Daily Life, Thoughts

The Chosen Makes You Think

So this past week I finally sat down and watched The Chosen. My husband and I and some of our kids watched it over the course of a few days. It has been awhile since we had a series to watch together. Again, I have pretty high standards. I don’t tolerate much swearing and immorality even though the story “is so good”.

I’d seen this series advertised and I didn’t give it really a second thought. Then I saw a gal I follow on Instagram saying she finally gave it a good try and got hooked and binge watched it multiple times. Okay I thought, I’ll give it a shot. I downloaded the app and started to watch it. I got maybe halfway through the first episode and I was hooked.

It was so good!

Do I think that it is 100% accurate? No. But what I do think is that it is good.

For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

Moroni 7:5

I was praying and wondering if it was a good thing and the answer I got was “If it brings you to Christ it is a good thing.” Good enough for me.

I am excited for Season 2. The first one made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel more of a longing to have more of a relationship with my Savior. He is my elder brother. The Chosen I don’t think took away from the deity of Christ, but rather showed him in more of a 3D perspective. It reminded me that He knows me and loves me and understands what it is like to go through mortality.

So this weekend if you have some time and even if you think you don’t, you should give the show a chance.

Daily Life

There is Peace

I don’t think I wrote about this so I will try again.

I had been struggling. I could see myself getting off track. Nothing major but I could feel myself distancing myself from God. I don’t know why exactly. I was being a stubborn and petulant child. I wasn’t enjoying the feeling of it either but my stubborn pride would not let me fix it. I told myself “not now, I’m not ready” which is a very sad mindset. But just like when my children are upset and refuse to be comforted I patiently wait until they are ready. I am sure that my Heavenly Father does the same. How hard it must be for Him to patiently wait for so many of His children who refuse to be comforted to finally- hopefully- come to Him.

I finally am coming back around. It has been four months since we’ve been to church. Church makes it easy. You just show up and share the job of teaching each other. Sometimes you just show up and learn. But at home it is all on me and Alex to teach our children. We made it a priority to have church at home every single Sunday. It is work. It is good work, but it is work. There is no one to carry you along. No one to make sure you do it. It is all on you. It has been an opportunity to see what our priorities are and are we willing to follow Christ when no one else will see it?

Like I said, I was getting off track. I didn’t feel the spirit like I needed to because I wasn’t doing what I needed to. I started doing what I needed to. I started praying more and with more thought and sincerity. I started to study the scriptures more earnestly. I started listening to more uplifting podcasts and religious material. I got back on track and it will be a daily effort to stay there.

In the scriptures Christ commands us to pray always that we will not be tempted. He didn’t say it because it sounded like a good thing to say. He said it because it is imperative. As I follow the news daily I am astonished at how much we need the Gospel of Christ. It really is the only true anchor we have in a world of shifting values and daily changing opinions and “truth”.

It might have been easy to just float along as a Christian up until a few months ago but it feels like we are being sifted now. Where do you stand now? Are you firmly rooted in Christ or are you wish-washy, still trying to grasp the world? It has been interesting to watch these days unfold. It was prophesied that in the last days before Christ would return that men would call good evil and evil good. I never understood how it could be possible really until now. To me it feels like time is running out. Chaos seems to multiply daily and it is time to choose a side. As it says in the scriptures, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

I hope that things are going well for any who read this. I hope there is peace in your life. This song is so beautiful and if you have a minute or two to listen to it I highly recommend you do so.

Have a great day!

Sunday, Uncategorized

It was a Good Sunday

Sunday was a good day. I got up and went for a walk. I only did a half mile but it was Sunday and I needed rest. I only walked for the length of one conference talk. It was a good one- they all are.

You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that [Christ] was always there beside you.

-President Thomas Monson

It is true. I’ve seen it in my life.

We did church at home and Evangeline was fussy as usual. Every week she picks church time to be tired. Her normal nap time is two hours later but apparently not on Sunday. So Alex went and put her in her bed while I did singing time with the kids. He was back in less than 5 minutes. She must have been really tired.

For church Alex talked about not just hearing the word, the gospel, but internalizing it and doing it. With the little kids we discussed baptism. Lauren and Sam talked about what they remember about their baptism and Alex and I said what we remember about ours. Gideon is looking forward to his this December when he turns eight.

With the older two boys we talked about the plan of happiness. Our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We went over a few things, they had a couple questions, but it all boiled down to making good choices, being kind and serving those around us- including our family.

