Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Labor in the morning, service in the afternoon...


Today was an interesting day to say the least. And I am exhausted. Thankfully my little sister is here to help me out with the house and kiddos during these last few weeks of pregnancy. So last night, I was awakened not by a sick little baby, but my monster contractions... And a few other yucky labor symptoms, that I really don't want to go into detail with. {I mean if you're dying to know you can ask me and I'll tell you, But I'll spare the rest of the world}  I seriously thought I was about to deliver a kid on my bathroom floor. So, I was up for about 30-45 min. like that wondering what the heck I should do... I was thinking to myself I need to wake mike up, but they were the kind of contractions you can't breathe through or talk through. So, I said a quick little prayer, asking for some help, and soon after relief came. Just as I was going to wake Mike up to take me to the hospital, everything stopped. Well, I wont say stopped, the contractions spaced themselves out to about 15 min apart and I went back to sleep. I was already scheduled for a dr appt at 9:30 this morning, and really wanted to avoid a few hundred dollar Hospital trip. So I waited. Possibly not the smartest thing I've ever done, I'll admit that. So I get to the dr and she checks me, 1 cm dilated, and contracting every 3-6 minutes. And Brent's heart beat was really fast, low 200's and dipping with contractions. {I thought I was contracting about every 10. I have a really high tolerance for pain and just thought that it was Brent smooshing his butt against my belly really hard. I know, I've done this 3 times before, you'd think I'd know the difference.} So, after the initial NST (non stress test) Dr. Bing sent me over to L&D for another NST. Yep, still contracting. So, in hopes that I was maybe just dehydrated, I was filled up with some IV fluid. That didn't help. Still contracting. So A shot of terbutaline was given in hopes that would work. {by this time Brent's heart rate had come down to normal levels. But Nope still contracting, so another shot of terbutaline was given, and sure enough that one did the trick! So, once again, catastrophe avoided, and as of right now, we wont be having a 31 week preemie, thank heavens. Yeah, don't need those NICU bills, and definitely don't need the whole NICU baby mental anguish again...  So after a 5 hour Dr/hospital trip because I was in labor, I did what any crazy Mormon woman would do... I went to Costco to pick up the food for the homeless shelter that was needed for tonight. So, I went to Costco, then had to run to Walmart to get the hams. Well, Our walmart only had 3, I needed 5. So off to another Walmart, they had 2 left! Perfect I thought to myself... Until I bought them and got to the car and realized they were 2 weeks expired. So I had to go back in and return those...{I'll be honest, all blessings from doing this act of service may have been lost at this point, because I was pretty irritated} So on to Walmart number 3... Finally, 2 more hams that weren't expired. Mission accomplished. And for the record, I can't begin to describe to you how much I HATE Walmart. While I was laying in the hospital bed Mike sent me a text that said " You are a trooper love, Labor in the morning, service in the afternoon, Just another day in the life of an LDS woman." It made me laugh... And don't worry, I told him to stay at work. Anyways, It was a LONG day and I'm exhausted. My hand is bruised because the nurse wasn't fantastic at putting in IV's {that's putting it nicely, In reality it was the second worst IV I've ever had. The only one that tops it was the lady who tried 7 times and still had to call another nurse to come to my house and put it in.} My heart is still racing, and I'm still shaky from the medicine. But all in all, I'm super grateful for several things. 
  •  That they were able to stop my labor.
  • That this sweet little boy is okay.
  • That my little sister is here to clean my house, do my laundry and entertain my monsters... I just don't have the energy to right now. 
  • That my mom is always willing to drop whatever she would need to, to be there for me, if I needed her. I thankfully didn't need her today, but she was ready!
  • For my sweet Buby. I adore that man if you didn't know.
  • For the opportunities to serve those who are in greater need than I. Even if it means running to every walmart in Jacksonville. 
Remember, It could always be worse. If your 40 weeks pregnant, and so over it, Just Be grateful you can carry you baby that long. If you don't like what's for dinner, be grateful you have something to eat. If your husband is driving you crazy because he forgot to take the garbage out, well, Just be grateful that you have him. I'm sure he's good at lots of other important things. If your kids are driving you crazy, be grateful that they are healthy enough to drive you crazy. If your hand is bruised because you had a nurse that stunk at putting in IV's... Well, I'm still looking for the silver lining on that one... Count your many blessing my friends, name them one by one, And I promise you, It will surprise you what the Lord has done for you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First things first...get your water.

I have been asked a lot where do I start with my provident living. 
Well, I think the best answer is, Just start... Start somewhere. But I recommend you start with your 72 hour kit. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH WATER! We get so caught up in getting those dumb backpacks, and calorie counts that we totally forget about it. Water is way more important than the food, first aid or anything else you could put in. Store a 2 week’s supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). Buy 55 gallon barrels, get several 5-6 gallon jugs, or fill up empty soda/juice bottles. Make sure it is food grade plastic, but not milk jugs as they deteriorate too quickly! 
{I almost wrote Mike and I, which is kind of a joke, he funds the operations and that's about it} So I chose a 55 gallon tank from costco.com   
We also have about 25 gallons between gallon jugs, pints, and water bottles.

Branching out!

I have always been a lover of vegetables, but there are a ton of veggies or varieties of veggies I just didn't buy because I didn't know what to do with them, or was nervous that the rest of my family wouldn't eat them... So today was our delivery day for our Organic produce. And since I have some things I don't normally buy, I have to use it... Remember, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without?" Well, we are using it! Can I say YUM! So, for lunch I had the greatest tasting orange tomatoes, A million times better than red vine tomatoes...I could eat the whole dang bunch with a bit of sea salt! For dinner, we had these gems...
Purple potatoes. The purple spud's striking pigment is its nutritional crown and glory, courtesy of the antioxidant powerhouse anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple and blue colors of fruits and vegetables. This flavonoid has been shown in studies to possess anti-cancer and heart-protective effects, as well as benefits such as boosting the immune system and protecting against age-related memory loss. So, what do you have to loose? Try them! I tossed them in some olive oil with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper and roasted them at 375 for 25 min. DEEEE-lish. We had it with some lemon chicken breasts and dang it, I wish I'd had some green and white asparagus, it would have made it perfect! But we had to settle for peas because that's what we had. I have big plans for the rest of these babies. I'm going to try some Baked chips...
I've never tried to make them before, So we'll see how it goes. But aren't they pretty!
I'm super excited to use the rest of the food we got this week.
  • Tons of spinach, I love it, I could never have enough...
  • Purple potatoes
  • Fuji Apples
  • Bananas
  • squash
  • zuchinni
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • orange tomatoes
  • avocados
  • blueberries
  • nectarines
Yeah, I think I'm pretty much convinced to go to a once a week delivery. I think this is going to make it a lot easier for me to get out of my cooking routine {You know, making the same 5 things every week} And I also think that it will help me minimize my trips to the grocery store, hopefully that means less crap I don't need to throw into the cart, and more money in my pocket.

