Inspirational thought

our children are the future generation...let's pray for a great leader!
"The greatest need of any country, and especially of our own, is better men and better women.  The greatness of future generations depends upon the character of the boys and girls of the present.  
It is the duty of the home to properly train children.  
This is important, not only for the sake of the children and the home, but for the sake of the church and the government as well.  Without proper training at home it is almost impossible for the children to be what the parents would wish them."
The Management and Training for Children, William J Shearer, 1904

a whole park to ourselves.

School resumes in exactly one week and I am taking advantage of finding fun things to do as a family without breaking our budget.
Earlier this week before Sierra left for teen pep we sporadically drove to Fort Mott state park to have a picnic. We gathered all of the kids, grabbed the cooler, and put all kinds of condiments inside. Luckily for us we had the whole place to ourselves.
This park is pretty big, and its free! Not as big as Central Park, but big enough to play frisbee, and it looks like everyone had a grand time. Trying to capture a picture of a frisbee being thrown in the air wasn't easy, but I think I took a few good shots.

It's funny how competitive these two get when it comes to a sport. It may look like they are playing soccer, but they are trying to reach for the frisbee. They do know how to laugh, and make up in the end! 
I love the wide open space of this park. It is so nice to not have it encumbered by crowds. Don't get me wrong...I love crowds, but there are days when you just need to hear the sound of your own children's laughter, and sometimes eavesdrop on your two oldest daughter's conversation without any background noise. They were oblivious when I took this picture of them!  
When we first ventured out here we weren't aware that there is a boat tour  that takes you around the Delaware River. Unfortunately we missed the last boat, and just stood against the rail overlooking the water. The sounds of the water splashing was so relaxing. I was actually sitting down on a bench with my face staring up at the sun, and then I got too hot.
Noah loves the water, and was on a mission trying to find rocks so that he can throw them into the water.
We decided to walk around the fort, and just enjoy this time as a family. I never want to take them for granted. I love spending time with all of them! Not just one, but when I have them all to myself I feel so blessed. Blessed because we are finding the time to be together, and are making up for those five months of being without a car. It is so nice to have your own vehicle, and be able to drive as far as you want without being pressed for time (i.e. renting a car, or borrowing someone else's.) 
This place is so peaceful, and it was so nice to have literally been the only ones (besides the staff) on Ft. Mott walking against the Delaware River to talk to our children about what goals they have for the school year, thoughts, or concerns they might want to discuss. I'm just grateful for the bond that we have as a family. Sure we may have major disagreements, but in the end we recognize the good and the bad that comes out from those disagreements and always find a common ground. That is something that I didn't really have growing up. So thankful that our children thankful. 

Hope and faith for a better America.

Listening to Anne Romney's speech last night brought so much light into my life. It uplifted me in so many ways. Every couple has a unique love story, and hers was just beautiful. The love she expressed for her husband was just that...pure love, and it reminded me of the continuing love that I have for my better half, and for our family. 

The way she supported, and spoke of her sweetheart Mitt Romney, her children, and the Savior is a glowing example of how much compassion she has to give not only to her family, but to America as well. 

I was truly inspired, and throughout the entire speech I felt as if I was in the middle of it all. Her words spoke to me, and I have ultimate faith that her husband can change the way Americans live. A lot of families old and young, married & single have been struggling to make ends meet, and times have certainly changed compared to four years ago. I am not one for politics, but ever since I moved to New Jersey I have been involved in the action via social networks especially since Obama became president. 

Having Mitt Romney run for president brings me great joy, and a lot of hope.
Hope for our children so that they won't have to struggle in finding the job that will be able to support them in their future. Hope for many families that can be able to get better jobs that will sustain them until retirement. Hope for a better future for all Americans to know that there is "life" in this world, and that there is a man who has a loving wife, that comes from a strong christian background, a savvy background in business, with beautiful sons who can make Americans live peacefully 110% better. 
I pray that throughout this election we can all have the faith that America will be better than well. The world is not perfect, and although Mitt Romney is not a "perfect" man...he is going to do his best to meet America's needs. I have faith that Mitt is the right man for this job. 

I can't tell you what will happen over the next four years.
But I can only stand here tonight as a wife and a mother and a
grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment.
This man will not fail!
~Ann Romney

All it takes is a simple message.

