Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Love of Reading

I recently read an article by Karl Rove, about a reading contest he has had the last three years with President Bush. It made me realize that I need to read more. One year Rove read 110 books!! ONE HUNDRED TEN!! I'm feel lucky if I finish three or four in a twelve month period.

There is no way I can read 110 books this year,( or, let's be honest--ANY year!) but I could read 24. I could turn off the TV, spend less time on the Internet, and READ! I love to read. I want to read. I want to expand my mind. I doubt much of it will be fiction, but who knows. The idea will be to read whatever suits my fancy at the time, and keep myself a small notebook of what I read. My goal will be to read 24 books this year, that's two per month. I will also be reading in my Book of Mormon daily, and my Sunday School and Seminary lessons as well.

It's not going to be easy, I'm not kidding myself there. But we DO homeschool; reading aloud to the kids can be part of what I'm reading. I really want to do this.

So I hereby make a proposal; a reading contest of sorts. Anyone want to play? I won't be keeping track or anything, and I won't know if you don't make your goal, but make one! Even if it's only to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, DO IT!

Let me know if you like, tell me what you are reading.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thoughts on Mothering

I'm sitting here listening to my teens giggle and laugh with friends. I realize the fact that they are home, playing games (CLUE tonight) with friends is, in itself, an anomaly in our day and age. I so enjoy hearing them laugh and giggle.
I have three children left at home. I'm going to miss this. I'm not ready to be an "empty-nester", and as my nest empties I long for the days when they were young. I think in my "busy young mother" days I missed a lot. How many days did I hurry them off to bed? How many times did I dismiss something their little mouths were telling me? How often did I fall into bed and not look back?
Please don't do this. When someone tells you "they grow up so fast": Believe them! Despite the fact you may be changing diapers every half hour, it will not always be so--I promise! The drudgery that you feel from time to time will abate, and you will be left with only what you have cultivated.
Cherish this time; it's worth every crazy, busy moment.

Just my thoughts on this soggy winter night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

I have intentionally not posted for a few weeks because I couldn't say anything nice; it is Christmas after all and I didn't want to ruin the spirit :)

I haven't wanted to be grumpy during this beautiful season.

I have been trying to think about my Savior. IT IS His birthday we are celebrating. Have we given Him a gift? Have we been less selfish? Less prideful? Less greedy? Less grumpy (I didn't post because I was grumpy!)?

There is SO very much to be worried and grumpy about to be sure. But let's put that aside for now; let's let the spirit of Christmas wash over us, and help us feel safe and secure for just a little while.

In that Spirit, I do have something to write about.

Yesterday in Church a lady gave a talk on giving. I know, it seems a "no brainer", and an "easy" talk to give at Christmas. Despite that, it made me teary. She talked about not having been able to feel the Christmas Spirit. Her house was in tumult because her daughter and son-in-law finally found a house, and were moving out. Her Christmas decorations were buried under said daughter and son-in-laws "stuff" in the garage. She just was grumpy and to top it off, her mom needed to go to Costco. Because we've had the miracle of snow here in Oregon, she didn't want to drive. So the good Sister took her mom to Costco, and not especially willingly. They shopped, they had lunch, they talked.
It was a gift she hadn't planned on giving.

She said that all her siblings who live out of state have been calling HER to find out "What does Mom want"? My friend said that all her mom REALLY wants is time. Time with her family. Time with loved ones and friends. In other words, nothing she or any of them could buy.

Not coincidentally, this matches up with the type of gifts we can give the Savior. We can serve selflessly. We can offer our shoulders. We can complain less, and do more.
The Lord asks much of us, but gives us strength in the doing. The more we do for the Kingdom, the stronger and more capable we become.
It's my hope and my prayer that we can, in this fearful, socialistic time that's headed our way (see, I couldn't do it!!), be calm. That we will remember the Lord is in charge. If we can remember that, then we can let go, and try to serve our fellowman more freely. Remember Jacob Marley's words to Ebeneezer Scrooge--"MANKIND was my business". I highly recommend watching the movie of "A Christmas Carol". Any version will do, but I love the Patrick Stewart version. Watch Scrooge change, then find ways to change and grow also.
We'll be watching tomorrow night, care to join us?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beyond Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day.
I hope you all had as wonderful a day as we did.
Our day stopped being wonderful about 8 PM.
Our son Justin headed out, with instructions (as usual) to call when he got back to his apartment in Roseburg; about 75 minutes away. Fifteen minutes later he came back in, disheveled and wet. Turns out, he wrecked his car on a tight curve near our home. Not only did he wreck the car, but he ended up UPSIDE DOWN in the CREEK. We are bowing our heads in gratitude this evening for the safety of a child. Of all the children. Justin could have been knocked unconscious and drowned in the blink of an eye. I can't seem to say "Thank You" enough tonight.