I am also thinking about a Quinoa banana pudding, for breakfasts...mmmmm....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My medicine cabinet

I cleaned out my medicine cabinet tonight... and thought I'd share some of my favorite remedies...

 Lavender Oil- I use it when nothing else will get rid of my headaches and migraines. It's magic. But seriously, Google it, It can be used for like a bazillion things. 
 
 Hylands kids kit- It has everything from teething tablets to bumps and bruises ointment.

 
B&T Cough and bronchial syrup-This stuff works great! This is what all cough medicine Should look like and taste like. No fake red dye, no Burning as you swallow...Yeah, I'm all about it. I use the kids variety as well. And there is no fight getting them to take this medicine. 
Little Champions kids multivitamin. I keep them in the freezer because they can get kind of messy and hard to get off the wrapper. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

100 days of real food.


I'm slightly obsessed with THIS BLOG right now.
I love love love these few things that stuck out to me, as I wasted an entire hour reading the whole blog.
I love that it's a lifestyle to be healthier and not just a "diet."
I love that she did whole local organic foods for just $125 a week for her family.
I love the idea of not eating any packaged food with more than 5 ingredients.
I loved that she did Easter with no crap. I loved the bread bunny.
I love that she explains that just because it's "organic" does not mean it's "healthy" I mean c'mon organic pop tarts? Let's be honest, It's crap just like an artificial processed poptart.

I know your probably thinking Kyrsten, your last post on Facebook was on fried cheese and sodium loaded turkey sticks. I know. I haven't been fantastic at eating clean the last few months... I'm pregnant. When I'm not pregnant. I don't cheat. But I will say this pregnancy has been much much easier, and I was not nearly as sick as I was with the others, and that's because I do stick pretty close to eating clean with the exception of a few weird pregnancy cravings. And when I did get sick it was because I ate something I shouldn't have... Think PF Changs lettuce wraps and chocolate cake. Anywho, I am so ready to be 100% about this again. However, I am not looking forward to giving up orange cheddar cheese... It's my weakness.
So you all know my dreams of having a BEAUTIFUL garden... Like So...
But until then I have my cute little earth box, That is actually doing fantastic! {I know, I'm surprised too} But obviously that won't grow enough produce for our family to live on. So until we have a great garden going, I have invested in an organic produce delivery service. Here's their site. It's $45 for 15 pounds of organic produce. And you can have it delivered once a week or every other week. For budget purposes, we did every other. We live on chicken breasts, rice, whole grain pasta and fresh produce anyways, So hopefully I can get to the point where I can get all of our meat (we don't eat meat with every meal either) and Milk for the kids, eggs and whatever else we need, For $35 per week, to stay within our grocery budget. Yes, It's going to make it tight. But I think I can do it. I don't have to buy meat every week because I buy organic chicken breasts in bulk, and I have stocked up on super lean ground turkey breast. We will see how it goes over the next few weeks. Between budget and meal planning, and not wasting any of the produce, It's going to be an experiment.

"brownies" aka protein bars.



Okay you need to try this recipe. I think I actually have my kids convinced that they are real brownies. We eat them for breakfast with a banana. So when my kids tell you I gave them brownies for breakfast, Don't think I've gone off the deep end. They freeze GREAT and you can take them with you if you are looking for healthy snacks that travel well. Seriously... make them.


Thank you Jamie Eason, as if she weren't my hero already!


She's five two, and about 110 pounds. But she is an animal in the weight room! I mean, 40 pound overhead shoulder presses... Yeah that's one handed with a dumbbell. And she can do 50 with a spotter! She writes a column for Oxygen magazine every month. And Ashlar and I have a woman crush on her. 
She writes...
"Unfortunately my stint as an NFL cheerleader ended prematurely. I found a suspicious lump in my breast which had characteristics of early stage cancer. Soon after, I had the neoplasm removed which took me out of the limelight and put me back behind a desk. It was not long before I noticed that my inactive lifestyle and poor nutrition were taking a toll on my body. In an attempt to shape up I joined a local gym and began going a few times a week. I would lift heavy, just as I did in college, but wasn’t getting the results I had previously gotten.
I longed for that toned athletic look but had no clue how to truly obtain it. It was not until I hired a personal trainer and visited a nutritionist that I ventured down my current path. They taught me the importance of exercise diversity and clean eating. Within a few disciplined months, my body began to transform. I felt amazing! I felt physically fit and emotionally, I had a true sense of accomplishment and well being.
This is your life. If you are not who you want to be, change it! It won’t be easy and it may take some time, but surround yourself with people who love and support you and go for it! No regrets! Only you dwell on your failures. Good luck and remember the inner strength you’ll achieve from adopting a healthy lifestyle far supersedes anything physical."



Chocolate Protein Bars

Calories:  96
Fat:  1.4 grams
Carbs:  12 grams
Protein: 10 grams

Ingredients:

1 cup Oat Flour (I use 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats, & put them in the blender to make oat flour)
4 Egg Whites
2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
½ cup Splenda, Truvia, or Ideal (truvia bakes up the best)
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
8oz Berry flavored Baby Food (I use applesauce)
3 tbsp Baking Cocoa
4oz Water
2 tea. vanilla extract
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, vanilla whey protein, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa) together in a large bowl.
3.     Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Splenda, Truvia, or Ideal, Berry flavored Baby Food,Water) together in a medium sized bowl.
4.     Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
5.     Spray cooking dish with a non stick butter spray and add batter to dish.
6.     Bake 20-30 minutes in oven.
Makes 16 squares, serving size=2 bars. 