There are days (in my case week) when I am not feeling like myself. Today is one of those days. I am not feeling well, it's raining, and I'm trying to snap out of this "similar mode to depression feeling", and I will.

I'm determined.

My better half is at work, Sierra has been gone since yesterday for a teen pep retreat, and I have three kids at home who really want to go outside and play, but it's too wet. School doesn't start for another week and a half, and as much as I love having them around they need to venture out. They can only do so many crafts at a time!

I'm going to put my big girl pants on, and try not to allow anything get in the way of my happiness. Especially when it is that time of the month. Oops! Did I just type that? Oh well. I am going to take the kids out, and maybe find a dry place in which they can have some fun. (Oh...the sun is making it's way out!)

The best part of my morning after canceling a visit because I wasn't feeling very well, (and neither was my girlfriend) was receiving this sweet message on Facebook from another childhood friend whom although we knew each other, and mingled within the same circle of friends...we never really hung out. That's okay because there will be plenty of time for us to meet again, visit, and catch up. 

Everyday we will see a reminder on how life should be lived, and sometimes there are things that need to be shared in order for us to get through the daily mundane. Today I was uplifted, and in a sense reminded. So I hope Dyanne doesn't mind that I am sharing her sweet message on my blog with you today.

It truly made my whole day, and will definitely last throughout the week!

Dyanne Gregg
I have been truly moved by your blog. It has made me laugh, cry, and think....My first memory of you and me is when we rode the bus home from Kinder and we both did not get off on our stop. That was a scary time, but somehow it felt safe being together with you. I know that we have always known each other, but were never very close. I wish that we had gotten to know each other better.....maybe one day we will. I feel that we have more in common than we know. I wish you and your family the best!!!

I have never been to Jersey or New York for that matter. Life is very busy, but like the quote on you blog.....sometimes we have to slow down a little or we might miss something. Thank you for sharing your life with us through your blog. It helps to know that everyone goes through tough times and that with a strong family unit, you don't have to sweat the small stuff - because as long as we have air in our lungs and we can see and feel the sun in the morning as we wake our kids up to see their smiles......that is what is really important. Thank you!!
Your friend - Dyanne
Thank you for making my morning Dyanne! It makes me feel good knowing that someone is being inspired from reading my blog. I appreciate you, and the time that you take in reading it. I love you, and hope to visit with you soon! We are not too far away! 
xo- Rose

**So-if y'all ever feel as if something is nudging you to do something...don't ignore that feeling. If it feels it! You never know what could be the outcome of that situation, or who'll you'll be uplifting. Trust me...all it takes is a simple message to brighten someone's day.

A bittersweet release.

Well, it's official. My better half was officially released as seminary teacher from our church yesterday, and it was bittersweet.

Bittersweet for many reasons.

He taught early morning seminary for four years. FOUR! In the midst of it all we had a beautiful baby boy who will be turning three in two months.  It wasn't easy for those nine months being pregnant having him interrupt my sleep during my last trimester by waking up at 4:30 in the morning every day, but who gets comfortable sleep anyway when you're eight and nine months pregnant anyway! Half the time I didn't mind.

Having this calling was easy for him because he made the choice to make it work. His job is retail sales which means that on some days he would get out of work at 10pm. During the holidays he'd get out even later. Sometimes as late as midnight! Picture having a full-time job like that and then having to wake up at 4:30 every morning with a teenager to go teach more teens! Sometimes it wasn't easy, but we made the choice as a family to make it work, and it did.

Teaching seminary has always been a dream for him, and it came true when we moved here to New Jersey. He will miss the kids, the calling itself, and is extremely grateful for having to teach all standard works (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, The Old Testament, and New Testament.) Now it is someone else's turn to wake up early, learn, and spiritually grow from teaching the scriptures to the youth.

Knowing that he had this calling made waking up each day easier for him to deal with "life". "It was like going to Sunday school every morning instead of every Sunday. You get spiritually fed knowing that your knowledge of the scriptures continues to increase while teaching it with patience and love to the youth. " He will miss the games, the laughter, but most of all he will miss watching each kid grow spiritually. He is so thankful for the opportunity, and he will always remember this humbling chapter in his life.

