Showing posts from 2012

I am precious and so are you

It's been one of those days.  Nothing major.  Everything will feel better tomorrow but it has definitely felt like the whole world is conspiring against me.  On days like today, I find comfort in a sweet memory from last year. 
I enjoy attending institute in a neighboring stake on Monday mornings.  I don't really know anyone else in the class but it is worth the drive because the instructor is terrific and so knowledgeable about the scriptures.
One day when I was in the midst of alot of turmoil (this was before Brent's life changing surgery), I was plagued with sadness and fear about what was going to happen next.   I was probably even wallowing a little in self pity if you want to know the truth.  It was just a downer day.
On one of those Monday mornings while I was sitting in the chapel attending Institute, a sweet elderly woman (probably in her 70s) sat down near me in the pew.  I have to admit that I didn't really acknowledge her except for a vague, quick smile a…

oops! jar

Every once in awhile I get fed up with my children.  Mostly they are terrific kids and I would'nt trade em for the world.  But sometimes they fight, leave their stuff lying around the house, have to be asked multiple times to do stuff, say unkind things to each other or - the one I dislike the most- say, "I'm bored",  I borrowed an idea from the blog of another mother who must have this problem in her house too.
She has a list of tasks that are punishments that her kids have to pull and then do when they are caught doing any of the above. It sounds so much better to say " go get a job from the oops jar" then a nagging tongue lashing.  And if they start to debate their cause, just keeping adding tasks.
Here are examples of what is in my jar: Clean out Mom's car of trash and cups Pull weeds in back yard for 10 minutes
Pull weeds in front yard for 10 minutes Rub dad’s feet for 10 minutes and do, ‘this little piggy’ to him.

Clean a sibling’s room for 10 minut…

40% control of our happiness

"People are just as happy as they make  their minds up to be." - Abe Lincoln As I sat at my desk this morning and paid bills, i remembered an article I read once about the correlation between happiness and contentment.  Did you know that according to a recent research study of 60,000 adults that was published in 2009, genes are responsible for only a portion of a person's sense of well being?  50% of our happiness is biologically driven.  Some people are just born prone to a happy disposition.   My hubby is this way.  Remember in a past post how he amazed DRs. when he was super sick because he was the ONLY IIH patient they had that wasn't suffering from depression and needing a rx for anti depressants?  HE ALWAYS SEES THE BRIGHT SIDE.  (Me, not so much.  I like to think of myself as the REALIST of our family, the yin to his yang- however, I digress...) Another 10% of our happiness is connected specifically to life circumstances.   That leaves 40% of our happiness q…


Happy EIGHTEENTH Birthday to this gal.
 Tanner refers to her as the "chosen one" that is going to lead the rest of us to Heaven.  He's only halfway joking.  She really is the most amazing girl. How lucky are we that she was our first so that she could be a great example to her four younger siblings?  It makes our job as parents so much easier. We celebrated her big day by eating at FUDDRUCKERS and seeing the latest James Bond movie.  It was fun. Eighteen things we like about her: 1.  She always has a smile on her face. 2.  She has a great attitude about EVERYTHING. 3.  not a shallow bone in her body 4.  never has to be asked twice 5. uber responsible 6. the peacemaker of the family 7.  takes Tanner's teasing about her driving with a grain of salt 8.  super dependable 9.  everyone's favorite babysitter 10.  smart as a whip 11.  loves the scriptures 12.  beautiful singing voice 13.  not a respecter of persons 14.  My #1 helper around the house and usually without …

Turning TWELVE

Today, we celebrate the birth of our Beloved McKinley. She got a few presents (see em stacked in the background). She is most excited about the nickel free earrings (she claims it so hard to find cute ones that are nickel free) and the sparkly eye shadow. Twelve is a big hallmark in our house if you are a girl because you get to start wearing a touch of eye makeup.  :O)  Another fun surprise was that her friend, Caty, KIDNAPPED her bright and early for breakast before school.  Such a lucky girl to have such a sweet friend.  (Caty's mom, Cheri, is pretty sweet too -for being the brains and the driver behind it all.)

Cheers to turning TWELVE.  Young Women here she comes!  Ready or not!

