Wednesday, January 30, 2013

(guest post: Hilary Weeks) Are you a natural problem solver?

From Hilary's blog, October 2010

When life gives you lemons
(Say it loud and proud…)
(Or, even better, make strawberry lemonade. That stuff is liquid gold.)
Today’s post is about problem solving. I have a good friend, Emily Freeman, who is a natural problem solver. She solves her problems, her family’s problems, the neighborhood’s problems and thankfully, many times she has helped me solve my problems. She cares, really cares, when you tell her about a dilema – and then her mind goes to work. My mind, on the other hand just feels bad for the person. I don’t naturally think of things that would help. I mean I do, but I don’t. It isn’t an involuntary response – I have to tell my brain to start thinking of solutions, suggestions and ideas.
I was flying home from Canada one Sunday morning several years ago. I was traveling with a really amazing group of people including Wendy Watson Nelson, Elder Nelson’s wife. We were sitting at the gate eating some breakfast and a little bit of food fell on her jacket and left a small stain. Sister Nelson quickly came to her own rescue. Removing a pin from the lapel her blazer, she declared that she has been a problem solver her whole life and this situation didn’t intimidate her one bit. She simply moved the pin a little lower to cover the stain. She solved the problem without ruffling a single feather and she did it with style and confidence.
My daughter, Meg, shows signs of being a problem solver. Here is a note she passed me in church recently…
(Mom, can I have a mint from dad, I forgot to brush my teeth.)
Classic Meg.
Okay, so she let her dental hygiene slip for a second, but she solved the problem. No more stinky breath. She didn’t stress about it. She didn’t start crying. She didn’t lean over and say, “We’ve got to rush home so I can brush my teeth.” She just came up with a solution that worked under the circumstances. I like that about her. I like that about Wendy Watson Nelson. I like that about Emily.
Here are a few thoughts from other people who were good problem solvers…
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
  Albert Einstein
“Have you got a problem?
Do what you can where you are with what you’ve got.”
-Theodore Roosevelt
“How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively.” 
-Norman Vincent Peale
Blog to you soon,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

being in "the Zone"

I read this book about 10 years ago and it changed my life.  Really.
At the time I was a young mom trying to take care of little ones and keep a tidy house.  I know, I know.  IMPOSSIBLE.  But this book helped me atleast keep it under control.  I still use it to this day.
The idea behind this book is to break your home up into ZONES.  Each week you spend a few minutes a day deep cleaning in the ZONE for the week.  
 My Zones are broken up like this:
Zone 1:  Formal living and dining rooms, laundry room
Zone 2:  Kid's rooms
Zone 3:  Family Room/ Media Room/ office bathroom
Zone 4:  Kitchen
Zone 5: Game room, my office, upstairs bath, hobby closet
Zone 6: Master bedroom and bathroom
This week I am working in Zone 4 (kitchen).  The list looks like this.
Zone 4:
Declutter, 27 fling boogie
(this is a term she coined for throwing out 27 things you dont need in the area)
Empty the dishwasher
Wipe counters
Trash out
Clean trash can
Declutter kitchen desk area
Bar chairs clean
Polish kitchen chairs
Clean fridge out
Clean fridge bins
clean stove top
clean oven
Clean drawers, organize
Clean cabinets, organize
magic eraser spots on walls
disinfect switch plates
clean garage door
clean pantry door
disinfect door knobs
Kitchen windows
dust blinds
clean microwave
windex outside of the dishwasher
Water plants
Light fixtures
Under the sink
dust above the fridge
Organize meds
Under the bar
Clean out freezer
Garage freezer
organize the pantry
wipe down baseboards
Anyway.  That is the jest of the system.  I set a timer for about fifteen minutes and do as many of the jobs on the list in fifteen minutes that I can.  I pick up where I left off the next day.  Some days I might have enought time to get it all done in one day.  That works too.   
You should give it a try if you feel like things are out of control at your house.
Happy Zoning!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Step at a time

Sometimes I am absolutely amazed by the human spirit and what it can do.  Yesterday, I listened to a podcast about an amazing man yesterday while I went on my walk.  His name is Dr. Dale Hull.  He was an OB/GYN with a thriving practice.  One day he came home and decided to go out in his back yard and jump on the trampoline.  He attempted a back flip and landed on his neck.  He knew immediately that he had a significant spinal injury.  He was suddenly no longer just a father of 4, a husband, and successful Dr - he was a quadrapalegic.  They initially told him that he would never walk.  The picture above is of him two years later carrying the olympic torch and handing it off to Karl Malone. 

