Monday, June 29, 2015

SOPHOMORES.

I hardly ever write about my two oldest girls, but since i write to remember, and to pass this on to their posterity I'll only write about the milestones they are reaching.

This fall they will both be sophomores together, but one will be in college, and the other in high school. Yikes! I'm so very proud of their accomplishments, and even their downfalls. Without opposition there would be no growth, and I'm so proud of both my girls for handling what seemed to be a challenging year for them, and  I'm just so dang proud of them for passing yet another trial of faith, and another year of school.  
Alexandra passed with flying colors and is now a sophomore in high school. She endured quite a bit during her freshman year, but in spite of it all managed to keep her GPA above a 3.75. Adjusting to early morning seminary, experiencing high school teachers who curse even worse than her 8th grade teachers, and dealing with typical high school drama can really take a toll on a brand new freshman. Luckily for Lexie she has a knack for getting out of her comfort zone, and enjoys meeting new people. She said if it wasn't for her honors classes, and meeting other kids from other middles schools she would have gone insane! In spite of all the drama and everything she faced she did well in keeping her composure together. She truly is laser focused and I look forward to her looking forward to her sophomore year. I told her it will be a lot better, and the reason I know is because in all honesty...my sophomore year in high school was the best year for me. 
As far as Sierra goes she is phenomenal, and has finally figured out her life. I'm very grateful that even though she took a break from school (darn that waiting a whole freaking year to establish residency so she can attend school in Utah for a lot less), and after doing so has become an even more focused and is an amazing, happy, happy, happy young woman! I attest that to everything that she has endured since her high school graduation. She truly is anchored in the Gospel, and loves, loves the temple. I am so so very happy that she makes time to go since she received her temple recommend because as you know kids today, especially when living in Utah can "forget" what's important because of being busy with work, and school. It's not only in Utah, but everywhere as well. Heck even us adults can forget that the temple is there, but when i lived in Utah I never took those beautiful buildings for granted. I reminded my daughter of the blessings we received when we'd go frequently, and how much I want her to experience those blessings. 
And she has. 

And like her momma has developed a deep appreciation, and love for the temple. 
I know I always say this, and it's probably getting old, but time is fleeting. I'm so grateful that my girls are living with true principles and that they are taking them to heart. They have an open mind, and on their own motive have developed a strong love, and firm testimony of the Lord's plan and gospel. Putting God first in all that they do, because in today's society they really need it. 

We all do. 

No matter what religion we are, what color, race, gender, age we all need some solace. Some foundation of goodness that brings calmness, peace, and happiness into our life. 

One thing for sure is that no matter how old they get I'll never stop giving them advice. Even at the age of twenty I remind my oldest that whenever they go through a rough patch that there are ways to overcome it, and that it's only temporary. That it'll pass, and to be sincere in their prayers as they try to find an answer from God. To never give up, and that they have a choice to give up, or stand strong.

I remind them of the adage, "I never said it would be easy, I said it would be worth it." 

And they will learn, and know that. 

And as they continue to grow older, they will.

Friday, June 26, 2015

PIANO SPRING RECITAL '15

The day before Father's day we attended what might be Chelsea's last piano recital. She has been playing the piano for four years now, and feels ready to move on to the instrument she's been longing to play since she was six...the cello. 

She has been pleading to play the cello for about a year now, but encouraged her to play piano for just one more year. The piano guys have become one of her favorite bands, and will constantly watch the videos they post on tube. Whenever they post their own rendition of star wars theme songs it keeps Chelsea entertained, and her goal in learning to play the cello become more passionate. 

Ever since Sierra's second grade music teacher told me that she was sight-reading music, as well as playing the keyboard by ear, and recommended us putting her in piano lessons I have kept that "requisite" in our home with each child. I would never force one of my children to play an instrument just because everyone else is doing it especially if they don't want to. Luckily all my girls developed a love for the piano, and have had great teachers along the way to teach them. And even though some of them have moved on to another string instrument doesn't mean they'll stop playing piano on their own time. 