Not the Bread We Expected

From one of my favorite talks by S. Micheal Wilcox, "The Fourth Watch".
Have you ever looked back at a time in your life, when you thought Heavenly Father wasn't answering your prayers but then after some time had past, realized that he did?  Just maybe not the way you wanted him too?
I'm guilty of that. In Luke 11:9- "9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil , know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give athe Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Sometimes we pray for bread.  Heaveny Father gives u…

Lessons from Job: His Grace is Sufficient

In my very last session with Brother Hinckley, he asked me: "if you could sum up what you have learned from this whole experience in one phrase, what would it be?" I thought for a minute.  And then it came to me. "HIS grace is sufficient". I said. Brother Hinckley smiled.  "Oh, I love that!"  "But tell me what that means". I went on.  "It means it doesn't matter if it is a day that I don't think I will ever be able to get through by myself,  a longing to be forgiven of something I have done wrong,  a task or feat that is given to me that I feel overwhelmed by, a change I want to make in my character, or a feeling of impending doom. If I put my trust in HiM, He has always seen me through.  His Grace is sufficient." I continued: When something not-so-great would happen to me I used to panic and say to myself, "oh GREAT! It's another red letter day for the ARGYLES, here we go again!".
"Now, I say, Well....…

Lessons from Job: The old me is never coming back

Here is another thing I've learned in the last year: It came to me like a lightbulb moment when I was in Brother Hinckley's office one day.  I told him that I just wanted the "old Shahna" to come back.  The girl that was perky and happy all the time -not this one that was somewhat cynical and jaded. He smiled. He grabbed my hand from across his desk, held it in his hand like a loving Father,  looked me in the eye and said, "listen to what I am going to tell you:  "the OLD SHAHNA is NEVER coming back."  I reacted with tears. "We don't want her to come back either."  he said.  I was confused. "The new Shahna has learned some things through her last six years that the old Shahna never knew.  We dont want to go back to that.  We want to explore some of the things that you have learned that have made you better and celebrate those things."  I thought about that for a long hard while after I left his office.  In fact,  and he g…

Lessons from Job: Faith and fear can't dwell together

One of the first things I figured out, while talking to Brother Hinckley - my therapist, was that I was so afraid of what was coming next, I was living in a constant state of FEAR.  As I thought about that, I realized that although I could feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life, I could not remember the last time I had felt COMFORTED by him.  I could pinpoint specific times over the last few months when I had felt help in making decisions with respect to my kids, my responsibilities at church, when others had shared spiritual experiences.  I knew the Holy Ghost had been influential in that.  I knew I wasn't doing anything sinful that would prohibit the Holy Ghost from being a companion to me.  I realized that in order for me to feel comforted by the Spirit, I had to dispel the FEAR and make room for FAITH. How to do that? Well, one of the things that helped alot was surrounding myself with FAITH FILLED things.  Music has always been a huge mood lifter for me.  I immedi…

Lessons from Job: Part One

Shortly after Brent had his life changing surgery and had his health fully restored, I started having anxiety attacks.  Regular, frequent anxiety attacks.  I felt like I was having a heart attack and didn't know how to make it stop.  It was usually triggered by something benign, something that normally would not even phase me.  One day it started because one of my children had lost her jacket at school.  I know, weird.

I couldn't figure out what was going on.  For SIX YEARS, while Brent was sick, I was a rock.  I was the one that constantly held our family together and was incessantly chasing the dark cloud out of the room during that entire time he was ill.  I was the one that kept things going.  Why, NOW, was I falling apart?

After much prodding from a loving aunt, a concerned husband, and a thoughtful mother, I scheduled a session with my Institute teacher who is a licensed family therapist. 

At the first session, he asked what brought me there (to his office).  I explaine…

It's usually through another that He meets our needs

President Spencer W. Kimball explained: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs” (“Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, p. 5).
My sweet friend, Cheri, just shared an experience that she had last week that I think reflects this oft quoted thought above from President Spencer W. Kimball.  I love to document these things so that I can go back and see the hand of God in the lives of His children. Cheri teaches institute to the young single adults in my stake.  She loves the calling and the young single adults love her.  Cheri also has a hubby that has to be out of town sometimes.  Last week she was feeling torn between her calling and being the extraordinary mom she is and always wants to be. As she was preparing her lesson and getting ready to go to teach her class, she found herself in humble prayer to Heavenly Father.  She had one daughter, Caty (age 11) that had not been feeling well earlier that day and an…

