Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rediscovering an old passion

I believe that being creative fills a mental and an emotional need. The other day when I saw the quilt that I had made for Talm before he moved to Portland and then to South Korea, it brought back the fond and satisfying memories I have of putting together colors and patterns to make something as comforting as a blanket. It also triggered my memory of my Jr. High art class and how I loved to do mosaic pictures, which is kind of the same idea.

Today I decided that quilting was a passion I wanted to reconnect with and so with my extremely creative friend Katy, we headed off to a quilt shop to buy fabric for small doll quilts for my twin granddaughters since their older sister already has one that I made by hand.

I started to work on them right away and rediscovered that it really fills my creative love of colors and patterns and to do it by hand is also very relaxing, especially while watching American Idol (and especially since I am not voting and thus not in control of who gets voted off. So good to have eliminated that pressure!).

There is something about taking different pieces of fabric and sewing them together to create a whole new pattern. It is such a simple pleasure but incredibly satisfying. Everyone deserves to create something they love.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Exercise Variety

I have read somewhere in an exercise magazine that people nearing 50 years old should change up their exercising with more variety. So tonight I went rock climbing with KSG and daughters. It was my first try and I was feeling pretty good about my attempt, as feeble as it was. When I tried to congratulate myself for my effort, Court said that I did pretty well considering that it is much more difficult when someone has a lot more weight to pull up. Thanks sweetie, I guess I need to exercise more and start a starvation diet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Value of Exercise

My commitment to do this blog everyday has been such a blessing. The healthy goals and habits I developed before some drastic events occurred in my life helped prepare me physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. I also benefited from an opportunity to articulate my feelings and testimony during the crisis that helped me put it all in perspective.

Now it is time to get back to a focus on the physical health habit of exercise. I have to admit that I have become an exercise addict. Trust me, I am not overboard on how much I exercise but since I have discovered the natural high that it gives, it is something I want to do everyday, but Sunday.

What I discovered years ago that helped me develop this addiction was that when I started walking I would repeat to myself over and over again, "I am doing this everyday for the rest of my life." I still can't walk up Muttonhollow Road without thinking of how I programed my mind and body by repeating it as I walked. It is not something I started to do to just lose weight and then quit when the weight was gone. (Of course, the way I continued to keep eating meant the weight wasn't permanently gone anyway!) Exercising is something that I have committed to do everyday for the rest of my life. I love it and do believe as the studies have suggested that it is more effective than anti-depressant medication for mental well being.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I realized a week ago that in order for my heart to really break open and heal, it is important for me to forgive some people who have tried to do harm to our family.

I remember a CD that I no longer have because it was in my car when it was stolen. I did get the car back but whoever stole my car kept my talks on CD. Hopefully they listened to them and repented. Anyway, the CD was a talk by C. Terry Warner about the importance of not only forgiving those who have wronged us, but he suggested that for us to really heal, it is important to take it to the next level and seek forgiveness from them for the resentment we have felt for that wrong.

Wow, that is quite a step but I do realize that this is a necessary step to take away any resentment so that I can be completely cleansed. It is something I am going to have to work towards.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Family network

The other day I decided that I wanted to do something worthwhile and so with a good friend I took a class at the family history library and then came home and signed into the new family history web site. After I had transferred all the information about my ancestors that were in the system to my chart, it was rewarding to look at all the names and feel like there are people on the other side that are interested in me and my happiness. Talk about a great social network!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Angels among us

We have been overwhelmed by the love and support we have received. We have a pile of letters and cards, we have received flowers, candy, baked goodies, text messages, phone calls, and emails from family and friends; some that we haven't seen for years. People have miraculously shown up at crucial times after I have prayed to have angels lift up someone who was overcome with despair. I thought I was praying for unseen angels only to have angels with flesh show up.