Baking time is tricky, in my oven its 28 minutes, and I take them out while just the center is a tiny bit gooey still and not all the way baked. They finish cooking in the pan while they cool, as long as you don't take them out too early.  
You can also go here for some other yummy healthy recipes. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm not ruling anything out...

I recently read THIS article, and it made me think...

While I am not ruling anything out, I am only 24 after all. But this article made me stop and think... Am I really done having kids? Is number 4 really the last one? Mike says yes. Absolutely no more. It would take a Moses and the burning bush incident to convince him other wise. I kept saying one more... one more. 5 was always the number I wanted. But really, for now, I think 4 is a good number. The line that stuck out to me in that article was "I was one of seven, and I had a mother that constantly shut down or freaked out because she was so overwhelmed with us. She literally could not mother us adequately."
I don't want that to be me. I'll admit that there have been times that I have been so overwhelmed that I had to call my mom or Mike to come take care of the kids. While yes, some of it may have been postpartum depression, or just being pregnant and hormonal, I'm not sure that that was the entire reason. 3 kids ages 4 and under is a lot to manage. I mean, I have 3 very soon to be 4 kids who can't tie their own shoes, or wipe their own bums. Please don't misunderstand this, Most days are good days. But there have been times when they get frustrated at me because they have a need that has to be fulfilled and they have to wait in line because I am so outnumbered. I don't want them to grow up thinking that they weren't a priority because I just had so many others to take care of. I want them to be afforded all the opportunities they deserve. I don't want to have so many that I can't afford financially to give them dance lessons, or sports, summer camps, or music lessons. And at 4, we're looking at a pretty penny to give them each those opportunities. And I surely don't want to have so many that I can't give them the individual attention that they deserve. Right now, I know I can handle 4, And be the mom I want to be. Clean house, clean kids, fun activities, a happy mom, and satisfied kids. I'm not so confident about 5. I know that there are people who can mother several kids fabulously. However, I don't think that I am one who could be the kind of mother I want to be with more than 4. I would love to think that I could be super woman and give 6 or 7 of them everything that they deserve, But reality sets in and I don't know if I could do that. While I do think that I could manage to love, provide basic temporal needs, discipline,  and teach the gospel in my home to several. But for, maybe some selfish reasons, I don't think I want more. I don't want to be pregnant again, and I know for a fact Mike doesn't want me to be pregnant again. For several reasons. One, I turn into a mental nightmare for a while during pregnancy and right after, and it's gotten worse with every kid. Second, It's physically very hard for me to be pregnant. I don't know if my body could take another one. And third, Well, I Just really hate being pregnant. I don't know, I'm still not ruling anything out, But I will say that at least for a while, I am at maximum capacity, I think... I do know one thing... I LOVE being a mom. I know that that is my calling in life. To how many... I don't know the answer to that, and I'm okay with not knowing the answer to that for a while... A very wise man once told Mike, "you know its really hard to know when you have enough kids, however, It's really easy to know when you have one too many..."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

VT for June.

Okay so the visiting teaching message this month is on provident living! I was excited. So here's what I threw together for this months lesson. yeah, not every month is like this. I just happen to love this topic.
Here is the link to the cute little hand out.

And here is the recipe for the cookie mix in a jar.
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar

Layer those into the jar, flour, oatmeal, chocolate chips, brown sugar, white sugar, powder, soda, salt.
Make sure to put the directions on the jar or on the handout.

To that add
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter {melted and cooled}
1 Tablespoon vanilla. Yes you read that right, All of my cookies have obscene amounts of vanilla.

Mix that all together {you may have to use your hands to incorporate it all. I don't do this one in my mixer}

Use a cookie scoop and then bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. It makes 24 cookies.

I love him!



I totally love my husband. He had to run into work this morning to deliver a a vehicle, and the plan was as soon as he got home we would take the kids swimming. Well, He got home at around noon and by then the smoke was so bad that there was no way we could be out there. So he gathered them around the coffee table and asked them who they could ask for help. They decided that a prayer would be a good option. So they knelt down and offered a prayer that the smoke would clear enough at some point in the day that they could go swimming and play with daddy on his day off. So we made cookies and watched a movie to pass the time. A few hours went by and the smoke had started to clear a bit, but still not enough to let them play outside. So Mike gathered them around the table again and opened the scriptures and read to them Doctrine and Covenants 101:81 "for men ought always to pray and not to faint." Another prayer was offered, gratitude given for the progress that had been made, and another request that the smoke would clear up a bit more. I love that he takes the opportunity to teach them, to help them learn of the gospel and gives them opportunities to build their testimonies. I love him. I love them, and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love our life.

Be of good cheer.

 

Be of Good Cheer: Choosing Happiness


Challenges have always been part of mortality and God’s plan for our growth. Through the power of the Atonement, we can still “be of good cheer.”
To the paralytic man lying helpless on a bed, Jesus proclaimed, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 9:2). To the frightened Apostles battling the tempestuous sea, Jesus appeared on the water, declaring, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 14:27). As Joseph Smith met with 10 elders about to be sent out on missions fraught with trouble and danger, the Lord announced, “Be of good cheer” (D&C 61:36). In each instance the people had every reason to be anxious, fearful, and hopeless, yet the Lord directed them toward a reason to rejoice.
How does the Lord’s admonition of cheer sound in our world today? When economic uncertainties, terrorist threats, and corruption provide top stories for the evening news, how can the good news of the gospel intervene? When we experience personal loss in so many ways and on so many days, what is left to be cheerful about?

