Sunday, June 29, 2008

Poop-free days!

Well Happy frikin' Birthday to me! The big 29 has officially come and 1 week into it I am surviving just fine. The week of my birthday was probably the worst week I've had in years, I was afraid it was an omen of things to come. Between drama with my calling, losing friends, and not having my husband, I was not enjoying my life this week. Everyone knows that I dread the big 30 more than I should. Given the fact that I've been married for 10 years and have 4 kids, I feel like I'm in my late 30's anyways!

I started potty training Sophie on Monday. She has done remarkably well, even through the night. Lexi started reminding her and taking her into the bathroom. Lexi has such a sweet and kind disposition. She is really good with babies and little kids. Sophie listened to her and responded to her promptings better then mine. I told Lexi we would get her a big prize for training her sister. Ironically, Monday was also Lexi's 7th birthday.

My b-day was on Tuesday, the next day. We picked up Mike at the airport, and he packed another bag, jumped in the truck and headed down to Scout Camp.

Mike's back is still bothering him, so no backyard work yet. I desperately wish I could do it myself, I'm not patient person. I also would love a place for the kids to run and play this summer. We've put so much time and money into it...just haven't quite finished it. Oh well! Hopefully they will forgive us, at this rate we will have a sweet backyard for our grandkids!

Sunday we had a family b-day party for Lexi and I. I actually have pictures of this event because...are you ready?.. I GOT A CAMERA! Yeah! I have been looking at cameras for 3 months. I think my sisters were as happy as I was to see me receive this gift. They have been taking pictures and documenting our family since Cori's baptism in January. I really debated what type of camera to get, and wanted to be able to take good pictures on our anniversary trip. I am very pleased so far, and look forward to taking oodles of pictures in the future. Hopefully the bulk of a bigger camera will be worth the excellent picture quality. Anyways...

Lexi got swings, and a trapeze bar for under the deck. (another attempt to finish the backyard) Her sisters gave her fish. We were down to one, so 4 more means we might be able to keep 2 alive! Grandma spent the day with her Saturday and gave her an electric guitar, big stuffed pigs, and wonderful memories. She also got some really cute clothes and make-up.
My sisters went in and got me a gift certificate to a Day Spa. Ohhhhh-la-la! I can't wait to spend a day relaxing. My Mom gave me some nice jewelry from her trip to Hawaii, and my Grandparents gave me babysitting. (the best gift for my sanity!)

So although another birthday means being that much closer to the big 30, I am grateful for all I have blessed with in my short 29 years of life. I have some personal goals I'd like to reach before I turn 30, and I've decided to really take advantage of my last year in my twenties! Hey...I just completed 8 1/2 years of changing diapers. After a week of transitioning, feeling poopy about myself, and missing my hubby...My wish this year?..poop-free days ahead!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Save a horse, ride a ...mechanical bull?

Mike came home late Thursday, and we loaded up the older two and went to the Rodeo. Luckily it didn't start till 8pm and we got there at 8:30pm.

The kids had a blast, and Mike said it was the best Rodeo he'd been to. (he's only been to 2 or 3) We are not into country-western anything...but the girls love to get dressed-up for the event. Hats, shirts, boots, pigtails, the works. This year I even sported the pig tails! It was a good time, and I always cheer for the poor tortured animals.

My lil' sister came with a friend, and my other sis and her fam. (the same crew as the George, I know, I know, we can't get enough of each other!) Jay's hat had a hole in the top, so I spent most of the night dropping almonds into it. (she got the privilege of sitting front of me) She started this whole rodeo thing. And now we're 3 years goin' strong! Thanks Jay!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can I really say that?

I wrote a post regarding my time in the 'board room', and living in this strange culture of religon here in Utah. I wrote about an extremely offensive experience I have endured recently, and my feelings on the church as an organization vs. the gospel.

After further thought...this post has been removed. I'm not sure I can keep my blog as a journal and I am even considering going private. I just want to be able to post things that happen in my life...and I don't want to offend others in doing so. (Heaven forbid I offend someone after posting how they offended me!)