The morning after our darkest night, there was a book entitled, "Light" written by a neighbor on our doorstep with a truly inspired letter. Thank you Brian for listening to that prompting and making that delivery at just the perfect moment. There are truly angels among us who I am profoundly grateful live by inspiration and that have taken the time to let us know they care.

Someone once said, "God hears and answers our prayers, but it is usually through another person that He meets our needs." Thank you for meeting our needs and especially for praying for us. We have truly felt your prayers. I cannot adequately express my appreciation for the tender mercies and miracles that we have been blessed with by people that are on God's errand.

Now I know that it is our turn to "pay it forward." I am committed to learn by all of your example and be there to lift someone in their trials. I have to say that I am grateful for this experience because it has changed us for the better. We have tasted of the love of God and his angels that wouldn't have happened in any other way. Thank you our angelic family and friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


A couple of years ago I had a experience that at the time I thought was for no expected reason. I was laying in bed about to go to sleep when out of nowhere I started to sink in a dark hole as if falling into the darkness of a deep funnel. It was the most hopelessly despairing feeling, and it gave me a brief taste of what the darkness of deep depression feels like.

I now know why I had that brief experience. It was to prepare me so that I would know how to help someone who was experiencing that last night and quite frankly has for years. It was a night that I was also losing faith and overcome with fear, but I am grateful for my brief encounter with darkness years ago so that I would know that at that moment someone else was sinking even lower than I was, and thus I could help lift him out of that deep hole of that dark funnel. I feel like it gave me a minuscule taste of what our Savior felt for us in the garden so that He could help us in our hour of grief.

This morning I came to my own breaking point and felt a significant release of emotion as I let out all the anxiety and hurt that I have been experiencing but had to hold in in order to be strong for others. I have learned in a significant way that although I am able to rely on my Heavenly Father and Savior, sometimes I don't allow those in my life to fully feel the pain of what I am going through and let them lift me. This morning as I was breaking, someone else who I have been strong for got to experience my pain and take care of me. That was very healing for us both.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Fear and faith cannot coexist.

The winner is. . .


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free Massage

The drawing is tomorrow for the free massage. Post before noon on Wednesday 24th. Thanks


This last week and a half has made me quite the expert on anxiety. Experience is the best teacher, and I have had some profound experience with feeling someone's pain and feeling anxious for them.

This is what I have learned about anxiety. I now know that when I feel overly anxious about something or someone, that I have gone beyond what I can do and have taken it on as my problem to fix or protect. Instead, I now feel that it is those over-the-top anxious feelings that are my indicator that I am trying to take on too much worry or control of a situation and that it is time to get on my knees and turn it over to my Heavenly Father, and have faith that He will make it okay. It is interesting how immediately prayer and faith can work in bringing comfort and peace. I am getting a lot of practice in trusting in the Lord, and I am getting more evidence that it really works. Anxiety is now my clue that it's time to get on my knees and trust.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Forget Self

To serve and be served is one of the greatest blessings of life. Today it felt so good to put my troubles aside for a moment and be able to spend time with a friend and do something with and for her. I also appreciated the immediate support I received back. Thank you Mary Lynn.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Laughter is a great medicine

I am sure everyone has heard the true story of the man who got cancer and decided to rent funny movies to watch and then ended up being cured.

Laughter is a great medicine, and I am so grateful for our children. They have such a great sense of humor and can find something to laugh about no matter what. For them, nothing is off limits to make jokes about. I have had some great belly laughs that have felt so good. Laughter is one of the best emotional exercises, and I am grateful that Heavenly Father gave our children that blessing.

We also had tickets to the comedian, Brian Regan, at a perfect time. I am also grateful for comedians that use their talent in a clean, appropriate way. Thank you Brian for making our family laugh at a crucial time.