"I look back at all of those years I taught the youth, and all of the trials, and blessings that occurred in between, and it was all worth it. It was worth lacking all that sleep by working late, and having a newborn who wouldn't sleep through the night for the first two months! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I would."

Keeping the faith.

Having been without a car for the past five months has really really humbled us even more not only as a family, but as individuals as well. It wasn't easy being carless, and as much as I am happy to say we have transportation...I will miss those who so lovingly gave their time to take me, and my family to church.

I am so thankful that we went through yet another trial.

These trials...gotta love them. They never stop do they, and I don't believe they ever will. No matter how nice, and humble we are those trials can land on our lap so fast before we can say, "What happened?"

And it always happens to the best of us.

Reading this message from President Uchtdorf helped me in ways to understand the significance behind those trials whether great or small. I have recently learned and studied all the things that we have gone through while dealing through this specific trial. I used to focus on when the trial started, and when it was finally over. I realized that I wasn't as understanding, or spiritually mature enough to seriously learn from those trials when I am not paying attention to what is happening in the middle of those trials. I was always focusing on waiting for that trial to be over instead of actually growing and learning from it.

Well...this particular trial was a lot different, and man oh man did I (we) learn a lot from it! It certainly wasn't easy experiencing it while living in New Jersey!

What I learned from the trial is how much I shouldn't have worried too much over it (after all it's just a car), and I tried my hardest to not stress over it too much. I was more concerned with how we were going to get to church, and with school & early morning seminary starting soon, we were contemplating on how that would work out if we didn't have our own transportation.

If you have faith, and I mean really have the faith, things will work out according to God's will. He is our friend, and He will never leave us. He will help us get through any trial if we just learn to listen, learn to love, and have faith in all things. Even if it means accepting help from others while at the same time trying to be self-sufficient, and do it on our own.

That's how I want to live our life as a family.

And to my wonderful children:

That's what I am striving hard to teach y'all. I want you to know that having faith is what is going to help you get through the most toughest moments in your life. That faith is the key to happiness. Faith is better than complaining. Faith is better than anger. Faith can be better than crying (unless they are tears of joy), and Faith is better than worry.

Remember that song that you made fun of when your dad, and I first introduced y'all too? "Don't Worry Be Happy"... well, add faith to that, and try to keep those three words engrained in your brain, and all will be well. 


Choose faith over worry. 



Half The Sky

"Women hold up half the sky."
~Chinese proverb
About a month ago I felt prompted to join a group called The Mission List on Facebook. I "liked" it and immediately became a member. I also gave them my email address so I can get updated information about the group, and low and behold I received an email about being involved in a program called Half the Sky movement. I immediately watched the introductory trailer on YouTube, and what it entailed.

Let me tell you...I was on fire!

Fire meaning that I was ready to help in any way that I can. For those of you who really know me I am all about compassion, and finding ways to uplift, and help others...even if it's through the touch of a button on my keyboard.

Reading Half the Sky was not an easy read. In fact there were some stories in there which made me mad, and so sad that I cried. At the end of reading this book some of those tears turned into happiness because of how some of the women that shared their stories turned out.

This book resonated with me in ways that I never thought would. I know that there are many of us in the world who have suffered from being sexually abused, or involved in prostitution to make ends meet. Luckily for us who live in the U.S. it's easier to get out of such situations, and in due time heal from our abused wounds.

This book writes about women who have been kidnapped, enslaved, and later forced into prostitution in different countries. Some of them as young as eight years old! There is even a story where the mother works at a brothel, and by her example her daughter does the same thing. There is another story in which a 'gangster' in India tried to force a father to sell his daughter into prostitution. When he refused, he hid her, and they destroyed his home.

Some of us may not have the stomach to read a book like this, or get involved, but I totally recommend it because it is happening and it needs to be stopped. There are a few celebrities who are advocates for Half the Sky, and it warms my heart knowing that they are willing to travel to places like Cambodia, China, and India to try to find solutions to help stop sex trafficking.

Some of us are resilient and fortunately some of the women in this book were brave enough to face their demons and persevered and are now sharing their stories. I cannot imagine even half of what these women went through, but their strength helps me to have more hope that others can be saved. It is up to us as a world wide nation to try to find ways in putting a stop to sex trafficking, and to raise awareness of womens issues.

