids decided they just wanted to use the costumes we had saved and to do their own thing. I was a little disappointed but once I got sick the beginning of the month I was relieved. It was not as fun but it sure was easier.

Now remember I have been very sick for weeks. I didn't pick out their outfits or dress any of them! I think they had fun and that is what matters.

Parker as a lion! He wouldn't keep the hat on but he was cute!

Andrew was thrilled to be spiderman this year. He has had this costume for 2 years and has never worn it on Halloween.

Caitlyn is an Indian trying to stay warm in the cold, cold temperatures.

Alyssa is wearing my Mom's pioneer costume. We had to hem it a little and take it in but she looked great and got to honor Grandma Guy!

This is Mariah's second or third costume of the year. She was a witch for her school party but I didn't get a picutre. She wanted a change and went for this princess look!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School's In!

School started today for the girls.

Mariah is now if Junior High School. She is so big. I can't believe it. I am so proud of her. Mariah is a good student. She is confident and able to tackle the new campus, 6 teachers and hundreds of students.

Alyssa is the glad to be the big kid on campus as a 6th grader. She is excited to have her good friends in her class again this year. She is hoping to do some acting this year.

Caitlyn is right in the middle in 3rd grade. She sits accross the row from BFF Kate. As long as she stops giggling long enough to listen she will do great.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Check out my YouTube video showing how to make these back-to-school clipboards.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This year has been one of changes. I am embracing the changes and loving them so far.

This month my baby turned 2! I can't believe Parker is already so big.

He is the joy of our family. We all love to make him perform. He does animal and vehicle sounds, says everyones names, sings Elmo's World and most recently he says Transformers: Robots in the sky (it is really robots in disguise). He loves to jump and run in circles. He eats everything! Most the time he is a perfect baby. He rarely throws tantrums or even gets upset.

Alyssa turned 11 this week. I have 2 girls now in the 2 digits! She is such a young woman now. Alyssa is a very social girls; always having friends over or talking to them on the phone. We celebrated her birthday by taking the family and 4 of her friends to the reservoir. It was a fun evening.

Ignore the #5 candle. We couldn't find any other ones! LOL

This month we have also gone to 3 parades. We went to the 4th of July parade in Provo where we sat in the crowd through the hot sun and then the 10 minutes of downpour followed by more sun. Then the kids walked with our primary in the children's Parade. The kids dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. Andrew a cowboy (like his best friend McKay). Cailtyn a teacher and Alyssa a movie star. Then last week we watched the 24th of July parade here in Spanish fork. I think we are done with parades until next year!

We have also spent time with cousins at the 4th of July BBQ, saw old friends from Sacramento who were out visiting, went to a community theatre show of Singing in the Rain and done some walking.

The best news is that Aaron found a job! He started work today and thinks he is going to like it.

I have also been promoted to Customer Service Manager. I have a team of 6 that I am training. I hope to have them so good that I can work a little from home once school starts. The boys have started day care and really seem to enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girls Room

It is done! Well! There a few things I still want to find like shelves and I want to add a little more vinyl but the furniture is in and it looks great!

I love that it is bright, colorful, open and organized. We tried to find a place for everything so it can stay clean.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


It has been awhile since my last post. I have been busy with the kids, house, work, getting settled at work, etc.

Finally things have slowed down a little and I have started crafting again. Most of what I have done was done with Starr or with her help! Thanks!

First we made these bangle watches. All I have is one watch face and then I have about 10 of these bracelets that I can hook on. We had fun one night using the hundreds of funky beads I got for free at work!

Then we did some glass etching. We made some frames for my Dad for father's day and then I did a few more frames, some glasses, votives, a big ol' cup for Aaron and Starr did a pyrex dish for her father-in-law. It was fun and very easy!

Finally this project was the girls bedroom. We had a flood in our basement last weekend and had to take everything out of the girls room. We are waiting for the carpet pad to get replaced, the carpet to be relaid and then cleaned. This should all be done by Tuesday. So while the room is empty I decided to finally decorate. this is the start! Starr covered some cork boards with fabric and used ribbon to make each girl a personalized memory board. Then I cut tons of vinyl in bright funky colors to make these circles. I love it!

I found these picture frames and filled one for each girl. We added more fun vinyl. These will go above their beds.

