"Motherhood is not a burden to be borne, it is a privilege to be enjoyed. It is not a trial of endurance, it is a time of celebration." Winnie Dalley



It's late. I should be sleeping, but my mind is full of thoughts. Today I called my sweetie Bob to see how his day was going at work. He answered and I heard him talking to a little girl. I could tell because he had the same sound in his voice that he has when he talks to our Anna. He was asking her if she needed her blanket and if she was warm enough.
I soon came to find out that he was taking care of a precious 18 month old girl and her 7 year old brother(until CPS came to place them somewhere) whom he had found in the back of a car in some parking lot this morning. Their parents were passed out from drugs in the front seat. My heart sank. I started to cry. Every time I thought about it during the day I cried. I was grateful for my babies. I was grateful I could be at home with them...playing with them, feeding them, even grateful to be potty-training our Anna. :)

Bob came home and we had dinner with our sweet babies. We had fruit and vegetables to feed them. We laughed at their silliness. We talked about how amazed we are at our Anna and how she did so great on her first day of potty training. Bob pulled out one of Bobby's loose teeth and we were so excited for him in his excitement of how grown up he is getting. We got the kids ready for bed. We said family prayer together and I left to go to the adult meeting for our Stake Conference. Bob stayed home and read to our babies. Tucked them into warm beds with clean sheets and clean jammies. Gave them kisses and hugs and "I love you"s. Their tummies were full. Their hearts were happy. They were safe.

I had a wonderful time at the adult meeting. I felt the spirit so strongly and my testimony of the reality of my Savior Jesus Christ was strengthened. I was spiritually fed. I came home to tell Bob all about it. I felt peace.
Then the conversation turned again to those precious children that Bob had cared for earlier in the day. Immediately my peace was gone and I started to cry again. I thought how was unfair it is that our children can have a home where they are loved and cared for and these children do not. He told me how another officer had gone out to get these kids something to eat because they were starving and dehydrated. He told me that when he had initially found the kids, he had gotten the kids out of the car and put them in the back of his car to keep them warm, (there were 60 mph winds today) and that their mother had woken up and gotten out of the car and instead of comforting her children who were screaming and crying, she said she needed to smoke a cigarette. Bob told her forcefully to put down the cigarette and go and comfort her baby. The little boy was sad because one of his toys was left in the car that had been impounded. (Bob found some little toys and things to give the kids at the station, which cheered them up. The little girl warmed right up to Bob and stayed right by him when other officers came near. He changed her dirty diaper and carried her around until the CPS workers took over. Luckily these kids had a grandma who could come and get them, and I pray that she will take better care of them than their parents.)

So I was crying and heartbroken. I know that this is just one of many instances where innocent children and people suffer because of the bad choices of others.

We prayed together and Bob went to bed and I went to my solace. I prayed. I asked Heavenly Father to teach me. I turned to the scriptures and to the words of living prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ. I was led to this talk about personal peace. While I was reading, my sweet Anna cried out from her sleep. I went to comfort her and she was half asleep, crying, sounding scared. I felt for her in the dark and she was reaching up against the wall with her arms up, searching for comfort. I picked her up and whispered, "Mommy's here." She immediately calmed down and I was able to soothe her back to sleep. As I was rocking her, I couldn't help but see the lesson my Father was trying to teach me. I knew where Anna was. I knew that she was safe, I knew what she needed...just to know mommy was near. Our Father in heaven knows where each of His children are. He knows what each of us need. He can see the way through our darkness to pick us up in His ever-reaching arms.

I know that He has not abandoned those precious children and so many like them who are suffering because of the poor choices of others. I don't have all the answers as to why there is so much suffering in this world. But I do know that the gift of agency...the power to make choices for ourselves....is so vitally important that Heavenly Father will not take it away from any of His children, even when it means that others of His children must suffer. But I also know that He is aware of all the suffering....intimately aware. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ has felt all the suffering of every one of God's children. And I know that His atoning power can and will make all things right in the end.
President Heber J. Grant said:
"His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness."
Through the atonement, these children can be healed. These children can forgive their parents for their poor choices. There is hope for these children for eternity, even if their suffering is great on this earth, because of Jesus Christ.

I believe in God. I believe that He is. I believe that He created all things both in heaven and in earth. I believe that He has all wisdom and all power both in heaven and in earth. I believe that man cannot comprehend all the things that the Lord can comprehend. (Mosiah 4:9)

So I can go to sleep knowing that all things are in His hands. And I will pray that He can use me every day, in any small or great way, to ease the suffering of those of His children in need.