I have had a difficult week and events have happened which I feel the need to express. This whole blogging thing was a great way to write and track events, however, if it is to be personal and truthful...I guess it cannot be public. I'm not good at the fluffy, fake, perfect life thing. My family sees my kids enough that I don't feel bad posting some real-life experiences now and then.

As Trump would say…YOU’RE FIRED!!!

I have had an incredibly hard week. I am not an emotional person…but the floodgates came bursting open. I have had some experiences this past week which have brought much hurt. I was painfully reminded that the church is run by imperfect people. I can totally see why some people get so offended that they never go back to church. I was also reminded why I have never had many women friends. Women are notorious for putting a big smile on their face and saying sweet words…while being able to turn right around doing and saying the opposite. This is why I liked being friends with boys. Boys just say what they really think. No games, no back-stabbing, no long standing hard feelings! I like to think of myself as a pretty honest person…I’m not very good at pretending. When someone asks me how I feel about something…they better be prepared for how I really feel. (as I'm sure this post will contribute) Not much sugar-coating escapes these lips! My family jokes that I could never hide how I felt because it’s written all over my face anyways. I try to be kind to others, and I do my best to be consistent with my actions and my words. And if drama happens…which it always does…I do my best to ‘steer clear’ until the storm blows over.
I recieved a new calling before I went to Girls Camp. I've been home from camp now for 2 weeks and have dived in head first. I have felt inadequate and concerned about this calling. I have always loved serving in the Primary and Young Womens. I love fact that children accept who you are, and don't judge you. I was excited to get to serve with my peers, and nervous that I wouldn't amke the cut...and rightfully so, because I didn't! I missed church on Sunday, and got a phone call Monday to meet with the Bishop.
Ironically, I called my bro-in-law for counsel before I made an idiot out of myself. I said “I don’t want to be one of those girls who sounds petty or pathetic…like she said, then I said, then she said.” I can’t imagine the pressing issues the Bishop has to deal with, should I even bring up how I feel? And I certainly don’t want to cry or anything! “Oh yah! Don’t cry!” he says. “Don’t worry!” I assure him “I won’t!”
My poor bishop was on the receiving end of my opening floodgates. He is such a kind and wonderful man. He really should have given me a good slap across my face and yelled “Pull yourself together already!” Needless-to-say it was quite a display, and I felt really stupid when I got back out to my car. I have the “ugly cry” and my face gets huge reddish-purple splotches all over. My eyes swell almost closed, and my face resembles something you’d see on those old ’bitter beer’ commercials. Pathetic! For a person who rarely cries, it was quite the display.
Lucky for me…I had to separate “the church” and “the gospel” a long time ago. I was severely abused for many years by a man who held a greater position in the church. A man who the ward members loved. He could quote scriptures like nobody’s business. The first to help a family move out of the ward, and the first to welcome a new family. As a teenager I thought “The Lord would not have those type of people running his church!...There’s no way this is God’s true church.” It took me quite some time to understand that while the gospel is perfect…people are not. I supposed I have a bit of a warped perception of the church organization and I really don’t trust what people show me on Sunday (or any other day of the week for that matter) It is what goes on behind closed doors that says who a person really is. Living here, I believe that being a member of the church means nothing. The people to watch out for…those people who say one thing and do another, the women who pretend to be your friend, but when you’re not around…what comes out of their mouths would say otherwise. To me, it all really comes down to respect. …others time, others efforts. Without taking feelings into consideration…just being respectful of others! I wish people would just be real! Be honest!
When I hear people say “I know the church is true” there is a part of me that cringes on the inside, because I hope they know the gospel is true. I realize there are good people in the church who are doing the best they can. Thankfully, I’ve also been privleged to serve with good men and women who have taught me so much, and been great examples to me. I was able to serve as Primary President a few years back and I respect the way things work. Not that I don't believe in callings of inspiration, but I've also witnessed callings of despiration as well. (probably how I ended up as primary pres.)
I have a real good “screw you” attitude about some people in my life. Mike often calls it the “If you have a problem with me or my family, you can go to…” ( know where) attitude. It has always served me well, and I really never get too invested for my feelings to get involved. (probably attributes to the lack of close friends) I guess that is why it has been a hard week. I think I am getting soft. Maybe it was Girls Camp? Maybe it was going from that spiritual high to what feels like such a spiritual low.
I am so thankful Lexi was sick last week, and Mike wasn’t here to stay home with her. Sitting there while they gave my calling to some else could have been my breaking point. (keep in mind I had not been released, and neck deep in planning my first Enrichment Activity, with a committee meeting scheduled for Sunday at my house, etc. ) Things would have come out of my mouth I could not have taken back. I am grateful for the friends who said “Isn’t that Sherian’s new calling?” and dropping me line to ask me how I was feeling.