guest post from Hilary Weeks

This is from Hilary Weeks.  One of my favorite church composers and/or artists.  She is also one of my favorite bloggers.  I has the fantastic experience of meeting her through my friend, Whitney, a member of the LDS singing group, Mercy River.  Through Whitney, I got to eat lunch one afternoon with Hilary and really get to know her.  I loved her before but once I got to actually visit with her, I loved her even more and felt like she was someone I could really relate to.  Since then I have been a follower of her blog.  This week she had a post that I just loved and I felt like I could have written it myself.  I, too, had an experience where I was told through a priesthood blessing that the end of a trial was approaching and to be patient.  I am so glad at the time that I didn't know it was going to be another FIVE years before we would find an end to our ordeal.  Here is her post: Be Brave.“Most of our obstacles would melt away if instead of cowering before them, we should make u…

basically we are all like icebergs

(I found this today in a blog I follow and felt it was worth remembering.)
My old Stake President was a Phychologist. He spoke once to us mothers, and said something that really stuck with me.  He said to imagine that each of us is an iceburg. When you look out across the ocean, you see the top 10% of the iceburgs in the water. That 10% is the part that we want others to see. He said that it is important to remember that each of us has another 90% that we're "hiding" below the surface.
He told us "Never compare your 90% to someone else's 10%. It's not a fair comparison."
Isn't that great? We all show our best selves, our best 10%, but we all struggle with different things, and we all have weaknesses and insecurities. The trick is to remember that what we usually "see" in others is their best 10%, too.

me, surrounded by greatness

This past mother's day I wrote a letter to thirteen terrific ladies who have shaped me and what kind of mother and woman I am. Here is an excerpt.
I have been thinking about writing this note to you for some time.As Mother’s Day was drawing closer this year and because of some things I read recently in my own patriarchal blessing, I have been thinking about you and what a blessing you have been to me. I don’t know whether it was because Heavenly Father knew I would need good female role models with me throughout my life or perhaps I expressed concern to him before I came to earth that I would have the cards stacked against me, but I think you were a compensating factor in my life. You are a gift from an all knowing God. From the time I joined the church as a youth, I have been blessed with extraordinary women who have “shown me the way”:  the way to be a righteous woman of God, a devoted wife, and a loving parent. I am certainly not the perfect mom.My kids are just as “damaged” as an…

proof that money isn't where its at people!

I just want to start by saying my heart really goes out to Pilar Sanders.  She is the beautiful (estranged) wife of Deion Sanders and they are residents of our town.  My Reagan goes to school with her son Shedore.  I regularly see her at the school at parties, field trips, and picking her ten year old up at the end of the day.  She seems like a very hands on mom that genuinely loves her children.
Sadly, She and Deion have been engaged in a HORRIBLE divorce battle that got so ugly this week that Pilar was arrested and spent the night in jail, Deion had charges of assault brought upon him, and they were one of the lead stories on the national news.  I don't want to add to all the news that has already been out there. 
What I do want to remember, however, is how this family LOOKED like (from all outward appearances) that they had EVERYTHING.  Deion was just inducted into the Hall of Fame, he played two different professional sports, they shared a 23,000 square foot mansion here in …

headache free

Well its been a long hard road but we finally made it and as of 1:30 yesterday, April 9, 2012, Brent is FINALLY headache free.
So many thoughts are rushing through my mind. The biggest of which is gratitude.
Gratitude for our friends and family who have fasted with us, prayed with us, brought us dinner, treats, helped with getting kids where they needed to be.  I am grateful for visiting  teachers and home teachers.  Emails and texts and phone calls of encouragement (I have saved every single one of them in a file).   I'm grateful for Priesthood holders who at a moments notice were worthy to administer to Brent and make beautiful, peace-filled promises of comfort, "instant relief", and healing.  I am grateful for skilled surgeons.  Not just Dr. Batki who did the surgery yesterday but Drs. Weiner, Herzog, Konen, Biddiwalla.  They have all gotten us here where we are today.  Next Monday night we are writing thank you notes.  Lots and lots of thank you notes.  Because we a…

Fasting for Brent

Here is an email I sent out today to everyone that I could think of in my contact list.

Beloved friends:

I have to start by telling you that as I scroll through my contacts, trying to decipher who to send this to, tears well in my eyes and my heart is so full. As I click on your name to include you in this email, I am reminded of our little army of angels that has weathered this storm with us for the past six years. Some of you are from our old ward. You took in our children, fed them, distracted them with fun activities while Brent was initially hospitalized all those many weeks. Some of you are my book club gals that have held my hand and listened each and every month as I updated you on the latest thing the doctors were trying. Some of you are our new friends that we have made in our new ward family here in Prosper. Regardless of how we know you, you are included in this email because you have consistently inquired about Brent's health and whispered words of encourageme…