Sierra has been playing piano since she was six, and is now 20 and continues to compose, and write music. She is a double major at the moment in Literary arts & music. 

Lexie played piano for three years, and moved on to the violin. That is her forte, and loves it. 

I am grateful for all my girls to have a musical talent, and that they have chosen on their own motive to stick with it, and to have developed a love for it. 

Noah will be six in the fall, and probably won't be putting him in lessons until spring of next year. He does show an interest in playing the piano though. 
On the day of the recital he eyed this white piano, and asked if he could sit down, and play on it. If any of you are familiar with the video of this song you can see as to why he wanted to play the white piano, and not a black one. He seriously was expecting to have food, streamers, confetti, and  chicken to fall down from the sky as he played. He truly is something else, and I look forward to him growing up and learning to play the piano. 
The recital turned out really well, and everyone did such a great job. Ms. Heidi has been teaching Chelsea for almost four years now, and she will be missed. Good thing she lives close by so we can stop by and say hi. 
Having her former kindergarten teacher, Ms. Griffith attend every piano recital since she began has been a blessing, and has made a huge impact on Chelsea's life. We love her so!! 
We will see how cello lessons go, and hope that she will develop a love for it just as her sister has for the violin. 

Every child is different when it comes to playing an instrument, but at the end of the day what's most important is what makes the child happy. 
...and when they're happy I'm happy! 

It is my hope that my two youngest children will grow to love music even more,  and that they will have the desire to gain more knowledge and pass it on to their posterity. 


***You can see a snippet of Chelsea's recital here.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

LISTEN & INVITE.

Ever had one of those moments when all of a sudden a thought pops in your mind, and instead of ignoring it you act on it? I'm sure many of us have those moments, and I've been having a lot of them recently. 

After dealing with the flu, or whatever nasty bug we had I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the beach. Lexie was under the weather so it was just going to be me, Chelsea, and Noah. 

Upon backing out of my driveway the thought of calling my girlfriend to invite her and her family came to mind. 

And I listened.

I immediately texted her, and she responded within five seconds. You should have seen her girls faces when I picked them up, and mentioned "beach time!" They were giddy, and I can tell that after dealing with a brutal winter, and a long school year that they really needed this. 

And they all had fun. 
In spite of the rain we got caught in we managed to wait it out. The kids all bundled up in their towels until it was safe to step foot back on to the beach. 30 minutes passed and we were able to get into the water again, and the sun came out shining down us as if it was welcoming us back! 
I'm so grateful for that inner voice that tells me of the things to do, and to act on the thoughts that are good. We all needed this, and I'm so glad I acted upon the thought, and invited her, and her kids. The beach is truly one place where we can relax, discuss our life while listening to the waves crashing, and reconnect with God's wonderful creation while the kids have their fun.
It turned out to be a perfect day, and in the end was the perfect remedy in which we all needed. 

Definitely going to be making more beach trips with them this summer! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

THE DAY OF THE STORM.

The day started out with sunny skies, and hot, 92 degree muggy weather. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay indoors, but in the end you can't because of summer loving kids. I went out to visit a friend in need, and am so glad because in return I needed her. We all need girl time right? After visiting her for a few hours I walked out of her air conditioned apartment feeling rejuvenated. I went on my merry way home hoping that the kids are all getting along, and that Lexie hasn't pulled her hair out yet. Her patience is like mine. It only goes so far especially when it's hot! That's the only time I'll get really cranky especially when I haven't had anything to eat. Luckily I prayed that morning for strength to get me through the day, and to withstand with whatever the day brings. 
As I walked in there was nothing but peace permeating around the house. I heard laughing, and saw smiles being exchanged between Lexie, and Chelsea, and even a loud laugh in between. The girls were playing UNO, and were really getting into the game. I was exhausted, and wanted to lay down for a bit on the couch. We have an extra couch in the kitchen (odd place to have, I know), but I have to say it's the most comfortable couch. I can't seem to get rid of it. It's perfect to sit, and sleep on, and the kids use it as a nook for reading. 

