Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where in the World . . .

Hello All,

Ok, first things first. I know I did not complete the Bountifully Blessed challenge all the way to Thanksgiving as I had originally planned. The reason? Truly I got tired of getting on the computer EVERY DAY!!! I normally give myself "computer time" a few times a week and the time I spent online doing the Bountifully Blessed posts was A LOT!!

I became really grateful when I had missed a few days and was not on the computer and then that turned into a week and that turned into Thanksgiving weekend, time with family, and now here we are.

Now, we are busy with preparations for Christmas presents, parties, dinners, more family fun, etc. So, just so you know, we are still here and life is moving on nicely. I will post when I can, but I need to put a lot of my spare time in finishing Christmas projects.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 17:

I am thankful for hearty, stimulating conversation.

Once a month, I host a book group. We have a "multi-title" group, which means that we all read whatever we want and then we share about what we have read. Sometimes, only one person read that particular book, other times two or more people have read it and then we get to have a great discussion about the book and topics it represents. I absolutely love having it. We usually average between four and seven people. We have a yummy treat or dessert, and talk about books. It is a great way to get suggestions for books to read and sometimes they are books or genres that you maybe would not have looked at. It is a great time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 16:

I am thankful for date night.

We had an opportunity to go to a play at a local theater with some great people. It was a dinner theater, so we had a wonderful dinner and dessert before the show. We had some wonderful conversation with friends and newly met friends. The show was funny and entertaining and it is a great reminder of the talent that is in the people around us.

I really enjoy the times that my husband and I can have out of the house by ourselves. It gives us great opportunities to talk about our family and any issues that need to be addressed. We can talk about us and things that are pertinent to our marriage and friendship. I relish to have nights like these. I think they are a brief glimpse into what our lives would be like when our children are grown and gone. It builds up our devotion and commitments to each other. It truly is important.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bountifully Blessesd . . .

Day 15:

I am thankful for root beer floats.

As cheesy as this sounds, root beer floats are my #1 favorite ice cream treat EVER!!! I love them. We were lucky to get to have some Sunday evening and they were DELICIOUS. I love the ice cream, I love the root beer, all mixed together to make a cold, frothy treat. MMMM . . . ok, have you ever noticed that when the ice cream and root beer are the right temperatures that "crystals" will begin to form around the outside of the ice cream. Yum.

So, sometimes it is great to indulge and completely enjoy something wonderful that you love.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 14:

I am thankful for friends.

From what I have read, in history, ones neighbors were more than likely family. Any spare time, as little as there was, was spent with family celebrating and enjoying one-anothers company. We do have family that live close and we get together with them often, but it is nice to have people that are your neighbors, also be friends. Many of the neighbors are in the same congregation with our family and so we also get to worship with them.

I am thankful to have wonderful friends and neighbors that we can spend time with, that our children can play with their children, and that we have the opportunity to care for one-another. This last weekend, we had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with many different friends at different times. It was a great reminder of how lucky we are.

I also hold dear those friends that live far away that we don't get to see often, but when we do, our friendship is still strong. I am also thankful for those friends whom I know through blogs that I have not met, but feel a great kinship with. So, to all my friends, thank you for being you and have a great day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 13:

I am thankful for FREE Saturdays.

If you don't know what I mean, I am describing the kinds of Saturdays that are not scheduled from sunrise to sunset with activities and plans. They are the kinds of Saturdays that you can spend at home getting those little extra things taken care of. During this time of year, it is the perfect day to clean the garage, clean the yard, put away outside play things, organize, and get ready for winter.

It is also that perfect time for Moms to get some extra errands ran that seem to take a little more time with little ones at tow. I love those sorts of Saturdays.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 12:

I am thankful for Children's fever reducing medicine.

I know, something you would not think of, but I am trying to write these posts so that I find gratitude for something that happened specifically for that day. Well, Friday, I had not one, but two little dears with fevers and sad faces. When children are sick, it just breaks my heart. As adults, the second we feel a little off, we can "take something". When my energetic, busy 2 1/2 year old is not wanting to do anything but "lay down with blankee", that is a bad sign. Poor dear. Not long after, out vivacious Peaches asked to take a nap. Again, not a good sign.

