Laughing is Better

"You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."

[Marjorie Pay Hinckley, "Glimpses into the life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley']

Don't you just love her outlook?

Me? I'm laughing. Crying gives me a headache too. Have a lovely Sunday.


I just printed our Disneyland tickets! I've been very excited as our departure approached, but this seems to have really cemented the fact that it's coming up on Monday! Can't wait! My Disneyland history is ancient -- I went as a 12 year old, as a 20 year old, and then when Math was under a year old (considering that fact that he's 28 now, that tells you it was a while ago!). I'm ready to go again. I'm excited to see the new things there (everything will be new to me, I'm sure) and I'm excited to be able to be there with the little ones, to see their reactions to it all. I know they love it and I can't wait to share that with them.

Wow -- Monday morning will be here before I know it. I need to do some laundry!



"A tulip doesn't strive to impress anyone. It doesn't struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn't have to. It is different. And there's room in the garden for every flower." [Marianne Williamson]

I'm a big fan of the tulip. If I were a flower, I think I'd be a tulip. What struck me today is that in life, we are all very unique, yet we have everything in common. We are all different flowers. As I survey my friends and family, I see what a beautiful garden I have been planted in. I see elegant roses, tall, aristocratic sunflowers, cute little daffodils and lovely orchids. The differences are striking, but the resemblances and things we share are lovely. And we are all growing together.

I am grateful for the diverse garden my friends make up, the smaller bouquet that has become my family, and the beauty I see in all.

I'm glad you are growing in my flower garden!
[photo via flickr]


This One's for Me!

Oh, how I love this one. I already own her "Blessed" necklace but this looks like me. Something I need to get for myself -- maybe with grandbaby initials? What do you think? Find it here.


What is Left? Lots!

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left." ~Hubert Humphrey

Good advice, especially for those of us who are tired of feeling cranky and put upon. There are things I can't change in life, and I am learning that sometimes I have to deal with things I just plain don't want to. But that's just how life is.
This quote spoke to me and is a concept I'm working on right this minute. The bottom line is that I do have a lot left that I can do a lot with.
I'm trying.


Parenting Their Spirits

I've been spending a lot of time thinking and praying about our Primary children this week. I love them so dearly and want only the best for them. I read something on Kristin Armstrong's running blog that really spoke to me and touched me as I pondered on how to make our Primary better. Her comment [she was talking about her own children, but it applies here as well] was that we need to remember that we are not only parenting their bodies, we are parenting their spirits as well.

That really touched me as I applied it to our Primary. I feel the responsiblity of Primary very heavily at times. I know that most of our kiddoes come from spiritual, loving homes but I also know that you never really know what goes in in someone else's private life. So I feel that it's so important to love each one of them as if no one else in the world loves them -- and to feed them, nurture them, and teach them as if Primary is the only place that will happen. As I said, I'm sure their homes are safe, loving places. But you never know. And I feel that need to nurture their spirits.

I pray so often for each of our children and for their teachers. I pray for their families. And I pray for us, the Primary presidency, that we can share our testimonies, our love of the gospel, and our faith with them in such a way that we are reaching far beyond their physical beings. I want our love and nurturing to reach deep into their spirits.


Valentines Wishes

As Natalie has mentioned, I'm a big fan of Valentine's Day. What a great chance to let people know we love them. I love trying to find the perfect little gift, the one thing that someone never expected to receive. I just love it all.

Mark brought me a beautiful vase of white roses, and I have a yummy box of Dove chocolate that Chris, Natalie and the kiddoes gave me. Then a sweet little piano student brought me a box of chocolates as well and another showed up with some lovely white and red tulips. [my favorite!] I feel loved and well remembered. And I think that's what it's all about -- telling the people you love that you do you love them in whatever way you can find.

Happy Valentines day to everyone -- lots of love [and wishes for chocolate!] going out to all of you!
[picture via Paula Becker]


Grone Up Best Friend

Today I had just one piano student -- an 8 year old boy who I have loved ever since I first met him. I love his mom and dad too -- they are a lovely family. So I'm really enjoying every bit of time I get with him, especially one-on-one in a piano lesson setting.