While the girls were playing UNO, Noah was perfectly content watching toy story on the mac, and after watching it he immediately wanted me to go to the store to buy him buzz lightyear. Here I thought I got away with Noah not wanting anything to do with the characters from toy story. I owned that movie ages ago when the girls were little, but because I felt it was a movie for boys I got rid of it. I know, my bad. I never thought I'd have a son though! I think somehow I'm getting payback with my son bugging me to get Buzz because of getting rid of that movie. That's what I get for judging a movie I felt was only for boys. I certainly have learned my lesson that all movies are equal, and that there is no such thing that certain movies are for boys, and vise versa.

Maybe he'll get buzz for his birthday. 
After about an hour or so of playing tennis we headed home to get ready for church activities. That's when we all received notifications on our phones that we were under a tornado watch. I was like holy crap! Growing up in hurricane alley I always take those warnings seriously. You don't want to mess around or doubt mother nature especially when it comes to a tornado, because you don't get much of a warning. 

Young women's at church was cancelled, the skies grew dark, and it began to pour. This was indeed a torrential rainstorm with very strong winds! They were hitting hard against our windows. I was praying that they wouldn't break!  

It's times like this where you don't want to be separated from your family, and luckily Jon was safe. Evidently he did well driving a UPS truck in this major inclement weather!! On my way to pick him up there were uprooted trees, a lot of damage to a couple of homes and the streets were dark due to a power outage. It seemed like Armageddon with it being so dark. People were standing outside taking pictures, and inspecting the damage. 

There were numerous uprooted trees every where I drove. The storm brought a cool breeze which was needed after the day being so hot! I'm seriously investing in a generator after experiencing hurricane Sandy, and now this, but I thank the good Lord for keeping us out of harms way. 

Overall we were extremely lucky!! We have electricity, and thank goodness there were no serious deaths. From what I understand we were very, very close to the tornado. We live about five minutes from the mall that was damaged where a few cars flipped over! 

I have been counting my blessings over, and over again for having a beautiful day yesterday with the kids, and for saying my prayers that morning to help give me the patience with whatever came our way, and to keep us safe. 

God is good, and obviously heard my prayer. 

Here's hoping that those families who are in need, and without power will have it restored soon! 

Then again...it's New Jersey!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IN MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS.

Father's day, like Mother's day or any other holiday where one can be grieving due to a loss of a loved one can be painful for some. Especially when it is still fresh. I will never know how it feels to lose a father through death, but I know how it feels to not have a father growing up, and leave you not knowing why. 

Growing up without without a father can really suck. Suck big ones, but I've learned to cope with it. Throughout the past 39 years of my life (he abandoned me when I was five) I have no idea, even until this day where my biological father is. Where ever he is, whether alive or dead, I pray that he's happy and well. I've learned to forgive, and whenever something comes up that reminds me of him such as the smell of mexican food I am reminded of him. There was even one time when Jon worked for Rent a Center. I remember waking up quickly thinking that he's going to leave when he's actually coming home late from work. Those days really sucked, and I hardly would get any sleep in the first years of my marriage, but luckily I've gotten over that. There are tiny moments when I'll even shed a tear or two, and that's exactly how much I'll shed...a tear or two. I'll only get teary eyed for like ten seconds, and I'm over it. That's when I know that I'm okay with him being gone. Now that I'm older I don't cry as much. As a matter of fact I've become quite numb at the thought that I may never see him again in this life. 

I'm not bitter, or sad because in the past 43 years of my life I've experienced quite a few father figures who in some shape or form helped mold me into the woman I am today. 

My step-father whom I had a very negative experience with taught me what not to do! And because of the things he did to me, it has only made me strong. 

Joe was the complete opposite of negativity. He was always positive, respectful, and knew how to treat a woman as well as a child. He was the best person that happened to both me, and my mom. 

I have an amazing father-in-law who is always there for my family in times of need who raised a hard working son. 

