How the Farm-Girl awoke in Me

How the Farm-Girl awoke in Me

I feel kinda bad for all the farm girl type people who come to my blog, and feel jipped that there aren’t loads of pictures of cute animals, and amazing tips on how to take care of plants.  There may not be even one post about farming or gardening on this blog!  If any searchers find this blog, what a dead end it must be!  Hello!  Dud!

Well, today I am going to change that, by sharing with you how much I love to garden.

A boy in high school saw that down to earth, country girl in me and nick named me “Farm-Girl.” And he was right, but I wouldn’t know it till I was an adult woman.  Even in high school when I watched my family out in the garden, I did chores inside rather than get all dirty in the garden…sure I pulled my share of weeds and hauled rocks, but I didn’t know the joy of guiding life into fruition.

Then my parents separated when I was in my 30’s and I had five beautiful children.  This sure foundation of family and in my religion, eternal family, really threw a rift into our family.  The roots of our family were being yanked out, and all of  the relationships had strain between them, and due to this instability and the results of differing coping strategies, colliding feelings and words and unspoken resentments tumbled out unrestrained, or words spoken behind backs created walls and indirect waves of hurt that put me in a place of complete disrobement.

That was the year I decided to try out planting tomatoes from seed.  Sure, I also bought my share of tomato plants since mine were all so small, but even their small starts brought an abundance of tomatoes in time, and the prayers and work bringing them to that point was so therapeutic as I saw God answer those prayers and help me in those seemingly unimportant endeavors.  What resulted was a miracle.  Just about every plant I put in that garden, grew and grew and grew.  My tomato plants were far taller than me, of course I am slight of height to put it sweetly.

When I went to a particular greenhouse nursery, I noticed what amazingly thick stocks their tomatoes had so I asked what they did.  They couldn’t give me their fertilizer blend, but they recommended a fertilizer that was close to it, “Tomato Tone.” I have had amazing results with Tomato Tone, and Garden Tone.

I loved gardening, every moment of it, planting little seeds with hope and watching what diligence, patience and nourishing a garden did, green and life and deliciousness, and health, sprung all about!  I even loved the satisfaction of pulling out weeds and tackling with tenacity opposition.  Being in the fresh air and sun was so wonderful, especially as I got pregnant with my sixth and the morning sickness literally left out there in the beautiful mud and green, even amongst Minnesota mosquitoes and humidity, I was in heaven in my garden..

As I watched my plants respond to  my true love and care, I knew that I also had value as a person and that I could bring delight, nurturing, joy and growth to those around me in whose circles I walked.  This was a message straight from heaven that penetrated my heart and caused me tears of hope and joy as I felt my worth to God was more than just kind love for the pathetic, but that I was to Him wonderful to those around me.

In so many ways, I was emotionally burned to the ground, but walking amongst the green growth resulting from my influence and efforts, I had hope.

Fast forward a few years,  and after my miscarriages I did not want to do anything, I did not want to garden least of overwhelming did that sound?  But a dear lady really in tune with God, asked if they could disc my garden.  She was persistent and still I didn’t want to do it, but we bought a few basil plants, for which I felt like I could handle.  One day, my Hoppity begged me to come out to the garden and plant our basil.  She really dragged me out there literally.

All the sudden, I was with life, and earth, and all my sweet children and the spring breeze and we were all working together.  It was so beautiful, and happy, and we all commented what a dear dear day it was, and how we could feel the Spirit of the Lord.

Infact it was so lovley that I couldn’t stop there, and pretty soon as my little boys wanted to plant more, because we were all having so much fun, we were planting pumpkin after pumpkin.  The next few days they came out with me, my two boys and we had a system.  We dug a deep hole, we planted our bums down in the dirt, and we planted those seeds.  Their sweet fat toddler fingers patted the earth, and we moved to the next spot.

Funny thing is, I prayed for a miracle, God had taken my little babies in His will but i asked  Him, could I have a lovely crop of pumpkins?  I found out all the other people in our area didn’t grow their watermelons and pumpkins because they rotted  But we started our patch so late that we planted post rain overdose and then God gave so many Indian Summer days that they ripened quite well; I had a beautiful abundant patch of pumpkins.

Then God gave me the chance to share and connect with my pumpkins, to my community.  We were called in our church group to head up a Halloween party.  One of the ladies had the idea for a pumpkin walk, which I thought ought against, but still went along with it.  I ended up painting pumpkins with new friends and sharing my harvest with many.  It was really neat having friends come over to pick pumpkins with us in those beautiful Indian summer days.

Well, fast forward again, and this year my family dynamics changed once more with unexpected reminders of the past.  Though I was barely pregnant and knew that my baby would be due just at harvest time, I craved like no other growing things.  This family trial hit me unexpectedly, and though I markedly needed help from family, friends and others,  I also had the green life budding around me in the newness of my little starts of plants, bathing me in ambition, consistency, hope, giving, love, just when I needed these things.

Today I pulled weeds in the front garden as my little son sang me songs about bumblebees and told me jokes that weren’t funny but were truly funny to me.  He’d belt out to the world in an off tune voice and I would smile from my toes as the sun shone on me, and I reposed in the dirt on my bum, weeding at a gentler pose.