*I love this whole talk by Elder Quentin L. Cook Personal Peace. Really beautiful insights on obtaining personal peace amidst the turmoil that is the world. Read it. Share it. :)


Little Mommy

I just love being a mommy.  I can't imagine that there is anything in the world that could fill me up with so much happiness.  Here is an example of this happiness from my day today. 
Our precious 'baby' girl is getting so big.  She is 17 months and she is already a mommy.  She is obsessed with babies.  She tries to hold 'babies' who are bigger than her.  When she was still crawling she would chase around her older cousin with her arms stretched out trying to hold her.  This obsession has only grown as she can now walk and is starting to become a little chatterbox.  We were on a walk today and we passed one of our neighbors who has a little 5 month old baby.  Anna immediately reached her arms out and started yelling, 'Baby! Baby!'.  Our sweet neighbor actually let her hold her baby.  Well let me tell you, Anna was in 7th heaven!  She had the hugest grin on her face and kept stroking the baby and patting her tummy, all while repeating, 'baby, baby..' over and over again.  When the baby's mommy asked if she could take the baby back, Anna would shake her head and hold her closer.  She cried and cried when her turn to be mommy was over.  It was so precious to watch.
I think it is so beautiful how this sweet little girl already knows who she is.  She already loves being a woman even in her tiny toddler form.  This desire to mother came built in with her spirit.  I feel like getting on top of the tallest building and shouting to the whole world when I think about how amazing and fantastic it is to be a woman.  I feel so blessed to have the ability to create life with my husband and then to watch as my body knows exactly what to do.  And why?  Not by chance, but by divine design. I am a woman and I have the sacred priviledge and responsibility to bear children.  I feel sad for women who have bought into the lie that being a mother is just not enough....who feel that they have to think and do and be exactly the same as a man in order to be equal.  We are different on purpose.  For a purpose.  I am so grateful for the amazing happiness that comes from knowing who I am and why I am here and where I can go after this life.  I am so grateful for the things that I can learn about my Heavenly Parents by having my own turn as a parent here on earth.  I am in awe when I think of how much I love my children and want their happiness more than anything....and to know that my Heavenly Parents love me with that same kind of love, only it's the perfect kind, and it's multiplied by an infinite number, so big of a way that I can't even comprehend it.  The more I ponder it, the more quiet and humble I feel.  I am most grateful.


Are We Not All Mothers?

"Motherhood is more than bearing children.  It is the essence of who we are as women."

Motherhood: Love That Is Woven From Heart to Heart

Look closely at this picture.  This mother is knitting her daughter's sweater from the thread of her own that she is wearing.  This is a beautiful and powerful message to me.  Today we celebrate the sacredness of motherhood.  My heart is filled with a deep gratitude for the great privilege it is to be a mother.  I am so grateful for my own mother who had this same deep love and passion for mothering that she knitted into the very fabric of my soul.  Because of her love of womanhood, mine was nurtured, cultivated and made to grow and expand.  This picture shows what my mother did for me in so many ways.  This picture shows me the great influence and affect that I have on my own children. 
I feel so deeply about the subject of motherhood that I don't even have the words to express my feelings.  I will just say that I know it is the most important thing that I could do.  I know sometimes women feel like they are inadequate and like they aren't contributing anything to society if they are 'just a mother'.  Well, to quote Julie Beck, she said that when we are living with our Heavenly Father forever, the name that  His exalted daughters will be known by will be 'Mother'.  If that is the highest and holiest name from our Eternal Father (and it's wonderful to note that Father is the name that He wants us to call Him), that is the name I want now and forever.
Happy Mother's Day to every woman....because whether we have children of our own or not, we are all indeed mothers and can be forever thanks to the wonderful plan of happiness given to us from our beloved Father in Heaven.

*This picture is entitled 'Windows of Heaven' by Emily McPhie


Easter Week : Thursday- Monday

I am so excited about the Bible Videos that the church has made and started releasing.  There is a beautiful video for each of the remaining days of Easter week that would be wonderful to watch and ponder as a family.  Here's the link.

Tonight Jesus ate the passover meal with his apostles.  He also instituted the first sacrament and taught the apostles many beautiful truths.  He also washed their feet, always the perfect example of service. 
Then He went to Gethsemane where He faced alone the embodiment of all of our sins and weaknesses and pains. 

"Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with the most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, It is the most important single thing that has ever occurred in the entire history of created things; it is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest. "
Bruce R. McConkie

It seems so...not enough....to just say how grateful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I can't even comprehend all that He suffered for me, but at the times in my life when I have felt the deepest pain or sorrow, I have felt the reality that He has already felt all of it.  And He has been with me and delivered me from every trial of my life thus far, and I know He will be with me through whatever is to come in my life as long as I turn to Him.

We made these today to show that we want to give Jesus our hearts and always remember Him and what He did for us.

Tonight we are going to celebrate passover with our extended family.  We eat all of the traditional foods and discuss how the law of Moses was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  It is a really neat thing to do.