It truly is a story of bravery, survival, courage, and resilience.

It inspired me until the very end.

This post (+ my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about the Half the Sky. All commentary and opinions are, of course, my own.

what i'll miss most about summer.

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and although some of us are ready...I'm not. 

Because I will definitely miss these moments...

Chalk walk written notes on our driveway.
Chelsea's friend Lauren left me this sweet note on my driveway the other day.
Late movie nights with these two little ones while the older ones are in there room painting their nails, singing to music, or learning a new dance...
Bike rides with my oldest...
  Seeing this sign taped on Chelsea's white cup letting everyone know not to drink her ice cold water from her cup! (I laughed when I saw this because no one has ever done that in our home before!)
 Eating fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. (Verchio's will suffice.)
There are many things I'll miss about summer, such as going to the beach on a warm day, swimming in the pool, having BBQ's in our little back yard, eating water ice (unless you buy it or make your own), bubble parties, and catching fireflies, but life goes on with everyone going back to school. 

Except this one... 
He'll be with me all day long, and definitely keep me on my toes with brand new adventures for us to experience together.  

Luckily he still takes a nap, and that I can rest too for just a bit. Just a bit. 
I think letting go of summer will be easy knowing that I have all these memories tucked in my heart, and that I will begin new ones throughout this school year. 

Yeah...I think I'm pretty much ready! 

Luckily for us we can go to the beach anytime of the year...even when it's cold! 

a messy house can be a happy house.

"Excuse the mess...the children are making memories."
For the past 17 years in every place I've lived at I've always been a bit of a neat freak, and meticulous with how my house looks. They say the spirit dwells in a clean home, and I do believe that it does. It's just that lately with Noah being two he is as boyish as they come. Climbing on walls, coloring on the walls. Climbing on the piano, and chairs. Scooting the chair so he can gain access to anything and everything in the kitchen which could be dangerous. We have a wide entrance into the kitchen that I'd have to make my own childproof gate big enough to guard it. Luckily we do have childproof locks on the cabinets, and refrigerator, but he's figured out how easy it is to hold down the white gadget, and open it. One great thing he has done is throw away the trash in it's proper place instead of throwing it on the floor, or underneath the armoire waiting for one of his sisters to pick it up.

What I've come to realize is that messes are okay. I don't have to tidy up the toys that are scattered all around the living room floor every ten minutes, or neatly put away the flip flops in the corner entrance. I actually like the image of a slightly clean living room with colorful toys scattered around. Our house isn't too big, and our living room is the only place in which we entertain, and are entertained by our daughter's musical talents.
playing with dad

the living room in which the girls entertain guests, and themselves!
It doesn't bother me that as I'm sitting on the couch, I can see a cheerio, or a part of a banana peel underneath the armoire (even if it's black and hard!) I don't immediately pick it up like I used to. I will eventually, but if I'm in the middle of doing something with the kids I'll wait to clean it up. The coloring on the walls. Hey...they can always be painted right? Cover it with wallpaper right? Use a lot of scotch erasers right? Hardwood floors can always be swept, and polished right? There are so many alternatives in how to recover from your toddler doing his artwork on the walls.

Noah has gotten a lot better at throwing the trash on his own in its proper place, and if I happen to step on a cheerio or a pretzel on my way to the kitchen... that's okay. It'll get swept up eventually (or get eaten up by some critter.)

There have been many times when I've had an unexpected visitor and my house wouldn't be as tidied up as I'd like it to be. They'll comment that my house is so clean, and it makes me feel good knowing that they are saying that when they've accidentally stepped on a flip flop as they enter in while Noah is on the living room floor playing with his toys.

Truth is that I'm such an organized person, and because I don't have much furniture (our pianos are our furniture), or knick knacks there really isn't enough to clean up. People probably wonder how we manage to live in our house with four children. "Very easily" I'll say. I've just taught them by example, and we don't buy everything under the sun.