Oh the physical work out felt thrilling when I moved on to our vegetable garden…I did yoga poses with my legs holding my muscles in as I stood, and squatted to weed and I felt strong and healthy; as I watered my freshly planted garden with its’ myriad of little plants, “waking up” as we call it.  This little phrase is what I and the children exclaim every time we see a plant pop its head out and start its beautiful miraculous creation.  This comes from a little primary children’s church song, “Little seeds lay fast asleep, in a row, in a row, and they wake up towards the sun, and begin to grow…”

Oh I love being in the garden alone, I love being in the garden with my family.  I love love love to garden, the physical work gives me endorphins and the fresh sun, air and wind, and even uncomfortable nature elements give me stamina and joy, freshness, rejuvenation and life.  I work out my thoughts there, I sing and dance there, and sometimes, I just boringly count as I water, but still, even that is calming.  There are so many parallels to life to be drawn there.

These are the moments when the Farm-girl, awoke in me.

My Christmas Miracle

My Christmas Miracle

This last month of December, was really tough for me.  We lost our little sweet 12 week baby Dec. 27th of last year and this month I would be due for childbirth…two miscarriages in one year, and as this month crested it was like a wave of inability crushed on me.  I couldn’t figure out why I had so much less ability than normal, and I believe these losses must have been what sapped my soul.

I was having less patience this month, less joy, less stability and vices I had worked so long with persistence in really petitioning the Lord’s help for, were all of the sudden present again, as if I never had made that progress.  I was so disheartened.

Not only these hidden losses, but there was more and deeper vulnerability of my situation that made keeping it together impossible for me.

The best thing I did Christmas Eve, was to read my scriptures.  The day before, I had read in the book Helaman, of the Book of Mormon, chapter 4:26, …”And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak…” I felt really weak.  I knew that unless I did this bidding, I would keep falling.  Helaman 4:25 …”and except they should cleave unto the Lord their God they must unavoidably perish…” (aka melt into crappy crappy parenting puddles)

I recalled a Sunday School lesson studying the beautiful words of Paul, how we can thank God for times of weakness, for in those times, we can connect more powerfully with Christ.

So, I read those verses again to bring their fresh healing to my mind.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

So I prayed, I cried and I prayed.  Please give me the strength reserves and stability I don’t have right now.  Please help me to feel joyful and excited like I usually do on Christmas Eve to help me do those spiritual things with my family that I love to do.  Please oh please oh please help me, I am in need.

His peace descended upon me like a dove!!!  Praise His Name!  I went about my day in normal emotional health.  The Engineer and I got the children to do their chores, which were a lot, we took the children to carol so my Fairy Princess could share her talents, she has a very beautiful Christmas song memorized and her voice uplifted those we sang to.  We did our lovely but rambunctious Christmas Eve traditional Nativity.  Paul Bunyon had requested a ham dinner instead of our traditional bread bowls with cheese and broccoli soup. The Engineer, bless his great heart, helped pull that together in cooking, but I in the peace the Lord had given me, helped it happen peacefully and happily.

The Engineer was awesome helping me through the Christmas Eve insanity wrapping and stockings.  I drifted to sleep by 1:30 while he persisted through much much later.  And would you know it, I woke up GRUMPY!!  How could this be?  I went to sleep at a descent time.  How could this be.  As Paul Bunyon came in the room, I immediately pretended to be asleep.  How could I say something ronchy to him and dampen the beautiful brightness of Christmas morning.

As soon as he was gone, I jumped into the bath and I cried and I prayed, just like yesterday.  Oh how I wanted to have a lovely Christmas day!  I could feel how sad I felt to not have my angel babies alive and I prayed that they would be with me through the day.  As I prayed again with so much humility, the same miracle happened for me.  Joy, strength, desire, ability.

Soon I was making a last minute gift for Bouncing Boy.  Then I was up and down stairs helping get some last minute wrapping for my Engineer’s present, all in joy and brightness, freshness and kindness like I usually have on this magical and joyful morning.  The Engineer made his delicious omelets, we watched a Christmas devotional together, I sank my teeth into that delicious grub and praised him merrily as I usually do.  We watched part of “Once I was a Beehive…” and then I read the children a beautiful story book account of the Nativity once more, and asked the Engineer if I could pray.

In the prayer, tears for the Savior welled up and I cried and prayed thanking the Lord for the gift of His Son, thanking the Lord how hard the children worked on their gifts to show the love they had for eachother….

And then we came upstairs and what fun to hear the children disclose the joys of their stockings.  The next while was a most delightful hour or so, of each child excitedly finding their presents? No. Would you believe, they were so anxious to give their gifts and watch each other open them.  They were so sad when there were no more gifts to GIVE.  I had one of those moments, where putting up with a messy homeschooling house, and lots and lots of sibling rivalry, paid off.  They were learning true service and love and kindness!  I basked in it due to the grace the Lord had given me.  After the children opened all the presents, the Engineer played Chess with Paul Bunyon.  I knitted with my Fairy Princess who was anxious to crochet with her new books.  I danced with Hoppity and by the end of the day, I was waning and tired. But…

The day ended with one more nativity puppet show, and falling asleep to cuddling with Hoppity as I just finished her Christmas hat.  And watching Scrooge that favorite redemptive story, with the big kids.

