Thursday, September 26, 2013

I know. I need to write more. I'll work on that. Maybe. Life is good. No correction, life is great. We have seen the Lord's hand in so many things. Mike and I have seen tremendous blessings from his calling, (He is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric) Seriously, so many tender mercies I couldn't begin to number them. Blake has finally taken a liking to school, and has been focused and has started excelling at his school work. It's starting to come easier to him. He really needed that little boost of confidence. He has also really blossomed spiritually. Michael and I have noticed a difference in the little things. The spirit of our home is so sweet. Life is truly happy and peaceful when it is centered and focused on the teachings of the Savior and his Gospel. Mike and I have both had the opportunity to substitute institute recently. I can't tell you the blessing that it was to both of us. I really can't remember a time that I felt the companionship of the spirit so strong. It cemented the deep love I have for the scriptures. There really is nothing in the world I love doing more than teaching about our Savior.

We have been attending the temple once or twice a month still, and that, I believe, is a huge factor in the happiness and easiness of our marriage. That and personal scripture study and prayer. Really I don't think it would be possible for people to fight with one another if both parties were diligently and honestly seeking and partaking of those blessings daily. I can count on one finger the number of times Mike and I have been in a major disagreement. In our entire marriage. Seriously. That's not to say that we don't disagree or have two different ideas on how to do something, But it's always an easy resolution. And don't tell him this, But in all reality, Mike is always right when it comes to the important stuff. I always find that I was being prideful and not in tune with the spirit. I could never tell you how much I adore and love that man. I know he's not perfect, none of us are, But in my opinion, He's as close as they come. He is always trying to do better, He sees the burdens of others and does his best to ease their pains. I've seen that man kneel by his bedside and commune with his father in heaven night after night for the last 8 years. I've seen him study his scriptures everyday, Most days more than once, They are part of who he is. He has become like his heroes from reading, studying, and learning who they were. He has made several friendships with different verses.
 He is the greatest daddy any kid could ever ask for. He rides bikes, gives horsey rides, paints fingernails, plays ball, goes to the park, races down the water slide, he lives to play with those kids, It's the very best part of his day.
Now, To say that life is super easy and we don't have hardships or heartache or trial, Is simply not the case. We are just to the point right now, That we truly trust in the Lord, and his plans and his timing. We simply have learned that life is much much happier if  you focus on the blessings, And look at the trials and hard things, as an opportunity to come to know the Savior better. To allow him to make you into something more than you are.

So yes, Life is stressful, full of heartache, uncertainty, and sometimes just down right long, hard, and repetitive, Especially if you're a parent. And more especially if you stay at home with 4 little jokers ages 2-6 years old. (Was that too specific to be hypothetical?) But it is so beautiful and happy with this little family of mine. I really have had to work hard to find the joy in the seemingly meaningless tasks, But the Lord has shown me through tiny seconds of inspiration, that he is mindful, and has wonderful plans for me to accomplish if I will let him use me as an instrument in his hands.    

Monday, July 1, 2013

I figured I'd better write this one down. You know, for posterity's sake.


You remember that time you were 26 years old and you were married to a high priest? And had 4 kids ranging in age from 22 months to 6 years old, and had to sit in the church pew alone with them. Yeah, me either... until yesterday. Let's start from the beginning. Friday afternoon I got a call from Mike. Red flag number one, I never get calls from him, I get an occasional text message during the day. "I just got a message from Brother Hurt," {He knew he was in trouble when he said Brother Hurt and not Mike Hurt, Mike sells Brother Hurt cars so a phone call from him wouldn't necessarily be so bad} "We have a meeting with a member of the stake presidency on Sunday morning at 8:30." I got sick to my stomach literally.
Neither of us slept well the next two nights.
We were going to send the kids to Mikes parents house to spend the night so that we didn't have to take them to the meeting with us, but ultimately decided against it, looking back on it, I wish I would have taken that opportunity. So we had all the kids ready and up to the church at 8:30. We sit down and chat a bit and then President Herrington Says something along the lines of "we'd like to ask you to serve as the Second..... {MY mind is racing, Second counselor in the elders quorum? No, that's not it hes already a counselor in the elders quorum. second counselor in the stake Young mens?} President Herrington continues and as soon as the word "Julington" came out of his mouth I knew what it was. Second counselor in the Julington creek ward Bishopric.
That one set us both back. I paused for a few seconds and immediately thought to myself. I have to sit through sacrament meeting alone with all of these tiny kids... I didn't care about all of the meetings or anything else.


