Tuesday, May 21, 2019

best best

I wrote a song for my best friend.  She had us over for dinner last night and I played it for her.  She's so awesome.  She inspires me to get things done.  I've never composed lyrics and tune before, let alone performing it.  It's pretty wonderful having someone inspire such creativity.
I'm not a morning person, yet I wake up earlier each day
to walk the miles, and miles and miles.
I smile. She smiles and smiles.

I gave my best friend and old belt;
rainbow elastic with a tarnished clasp,
To help her keep her own pants up
When I'm not there to hold her hand.

She named it... She-Ra.

I've never had much interest in health and nutrition
because bread... is my love language...

I gave my best friend and old belt;
rainbow elastic with a tarnished clasp,
To help her keep her own pants up
When I'm not there to hold her hand.

She named it... She-Ra.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is so complicated for many women.  I had a nice day.  I'm grateful for a loving husband and children that are often well behaved.  We don't do breakfast in bed or flowers.  We just have a nice day.  P gave a talk on Sunday about how nobody can live up to the ideal and that we shouldn't let that keep us from trying to improve.  I'm grateful for the years of marriage and growth we've had together.

I was telling my friend that P doesn't buy presents for holidays but that he does make my dreams come true.  He's been known to buy a pair of sewing scissors to wish me a Happy Tuesday.  He has taken us on a family bike ride.  We have kayaks and life jackets if only we can find time to go use them.

He took me to go see a movie spontaneously when we found ourselves with time on Saturday night.  On that night the kids put themselves to bed!  Monday we were doing scriptures and prayer, ASL voicing with the videos and the kids insisted they had already done the chapter before.  P and I didn't understand how that could be possible and they reminded us that they'd been home alone two nights prior and had held scriptures and prayer without us.  That made us so happy.  What good kids.

Tonight as the activity for FHE P took us to walmart and the kids got to pick out a can of spray paint to decorate the bike racks P built for their fleet of bikes.  They chose orange and blue and blue and orange.  Then, realizing the duplication the older children switched out for aqua and gold.  G chose the gold.

On the ride home they were fighting.  That's life. 

I've been fasting this week and I get less upset about a lot of things.  It's good and bad.  I really enjoy the feeling of fasting.  I don't know how long this will last but I have enjoyed it.

Being a mother is awesome.  It's hard and most people don't appreciate what I do but P does, and my mom does, and sometimes even the children do; and that is really very nice.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

cast of characters

M found her best friend last year via our homeschool group and the young girl turned out to be our neighbor!  I've been friends with her mom Q for all that time but recently she became a best friend.  P is my best friend, and husband, and protector and eternal companion. 

Q is walking 3-4 miles a day and M, lP and I are walking too!  Q does a fast/5 lifestyle and I've started doing that too.  We're both super interested in leadership and strong girls.  It's pretty awesome having a friend like this where we don't need anything from each other but our friendship.

In some ways we have very little in common.  She's super healthy and I'm super into making bread.  But we're both strong in our relationship with Christ and it's really wonderful to share insights and life stories.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

family fun

Our neighborhood has a party for easter.  On Easter we go to church.  I'm grateful to let the kids celebrate easter with secular fun not at church.

This year the party was amazing.  Giant slide, train, dunk tank and snow cone truck.  P volunteered to be dunked and wore a suit.  I bring 4 doz boiled eggs.  It's really a nice event.

P had the idea of doing a soda tasting so he bought sprite, coke, fanta, fresca, gingerale, and rootbeer.  It was awesome.  After letting the children taste each kind of soda in these cute shot glasses (...) they did a blind taste test.  They haven't had much soda in their lives so it was fun.

And we brought home 2 tandem orange kayaks!  We got one from New Smyrna and one from Palatka.  They are the same kind.  I'm so excited to go on an outing!