Yes, happiness and joy and strength were mine this Christmas, thanks all to the LORD, Jesus Christ.


Someone’s brilliant idea

Someone’s brilliant idea


While moving, I ran into this random piece of paper that had the most brilliant idea by some wonderful homeschooling woman I’ll never meet, written on it.

One problem I find in homeschooling has been maintaining a school and chore schedule.  Maintaining the flow is so difficult that I have almost shuddered at social and service opportunities, as they knock me right off my rocker and then I am scrambling to play catch up, and to gain my mind back.  This nifty little system makes that so much easier.

How do you account for days when you do a field trip or are sick or have other needs that mess up scheduling, or as so often happens for me, the lesson is so enriching that we stretch it to next lesson to fully utilize the resources, without loosing momentum?  When you were operating by Mondays is do this day, like I was using to cue my brain previously, other opportunities and interruptions could really alter my homeschool for months.  This plan I found helped with this so much.

For anyone who is like me and may not be as multi tasking as they wish, or who likes to stick to a schedule and gets all bent out of shape and deflated if they can’t, making adjustments so difficult that outside opportunities may not be taken, this idea may bless you too because it makes for realistic scheduling that adjusts for real life opportunities, inefficiency and interruptions like illness.

This precious paper was an old article written in the Homeschooling newsletter, “The Latter-Day Family” that Diane Hopkins used to do, under the column, “Our Readers Write” by Jenee Jungkunz.

“Dear Diane, 

I wanted to thank you for your Curriculum guide.  It has been invaluable!  We made a few changes to your schedule and four year plan that may work for other readers.

I liked the idea of doing English and Math daily and the other subjects for an hour a week.  Where we ran into problems were activities scheduled into the middle of the school day.  Our Homeschool network often had trip to the theater, symphony, ballet, zoo, museum…We would get as much of our work finished as possible, but often the later classes got preempted.  Sometimes we made them up in the afternoon, but that became a stress on housework, dance classes, Scouts…Often the interruptions ran in a streak, so that it was Tuesday interrupted for four weeks, then Friday for three.  It was really hard to develop a consistency.

This year, rather than assign subjects to a day of the week, everything is on a five day-school rotation. [Such as for the Latter Day Curriculum: Geography, History, Literature, Science, and alternating Art-Music] Every fifth day is {Literature} the school day after {Literature} is {History}, the school day after {History} is {Geography}, etc.  If we have a field trip scheduled, it does not count as a school day.  We do scripture study, journal and the field trip and that is all.  Any time we take off a day for vacation, sickness, holidays, or field trips, we simply begin the next day in the rotation without regard to what the day of the week is.

We posted a grid with 260 squares numbered 1-180 and 1-80.  If we have a school day, we mark off a square counting down from 180.  If we take an off day, we mark off a square counting down from 80.  If we take a lot of off days they get crossed off first, then there are no more off days for the year, no matter how hot it is in August.  If we get the 180 days finished first, then we get the amount remaining from the 80 as vacation days in the summer.  We might have 20-30 school days left from June 1 to Sept 1, but the kids don’t seem to mind a week on, a week of in the summer, as long as they can take off a day when it is very hot and humid.  And I don’t feel guilty taking a day to go sled riding in January.  It’s really hard to schedule in advance when the snow will be perfect…”

Isn’t that a marvelous plan?  I like how the field trip days get scripture study, journal, and no more non-necessary crunching to fit more learning and opportunity than a child may really be able to take in, and over stress the parent as well.  Savor the day and experience and move on.  Personally, I love the idea of the 260 squares idea, to keep ME on track from taking too many off days, but personally I wouldn’t do the idea of: if squares 1-80 get used first, then all the summer is used for school.  I love the idea of one week on and one week off for summer, she shares, because for us, when we give up summer entirely, the children take months to build back momentum of habit in the fall, and then Christmas and the holidays are upon us and we fall of track indefinitely, anyway.  But its discouraging to plan to school in summer for school, and all these ‘field trips’ and vacations crowd out your plan.  So the ‘on a week, off a week’ idea can account for that summer scheduling give or take.

I now use this idea for my chore list and a few other categories as well.  I have a chart so I can see what family chore we worked on or did and can pick from the list of chores which needs doing most.  When the chore doesn’t get done that day, instead of crunching that chore into the next day, along with that day’s normal responsibilities, I can make it the only chore for the next day, or skip it for a while if something else feels more pressing, but knowing its on the rotation, makes it easier to skip till next time.  I notice now things like sock sorting which never got done Wednesdays, when I can choose from a list of things that need doing, actually gets done!  I don’t know why but this system has been very helpful, liberating and helps me keep less in my brain and more on the paper chart, which actually works better than trying to store it in my mind, choose, crunch, make up for, work through discouraged feelings that get you doing even less, etc.  It just really clicks for me.