After a quick hand on the face check and a more accurate test with a thermometer, it was confirmed. Unseasonably hot!! So, after a cool washcloth and some rest made no affect, I pulled out the ibuprofen. Some may not go for that route, but I do and within minutes they started to cool and smiles began to return.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bontifully Blessed . . .

Day 11:

I am thankful for having opportunities to give service.

I see service as a major part of our learning. I try to have some type of service project going on in our home and I try to give my children experiences when they can feel the spirit of service and see the difference it can make in other lives.

What is interesting to me, is that the little kinds of service are sometimes overlooked and people don't realize what an impact something like a smile or a kind hello can have on a person. There is a scripture that says:

The best reward for service is in seeing the love your children have for others. As Bugaloo said, "Mom, I feel really good inside."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 10:

I am thankful for women that I glean from.

In our church, we have an organization for women called Relief Society. Through this organization, we learn more about our relationship with God, we enrich our skills as mother, wives, sisters, women, and we find joy in doing service for each other and for others. About once a month, the ladies that are in the same congregation as myself, all get together for an extra meeting. Here we learn about many different things and I am always especially grateful that there are so many women of different backgrounds and circumstances that I can learn from.

Tonight, we talked about the importance of being frugal with our grocery budget and one way to do that is to prepare and use freezer meals. The wonderful lady that was teaching us gave us so many great ideas about organization of our menus and recipes and then shared tips and secrets to freezer meals and also gave us some great recipes to get started. I especially enjoyed the discussion with the group and was able to get a lot of great ideas.

So, I am thankful to all those ladies in my life that teach and share.

Bliss . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 9:

I am thankful for snow.

We got our first snow of the season. While I would have preferred that it wait until closer to or after Thanksgiving, I do appreciate the fact that the earth does not let us down when it comes to the nourishment needed to sustain life upon it. We didn't get a lot of snow, but it was wet and I am sure that all my little flowers and trees, trying to hibernate, appreciated the drink.

On Sunday evening, our adventurous Bugaloo strongly announced that she was ready for snow in all its forms, and that she wanted to put to work the new boots, coat, hat, and snow pants that we bought a few weeks ago. Peaches agreed with her plea and I guess they knew something, because Monday brought us fleeting flakes, and blanketed the mountains.

The only negative part? The snow did not stick down here in the valley, so for now, we are restricted to enjoying the beautiful view on the horizon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 8:

I am thankful for my children, they are blessings to me.

I have always been acutely aware of the little time that I have with my children, as children. I like to think positively and believe that I have at least 20 years with each of them before they strike out on their own in the world. I will spend less time with them in our small, young, family setting than they will the rest of their lives. I want to know them. I want to enjoy everything about them. I want them to know me and their Dad, and I want us to love being together.

Maybe that is one reason I teach them at home. Ky is already half way there and it makes me sad. So I am thankful for the time that I have with them. As much as I like to have a schedule, if the need arises to "fudge" a little, we do. Why? You ask. Why not!! I say.

I love to teach them and watch them grow and progress, but I also love to play with them and watch their personalities shine through. I love to listen to them talk to me about complete nonsense and also complete brilliance.

During this time in my life, THEY are my reason. I am here to teach and nurture them. That is the season I am in and I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 7:

I am thankful for teachers.

As this can be a very general topic, I will be a little more specific. I believe that there are many people on this earth, that were given the wonderful gift to write. Not just write, but to teach through their writing. In particular, those that write about the Savior, Jesus Christ and the gospel of the Lord.

I truly think that there is a big difference between those writers/authors that write something that entertains and something that teaches. Not every book or piece of literature written can teach us, some are pure entertainment. While I do enjoy reading entertaining pieces, at times, I have made an effort to choose my literature based on educational value. I want to learn. I want to be taught. So, I want to choose that which is good and right and teaches me.