The Key to Cheerfulness

We find the key to understanding this seeming contradiction in the context of the Last Supper. Speaking to the Apostles in His final moments before Gethsemane, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained: “The unimaginable agony of Gethsemane was about to descend upon Jesus; Judas’ betrayal was imminent. Then would come Jesus’ arrest and arraignment; the scattering of the Twelve like sheep; the awful scourging of the Savior; the unjust trial; the mob’s shrill cry for Barabbas instead of Jesus; and then the awful crucifixion on Calvary. What was there to be cheerful about? Just what Jesus said: He had overcome the world! The atonement was about to be a reality. The resurrection of all mankind was assured. Death was to be done away with—Satan had failed to stop the atonement.” 1
Christ’s enabling power helps us feel happiness and cheer amid mortal gloom and doom. Misfortune and hardship lose their tragedy when viewed through the lens of the Atonement. The process could be explained this way: The more we know the Savior, the longer our view becomes. The more we see His truths, the more we feel His joy.
Consider two false assumptions that, if pursued, will block our appreciation of and access to the Lord’s divine assistance.

False Assumption 1: We Can Avoid Tribulation

First is the false assumption that, if we are good enough, we can avoid having bad things happen to us and those we love. If we can just keep all of the commandments, pay an honest tithing, and have daily prayer and scripture study, we can assure ourselves of His protection from heartache, accident, or tragedy. But trials will surely come, including when we are trying to do everything right.
If we believe that God will shield us from tribulation because of our obedience and then adversity strikes, we may be tempted to accuse God of not hearing our prayers or, worse, of not honoring His promises. Obedience to God is not insurance against pain and sadness. Challenges have always been included in God’s great plan to test our faith and to help us grow in humility and compassion.
The Apostle Paul acknowledged, “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, … to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Part of Christ’s mission is to heal broken hearts. He came to wipe away our tears, not to ensure that we would never weep (see Revelation 7:17). He clearly promised, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33).

False Assumption 2: We Can Trust in Our Own Efforts

A second false assumption might come from misunderstanding 2 Nephi 25:23—“It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” We mistakenly deduce that we must first prove our worth through our obedience and righteousness before the Lord’s sacrifice will cover us or His grace enable us.
We may come to believe that we can and should trust in our own efforts rather than humbly acknowledge God. This is self-righteousness. When we look through the lens of our righteousness and take comfort in our good efforts, the idea of depending wholly on Christ (see 2 Nephi 31:19; Moroni 6:4) seems a bit risky.
Unwittingly, when we reason this way, we sound eerily similar to Korihor, the anti-Christ from the Book of Mormon, who taught that “every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and … conquered according to his strength” (Alma 30:17), thereby arguing that his listeners had no need for Christ and His Atonement.
Such thinking easily leads to justifying wrongdoing because we think we are in control; we think we know better than others, and sin is not a problem for us. If we can just get control over our world—our addictions in all their varieties, our eating disorders and obsession with thinness, our insistence that our house always be immaculate, our fascination with outward evidence of education and success—then we can finally be cheerful.
Christ declared, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33; emphasis added).

Be of Good Cheer

Cheerfulness in the scriptural context connotes a divinely assured optimism, “a deep trust in God’s unfolding purposes,” a grounded conviction that God will always keep His promises. 2 When Christ proclaims, “Be of good cheer,” He is not requesting a na├»ve, Pollyanna-like response to life’s cruel twists and turns. Nor is He promising a pain-free life of constant bliss. Trial is no respecter of persons. Tragedy and hardship do not discriminate. Our world sees opposition among rich and poor, men and women, the righteous as well as the wicked. The Savior specifically prayed that God would not take us “out of the world” (John 17:15). “In this world your joy is not full,” He taught, “but in me your joy is full” (D&C 101:36). True happiness and satisfaction are found only by turning away from the world and coming to Christ.
Only after Sariah feared the loss of her sons and then saw their deliverance did she come to her own deeper conviction of the Lord and His plans. She declared:
“Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them” (1 Nephi 5:8).
She discovered that Christ’s grace was sufficient. And when her sons returned to their father’s tent, Nephi reported, “My mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad” (1 Nephi 5:1). Naturally such gladness came because her sons returned safely. But such joy is also evident in her witness that the Lord’s power enabled her sons to do good works that they otherwise would not have been able to do if left to their own means.
After suffering physical and emotional persecution throughout years of missionary labors, Paul landed in a Roman prison and then declared:
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11–13).
The Lord clearly promises, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). When we acknowledge that we each face difficulties, that the Savior overcame the world, that He has lifted and strengthened and given vision to each of us in very personal ways, we will realize that we are never alone. We will feel a peace within even though the crisis without still rages. We will be filled with hope and even cheer.

Christ Has Overcome the World

As mentioned before, Jesus Christ has indeed overcome the world. As darkness has no power when light appears, so the world cannot overcome the Light of the World (see John 1:5). He is the Victor, come to earth “with healing in his wings” (3 Nephi 25:2) for all humankind. He will not forsake us.
As a mother hen covers her chicks with her wings, so the Redeemer will surround us with His comprehensive power if we will come to Him (see Matthew 23:37). There is room under those wings for all of us, for He declares:
“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come” (D&C 68:6).
True, we live in a time of war, a day of conflicts and terrors not only among nations but within our own hearts. But He who is the Balm of Gilead (see Jeremiah 8:22) is the Lord of all creation; only in Him are peace and serenity found. Amid all our mortal gloom and doom, Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Come, let us rejoice.

I think you know how I feel about this already. We choose our happiness. We either focus on what we have and the blessings that have been so graciously bestowed upon our heads, and live with a cheerful, grateful heart, focusing on the blessings that can come through adversity, and live happily.  Or we choose to wallow in self pity, questioning God's will, and focusing on the things that we lack or the trials we have been given. I know that we all have trials. For some it may be financially, for some it may be health related, for others, mourning the loss of loved ones, some may find themselves in situations beyond their control, the victim of another persons choice, whatever Hardship we find ourselves in there is nothing that the atonement of our savior cannot overcome. Be of good cheer. Things will get better, and you will be grateful when you look back at the trails you have been given. If you rely on the savior, they will bring you closer to him, and give you a greater understanding of who he is and his sacrifice for you will become personal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Remember who you are. A daughter of a King.