President Herrington said they had a few concerns, And all 4 of them were sitting in this room. I told him those were my concerns as well.
And then we talked about a few other things, and President Herrington said, we'd like to do this today, That means you'll need to be ordained to the office of a high priest. Who would you like to do that? Mike looked like a deer in headlights. Well, My dad's not a member, My brother isn't a high priest, my grandaddy is dead, My father in law. Yeah, he's the one. But he's on the high counsel in the other stake and he's in another ward today, I'm not sure if he can get here by 12:15.
9:00 rolls around and Mike starts out the meeting sitting with us, and then by 9:15 I'm on my own.
Our sweet friend Janae ran to the rescue. Over the pulpit, they asked me to bear my testimony, I sounded like an idiot. I bear my testimony like every fast Sunday. I didn't really have anything to say. And then this big mouth that doesn't think before it speaks says something along the lines of "I love. support, appreciate and sustain my priesthood leaders, but I know that they are just men and we have to be patient with them. They are all the Lord has to work with and we just have to be patient and understanding, But I know that they are called of God." It didn't come out as eloquently as I wanted it to but I'm just going to say that one was their fault for asking me to bear my testimony when I had nothing to do with the calling really.
So after church was over Mike was ordained and set apart and then afterwards the Bishop told us how this calling came about.
About 5 or 6 weeks ago Mike had given a talk or bore his testimony and said something and the Bishop had a thought, "he needs to be in your Bishopric." The Bishop thought well, I'm not releasing brother Woodruff or brother Ebanks. Then a week or two later Mike got up to take Brent out in the hall, And as he saw Mike heading out he had the same though. "He needs to be in your bishopric" {As the bishop told us this I thought to myself, really? Thats when it came? As he is taking a crazy baby out of sacrament?? Really??} But again he thought I'm not releasing either of my current counselors. And then the Bishop got a call from the Stake Presidency and they said the Bishop wasn't going to be really happy about this but they had another calling in mind for Brother Woodruff. So it all made sense as to why the Bishop kept having those thoughts. I think that it was good for Mike and I to hear that Mikes name wasn't just a name that he thought of and went with. We really know that as crazy as it is for Mike to have that calling with all of these tiny kids, the Bishop knew that and so did the stake presidency, however, The Lord made it very clear and prepared a way... funny how those things work out.   
So here we are. I now have to do a little more on my own. Yeah, It's absolutely going to be challenging some days. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I absolutely knew when I married Mike I was marrying an elect priesthood holder and I knew that the Lord would always need him to serve in the church. And I was and am willing to support and sustain him and all of my priesthood leaders. Even if it means sitting with a 6 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old alone in a pew on my own.I adore this quote by Sister Monson.

