Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sometimes I wonder...

I have two sick three year olds.

These poor little boys just don't understand the whole "sick thing."

They want so badly to play. But five minutes after getting off the couch they're coming to me coughing and crying, "My body hurts!"

Over and over and over again I have to tell them that they are sick, that their bodies need rest to get healthy again, and that they will continue to hurt until they listen to me and stay on the couch to get said rest (in much simpler words, of course).

It's times like this that make me see just how parallel the lives of earthly parents are to Heavenly Father's. And I wonder if he ever gets exasperated listening to all the "but whyyyyyyys?" and "I don't want to's" that we say just because we can't comprehend beyond a basic-instant-gratification-level what he's told us.

I'm sure he doesn't, but I sure do sometimes.

These lines of thought always make me more grateful for his patience with me and help me remember to be more patient with my boys.

Have you ever wondered anything like that?

Thankful Thursday

Thursdays are just coming around too fast these days!

I beginning to fear that by the time I reach the later years of my life that time will fly by at break-neck speed.

Anyway, what am I thankful for today?

The General Relief Society broadcast. (Dear President Uchtdorf, Can I please interrupt your busy day for the sole purpose of giving you a hug? Gratefully, Lindsey)
Modern medicine.
Sleep (I'd really like some right now).
That General Conference is a mere TWO days away:)
My new, beautiful, amazing, entire wall covering bookshelves.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, September 23, 2011


Using the true random number generator at (I have no idea how to paste the little box here to prove it so you'll just have to trust me) the winner of the countdown blocks IS...

Comment #5 - Jen!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

And a super HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in the Family Celebration!!! It's been wonderfully inspiring.

Jen, we'll be in touch:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's time for a big dose of gratitude. In other words, it's time for a long post;)

I am thankful for The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

I wish I could say I remember how I felt when I first heard President Hinckley read it at General Conference. But I can't. I was an eleven year old from a happy home who had no real understanding of the bad in the world. I must have felt something, though, because I have a clear memory in my mind of President Hinckley on the big projection screen, getting ready to read it to us by telling us he'd read it first at the General RS meeting the week before.

Now that I am no longer a blissfully unaware child, but a wary mother of three innocent boys, I cling to the Family Proclamation. I first came to really appreciate it in college when we studied it for a class. It would later be referenced in many of my classes, but this was my first opportunity to really dive into it.

What a beautiful, straight forward, truthful, inspiring document!

Reading it makes me want to shout its truths from my front porch. (Very like the feeling I get when I read, Stand for the Family, by Sharon Slater: an amazing book with simple and clear (and secular, for all those who disregard what God says as religious mumbo-jumbo) answers to attacks on the family unit.)

These particular sentences from the Proclamation have been a joy in my life lately: "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."

I was in the capitol last week, driving downtown and surrounded by pedestrians. I stopped at a crosswalk and while waiting for the light to turn green I started to look at everyone walking around me. Oddly enough, what popped into my head was a Primary song.

"I am a Child of God" started playing in my mind.

It was such a beautiful moment. I got all teary eyed with this song going through my head and watching all these fellow children of God crossing the street, filling the sidewalks, getting on and off the train, driving on the streets with me.

It's beautiful moments like that, and truths (like those found in the scriptures and the Proclamation), and meeting other people who are refusing to believe Satan's lies and fighting for the family (like all the wonderful Family Celebration people!), that give me hope for my children's futures and remind me that I'm on the right side.

I get easily discouraged, seeing all the filth and lies in the world. The Family Proclamation helps to keep my spirits up and my faith strong. I am eternally grateful to have it.

What are you thankful for today?

P.S. I'll announce the winner of the countdown blocks giveaway tomorrow morning. Last chance to enter tonight!

P.P.S. And I recommend singing "I am a Child of God" when surrounded by people. It's very uplifting:)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just go with it

I have a six year old who desperately wants me to teach him how to play "Sorry!" the board game.

He sees the side of the box up on the top shelf in our pantry. It says "Ages 6+." Ever since he turned six, he looks through our games seeking new opportunities to play.

This morning, he stood in front of the open pantry and stared up longingly at the games.

Without taking his eyes off the box he asked imploringly, "Mommy, will you please teach me to play Sorry! for family home evening?"

Well, okay then.

So we're playing Sorry! for FHE tonight. And the perfect lesson to go along with it?