Sunday, April 28, 2019


I'm going to read "Multipliers" with my friend this summer.  It's interesting how I've been blessed with opportunities to learn leadership in the last year.  I went to Woodbadge, and got all my tickets done.  Some areas of service are ending in my life, but it is opening the opportunity to sharpen my ax.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

things fall apart

I belong to a group that has bylaws.  One of the bylaws is that if you don't like something, talk to the person in charge.  If you can't come to an agreement, bring witnesses.  If you still can't agree, talk to management.  If you still can't agree, you can ask everyone!  Someone in the organization skipped right to the tell everyone.  They accused another member and shared a lot of personal stories with incorrect details to make the other member look like a mean person.  Ironically their big complaint was that this person had called them, of all things "Mean Girl."

So many feelings of rage can be avoided if we have the courage to deal with things ourselves.  Don't hide your feelings.  If you think someone is not kind, stop going to their house.  Stop taking their gifts.  Stop pretending to like them.  Talk to them and after hearing their side, let. it. go.

When you bury resentments in the name of civility, these resentments sprout like weeds in your heart.  Weeds grow fast, overshadowing your ability to see positive aspects of your relationship with the person. 

I was also included in the attacks once I told the person they should apologize publicly and work out their feelings privately.  I know I have acted with integrity and don't feel intimidated or shamed by these attacks. 

I tell my daughters that bad things will happen.  Sometimes the actions of others will hurt us and the sooner we speak up about that the sooner we have a chance to make a change.  If we speak up immediately, we might be able to save ourselves from a lot of pain.  If we speak up within a few days, we may be able to keep someone else from getting hurt.  Speak up.

Beware of being offended on behalf of others.  If Sarah tells you that someone did something, you should believe her but don't go making accusations yourself.  Support Sarah in making the report. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Emotional Intelligence

I attended an RS meeting with the regional LDS Family Services counselor.  She introduced me to the concept of Deep emotions and Surface emotions.  It was a new concept to me so I wanted to share it with you.

Deep emotions pull people towards us: Sad, hurt, ashamed, confused, insecure, vulnerable.

Surface emotions push people away from us: Mad, defensive, hostile, sarcasm, lecturing, demanding.

When we have a relationship issue, we can choose to show our deep emotion to draw the person toward us, instead of the surface emotion that pushes them away.

For example, my friend had another friend over and I heard about it but thought I was deliberately not included.  So I was involved with my children and not available when she called and asked if I wanted to come over.  That was semi-deliberate, but I did miss her call.  She asked me later why I didn't answer.  I expressed that I was feeling insecure and that's why I was ignoring my phone.  So that built the relationship more than if I had said "If you wanted me to show up you should have told me in advance..."

In marriage it may look like a wife is upset that her husband doesn't say hi when he comes home.  If she yells at him that pushes him away.  If instead she says "When you come home and don't talk to me I feel ignored." that may be more likely to leave him feeling safe enough to respond positively.

She also explained about guilt and how it is useful for bringing about change.  Too little guilt and we don't change.  Too much guilt and we loose hope and don't change.  Compassion lowers guilt.  Accountability increases guilt.  But also, we have to decide what we're feeling guilty about and if it's a stupid rule, like "I have to always say yes..."

Sunday, March 24, 2019


When we're on trips, I often see people riding bikes and think how cool that looks.  P recently got a bike trailer and we went to a rails to trails location.
 We've been collecting more bikes in the last year, so everyone has a ride!
 M got this water backpack for her birthday and uses it as a go to pack.  It's been great. 
 You can't see it but lP is pulling down her sun glasses to give a cool look.
B was tireless.  He rides this sweet bike we got for lP 2 years ago.  It was actually this bike that we got from a thrift store that highlighted how the kids really needed better bikes.  G and M loved to ride this bike even though it was too small.  So eventually we saved up and got the Yellow Bike and the Blue Bike.  G is riding the Orange bike P got for his big ride to Gtown.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Proverbs 3:6

In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.