 
As you develop faith in the plan of salvation, faith that Jesus is the Christ and that he atoned for you, & that you are a literal daughter of God,
You gain a testimony of your divine nature. Who you really are. A daughter of a King. Every noble characteristic that makes us better daughters, sisters, friends, wives, & mothers make up our divine nature. We have the glorious potential to become like our Heavenly Parents. They are good, pure, loving, fair, patient, all-knowing, and all-powerful. You are a princess, daughter and heir to a literal father who lives in heaven.
Our individual worth is what makes us unique. An essential part of our masters perfect plan. But if we don't allow ourselves opportunities to find who WE are and what makes us different, Who WE want to become, not who our peers or society want us to be, We allow Satan to creep into our lives, and rob us of something vital to our confidence. Allowing him to work through our insecurities and gain power over us. Only through our knowledge of who we are and of our relationship with our Father in Heaven and Savior do we gain the confidence and ability to stand up to the wiles and temptations of the adversary. This knowledge gives us the confidence to make the choices that allow the spirit to continually abide with us, allowing him the opportunity to warn us, to testify to our souls of truth, to comfort, and to guide us in every moment of our mortal life. By choosing to follow the guidelines the Lord has set, we hold ourselves accountable to a higher standard than the world, therefore, receiving blessings as our reward. Instead of choosing to bend the rules, or willingly disobey, and receive the consequences of our actions. Remember that you are a daughter of God, and that every decision you make either draws you closer of farther away from your goal of eternal life and pleasing your father. You are a choice spirit saved for the last days, to be a light to the world. Don't make decisions that are contrary to who you are, a literal daughter of a heavenly king! Making you a princess. Born to share good works with the world, through your example, through your service, and through the light that shines in your countenance. Never compromising your standards, and being full of integrity. Being proud to stand as a witness of God, In all things and in all places and at all times. Keeping yourself clean, un-spotted from the temptations and sins of the world, being an example of a virtuous woman, to those around you. So that you may enter into the house of the Lord and present yourself at the alter, to your worthy priesthood holder, a virtuous woman, full of Christ's image in your countenance. Giving him, and your father in Heaven the confidence and knowledge that you will rear children in righteousness, after the manner that you've chosen to live your life. Being an example to the world.

All of these attributes strive for one goal. To prepare you to enter into the holy temple and continue the journey to Celestial glory. By learning and practicing the small and simple things in your daily life and applying them to every small decision you make. By growing confidence, building our trust in our father in heaven, Sincere personal prayer, daily seeking the knowledge contained in the scriptures, We learn to be all that the Lord would have us to be. Knowing that we are his daughters. Gaining a personal relationship, father to daughter.

Command central

As I'm sure you know, I'm totally a type A personality, and I like things in order and I like to visually see organization. In the next house {because I don't have a wall big enough in this house} I will set up command central. I want it to be a place where everyone can look and see what we have going on, So I don't have to spend hours explaining and answering questions. Chores that need done, how they should be done, the monthly calendar, upcoming events, a place to put the mail, etc.

I want it to start with something like this...
I want 1/2 of it turned into a calendar and the other half left for notes. Like Mikes to do list. He hates when I give him a job and before he's done I give him another one. He prefers I just write it down and let him do it at his own pace.

Plus a cute magnetic board to put papers from school that need signed or whatever else I need to look at and don't want getting lost when a kid lays it on a counter.

Plus a place to put the days menu... I don't want to have to answer 5 times when I'm asked repeatedly by 5 different people.

A designated place to put the mail. No matter who checks it they will put it here, So I know it gets to me.

I love these ideas for house hold rules!
A place to put the keys
Of course it won't be complete without a little Pottery Barn.
All arranged beautifully on the wall.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A sandwich that will make your mouth happy.

Our poor little LaLa is sick today. She seems to be on the up swing of things, but is still super clingy and lovey. I don't mind so much! I never get to hold this little one. She's a total daddy's girl. Blake is watching a movie and the girls are asleep. I could and really should be folding laundry in this quiet time, But I'm not. I'm eating lunch. You should try this...


 Herbed mayo {I don't eat mayo I use 0% Greek yogurt, garlic, pesto, salt, and pepper}, honey mustard, Boars head honey maple turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado, and sharp cheddar cheese.
I know it's SUPER healthy with bacon and cheese but hey, I'm pregnant and LOVE cheese and have a weird obsession with bacon lately {which is really weird, I normally HATE it}. So, in 8 weeks I'll post so many healthy recipes you'll hate me.




Add a side of grapes, strawberries, and carrots and MMMMM......

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How can you mess this many things up?

Remember when I said that I wasn't perfect? And that there are a lot of things that I mess up, or turn out like crap? Well, today has been one of those days. Actually the last 2 days have been that. I don't know if it's because I have pregnant brain and clumsiness or if I'm really just an idiot. Lets start with yesterday. I went to make Kynzi some more onesies, {she lives in these right now, I can have 5 outfits for her for $10, It's cheap and it's hot outside, so I don't want to get her dressed up anyways} So I was making a ruffle bum onesie, {you can find a tutorial on how to make one here.}