By the way, be sure to post a comment on my March 19th blog post for a chance to win the free massage. It is my way of thanking you for your support and feeling a better connection to those that are reading my blog. If you would rather post privately, you can send me an email, text message, or private message on facebook.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I can do hard things

This morning I went walking up in the mountains with our dog Coda. It was so therapeutic to walk in the sun in a natural setting. There is something magical about walking on dirt that was created by God rather than on pavement created by man. I relished the sites, sounds, and pine fragrances that remind me of my Heavenly Father’s gifts. If this is the lone and dreary world, then I can only imagine what heaven is like.

When Coda so bravely jumped into the stream and looked back at me with eyes that seem to say, “look, I can do hard things,” I was reminded of how he use to be so afraid of water that he wouldn’t get near a stream. You see, when he was a puppy we put him in a pool to swim, and it scared him so much he avoided water.

It wasn’t until a few years ago when he and I were walking in a park in Cedar City, and there was a very shallow stream with a cement bottom that he tentatively ventured into that he started to overcome this fear. These little baby steps gave him the courage to discover that he could do hard things and now he loves to jump in bigger streams every chance he gets.

I remember my Saturday walks with a childhood friend of mine a few years ago. She often talked about how she would teach her children that they could do hard things. That is a good lesson for all of us. We can do hard things. But just like it isn’t the actually lifting of heavy weights that makes the muscle stronger because that in fact breaks down the muscle. Really it is the natural repair process of our bodies after the damage of lifting something heavy that makes the muscle stronger.

So it is in life. It isn’t the painfully hard experiences that make me stronger, but the healing power from my Savior that can repair and give me added strength. And yes, after I start feeling the repair work being done, I am grateful for my trials because they have given me strength and a new appreciation for Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Massage

I got this great idea from my college roommate's blog. It has been so fun and healing sharing this blog, and it has been interesting to run into people who tell me that they are reading it. To feel a better connection to those reading this, I have decided to have a drawing for a free massage at Sego Lily Day Spa. If you want to be included in the drawing, just leave a comment on this post and then on Wednesday, March 24, I will put all the names in a bowl and select the winner. Thanks Lisa for the idea.

"Is It I?"

I have watched someone I care about just become very humble, submissive, and repentant. He has demonstrated willingness to take all of the responsibility and thus more of the criticism than I believe he deserves, but then I realize that he is an example to me of what I have learned is the only path to true healing. A lesson I learned long ago as I privately dealt with relationship difficulties.

John Bytheway related a principle in his book, When Times Are Tough, which was taught by the disciples when Jesus told them that one of them would betray him. They were all sorrowful and began to quickly ask, “Is it I?” Bytheway said that they could have started to point fingers and accuse someone else, but instead, they were each humbly willing to consider their own possible accountability.

This principle became valuable to me many years ago as I learned information that could have made me feel victimized and revengeful. Instead, because of this great example taught by the disciples, I felt the need to humbly consider, “Is it I?” and then ask myself, “What have I done to contribute to these problems and what can I do to rectify these difficulties?” In so doing, it isn’t about excusing or taking away someone else’s responsibility and guilt, but it is just taking a hard look at myself and focusing on my own responsibility and thus working on my own repentance and improvement.

I have learned that when I blame or accuse someone else and focus on their faults and shortcomings, that I am distracted from seeing the beam in my own eye and thus realizing the need to come unto Christ and having that beam removed by Him. I can’t seek forgiveness for someone else and feel His healing power, and so why would I focus on someone else’s sins. They can only do that for themselves. I am committed to keep my focus on the only person I can control and repent for. Sweet little old me. (Emphasis on sweet, ignore the old!)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

Masaru Emoto did experiements with water and published the book, The Hidden Messages of Water, which I purchased many years ago because the power of words on water is fascinating.

Emoto would attach written words to a container of water before they were frozen and the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative.

Of course gracious means thank you and I looked up the meaning of the other words and trust me, they are vile words and you don't want to look them up.