You know, it was nothing to have him leave; to go back to his own home and call me when he got there. It is nothing to send the girls to the store, or to let them come home late-like last night-after a late movie with their friends. Do we hug them hard enough when they leave? Do we say "I Love You" enough, just in case? Do we hug them upon returning, happy they are back?
I've also reflected on a habit that we adopted several years ago.
Before we leave the driveway we have a "traveling Prayer". Every time we get in the car.
I have witnessed a couple of occasions when I KNOW--beyond doubt--that the Lord's hand protected us. I know again, after tonight, that He was once again on the road with a member of my family. How humbly grateful I am for the tender mercies of the Lord.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Right to Win??

First, I would ask you to go and read Thomas Sowell's editorial today:
The Right to Win

OK, now I have a few things to say :D (Are you surprised??)

He asks "How did we get here." For me this answer is fairly easy. We arrived at this awful state because of :

#1 Affirmative Action. It's not right to put someone ahead of someone else because of race or gender. The best man or woman for the job should get it. Period.

#2 Minority Rules. We have, for too long allowed minority groups-be they race, gender, religion, whatever to have a stronger voice than those in the majority; whatever happened to "Majority Rules"?

#3 Self Esteem. The "Establishment", coupled with the Psycho babblers have told us we can't let children lose; they can't get an "F." It's either pass or fail and even then, they are telling us that "fail" brings bad feelings!
We had a couple move into our Ward in OH who were both Child Psychology majors; we were all excited when they offered a parenting fireside.
The wife started by telling us the best way is to let the child decide, whatever the case may be.
If you want something done, you tell the child over and over ad nauseum until the child "decides" it's his idea.
She told a story of an antique quilt on her bed, and the children knew it was off limits. While she was nursing the baby the little boy about 3 or 4 was jumping on the bed, on the quilt. She calmly told him over and over to stop. By the time he "decided" it was "his idea" to leave the quilt alone, he was on the floor rolled up in it. It was at this point I stopped listening to whatever they had to say. Common sense told me this was not how a child should be taught.
*They*(as in the "establishment") have made it so that no one understands what it means to be on the losing team. No one knows the meaning of "No".

#4 and most importantly, we have left God on the sidelines. Something our Founders would be appalled at.

How do we fix this mess??
Well, first of all, speak up! Don't just stand aside when someone wants to tell you that what you want doesn't matter. Don't let *them* walk on you. Be respectful always, but stand up for what is right. There IS a right and there IS a wrong.
Write letters, lots of them. To your Representatives in the Senate and in Congress. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. Be the voice that has been missing for too long.

Secondly, if you lose, try again. Try HARDER next time. Work for what you want. Work to earn the distinction of "winner".

Thirdly, welcome God into the dialogue. He has given us everything we have. Everything. Nothing was made but by Him. Acknowledge Him and let go. See what He has done for us. See what He has provided.

Lastly, Learn. Learn your Constitution. Yes, it is YOUR Constitution. Learn it. Learn the Bill of Rights. Learn what was Divinely inspired for YOUR safety and protection. Read the Founding Documents. Know your rights. Understand what is going on.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Beginnings

