Today was a hard day to find something to be grateful for.
But then I remembered this little thing I kept called a blog.
It made me think hard because there is ALWAYS good to see - sometimes harder than others, yes I will admit that.
When I stopped and thought about what it was that I was grateful for....it always came back to the blog.
Yes, the blog.
I am grateful for the BLOG because as I read through these posts, they clearly showed a pattern of change - a change in my perspective....and for that I am grateful because life is nothing if we do not do something with it!
A heart full of gratitude will carry you through anything.
A heart full of gratitude will enlighten your mind.
Best of all...it will make you realize it really is not that bad :).
We went swimming at the Y before swimming lessons - well the older three did.
Charleigh and I hung pool side while they swam and what a bad idea that was!
She was moving and grooving all over the place and wanted to get into the pool since it was so hot in there.
Next time, we will be swimming with the older three.
Tonight, I was able to read a book with Chloe; "I love you forever" by Robert Munsch.
I gave Diana that book when she was two and the story just touches me every time.
The woman loves to rock her son and sing him her song and as she gets older the tides turn, and now he is the one holding his dear mother in his arms.
Life is like a ferris wheel.
Sometimes we are high and sometimes we are low.
And eventually the ride will end here on earth.
I am grateful for those chances to read stories with my children.
It always brings a smile to my face.
Today was the first day of spring break with the kiddos.
We started out with yummy homemade cinnamon rolls, free swim lessons at the Y and played outside the whole afternoon with friends at the park.
Taylor climbed a tree with his friends Jonah and Nathan.
They were quite the little monkeys :)
Tomorrow the rain hitting for the REST of spring break so I was grateful for one day where we could enjoy it outside.
Today was stake conference (a huge meeting with a numerous congregations)
I loved hearing a distant family members talk on his conversion to the gospel.
This person was married to his wife (a member) for many years and went to church off and on, eventually serving in callings in scouts and primary, even giving talks in church and paying tithing as a non member.
A few months ago during fall soccer games, I heard from his wife he was to be baptized.
I was so elated to hear such wonderful news!!
Seth said in his talk, "I joined the church backwards." He was active and engaged and then was baptized but really in the end, it does not matter which way you make it to the waters of baptism. The Lord rejoiced as did his family when he made that decision to enter the waters of baptism.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is apart of who I am and it blesses my life and testimony when I see such tender mercies bless those around me.
We have SO many imperfections, habits and choices we make that keep us from being perfect but he loves us so he gave us the gift of Grace. Grace gave us the ability to repent and become new. It gives us the gift of transformation to become who we are meant to become.
Without it, I would feel alone and lost in this world.
He loves me and he loves you and may we all stop to appreciate and show him in return the same love he gave us.
I am grateful for Abraham's example of faith to me.
Today I taught my primary class about when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Issac.
As a parent when I was reading this lesson I was trying to wrap my head around what Abraham was asked to do and grateful that I have never been asked to do such a sacrifice. We will all be asked to sacrifice things in our lives; doing so enriches our lives and makes us enlighten our minds.
Every day we are asked to stand for truth and righteousness, to wear our honor and be moral compasses to those who are around us.
Doing that comes with a price sometimes that is not easy but the blessings in return are ten fold and worth every sacrifice.
One of my favorite scriptures is proverbs 3: 5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths."
May we all remember that the Lord is there to catch up, to guide us and to teach us.
Today I am grateful for my children's good friends.
I have been lucky in this department so far as a mother because being apart of of such amazing wards at church (our congregations), they have been able to meet good friends who uphold their same standards. This gives me peace of mind and has been a blessing because I do not have to worry they are out doing things they shouldn't be doing...
Now, yes my oldest is 13 and Taylor and Chloe are only 9 and 7 so time will tell....
But if they stick to good people who uphold their same beliefs and values...all will end well :).
Today I am grateful for how we have instilled in our children a feeling of love and support for one another in our family. Tonight we attended a simple spring band concert for Diana and yes, in the scheme of things it may be small but when we are there for small things, they add up so when the big things do hit us, it becomes second nature to be there for your family. Sickness, track meets, band concerts, pack meetings, swim meets, dance recitals, school talent shows....they are simple things on the calendar but I know when our family is there to show our support, that person appreciates it.
It makes that person feel important and what they are doing valued.
Back in 2011 I ran my first marathon in Newport, OR.
The support my husband showed me was beyond what most young fathers would have done.
He loaded up my three kids at the time, made signs, went to the dollar store for special treats to eat along the course, packed extra water and lunches, looked over the bus schedule for the marathon and then headed out for a long day to support me in 90 degree weather.
All along the route I could see them as they would ride the spectator bus a couple of miles ahead to get off and cheer me on, hug me and say"Good job Mommy!!"
It meant the world to me and is the ONLY reason I finished that race.
That act of support, service and affection my family showed me will always be with me.
So, it is with that thought, that I want to instill in my children a value of family - to be there in the big and small things of our lives because that support we can give them, makes them not only feel loved but apart of a family that will be there for them no matter what.
Today we got together with my cousin Jennifer's husbands side of the family for dinner to celebrate Elias's first birthday (Jennifer's fourth child who is only 6 weeks older than Charleigh) and a couple others on his side.
We joke that we are their cousins since well... technically we are family :).
We got together to eat and share good food, chat and play games while the kids played.
It was a good ending to a wonderful weekend and I feel so blessed when we get together with family like that. I have fond memories as a kid with all of the get togethers we had for holidays and birthdays, especially with my cousin, Jennifer. She is only four months older than me and was more like a sister growing up since I did not have one.
We were able to get together to celebrate Diana's 13th birthday with family and what a wonderful blessing that was to see everyone. My brother Michael, who is busy with finishing up his masters degree in forestry at OSU was able to make it. It was good to see him and I will miss him when he moves away to Fort Collins this summer. I admire what he has done with his life and look forward to seeing all of the beautiful pictures he will share from his adventures in living in Colorado!
My brother Matthew and his wife, Nicole were also able to make it and Diana loved the make up she received from them as a gift. I remember being 13 when I first started wearing makeup to school. But holy moly...I was horrible at it. Can you say, "Tropical pink" from Wet n'Wild anyone??
Needless to say it was the 90's when I started my adventures in wearing make up.
The party was fun and the grandparents were able to make it too, as well as her godmother, Karina.
My mom brought these fun outfits for Charleigh and made Diana and I matching infinity scarves. A fun weekend catching up with mile high chocolate cake, made for a blessed day.