Here are some sample charts I have.  I do have a lot of charts now, but I have fun keeping track.  Maybe I’ll eventually keep track on one chart.  Probably soon.  For now I just have a bunch of charts in sheet protectors on a clip board, I use little acronyms to keep charting fast and easy, and its great and feels as fun to record as crossing an item off a list.

just chore chart and family school, chore, lessons etc charts

A Lantern in her Hand

A Lantern in her Hand

Today, my daughter finished reading me aloud the book, A Lantern in her Hand, by Bess Streeter Aldrich.

I remember that when I was about sixteen or seventeen, my mama presented a book to me, that she confided was one of her very favorite books when she was young, “A Lantern in her Hand”.  Even at that young age, the book became one of my favorites the moment I read it, even though all of its scope was well beyond my experiences depicting Abbie, a beautiful young prairie bride through her life to her as an old great grandmother shaped like a pudding bag body tied around the middle.  The book resonated deeply with me as it did my mother.  I think its the only book, besides the scriptures, that I ever read twice. (And if you count this as a third, with my sweet daughter’s read a loud).

There is a song in the book, that the young character Abbie sings throughout the story

Oh the lady of the Lea, Fair and young and gay was she, Beautiful exceedingly, the lady of the Lea.  Many a wooer sought her hand, for she had gold and she had land, Everything at her Command, the Lady of the Lea, Fanciful Exceedingly, the Lady of the Lea…

To Abbie this song embodies all her dreams, and a painting of her rich, white throated and beautiful auburn haired great grand mother, with a string of pearls around her neck is the image that Abbie pursues in her secondary heart as the personification of arrival.  The song repeats through out the book as the character ages.

My princess was so cute, she looked up the song in some old song books on the internet, and learned it.  She loves to sing, and sometimes I do have to admit that I get agitated with the same song being sung over and over.  But this song was so nostalgic, so pretty, so plaintive, and so hollow as the beautiful young lady depicted in the song, ends up with nothing for her selfishness by the end of the tale; that I never tired of hearing it. I thought it so quaint that my daughter would learn the song so she could sing it each time it cropped up in the story.

Abbie is an auburn haired young beauty, with a gorgeous song voice.  Charming Ed offers her voice lessons, marriage and the big life in New York, but she holds out for quiet, sturdy, reliable Will, her childhood friend, whom she realizes she loves. She gives up her dreams and follows Will into the waving grasslands of Nebraska.

The prairie life is harsh, she births a stillborn baby, and when the grasshoppers swarm their deathly mobbing over all life and even eat her letter home, Abbie’s spirits sink into depression.  When she begins to think of Ed and the life she would have had, she begins to notice how she never laughs and that her husband though enduring has also lost his twinkle for life.  She decides that she will help Will raise his spirits by lifting hers, and with that Christmas season, together Abbie and Will pull out of their sadness by sweetly staying up late past their children’s bedtimes and after the daily exhaustion, making homemade gifts for their children.  Abbie begins to sing again and decorates the home best she can with what she has, and thereby chooses to be committed to Will and her own real life, come what may.

With each child, Abbie lets go of another one of her dreams, and lets that dream be fulfilled in the life of the child, such as art, singing, and getting an education.  She sings her song, yet, you see that she has become nothing like the Lady of the Lea, and her joys are deep rich joys that are found in taking care of home, husband, children, work, necessity, and serving others.  One example from the story that depicts Abbie’s character and personality, was when seeing how harsh the prairie life was, and how hard it was to keep up spirits, she formed a women’s association for she and her neighbors where they and their children acted out plays.  This fun, lighthearted and enriching activity lifted mind, body and spirit and knit a garment of hope, support and friendship with the threads of very differing women that called themselves neighbors and friends.

Abbie gives her all to her children, and lets her dreams be fulfilled in them, sacrificing her paint set for Margaret to take the lessons she never had, letting Isabel have the voice lessons she always wanted, with Will kindly bidding her, “No Abbie, now its your turn to learn”….and helping Grace go to a good school with the precious savings.

Sadly, it seems there is a certain something lost in her children’s conception of their mother in her self sacrificing.  She lived throwing heart, soul, service, time and menial work to protect and mold them physically mentally and spiritually, and it becomes apparent that this impenetrable focus embodies her first heart and gives her a deep, quiet and greatest of joys.  A lot of what seemed to transfer over to the children, was that she was a class A martyr, in some ways it didn’t seem the children quite understood every sacrifice she made only deepened her joy as she forgot self for the good of others.

I think that mothers who do take some time to feed their spirits as they pursue their talents provide example and inspiration for their children, even as they revitalize their own spirits.  However, Abbie of the prairie may never really have been capable of partaking in these sort of indulgences due to the nature of the demanding plains.  But true, as a mother in any circumstance, it is hard to break away, and you can easily become lost under dishes and bills and endless requirements.

And yet I also see that in these sacrifices mothers make, marks something deeper and richer in their souls than can be measured by others as to their success, happiness or achievements.