And last, but not least I have my Heavenly Father. I've learned to put my trust in Him when I have no other father figure to turn to. One who will never leave me, and no matter what happens will always be there for me. I don't have to see Him to know that he is there...because He is. 

How grateful I am to know that. To know that He is there whenever I need to simply talk to him. 

But the one man I am most grateful for is of course, my husband. He is the most amazing, patient, kind, hardworking, loving, forgiving, man to ever step foot on the face of this earth, and he belongs to me. I seriously don't know what I would do without him had he not come into my life at the time I needed him. What a blessing he is to my children. What a blessing he is to me. They adore him, and the minute he walks in from work they embrace him, and caress him with affection. He always returns their actions, and when I see that I know that I picked a good one. 
 ...and these kids know that they did too! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

WELCOME SUMMER!

School is officially over, and summertime is here! In spite of the summer colds we've had we are determined to have fun, and not let anything bring our summer down. We received a package from grandma last week filled with all kinds of goodies. From nerf water guns, to coloring books, scented markers, and crafts to make necklaces...and a soccer ball for Noah. We plan on staying close to home this summer, and are going to make those things useful this summer, and especially fun for the kids. They certainly are growing up too fast, and always want them to know that no matter how old you are there will always be a little kid inside of us that is dying to slide down that water slide, and get on a rollercoaster. I know from experience because I feel that way with my kids, even today! 

The main point of our summer is keeping it simple, and making sure that we spend it as a family. I'd rather spend time with the kids, and let them have simple fun as opposed to racking their brain feeling that they have to be involved in all sorts of activities. While busy can be good it's not always better. I say let the kids be little, dig in the dirt, get in the little blue pool everyday, watch television for a few hours, make library trips, go to the park, catch fireflies when the sun goes down, play frisbee, blow bubbles, chalk the heck out of our sidewalk, painting each other's finger nails with my daughters, and get sweaty playing with my little boy outside. 

In other words...doing summer the old school way. 

I don't write too much about my oldest daughter anymore because she is on her own, and has her own blog which i wish she would update more often, but that's okay. It just shows that she'd rather unplug from the net, and have fun with her friends, and make a living by working. At any rate, we hope that she will come for a visit if, and when work allows her to! We miss her, and hope she will find the time to get away, and come back to Jersey for awhile. If not...we'll just have to find a way to see each other. It's okay if we don't get to see our oldest daughter this summer...there's always Christmas. She knows we love her, and we talk on the phone quite a bit as well as send each other tweets!

Here's hoping everyone has a safe, simple, and fun summer!

Happy Monday!  

Friday, June 19, 2015

TO MY HUSBAND: THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A HARD WORKER.

In the past 20 years life as a married couple has never been easy. Unless you count the time we dated, and the two years I knew you before we got married then that's different. Because in those days, life seemed easier. But in between the hiccups, the tears, the fighting, the massive yelling, the disagreements, and almost breaking up we, together with God on our side, and the faith that we have we managed to survive, stayed together, and in the end relied on each other like never before. 

Times have changed since we've moved to the east. Times have changed since we had our son. Times have changed since our oldest daughter graduated from high school. Times are a changing every day, and there is nothing we can do about that, but to continue to make our life better, and marriage stronger. To be a good example of what it's like to be a married couple, a wife, a husband, a mother, and a father to our children. And with all that change, we've changed. And all we can do from here on out is do the best we can with our ourselves, our kids, and always remember our purpose in this life, and who we are. 

And i always pray it's for the better.

I may not show it enough, but you mean the world to me. The times I've gotten after for you for not picking up your dirty clothes from the floor (that's my fault because I usually have the hamper in the basement due to endless laundry), the way you snort when you laugh, when you don't put the toilet seat down (which is very rare) are things that are petty such as leaving your contact solution out because that can easily be put away are things I shouldn't fret over too much, for one day I will miss them. Human nature causes me to react in such a way, and what I should be acknowledging are the times you cook for me, take the trash out for me, take the recycling bin out, drive our daughter to seminary at 5:30am every morning (thank goodness that's over), the way you serve others, and most of all...how hard you work at your job. 