Well, the election is over and I am completely and unequivocally sick!
I am in shock that the voters of this country elected a Socialist/Marxist for their next president.
I suppose I really shouldn't be shocked, FDR started our country on the path toward socialism. They have been clamoring for more ever since.
I also don't understand how anyone who claims to be a Christian could vote for someone who has no respect for life. Obama said that a young girl who get's pregnant shouldn't be "Punished" with a baby. He is for infanticide! WHY doesn't this matter???
That said, John McCain wasn't my guy either. Senator McCain isn't conservative enough. I think the reason Obama was chosen was because if you looked at the candidates side by side, there really wasn't much difference.
SO, the "let's take part in a historic election. Let's vote for the first black candidate." crowd won. I can see that from one side. I am really proud I live in a country that has overcome such racial divisions as have previously divided us. I briefly hoped that we could stop being "African-Americans", "Asian-Americans" and whatever else hyphen you want to name, but honestly, THIS black man will divide us further.
He wants to spread the wealth of the common man and make sure that there is "equality". In reality, there is only one kind of equality and it lies in our creation, nothing else. The Scriptures even tell us that talents are not given equally. Equality is God given at birth; what we do with our lives makes us more or less. Some will be more motivated, and others less. Equality most certainly does NOT come from the government.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, I will be blogging on the founding documents that make this country great. I can't claim to be a scholar, but I would appreciate an honest dialogue as we learn together about the things that make the United States of America the greatest country under God.
God Bless America!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Taking a cue from my friend Audra--http://joshaudramackenzie.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-am-thankful.html , I thought I should list a few of the things I am thankful for also.

Here Goes:
My Heavenly Father
His Son Jesus Christ
Joseph Smith
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
My Testimony of Jesus Christ
Living Prophets and Apostles
Temple Endowments
My husband
My children
My grandchildren
Dear friends
The Constitution of the United States
Our Founding Fathers
Free elections

Now on to the less important ones:

Modern technology
Indoor plumbing--well aren't YOU??
Great books and their authors
Homemade bread
Wool socks
Garlic--I know, but I LOVE garlic :D
Words--yes, I read the dictionary :P
Language--goes along with words don't you think?
Tootsie Rolls
Tin roofs
Vacuum cleaners
Ordinary lightbulbs

I suppose the list could go on. I have such gratitude in my heart for the things large and small that make up my life. I try to be continually thanking my Heavenly Father, but I fear I fall short.

I'll work on that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Well, I went to Colorado to see the new baby, and to get aquainted with her big sister. What a fun time I had! Little Iszabelle is a hoot, and is full of personality--read here, she is also full of vinegar as my Mom used to say. She is going to take some time to get used to her little sister, and not having her mommy to herself anymore. I took Sarah and the children pumpkin shopping--we just went to Safeway, but this little one was so very excited!

She is barely 3, but already quite a firecracker!

It was also a bit sad for me, as she had no reason to trust me, no reason to let me in. By Friday, the day before I left, we had become freinds at least, and I've decided to send her a card once a week, to hopefully help her remember. We are looking forward to to them maybe coming here in January, and I'm really excited.

Addisen is growing fast too. She is so beautiful. Shelooks like an almost identical twin to her big sister at 1 month of age.

Here is the latest photo I have of her:

There is other news. Our second daughter Aubrey is expecting in May. She told us over the phone before I went to Colorado. It's also a bittersweet thing. She also is not married. She and her boyfriend Russ are happy, and I've expressed how happy it would be for me if they married.
It's all in the hands of the Lord.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Addisen Joy

Here is the latest of little Addisen Joy. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 21 inches long.

Wasted Opportunities

I've been thinking lately of wasted opportunities. I've been so "busy" this late summer and fall, that I let the blackberries go to waste. This tasty, juicy gift from God wasted. Gone.
What else have I wasted as I've been so "busy"? And when I say "busy", it truly hasn't been anything of major importance. I haven't cured cancer or found a new answer to any of life's pressing questions. I've just existed.
Have I wasted my time with my family? Have I wasted my life pursuing unimportant things?
I've come to realize that my family means more to me than anything, and that I need to focus more fully on them. Laugh and Live more with them, not around them. Interact more. Talk more. Spend more "Fun" time. Let go of some of the things that are distracting me from my eternal goal of having an Eternal Family.
An Apostle of the Lord recently spoke on "Good, Better and Best". I am vowing now to work at choosing the best, and not let these wonderful family ties take second seat.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Birthday

This isn't the greatest photo(though not too bad for a cell phone!), but today we have a new granddaughter! Addison Joy Jackson was born today, October 2nd, weighing in at 7 pounds 10 ounces.