So, as hard as it will be, when Sunday rolls around I will be there. Hardly ever on time, most-likely in wrinkled clothes, with lunch on my kids faces, not able to hear a word, from the back of the gym, managing a row of kids who should be taking a nap! Why? For no other reason except I know it is where my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lexi's #7

My sweet Lexi! Her birthday falls during the busiest time of the year for us. And to make it worse, it is the day after her Mom’s! Right now she thinks that’s pretty cool…I give her 5 years, then she will hate it! We always have combined parties, we are usually out-of-town, and she’s never had a friend party. She was supposed to have a party at #5, but we moved that week, so I told her #6, well that didn’t happen either. (ok…now I feel like a really bad Mom) She really wants a big party with all her friends in the backyard. I told her that we could do that, "as soon as Daddy came home to help me, and finish the backyard." She is such a trooper and we made her day special by going to Sonic for lunch and I made a big chocolate cake.

I feel for her because I remember as a kid it really sucked! I was always jealous of the people who had birthday’s during the school year. During the summer, nobody ever remembers your birthday. Your friends are busy or on vacation. Or you are on vacation. I had the majority of my birthday’s in California. I remember having a few on the day we drove 12 hours in a hot sticky station wagon. “That’s ok” I was told “we’ll celebrate it tomorrow” Maybe that’s why I secretly have issues with people forgetting my birthday. (just family members) Anyways…

On my 23rd birthday I received the best Birthday present of my life! My sweet Lexi. She was my least complicated pregnancy and I even went to 38 weeks! She was my easiest labor, and even though I was induced, my body started contracting on it’s own, before the Pitocin. She was born on June 23, 2001. I checked into the hospital at 6pm, after a dr. appt gone awry. After 1 and ½ pushes, she came right before midnight, I was glad she got her own day. She was a tiny 6 pounds 10 ounces, and a long 23 inches. So long and skinny! Her head was perfectly round, the nurses kept saying how beautiful she was “like a c-section baby!” Her 18 month-old sister was SO excited and happy to get her best friend! Never a moment of jealousy, I knew these two were soul mates. I’m sure those 18 months apart was the longest they could be a away from one another. Now, everyone asks if they are twins, and they are each others best friend.

She is such a blessing to our family. My sensitive, softer spoken, dramatic, imaginative, kind spirit. She has a special way with babies and children. She is the first to say sorry, and the last to cause contention. A huge ‘Mom’s helper’ and always aware of how everyone’s feeling. I can’t imagine our family without her! We love you Lexi!