As of late, I have experienced both positive and negative messages. Thankfully, all the messages I have received have been from those we know and love and have been positive and uplifting. I have a new appreciation for people who uplift, inspire, and are not wanting to pass judgment nor condemn. The only negative messages have come from anonymous people on newspaper internet sites, which I will no longer read in any circumstance.

These pictures demonstrate the kind of affect that words can have on not only on our Spirits but on our bodies because we are made mostly of water. I feel bad for people who speak such negative words because it must make them feel spiritually and physically awful.

Our recent experience has taught me a valuable lesson and renewed my commitment to speak kind words of people and not pass judgment. I have often said that sometimes Heavenly Father has to hit me over the head with a sledge hammer to teach me important lessons. OUCH!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I use to think that perfectionism was a good thing. Now I know it is a curse. Trying to be perfect on my own and especially trying to have a home that is perfect is stressful and impossible. Instead of seeking perfection, I now have a new belief that if people come to my home and it is a mess, I have just done someone a big favor by making them feel better about themselves and their homemaking skills. With this new episode in our life, I realize that in a more dramatic way we have just made a lot of people feel better about their lives. Go ahead and thank us.

Seriously though, our son Jake shared something with me from the book The Hidden Christ by James Ferrell that has great meaning as I think about striving for perfection and coming up short.

"It might strike you as odd that the Lord would demand compliance to a set of laws that we, of ourselves, can't fully live. but that inability to fully live the law is at the heart of one of the key purposes of the law...Perfectionists, beware: The law is designed to expose our imperfection. And therefore to turn us to the only One who is perfect."

My current refiner's fire is revealing my imperfections and tendency to get angry and extremely frustrated. But then as the awful feelings show up as tension in my whole body, I know that it is time to get on my knees and repent and turn it over to my Heavenly Father. Today I had a stunning miracle that was such an immediate and unbelievable answer to my prayers. I realize that it was my imperfection that brought me to my knees, and I am extremely grateful that I am not perfect and that I do realize how much I need my Savior.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Let Go

I love this poem written by an anonymous person.

To Let Go is not to stop caring,
It's recognizing I can't do it for someone else.

To Let Go is not to cut myself off,
It's realizing I can't control another.

To Let Go is not to enable,
But to allow learning from natural consequences.
To Let Go is not to fight powerlessness,
But to accept that the outcome is not in my hands.

To Let Go is not to try to change or blame others,
It's to make the most of myself.
To Let Go is not to care for, it's to care about.
To Let Go is not to fix, it's to be supportive.

To Let Go is not to judge,
It's to allow another to be a human being.
To Let Go is not to try to arrange outcomes,
But to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To Let Go is not to be protective,
It's to permit another to face their own reality.
To Let Go is not to regulate anyone,
But to strive to become what I dream I can be.

To Let Go is not to fear less, it's to love more.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"The" Comforter

The other night as our family gathered and were talking, Courtney asked me how I can be so strong. I want to publicly share what I told her.

First off, I know the truth. I know that the newspapers don't always give an accurate portrayal of the truth and haven't in our case, and that intelligent people realize that; especially the people that know and care about us. We have experienced the love, support, and understanding of the kind of people that I truly trust and believe in, and I truly feel sorrow for people that want to destroy us and make us feel miserable because they are obviously suffering in misery and do not know where to go for peace and true healing.

I also know the truth about what Heavenly Father thinks of us and especially what He thinks of Kev. I know Kev's heart, and I know that he is a kind and deeply compassionate person who wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone and that would do anything to lighten the emotional and financial load of someone else. (Help with the dishes; not so much) It is true that the truth sets us free and knowing the truth gives me strength.

Most importantly, I know that I can be strong at a time like this because of the gift of the Holy Ghost and the comforting and protective influence. I feel a protective shield from the "fiery darts." I truly know that comforting influence is more powerful in times such as this, and I am grateful that I have always known that I don't have to rely on man-made substances to calm my troubled heart. I have faith in the kind of peace that "surpasses all understanding."