Any who, I wasn't paying attention and wasted like 10 minutes sewing while my bobbin was out of thread... UGH! So annoying. So there was mistake number one. second, I mis measured and had to unpick one row of ruffles and re stitch it.
So then I decided to attempt homemade french bread. It was actually pretty good. But it surely wasn't up to my standards. Hello? I grew up eating the queen of all bread makers bread. So unfortunately for me, I  compare everything I bake to my mothers. And this bread wasn't as good as hers. Fortunately for me, Mike didn't grow up on homemade bread, and honestly I don't know if he had ever had it before we met. So he really doesn't have anything to compare it to, So he thought it was great! And the kids ate it, So I guess it wasn't a total failure.  We slapped some homemade jam on it, So that makes anything taste good right? I think I just added maybe a little too much flour or didn't let it rise long enough the second time. Or maybe that particular recipe is supposed to be "heartier." It was just a bit more dense than I like it to be. I don't know, I'll have to experiment with it.
  Okay, So those two incidents pale in comparison to this... I ruined 3 pans of homemade mac n cheese. And in the process of grating the cheese I took a huge chunk of skin out of my palm. I've made baked homemade mac n cheese dozens of times and never messed it up. Not today though. Attempt one I read the measurements wrong and added like 3x the amount of flour the roux called for, And didn't realize it until I wasted an entire block of cheese into the mixture. Attempt number two I forgot to take the pan off the burner when I added the cheese and it seized up and got hard and clumpy... Annoying. Third times a charm right? WRONG. By this time I'm almost totally out of cheese and can't mess up again. Well, I didn't mess up. I just dropped the dumb pan. We are going out to Mikes parents house in a bit and so I was using a disposable aluminum  pan and it basically bent in half, dumping out the mac n cheese. So not only did I waste like $8 in cheese, I also had to clean up the mess... needless to say, I am not trying again today and we will be eating boxed mac n cheese with our steak. {Well they will, I won't be eating steak} But it is probably some kinda karma thing, because Mike actually prefers boxed mac n cheese and it is his day after all. Serves me right I guess.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'm almost tempted to stay away from all domestic duties until this pregnancy brain goes away.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My maternity shoot. My thoughts.

 First let me start by saying, I have the worlds greatest photographer. Miss Daisy Mai. I could never say enough wonderful things about her and her work. Second, I've never really taken pictures while I have been pregnant. And don't intend to be pregnant again, so I figured why not go all out? Pregnancy is not my favorite time of life. And It's really hard for me to love my body, when I look in the mirror and don't recognize it. 60-80 pounds more than I normally weigh, a dark line down my belly, and well, stretch marks that stand out more than normal, and turn weird colors. I know that it's a beautiful time of life and a very exciting season, but it still doesn't make it easier to love yourself the way you are. Bless his heart Mike is so sweet. He tells me I am beautiful all the time and swears he is still attracted to me. I totally believe him too. I told him the other day he was such a weirdo for being attracted to pregnant ladies, he quickly replied, I'm not attracted to pregnant ladies, I'm attracted to you. He's sweet.
  Well, that being said, I still don't LOVE the way my pregnant body looks. I think I have always been  self conscious of the way I look. My entire life I have been told I am beautiful...But it usually ended there. I was never the sweet, nice girl, and I have never been looked at as the girl who had a brilliant mind, and usually when I say something stupid, The response is... you sure are pretty... Which, I'll be honest, I don't mind, but it my head, it just meant that I always have to look pretty because that's who I was. It defined me. {You may be thinking, oh yeah I feel real bad you for because you are considered a pretty girl, We all have insecurities. No matter what. And, Well, It's my blog, and my place to put how I feel, so if you don't like it, don't read it.} {If you had questions on why I was never considered the nice sweet girl, now you know. lol} It really doesn't matter how other people see you, it matters how you see yourself. And I can say, It's taken me a really long time to really believe that I am beautiful. And It's not for the reason that you would think. I didn't start knowing that I was beautiful until I really understood who I was, and what beautiful meant. A literal daughter of a heavenly king, who conducts herself in a matter pleasing to the Lord, who aligns her will with his. And knowing that my physical appearance isn't what makes me beautiful. I can say that I am confident in the woman that I am, beautiful inside and out. And being beautiful on the outside doesn't matter a lick if you are ugly on the inside. And if you are beautiful on the inside and confident in the person that you are, it reflects in your physical appearance. I don't mean in a prideful way, I mean in a way that shows you know who you are and have the respect for yourself that your father in heaven has for you. And that you take care of and respect one of the greatest gifts our father has given us. Our physical body.

 Yes, I love getting dressed up. I love high heels, I love makeup, I love fake tans, I love fake eyelashes, and pretty accessories. But they don't define me as beautiful.

 And yes, I think the pictures are beautiful, but not because of me, or my big ol' pregnant body. But because it's capturing the sacrifice that we make, to bring our father in heavens children into this world. Very briefly if you didn't know, I was very sick with Blake, and could have died, within a few extra minutes if I had not had the medical care that I did. It's a long story. Lexi's pregnancy was almost exactly the same. Home nurses, IV's in my living room, medicine pumps in my legs. It was extremely painful physically and mentally. I cried to the Lord many times to take the pain from me. To ease my burdens, and I am ashamed to say sometimes I prayed that if it were the Lords will, that I wouldn't be able to continue with the pregnancy. I am glad the Lord allows us to suffer. Those two sweet children are worth every second of my agony. And I can tell you that through those experiences I know that the atonement of our savior is real.







No, I don't think that my body is perfect, but I think it's beautiful. And I am working hard to embrace the stretch marks, dimples on my thighs, and less than toned arms. These sweet babies are worth it. They bring such joy into my heart and happiness into my life. The reward is much worth the sacrifice.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The things that matter the most.



What matters most to me...
My relationship with my savior 
The scriptures
Being a blessing in the lives of others through service 
Trying my best to be a example and influence for good
Being the best mother I can be to my children
Making their life happy
Enjoying and making memories with them
Teaching them the gospel
Cultivating learning opportunities for them
Providing for my childrens spiritual and temporal needs
 Being the wife my husband deserves
Being a support and helpmeet for him
Everything else can wait.



A provident plan, a precious promise.

I've been asked by many of you, some not of my faith, Why I am so focused on food storage and provident living. I think I've come up with an answer that provides a more temporal answer than the answer that is obvious to me, which is that it's what our latter day prophets have counseled us to do. So I do it. Our churches stand is that we need to be self reliant and not depend on or expect others to provide for our needs. And be in a position to help others when hard times come. Our church has a phenomenal welfare program, and I would dare say the best organization in the world. All run by donations, and volunteers. That helps millions of people around the world learn to help themselves. Think of a world where everyone took that counsel into their homes. 


