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.