Today after the lesson, the mom sent the kiddoes out to the car and she pulled a sheet of paper from her purse. She had found it in her son's school bag and thought I should have it.

At school, his class had been assigned to write about their goals for 2008. This is exactly what this little boy wrote [in his words and with his spelling]:

"For the year 2008 I have some goals I want to learn. I want to learn how to play piano from my grone up best friend. My dad knows how to play piano too. That's why I want to learn how to play piano. I hope I will have a lot of fun with her at piano. I am exitid!!"

How much do I love it that I got to see this? Totally. I have a box in my closet where I put things that are meaningful to me and when I'm feeling discouraged, I take a few things out and read them and realize that there are people who love me and that I'm OK.

After all, I am a very special 8 year old boy's grone up best friend.


Good Advice

“To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.”
[Ogden Nash]
And in Holly's words, 'nuff said!


Music Machine

Years ago when our kids were small and money was scarce, I was not happy to discover that Mark had succumbed to a door-to-door salesperson while I was out. As he described it, it was a 'hippie-ish looking person' who knocked on our front door in South Salt Lake and sold him a long-play record album entitled "Music Machine - The Fruit of the Spirit". [scroll down to find the CD] I was so mad at him for spending money we really didn't have on something we definitely didn't need that I boycotted the record for a long time.

One day, when it was rainy and we were all cranky, I put the record on and we listened to it -- and we loved it. I'm still not sure who put it out, but it's clearly a Christian-based production. It includes songs about love, smiling, patience, gentleness, faith, joy, peace, goodness, self control and kindness. And the music is catchy and fun.

I had all but forgotten about this old, long-discarded record. But a year or so ago, for some reason, the patience song popped into my head: "Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry." [what's intriguing about this is that it was sung by Herbert the Snail, who had a very snail-ish low voice.] Good sentiments, right? So I got on the computer, found it, ordered it and now both Natalie and I have it to play for the kiddoes. Who also love it.

Timeless. Music and good values. Gotta love that.


Words from Salt Lake

Did you attend the World Wide Training broadcast by the church today? I did and it was a morning well spent. I loved hearing the family's importance being discussed by our church leaders. I loved hearing their thoughts on ways to strengthen our families and I especially loved hearing Pres. Monson's first 'official' comments as our prophet.

As I watched and listened to the panel discussion, I had the Holy Ghost re-confirm to me the knowledge I already had -- that these leaders are divinely called and inspired. I felt it most strongly when Sis. Lant, the General Primary President spoke and when Pres. Monson spoke. But it was clear to me that all our leaders are the right people in the right places at the right time -- and they are the ones that our Heavenly Father has called to lead us right now.

On the drive home, I offered a silent prayer of gratitude for the opportunity I had had, to spend my Saturday morning listening to things I truly needed to hear. And as I did, this quote surfaced in my memory: “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” [Soren Kierkegaard]

I know I don't change God when I pray, but He is slowly but surely changing me. And that's a good thing. This morning helped in that process.


Happy Birthday, Masey!

Happy 2nd Birthday to Mason! This little boy has been such a wonderful addition to our family. Not only is he laid-back and easy going, he's sweet and funny too. [he's a lot like his parents!]

We've come a long way together in the past 2 years. We have a friendship that I hope will never change. He owns a piece of my heart that will never belong to anyone else - -and that's the way I like it! He and his sister and his cousins are living proof of what is wonderful about grandma-hood.

Lots of love and wishes for a zillion more years together!


Heart Attack!

Last night while I was upstairs using the elliptical machine (yay me! - that's 2x this week so far), the doorbell rang. Mark was at a meeting and I was sweaty and gross (and not finished with my workout) so I ignored it. A couple of minutes later, the phone rang and the Caller ID said "Private Caller". I was intrigued enough that I stopped and listened to see if there was a message and sure enough, there was. It sounded like a bunch of gangsta rappers -- and the message ended with something that mentioned the front porch and 'you gonna love it!'.
So -- after I finished exercising, I went downstairs and cautiously peeked out the front door. Can I tell you that I was so surprised and totally tickled? How fun is this?

