Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Week Two of my .


So, this isn't the whole fam, but it's a nice picture of the girls.

I'm currently serving in my church as the Primary Chorister. To those of you who aren't really familiar with Mormon vernacular and custom, you should know that in the Mormon Church. This means that nearly every member will be called to serve in various capacities throughout their time as a member of the church. People may be called to serve the congregation at large (as a Bishop - which is like a Pastor or Priest). There are also organizations for children and youth. I've spent most of my adult life serving either as a Youth Group leader (to youth ages 12-18) or as a Primary leader/teacher (serving children ages 0-12). Currently, I'm the chorister for the children. I get to teach them songs, and really it is a ton of fun. It is the fifth time I've served as a chorister.

You might think that when you're busy doing stuff like singing with the children that you won't get much of a chance to learn or grow yourself. This, simply, isn't true. There is nothing more Christlike than serving. And, we can be taught through the Spirit in many ways.

Today, I felt joy as I had this profound impression of God's love for us. Another woman who serves in the Primary was teaching a lesson. She asked the children how they knew that God loved them. I thought about the question myself.

I realized that one of the strongest ways I've felt God's love for me is as I've had children of my own. I love my children, and this, in turn, has taught me how much patience and love God has for me. It is amazing to be able to think that God's love for me is perfect and even stronger than the love I have for my little ones.

As I thought about His love for me, and as I basked in the love I have for my children, I was also awed by Heavenly Father's wisdom - to organize us into families. We truly learn to be better people when we are in a family setting. I can't imagine a better organization for society.

I am so grateful to feel God's love. It's amazing how such a simple realization can have such a profound impact.


Painting with Sasquatch. She is such a super cutie.

Today, I felt pure, unadulterated joy twice. Lucky!

1) I felt joy when I was painting with my little ones. We were painting pictures of and enjoying the beauty of an Arizona summer. I love hanging out with my kids. I love seeing them being creative. I can't believe that I get to spend my days with these super-cuties.

2) I felt joy on my run. Today was an interval day. Those are really hard, but they are so totally worth it. Interval running helps you to get in better shape-cardio vascular-wise. They also help you to get faster. Plus, they are interesting you are constantly doing something new. Sprinting, running, walking catching your breath.

Today was great, and about 3/4 into my run, I felt so high. The afternoon was beautiful, my body works, and I like running.


I recently got a job working for , teaching English in the program. (I'm pretty sure that Pathway will be its own blogpost pretty soon. Pathway is AMAZING)

So, the semester has started, and there has been a little bit of confusion, as my online instructor profile has the picture of the man on the left as me as opposed to me (on the right)

You have no idea how much this cracks me up.

So, this is a funny mix-up, but I really love when things like this happen in life. I love hilarious things. And the thing is, I know that Heavenly Father knows this about me. I think that this is why He allows hilarious things to keep happening in my life. I mean, I met Homey thanks to his David Hasselhoff blog! When things like this happen, I chuckle, and say a prayer of gratitude that Heavenly Father allows for my sense of humor and gives me things to laugh about all the time.


This tree it's smell is absolutely intoxicating.

I know that I've written about running before, but it keeps bringing me joy, so I'll keep writing about it.

I love trail running, especially. In fact, if I wasn't training for a marathon, I'd probably do trail running, exclusively. I love going up and down hills, jumping over rocks, and almost dying for about 85% of the run.

Right now, running to the trails is especially great as there are some trees in bloom that smell amazing. I mean, they smell so good that I wish I was a bee so I could just fly around in their blooms all day long.


No picture for this one.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm working for BYU-I, and I've been trying to come up with some content for my class. One very important aspect of working for BYU-I is having the Spirit with you, and bearing testimony. I'm not only teaching English, I'm also teaching how the gospel will enrich our lives-and help students learn to write. Just to be clear, I'm not teaching a gospel class, but at BYU-Idaho, we are taught to let the Spirit be a part of every class, every learning experience. It is very powerful.

With that being said, I was working on a note for my class, and I wanted to be able to give some kind of spiritual message, but I didn't really know what to say. I took it to the Lord, and felt prompted to forget about the Spiritual message for a moment. Instead, I needed to just read my scriptures for the day. I felt assured that as I studied my scriptures, I'd have the prompting I'd need for my class.


I felt joy and a slight adrenaline rush as I typed up my spiritual thought. I also felt humbled that the Lord would answer my prayer for something that seems so silly. Heavenly Father loves us and I'm also beginning to think that the small stuff may be a lot more important than we realize.

JANUARY 10, 2014 - MOM WIN

Happy cute girls.

I wish I could tell you that my kids are always perfect, they get along, and that our family is pretty much like the cover of an Ensign magazine. But we're not. The kids pick their noses and pick on each other. Sometimes they get especially chirpy, and this drives me crazy. My older two have been picking at each other a lot more than usual. Maybe it's because they're both nearly teenagers. I don't know. But every time they start to fight about something stupid (it is always stupid), I nearly go berserk!

Not a good reaction.

I've been wondering how to help increase peace and harmony in our home.

Today, it happened, just on the fly. The girls were arguing about something, can't remember what, but it was dumb. I wanted to yell and scream and banish each of them to their rooms. This is what I usually do, but I already know the result of such a course I don't want to go insane.

So, I had a moment of clarity. I needed to train them to rectify their differences. I needed to train them to compromise. I didn't want to have one of them completely give up to the will of the other. I wanted to teach them that they both could be happy.

Their fight had to do with it's my turn to

(But mom, she always gets to!)

(No. You did it last.)

(So. I asked first)

you get the idea.

I reminded the girls of how we kept track of who checks the mail (once a favorite fight in our home). They switch off weekly. Whoever throws out the trash gets to check the mail.

Panda's eyes lit up. "I know," she remarked, "We can switch off weeks."

Slowly, Tiger seemed converted to the idea, "Yeah so this week, you can do it, and next week I'll do it."

I chimed in, "Great. Now, let's try to prevent future fights. Part of being a peacemaker isn't just stopping the fight right now, but thinking of a solution so that we don't fight in the future. How will we keep track of whose turn it is to make cookies." (Yes, the fight was about making cookies).

Panda offered, "Whoever does the dishes can make cookies that week."

Perfect! We all agreed.

Finally, I decided to make up a little jingle and cheesy dance to help us remember that whoever does dishes gets to make cookies. Moms: doing dances where you look dumb/crazy really helps to stop the fighting and start the laughing. Don't be too proud to look dumb for your kids.

I feel joy when my kids are happy. I feel joy when I have those moments of hey maybe I'm finally getting this whole "mom" thing.


Yes. Another running entry.

16 miles. Tired. Sore. Sweaty. Chafey. Fun!

After a long run, a long session of foam rolling. It really helps, yo.

I did my long run on Saturday. 16 miles. 16 very long miles. It was nice, but I'm not sure that I like the really long distances. I'm staying upbeat because I want to run this marathon, but I'm finding that my "sweet spot" for running is about an hour-long run.

In any case, I finished this run. I was feeling dead, but accomplished.


I love Phoenix in the Winter.

Today, we went to church. Afterward, we ate lunch, then went outside. It's beautiful. I love it here in the winter. I took a nap on the hammock, in the sun, holding Clyde Miller. Good life, I know.

How was your week? Joyful? Share!
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