You are my 'hard working' blue collar husband and I've never been more proud. 

You do what you have to do in order for the kids and I to survive. You work hard. You don't mind getting your hands dirty. When you lost your job two years ago you prayed your heart out for another. And you were blessed. But when ends became tough for us to meet with that job, you prayed even harder for an even better job. And once again, your prayer was answered in a heartbeat. 

That's when you got on board with the brown (UPS.)

You never say no to us when we feel the need to "get away" even if it's going for a drive around south jersey. You never say no when the kids want to go to the park even on a Saturday after you've driven for a few hours with work. You never grow weary of reading them a bedtime story almost every night especially when you've had a long day at work! You always want their tiny hearts to be happy. You always want us to be happy, and fulfilled. You are nice to everyone including those who disrespect you, or flip you off on the freeway due to their indiscretion in driving. 

Know that I believe you are the most precious, and unique gift the Lord has blessed me with. Know that I appreciate everything that you do to provide for me, and our children.

And most of all...know that even though I may be expressing more frustration than affection...that I do, and will always love you. 

And that will never change.

Thank you for being you, thank you for being a hard worker, and for never giving up on us. 

Happy Father's Day my love

And to all the father's out there too...have a wonderful weekend

Make it great! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

THE FIRST TIME WE MOVED TO SAN ANTONIO.

After asking my sister the other day about the throwback posts I've been writing specifically about this one, (and future posts), if I should take it to the next level as to writing the nitty gritty of some parts of my life. She advised me to save the brutal honesty for when I publish a book (and she emphasized "publish a book") She must really have a lot of faith in me that I can do it! Anyway, after thinking, and figuring out as to how to write depictions behind certain photos I have to agree with her, and I'm just going to write a few facts pertaining to the story. 

Once Noah starts school I will have at least three hours to seriously utilize all of my journals including some of my blog posts, and perhaps writing a memoir about my conversion to the Lord, and all that I endured as a child, throughout my marriage, and about motherhood. It may take me two, five, 10, heck I don't know, years to put it all together, and hopefully in good taste, but we'll see how this goes. Again...I hope that my short stories will keep you interested, and yearning for more, and that somehow they will inspire you.

^^^ I honestly don't know how far along i was in this photo...probably 12 plus weeks. ^^^ 

The first time we moved from Utah to San Antonio in 1999 I was unexpectedly pregnant with my second daughter Lexie. I had no idea I was expecting, and here I was moving furniture, lifting heavy boxes, cleaning, and doing all kinds of strenuous work. Luckily Lexie was born healthy, and strong and only a week early. 

She was my blessing while living in San Antonio.

The time we moved from Utah we weren't very active in the church. I know...go figure. Here I am living in a Mormon populated state while being wishy washy attending Thomas S. Monson's home ward. Anyway, the minute we moved to Texas we hit a rocky part as a married couple with another child on the way. Being pregnant with Lexie I have to tell you was a blessing because truthfully...she turned my life around. She was the beginning of my return to activity within the church as well as the reason why I chose on my own volition to get my act together, so that I can get to the temple, and be a forever family with her father, and sister. 

Living in San Antonio for those short 10 months was a blessing for me, and even though there were a lot of hiccups, and downright ugly moments there was also a new baby, an awesome visiting teacher who helped me remember that the church was true, a patient husband, an amazing relief society president (i will always remember you Leslie), and an awesome bishopric (Brother Becker you were always so kind just like your wife) who would often come by to visit us, and finally...the trials. Trials that woke us up to reality that strengthened us at that present time. 

As I reflect back on this part of my life I recognized why we might have had those ugly moments. See...being a faithful member of the church brings a lot of blessings when you do what's right, and I noticed that when we weren't attending church faithfully, paying an honest tithe, or expressing any Christ like attributes there were a myriad of obstacles.