I often wish I could have more time to paint, or to sew, or to read.  I am happy when I make a little time to do these, and often think I am missing something as Abbie did when yet again I do chores till I’m too tired to see straight and have to go to bed, not being able to stretch to anything creative, yet, there really is something to letting memory making, child rearing, training and helping your children develop their talents, and supplying shelter and food, that warrants an indescribable joy and satisfaction.

When my mother came up to visit me recently, and saw the book we were reading, she told my daughter and I, that she loved Bess Streeter Aldrich books so dearly, and never realized that her books actually were blue prints for her life.

The book meant all the more to me, and I could truly see my mother in Abbie Dill.  And I think on surface value she could be judged to be a Class A martyr until, you realize that she loved her children so much she would give her children everything, even stretched out her marriage way past what it should be stretched, to give us as much eternity and stability that she could.  She loves us more than she loves herself, and everything she did was to further our opportunities.  To know Abbie is to know my mother, and to read the story is to realize that her ultimate satisfaction in life was fulfilled in being the best mother and wife that she was capable of, and all she really ever wanted was our happiness and success.  Abbie began to depart from The Lady of the Lea, fanciful exceedingly…when she married Will Dill, and she also left the image held by her second heart, of her great grand mother with the white throat, tapered fingers and string of pearls.  By the end of her life, she is the complete opposite of the beautiful, vain and unsatisfied Lady of the Lea, nor is she unworked, poised and rich as was her great grandmother.  But ironically, when old Abbie Dill is gifted the magnificent painting of her great grandmother which she hasn’t seen in years, the young depicted lady with long tapering fingers, with pearls, poise and riches, she cries, in sobs, somehow fearing she never gained her dreams, and failed in her life’s choices.

Sometimes the outcomes in life, aren’t what we thought and dreamed and hoped they would be, yet we don’t need to feel that these differing outcomes mean we haven’t found success.  Who Abbie had become, and the unexplained satisfaction she found in giving her everything to her children, helping where she could with her neighbors, and taking care of her home, was her success.  She died with the memories of her children all gaily chattering in play when she was cooking dinner for her family.  Our successes in who we have become are the outcome of our lives, and our memories we have made in our lives, can never be taken away, though ‘endings’ don’t always appear to be as we wished them.

I hope that my mother knows that she is one of my living heroes and that I have followed her unknowingly, and knowingly, in so many instances, with my few variances according to personality and scope; and have found my life to be exactly as I would hope, despite the fact that sometimes my ‘endings’ aren’t as I would hope, sometimes my ‘achievements’ seem to fall short.  My hope is that in my attempts, I am becoming, just who I want to become, and that my memories will be rich and sweet.

Abbie Deal:

“You can’t describe love, Kathie, and you can’t define it.  Only it goes with you all your life.  I think that love is more like a light that you carry.  At first childish happiness keeps it lighted and after that romance.  Then motherhood lights it and then duty…and maybe after that sorrow.  You would’t think that sorrow could be a light would you dearie?  But it can.  And then after that, service lights it.  Yes,…I think that is what love is to a woman…a lantern in her hand.”

Photo Credit

And on to our New Home

And on to our New Home

My dear husband had the sweetest idea that the first thing we should do when arriving to our new home, was to re-bury our little miss carried baby, Hal,  who was buried initially at our rental property.









We decided to bury Hal under this tree in our backyard, where the children will be wont to play.











We sang the song that, imparted by the Holy Spirit, we felt was Hal’s favorite song, “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

Through various experiences, our family members have figured out Hal’s favorite parts of this song.

Blend with ours your voices

In the triumph song:

Glory, laud, and honor

Unto Christ, the King.

This through countless ages

Men and angels sing.  

….Like a mighty army

Moves the Church of God

Brothers, we are treading

Where the Saints have trod.

We are not divided

All one body we:

One in hope and doctrine,

One in charity.











The boys both want to help.

The children were very excited about the play set that was left to them as a surprise by the previous owners.








Riley carries me across the threshold!!








Our tradition when buying a home is to buy take out Chinese food…hopefully we won’t be buying it under the same circumstances for a while!!

And we’ve already been greeted by church members to help us unpack!

Welcome Home, they said by their offering!


How she Overcame the “Worrying Sickness”

How she Overcame the “Worrying Sickness”

My Hoppity makes me laugh.  She has a great sense of humor.  The other day, she laughed as she told us what life was like when she had, as she termed it, “The Worrying Sickness”.

Image Credit

She jokingly told us, “I would see a little speck of something black, and say, “Oh no!!  Mouse poop!  Then I would run and wash my hands!”

The way she said it made me laugh a really good chuckle.  As parents, we knew our daughter was washing her hands so frequently that her hands were drying out really badly, to the point her Dad told her she was not to wash her hands for a space.  She would ask me for discernment about when to wash her hands after that.

At another point, she confided she had stopped obeying like she used to, because of the worrying sickness.

I found out a little more about the worrying sickness a few weeks after that.  By following Cranial Hiccups’ Easter 30 day countdown, I did a demonstration about Christ’s atonement,  where you put a drop of food coloring in water, and with a teaspoon of bleach the color should completely absolve.  The color didn’t go out and didn’t go out, so I poured more, and then more.