Alex’s sister had a few questions about gardening so we decided to go see her and help her out with a few pointers. She has never gardened before and so it will be an experience for her family. Gardens are hard to mess up for the most part. Pulling the plant out when weeding or forgetting to water is about the only way to really mess it up. As long as the plants don’t freeze, they get watered and get some fertilizer (over fertilizing is not good either) they can do their thing. It really is fun. To me at least. I love watching it all grow.

Speaking of gardening, one of our apple trees only had 9 apples last year. This year it has at least 100 blossoms on it. Our plum tree only had 6 plums last year and this year has at least 100 blossoms. It should be a good crop. The apple tree isn’t big enough to hold all the apples that will grow so we’ll have to play it by ear and see what we canet grow. But we’ll have our own apes this year!

Growing up my mom planted peach trees in our backyard. We bottled 90 quarts of peaches one year. A lot of work but so good for a dinner of toast and peaches in the winter. The 90 quarts was just what we canned. We would go out and eat peaches off the tree until we were ready to burst. And the peaches and ice cream! My favorite. I guess I better move back to Utah so I can grow peaches. That is the only thing about living where I do that I don’t like. All the peaches have to be shipped in and they aren’t nearly as good. Nothing beats the taste of fresh off the tree.

Now that I am hungry for peaches, the rest of the day was good. After lunch we sat out on the front steps and enjoyed the sunshine. The kids blew bubbles and that morphed into them playing with the hose and getting wet. It was Evangeline’s first time playing in the hose since it was finally warm enough. She loved it .

For scripture time before bed we watched a video and the kids loved it. They wanted to watch it over and over. I told them how to find it on YouTube. It is called “The Goal: A Story of Faith, Friendship and Forgiveness “. It is super cute and has such a relatable and good message. We had read the scripture it was about with the kids earlier during church and it was great that the video applied it in a way the kids could understand it better.

That was Sunday.


Up Down Up Down Up

I lead the music in Sacrament meeting every other month. Luckily we were on time this morning. We couldn’t find one boy’s shirt. We found something and made do. I looked at the time as we pulled into the parking lot and for a second freaked out. Luckily I put my clocks ahead by a few minutes so we weren’t actually late.

I didn’t know the words to the first song. Not good when you are trying to lead. Alex said he didn’t know it either. The congregation was unfamiliar with it as well because they went singing very loud.

As I sat up front during the passing of the sacrament and I looked at my family. The kids were so cute. I was thinking I should have stayed sitting up front because Evangeline was fine. But I went to sit down and as I did Evangeline saw me and had to be with me. Of course.

She’s getting closer to walking. She has taken one step every once in awhile. She’ll probably be walking before her birthday.

I have 4 more birthdays coming up in less than a month. All in about 2 weeks time. We started planning the cakes and food, presents and decorations.

Yesterday since I took the internet away Michael sat down to play the piano. He has played the trombone for over two years and wanted to learn to play the piano. He finished the beginner book this weekend. Like he went through the entire book. I’m impressed. I only encouraged him and helped him with a few things and away he went. He played them all correctly too. I gave him the next level books to start on this week.

For dinner tonight I made dough and the kids all made their own pizzas. Michael is getting really good at making sauce. He’s started experimenting and tonight’s sauce was really good.

So it has been a night of ups and downs. We watched Relative Race tonight. It was such an emotional episode. I won’t give it away. It was laughing and happy tears.

I was just scrolling through Facebook and I just broke down in tears. A few days ago my mission president shared that his son, who was about 6 when I met him, and his wife had a baby who was born early and had heart defects. They knew about it before he was born. That doesn’t make it any easier. This morning he passed away. They posted pictures of the mother and father and the anguish and grief on their faces was so heartbreaking. It was their first baby.

Earlier this year a girl I know lost her baby. It was so hard. Our babies were the same age and i still cry thinking about it. I see her at church and she asks to hold my baby. I see her cry as she misses her beautiful little girl.

These are the saddest stories ever. I can’t imagine what they are going through. All I can do is pray for them. I am so grateful to my Savior and for his sacrifice for us so that death is not the end. This little families are known by our Father in Heaven. He knows of their sorrow and knows how to comfort them in their grief.

It got me thinking how life and family is so precious. We need to do all we can to preserve those relationships. We never know how long we have. 1 day, 100 years. We need to be kind and help one another. We need to put our family first and not be distracted by anything that would take us away from them.

I was reminded of a scripture

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

…and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort…

Mosiah 18: 8-9

We will be comforted in our trials. We need to do our best to comfort those in need of comfort.

I don’t want to end on a serious note. It’s good to think about others and know so we can help them, even if it is just praying for them. But yesterday something happened that just made me laugh. Kids are ridiculous. The cats had come in and I hollered at told the kids to get the cats back outside. Noah took one out and I look and Gideon is outside with a pillowcase. I figured out what was going on and rolled my eyes and said, “Would you just let the cat out of the bag!” Hahaha! Let the cat out of the bag. Little boys are ridiculous and I never thought I would use that phrase and mean it literally.