Birthday email from Mike

I woke up this morning of my B-day and found this from Mike in my inbox:
Subject: Happy Birthday my Love!
Hello my beautiful wife! I've missed you quite a bit this month with girls camp and this trip to Orlando... and hey, it even gets better as I return home to give you a hug-and-a-kiss and take off to Moab. I promise that I'll make it up to you this weekend with a nice birthday date. FYI... I read your blog and it is great. You really have a writing skill and are very entertaining. I can see why your blog is so popular. You might consider a career (at home :)) in writing.
As I'm sitting here in the airport ready to fly home to you, I want to let you know how special you are to me. It is tough not to have my other half close by to complete me. So many things happen to me everyday that I just want to talk to YOU about... nobody else. I miss holding you, smelling you, and talking to you. I miss our kids, and taking care of them together with you. I miss the way you talk to them, snuggle with them, and give them so much confidence in knowing that you love them unconditionally and that they can accomplish anything in life. I'm so glad you are with them every day to instill that in them. Even as I talked to them on the phone this week, I can see how mature and respectful they already are. Truly amazing! You have so much to do this!
I see all the professional women here at events and I quickly realize that you could easily do this... and excel at it. You are professional, smart, beautiful and witty. You have the unique ability to put people at ease, hold people to commitments, and inspire people towards excellence. And that includes myself. You make me a better person. Thank you for choosing to take care of our wonderful girls. I know that you and I will be blessed for this decision that you put your best into EVERY day. I know it is tiresome and a STRUGGLE-FEST(yes, blog reference), but you handle it with class and a smile. I'm also SO excited to go with you to Europe with you for a long 19 days... just you and I and nothing to do but enjoy each other. It will be nice to get to know you all over again. We'll have so much time to enjoy each other, love each other, and make each other happy. I'm committed to making your trip an enjoyable one and putting aside any petty differences that can sometimes get in the way. It will be a blast! I hope you forgive my ramblings, but I just wanted to let you know all this on your birthday... when you turn the eternal age of 29.
Your adorable husband, Mike

Monday, June 23, 2008

Flaming George!

I know, I know it’s Gorge, but Flaming George is what we call it around our house!

I decided to be super brave and take the kids camping by myself this year. OK…not totally by myself, but without our big strong protector (aka Mike)

We headed down Wednesday, and picked up Jay on the way. I was happy to have the company on the way down. She is going through some really tough times and is such an example to me. She is super strong and so close to the Lord. It’s great when you can look up to your 5’3” little sister! (sorry Jay, I know you claim 5’4”, but your still the runt of the litter)

I was pulling the trailer and flying towards Vernal. Trust me…Vernal is not a place I’ve ever been in a hurry to get to. Jay and I were chatting it up and next thing you know I get the siren and flashing lights in the rear-view mirror. The officer gets my info and goes back to his car. I look behind me and Cori is crying. Between sobs she tells me that she’s afraid I’m going to jail! I totally start laughing, as the officer returns to the window. He tells me I’m off with a warning, and I say “Thank You so much, my kids think I’m going to jail!” He peeks in the window and assures Cori I’m not going to jail. What a nice officer!

We get up to our campground in time for a fabulous dinner from my other sis and her husband. This is our third year at the same campsite, but the first without Mike. He was deeply missed.

The next day we rented a raft and took everyone down the river. The kids had a blast. We realized after we were a bit down the river how strange we looked. One man, three sisters (one of which is 8 ½ months preggers), and 6 six kids under eight. So for the rest of the weekend I referred to us as the “plig” family. Jay didn’t find it near as funny as Nic and I! Although if she is the newest, youngest wife, Nic and I should be the ones a little miffed, right?

The kids really enjoyed rafting down the river. The adults enjoyed it too…but how many type ‘A’ personalities does it take to direct a raft? I’ll just say this…we only got stuck on a rock once…the youngest two got pinned under the coolers…and there was a cuss word involved. Needless-to-say, it sure made the rapids seem like no big deal at all! I think getting stuck on the rock was the kids' favorite part (except for the two traumatized under the coolers)

We roasted mallows, hot dogs, brats, and my bro-in-law made a mean grilled hamburger over the fire. The weather was nice all 4 days, and the water?..well, once your feet and legs are frozen, you can’t feel how cold the water is.

The last day on the water, I got pulled over by the ‘water police’ (I’m not sure what to call them) I was pulling too many people on the tube. He also let me off with a warning, and gave me the book of rules and regulations to read. That would be twice in four days that Cori thought I was going to jail. I can’t wait to hear the stories she tells about her childhood memories!