For instance I was in a minor car accident with Sierra. Inclement weather caused me to hydroplane while getting off the ramp. To be honest I remember driving down the ramp a little too fast. Luckily we both left unscathed. 

An incident that is way to personal to write about right now.

And...a mugging. 

In the second week of Lexie's life I recall worrying and fearing the worst when Jon didn't come home in time from work. He was working for Rent-A-Center on Austin highway where in my opinion is not considered a safe area after a certain hour. Because of the 20 minute commute he would normally come home close to 10pm, but then 10pm turned to 10:45pm, and 10:45 turned to 11:15. We didn't have cell phones back then so I finally called the store to see what was holding him up, but to no avail. I began to pray my heart out to God that he was safe, and that nothing had happened to him. I was cuddling Lexie so tight. She truly was my solace for that moment while Sierra was sleeping soundly in her room. I continued to call, and that's when I noticed the headlights of our car pulling into the carport of our apartment. It was close to midnight when he finally came home. He didn't immediately get out. He just sat there which seemed like an eternity. He was looking down at something. I didn't motion him to come inside, or run outside to yell, "where the hell were you?" I just waited for him to come in and explain as to why he was so late. 

Well, he was mugged. 

Reason why he was looking down was he had been looking inside his wallet to make sure he had his I.D. and credit card. That's why he was sitting in the car for a while. He wanted to make sure all his credentials were in tact. Sad thing was that he didn't even have any money, and luckily these muggers were not very violent. He was sucker punched a couple of times, but overall he wasn't badly injured. Just a couple of bruises on his stomach, but nothing that an ice pack can fix. I did tell him though to never, ever take the trash out late at night. Do it in the morning or the next day! He was very lucky. 

Anyway, I was so ready to move out of San Antonio after that incident, and on a whim we decided to move back to Utah in hopes that all our problems would go away, but that's never the case. Problems will always follow you, and that's when I realized that it was up to me to find a resolve as to why I was never stable living in one place, and always wanting to escape whenever a problem occurred. I also knew that somehow I had to get rid of that inner darkness that was clouding all the goodness I knew I had inside of me.  

Little by little I began to find solutions to my problems, but ended up moving back to Utah, and even though things were a little bit better up there I still had issues. Issues that were never resolved the first time I moved to Utah. Repressed issues (boy was my hubby patient with me) i had been harboring since childhood which was causing so much hurt, and anger in my life. And everything we endured in the ten months of living in San Antonio was one of the trials we had to go through to strengthen us as a couple while our children grew. 
^^^  in my last trimester, and with my four year old Sierra. ^^^
In those short ten months of living in San Antonio I learned so much. I had a better understanding of pure love after having Lexie, and developed an even deeper love for Sierra. The Christ like kind. In all honesty, I didn't want anymore children after having Sierra. She was supposed to be it. My number one, and only. But obviously God had other plans for me, and along with that trial Jon went through he gave us a beautiful blessing in the most beautiful disguise which was Lexie. One that was going to be the beginning of my truest conversion to God that would eventually lead me to the temple to become eternal with my family. One that would teach me what real compassion is all about. One that would constantly look me in the eye as I nursed Lexie glaring at me as if she's saying, "hang in there mama, everything is going to be okay."

But deep down inside my heart it really wasn't. I was still suffocating inside.

We finally moved back to Utah when she was two months old, and not even a year later we were back in the  Lone star state. 

For two more years. 

See...I still  had issues.

But it got better. 

And that is another story. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LAST DAY OF FOURTH GRADE & OFFICIALLY A FIFTH GRADER.

So I'm in the final stages of getting over the worst summer cold ever! Being out in the heat all day strawberry picking, and then coming home to a cold air-conditioned house did not help! It was bound to happen since I hadn't gotten sick in like three years. Gotta build up that immune system. Anyway, while in recovery with my equate mucous multi-symptom cough syrup, the best part of today is that Chelsea is now officially a fifth grader! She passed with flying colors, and although she's excited she sure is going to miss her friends, and teachers. She truly loves school, and so far is not one of those kids who says, "I hate school." I have a feeling she's going to go through a little bit of withdrawal. Luckily her teacher sent home a myriad of summer packets to keep their summer busy with work. I have a feeling that she'll only do a few though. She has had a very good year, and I had a good year with her. Not one incident, or disappointment when it came to the school, or with her teacher. 