   “It has never been a sacrifice to see my husband doing the Lord's work. It has blessed me, and it has blessed our children. He always knew that if it was for the Church, I expected him to do what he had to do."
—Frances J. Monson,
Clearly she had it way harder than I will ever have it. But I feel just as strongly as I could ever say or express, that I will do whatever I have to, to make it possible for Mike to serve where the Lord would call him. And I know that our family will be blessed for the effort, the sacrifice, and the service. Even in these few hours that he has been called, I already feel buoyed. A sense of, I can do this. I can stay on top of all of this and it's going to be okay. The Lord won't let me fail. I have already felt the outpouring of the Lords spirit confirm to my heart that this is where the Lord needs Mike right now, and that he will make up whatever help I need in the absence of my husband. I want Mike and the Lord to know that if the Lord has work for Mike to do, I expect him to do it, and I will take care of the family obligations that may seem hard to get over or around to accomplish that work, The Lord will strengthen us, and the Lord will bless us.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I don't really have a topic for tonight. Just some things that I've been mulling over in my head. Today a lady ran a red light and almost hit us as we were crossing an intersection. She had to have been going about 60 miles an hour down 210 as I was on st johns pkwy crossing 210 she was literally 10 feet from my back bumper. Literally one second was the difference in a horrendous accident. You can't tell me that was a coincidence. I know that Gods hand was in on that one and that his angels were round about to protect us. It shook me up a bit. Immediately I said a few prayers thanking heavenly father for his protection. I was thinking to myself, if we had been hit, it would have been on Brent's side. Don't think that I didn't get him out of his seat and held him and hugged him. Later, After he smeared orange BBQ chip hands on my white couch and brand new PB pillows, I scooped him up and hugged him tighter. I was so grateful those hand prints were there.
I feel like I have been fighting the depression and anxiety battle within myself, and I've been losing. I don't want to be that way. But at the same time anytime I try to go on medicine for it, it makes it worse. I feel like its eating away the most magical and happy season of my life. We had a lesson in sunday school yesterday about joy and being happy. And the comment was made that life is our garden, and we can choose to focus on the weeds that are there to torment us, and that we spend time weeding out, or we can still do the weeding and see how beautiful the flowers are. And overall how beautiful that entire garden is. I feel like lately I haven't been seeing the flowers. And perhaps I needed that little wake up call today to realize that I need to focus my thoughts on the flowers in my life instead of the weeds.
I wasn't feeling as spiritually strong as I know that I have in the past. As I was reading back on past posts, I was reminded that I am spiritually strong, and Satan knows that, and be knows that I am on a path to be better and be stronger. He knows that if he can get me to be down in the dumps, frustrated and selfish, wallowing in my weeds, he can slow me down. Not anymore you poop-head. I'm over you and your games. Im putting on my big girl spiritual panties and getting back to business. That choice is up to me. I am done giving you that power over me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cinnamon vanilla muffins

I am just really lacking motivation these days. 
However, I have been somewhat productive. Well, in some areas. I am doing my best to stick to the 40-30-30 diet, natural and organic at the same time. Let's be honest... it mostly sucks. But there are a few foods that I love and could eat all day everyday... Chicken chili, And these awesome muffins.

Cinnamon vanilla muffins.

1/2 cup oats
1 1/4 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup coconut oil 
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 eggs {I use egg powder and they are much more moist that way, If you use eggs, add 2-3 tablespoons of water as well as the eggs}
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Add all ingredients except flour, mix until combined. Then stir in flour. Use a muffin scoop to put into cupcake liners. Bake at 375 for 15 min. It makes about 20 muffins. Weird number I know, But I just cant get the ratios correct to get 24 muffins. There are about 115 calories per muffin, And to make it 40-30-30 I eat it with some fruit and some Canadian bacon....mmmmmm.... One of my favorite pre 
cardio meals. Oh and I should mention that they are a huge hit with the kiddos.

I had to throw this one in there, You know, proof to my children in 30 years that when I am old and saggy, I can refer to this post and say listen up you little punk.... I used to be buff and hot. Oh you know, And to let them know that being healthy is and was important to me and that I hope it will be to them too. Blah, blah, blah... 
And a HUGE shout out to my partner in crime Sarah Poor who is on this "diet" {Its really a long term eating plan, not a diet, I hate that word} She is on this too and has now entered into uncharted territory, Weighing in at the lowest she ever has in her adult life, and is killing her weight loss goals! Get it girl! She makes me so proud and keeps me motivated to not eat candy corn and cupcakes. And she also smokes me when we run too. I can't keep up with that machine. I would have put her bicep picture up too, But she would have put me to shame... And we can't have that now can we.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

virtual school

Ive had a bunch of friends curious as to how virtual school is going, and curious as to how it works and what not. So, I thought I'd do my best to give you some insight.
Seriously, This isn't even all of it.
First and foremost, I love it. I love the program that we use. The curriculum we are using is through k-12. You can find their site here.  He is still in the public school system, But everything is done at home. {Unless we choose to participate in group get togethers and field trips.}
They sent us a HUGE curriculum package. Seriously there has got to be $500-$1000 worth of stuff. All the student workbooks, And all the teachers books, math cubes, science supplies, 3d shapes, TONS of books, dvds, cds, You name it. And yep, The county pays for all of it! Cost to us... Free!
He has to be logged on for a total of I think 20 hours per week, But between me and you, it only takes maybe an hour to get through the material per day, and then they have pre-set time amounts you can just log in. {Does that make sense? Like a math lesson should have taken 30 minutes, but blake got through it in 10, But you can still log the 30?} any how, So that isn't an issue as far as it being time consuming. I fought with him longer than that to get his homework done after he was at school for 7 hours.