Like I have said before, I am grateful that in times such as this I can draw on my faith in the Atonement and the healing powers that have been willingly and lovingly offered by my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that I cannot be strong on my own.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Light that shines through the dakness

I am not trying to compare myself to Joseph Smith, but today I realized that in the Doctrine and Covenants that some of the most moving inspiration to Joseph came at his darkest hours. I want to share a portion of the tender mercies that I have received and declare that God is always there in our darkest hours.

The other night after Kev's public apology, this saintly women, Pamela Atkinson, who is the Mother Theresa of Utah, was the first one there to hug and console me. As I looked into her eyes and saw and felt her deep love, compassion, and understanding, I wept as I felt like I was truly in the presence of Christ-like love. I know that she is not one to condone sin and indiscretion, but she is truly one to love the sinner, and aren't we all sinners to some degree? I know I am.

I am so grateful to have locked into my memory the love that I witnessed in Pamela Atkinson's eyes because she has helped me focus on Christ-Like love of instead of the hateful comments anonymously made on the internet that reveal their own misery. Oh what a great world this would be if everyone has the compassion and love that Pamela Atkinson exhibits. Pamela, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to be more like you, and in so doing I will be more like my Savior.

In the aftermath of this public disclosure, it has also been emotional to receive an outpouring of love and support, and it has taken my appreciation for family and friends to a whole new level. To all those who have prayed for us, sent messages and love, thank you. It means so much to me. You have inspired me to be a better person.

I have always had a deep and abiding testimony that our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ can make something good out of everything that is difficult. I know that when I trust my Heavenly Father and focus on what I can learn from and am grateful for in any situation then I heal and grow. Becoming a victim and being revengeful is never healing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back on Track

I got a little derailed in the last few days and today I just got in my exercise clothes but never did exercise or shower. UGH! I realize there is always something that I can't control in my life, and so my focus needs to be on that which I can control and I can certainly control if I exercise and take a shower. Today I learned that drifting off from my daily routine and positive habits sets me up for a day of laziness and deep dissatisfaction. Even though there are some things that are really difficult in my life right now, it is even more important that I stay with the routine and habits that keep me grounded and centered. There is a place of peace even in the most trying circumstances and my daily habits and especially communion with my Heavenly Fathar help me tune into that peace.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life Test

In school you study hard and then you take a test. If you don't study then the test is difficult and you might fail.

In life we are encouraged to study the scriptures. In life tests also come but they come when we least expect it, and if we have done our studying then we can pass the test.

I now know that scripture reading is not just some to do item to check off the list. It is life's greatest schooling.

I am so grateful for my study guide. I know that studying the scriptures have prepared me for life's great tests. With my Heavenly Father's help, I will pass.

He rescues me

Sometimes life can get really hard but it is easier knowing there is forgiveness and healing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beliefs, Thoughts, & Feelings

I have mentioned this before but it is worth repeating. If I want to change a behavior, I must first change my beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about that behavior.

I must first notice what I say to myself and out loud to others because it will manifest what my belief is. For example, if I think or say that I lack discipline, then it is important to question and challenge that belief because what I believe in will happen--either good or bad. I believe that is a part of having faith. Having faith in my limiting or God-given abilities, whichever I choose.

The other night at a dinner function we were attending, I had enjoyed the main entree and out of habit was starting to look forward to the dessert. I realized that I had this lingering belief that dessert was the "grand finale" but then I quickly changed my belief and told myself that the main course was the best ending of the meal. I honestly felt a buzz go through my body realizing that I had just changed a belief, thought, and feeling. Wow, it works, and yes, I'm weird.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Healthy Eating

My plan to focus on eating colorful foods is working nicely. I feel so much more energy and the cravings for sugar is almost gone. Not that desserts don't look good, but I feel so satisfied that I don't have to have them, AND LIFE IS EVEN STILL WORTH LIVING! Now that is a major milestone. Let's get a cake and celebrate. KIDDING!