I'm enjoying how my efforts in grocery budgeting are blessing us to have a positive trajectory in food storage.  By buying 6 jars of peanut butter from Walmart, and other bulk purchases of best price staples, we have an abundance of what we need.  We are not very adventurous with condiments.  We only need ranch, ketchup, mustard, mayo and bbq.  Whenever I buy other condiments, they just sit in the door unused.  

M and I are doing personal progress and the positive effect of this is that we have a very positive activity to do together.  I'm working on noticing positive traits in others and making our home more peaceful.  I can't really handle thinking about more than one behavior goal at a time.  But I do love how just having a goal to forgive for 2 weeks can be on my thoughts and change my actions.

I'm encouraging M to take credit for good things she is already doing, like singing in the choir, participating in a book club and playing the piano.  Yes, those were things we were already going to do, but we can invite the lord into our endeavors, and receive blessings of inspiration.  

There are some goals like "Make something to display in your home" and I have no patience for those goals.  My sister N did actually make a beautiful banner with the temple, and other YW symbols done in fabric, that was worthy of being displayed in a home.  I'll have to show M some of those examples.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

best day ever

My children love to say "Best day ever!" a couple times a week.  I'm grateful for their joy.  Today was the best homeschooling day ever for me.  I gave each child a schedule with their tasks.  They have 4 hours to get them done on this day.  Nobody was scheduled to use the piano at the same time.  I was able to help each one in turn.  They saw the correlation between doing their work and getting computer time.  It was great.

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Apparently I really like dissonance.  I've been working on a new tune for hymn"We are Sowing".  I asked several friends to look it over and they always want to take out my favorite garish dissonant chords.  It's like a flavor I enjoy but lack the skill to resolve.  I'm making progress on it though and I hope it will be lovely.

I do love resolution but like I said, I lack the skill to get there. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

I love to see the temple

M was able to participate in a youth temple trip today.  She's only 11!  She took a family history class and found 5 family names to take to the temple.  This was her Value project for Faith.  It's pretty awesome how she's chugging through the personal progress book.

On the way home we brought 2 other young women with us.  I had an awesome talk with C and preached the gospel of "give your self credit for the good you do."  I encouraged them to call just about everything a value experience.  If they read a book and found a good message in it, call it divine nature.  If they obeyed their family's rules, call it integrity. 

I didn't get my YW medallion because I thought I had to come up with extra projects to do on top of the 7 activities I was involved in during High School.    I'm not making that mistake this year.  I'm actually going to do a value project of reading to my boys.

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

This is on my heart lately because I recognize that if I invite the Lord into my life in every aspect, I can actually have his blessings and spirit with me in things that I might otherwise miss out on a blessing.  So with reading to my boys, if I make that act an offering to the Lord, he can bless me to have that be a treasured experience. 

I'm grateful for the gospel.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


I'm in a co-op and serving on the board.  Today we met and I was able to work out some solutions with these amazing women I serve with.  I'm so grateful to know them and thrilled that they are going to take up many things I've struggled with.  Yay!

I was hoping to serve at a leadership camp but the enrollment wasn't enough to hold the camp. 

I was helping with my dad's stuff but now I'm not.

I was invited to go to girls camp but it's the end of the calendar year for P's job so he can't take it off.

It's an interesting time.  Many very time consuming things are being lifted from me.

I read Little Bear to the boys tonight.  They were so delighted by it.  I'm glad B is still young enough to sweetly demand stories read to him.  I'm glad L is getting old enough to sweetly sit by me while we read.  This is the best possible use of my time.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Time is a gift

Time is a gift
fleeting and swift,
ticking and tocking itself away
itself a way of saying better beware.

Time is a gift
precious and rare,
take it and make of it all you can.
Use all you can there's not a moment to spare.

So take a second to look around
see a sight, hear a sound.
Take a minute to concentrate,
analyze, contemplate.
Take and hour and change the
fate of the world.