I was getting worried about my lesson, but then we noticed the color was beginning to slowly fade.  We realized together that as you pray for healing and for forgiveness through the atonement, you have to continually pray and wait on the Savior with sustained hope and faith of his Atoning Grace and Power.

This is when Hoppity told us, this was how it was with the “Worrying Sickness” for her.  She started praying every day for help with the worrying sickness.  It didn’t go away right away she said, but she continued to pray every day and she started to feel better and better.

I was awed by Hoppity’s personal faith and patience.  She also taught me, that our ‘sicknesses’ are temporary.  Even if we have susceptabilities to certain ‘sicknesses’ or sins, we can with time and faith, overcome them and become healthy again.

At the same time, this object lesson answered a question I had asked a few week ago.  I knew the Atonement could heal me in my sins, but how are others healed?  Do they only receive healing if they approach the Atonement too?  Can we pray they will heal from the hurts we caused them, and will they?  And as I watched that water slowly fade, I knew what the Lord was answering.  He was telling me, that he can absolve the effects of our sins, if we do our part by not putting in more food coloring or repeating the sins.  Then during conference I learned that we must fast and seek the Lord with all our hearts as we seek to do away with less effective patterns of treatment that can be shrill or out of tune.  I knew that I was over reacting and harping negatively and that this was damaging to the identity of my children.  Watching general conference from my church, gave me hope, that if I “Keep Practicing” with fasting and deep prayer, and trying, I can gain the tongue angels, a new voice, the voice I sometimes have, will predominantly on to always, come in me. (See See Henry B. Eyring from April 2015 LDS General conference about fasting and Wilford W. Anderson, General Conference April 2015)

I have susceptibilities to strep throat, and it takes intensive consistent work to heal from it. But then I can fall to strep  again, easily.  This is the same with certain sins and vulnerabilities I have.  But its important to know that I can heal and be whole after treatment and healing, and if I fall into that sickness or state of mind that is not condusive to the spirit again,  I can continue to lose desire to sin, can continue to give him more of my heart, can continue to deepen or sustain my faith in him, and I hope with this process that one day my deepest weaknesses will be my greatest strengths, through Christ’s grace.  I have seen great improvement in this process already in regards to this very topic of gaining gentleness and sustained kindness.  If some ‘conditions’ persist through life, I hope that I can keep them mere temptations rather than begin to identify with those temptations and act on them.

Indeed my daughter gave me hope that our ‘conditions’ are temporary, and with child like faith and persistent faith in the Savior we can find temporary relief and one day full relief through whole hearted, continued submission to the Lord and imploring his Grace.

So let us go forward in Hope.  Hope in the realness of Christ’s healing for us and others, and for His help in transforming us into new people in His Grace.

This talk I will be listening to many times, by Wilford W. Anderson, as well as Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk from that same conference, Sunday morning session.



I love being a Mama.  I love days like today, when I kept ahead of the mess!  We were able to do our LDS family school, which I love soooo much!  The kids love it, I think, because I love it!  But we have so much fun feeling the spirit and learning together.  You know when your children thank the Lord in their prayers that they could do family school, that it is a good and a great thing.

I love finding success after much labor, error, and failure.  For example, yesterday, my son didn’t want to go to our singing class.  I had read a scripture, and tried to memorize it a few days ago, from Nahum 1:3, that said the Lord is slow to anger, and great in power.  The Lord doth not acquit the wicked.  The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind, and in the storm, the clouds are the dust of his feet.  I looked up what acquit means, in the online 1828 Webster’s Dictionary (which is great for understanding the spiritual and biblical meanings to words in addition to their definition.  Basically I learned acquit means to set free or discharge from an obligation.)

So I realized that the Lord loves us enough to give us consequence in time.  He keeps his emotions in check as he ponders just the right consequence, perhaps.  I decided that when this fit was being thrown, that I would walk away from this fit….he asked repeatedly if he could stay home, after I already explained why we have him come to choir ( that we learn to give when it isn’t our favorite way to serve, we become prepared to serve in future opportunities in ways that aren’t our preferred cup of tea, like for example if a son has daughters and is able to have a tea party with them, later on in life, it would be because he was trained in youth to serve unselfishly.)  I decided to not be the more determined mother, and by being more fixed, overcome someone who secretly wants someone to be stronger than they.  Because my husband works from home, I could do this.  I left without him.

I was upset and very bothered, this was very difficult to do.  As time went by, I cooled completely down and I realized this child had done some great things that day.  Why not focus on those tonight, after all, I want to starve out the tares by paying little attention to them and nourish the wheat that is growing.  (This is a lesson I learned from L. Tom Perry’s recent talk in October 2014 conference where he refers to how we can starve out tares in our lives and reproduce wheat).  Then when I saw fit, I could quietly tell Paul Bunyon, my son, that he owed me five dollars for the class costed 20 per child, per month.  When I was still feeling a bit angry, I said aloud, “Paul Bunyon is in big trouble.  He won’t be able to go outside all the rest of this week.” This consequence was tattled by a sister as soon as that child got home.  But I wasn’t there to hear it.  I never said a thing to this child about not coming, for a few hours, and when I did, I said, “How did it feel to stay home?” I found out it didn’t feel good.  I told the child, I thought it wouldn’t, and that we missed him.  Then I shared all the things he did well that day.  Apparently a child had also tattled to Paul Bunyon that he owed Mom five dollars.  Both consequences, only the latter I was planning on delivering, did not cause any rebellion in this son, because it was given so gently and so kindly, and with so much empathy, and with plenty of time for Mom and son to pull away from the heat of the moment!