Also my plan to eat more often is helping. When I don't let my blood sugar get too low, then I don't crave the refined foods that will raise it quickly and I am not so prone to overeat. I have realized that going too long without eating or overeating triggers my sugar cravings.

Now a word about soynuts. I have found them to be a great source of protein that helps keep blood sugar level and is convenient to keep in my car when I can't get another healthy snack. I also learned from a friend who spent three years on a mission in Japan that there isn't a Japanese word for menopause because of all the soy in their diet, they don't have that disorder. So my soynuts will help keep me from going crazy. Whoops, too late.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Yesterday I mentioned punishment. This picture brings back memories of Mr. Bowman's class in 7th grade. Yes, he had a paddle and used it on me several times. For a few of us loud mouths in the class, it became sort of a reward to get to sign our name on the paddle and put checks for each time it was used on us. I was towards the top of my class.

How many times have I sort of punished myself for a mistake thinking that it would motivate me to do better. The truth is, the results of my mistakes are punishment enough; I don't have to add to it.

The same goes for other people in my life. I just need to make sure I am not the one to fix or suffer for someone mistakes. Letting them repair the damage is all the consequence they need. Sorry kids, for ever yelling over spilled milk. I should have just let you clean it up, but no I played the martyr and cleaned it up myself and like the accomplished martyr that I was, I yelled at you instead. If I would have let them clean it up, we both would have been happier. Why is it so much easier to see that now?

I have come to know that Heavenly Father doesn't punish us. He loves us so much that he gives us commandments to protect us from pain. When we break the commandments, it is the natural consequences that punishes us.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This morning I read a talk by Elder Bednar about expressing and showing love, and so I have been thinking about substitutions for that kind of love. This children's book is about substituting warm fuzzies, which represents love, for cold pricklies.

In my study of human development and positive psychology, I have learned that feelings of love and social contact produce the same hormone-like substance, oxytocin, as when someone is high on cocaine. Therefore, if someone isn't getting that natural "high" from genuine love and affection then they are prone to addictions to substances and behaviors that duplicate that same temporary good feeling but that are ultimately damaging. These substitutions become our cold pricklies.

It is interesting to note that often times we think that in order to cure someone of an addiction that we must "punish" them by withholding our love and affection. We even throw people in jail for addictions and isolate them from their loved ones. This seems crazy given the fact that it could have been the absence of that love and contact in the first place that made them vulnerable. I for one am committed to express and show love more freely.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Joy in the Simple Things

Today was a day of simple joys.

* The joy of sweeping the gutter with my grandkids in the glorious sunlight. When I asked Corby if he would help sweep the gutter, he looked so confused. I later found out while we were working that his only reference to a gutter was the bowling alley. Cute, huh?
* The joy of cleaning our light fixtures on the outdoor pillars and putting in new bulbs. Actually, the real joy came later when it was dark and from my office I could see them shining brightly. Isn't it just plain fun to keep looking at the product of your labor? I just turned and looked at the light again.
* The joy of taking the large overflowing basket of newspapers to be recycled.
* The joy of cleaning out and organizing my refrigerator. Scary but joyful.
* The joy of crawling into a neatly made bed. Jim Gaffigan says that why should he bother making the bed when he gets out of it because he doesn't tie his shoes after he takes them off. Point well made, but I still prefer to make my bed and this is after not bothering to do it for years and now realizing what I missed.
* The joy of getting everything on my to do list for the week completed and physically crossing each item off. Isn't there something magical about crossing something off of a list? Who needs chocolate?