On the way home we got to stop and see my favorite people. The Cochran’s! For as long as I’ve know them, I’ve wished they were my parents. They are the greatest family! Aunt Karen (from New Zealand) is my favorite…the first thing she says when she see’s me is…”You got any milk in those boobs?” as she’s holding a crying baby. I said “No…but there big enough, they should be good for something!” She smiles and says “Quit braggin’!” Then she throws her arms around me and hugs me tight. I only get to see them once a year or so, but it’s always the best part of the year! I was able to meet Maggie, Trish and Caleb’s beautiful little girl. I also was able to see my favorite two cousins who tortured me years ago. These were the toughest boys I’ve ever known. We had some good times as kids, and they taught me how to really get myself in trouble. I don’t think I’d be near as tough if it weren’t for them. They are now grown men, with amazing wives and families. Oh the stories I have! Good times!!

It was a great trip and it was so fun to spend time with the my girls, and with my two awesome sisters. (Missed you Manda!) And as much as I love the Gorge (or the ‘George’ as we say) I am praying for a trip down south, for warmer water, next year!

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

We are big 'Annie' fans, and Sophie has sang this song since she was 18 months old. I have never been able to capture it on camera (same with singing the ABC's) You've gotta pause the music for this...

Oh, I love you Sophie! Thanks for the sweetness you bring to our family!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Between my Girls Camp, Mike's work trips, and his scout camp...June will be the month Mike and I have been apart longer than any other time since we met. I have to independent as I am...I'm soooo ready to have my husband back! The only word to describe myself this past week...struggle-fest!
So, Mike laughs at me because I use the word "struggle" wa-wa-way too much! Which probably says a lot about my day. If it is taking me too long to do something...I am struggling. If my kids aren't listening to me...they are struggling. If someone will not stop whining...they are struggling. When I can't remember why I walked into a room...I am struggling. When I try to take all the kidlets somewhere...we are usually struggling. When I spend the whole day busy, but nothing gets done...anyways, I struggle often. Others around me struggle too! When there is a rude driver...struggle! When someone who is supposed to be in a Customer Service job, and clearly doesn't like serving customers...that's right...struggling!

So when there is lots of struggling going on...I call it a struggle-fest. I define it as the word used (verb or noun) before the point of angry and when the situation is almost laughable because of the ridiculous level of difficulty. Ironically, Mike now uses the word struggle more than he should as well. If you would like to use it, this is how:

1. It has to be right at the peak moment of frustration(comes in handy when other words come to mind)

2. Your teeth must be clenched together, only the lips move (Bearing a bit of teeth)

3. The jaw muscles are clenched (clear signal of frustration)

4. You only say the word "Struggle" or "Struggle-fest", don't use it in a sentence

5. (For maximum effect) Take a very obvious deep breath, and breathe out loudly...this is the best time for a "struggle" or "struggle-fest" to be said, in a deeper voice than you would normally use

The girls and I went camping this past week at Flaming Gorge. My sister, her husband and kids, and my other sister were with us. My bro-in-law started making fun of how often I used the word and asked me what a "struggle-fest was anyway?" I personally thought "struggle-fest" is pretty self-explanatory. So later that day, we were down at the water we saw a big beetle crawling under his chair. He started pounding it repeatedly with the heel of his shoe. The dirt was soft and kept the beetle from being crushed. Each time he picked up his foot, it wriggled like crazy! The poor thing kept fighting, trying to pull himself together! I quickly point out to my bro-in-law "THAT is a struggle-fest!" Needless to say, about five minutes after the stomping had ceased, I looked over and see this bug pull himself out of the dirt and start trying to crawl away.

Sadly, I am writing this because I feel I can relate to this beetle. I just got home last night from camping with the girls. I drove home late and needed to stay awake so I drank over 100 oz. of Diet Dr. Pepper on the way home. And while I was glad to stay awake for the drive...I could not fall asleep until 5am this morning. (I realized when I was commenting on blog's at 2am that people will think I'm crazy!)