Folks, this is amazing…this is a miracle.  I focused on the positive, I didn’t belabor, over lecture, belittle..I waited till I thought completely rationally…I am so thankful for these scriptures and conference talks that I am finally with my new years goal, doing, which is looking at my scripture notebook to see what the Lord has tried to teach me, and then, actually learn it.

Yeah for successes! Yeah for the Lord’s teaching, and then for his grace to help me actually apply it, after much trying.

Why I am so glad my son has the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Why I am so glad my son has the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Image result for picture of spilled fingernail polish

When I re-read the post I wrote below, from 2009, and realized I still needed to learn the lessons in it, I re-posted it, deciding to make the goal of using silences appropriately in my life.  I didn’t need to blurt out in emotions rantings, railings, etc, I could rest silent and think of how to most effectively respond.

Well what do you know, I soon had a chance to test my goal, and what do you know, I began as usual, “I just TOLD you, why don’t you listen, why don’t you obey…if you were doing your dishes like you were supposed to this wouldn’t have happened” and then, my dear son reminded me!

The dear boy said, in the kindest voice, “Mom, don’t forget your goal of using silence.”

I was blown away.  I hadn’t told him, or anyone about my goal.  I had only posted it on my blog, and he’s nine years old, believe me, he doesn’t read my blog.  I knew that the Holy Ghost gave him a message.  All though, I’d technically already ‘blown’ it, I said, “I am sorry dear child for ranting and railing.  I meant to say, “What have you learned from this?  Do you feel you can trust the warning advices your mother gives? etc.  I began to be patient and encouraging.  “Don’t worry, I think you are really learning from this…” etc.

Though it was a partial success, and not a full success, I thank the Lord our children are given the gift of the Holy Ghost at a young age.  I once wondered why children are baptized, in our church, at age 8.  And then a woman in the ward shared how she knew that the children were protected and given wisdom much more so, through this priceless gift.  I felt the Holy Spirit confirm to me her words were true, and I stand today to say, I know the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands after baptism, is a real gift, and I am so thankful that my intuitive little son, has become even more so, through the tender betstowal of this priceless gift.


Something’s gotta change!

Something’s gotta change!

This post was originally written a while ago, but I recently re-read it.  I was saddened to read about my insights that I’d largely forgotten about.  I realized the Lord was still trying to teach me about using ‘silences’ appropriately in my parenting.  This new year, of 2014, I want to show the Lord I care about what He’s trying to teach me, by re-reading the insights and helps he’s bumped me into.  Perhaps then I will actually learn the information He is trying to teach me.  Here is the recent quote on effectively using silences, that He has helped me to notice.

“… We may come to know him through the words he spoke, through the deeds he did, and also through his silences. We may know him also by the impression which he made first upon his friends and secondly upon his foes, and thirdly upon the general body of his contemporaries…”  Elder L. Tom Perry Finding Lasting Peace, October General Conference 2014.

This of course leads us to the question, when did Jesus use silences, and how?  This is the question I go forward with to study out for myself.


And here is the 2009 post:



(…This picture is upside down!  Stand onyour head to look at it.)

Does it HAVE to be me????

YES!!!!  I told the Engineer things were just not working with parenting and that I couldn’t bear doing homeschool and being with the children this much anymore.  What if instead of building them I was damaging relationships?  I felt like I was in Chinese torture, and I would be patient time after time, and then after so many patient, holding back episodes I would get snappy, and occasionally say something I regretted, like using labeling words such as ‘brat’, or ‘ungrateful’.  It seemed an exasperated raised voice was occurring nearly everyday which didn’t feel good to feel uncontrolled and to feel like a bad mother.  Fortunately saying some label was occurring very occasionally, but the work involved was giving me majorly tight shoulders every single day which gave the Engineer sore fingers in rubbing my back!

I didn’t want to let go of my idea to homeschool my children till third grade.  One of the children was coming home extremely stressed and demanding after social situations and I felt they needed extra coaching and guidance to help them be successful. I had prayed about it many times and felt very right about this decision for the children, and felt right that this child in particular, needed to enjoy the safety and coaching of a mother’s arms to prepare them for the worldly challenges ahead.  I felt it best to strengthen them till they were ready to stand on her own two feet.    But then I felt this snapping point and thought, this has to be about me, and I don’t want to be with the children this much.

I realized something had to change.  I knew that I was already using a lot of help from the Lord so I didn’t see how it could be me.  That night I woke up at 2:30 and I had an impression.  I needed to do the twelve step program, you know AA, or Over Eater’s Anonymous.  So I started on step one : I am helpless in this problem and COMPLETELY need the Lord, from LDS Family Services, Addiction Recovery Program.  Luckily, I studied it and then went back to sleep.