We've been in this house for four years now and the Bishop asked us the other day if our basement looks the same as we moved in (meaning if it was still bare, and if we have accumulated anymore boxes) I said, "yes still looks the same, and no we haven't really accumulated anymore boxes!" He was surprised and seemed very impressed! Apparently he saves things, and doesn't really throw anything away. We've moved so much in the past, and the fact that I was raised in a small house with a very neat mother...I have learned to be organized, and to only live with the necessities of life. I am teaching our kids to do the same thing.

Still...I want our home to be a clean haven while they build memories. I want to teach our kids that being messy is okay at times, but being clean, and organized is even better. I always want to have the spirit dwelling in our home. I want those who come into our home to feel warm, cozy, and happy. I'm sure that having a few crumbs, and cheerios on the floor won't make them want to leave.

After all...the authenticity of a family is what makes a house a real home. 

trials of our faith, an explanation, and a forgiving heart.

As I reflect back on all the places I have lived in I have to say how grateful I am for the friends that I have met, and still stay in touch with. Especially those whom I have reconnected with through Facebook (a huge thank you to Facebook.) It makes me happy to know that not once did I ever have an altercation with any of those friends of any kind!

My friends are a mixture of different religions, races, and that makes them very unique individuals. I continue to learn from their experiences, and I know which ones are true. Whether they are true friends or doesn't matter to me, because I know that I am.

Although I had an absolutely amazing weekend with my family I had an experience on Sunday that I never thought I would ever have. I don't want to get into much negative detail because I only want to write positive, and cheerful things on my blog. The only thing I will write is how much I know the Lord loves me, and how much my family loves me, and how much my home teacher loves me ( whole family!) I am extremely grateful for the strength that carries me through all the tests, and trials that the Lord puts in front of me. I am grateful that a human being, and devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints recognize my imperfections, strives extremely hard to live the gospel, serves others, and how I make the choice to quickly do something positive every time negativity comes into play.

I wasn't feeling too well when I woke up Sunday morning, and decided to attend church service anyway. I came home wondering why did I even bother going to church when I wasn't feeling well (my son wasn't either), but I made the choice to attend anyway, and then all hell broke loose (excuse my french.)

My son threw up, I was in extreme pain due to having a stye in my eye, and my youngest daughter overheard something negative someone said before sunday school started. It was all surreal, but I persevered and because I have an awesome husband whose spirit shines like sunshine helped me explain to my seven year old that not everyone is like Jesus and that we need to love them, smile at them, and help them to be a good example. It did make my daughter feel sad because it was directed at me. What child wouldn't feel bad if they heard a comment directed towards their mother? Luckily children are resilient, and easily forgiving.

And at the end of the day my better half told me how strong I was in keeping my faith through that small trial that I endured on that day.

Well I made it through that day. I've written in the past that nothing will damage the spirit that carries me through times of stress, and for the testimony I have for the gospel, as well as the love I have for the Savior.


It does make me sad when others don't recognize their harmful actions, and forgive me if it sounds like I am judging, but if your alive and breathing, and don't appreciate the life the Lord gave not harm those that do. I do care about everyone that the Lord has put in my path...even those that do harm. Satan tries so hard to work on me, and when he knows he can't provoke at me directly he uses others to bring me down. Well...I have news for the adversary, and for those who do such a thing...

It's not working.

It only makes my faith grow stronger.

So always remember to be of good cheer no matter who or what kind of harm, trials, or challenges come into play, and to do no harm to others.

We also make the choice to be strong.

A day at Bushkill Falls.

This past weekend consisted of beautiful scenery, fun, and it went by way too quick. When there is a small chance that my better half has a Saturday off...we are going to take full advantage of it, and spend it as a family. Unfortunately our yearly church picnic fell on the same day, but in my opinion getting away from Jersey, and spending time with my family takes precedence over a picnic. Especially since I've attended the past three.

They call Bushkill Falls the Niagara of Pennsylvania. It was our first time here and since it was a spontaneous trip we weren't prepared to hike through the falls. We did manage to have the young ones play in the park, and go on a peddle boat ride.
And we had fun...
I was happy when a peddle boat was available because Noah kept throwing rocks while we were waiting. He was getting a little too close to the water. 
Thank goodness for life jackets!
 Noah wanted daddy to move to the back so he could take full control of the steering!
and at the end of the ride tried to peddle the boat.  
Sorry Noah...your not tall yet buddy! 
 We are definitely coming again prepared with decent hiking shoes, water bottles, and a carrier for Noah. 