Mike is still out-of-town, and I struggle (see there it is) when I'm alone. I also struggle when I've got so much to do, I don't know where to begin. I never fully unpacked from Girls Camp, Lexi is sick, I'm supposed to start potty training Sophie tomorrow (because I have limited days at home until we leave again), my house is in a chaotic state of mess, all the laundry needs to be done, I've neglected my yard for 2 weeks, I have a nasty sunburn, and I still need to unpack all the camping and boat gear. And here I sit, because typing all the things I need to do instead of doing them will really help me...UUURRRGGGHHH struggle! I'm glad we get to do fun things and make memories...but I prefer lazy summers, just enjoying the long, warm days.
On a side note:
I couldn't go to church today because Lexi was sick. I got a call tonight and the Bishop wants to meet with me. Doesn't that mean a new calling? Considering I just got my new calling 6 weeks ago tells me that I'm probably getting released. I'm afraid the organization I was called to doesn't want me in there. That's a whole different set of struggles. I'm afraid that this blog has given people a bit too much info. Mike's always telling me to not be so vocal about my feelings...but I really do try to keep most stuff to myself. I hope I have not offended anyone with my opinions. I'm just the type who has no problem sharing my beef, or expressing things I find humor in. I just say how I feel, when I feel it...and I then I get myself in trouble. Mike is the opposite, and never expresses opinions on much of anything. (Maybe because I have enough opinion for the both of us) I always say "At least I don't say things behind people's back!" I've learned saying it to their face isn't always the best alternative. Sometimes not saying anything at all would be the best. I tend to cross the line of honesty over to rude. So...I apologize if I've crossed that line.

I still do not have a camera, so I have to wait on pics from our adventures last week. I also need to catch up on posts about a Mother-Daughter Tea Party with Cori and Father's Day. I'm hoping to be home for enough days to catch up and stay sane. It feels like treading water...if I can just keep my head above water I'll be fine. Like I said struggle-fest!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day '08

This holiday gets to be Mike's special day. My father passed away when I was young, and Mike's dad passed away in 2004. Until I had children, I really had a hard time with this day. Now it is nice to have a wonderful husband to pamper and appreciate.
The Saturday Night before Father's Day we went to my grandpa's. He invited us over and made us a wonderful meal, he always feeds us very well. I am so grateful for him, and his example of a "father figure" in my life. He was the closest thing to a father I've ever had, and all of my happiest childhood memories involve him and my Grandma.

For Father's Day, we ate golden rod eggs for breakfast (Mike's favorite) and we gave him amazing homemade cards and notes. The girls taped a banner to our bedroom door, and they gave him the gifts they had purchased. Cori and Lexi went in together on a BYU shirt. (I know that's surprising, since almost ALL his shirts are BYU shirts) Addi gave him Jr. Mints and just as quickly asked if he would share with her! Sophie gave him a pack of Gatorade for Scout Camp in Moab next week.

I would like to thank Kristen for making our fantastic Father's Day dinner. She was our fabulous cook at girls camp. (You know your in good hands when you eat better at camp than the rest of the year!) She sent us home with delicious left-overs and said "that way you don't have to cook dinner when you get home." I was worried that this might make me feel bad...but surprisingly, NO! I didn't feel bad at all!

My gift to Mike this year was helping him pick out a new truck. He has a VERY hard time buying things for himself, so I usually have to really push him into things. It takes some serious convincing to help him realize he needs a $20 shirt, so you can imagine how long a truck has been in the works. He has always wanted a big nice truck. He is 6'7", 250lbs. and a compact car just doesn't cut it. 2 1/2 years ago I found an old Ford in the Auto Trader. I called on it and then dragged him up to look at it. It was a really big deal, but he has loved having a truck. Well, after a very long and thoughtful process he decided a new truck was OK, and not too ostentatious. Way to go babe! I can't think of anyone who deserves it more! Happy Daddy's Day! (Sorry Jay, no pics)

I have to also take this opportunity to express my love for my hubby. He is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel that he was sent to me as an amazing gift from my Heavenly Father. He is by far, the most incredible man I've ever met in my life. He has the traditional values of respect and responsibility, but has the 'hands-on' parenting approach of the modern man. I can not imagine a better example for our daughters than to be raised by Mike. He has set the bar so high, I know when they date and look for a husband, they will know exactly what to look for. I am so thankful to him for setting that example for them.