That morning on my run, I plead on my run to forgive and thus erase all resentment in my mind I held for unmet, unreasonable expectations.  .

As I studied the scriptures, the Lord told me “and lo, I will be with them even to the END.”

“And he who is FAITHFUL shall overcome all things…”  I knew that if I kept turning to the Lord in this weakness of always keeping calm, the Lord would help me overcome.

During the day the Lord gave me an impression that was so beautiful and helpful.  He told me that he is so easily able to love us in our most repetitive weaknesses, because, beyond feeling our magnificent worth, also, he saw us much past the weakness, he saw us as getting past and over the problems, he saw us eternally.  I realized I could see my children as grateful and happy, really and truly, that they would be someday, and that difficulties were only a temporary working through an aberration to their true, future characters.  That thought was a powerful thing for me, and I know that it would help me not think things, that could come out in unkind labels of their ownly temporary behavior, if I never even viewed them as as such things as unhappy, ungrateful, etc.

Yesterday I did some more writing in Step 1.  Weakness is a tender mercy of the Lord?  Yes, I realized the Lord gives us weakness in addition to having weakness from lack of experience and that it is our strength and our gift, so we would not let ourselves be alone and isolated, that by feeling weak and needing help, we would use the help of other people inspired by the Lord, and more especially receive help from our God.  This weakness is a beautiful gift given so that we can be connected.  Connecting with the power of the atonement and Christ’s grace, gives us giant ability that given our amount of experience and skills, we could never achieve with out him.  If we weren’t weak, we wouldn’t feel the need to connect, and be able to become so much bigger than we feasibly could be alone.  Our children need us, we need inspired mentors, friends and parents, and most especially, our God whom we are connected to through our Savior who mediates between our lack of perfection, so that we can unite with our Heavenly Father.  Essentially, we all need each other.  Together, united in God and teaching our strengths to others, we are strong.

Facing this conflict head on with admitting I need utter help from God is the only way.  Public or private schooling would not provide just time away, it would also add other pressures.  The problems I had, would not go away, but perhaps be just amplified and even compacted, during other times of the day.  Though well intentioned teachers might be perfectly patient all day long with my children, they wouldn’t have the moments of pure love that build over all, far more than generally neutral feelings a teacher would imbue to the child.  Instead, I needed to face my biggest demons, head on, to be able to successfully follow the answers God has given us for right now in our journey.

Listening to a parenting book on tape called Smart Love, I realized that those weakened moments of fatigue and etc.  shouldn’t be sweated over, because they are the exception, not the rule.  Like a beautiful tapestry with a few hanging strings doesn’t ruin the art piece.  I believe this to be true, most graciously, also, because I believe in the power of the atonement to heal, but in doing our part, I feel we can hold our children in our arms more, spend more time with them, praise, approve and cherish them more as part of either healing, or building, and I know the Lord will continue to guide me.

In The Chosen, Danny Saunders does not speak to his son.  When I read this, I thought how sad and abusive this treatment was, but on looking a little deeper, I believe that small focused silences can be used effectively in parenting.  No, never to ignore the child, let me explain.  I can be temporarily silent in those moments when I am feeling any type of emotion with my children’s behavior, instead of using words when I am feeling highly emotional, I can first make sure that the children are safe from any danger their conflict might pose, while I choose the best words to respond with in accordance with their behavior.  I can give myself some time to think of the most appropriate response.  I can tell them, I will talk about this more a little bit later so they don’t feel ignored.  When I have enough time to think of gentle correction, guidance, etc, I won’t have used words when my brain looses its keen deducing powers due to the emotions of the situation.  We all know that when we speak immediately, we may squabble out labels, ranting, or disparaging words that the children could attach to their own self worth.  Picture if a child is having a fit.  A parent could say something sarcastic, frustrated, less effective, or even unkind.  Making sure the child is safe, but waiting to speak a parent can give the child some space for both parent and child to work out their feelings.  This message about using silence was reaffirmed to me on Sunday during the lesson, when we studied Robert D. Hale’s talk on showing Christian courage in times of opposition.   We decided as a group that sometimes saying nothing was the best thing possible.

I am committing to study and thereby learn from the parents, friends and mentors God puts in my path to help me.  I am learning in ‘Smart Love,’ what is developmentally appropriate for each age, as well as why children may have a hard time experiencing joy, and thus why they might complain in those moments you are doing your best to serve them.  This can be created partly from our own discipline which they read as perfect love, and so they feel that to feel loved is to feel punished.  Ouch.  I can do better.  I can love more, and I can discipline better!  I can learn!

We are going to hold hands into the eternities with our children.  They will help me, and I will help them, and together we will learn. I will change through more humility and more openness to learning, and humility will help me tap into the grace of our Lord who is so ready to help the penitent and teachable.   More learning will help me not only preserve these infinitely important relationship, but I will be privileged to help my children blossom as most intriguing and contributing citizens, who give love, friendship, strength to others who bring out the worth and beauty of others.  I will take each day step by step, and will try to listen closely as the Lord guides me to what will be best for my children.  I will seek to hold the Lord’s hand tightly.