Why forgiveness, of course!:)

Which happens to be item #4 in the most quoted sentence in the Family Proclamation.

And we're off!

Don't forget to enter the countdown blocks giveaway! I'm closing it on Thursday.

Happy Family Night to all!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thought provoking

I read this in a post for the Family Celebration.

"President Hinckley referred to women as our Heavenly Father’s “final creation, the grand summation of all.” In fact, did you know that a woman is a walking, talking, moving symbol of Christ? She is one that can give life through her own blood, just like Christ does. Is it any wonder that Satan seeks to demean and disgrace women through immodesty and pornography? By degrading women he can degrade the Savior because they are symbols of Christ."


One, I'd never thought of it like that.

Two, I LIKE that!

Three, that punk Satan.

Four, I love being a woman. Especially a woman raising boys.

That's all:)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birthdays are for celebrating (and a giveaway, too!)

I love birthdays.

But I really don't do a whole lot for them. We are a low-key birthday family.

Over the last year or so, I've begun to wonder if I should to ramp things up a bit. We've made some changes and they've all been great. But I think we need to keep going. After all birthdays are meant to be celebrated!

Think of what they signify:

The day someone awesome came into the world and we get to know and love them.
The fact that they managed to survive another year (thank you, angels, for saving my boys from all those close calls).
The accomplishments of the last year.
and most importantly:

The choice each of us made to come to Earth.

That is a huge one.

The decision to follow God's plan and receive a body is monumental. A birthday marks an eternal choice.

I love this sentence in the Family Proclamation (really, I love the whole thing):
"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life."

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated!

And I got some inspiration recently on how to celebrate more in our family.

I was asked to make a display for our up-coming Relief Society Super Saturday. I ordered the kit I was told to order and got crafting. And the result was these super cute Thanksgiving countdown blocks:
Aren't they lovely?:)

When they were done I randomly thought, "I need to make a birthday countdown."

And then I thought, "What a brilliant idea!":) The boys constantly ask me how long it is until their birthdays. With a birthday countdown they can see how long is left and the anticipation will build and build and build until the awesome day arrives. They will love this! (and so will I...I like my birthday, too;) I'm not so sure about Bret. He's not big on his birthday and eight+ years together later...I still can't tell if he's being honest or he just doesn't want anyone to go to any trouble. But that's another story!)

I don't plan to have it out all year long; just two or three weeks before each birthday. But I'm so excited for Al's and Goose's birthday to get close enough to introduce the idea to them.

And because I love you all, I'm giving you the chance to win a countdown blocks kit for your very own. They come from the amazing Poppy Seed Projects store and they're so easy to make (if I can do it, anyone can)!

Here's what the kit looks like.

I painted mine blue.

Then I cut up my paper. (I loooove my paper cutter!)

Then I mod podged the paper on each side.
(can I make mod podge a verb?...Everybody else is doing it;))

I love Mod Podge.

Then came the vinyl. And look how cute!-

A birthday countdown to ramp up the anticipation for the day we celebrate people joining our family and the fantastic decision they made to get here.
(except I just realized right now, putting these pictures up, that I had wanted the paper under the word "countdown" to have the stripes horizontal...somehow, even after carefully measuring and cutting and gluing, I managed to not see that I didn't cut the paper the right way. Oy.)

Poppy Seed Projects is graciously giving a set of countdown blocks to one of you lucky readers!

If you live in the continental United States, you can enter to win your very own kit and personalize it how ever you want. Make a countdown for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, BIRTHDAYS:), summer vacation. The possibilities are endless!

I want to make more.
Seriously, I love these. It's almost unhealthy.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave me a comment on this post.

Make me laugh and maybe you'll get an extra entry.

Remember, this giveaway is only open to those in the lower 48 (I'm very sorry if that excludes you. I'd still love to hear from you!). Please leave me a way to contact you in your comment, should you be the winner.

And make sure you check out all the other awesome photo essays in the Family Celebration today.

AND head on over to Poppy Seed to see what other awesome stuff they have for you. I love this store so much because they give you the kit and instructions and then you can create it yourself. The projects make me feel so creative and giddy even. I LOVE making things for my home.

My favorites are the FHE magnet board, the picture blocks, the Temple memory game, and of course the countdown blocks. (I'd add pictures, but blogger is freakin' out on me!)

