Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

This weekend has definitely been one of good memories.

Garage Sale-ing with mom and dad.

Hailey's birthday party.

Wendy's birthday run and movie party.

Going to church and playing piano for Primary.

Like I said...  Good memories.

Today, I am most grateful for the men and women that preserve our freedom.

My sister-in-law's brother just returned from Afghanistan on Friday evening.  He is amazing.

As I thought about those who serve, including my brother, father, and grandfather's, I am in awe of the strength, character and discipline they demonstrate.

Thank you to our service men and women!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Today in sacrament meeting, a member of our ward (a mom) spoke about what a mother thinks.  She shared a beautiful quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's "Because She is a Mother" talk during the April 1997 General Conference.

But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep.
“It is this realization,” she says, “that I try to recall on those inevitably difficult days when all of this can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes wewill be anxious,” she said, “and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, He can teach these children directly, through us, but with no resistance offered. I like that idea,” she concludes. “It gives me hope. If I can be right before my Father in Heaven, perhaps His guidance to our children can be unimpeded. Maybe then it can be His work and His glory in a very literal sense.” 7
Mother's Day was not my favorite this year.  Healthwise, I have been struggling a lot, and today was very uncomfortable for me.  Were it not for my Primary class, I probably would have not even gone to church.  Then, during Sharing Time, one of my little friends leaned over and cuddled into me.  Intuitively, because he is like that, he must have known that I needed the little extra cuddles.  The difference it made was astounding.  He's not even my kid, but I love him so much.  I love all of my Primary friends so much.
When I got home, I did not take care of myself as I should.  I didn't eat, and needed a nap.  The business of being a mom took over, and, instead of relishing the time I had to enjoy my family.  Without thinking twice, I ruined the whole day in the motions of completing the daily grind.
Often, I think of the Savior chastising me, in his words...  "Thou art cumbered about by many things...  choose the better part."  It is so hard to determine what that really is.  If I don't clean the house, then how can the Lord be here?  If I spend time playing with the kids, then how is dinner going to get made?  The lists of things that must be done go on and on, and never does there seem to be a break. My children are growing up so fast, and I am missing out on so much.  It's becoming harder to send them away rather than easier, and where they go, I am not permitted to follow.  6 more years...  That's it.  Then they will be adults and off on their own.  How do I make that time count?
The instructions set by the Lord answer these questions time and time again.  Family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening...  It always goes back to those family activities.  It's truly all about the family.
That ending seems so anti-climactic, but it really is the pinnacle of all.  Without Hailey and Katie, there is no me.  They are my reason for living each day of my life.  I am a mother because they are the greatest gifts a loving Heavenly Father could ever give.  My thanks be to Him.
I decided, this year, to write thank you notes to my children on Mother's Day.  They always try so hard to make it special for me, and I want to express gratitude for them.  For the beauty they bring into my life.  While they are too personal to share here, they are written on my heart.
To my readers who are mothers:  Happy Mother's Day.  May you bask in the warmth and love of a partnership with your Heavenly Father, raising His children in peace and love!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Fun!!!!

As tradition, here is the latest and greatest of Lincoln and Nebraska ready for summer entertainment and fun.  We have some of the old die-hards, and some new amazings...  (For those who are new to this...  I don't like being bored, so I look for stuff to do over the summer.  Here are some of the activities I found!  If you find more, then please let me know!  I'm always up for an adventure!)  Are you ready???

(A note first - some of these may have charges incurred.  It is up to you to check...)

Nebraska Passport - 10 Tours, 60 locations all over Nebraska, and rewards when you go.  Don't forget the Prize Entry form!  I printed out my information, but I think you can pick these up at some of the listed locations.

Here is the Lincoln Passport - A little closer to home, still amazing fun!!!

As always, I encourage childhood literacy, so take advantage of the Library Reading Program (this is for the little kids) and the Teen Reading Program (obviously for the big ones).  It's free and there are prizes for completing the activities!

The Great Park Pursuit - Sponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is a great way to see all beauty that Nebraska has to offer.  Once again, you may be headed on a drive, but the view is amazing!  (And there are prizes!)

Kids Bowl Free - Seriously....  This is one of my favorite programs!!!  Sign up and your kids, ages 5-15, can bowl two games per day all summer long for FREE!  (You just have to buy them shoes, or rent shoes each time.)  If you go to Parkway Lanes (where we go...), they will sell you a little card for $10 that covers your shoe rental for the entire summer.  If mom and dad want to get in on the bowling action, $24.95 will cover the Family Pass, which gets mom and dad 2 games each day for the whole summer (but there is no special on bowling shoe rental).

The KFOR Punch Ticket - sold to promote PTO's at each elementary school, this $5 coupon sheet gives you access to a bunch of activities in and around Lincoln for free or majorly discounted.  Worth the $5, and all $5 go to your child's school.  (If your school isn't selling these, let me know and I can take your money and get these at H&K's school.)

Lincoln Parks and Rec also has some great activities going on this summer.

If you are interested in visiting particular cities, here are the links to their travel and tourism!

Grand Island
Nebraska City

Get out and have fun!  There is a lot to do!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This evening my family ended up in the basement.

No tornado warnings or anything like that.  Just a lot of laundry, couponing and watching tv.

This evening it was the Chopped Season Finale and Cupcake Wars.

More importantly, it was four people, busy in the world, taking a break from the crazy to just be together.

5 loads of laundry, 3 piles of coupon inserts and 2 baskets of unmatched socks later, I remember what my husband and kids look like.

As I reflect on our summer and the tons of things we are doing, it is becoming increasingly important to me that I slow down and give us one day each week clear of the "everyday" and just be together.  No place to go, nothing to see here.  It was so nice.