Ms. Kelly is your ideal 4th grade dream teacher. I wish I had a thousand bucks to give her, because she contributes so much to the kids. She was very thorough when it came to sending announcements via email every Friday. I can see why Chelsea will miss Ms. Kelly, because I will miss her too! 

Lexie still has another three days of school (darn those snow days!) Luckily their only half days, because I'll tell you waking up at 5:30 every morning for seminary really took a toll on her. She still has a lot of catching up to do on her sleep, but somehow managed to keep her GPA above a 3.75. I'm very proud of both my girls for their auspicious achievements, and hope that they'll keep it up in all the years to come. 

Peace out, and a happy wednesday to you!  



Monday, June 15, 2015

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER!

When it gets close to summertime one of our favorite things to do is go to an orchard to pick some fruit! We have always picked cherries, and peaches in the past, but on this day we decided to pick strawberries! This was also the last weekend where strawberries are in season so we took advantage and ventured out to Lee Turkey Farm. One thing I love about this farm is that all the trees are aligned, and it is the ideal ochard. It's like a grocery store without the roof! 


Lee Turkey Farm has become one of our favorite farms, (and no...it's not because it's owned by people of our faith.) This farm has been around since 1868 and Ronnie is a sixth generation member. I love how warm, and friendly the staff is here, and his wife is just the sweetest lady. She was so kind as to take a picture of my family, and next time we go I'm going to make sure she gets in the picture too! 
In spite of the scorching heat the kids had fun picking, and pulling. If you're wondering why Noah is wearing binoculars it's because he wanted to "investigate the seeds", and to make sure the strawberries were ripe! After a awhile he took them off, and I began capturing some shots.
The kids were getting giddy knowing that their picking skills were getting better by the minute. Chelsea was independent going to town picking super ripe strawberries.
I helped Noah pick a few, but I have to admit that Jon was the one going to town picking some good ones with him. 
We ended up leaving with three small cartons, and in the end chowed down on a few. 
No matter how hot it is I have to say that summer time has become one of my favorite seasons. After enduring a brutal winter I feel as if the sun is not my best friend right now, but that's okay. I have to get used to the heat again. Nonetheless we had a great time, and look forward to picking the light yellow cherries in a couple of weeks. 
Strawberry fields forever. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

WHY THE TEMPLE IS IMPORTANT TO ME.

I cannot begin to express the enormity of love and gratitude I have for the temples that are built upon this earth! It had been almost four months since I'd gone, and was so happy that Jon and I made it to the temple last Saturday. It's kind of hard going throughout the school year while the kids are in school because of no babysitter for Noah. And even though we have a teenager to watch the younger ones on a Saturday that plan can backfire sometimes. Backfire because on the Saturdays we'd like to go Lexie has had engagements dealing with school projects, or studying (the perks of being an honors student). But regardless we strive, and have committed to use our time wisely in attending the temple as much as we can. 

So many of us attend the temple for different reasons, but for me one of the biggest reasons I attend is because I'm weak. I need the temple in my life to survive. To survive all the trials that come my way, to relieve any burden that may be on my shoulders, and even on the days that are fine and dandy I attend. Like attending church on Sundays to partake the sacrament to renew our covenants, that's how I feel about the temple as well. I need to continuously go to the temple to gain insight, seek goodness, and light. 

I attend to gain knowledge, and seek answers in finding a resolve to whatever is holding me back in any situation I may need an answer to. To remember that these beautiful buildings are built for a reason, and not so they can make me look pretty in a picture. To build my faith even more in knowing that no matter what, I always have a place to go that lights up my world both in spirit, and mind. It helps bring me back to reality feeling energized to face the days ahead in fulfilling the covenants I made with my Father in Heaven. It's the one chance to escape the world, and all the stresses that life brings.