Thank you for celebrating family with me!

Monday, September 12, 2011

There was a moment...

Tonight, as part of our Family Home Evening, Bret gave all the boys a father's blessing.

It's a beginning of the school year tradition.

I love it.

The boys don't quite understand it yet, but they're more reverent than usual when we do it.

I get to get in on the blessings, too. I may love that even more. I really need the reminders, counsel, and encouragement that come in them.

The moment came when I watched Al climb up into the chair for his turn getting a blessing. He climbed up and folded his arms and gave me a little smirk. As Bret (looking ever so dashing in his slacks, shirt, and red "power" tie) placed his hands on Al's head the picture just looked so right and I felt so wonderful.

I love my husband and that he remains worthy to hold the priesthood and bless our family.

I love my boys and that I can be home with them.

I love my family.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love the moments:)

Have you had any moments you'd like to share?

Family Mission Statement

Last year I went to Time Out for Women. One of the many things I took away from the experience was the desire to create a family mission statement for our family.

I wrote up a whole slew of ideas and found that the ones I gravitated to were from the scriptures. Man, there's good stuff in there!;)

I never set aside time to talk with Bret about it and for months my notebook of ideas was forgotten.

And then I saw that part of the Family Celebration this year would be about family mission statements.

Oh, snap! Where did I put that notebook???

When I finally found it I got lost in it for a while. (Wow! What good ideas I had. Why'd I forget this?)

We still haven't set things in stone (or even paper), but here's the general idea for our work in progress:

A short, quickly to the point, easy to memorize, inspiring scripture to start us off. Here's a list of those currently at the top of the list-
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26 Let all things be done unto edifying.
  • 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life.
  • James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.
  • Romans 2:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
Or, we could go with something a little longer, like Doctrine and Covenants 4:5 and/or 6 or 1 Cor. 13:13 or the thirteenth Article of Faith. Or not do a scripture and have something like "Family founded upon Jesus Christ" (sound familiar?:)).

Then (with the great hopes that I can create on paper the eye catching design in my brain...) using the letters in our family name we will list attributes we want to cultivate, one attribute per letter. I went through the Topical Guide and wrote down words that can be defined as family attributes. For example, with the letter "e" I wrote down- earnest, edify, educate, embrace, endure, engage, enjoy, enlighten, enthusiasm, equal, eternal, excel/excellence. It's going to be hard to choose which one to settle on!

When all is said and done we will have an inspiring family mission statement to motivate us and refer back to when life gets thrown in our faces.

I'm excited!

To read about other ways and why to's of creating family mission statements click that pretty button on my sidebar and join in celebrating the FAMILY with us:)

Update: "We got one!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

3. Service

What I'm doing
1. Repentance
2. Prayer

I love the third item that President Benson focuses on in this article. It's huge. Life changing even.

"To lose yourself in righteous service to others can lift your sights and get your mind off personal problems, or at least put them in proper focus."

Perspective is huge when it comes to depression, but it requires something deeper than just knowing there are so many things great in life/others are suffering tremendously/a more eternal view, etc. Knowing and feeling are two very different things. And it seems it requires faith to get to work serving before those deep feelings of truth are realized and spirits are lifted; at least in my case.

Giving of oneself to service and sacrificing one's desires or needs for someone else's is a prime way to lift the spirit. Though it seems to be precisely opposite of what we hear from the world.

"Take care of you first or you won't have any to give anyone else."
"You have to put yourself at the top of your priority list."
"You can't draw water from an empty well."

Logically, that makes complete sense. If I don't take care of my needs or satisfy even small desires where would I find the strength to keep working?

But spiritually, it doesn't work that way. I do need to care for myself and make sure there's "water in the well" so I can be what my family needs me to be. But that's not supposed to be first on the priority list. We are happiest, we are most at peace, we are most fulfilled, we are most complete- when we forget about ourselves and serve others.

I've written about this phenomenon before. Concentrating on how it pertains to motherhood.

I'm going to be filled with more joy even if I haven't been able to shower yet, or eat breakfast yet, or get out to dinner with some girlfriends in months, or have had any time alone in two weeks because I am (trying to the best of my ability) focusing on something outside of myself.

Something bigger than I am.

Taking the focus off of ourselves is so freeing, so uplifting. It helps me feel that I am part of something beautiful. That I do have the capability to submit my will to my Father's. That I can be an instrument in his hands.