He shares a pretty amazing testimony of how his faith in Jesus Christ provided perspective and gave him hope in his darkest days.  Its totally worth a listen if you need some inspiration to do something hard or stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Here is an article about him. 
He is marking the 10th anniversary of his accident by doing a marathon:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Brad Wilcox: His Grace is Sufficient (top ten favorite talks)

A BYU student once came to me and asked if we could talk. I said, “Of course. How can I help you?”
She said, “I just don’t get grace.”
I responded, “What is it that you don’t understand?”
She said, “I know I need to do my best and then Jesus does the rest, but I can’t even do my best.”
She then went on to tell me all the things she should be doing because she’s a Mormon that she wasn’t doing.
She continued, “I know that I have to do my part and then Jesus makes up the difference and fills the gap that stands between my part and perfection. But who fills the gap that stands between where I am now and my part?”
She then went on to tell me all the things that she shouldn’t be doing because she’s a Mormon, but she was doing them anyway.
Finally I said,“
Jesus doesn’t make up the difference. Jesus makes all the difference. Grace is not about filling gaps. It is about filling us.”
Seeing that she was still confused, I took a piece of paper and drew two dots—one at the top representing God and one at the bottom representing us. I then said, “Go ahead. Draw the line. How much is our part? How much is Christ’s part?”
She went right to the center of the page and began to draw a line. Then, considering what we had been speaking about, she went to the bottom of the page and drew a line just above the bottom dot.
I said, “Wrong.”
She said, “I knew it was higher. I should have just drawn it, because I knew it.”
I said, “No. The truth is, there is no line. Jesus filled the whole space. He paid our debt in full. He didn’t pay it all except for a few coins. He paid it all. It is finished.”
She said, “Right! Like I don’t have to do anything?”
“Oh no,” I said, “you have plenty to do, but it is not to fill that gap. We will all be resurrected. We will all go back to God’s presence. What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body we plan on being resurrected with and how comfortable we plan to be in God’s presence and how long we plan to stay there.”
Christ asks us to show faith in Him, repent, make and keep covenants, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. By complying, we are not paying the demands of justice—not even the smallest part. Instead, we are showing appreciation for what Jesus Christ did by using it to live a life like His. Justice requires immediate perfection or a punishment when we fall short. Because Jesus took that punishment, He can offer us the chance for ultimate perfection (see Matthew 5:48, 3 Nephi 12:48) and help us reach that goal. He can forgive what justice never could, and He can turn to us now with His own set of requirements (see 3 Nephi 28:35).
“So what’s the difference?” the girl asked. “Whether our efforts are required by justice or by Jesus, they are still required.”
“True,” I said, “but they are required for a different purpose. Fulfilling Christ’s requirements is like paying a mortgage instead of rent or like making deposits in a savings account instead of paying off debt. You still have to hand it over every month, but it is for a totally different reason.”
Christ’s Grace Is Sufficient to Transform Us
Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. How many know what I am talking about? Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice.
If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, Mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.
In the same way, because Jesus has paid justice, He can now turn to us and say, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19), “Keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we see His requirements as being way too much to ask (“Gosh! None of the other Christians have to pay tithing! None of the other Christians have to go on missions, serve in callings, and do temple work!”), maybe it is because we do not yet see through Christ’s eyes. We have not yet comprehended what He is trying to make of us.
Elder Bruce C. Hafen has written, “The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must ‘repay’ him in exchange for his paying our debt to justice, but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior’s help, leads us along the path to a saintly character” (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 149; emphasis in original).
Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said, referring to President Spencer W. Kimball’s explanation,
 “The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change
(The Lord’s Way [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991], 223; emphasis in original). Let’s put that in terms of our analogy: The child must practice the piano, but this practice has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change.
I have born-again Christian friends who say to me, “You Mormons are trying to earn your way to heaven.”
I say,
“No, we are not earning heaven. We are learning heaven. We are preparing for it (see D&C 78:7). We are practicing for it.”
They ask me, “Have you been saved by grace?”
I answer, “Yes. Absolutely, totally, completely, thankfully—yes!”
Then I ask them a question that perhaps they have not fully considered: “Have you been changed by grace?” They are so excited about being saved that maybe they are not thinking enough about what comes next. They are so happy the debt is paid that they may not have considered why the debt existed in the first place. Latter-day Saints know not only what Jesus has saved us from but also what He has saved us for. As my friend Brett Sanders puts it,
“A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ’s life.”
As my friend Omar Canals puts it, “While many Christians view Christ’s suffering as only a huge favor He did for us, Latter-day Saints also recognize it as a huge investment He made in us.” As Moroni puts it, grace isn’t just about being saved. It is also about becoming like the Savior (see Moroni 7:48).