A Provident Plan—
A Precious Promise

President Thomas S. Monson
Image


" Today, April 6, 1986, is a day of history. One hundred fifty-six years ago The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. Numbers were few. Circumstances were modest. But the future beckoned. In Solemn Assembly this afternoon, President Ezra Taft Benson will be sustained by our hearts and souls, as well as by our uplifted hands, as the thirteenth President of the Church. Prayers of thanksgiving will be offered, words of wisdom provided, and songs of praise sung. Strains of “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” and “How Firm a Foundation” will emanate from this Tabernacle and reverberate throughout the lands of the earth.
It was fifty years ago this very day that the prophets of God outlined the general principles which became the “firm foundation” of the Church welfare plan. In a specially called and momentous meeting presided over by President Heber J. Grant and his counselors—J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay—watershed statements were presented and heaven-inspired counsel provided which have endured the passage of time, which have been rendered valid by the verdict of history, and which bear the seal of God’s approval.
On that occasion, President David O. McKay declared, “This organization is established by divine revelation, and there is nothing else in all the world that can so effectively take care of its members.” (In Henry D. Taylor, “The Church Welfare Plan,” 1984, p. 26.)
President J. Reuben Clark set the tone for the launching of this inspired effort by counseling: “[The Lord] has given us the spirituality. He has given us the actual command. … The eyes of the world are upon us. … May the Lord bless you, give us courage, give us wisdom, give us vision to carry out this great work.” (Taylor, p. 27.)
Fifty years have come and gone. Economic cycles have run their course. Societal changes have been numerous. The Church has expanded beyond the valleys of the mountains to the uttermost reaches of the earth. Membership is measured in millions. The word of God, provided on that historic day, is as an island of constancy in a sea of change.
Let us, for a moment, review the moorings, the underpinnings, even the foundation of the welfare program. Said the First Presidency in that year of announcement: “Our primary purpose was to set up, insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)
The holy scriptures leave no doubt concerning the responsibility to care for the poor, the needy, the downtrodden. The organization has been perfected, the duties defined, and the guidelines given.
I am profoundly grateful to my Heavenly Father for the privilege which has been mine to be tenderly taught and constantly counseled by the prophets of the program.
As a publisher and printer, I had the opportunity to assist President J. Reuben Clark in the preparation of his manuscript which became the monumental book Our Lord of the Gospels. What a blessing was mine to learn daily at the feet of such a master teacher and principle architect of the welfare program. Knowing that I was a newly appointed bishop presiding over a difficult ward, he emphasized the need for me to know my people, to understand their circumstances, and to minister to their needs. One day he recounted the example of the Savior as recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
“And it came to pass … that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him. …
“When he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. …
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
“And he came and touched the bier. … And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
“And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.” (Luke 7:11–15.)
When President Clark closed the Bible, I noticed that he was weeping. In a quiet voice, he said, “Tom, be kind to the widow and look after the poor.”
On one occasion, President Harold B. Lee, who was a stake president in the area where I was born and reared and later presided as a bishop, spoke movingly to the Aaronic Priesthood concerning how the priesthood might prepare for its role in caring for the poor. He stood at the pulpit, took the Book of Mormon in hand, and opened it to the seventeenth chapter of Alma. He then read to us concerning the sons of Mosiah:
“Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
“But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” (Alma 17:2–3.)
We had been given our pattern, provided by an inspired teacher. Reverently, he closed the covers of this sacred scripture. Like President Clark, he too had tears in his eyes.
Just a few days ago I visited with President Marion G. Romney, known throughout the Church for his ardent advocacy and knowledge of the welfare program. We spoke of the beautiful passage from Isaiah concerning the true fast:
“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” (Isa. 58:7.)
As did President Clark, as did President Lee, President Romney wept as he spoke.
Appearing as a golden thread woven through the tapestry of the welfare program is the truth taught by the Apostle Paul: “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2 Cor. 3:6.)
President Ezra Taft Benson frequently counsels us: “Remember, Brethren, in this work it is the Spirit that counts.”
What has the Lord said about the spirit of this work? In a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph at Kirtland, Ohio, in June of 1831, He declared: “Remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, for he that doeth not these things, the same is not my disciple.” (D&C 52:40.)
In that marvelous message delivered by King Benjamin, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, we read: “For the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally.” (Mosiah 4:26.)

When we depart from the Lord’s way in caring for the poor, chaos comes. Said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Political Analysis, as reported this year in a Dallas, Texas, newspaper:

“The USA’s welfare system is a disaster. It is creating poverty, not destroying it. It subsidizes divorce, unwed teenage pregnancy, the abandonment of elderly parents by their children, and the wholesale dissolution of the family. The reason? We pay people to be poor. Private charities have always been better at providing relief where it is truly needed.”

In 1982 it was my privilege to serve as a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives. Meeting in the White House with prominent leaders assembled from throughout the nation, President Reagan paid tribute to the welfare program of the Church. He observed: “Elder Monson is here representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If, during the period of the Great Depression, every church had come forth with a welfare program founded on correct principles as his church did, we would not be in the difficulty in which we find ourselves today.” President Reagan praised self-sufficiency; lauded our storehouse, production, and distribution system; and emphasized family members assisting one another. He urged that in our need we turn not to government but rather to ourselves.

On another occasion in the White House, I was asked to present to a gathering of America’s religious leaders an example of our welfare program in action. I could have chosen many illustrations, but selected as typical our response to the Teton Dam disaster in Idaho. The result was dramatic. As the First Presidency stated fifty years ago, “The eyes of the world are upon us.” While this is a most important consideration, let us particularly remember that the eyes of God are similarly focused. What might He observe?

Are we generous in the payment of our fast offerings? That we should be so was taught by President Spencer W. Kimball, who urged that “instead of the amount saved by our two or more meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—ten times more [be given] when we are in a position to do it.” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 79.)