Upon leaving I always end up finding a path of peace, and the faith I have towards Heavenly Father becomes even more solid and firm. I am so thankful that He points me in the right direction when it comes to any struggle, or choice that I may be facing with. 

I'm so, so thankful that I made it to the temple, and that I feel my testimony growing at the same time. It truly is a priority in my life, and pray that we can make it more often. 

As a mother I need the temple in my life. It's a reminder that tells me that I am a good mother. That I am worthy enough to enter inside the House of The Lord to become a better follower of Christ. To give me clarification that this crazy world I'm raising our kids in can be beautiful. 

How wonderful it is to have a place where I can go for a few hours where it's quiet, where I truly feel the presence of God, and for a few hours...where the world vanishes. And when I have done my work inside i can walk out feeling refreshed, being a better version of myself ready to face the world again to endure this beautiful life that I have well. 
"We must never let the noise of the world overpower and overwhelm that still, small voice." 
~Elder L. Tom Perry (August 5, 1922-May 30, 2015)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

SEASIDE, OREGON IN 2004.

Even though I've scrap booked my kids lives in their memory books since the day they were born there was no depiction or stories written behind the photos. And since I enjoy writing I've decided to do a few throwback posts on some of my fondest memories before we moved to Jersey, and before we became a family of six. They won't be in order, but i hope that you won't get bored with my short stories or snippets of my family behind these posts. This is being written for my posterity, and will be printed and added on to the tangible photos in their scrapbooks. I also hope that at the same time it'll make you smile, and have you leaving saying, "no wonder", "so that's what happened to her",  "cute kids", and "so glad she was safe all these years!" So enjoy! Note that all photos in this post were taken by wonderful husband with a Nikon N4004 back when people used to develop film in a dark room, and way before smartphones! 
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I will always remember the first time we ventured out to Seaside, Oregon. The 16 hour drive was never an issue especially while traveling with kids who loved long drives. Visiting Jon's grandpa in Washington became a summer tradition throughout our years while living in Utah. We were so fortunate to have family living in that area which motivated us to take that long road trip. 

We always took advantage of driving to Washington state not only to visit grandpa, attend the temple, but to also have fun at the beach! 

I was about six months pregnant with Chelsea, and being pregnant with her was a breeze...until I reached my third trimester. That's when the nausea kicked in, and my sciatic became super unbearable, but how lucky I was to have enjoyed myself before she joined her sisters and coming into this world. 
^^^ wearing a white t-shirt sure shows everything especially when the water is cold...sorry for the indiscretion! ^^^
The girls live for the beach. Living in Utah you are nowhere close to the beach, or any type of lake. You have to drive five hours to Lake Powell, 10 hours to California, or 16 hours to Seaside. Luckily, and I stress writing the word luckily Jon and I don't mind driving long distances, and that we were blessed with great little travelers. 

Seaside is absolutely beautiful. The fact that the Goonies was filmed there always had me wanting to visit the quaint town of Seaside. We didn't have too much time on this trip to check out the neighborhood of where the movie was filmed in nearby Astoria, or enter inside the house where it was filmed, (that will be in a later post), but man did we have fun at the beach. 
And look at how young, and cute the girls are! Lexie throwing her hands up in the air as if she doesn't have a care in the world (she still does that too!)
It's very rare to see hotels located on the beach, but that azure blue sky is sure a sight to see! #nofilter 
^^^ One of my favorite historical points was the fact that this was where Lewis and Clark ended their expedition! We had fun, and also got educated at the same time! (excuse the thumbprint...too lazy to crop it!) ^^^
Chelsea and Lexie are two peas in a pod, and always had fun together. They never grew weary of each other, or got on each other's nerves (that I know of.) It seems that every time we ventured out on road trips they were always so agreeable, hence all the road trips we continued to take. 

Stay tuned for another throwback story in the Thursdays to come!