And a sweet perk: I end up being take care of any way! Whether by finding time to do something me oriented, or my husband doing something for me, or Heavenly Father sustaining me, etc. And never underestimate the power of an "I luhz oo" from a little mouth. A beautiful aspect of families. If we're all focused on serving each other, everyone gets taken care of! (more on that in a couple weeks:))

President Benson says it best: "A woman whose life is involved in the righteous rearing of her children has a better chance of keeping up her spirits than the woman whose total concern is centered in her own personal problems."

Has service helped lift you? Will you share with me?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday, Cranky Edition

I am in a foul/accepting mood.

It's an odd combination.

On the one hand, I have the less-than-desirable things going on in my life- poor health (double ear infection+ UTI+ possible sinus infection+antibiotics that are just beginning to work on day four=extremely uncomfortable, fighting the urge to scream (UTI anyone;)) Lindsey with a constant pounding headache.), twins taking turns waking up at night for the last two or three weeks (tirrrrrrred Lindsey), boys being cah-razy boys (embarrassed, please-tell-me-the-neighbors-did-NOT-see-that Lindsey), can't get a handle on my responsibilities (failure Lindsey), Bret won't be able to help me for a few days (end of rope Lindsey), need to have the house beyond presentable for the Relief Society meeting committee gathering at my house tonight so we can mess it up again prepping our Super Saturday displays (are you crazy, Lindsey?!?)...

On the other hand, I have- what can I do about it?

-I'm taking antibiotics. And they are beginning to work. Patience...Endurance...I'm trying.
-Al and Goose both stayed in their beds the entire night last night!! (Can you say, "tender mercy?" Boy I sure can:)) Maybe the stage is over and I won't have to do anything about it, but I do have one idea that came to me yesterday so I'm not at a total loss if they start up again.
-There's not much I can do but blush, pull a few handfuls of hair out, and try to explain some things to the boys...again.
-Keep trying
-"Mom up" and do a happy dance when Bret is able to help again.
-Clean up as best I can and be happy I can be the woman who makes the other women who come to my house tonight feel good about their houses;)

So I'm cranky, cranky, cranky! But I feel somewhat accepting of it all. 'Cha. Weird.

And what I'm thankful for today?

Antibiotics. Ibuprofen. Dishwashers. Ready mops. Vacuums. Gorgeous weather for the boys to play in and me to open the windows for a good airing out. Blogging. Frozen pizza (hooray easy dinner!). The sound of the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. That my life is a full one (even if it gets too hectic at times); I'd be a lonely one indeed if I didn't have such a full life.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It's that time of year again!

I'm going to be throwing myself into the mix of the brouhaha for the family in the next two weeks.

Some amazing women have put together another amazing celebration this year and I'm excited to see what is coming.

Wonderful words of wisdom, insight, fantastic ideas of things to do with my family, giveaways, "meeting" new people, etc, etc, etc.

Will you join in the party?

Just click on the button at the top of my sidebar for more info. Or go HERE.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The good, the sad, and the ugly

The Good-
A morning spent at the first co-op meeting of the year. A great group of kids and a wonderful bunch of moms. I'm excited for this year:)

The Sad-
My Aunt Carole passed away five years ago today. We miss her.
I've got a head cold that is getting worse and worse and leaves me longing for alone time with a girl movie in my bed. But my name is Mom, so no can do. And there was only one dose of Dayquil left.
I went to the dentist this afternoon for my first cleaning in many years: swollen sinuses + hands and sharp tools all up in my mouth = mucho discomfort...o.

The Ugly-
I keep hearing this Pink song on the radio. Since a couple of her songs have had funny videos I decided to see if there was a video for this new song. BAD. IDEA. The first two seconds of the video had me yelling at my computer and frantically trying to make it stop. Disgustingly inappropriate. Great. Now I can't listen to Pink anymore, either.

What am I thankful for?
That we have such great co-op that my family can be a part of.
That I have great Aunt Carole memories.
That I have faith in God's plan.
That Dayquil exists and can take the edge off.
That the amount of work needing to be done on my teeth is minimal. Especially since it's been six years since my last visit to the dentist!
That there is still so much GOOD music that I CAN listen to and keep the atmosphere a welcoming place for the Holy Ghost.