The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly (see John 10:10). The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed (see Romans 8). Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God (see Alma 40:26), but, brothers and sisters, no unchanged thing will even want to.
I know a young man who just got out of prison—again. Each time two roads diverge in a yellow wood, he takes the wrong one—every time. When he was a teenager dealing with every bad habit a teenage boy can have, I said to his father,“We need to get him to EFY.” I have worked with that program since 1985. I know the good it can do.
His dad said, “I can’t afford that.”
I said, “I can’t afford it either, but you put some in, and I’ll put some in, and then we’ll go to my mom, because she is a real softy.”
We finally got the kid to EFY, but how long do you think he lasted? Not even a day. By the end of the first day he called his mother and said, “Get me out of here!”
Heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly.
In the past I had a picture in my mind of what the final judgment would be like, and it went something like this: Jesus standing there with a clipboard and Brad standing on the other side of the room nervously looking at Jesus.
Jesus checks His clipboard and says, “Oh, shoot, Brad. You missed it by two points.”
Brad begs Jesus, “Please, check the essay question one more time! There have to be two points you can squeeze out of that essay.” That’s how I always saw it.
But the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.” No, he will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, “Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement—not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you want to stay.”
The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. If Jesus did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change. We would be left forever with only willpower, with no access to His power. If Jesus did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time. They would forever be surface and cosmetic rather than sinking inside us and becoming part of us—part of who we are. Put simply, if Jesus didn’t require practice, then we would never become pianists.
Christ’s Grace Is Sufficient to Help Us
“But Brother Wilcox, don’t you realize how hard it is to practice? I’m just not very good at the piano. I hit a lot of wrong notes. It takes me forever to get it right.” Now wait. Isn’t that all part of the learning process? When a young pianist hits a wrong note, we don’t say he is not worthy to keep practicing. We don’t expect him to be flawless. We just expect him to keep trying. Perfection may be his ultimate goal, but for now we can be content with progress in the right direction. Why is this perspective so easy to see in the context of learning piano but so hard to see in the context of learning heaven?
Too many are giving up on the Church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling short. They have tried in the past, but they always feel like they are just not good enough. They don’t understand grace.
There are young women who know they are daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves them, and they love Him. Then they graduate from high school, and the values they memorized are put to the test. They slip up. They let things go too far, and suddenly they think it is all over. These young women don’t understand grace.
There are young men who grow up their whole lives singing, “I hope they call me on a mission,” and then they do actually grow a foot or two and flake out completely. They get their Eagles, graduate from high school, and go away to college. Then suddenly these young men find out how easy it is to not be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, or reverent. They mess up. They say, “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “I’ll never do it again,” and then they do it. They say, “This is stupid. I will never do it again.” And then they do it. The guilt is almost unbearable. They don’t dare talk to a bishop. Instead, they hide. They say, “I can’t do this Mormon thing. I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” So they quit. These young men don’t understand grace.
I know returned missionaries who come home and slip back into bad habits they thought were over. They break promises made before God, angels, and witnesses, and they are convinced there is no hope for them now. They say, “Well, I’ve blown it. There is no use in even trying any more.”Seriously? These young people have spent entire missions teaching people about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and now they think there is no hope for them? These returned missionaries don’t understand grace.
I know young married couples who find out after the sealing ceremony is over that marriage requires adjustments. The pressures of life mount, and stress starts taking its toll financially, spiritually, and even sexually. Mistakes are made. Walls go up. And pretty soon these husbands and wives are talking with divorce lawyers rather than talking with each other. These couples don’t understand grace.
In all of these cases there should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “continue in patience until [we] are perfected” (D&C 67:13).
One young man wrote me the following e-mail: “I know God has all power, and I know He will help me if I’m worthy, but I’m just never worthy enough to ask for His help. I want Christ’s grace, but I always find myself stuck in the same self-defeating and impossible position: no work, no grace.”
I wrote him back and testified with all my heart that
 Christ is not waiting at the finish line once we have done “all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). He is with us every step of the way.
Elder Bruce C. Hafen has written, “The Savior’s gift of grace to us is not necessarily limited in time to ‘after’ all we can do. We may receive his grace before, during and after the time when we expend our own efforts” (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 155). So grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it is the Finisher’s touch (see Hebrews 12:2).
In twelve days we celebrate Pioneer Day. The first company of Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Their journey was difficult and challenging; still, they sang:

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
[“Come, Come, Ye Saints,” Hymns, 2002, no. 30]

“Grace shall be as your day”—what an interesting phrase. We have all sung it hundreds of times, but have we stopped to consider what it means? “Grace shall be as your day”: grace shall be like a day. As dark as night may become, we can always count on the sun coming up. As dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them. As sure as each brand-new day, grace—the enabling power of Jesus Christ—is constant. Faithful pioneers knew they were not alone. The task ahead of them was never as great as the power behind them.
The grace of Christ is sufficient—sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes. The Book of Mormon teaches us to rely solely on “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8). As we do, we do not discover—as some Christians believe—that Christ requires nothing of us. Rather, we discover the reason He requires so much and the strength to do all He asks (see Philippians 4:13). Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power (see Luke 1:37).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said the following:

Now may I speak . . . to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short. . . .
. . . This feeling of inadequacy is . . . normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. . . .
. . . This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God’s grace is sufficient for each of us. [CR, October 1976, 14, 16; “Notwithstanding My Weakness,” Ensign, November 1976, 12, 14]

With Elder Maxwell, I testify that God’s grace is sufficient. Jesus’ grace is sufficient. It is enough. It is all we need. Oh, young people, don’t quit. Keep trying. Don’t look for escapes and excuses. Look for the Lord and His perfect strength. Don’t search for someone to blame. Search for someone to help you. Seek Christ, and, as you do, I promise you will feel the enabling power we call His amazing grace. I leave this testimony and all of my love—for I do love you. As God is my witness, I love the youth of this church. I believe in you. I’m pulling for you. And I’m not the only one. Parents are pulling for you, leaders are pulling for you, and prophets are pulling for you. And Jesus is pulling with you. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

something to chew on

A wise old Chinese gentleman lived on the troubled Mongolian border. One day his favorite horse, a beautiful white mare, jumped the fence and was seized on the other side by the enemy. His friends came to comfort him. "We're so sorry about your horse," they said. "That's bad news."

"How do you know it's bad news?" he asked. "It might be good news."

A week later the man looked out his window to see his mare returning at breakneck speed, and alongside her was a beautiful stallion. He put both horses into the enclosure, and his friends came to admire the new addition. "What a beautiful horse," they said. "That's good news."

"How do you know it's good news?" replied the man. "It might be bad news."
The next day the man's only son decided to try riding the stallion. It threw him, and he landed painfully, breaking his leg. The friends made another visit, all of them sympathetic, saying, "We're so sorry about this. It's such bad news."

"How do you know it's bad news?" replied the man. "It might be good news."

Within a month, a terrible war broke out between China and Mongolia. The Chinese recruiters came through the area, pressing all the young men into the army. All of them perished -- except for the man's son, who couldn't go off to war because of his broken leg.

"You see," said the gentleman. "The things you considered good were actually bad, and the things that seemed to be bad news were actually for our good."



Monday, January 14, 2013

patience practice periods

Ok.  I am going to be the first to admit it. 
I am NOT a very patient person.
My hubby is.  I have some offspring that are products of part of my gene pool that are.  But I am probably one of the most IMPATIENT people I know.  I don't like that about myself.  I have wanted to change it for some time.
Case in point.  Brent and I have set a significant financial goal in 2013.  We have been working toward it for about six months.  It has been coming to us as slow as a turtle's pace.  in fact some months we have made absolutely no progress at all. 