We are excited to welcome this new little one, and my dear husband got me a ticket today to fly to Colorado on the 18th of Oct. to stay a week and cuddle Addisen and her big sister Iszabelle:D

(Who knew he was such a great guy??!!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Well, we have been canning fools around here. We went through 6 boxes of tomatoes that gave us 38 quarts of stewed tomatoes and 22 pints of Italian tomato sauce. We also did pears, and got 18 quarts of jarred pears, 10 half pints of pear butter, and 9 trays of dried pears. Then came the 14 half pints of jalepeno jelly--my friend calls it green slime :) We'll be on to apples and grapes next. I'm eyeing the apple tree out back. It hasn't been tended to in years as far as I can tell, but the apples don't look too small. If they are big enough, I imagine we can cut around any wormy parts :D
This all means that Autumn is in the air. In truth, Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The color is amazing. Spring is pretty, but it's localized. Our yards are beautiful--well, Yours might be but mine has a ways to go. Never the less, the color and the beauty is localized, and private for the most part. Not Autumn boy. The trees and bushes want to scream halleluja, it's nap time! They want the world to know how gleeful they feel about their down time. This is something worth further reflection :D

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birthday Girl

Well today we celebrated our youngest daughter's sixteenth birthday. Could it really BE sixteen YEARS??? I remember so clearly the events of that day. She was born on September 11, 1992. Sixteen years to the day since I had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was a joyful day. I was SO glad not to be pregnant. I mean really glad! We lived in Utah at the time, and I went through the ENTIRE summer pregnant. It's hot in Utah in the summer time for those of you who have never been there. She was born ON her due date, which for me was a first.

I look at this beautiful, graceful, funny, sweet girl, and I feel grateful daily for her. I feel very blessed to be her mother.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gardens of Glory HA!

My garden was a disaster this year. We have plucked NO tomatoes out of it, one measly jalepeno--I am still planning to make my *famous* jalepeno jelly, but I have to BUY jalepenos now tsk!. We actually had success with the lettuce and spinach; otherwise, we have had one very small watermelon the size of a softball,(it's still on the vine, we seem to have outlandish and unrealistic expectations for the next month's growth) one cuke, and a couple of zucchinis! Isn't ANYONE supposed to be able to grow zucchini?????? Don't most people have zucchini coming out their ears??? Aren't people who normally like me supposed to be running in fear at the very sight of me by this time of the year?? Apparently the zucchini have met their match in Me!~~evil laugh commencing~~ OH, and our blueberry bush had the nerve to DIE!
Craig says that all of this was "well worth the $120 we spent for the raised bed materials". Sigh. We even bought dirt with BAT GUANO as an ingredient! Come on, stuff was supposed to grow in this *Gold*. So what am I going to do?? I'm going to build TWO MORE raised beds! Yes, I believe that is what any sane woman would do :D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer's End

It seems that summer is at an end. Canning time is upon us. As homeschoolers, I don't have the stress and heartache of sending the kids back to prison, but there are other stresses to take it's place.
First is the fact that this is an election year. I am a political junkie, I freely admit it! I listen to Rush, Sean, and Glenn whenever I can, and sometimes O'Reilly.
I am a full fledged flaming conservative. I align myself with the Republicans, as a major party, but fall somewhere closer to Libertarian--although I can't agree with them 100%.
It was with great anticipation I waited for John McCain to announce his running mate the other day--the day AFTER the DNC nominated the Marxist named Obama. I was rooting for Mitt Romney--and NOT because he is LDS, although that didn't hurt. I felt Romney was both fiscally and socially conservative enough to boost the ticket.
Well, Ta-Da, the VP nominee is... Sarah Palin??? Who??? I'd never heard of this woman. A WOMAN????? What is he doing??? Being a woman myself, I should have been overjoyed right? Why wasn't I?
As I have come to learn about Sarah Palin, I feel I can give her my endorsement. She is tough, very conservative, and a mother to 5 beautiful children. Five! Someone who at least knows what I'm going through with a large family. Someone I can connect to. I may even join the NRA now :D
Second is canning. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE to can. There is something special about seeing those rows and rows of jars lined up, like jewels on the shelf. The trouble is, I'm in a rented house with a glass flat top stove. Now this is a potential disaster. I hate the stupid thing. It's hard to clean, it gets scratched, and I'm petrified that extended canning will crack it. We bought a new grill over the weekend with an additional burner to the side. Problem solved? I'll let you know :D

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BYU-I Grad

I wanted to post a photo of our Grad. She was the smartest, most beautiful grad out there--I'm not bias in any way ;)

Aubrey and her boyfriend Russ were able to join us, which was a nice treat.