Today, I was reading a book called Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News by Stephen E. Robinson. What a wonderful message he shares and I am grateful for the way he teaches about the principles of the gospel. I was taught, and it was enriching. I wasn't able to finish the book, but I will get a copy this week and I look forward to being taught more.

You can find a short version of his message here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 6:

I am thankful for the opportunity to work and teach my children how to work.

One of the aspects of our learning is to learn how to work. In the Thomas Jefferson Education method, the first learning phase is called the Core Phase. During this phase, children should learn to work and also should play. I try to teach my children how to do all the many things it takes to keep a house in order. The littles, JJ and Peaches, concentrate more on the stewardship they have of their own things; their rooms, belongings, and themselves. So in the mornings, time is spent with them on completing those tasks. Ky and Bugaloo are old enough to help and learn the other things around the house; general cleaning, organization, planning. We try to do all of these things together as a family.

I have seen wonderful things come from this time. Does it all turn out perfectly? NO WAY!! I would have to say that it is a struggle about 50% of the time. Not just a struggle with them, but I have had to completely retrain myself. It is a lot easier to just get it done myself, so the struggle has come from me, changing.

My hope through teaching my children to work is that someday, they can and will want to work in many ways, whether that means in support of their families or in support of others.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a leader in our church, counseled in a talk:

"Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and the Church."

This is a legacy I hope to leave my children.

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 5:

I am thankful for Fridays.

Fridays are one of those days that signal an end to one thing, but a beginning to another. It is, of course, the end of the week, which means that anything that week is ending or, can be saved for the next week. For us, it means that Dad's work week is coming to an end and we get to have him home more. We love spending time as a family; outdoors, working, playing. Friday, to our family, signals time together.

Sewing . . .

Our local fabric store was having a HUGE sale. They were moving to a new location and did not want to take anything with them, so we found some great patterns, fabric, etc.

Ky and Bugaloo have been wanting to sew for a while. I am fine with that, the hang-up is that since the basement is not completely finished, I don't have a sewing room. I have to get out the sewing machine and have things ALL over my kitchen table. It is hard to teach two girls to sew when we can't leave things out and come back to it.

So, while the Mighty Hunter was away, we got out all of the sewing tools and got to work! They each wanted to make an outfit for their dolls.

Things went well enough, and they were both full of questions and eager to learn. We all had a great time!

The finished product!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 4:

I am thankful for a new day.

I know that we should not "put off 'til tomorrow, what you can do today", but I am grateful for tomorrows that make it possible to start each day anew. I strongly believe that we should live each day like it is our last; not have any regrets, let those you love know it, repent of any wrong doings, etc.

I would hope that someday, I am able to be sure in knowing that my salvation is secure through the setting of each sun, but I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect and that I need help from the Lord in all that I do. I try to behave throughout my day in a way that would be pleasing to God, but I know I fail; sometimes miserably.

So, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to start fresh each day and prove to the Lord that I want to make it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 3:

I am thankful for my husband.

He is an absolutely, amazing person. He is caring and understands when I just need a hug. He is supportive and kind. He would give his shirt off his back to anyone, even a stranger. He listens to my thoughts and ideas, and occasionally responds back :)

I have known him since I was 15 and even in hard times, we have pulled through and proven to one another that we are important to each other. He would do anything for me; even climb a mountain. ;) I could go on and on, I hope he knows what he means to me; I should tell him more.

I truly can not imagine life on this earth or beyond without him. I will eternally love this man.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bountifully Blessed . . .

Day 2:

I am thankful for the opportunity to live in The United States of America.

Why? Because of the wonderful Constitution and the freedoms that it gives to me as a citizen of this great nation. I had the opportunity to vote and I can't help from having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the men and women that gave and risked their lives for the future people of this land.

We have been studying about the Revolutionary War and reading a lot of stories about the people that were apart of it. They knew that there was supposed to be something more and better than what England was offering and so they gave everything to win their freedom. It is our duty as their descendants and as citizens of this great nation to show our gratitude and thanks to them by participating in the democratic process.