This wall is mirrors and vinyl for the girls to do their hair.

I have the bedsets and a cool lamp. I am on the look out for some chairs and milk crates in loud colors to use as shelves and a nightstand. I hope to have everything done Tuesday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

I love this day. First off all I am so grateful to have the best mother God every created. She was perfect in every way. After birthing 6 children and being told she couldn't have any more she went on to adopt 2 more and fostered several dozen. She cooked, kept a clean and tidy house, took us on vacations, had her own friends, crafted, and overcame some of the most horendous child hood issues. All of this I do not have one memory of her every yelling. She was amazing! I love her and miss her every day!

I try to be like my mother. I am not. I yell, my house is often messing and I know I can not handle more children than the ones I have. But I continue to try.

Today I woke up to the best gift. My children were up and dressed for church and were happy!
Then they preceded to give me the treasures they had made. Mariah had drawn a bird and made a beautiful card. Alyssa had a jar filled with tags for me to use in my scrapbooks or on gifts. caitlyn has several treasures she had made at school: a picture she had drawn, a paper flower pot with paper flowers listing reasons I was a good mom and a book about mothers she had written and illustrated. All of these great treasures will be added to my scrapbooks.

The best were given to me after church. Each child was given a form to fill in the blanks about there mother.
When I was born, Mom thought she loved me.
My mom looks really pretty when she doesn't blow dry her hair or cut it!
In her spare time my mom likes to go to the store and buy stuff.

When I was born, Mom thought I was cute.
My mom looks really pretty when she wears dresses.
In her spare time my mom likes to sleep.

When my mom was a little girl she had a best friend who she named me after.
When my mom met my dad she thought he was gorgeous.
When I was born, mom thought I was beautiful.
Mom looks really pretty when she is dressed for church.
In her spare time, my mom likes to scrapbook.
My mom likes me to do my hair in ways she likes.
I love my mom because she loves me and takes care of me and my needs.

Still to come....

Aaron surprised me this morning with a Mothers necklace. It is a heart locket with birthstone jewels inside representing each member of my family. I will wear it and keep my family close to me!

Off to enjoy the marinated chicken and artichoke pasta that has been prepared in my honor!

Happy Mother's Day to all women who in any way help to raise and educate todays youth and especially to those who help keep all mothers sane!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mr. Mom

While Aaron looks for a job he is playing Mr. Mom. He is very good at it. Some things he has gotten to do: pick up girls from school, laundry, dinner, cleaning, playing with the boys, feeding boys, homework, playdates, whining children, and running errands. And he has done all of this while trying to apply and look for a job.

I am very proud of my husband. He is trying very hard and has done a great job at keeping the kids in one piece, having dinner ready when I get home and having the upstairs clean!

Thanks honey. I love you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I just love it here!

So today was the girls first day of school. We had already met the principal when we enrolled them 3 weeks ago. He was very nice.
We all went to see them off on their new adventure. As we were walking up we were greated by a teacher who asked if we were the 'new' family. She has a 2nd grade son who would be in Caitlyn's class.
Then before we could get to the door a group of girls asked "which one of you is Mariah?" Each class had been told they would be getting a new girl from California. They told Mariah to come with them and off they went.
It was so great to see the girls taken in and shown the ropes.
Even after school they were still excited. Caitlyn says her new best friend is named Zoe!

I am so glad that they are fitting in and making friends so quickly. Right now the girls are all riding their scooters around the neighborhood in hopes of catching sight of a new friend.

I started work today and had a similar reaction. Everyone was very open and welcoming. My job is customer service. I get to answer a lot of emails; mostly where is my order type of stuff. Not terribly exciting but I get to work in the industry and with great people.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

We made it!!!