I love that he can work at his pace and it is catered to his strengths and weaknesses. For example, The kid can do third and fourth grade math, No seriously, the kid is off the charts smart in math, bar graphs, division, multiplication, But he struggles with fine motor skills. {He's also dyslexic.} So we can tailor the curriculum to harder math curriculum, that is better suited for his needs than that of a class of 28 kids, and focus more on how to correctly form his letters, also taking more time for that than most children would need. Something that in an average classroom setting we wouldn't be able to do. As much as the teachers love these kids, There is just no way that with the number of students that they are being given is it possible to individually tailor lessons to one kid.

I love having him home still. I know that the time will come and that he will eventually go to regular school. I love that we have individual time together and that I am the one teaching him and enjoying his successes.

I love that there are so many more learning options for him. For example, He has music theory incorporated into his lesson plans, {His teacher writes up lesson plans for the week and tells me what pages to do with him, and if we don't like it, we can skip it! How awesome is that?} And also Spanish. Most schools have done away with the music programs and it crushes me inside to know that something that I learned a love and passion for as a 2nd grader in Mrs. Vonderheids music class, That most children won't have the opportunity to be introduced to that.
There are also tons of other "Electives" that you can choose from.
This is what a typical weeks lesson plan looks like.

So yes, He still has a teacher that writes our lesson plans, But we are on a conference call at least once a week, And she has learning check up sessions with him {Its like a test over all the subject matter that we have covered that week, that is all done online, at least for us}And we are constantly discussing his learning needs. These virtual school teachers are seriously incredible. 
I could not even begin to describe all of the different programs and opportunities that this supplies him with. And I love that it leaves me time {Instead of him being gone for 7 hours a day} To teach him the other important things. Chores, cooking, baking, music, scriptures, manners, Etc. Things that I think are important for him to know.
So, If you are on the fence, Or wondering if you have time, The answer is yes. It's not hard. I think you should absolutely give it an in depth look and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks that their child could benefit from tailored individual lesson plans, or who thinks that the schools are not meeting their child's individual needs, Or hey, If gas is too expensive and you don't want to drive your kid to China, Like me. That was the original reason we started, That and I was nervous about the environment that public school is, Even kindergarteners have potty mouths. But now, after starting it, Just now am I realizing and learning all of the numerous benefits that virtual school offers. It's not nearly as scary as jumping straight into home school, and he is still in the public school system, So if we do send him back, I know he wont be behind. I'm actually scared that with this, If he does go back he will be so far ahead in certain areas that he'd be bored. But that's a bridge we will cross when we get there... He's only in kindergarten.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


So here goes.
I haven't written in a while for several reason.

~ The move has been hard on me emotionally. {I'm finally getting over that} And I really do love it.

~I'm busy. Blake is doing virtual school, And I am keeping LaLa home for VPK as well.

~This is a big house and it takes a lot of time to clean. By myself. I don't have help anymore. Seriously, that is the first thing on the list...hire a new cleaning lady. But it has to wait a little while. Until I can get the budget situated. {More on that later}
Although, I did have the kids start putting their own laundry away, and it was life changing... seriously. Made my life much easier. And I felt like I was doing them good making them work.
{Holy Handouts}

~I am overwhelmed. Well, No, Not anymore I'm not. I'm actually in a good place... Today. That may change next week. Or heck, even tomorrow. But I have been. For example.... It all came crashing down Wednesday. Wednesday was a horrible day. And I sat and cried {literally} to my Heavenly Father begging him to help me understand how one person was supposed to do everything that is expected of me. And you want to know the answer I got... Well, Kyrsten, sitting here isn't accomplishing any of it. So put your big girl panties on and deal with it. So I did. {I'll admit, I was wallowing in self pity}  {No, It was really a bad day. And it was my fault. I overdrew our checking account by $800 that day, because I was just careless and irresponsible and wasn't paying close enough attention to a single transaction, you'd think with one that big I would have. But no. And then literally hours later, I got a Voicemail from JEA saying our power was being shut off at 6pm if I didn't pay it by 5 pm. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I paid that bill. But long long long story short I didn't pay $40 of it {Because I didn't know the amount because JEA isn't mailing my bills to the right address} So anyways, long story longer, we transferred some money from savings to checking {Thank heavens we have savings}  I wasted $70 in over draft fee, so that was awesome. The whole point of that story is that I am totally off my groove. I am so crazy about budget and finances normally but since we moved, I haven't even attempted to stick to a real "budget." Ive just been buying what we have needed. Big mistake. I am just overwhelmed and running behind and budgeting takes time and that's something I haven't had a lot of lately. 