The tall, dark, super strong, athletic type. The girls love to show him off! What's better than your friends asking if your Dad is a "real-life giant?!" How many Dad's can have you and your friends hanging on his arms while he does curls and pretend he doesn't know they are there?

Besides being devastatingly handsome...He is an amazing father! He works so hard for his family, and takes his role as provider so seriously. He honors his priesthood and has always been able give the girls blessings whenever they have needed it. He leads our family with great integrity and is very close to the Lord. He is honest to a fault, and is truly selfless. He is so loved and adored by his 'ladies'!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mother-Daughter Tea Party

Cori and I got to share a special afternoon together. As much as I try to give each of my girls one-on-one time, I find it hard to set the time aside and schedule something to build those important bonds. I'm so grateful to the Activity Days program for facilitating such an event.
I have a special place in my heart for Activity Days. It was my calling in this ward for 1 1/2 years, and probably my favorite calling ever. It feels so weird to think of Cori being old enough to be in that group!
Cori dressed us both up with jewelry and bright red lipstick. Her favorite color is green, so she asked me to wear my long green dress. (she even wrapped me in her feather boa) We were lookin' pretty fancy, and the invitation said to dress up. Coming from a house of all girls, and now having all daughters...we take our tea party attire pretty darn seriously! (I'm very bothered at this moment that we still don't have a camera. I told Mike that if we don't get one soon...I will make him re-create every event so I can take a picture of all that we have missed!)
We got to sit and fill out a questionnaire about each other. We couldn't share questions or ask each other anything. We ate cute little sandwiches and tasty chocolate dipped strawberries. We shared our answers with each other, and I was amazed. We both got every question correct. There was questions I thought she would have no clue about. I look over and next to my favorite TV show she has written "The Office". I was truly shocked! Her leaders came by to ask what we learned about each other. Another Mom at our table had just finished with her daughter. They had been laughing at all the wrong and funny answers. She said "I learned that my daughter doesn't know me as well as I thought she did!" When she asked us...Cori and I both turn to each other and said "We knew everything!"
So I guess I learned that my daughter knows EVERYTHING about me! I am so proud of the young woman she is growing into. She is so kind and helpful. I still am not sure why she was sent to me...she teaches me more than I could ever teach her. She keeps me in line, and reminds me of what I should and shouldn't be doing or saying. She has her Daddy's mind, and is so smart it scares me sometimes. I know she will be able to achieve all that she desires, and I am so proud to be her mother.
She made lunch for all of us the other day. She peeled 5 hard-boiled eggs, and placed them on plates with salt and pepper. Then she made 2 turkey and cheese sandwiches and cut them into quarters. She arranged them on the plates. Afterwards, she was sitting there and with a huge smile says "Mom...I am so proud of a good way I mean. I just made lunch for everyone, and it feels so good. That means I can babysit soon!"
Seriously! I will never know what I did to deserve her...but I feel so blessed to have her!

Girls Camp 2008- "I will Stand"

Ode to Heber Valley Camp! What an amazing and beautiful place. Truly special and set apart for miraculous adventures!

This past week I spent Mon-Fri with 200 young women, 50 leaders, and one freakin' awesome Stake Camp Committee! Seriously some the the most amazing women I have ever met. Some of the highlights of the week...


Crazy congestion

Completely losing my voice


Drug cocktails (thanks Sara!)

Sleeping 16 of the first 36 hours at camp

Polka Dots, Polks Dots, and more Polka Dots!


Kristen's chicken salad croissant sandwiches


Hundreds of gumballs

Hiking at 4:30am to watch the sunrise over the mountains


Huge polka-dotted bra's


Cold Feet


English chips from Granny's (thanks Suzanne!)

Long underwear

Did I mention there was a bit of DRAMA!?!
Cows! I think I experienced more drama in the week than I have in my lifetime. And I grew up with 5 sisters and have 4 daughters!!