I have had some amazing experiences in my lifetime but it is usually the little things that bring the most joy. Especially good old-fashion work. What is your little thing? I am committed to being mindful of and savoring the simple pleasures of life.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Goals revisited

I have been mindful of my breath and noticing that I have been returning back to old habits of not breathing deeply and exhaling completely. I have noticed that when I hold onto some of my breath that it seems to be stored in my shoulders. Kind of symbolic of carrying a lot of responsibility that isn't mine and proof that my physical body can carry my emotions. For example, I realize I use to feel ultra responsible for who stayed on American Idol. I mean, I believed it was up to me to make sure that David Archeleta and Chris Allen didn't get voted off, and believe me, that was a lot of pressure (and they didn't even call to thank me)! Now I don't even vote at all, and it just feels so good to let go and let the rest of America decide. It's good to relax and breathe again.

It isn't just American Idol that I have felt this responsibility for. I think that I confused caring about someone for being responsible for them. Now I know that I can certainly care but not get uptight about what I really am not in charge of. I am using my complete breath exhalation to remind me to let go and let my Heavenly Father be in charge. Something tells me He is going to do a better job.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


It is amazing to me that I can google "mother and child in a car laughing" and I get exactly that. The internet is amazing.

Okay, so my next point in the vision star is the social part of me. The inspiration that locked in my brain years ago was when I passed one of our kid's friends driving with his mom. They were having a good laugh and I thought to myself, "That's weird. You mean a mother and son can actually have a good time together and the mom isn't droning on and on about why we have weeds (long story)? Actually, the son isn't riding on top of the car as the mom is trying to ditch him (another long story)? Wow, that's a novel idea."

Anyway, this visual image helped me realize that families could have fun together. I am just still trying to live up to that image because sometimes I can take this mothering business way too serious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck is someone who could always make me laugh and became my emotional role model. Her book, "Family-The Ties That Bind...And Gag!" rescued me one day when I was so frustrated and discouraged with being a mother. I remember being in my room feeling like such a failure, and I started to read this book. Erma talks about family life in a humorous, sarcastic way with a lot of honesty and love. Pretty soon I was laughing and decided I would keep my family after all. I learned from Erma that there is usually a humorous side to life and especially living with an interesting family.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Inspiration Star

Wow! I figured out how to put my inspiration star on this blog.

Now I move to the bottom left point of the star which is the mental part of my self where i have placed a picture of a professor that I had in my second college life. It was in my adult college experience where I was always prepared and continually making comments, just like the adults that were so annoying in my first college life and that Taylee says has been annoying in hers. Yes Taylee, I was one of those! Please note that I do not carry my professor's picture; it is just amazing how I can google any image keyword and voila, there is his picture.

Dr. Herrin profoundly influenced my desire and aptitude for deep learning and I will be forever grateful for his method of teaching and learning. He taught me to not just absorb information but to find deeper understanding by looking up definitions, asking questions of myself, what it means to be open minded, and to be mindful of how what I learn can be applied especially in the service learning that was required for the class. I especially loved that he has the same religious faith as me and would suggest church books to read and study, so it became not only a wonderful mental experience but a spiritual one as well.

He solidified my appreciation for journal writing as the only "testing" in the class was to write to demonstrate our understanding. I learned that memorization and regurgitation of facts isn't real deep learning but that having to write about it is. Thank you Dr. Herrin.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Star Vision Board

I already talked about my physical inspiration years ago that motivated me to get in better shape. I decided to make a star vision board with pictures representing my inspiration in each dimension. At each point of the star is a picture and in the center of the star is the word "gratitude" because I am appreciative of my sources of motivation and inspiration. This picture is at the physical point.

At the top of my star is the picture of the book "The Hiding Place." If you haven't read it (run don't walk to get it), it is about two Christian sisters who were sent to a concentration camp for hiding some Jewish people. What really touched me was these two sisters love of the scriptures and their willingness to risk their lives to smuggle them in and read them in the camp. When I read the book years ago, I had to ask myself if I loved the scriptures that much; and no, at the time, I didn't. It became a goal for me to learn to value and love reading the scriptures. I have achieved that goal. Thank you Corrie Ten Boom for your example.