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Showing posts from 2016

Lessons from the Grinch

Last December we planned a family outing to go Christmas shopping.  For years we have taken the kids to the dollar store to buy presents for each other and the parents.  It has become a favorite family tradition--dinner at McDonald's, and shopping at the Dollar Tree across the parking lot.  But I'd grown weary of receiving dollar store gifts to try and treasure.  I decided that perhaps we had "graduated" to a "nicer" discount store where we could have a bigger selection of gifts.  Yes, our budget would need to increase, but the gifts would be better!  So we tried Big Lots.  Meh.  Yes, bigger gifts.  Better--maybe.  This year, instead of Dollar Tree or Big Lots, we would go to our favorite local big box store--Shopko.  It would definitely be better here.

Ugh.  Worst family activity night!  The store was so big that it was hard to keep track of everyone. The selection was so big (and the prices) that it was difficult for our littles to stay within their modes…

Some Things Are Worthy of Quitting

I have always loved to write, and fancied myself as a professional writer from a young age. (I imagined myself on a successful book tour at the ripe old age of 12.  I could just see myself on talk shows answering the hosts’ burning questions about my incredible book, and my amazing talent.  Oh, I planned to be so famous!)
I must not have been as talented as I imagined, because my dream of success at 12 didn’t happen then, and still hasn’t happened (not for the writing dream, at least).  But the dream persisted, and led me to take a correspondence writing course where I was mentored by a published author.  I had to submit a writing sample as part of the application process, and I was very flattered to be accepted.
It was fun, at first.  But it got hard pretty quick.  I wasn’t used to having someone find fault with my work.  I had a difficult time coming up with plots for stories.  I felt so unable to relate to kids or teens—the audience I was writing for—that I became discouraged.  An…

Beautiful Easter

(I started writing this for on Easter Sunday.  It is no longer Easter, but the blessings of the Resurrection are not only for one day.  So I'm posting it late, because the blessings of the Atonement and Resurrection are for every moment, every second.  And it's my blog.)

Beautiful Easter today.  My toddler woke at 4 a.m. and wouldn't go back to sleep.  My husband and I took turns for four hours, trying to keep him occupied and quiet, so that our sick daughter would be able to stay asleep.  It was a valiant effort.  I tried to pour out my tired soul in prayer, but I got as far as, "I'm just so tired.  Please help me understand what my children need, and give me strength to get through the day."  At least toddler napped for an hour or so before church.

We made it to Sacrament Meeting, and we were almost completely settled into our pew before toddler started wailing for his milk.  We did manage to make it almost through the Sacrament with him before Dad took him…

Get Behind Me, Shoulder Devil

My kiddos are huge Studio C fans.  Our Monday night Family Home Evening schedule is pretty strict, to make sure that we are all ready to watch Studio C at 8:00.  It's fun, clean humor, which I really appreciate.  Recently, though, it had more than just a humorous application for my family.

One of my daughters has a particularly difficult time controlling her temper.  She is extremely sensitive, and very spiritually mature, but get her in a bad mood and none of that matters.  I try to calm her to the point that she can make better decisions, but when she is mad, she seems determined to stay that way.  She expresses a desire to not feel so out of control (when she is in a contrite state of mind), but how to help her with that has been somewhat of a mystery to me and my husband as we try to love and teach her.  Finally, my husband expressed that perhaps she is more than just sensitive to THE Spirit, maybe she is sensitive to all manner of spirits.

I had had the same thought.  This gi…

Moving Forward with an Eye of Faith

I've always had a bit of a tendency to worry.  I remember in high school going to my mom in tears, spilling all of my worries to her about how overwhelmed I felt by what was required of me (I also had a tendency to feel overwhelmed), and she would gently talk me down from my hysteria, helping me to identify the things that really needed my attention at that time, and setting aside the things that were either out of my control, or so far in the future that they didn't matter in the moment.  I needed to eliminate the distracting and worrisome thoughts of the future, and focus on what I could do in the here and now.

Years later, I found myself swept up in watching FOX News (because that is fair and unbiased, right?), born out of my good desire to be informed and a good citizen.  I liked a few of the news programs, and wanted to keep watching, but they got me all riled up about the state of the world, and I didn't like that feeling.  The more I continued to watch, the more I f…

The Parable of the Tiny X

I enjoy cross stitching.  Sort of.  Actually, I enjoy the end result of cross stitching.  Sometimes I enjoy the process.  I certainly enjoy picking out the patterns, the fabrics, the threads.  And there’s nothing quite like the feeling of hanging a beautifully framed, completed piece on the wall for all to enjoy.  But in between all the fun stuff, there is the pesky problem of the actual stitching.
It’s not difficult.  In fact, it’s really quite easy.  Needle up, needle down, needle up, needle down, and a tiny little x is created.  Repeat.  A lot.  And there you go.  Project complete. 
It is the repeat a lot part that tends to get me down.  Sometimes it’s soothing.  Sometimes it makes me feel more centered to focus my efforts on this gentle art.  Until I have to unpick some misplaced stitches.  Or until I get bored.  Sometimes the piece I’m working on takes so long to finish that the promise of the finished piece is not enough of a motivator for me to keep going.  Then I put it away,…