There was amazing leaders who dedicated a week to serving the Lord and serving these Young Women. And, as luck would have it, there were those who shocked and amazed me with negativity and laziness. And although there is always consequences, I must vent a bit...(this is my opinion, and it is not directed to any single individual...just a 'nugget' taken from my week)

Our children and youth need to have strong examples in their lives. I feel that I am pretty close to the Young Women in our ward. I would hope they could come to me if they needed anything...BUT...I am their leader! Young Women are living in a world where their roles are questioned. Everything we are teaching our girls to become is on the 'chopping block' in today's society! They are being ripped apart physically as well as spiritually. I really feel that these girls need to see women who are happy, confident, hard-working, smart, and independent, who love the Lord. And they need to have examples set...footsteps to follow. I feel the same way about mothers who are 'friends' with their children instead of a parent.

I think that I am a pretty liberal women, I do not like to fit into molds! I know that I am so far from perfect, and have more things to work on everyday! I tend to not listen as well as I should, and have to learn things the hard way. But, I can think of examples in my life which have helped me become who I am today. I am grateful to the women who have gone before, leaders, and friends. I believe these individuals are placed in our lives to help us, guide us, to achieve our potential here on earth.

What disservice are we doing to our youth, and our children, by not being secure with ourselves, and taking a stand for what we believe and who we are. I personally struggle with my body, and will make negative comments about myself. I'm trying to be better. How can I teach others to love themselves and be proud of who they are if I don't reflect that same message. Ironically, the theme for our week was "I will stand". Each ward stood for something, and as a Stake, we stood as 'DOTters of God' (hence all the Polka Dots)

This Stake assignment has been a wonderful and memorable time for me. After 6 months of preparation we were able to see the 'fruits of our labors'. I had an incredible time learning and serving with beautiful and talented women. I absolutely LOVED our Stake Committe and everyone brought unique qualities to the group. I did really missed the personal connection with the girls. I have always been to camp on the Ward level, and spending 24 hours a day with the Young Women was a highlight for me. How do you connect personally with 200 girls? I hope I contributed my part, besides being sicker than a dog, I really tried to keep going and push through my physical limitations.

I really hope to have the chance to serve again next any capacity...but this year was truly a blast! I really did learn a ton...and came away with such a better understanding of what I want to "Stand for". I am challenging myself to be a better example for my children, as well as the future generations of women who are growing up in this important time of our world.

I have testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of his us, no matter who we are, or what direction we may be choosing in life. He wants the best for each of us, he knows us all individually and knows our strengths and weaknesses. He wants us to achieve our full potential and is our biggest fan! I am so grateful to be here, as a women, a mother, and have been given the knowledge of my role in this seemingly crazy world. What an exciting and wonderful time to STAND as a witness of him and his plan!
P.S.-A huge thanks to Nic and Maria for watching my girls so I could have this opportunity. I owe you both BIG TIME, and hope you cash in on the favor real soon. I would never survive without amazing friends like you...THANKS!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer lovin' had me a blast!

Summer Lovin', happened so fast! I am already afraid Summer will go by too fast, so I'm trying to enjoy every moment of sunshine. The girls and I have had to drive Mike to work the past few mornings, and I'm surprised at how much happier I am in the morning this week.
I have to express my love of summertime. I start jonesin' for school to end the week after Christmas. I have always been this way and I still am. I La-La-Love having my kids home from school. Here are some things I have witnessed this week that have made me giddy inside:

My kids sleeping until 9:30am
The sun still shining at 9:00pm

The smell of hot tar from the street
No Shoes
Kids outside playing in pajamas at 10:00am
Popsicles and Otter Pops
Sun-warmed sidewalks
Neighbor kids running in and out and all around the house


Hearing the sprinklers turn on in the middle of the night
Kids playing in hose water until they are soaked completely

Nowhere to go

BBQ dinners (and smelling others BBQ dinners)

Hearing older kids playing night games

Fresh Fruit

Sun-warmed trampolines
Family walks after dinner

Me and all my neighbors out from hibernation

So as I worship the sun and all that comes with it, I am thankful to my Father in Heaven for this beautiful Earth. I am grateful for my family, and my beautiful neighborhood. I love all the kids out enjoying the weather. And I love all the other mothers who, just like me, are secretly happy about pre-treating Popsicle stains from all their children's clothing, because it means that it is the best time of the year!