So, thanks to all those that have served this country and that do still serve. Thanks for my freedom and thanks to the Lord, for his protection and help to those that were the underdog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Museum . . .

We headed to the museum to see the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit.

We all had our favorite painting and for very different reasons. Read about them below:

"Ginevra De'Benci"

Ky's Favorite:

"I like this painting because of all the detail in her face and hair. I really like all the pretty colors."

"Virgin Of The Rocks"

Bugaloo's Favorite:

"I like nature and I just thought it was really pretty. I liked how it looked realistic. I liked how the water is far back and it makes it seem that the people are on an island. "

"The Last Supper"

Peaches Favorite:

" I liked this one because it has Jesus in it."

Although there were not many of his paintings to see, I was very impressed with the amount of working models that were made from his notebooks and journals.

I think it was a lot to ask to get a picture of four kids, pulling on pulleys that was not blurry somewhere. This was the best on the bunch. They loved this example of pulley systems. We had a great discussion about loads and increasing and decreasing work loads through pulleys.

We took this shot for Dad ( our resident pilot).

This was a favorite, the wooden bicycle. The kids loved to see the ideas for chains.

Some of the models were "hands on", meaning that we could touch and manipulate them and see how they worked. It was amazing to see how ahead of his time Da Vinci was and how many of the machines and technological advancements we have today came from many of his thoughts and ideas.

Ky loved the models that incorporated ball bearings, Bugaloo loved the Archimedes ladder (as did we all), I was really interested in Da Vinci's ideas for war machines; ie. tanks, ships, thrashers, etc. They all seemed so ahead of his time.

After seeing the exhibit, we stopped off in the "children's room". This room, or series of rooms rather, are decorated like a forest, complete with cave, rocks, trees, fish, animal tracks, and also a log cabin and tepee.

The kids had a lot of fun exploring and pretending here.

Not quite as good as the real thing, but still fun to sit on.

Oh, if they only really new how good they have it!

A little pioneer living.

Checking out the eagle's nest.

Bountifully Blessed . . .

I am going to do a series of posts, this month, expressing my gratitude and thanks for the many wonderful blessings in my life. Some may be short, some posts a little longer. These will be in no particular order of importance, I will write about what is in my heart for that day. Through doing this, I hope that my attitude of gratitude will increase. Your welcome to join along! Here we go:

** Let me preface this by saying that I am aware that it is a day late. I got it all typed and thought I published it, but did not, so here it is.

Day 1:

I am thankful for surprise lunch dates!

I got a text this morning from the mighty hunter (aka: head contractor, dad, hottie, my husband; it is hunting season here) asking if we wanted to meet him for lunch. Quickly, I agreed! It is lots of fun to go out to lunch with Dad and a major treat. He said that we could choose the location, so after much debate we narrowed it down to three choices. Peaches was voting for McD's. hmmm . . . Ky and Bugaloo both voted for a local pizza and pasta buffet. JJ, he really doesn't care where we eat, just as long as food is involved.

I wasn't really in the mood for any of the above choices so I threw in my vote. When we presented the Mighty Hunter with the choices, he agreed with me and, surprisingly, without much argument from the hungry, eager kids, the time and place were set; off we went!!

It really is a good feeling to put on your best clothes and go out. When we got to the agreed upon venue, I quickly surmised that the wait for a table would be a little longer than what our 2 1/2 year olds patience and stomach could handle, so I called the Mighty Hunter and presented a new plan; the yummy Chinese food restaurant that we all know and LOVE. It was agreed and we changed course. What a great change! We LOVE this restaurant and their food and it was just what we all wanted and needed.

Lunch was wonderful and the company was amazing. Thanks Hun!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Remember to Vote . . .

Just a reminder of the brave, wonderful, God sent men that gave of their lives, time, and means to give the freedoms to us that we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.

Vote !! Make sure that your opinions and values count.