Where Can I Turn for Peace

Where can I turn for peace?

Where is my solace

When other sources cease to make me whole?

When with a wounded heart, anger or malice,

I draw myself apart

Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows,

Where, when I languish,

Where, in my need to know, where can I run?

Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?

Who, who can understand?

He, only One.

He answers privately,

Reaches my reaching

In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.

Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.

Constant he is and kind,

Love without end.

–Emma Lou Thayne

The drama from last night stuck with me. I don’t care for drama outside of tv and movies. It isn’t as entertaining when it is your life. I am not sure what happened but I guess every once in awhile all the emotions just need to come out. That happened this morning. I started the morning ok, then got mad and went to church mad.  I was not a happy camper. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. It’s church, you really can’t do that.

God had other ideas.

The music leader wasn’t there and I stepped in to lead the music. Then the hymn started. I started to tear up. I was in the Spanish group and even though I tried concentrate on singing in Spanish, my brain had other ideas. I love this hymn, especially this version. I love the comfort it brings. I was going through the words in  English in my head so I struggled the whole time and then sat down and struggled some more. There was no way I could get up in front of everyone crying. So I asked my husband if he could lead the music in my stead and I went to the mother’s room and cried. And prayed. And cried. I needed to hear that song today. I touched my heart and took the anger away. The song really describes the process I was going through.

I pulled myself together enough to go back and sit with my family. I have a wonderful husband. He was sitting in front of me and reached back to hold my hand. I was sniffling but I wasn’t outright crying. I was on the verge of tears the whole time. It’s ridiculous. I guess sometimes you just need to get it all out. The timing was horrible. A dear woman saw me struggling and came up and gave me a hug. I was appreciative, truly. I lost it again. I decided to go home because I couldn’t talk without crying.

I was at home and since it was Michael’s birthday I got to work on a brunch for him. I listened to the radio (hymns and BYU-I devotionals) while I cleaned up and made french toast and bacon.

After we cleaned up I went to lay down and cry some more. Yes, I am a cry baby. Always have been. But I got it out of my system and I am now able to function and think rationally. Don’t make decisions while in a funk. Always so dramatic. I don’t think the peace always comes immediately. Sometime it does. I think I needed the time to work things out.

Moving on.

Last night I was tucking in the kids and Michael seemed upset. I asked and he said he was sad that he didn’t have any presents. I had said I would give him money since he didn’t know what he wanted. I didn’t want to buy something he didn’t want. I felt like the worst mom in the world. Who wants to ruin their baby’s birthday! I tucked everyone else in and talked to Alex. I was going to go to the store after I put the baby down for the night and get Michael a present. It was 11 p.m. I took Noah with me because he must have his dad’s genes. He took a nap and was wide awake. So I got to spend time with him.

I had an idea suddenly that Michael needed clothes. I’m pretty sure God had a hand in that idea. I got him a sweater, a jacket, and a flannel red/black plaid shirt. And a hotwheels car and candy. The car is a funny thing. All my boys loved cars growing up. The other day we were joking around and he said he loves getting a hotwheels car for Christmas. They get one in their stocking every year.

This morning when he woke up he was fully expecting to get nothing. He LOVED the present! Yay! It reminds me of the year he turned 10. Alex had told him that if he didn’t put his bike away (a thrift store special), that it would get taken away. The day of his birthday he left his bike on the front yard. Alex got home from work and he made a show of taking Michael’s bike and putting it in the back of the truck and driving off. Michael was a crying wreck. Alex came back around the block and pulled a new bike out of the back of his truck. It was an awful joke but the look on Michael’s face when he saw the new bike was so cute.

His food requests for the day were great. French toast for breakfast then hamburgers for dinner. He loves key lime pie and lemon meringue pie. So I combined them and made a key lime meringue pie. I need to make up my own recipe. All the ones I’ve made have too much sugar. Pie Week is coming up and I’ll work on it then. I’ll let you know what Pie Week is when it comes up.

The pies were a group effort. Lauren and Alex made the crust (I dislike making the crust). I made the filling and then tried to teach Michael and Lauren how to separate eggs for the meringue. It was funny because I told them to keep trying but eventually they went through so many eggs that we wouldn’t have enough to make the meringue. So I took over and now I have enough already cracked eggs to make breakfast in the morning. I think we went through 2.5 dozen with them trying to get it right.

But that is part of the reason we have chickens.

I guess this is where I leave you for the night.