This made me very unhappy because, as I stated earlier, I am not a patient person.
Then, last week :
part of our fence blew down (@ $300.00)
I hit a huge pothole and took out a strut in my car (or so he tells me)
(@$ 350.00)
I discovered that I owe $150 dollars that I didn't know about (@150.00)
and - to put a cherry on top of it all-
Obama and Congress has decided we need to donate a little more of our paycheck each month to finance more government frivolity.
(@ $ I don't even want to think about that one)
- tell me again why the majority of America voted for Obama?  I forget.-
Uuugghhh.  Two steps forward, one step back.
I feel like the POWERS THAT BE might be trying to teach me something.
Something along the lines of, "Be patient or I'll beat you over the head with a frustration stick".  Because the less patient I am, the more I frustrated I become. 
So I am recognizing this as a "patience practice period".  If I can learn to put off my feelings of frustration and discouragement and ride it out, then I will be doing myself a favor.
And besides, Brent (Mr. Optimist) says we will meet our goal by the end of March.  That is only 10 short weeks away.  I can do this, right?

impatient too? inspiration here. :O)

this is cute too

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ode to an Eagle Scout

I have been thinking alot lately about Eagle Scouts.  Why?  Well we have a LIFE scout (the rank just before Eagle) here at our house that is CRAWLING ACROSS THE FINISH LINE ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES as he slooooowllly finishes up those last few merit badges he needs and begins the arduous process of his eagle project. 

He is basically doing it for me. In fact, it was his Christmas present to me.  And his Eagle scout dad.  The afore mentioned life scout doesn't really care if he achieves that rank or not.  He would love the nagging to stop, however.
We were watching APOLLO 13 over the Christmas break as a family.  There is a scene in that movie where Neil Armstrong asks Jim Lovell's (the Tom Hanks character) mother if Jim ever earned his Eagle Scout.  She proudly responds that he did. 
That got me thinking.  So I did a little research on the ole' world wide web.  Did you know that of the 312 pilots and scientists selected as astronauts since 1959, 207 of them have been identified as being active in scouting?  Of the 24 men to travel to the moon on the Apollo 9 through 17 missions, 21 were scouts.  I think that is cool.  I think most Americans would say that Astronauts tend to be at the top of their game when it comes to physical ability and intelligence.  That says alot that they started out as goal oriented individuals at a very young age.
Did you know that lots of other highly successful and influential men have earned the rank of Eagle?
Hank Aaron, President Gerald Ford, H. Ross Perot, Sam Walton, Donald Rumsfeld, and Steven Spielberg. 

The list includes so many CEO's, politicians, Governors, Admirals, Colonels, olympians, and world class athletes that I couldnt count them all.  2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 Nobel Peace Prize winner, an FBI director, a CIA director, a Supreme Court Justice, 6  medal of honor recipients, and the surgeon who transplanted the first artificial heart.  Just to name a few.
That is a pretty impressive list.
 Let me tell you about the most impressive eagle scouts, I have ever heard of.  Many of you will remember the tragic circumstances that occurred on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School.  Teacher Dave Sanders was shot three times as he tried to help students get to safety.  Another teacher - not knowing what to do - went to get help at science room 3 located next door.  He entered the room (the sound of gunfire still going on in a nearby hallway)  "Does anyone here know first aid?"  Two 16 year old boys, Aaron Hancey and Kevin Stalkey, both recent eagle scouts, raised their hands.  They risked their lives leaving the safety of the classroom where they were huddled, entered the hallway and ran to the aid of Mr. Sanders.   They ran through a rapid inspection of Mr. Sander's condition:  breathing steady, skin warm, shoulder broken, gaping wounds, heavy blood loss.  Taking the t shirts off their backs (literally) as well as shirts from two other boys, they were able to control blood flow,  make bandage strips and an improvised tourniquette, and bundle the rest into a small pillow under Mr. Sander' head.  They then took the teacher's wallet out of his back pocket and showed him pictures of his children to keep him engaged and conscious until help could arrive.
THAT is pretty impressive for anyone to do.  Much less 2 16 year old boys.
In 3 Nephi 27:27  the Savior poses a question for each of us, "What manner of men ought ye to be?"
How about
As I told my son the other day, I don't want to see him earn the rank of Eagle so that I can brag about it in our family Christmas letter or put a bumper sticker on the back of my car.  I want him to earn his eagle because it is good to do HARD things and becoming an eagle is not for sissies.  And because it helps mold him into the man I want him to leave my home, having become.
In closing, 94% of all LDS Eagle Scouts started, began as cub scouts.  Those who obtain their eagle, were most likely to fulfill righteous missions...that increased their chance of a temple marriage...then go on to serve in callings in the church...which helps them stay active throughout their lives. 
Here's to all the eagle scouts out there.  Way to go!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