I'm not sure where this 'heart attack' came from but I have my suspicions. Since several of the hearts had "We love Primary" written on them, I'm thinking our cute group of Primary Activity Day girls and their awesome leaders may have had a hand in it.

Is it any wonder I love our Primary so much? Our kids and their leaders are wonderful. I am so blessed!! They made my day for sure.


Just Don't Tell Me!

Last night Chris, Natalie and kiddoes returned from the Idaho/Utah trip and brought us a box of [our favorite!] See's Candies. We love Mary See for sure. But as I dove into the box, the first thing that surfaced was this: "See's Candies Nutritional Statements". What???

Mary See, I do NOT want to know how many calories I consumed in my 30 second foray into your deliciousness. Don't tell me.

I. Do. Not. Want. To. Know. Keep it to yourself.


Ideas for the Perfect Valentines Gift

Make your sweetie a nice, heart-shaped Valentines breakfast egg with this little gadget.

Or put a heart-shaped mouse on her heart-shaped mouse pad.

Tell her "I Love You" in one big cookie. [that one would work well for me!!]

Or an "I love you" stamped on her Valentine's Day slice of toast!

This heart-shaped planter will sprout a plant that has "I love you" inscribed on the leaves. Everyone wants one of these, right?

How about some lips to put on an owie? A new way to kiss it better, right?

Make yourself the pirate of love with this heart-shaped eyepatch. Arrrrrrr!

I think this is my favorite -- put the frog under water and he will turn into a handsome prince. This is something every girl needs!

Fun stuff -- find it all here.


Feelin' Fat!

I'm just now starting to get back on the elliptical machine after recovering from the 2 foot surgeries I've had. I've found it harder than I thought it would be to recover -- and I guess that's because you have to walk on these feet. You can't baby them along like you could an appendectomy scar or something like that. After a very short while, they want you walking on these sore, swollen little feet.

I am proud to announce that I can now get my right foot [operated on in Oct. '07] back into pretty much every shoe in the closet. However, the left foot [operated on in late Dec. '07] will only go into a select few at this point. Mostly shoes that I can lace up very loosely to accomodate it. But I can get both feet into my exercise shoes and for the past 2 weeks, I've done about 40 minutes 3x a week on the elliptical. Which is pretty good, I think, since I had a hiatus of nearly 4 mo. But I'm feeling squished into my jeans and I don't like that.

The answer? Of course. Better food choices and more time on the dreaded elliptical. And that's the plan. [I'm making it public so that someone can ask me later on if I really did it or not]. This week the goal is to up the minutes to 45 and the frequency to 4x. And no more candy. That's my big downfall. [Mason comes by it honestly.]
Wish me luck! [or stamina -- or both!].


I'll Give God Forever

Today as I was driving, I turned on my new CD of the Church musical "Savior of the World." You may remember Natalie mentioning it [she's very involved with our Stake's production]. She has had the soundtrack in her car for some time and I wanted my own. The CDs arrived yesterday -- what a gift. Already there have been so many 'aha' moments for me and I'm only halfway through the first CD.

You know, as I reflect, I realize that I know how much our Heavenly Father loves us and I know that His hand is in each of our lives and that He wants only what is good and right for us. This is not news to me. But I have no patience. I don't want to wait for anything. So when I pray, in my weak, wimpy way, I am expecting [and probably demanding] immediate answers and results and change. [I also know this is the wrong way to do things -- but I keep doing it. Can you relate?]

Today as I listened to the first CD, I heard these words [sung by the actress portraying Elisabeth]:

"I'll give God forever to make me what I am.
Give my plans and give my dreams,
Give up all my fretful schemes.
I'll give God this moment to fill my soul with cheer --
I'll give Him forevermore
And that will keep Him near.
. . .I'll give God forever and let Him lead me on."

Tears? For sure. Feelings of answers and revelation? Definitely. The Spirit? An outpouring. The knowledge that He does know me, He does hear me, and He does love me was clearer than ever before.

And a soft, sweet reminder that God is building a palace, not a shack. He needs time to work with someone like me. Lots of time. And I need to give Him that time.