Are we prepared for the emergencies of our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have on hand our reserve supply? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord?
As we look back through fifty years and reflect on the development of the welfare program, as we look forward to the years ahead, let us remember the place of the priesthood, the role of the Relief Society, and the involvement of the individual. Help from heaven will be ours.
On a cold winter’s night in 1951, there was a knock at my door. A German brother from Ogden, Utah, announced himself and said, “Are you Bishop Monson?” I answered in the affirmative. He began to weep and said, “My brother, his wife, and family are coming here from Germany. They are going to live in your ward. Will you come with us to see the apartment we have rented for them?”
On the way to the apartment, he told me he had not seen his brother for many years. Through the holocaust of World War II, his brother had been faithful to the Church, once serving as a branch president before the war took him to the Russian front.
I observed the apartment. It was cold and dreary. The paint was peeling, the wallpaper soiled, the cupboards empty. A forty-watt bulb, suspended from the living room ceiling, revealed a linoleum floor covering with a large hole in the center. I was heartsick. I thought, “What a dismal welcome for a family which has endured so much.”
My thoughts were interrupted by the brother’s statement, “It isn’t much, but it’s better than they have in Germany.” With that, the key to the apartment was left with me, along with the information that the family would arrive in Salt Lake City in three weeks—just two days before Christmas.
Sleep was slow in coming to me that night. The next morning was Sunday. In our ward welfare committee meeting, one of my counselors said, “Bishop, you look worried. Is something wrong?”
I recounted to those present my experience of the night before, revealing the details of the uninviting apartment. There were a few moments of silence. Then Brother Eardley, the group leader of the high priests, said, “Bishop, did you say that apartment was inadequately lighted and that the kitchen appliances were in need of replacement?” I answered in the affirmative. He continued, “I am an electrical contractor. Would you permit the high priests of this ward to rewire that apartment? I would also like to invite my suppliers to contribute a new stove and a new refrigerator. Do I have your permission?”
I answered with a glad “Certainly.”
Then Brother Balmforth, the seventies president, responded, “Bishop, as you know, I’m in the carpet business. I would like to invite my suppliers to contribute some carpet, and the seventies can easily lay it and eliminate that worn linoleum.”
Then Brother Bowden, the president of the elders quorum, spoke up. He was a painting contractor. He said, “I’ll furnish the paint. May the elders paint and wallpaper that apartment?”
Sister Miller, the Relief Society president, was next to speak. “We in the Relief Society cannot stand the thought of empty cupboards. May we fill them?”
The three weeks which followed are ever to be remembered. It seemed that the entire ward joined in the project. The days passed, and at the appointed time, the family arrived from Germany. Again at my door stood the brother from Ogden. With an emotion-filled voice, he introduced to me his brother, his brother’s wife, and their family. Then he asked, “Could we go visit the apartment?” As we walked up the staircase leading to the apartment, he repeated, “It isn’t much, but it’s more than they have had in Germany.” Little did he know what a transformation had taken place and that many who had participated were inside waiting for our arrival.
The door opened to reveal a newness of life. We were greeted by the aroma of freshly painted woodwork and newly papered walls. Gone was the forty-watt bulb, along with the worn linoleum it had illuminated. We stepped on carpet deep and beautiful. A walk to the kitchen presented to our view a new stove and new refrigerator. The cupboard doors were still open; however, they now revealed every shelf filled with food. As usual, the Relief Society had done its work.
In the living room, we began to sing Christmas hymns. We sang “Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 204.) We sang in English; they sang in German. At the conclusion, the father, realizing that all of this was his, took me by the hand to express his thanks. His emotion was too great. He buried his head in my shoulder and repeated the words, “Mein Bruder, mein Bruder, mein Bruder.”
It was time to leave. As we walked down the stairs and out into the night air, snow was falling. Not a word was spoken. Finally, a young girl asked, “Bishop, I feel better than I have ever felt before. Can you tell me why?”
I responded with the words of the Master: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.) Suddenly there came to mind the words from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”:
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
(Hymns, 1985, no. 208.)
Silently, wondrously, His gift had been given. Lives were blessed, needs were met, hearts were touched, and souls were saved. A provident plan had been followed. A precious promise had been fulfilled.
I testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that we are led by a prophet, that sacrifice does indeed bring forth the blessings of heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. "

So the best answer I can give is that I don't want to be reliant on others to provide for my family if Mike's job were lost, or If he were injured. Especially the government. {That whole system is a HOT MESS. I'm sorry when I am couponing to fulfill my family's needs and the lady behind me has her EBT card paying for her groceries, But has her hair and nails done and a Louis Vuitton purse, Something is seriously screwed up with America. Can you tell it bothers me? We do, In America we freaking pay people to be lazy and poor.} And I also want to have enough for my family that we don't have to worry about our needs and can focus on blessing the lives of those who have found themselves in hardships, despite their honest efforts. How can you bless someone with the needs of this world, food, money, clothes, etc. If you are worried about how to feed or clothe yourself? You aren't in a position to receive the blessings that the Lord has to pour upon you when you feed the hungry and clothe the naked. I'm not saying that there aren't other ways you can help people, spiritually or by giving of your time or talents, But I am saying that there are certain laws that go with certain blessings, and the Lord is bound to those. If you can't or don't bless the lives of others, You can't receive the blessings associated with that. So to sum it up, I need the blessings...lol. And I want to be obedient and pattern my life after the mortal saviors ministry. In order to do that I have to have my life in order temporally and spiritually.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am turning into my mother...

WoOoOoOo HoOoOoO! I can't tell you how excited I am. Today we got our Earth Box. We had to start from seed, because the only plants at the nursery were peppers. Yuck. So, Here's hoping it goes well. And in a few/several weeks, hopefully we will have some squash, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. Shoot, I'll be happy if we get even one of those! I think I'm going to get an additional box and try some melons... We will see. Amazon also had a great deal {$6} on the topsy turvey planter, So we got a strawberry one for this year, and a tomato one for winter.
I would put up pictures, but there really isn't much to see. So I'l keep you updated on how it goes.
But I will say the trip to the nursery was so exciting. I can't wait to have a yard, so we can have a square foot garden, And how excited I am to have blackberry and raspberry bushes! And maybe a fruit tree or 2. Some of my best memories growing up are eating raspberries off the bush, and pickin cherries from the tree and poppin em in my mouth! I have to say... I am turning into my mother. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I remember looking at her when she was out in her garden LOVING life, thinking, what in the heck is wrong with her? Who on earth would want to do that? Well, I do. I can't believe it either folks.