Disclaimer: I had plans of making all my art projects in advance so I could post pictures and more details, but I think I temporarily forgot about my most favorite job of being mommy to 3 young children and how it takes up a lot more time than I ever anticipate.  So...here is a brief rundown of what we do and some ideas I wanted to try.  I'm sure you all are more creative than me, and I would love to hear of any ideas that you think might work better!

Tomorrow is the day Jesus was crucified.  We celebrate that greatest act of love of all time by doing random acts of kindness for other people. 
For our art project tomorrow, I was going to have the kids make an earth and put a sad face on it because the earth was so sad when Jesus died that there were earthquakes and storms all over the earth. 

Saturday we celebrate with the theme "We Are Free!"  We know from the Doctrine and Covenants that Jesus ministered in the spirit world during this time.  We usually like to go to the temple on this day and discuss how we can help people in the spirit world to be free by participating in temple work.  I was going to have the kids make a butterfly as our art project on this day.

Sunday we celebrate the we can all be resurrected because Jesus broke the bands of death!
I was going to make a ressurection puppet for each of the kids.  (Print out or draw a picture of each child, one on plain white paper as the spirit and one in color for the body.  Then put them on popscicle sticks and use them to show how our spirit and our body are separated by death and reunited by resurrection.) 

On Monday we celebrate Easter in America.  We have a mexican night!  Everyone tells their favorite story from 3 Nephi and we watch the last part of The Testaments when Jesus comes. 
For the art project on this day I was going to have the kids draw a picture of little children around Jesus and then have them make a 'ring of fire' with pipe cleaners to illustrate the story from 3 Nephi.

I hope everyone has a glorious week and feels the great love and power that come from the greatest miracle that is Easter!


Easter Week: Wednesday

There is no scriptural record of what the Savior did today.  I wonder if He might have gone somewhere to be alone and talk with His Father to gain strength and prepare as much as He could for the experiences of Gethsemane and Calvary coming tomorrow and the next day.  We are not sure what He did, but in our family we call today our wilderness day.  We spend time as a family strengthening eachother through our love for one another.  If we can, we go somewhere out in nature and feel the love of our Heavenly Father through His creations.
This morning the kids made a collage of pictures in nature that reminded them of Jesus' love.

Growing up, we always did a family talent show today.  I think it is kind of neat that we have a sort of "ponder day" right in the middle of the week.  There is so much to think about and be grateful for remembering all that the Savior was about to do for us.  I am so grateful that because of what He did this week, I can be with my family forever in His presence. 


Easter Week Ideas: Sunday-Tuesday

Happy Easter Week!  I know we're already 3 days in, but I just decided this morning to post about some of the things we do in our family to make this week the most celebrated holiday of the year!
When I was growing up, my mom and dad decided they wanted Easter to be the biggest and most important holiday in our house.  Every day, starting on Palm Sunday, we do something special to remember what Jesus did during this last week of His life on earth.  I won't go into detail about everything we do (because there's a whole book that my mom made for this special week), but I thought I would share some of our traditions and ideas that I have adapted a bit for our young children.

Since it's Tuesday, I'll have to catch up a bit for Sunday and Monday. :)

Palm Sunday

We talk about Jesus riding into Jerusalem and how the people shouted "Hosanna!" and laid down their clothes and palm branches in the way.  We make palm branches out of construction paper and put them by our front door. We talk to the kids about how Jesus is coming again to the earth and what we can do to be ready to meet Him.

Every day we eat special and yummy food that is symbolic of something to remind us of the Savior as well. 


Today Jesus cursed the barren fig tree, cleansed the temple and healed in the temple.  Each day we read from the scriptures about what Jesus did on that day.  My husband and I read together, and we use pictures to teach what happened to our children, as well as reading as much as their little attention spans can handle.

For an art project today, you could make a fig tree out of construction paper, (or any fruit tree) and discuss with your kids what it means to have "fruit" and not just "leaves". 
For Family Home Evening last night, we talked about Jesus cleansing the temple because people were not doing good things in the temple.  Then we discussed how we want our home to be like the temple and what we should be doing and not doing in our home to make that happen.

We ate fig cookies to remind us to be fruitful.  For dinner we ate french toast to remember that Jesus is the bread of life.


Today Jesus taught many parables.  He also lamented over Jerusalem and how often he tried to gather them as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings and they would not.
So today we talk about the parables that Jesus taught.  A lot of the parables have a picture to go with it from the gospel art kit.
This morning we made chicks to remind us that we want to be gathered and follow Jesus. (Thanks to my sister-in-law for the cute idea:)

I also have been trying to display a visual of what happened on each day on our counter so the kids can see it in the morning.
Tonight we will eat chicken for dinner to further remind us to be gathered. :)
My mom makes these absolutely adorable chick sugar cookies as well, but as I said earlier, I'm just giving a few ideas right now. 

I hope everyone celebrates this most special week and remembers how much our Savior loves us all.
Happy Easter Week!