Time is a gift
given to you;
given to give you the time you need
the time you need to have the time of your life.

I've recently had some things drop out of my life that free up time.  I've been able to be with the children more as they work on their studies.  I've read more to them.  I'm grateful to have so much control over what I do with my time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


I took the Personal Finance class offered by my church at the end of 2017.  It really opened a new era of communication and tracking finances at our home.  Previously it was something I tried to do but didn't do well enough to not feel a lot of shame and it was bad for our marriage.  Now it's something we can work on together and that's good.

I decided to offer this class via chat room for my family and it's been good to be reminded of the principles and get back into shape.  It's also been fantastic to get into the habit of a weekly chat with my family members that participate.

In the last 6 months I've been using the credit card a lot and then documenting my purchases in a notebook.  I do think cash is the best method for me and that I buy more junk food when I'm using the card.  So as February approaches I decided to go back to a cash system.  The last two weeks I knew we didn't have much in the grocery budget left so we're being very thoughtful about what to buy.  I hope in February to spend grocery money on paper first.  I plan to do some Walmart pick up to get items I can't get at Save A Lot, without all the extra things we buy when we go to Walmart.  I also want to do the same at Sam's club, doing a pick-up order rather than browsing.

It's interesting using a discipline not because there is not enough money, but because you want to use the money other places.  I'm involving the children more in the accounting so that these practices of financial discipline can be part of their family tradition.

I hope that they can look back on their childhoods and remember awesome road trips, lots of reading, and chores.  I hope they remember that church, FHE and scripture study were consistent.  I hope they remember that service, and stewardship bring joy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Abounding in Wealth of relationships

I recently felt like I was just awash in great friendship.  A homeschool field trip became an outing to a restaurant, and I had such a good time.  A collaboration led to me feeling understood and capable.  My calling puts me in the sphere of wonderful women.  I'm coordinating a weekly chat that is well attended and very active.  I'm very grateful to be in this season of companionship and understanding.  It definitely feels like a swell.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

G town

Today we went to visit grandma L in Gtown.  We had lunch and dinner and lots of time hanging out with aunts L and E.  It is so nice to go and spend time with them.

While P took a nap we went out to D playground and it was wonderful.  The weather warmed up, and there was a strong breeze.  This playground is incredible and such a beautiful gathering place.  It feels almost like Central Park felt to me.  So many people were out there just enjoying this outdoor space together. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Come follow me week 2

Tonight we read about how Jesus was born and how his parents were given revelation to move to Egypt.

We shared stories of revelation from our own lives.

Today P felt prompted to take lP with him to G's honor roll assembly.  The rest of us were planning to go to a library event.  P talked himself out of taking lP.  A little while later I was trying to get lP to finish her work so we could go and she said she was feeling sick.  She had spun on the swing too much and couldn't finish her work.  So lP went to her room for the next 4 hours and we didn't go to the library event.

There is a very nice story in my black butterfly journal about P following a prompting for Sister C.

I shared an experience where I left Sacrament meeting for unknown reasons and was able to be the answer to a prayer by my friend who needed someone to hold her newborn so she could go to the bathroom.

I also shared my experience about praying whether I should like P or not.  The answer I got was that I should marry him.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Personal Progress

M is in YW!  We've made the goal to do the personal progress as best we can for this year.  I'm already planning some of my Value Projects based on 2 big events I'm going to be involved in.  One is to serve on staff at Woodbadge.  Another is to facilitate a Personal Finance class on the web with family that live far away.  These are 2 things that I am excited to do and will take a lot of time. 

I think that when I was young I was often confused.  I was so busy doing band, track, drama, Tae Kwon Do, Seminary, Young Womens and school.  I had the misconception that I had to come up with value projects that were outside these things I was already doing.  I didn't get my YW award.  Looking back, I wish I had understood that I could do the good things I was doing and involve the Lord more in my life by recognizing that doing those things I was already doing were building me in Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue(before it was even one of the values!).