We spent one day in Yellowstone, as it's only about an hour from Rexburg. What a beautiful place that is.

My favorite spot of the places we visited was the Idaho Falls Temple. It was just after sunset, but I think I got a couple of good shots...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

We are home from a rousing month of go, go, go! We've actually been home almost two weeks, but I've been too tired to care about much :D

We took Ethan to Camp Meriwether for a week of "boy stuff". He earned three merit badges, and is excited for more.

Before that, we spent two weeks in Roseburg for Drama Camp. Ethan was Willy Wonka in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". What fun we had. The rest of us worked backstage, and had a blast.

Before that, Meghan graduated from BYU-I in business.

I'm so glad to be home.

We have decided to buy land and build a house. It'll be about a year we figure before the land we want is out of the hands of government intervention. In the mean time, I have begun drawing a house plan. Mind you I have no clue what I'm doing, so this could be interesting! I'm going to start picking out color chips of this and that, so we can AGREE before ground is broken on what we want the inside to look like! I have a ton of magazines I can tear up, and work with, so I'll be a happy camper for quite some time ;)

I found out today that our new grand baby will be a girl. I was told my job was to pick the middle name--I got to pick last time too :D Can you say tickled pink?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The End of the Chapter

Today is my youngest child's birthday. He is turning 12. In our Faith, he will receive the Priesthood on Sunday and be ordained to the office of Deacon. He is pretty excited for his ordination, checking and double checking with himself on his worthiness to hold the Priesthood of God. He is a good boy. I feel blessed to be his mother.

I'm pretty excited too, but it's also bittersweet. This is my last child to turn 12. My last child to have remarkable milestones. I miss having small ones about.

We have seven children. We've been married 27 years. The chapter on childhood is near the end. I'm looking forward in one sense to the chapter on Grandmothering, but I'm only 47. I am not ready to surrender to the Autumn of my life just yet. I wish my granddaughter lived closer so I could practice more at BEING a grandmother. I'm not really sure how it goes. I mean, I had two grandmothers, one was the *fussy* grandma, and the other was a dream grandma but I'm not them, and I have to find how it all works for myself. I suppose I'll muddle through well enough.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Chick that Lived

Katelyn took this photo. We submitted it to Hobby Farm magazine, we are hoping they put it in the subscriber section of photos.
She did end up dying, but Katelyn worked really hard to see that it didn't happen.

The Journey Begins

Welcome to my world!
I have wholly arrived in the 21st century with my first blog!
I'm excited to share my thoughts and feelings as we journey together through the pages of our lives.
I also plan to post photos, and snippets of poetry that I love.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am a homeschool mom of 7 children, three of whom still live at home.
I am the grandmother of 1+. The + will be born sometime in September.

I am a farmer girl wanna be, and this has been a hectic week on our little farm.
I was gone to Girls Camp for most of the week. Coming home Saturday morning, we discovered 3 baby chicks under our broody hen.
Sunday after Church, we discovered my 6yo ewe had died. This was quite traumatic, and the little bummer lamb we raised to be her friend was now alone.
Then, my 17yo daughter found another chick hatching. Well, she *thought* it was in distress, so she *helped* it come out of it's shell. She was beside herself when I told her it was SUPPOSED to struggle and look like a dead rat for awhile. SO, for the remainder of the day she was working on chick physical therapy. She wiggled, pushed, pulled and whatever else she could think of to rehabilitate the doomed chick.
I am happy to report that as of 11:00 PM Sunday, the chick was out of the woods. Now, when she comes home from work the little thing knows, and starts chirping madly. It is quite hilarious!

As I contemplate the cirlcle of life that has played itself out here the last few days, I am continually reminded of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. How a simple prayer brought His love into play.