These are keepers

Let's face it.  Teenagers get a bad wrap sometimes.  I remember being a young mom and hearing older parents saying to me: "just you wait...wait til their teenagers."  I dunno.  Maybe my time is coming but I think so far I've decided these two are keepers.
Brent was out of town last night.  I took a fitness class at the gym yesterday morning that kicked my rear and in the process, I pulled a muscle in my neck.
By the time the kids got home from school, I had a doozy of a headache and my neck was KILLING me.  When Jensen and Tanner came home they found me in my bedroom, laying down, with a heating pad on my neck.
When I told them what had happened, Jensen offered to make dinner.  I said, "no, that's ok - I have to go get Kiki from rehearsal at the school in a little bit".  Tanner said, "I can pick kiki up". 
So Jensen made delicious tacos last night, Tanner pulled carpool duty, they delegated sandwich making (for school the next day) to Reagan, cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, and did a load of laundry.  
I think they are ready to fly the coop.
This makes me want to smile and cry at the same time. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Break 2012 according to my iphone

Except our break REALLY WAS Joyful!
We spent lotsa time with this new addition to our extended family, My sister Lindsey's new little guy.  Henry James Golden (his nickname is Hank and I like to call him Hanky Panky.)  The girls couldn't get enough of him.
We kidnapped this girl for her 12th birthday and took her to Cottin Gin for Breakfast.

We made lotsa yummy treats for Brady's class at school, an annual cookie exchange, and other people that we love.
On the road to Saginaw on Christmas Eve to see Memomie.
grabbed this picture with her with all the GREAT grandkids after we took her to lunch.  Man I love this lady!  I have learned so much from her and need to blog about that someday.
We opened our fair share of Christmas gifts on the big day and then headed over to My Uncle Greg and Aunt Sharon's house for dinner and more presents.
Brady really loved the cowboy swetshirt that my mom gave him.
And to make it an absolutely perfect Christmas, it decided to snow.  ALOT!
Overall it was one of my favorite Christmas breaks ever.  Mostly because we spent tons of time together as a family doing what we love. 
Chuys and Jack Reacher movie for Tanner's bday, Apollo 13, home made hot chocolate, sledding at the Hendricks and with the Palssons, shopping at the Galleria with Lindsey and Kyle, Ice Skating with friends, Aunt Sharon's annual prime ribfest, New year's party at Schofields, NYE takeout from Outback steakhouse, bowling with friends.
 It was a JOYFUL Season.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I am one of the few that really believes in the power of resolutions.  I can't remember the last time I didn't make a New Year's resolution.  I usually am pretty successful at gettin 'er done too.  Not always.  But usually.
This year I am resolving a few things. 
I have picked a word that I am adapting as my "mantra" for the year to help me remember.  It is
What this means to me is that I want to do more for others and focus on my self less.  Whether that is my hubby or children or the new family in the ward that doesn't know anyone or a total stranger.  Every day I hope to put less focus on self and more on those around me.  I plan to do this by service, prayer, giving in to my own wants, sacrifices of time and money, and kindness.
I also resolve to cook more.  I did this one about ten years ago.  It was a big sacrifice for me because i loathe cooking.  Those of you who know me, know how much I hate it.  It is just healthier and cheaper and a better way to care for my family so I plan to do more of it in 2013.  I put some plans into action to help me out with this one.  I have started recording some cooking shows that I like, invested in a "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner', and put on my sunday to do list that I will be making meal plans for the week.  I am not saying I am going to be making five course meals or even five star dinners.  I just plan to cook healthy meals that my family will like and appreciate and while consuming said meal, they will know how much I love them.
I also resolve to pick a night each month (or day if it doesn't work out with Brent's schedule) to go to the temple.  I am going to circle the day and protect it and in the words of Richard G. Scott, "not let anything prevent me from going on the designated day".  I have found that if I schedule it early in the month that works best for me. 
Lastly, I resolve to blog more.  Not promising to do it every day but more than last year.  It is a great way of keeping a record of the goings on our crazy household and it makes me happy. So there.
Those are my resolutions for 2013.
What are yours?