As an adult I know how to do things I didn't know how to do back then, like use a calendar!  M wanted a planner and I wanted her to have a way to track and plan her personal progress so we went on a shopping trip.  We can even call it a value experience because we considered different options and went to another store and got the best value.  Yay for adulting!

I created this chart to get a feel for what takes a long time versus a short time.  M and I are marking on our calendars what we're working on over several weeks.  Right now I'm trying to be more careful with my media choices for a few more weeks. 

It's interesting to me to read these goals and think how easy these things are now that I have 20 years of practice.  Yet there is still room for improvement and it's good to be reminded in areas that may slip!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Rated R world

The world is not a place I'm comfortable.  There are so many things on the internet and books that are funny and then all of a sudden they 're talking about really bad things.  This makes me sad.

Monday, January 7, 2019

What we were promised

I really enjoyed reading "What we were promised" by Lucy Tan.  My father's family left China because of the Communist Reformation and I have a lot of curiosity about that history and what happened to regular people who stayed.  This book goes back and forth in time telling the tangled story that leads to the present reunion of brothers.  In the pages where it all unravels, I was bawling at the depiction of parental love, and how we don't appreciate the love we have because we are so busy chasing the love we think we want.

Sunday, January 6, 2019


 I'm so glad to be part of this family.  We stopped at the Manatee Observation and Education Center where there were 2 Manatee swimming in the inlet.  There were also neat fish and this gigantic hermit crab.  The previous carapace of the crab was 3 inches long!

 This was a great stop.  I'm glad the children had so much fun.
 We continued south and went to the Explorium in Boca Raton.  The playground there was more extensive than any I've ever been to. 
 The science displays and activities in the Explorium are so awesome.  They had a sound chamber to record the decibels of your scream.  G and P both got above 102 Db!
 We started spotting iguana as we drove south on the keys and it was sort of alarming as it became common to see a 4 ft lizard walking in the grass.  The children got competitive and claimed to have each sighted over 200!

We stood in line to get a photo at the southernmost point.  It was a long line but we did get this nice picture.  I like the selfie picture P took.  The lighting is great.  The line to take pictures with the marker was an interesting opportunity to watch people.  After waiting in line so long, some parties would take a group picture, then another 10+ photos of each person in the group, and couple shots.  It was nice to see that people were civil and took turns.
The place we stayed Thursday night was a little resort with cottages.  They had hammocks!
And a giant dinosaur!

We arrived at 5:30 as the sun was going down.  There were starfish in the water at the dock and the children enjoyed swimming as it got darker and darker.  The sunset was spectacular.  We spotted a sting ray off the dock that was about 2 feet wide.  It was really cool to see that in the wild.

We went to sleep early and woke up early to enjoy the kayaks, hammocks and breakfast before going to the glass bottom boat ride.

The glass bottom boat at Pennecamp was really great.  The drive out the captain drove 18MPH part of the way and it was crazy fast!  There were 2 glass areas to look out and see the reef.  We got to sit down and hang our legs over the side of the enclosure.  We saw a sea turtle, green eel, and so many beautiful fish.  The people in the other part of the boat got to see 2 nurse sharks.  The children were disappointed to miss that but were glad they got to see so many cool things.

Next we drove to the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Center in Juno Beach.  The older children participated in the Jr. Veterinarian class and the younger children discovered a playground and beach access directly behind the center.
It's so majestic to see Sea turtles in real life.  I'm so grateful we were able to take this trip as a family.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Road Trips and Kindles

We're trying to raise kids that can navigate the world.  We're going on a road trip tomorrow and hopefully the kids have packed the clothes they should.  The oldest 3 spent time tonight loading their kindles with books.  I love that they read.  I'm grateful for kindles that allow them to have hundreds of books in a little e-reader.

Fun times.