~Instead of blogging, I have been reading. I was having a really hard time being released from teaching Sunday school. I missed it. So I started reading more diligently. It was about 6 weeks before I got a calling in this new ward. That was hard on me too. Now I am in Young Womens. I'll be honest. Brutally honest. It wasn't where I wanted to be. I wanted to teach the scriptures. More. The new curriculum is fantastic. And I do get to teach the scriptures, but not as often as I'd like. I'll only teach once or twice a month. Which is good, But Its been hard. I know how Alma felt. {Alma 29:1-10} The Gospel of Jesus Christ burns in my soul. And I want to teach it. I want others to love it like I do and to know the happiness and peace that comes from it. I want others to know of the plan of salvation and our Savior. I want them to know. I don't want them to think they know... I want them to KNOW. And I want to teach them how to know, how to learn. I want to be an instrument in the Lords hands to help others feel the spirit. I want to teach these kids that the people in the Bible and Book of Mormon are real people. I want them to know the promises that the Lord has so mercifully given to us if we will consecrate our lives to Him.
I know that I can do that in Young Womens too, And I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to be with them. It just means that instead of giving lessons, I have to focus more on being an example. Living the Gospel and showing them that I love it, Without saying that in a lesson.
So, I have dedicated myself to learning and loving the scriptures and first obtaining His word {D&C 11:21}, So that when the opportunities do come to teach and testify I will be ready. So, Right now I am studying the new testament again, And have made my goal for this year to read the Book of Mormon once a month. So that's another reason that I haven't had time to write. In order to get through it at that pace, I am going to have to read whenever I get the chance. And to be honest, I need it. I need to feast upon the Word. Not just have an appetizer.
 Captain Moroni wrote "by the maintenance of the sacred word of God to which we owe ALL our happiness." {Alma 44:5} How cool is that? ALL their happiness. So I can gather from that that if I want to be happy, I can find it in the scriptures.
 I can't do anything without Christ. But I also know that I can do ALL things through Christ. {Philippians 4:13} Even if all those things are laundry, dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and taking care of kiddos.
~I have projects. There is a lot of painting and reupholstering and hanging and all that kind of stuff that goes along with a new house. As long as I can remember, my grandma always had a cedar chest at the end of her bed. I asked her if I could have it. So she brought it down this last time she was here. And I have had the privilege of giving it a little facelift. It's a beaut. My niece is getting baptized in February and so I am putting sleeves on her dress, and making her a scripture case too. Not to mention a few skirts and dresses for my girls and myself.

Okay, So now you're kind of caught up. Long story short, I've been in a funk, and I'm busy. But I'm back in the blogging saddle. {As soon as I go get a new computer chair, We don't have one right now so it kills my back to sit at the computer, But I'm on's on the list...the very long list of things to do and buy.}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Today was a wonderful day. My beautiful little Lala turned 5, Blake learned to ride his bike without training wheels, Lala is not far behind him, {maybe tomorrow she'll have it down} and my rug came. I'm living the dream my friends. As my best friend would say, these are the good ol' days. Yes, yes they are. These are the days I'm going to cherish. Simple, ordinary, happy joyful days with this sweet family of ours. This house is slowly becoming our home, but today it especially seemed "homey." I saw our families gathered around laughing and playing and as I looked around and it finally felt like it was not just our house, but it was our home. I don't do well with change, even when it's change that I want and plan.... So this has been a bit rough for me emotionally, but I have slowly started to wrap my head around it and get to a new normal. I know this is the best place for our family to be, and I absolutely love it, there's just some little pieces and conveniences of our old life that I miss. But this move has fulfilled so many of my dreams, and has allowed me so much more time with my sweet family and the simpler, more family and Gospel centered life I have always wanted. Today was one of the good old days that Michael and I will look back on and cherish and hold tight in our hearts.