After 2 long days of packing we left our house late Tuesday night. It was strange to drive away from the house we own leaving it messy and with belongings (my step-mom is doing a yard sale for us later this month). As strange as it was it was also exciting.
We spent the night at my Dad's. Yeah for beds and breakfast in the morning. Our plan to leave at 6am were deterred by the want for more sleep. By 7am we were on our way. Aaron driving a 24 foot truck, my Dad driving a 16 foot truck and towing Aaron's car, and me driving the van with the little kids.
Our drive went smooth although long. We finally made it to Spanish Fork at 10:30pm. My sister graciously set up beds in her basement for us to crash on.
Thursday we arrived at our new house and began unloading the trucks. We were amazed at the support from the neighborhood and our new ward. With in minutes of arriving our landlord was at the house unloading for an hour before he went to work. Then my awesome friend and her husband drove down and spent a few hours helping. The relief society president showed up with muffins and spent an hour organizing my kitchen. The next door neighbor brought us home made cookies.
The other neighbors came to introduce themselves and ask if we needed help. My reply was sure if you have the time. They replied, "We are out of town and can't help today but we will call someone to make sure you have the help you need." I laughed at that.
Then the elders quorum president and his 2nd counselor came and finished bringing in the rest of the big furniture.
I couldn't believe the amount of help we had with in the first few hours. We have met more of our neighbors in 2 days than we ever met in our 12 years in Sacramento.
It didn't end there!
Friday we slept in after a late night grocery shopping trip in the rain. As I was getting out of the shower at 9:30 the neighbor arrived with her 2 little ones with the offer to help. With her and my sister working hard we finished the kitchen, Caitlyns room and got a good start on the food storage room. After she left another neighbor from down the street came and helped with my craft room.
Before long the Bishop's wife came with her 12 year old daughter. We got to work organizing the boys room. Mariah and Alyssa found a great friend and took off with her to her house.
Still not done with all the generosity. Around 5 the retired lady across the street brought bread and dessert and told us the rest of dinner was on its way. Sure enough lasagna and salad showed up a little later.
We shared our dinner with all of the family that showed up to help bring in the last boxes so I would have room to park in the garage.
Today we had a delivery of warm cinnamon rolls to start our morning.
I am just amazed and blessed to have the warm acceptance from family, neighbors and church members. With all the help we are almost done with the unboxing. (except for my craft room which will take awhile)
So far I love it here! Our house is big and open. The people are wonderful. Family is close!

Friday, March 13, 2009

New job, new house, and our move

What a few weeks we have had!

Over the years Aaron and I have had several discussions about moving to Utah to be near my siblings and his sister. The discussions usually ended in 'NO, Way'. Niether of us really wanted to live in Utah with the snow, being surrounded by mountains, away from friends and family we have here. Plus I had the store and he had his job.

Then I closed the store and Aaron lost his job. After looking for work for the past 8 months I did get hired on at Walmart here. I even started orientation last Friday. But we were feeling the pull again toward Utah.

So we packed up this week to go for a visit. While there things were falling into place. We looked at some rental houses and found a HUGE 7 bedroom, 3 bath 3,300 sq foot house for half of what we are paying in CA. See how open the living area is? And the kitchen has so much more storage than what we have. Downstairs in the basement is a large living room and 4 bedrooms. We will have kids rooms, excercise room, craft room and study! So we signed a lease starting April 1st!

Then I found a job in Utah!!!! I am so excited!!!! I had applied at a few various places and then as I got an email from one of my favorite online scrapbook stores I noticed the address was in Utah. So I filled out their contact me form with a plea for a job. I got a reply! They said they found my resume 'interesting to them' and they wanted to talk. I met with the owners on Wednesday and talked for 2 hours. We discussed the current trends, my experience and what I could offer them. They wanted me to join their team! I came back Thursday and they offered me a job. The pay is better than I was getting here in CA @ Walmart and the job is so much better. They are anxious for me to start. In order to help them out sooner they are flying me out next weekend to run a scrapbook Expo! I am so excited! I get a steady paycheck, flexible hours and get to be involved in the scrapbook business.

Aaron still has not found a job but has been able to make many contacts. Fortunitely the IT field pays the same in UT as in CA. We are confident that he will be able to find something soon.

While in Utah we visited a great friend and her 3 daughters. I also got to go out to dinner with an awesome gal and her family. I met Heather almost 4 years ago when I attended a convention in Provo. I can't wait until we move and we can scrapbook together! We also saw lots of family. I loved watching Parker kiss baby Taitt, Andrew play with his baby Ben, Caitlyn and Emalee running off together, Andrew and Hadley holding hands while walking through the temple, Alyssa getting all of the kids together for games, and the kids playing in the snow. I am going to love have family to get together with. Before leaving we stopped at the kids new school and got them enrolled.

So now we are frantically packing and finishing many tasks. We move the 1st of April! Aaahhh!!!