It was a great day, and I'm extremely grateful to live in an area where we are so close in distance to embark on new adventures in different places. 

That is one of the advantages of living in Jersey. 

Summer review.

So far this summer is going by way too fast.  The kids have been super active with walking, swimming, birthday partying, running, sweating, talking, walking, never ending hide and seek, netflicking, bike riding, walking. Oh...and did I say walking? 

And, a lot of this...napping

and this...more napping,

I have to admit that it is so easy to just jump into bed after weeks of strenuous activity, hardcore playing, and visiting with friends. I feel so good about myself knowing that as I am sitting on the couch watching "Cold Case" that I can turn off the remote at the drop of at hat, and like a mean mom shout out..."Time for scripture study everyone!" My better half may have just come home from work around 9pm, but he knows how important it is to read as a family.

No matter how late it is...

As soon as we are done reading, the end result to an evening of late scripture study after a day of venturing out by foot looks like this...more napping (well in this case immediate shut eye as soon as we closed with a prayer!)
This summer has been interesting to say the least, and I am loving every minute of it. I kind of don't want it to end...yet!

My little Olympian.

We have been going through a little bit of Olympic withdrawal partial because it's a sign that summer is coming to an end, and the fact that we missed a couple of days of it seemed to have ended all too quick. 

I was reminded of it when Noah was aiming for the rings in the backyard of a friend's house the other day. Instead of the swing, or slide he ran straight towards them, and grabbed them so gracefully as if he was a natural.

His strength amazes me, and when he was hanging from them so still it put a smile on my face. He's so petite, but yet so strong. Lifting himself up almost flipping over! I can totally see him being a gymnast. He is the monkey in our house jumping off the couch, bed, table & chairs! He loves rolling, and being upside down and flipping backwards! Sometimes he scares me because I feel as if he's going to break his neck! He's strong though, and he knows what he's doing. Still...I don't allow that much horsing around in our small living room! 

 He really enjoyed this huge backyard where he could run around free. He's a little sweaty in these pictures, and that is just a sign that he can take the heat on a hot semi humid day swinging from the still rings

Youth conference at the Jersey shore.

One advantage of living in New Jersey is the fact that it only takes us 50 minutes to go the shore. Last week while other stakes did a pioneer trek for their youth conference (which I think that would absolutely be a great idea if we did that) the youth in our stake attended a three day conference in the comforts near the ocean in Cape May.

This year their theme was Arise and Shine Forth. The meaning behind those words stands so true for me. This is the chance for all the youth to stand up, share their beliefs, and let their spirit shine. I love that!

The youth in the church are so fortunate to have youth conference year after year. Various classes this year included a returned missionary discussion panel in which several returned missionaries prepared to answer questions for those who are preparing to serve a church mission. They also had a class on optimism, and another one in 'recognizing, & keeping the holy ghost'. It is a conference in which they learn about gospel principles, serving others, and it helps build their testimony in the gospel.

Towards the end of June Atlantic City endured a powerful thunderstorm. My girlfriend and I visited Ocean City the day after the storm, and it looked like as if an intense hurricane hit the city. We saw tree stumps through windows, power lines dangling low almost touching the street, and they had a power outage that lasted more than a week!
can you find her?
After the storm Mormon helping hands came to the rescue and for the past few weeks members of our church have been driving down to help clean up the mess. The youth also made the time during the conference to do their part in serving a community that was in need.

 They even had time to spare, and hung out at the Cape May Zoo.
I always look forward when Sierra comes home so she can tell me all about what she learned in the classes, the boys she danced with at the dance, and any pranks they did to the young men. They always turn a spiritual activity into a world of fun. It is nice to hear about their experiences, and to watch these kids grow in the gospel. It puts my mind at ease knowing that these kids have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life that will help them grow spiritually in hopes that it will keep them on the right path. It helps them define who they are, and by attending these conferences gives them a chance to remember as to why they became baptized a member of the church. They are the ones who have a choice to take in all that they have learned, and to apply it in their daily lives.

And if there is a beach nearby... it's double the fun!

***Photo sources were leaders of the young women, and some of Sierra's friends!