So happy with the new blog.

Starting a new blog is the best thing I have ever done. I am learning so much and feeling myself become a better person just because I have chosen to focus on what matters most.

Today I wrote about one of the good lessons I learned on the trail last week. I don’t know if I would have had my eyes open for it without the blog. It is the best feeling knowing that I am heading in the direction God wants for me. The best feeling!

I think I might start taking one old post from here and repost it over there until I feel I have transferred everything over that I really care about. This way I will also get practice in the editing department. It’s the start of something new. It feels so right to be here with you…high school musical is awesome.

P.S. come over and like me on my new FB page inloveathome as the imsofunny FB page will be retired on Monday and eventually so will this whole blog.


But I don’t wanna

Living a life on faith is not for the weak or faint of heart.
It is not easy.
In fact, it may be the hardest thing we are required to do.
Actually, I think I can safely say it is the hardest thing we will ever do.
Not just in this life, but in our whole existence.
This life is the test.
Are we going to trust that God has a plan for us or not?
Are we going to prove that we will be strong no matter what he throws our way?

As I mentioned, I have been feeling the need to be home more with the kids. We originally thought that we would be able to move to make up the difference in our income loss if I quit my job, but it looks like God is not only asking me to quit, but also asking us to stay in our home for now. Double whammy.

I gave my two weeks notice at work yesterday. I don’t know how we are going to make it financially except to say that we have a year supply of wheat and I know how to make bread.

God is giving me an opportunity to master the finances. I am about to become even more frugal then I thought was possible.

That’s putting it nicely.

What I really feel is what I said in my prayers last night.

“No God. I don’t want to do this. I’ve already been poor. I’m sick of being poor. I trusted you last time when you told us to go to law school with three kids and then open a failed law practice, and look where that got me. I don’t want to do this. Why?”

And the answer comes: “Because you have more to learn.”

and then

“And this time it’s going to be easier and it’s going to have a better ending. Just trust me.”

But I don’t wanna.

Last night, I closed my prayer in tears, not feeling any peace. Sick to death for Boston. And worried sick for the little girl that was abducted in Provo.

And then today, I made my depressed self get out of bed and pray again.

“Please God, just get me through today. Help me trust. Give me peace. Bless them all.”

I head out on my run with a heavy heart.

And 2.5 miles in, my song comes on.

And I remember where I have to look for peace.

As I warm down, I get this news:

And God says
ever so humbly
“See, I’ve got this Alice.”

Who the heck is Mae Jemison

About a month ago my 5th grader, Sophia, came home with the information on the school’s wax museum. She was to pick an American hero to impersonate. They gave her a list of great choices such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks. We talked the choices over and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, after a long night at work (I now work 4 nights a week to subsidize what we call the Obama tax/health care) I came home and helped LG with the delayed bedtime rituals. As we went through Sophia’s backpack, she remembered to tell me that she had chosen her wax museum hero that day because it was the deadline. (Way to be an absent mom! – And how I would pay) My excitement was immediately erased as she informed us that she had chosen….wait for it……

Mae Jemison.

“Who the heck is Mae Jemison?” my hubby and I questioned simultaneously.

“The first female African-American astronaut,” Sophia answered innocently enough. (But I know that deep down inside she was really like, “I’ll show you, mom, for being at work.”

My mom radar immediately alarmed, “Did you say African-American?” as I carefully reanalyzed my 11 year old very blued eyed, very blonde haired, very Caucasian daughter.

It’s times like these that I am 100% convinced someone has hidden a secret “gotcha” camera somewhere in the couch cushions. And times like these happen every day at our house.

LeGrand couldn’t contain his overly exuberant smile headed in my direction with the subliminal message of, “Thank heavens I have the Y chromosome. It’s all you babe.”

Today I am proud to announce that I not only immediately committed, but embraced my daughter’s dream of being the first Caucasian girl dressed as the first African American female astronaut.

After 2 hours at the thrift store, 1 hour at the sewing machine, 5 hours at the computer, 1 hour printing, taping, and pinning (and re-washing and pinning after the other daughter’s judgement error of spilling a bottle of coke on the orange outfit waiting to be worn on top of the nightstand ), 1 hour of wig trimming, 2 hours overseeing the poster making, 1 hour of help with the speech, and 3 hours of searching for the right make-up, a stroke of genius with the snow boots that look like they belong on the moon, and 30 minutes of haggling (and losing) to the girl to let me do it before she went to school, I gladly share the end result.

And yes, she tore off the wig in less than 
two seconds after I turned off the camera.
(I forgot to mention the special trip to Sally Beauty Supply
 for what I learned is called a wig cap.)
And even then the wig was still too itchy.
White girls are so whimpy
about their beauty aides.
It’s at times like these that
homeschooling doesn’t sound so crazy.

And just in case you moms are ever
called upon for the same task,
here is everything you ever need to know
Dr. Mae Jemison
in the first person
 I was born on October 17, 1956 (which would make me 57 now) in Decatur, Alabama. My parents were Charles and Dorothy Jemison and I was the youngest of three. I am still alive today and achieving many things.
            I was raised in Chicago and graduated high school at age 16 and went to Stanford University on a scholarship. I graduated from Stanford with two degrees! One was a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, the other an Associate Bachelor degree in African and Afro-American studies. I later attended Cornell medical school and achieved the requirements to become a medical doctor.  I then went to West Africa with Peace Corps to be a medical doctor from 1983-1985.
            I then came back to America and became a doctor in Los Angeles, California. I was also a dancer so at the time I was deciding which I should be. Should I be a dancer or a doctor? And I still wanted to achieve a childhood dream, a dream I had since kindergarten, I wanted to go to space. Many people told me that I couldn’t go to space because I was a woman. But I applied to NASA to become an astronaut and they accepted me.
            On September 12, 1992, I blasted off into space becoming the very first African-American women ever to go to space. I went into orbit on the Space shuttle Endeavor and I was in space 7 days 2 hours and 30 minutes. My space mission was called STS-47. On that mission I was the science mission specialist. My mission was a joint operation between the U.S.A and Japan. My experiments dealt with bone cell research. With me I brought a picture of my old dance crew. I proved many people wrong that day. I also fulfilled my dream to be an astronaut.
            Since getting back from space I quit working at NASA. For a while I was a professor of developing countries and advanced technology at Dartmouth College. I got to be the only person who has been to space to act on the TV show “StarTrek: The Next Generation”. I have created the Jemison Group which works to bring advanced technology to people worldwide and fosters a love for science in students. Now I speak at a lot of engagements, am the President of two technology companies, and love to spend time my cats in Houston, TX where I live.

Next year, I am hoping Bella will be wise enough to pick Bill Gates, like this smart neighbor.
Of course, we would have to chop off all her hair and dye it blonde.

My job

This weekend the message came to me for the thousandth time.
It was a clear as a bell, like it always is when I stop to listen.
It was an answer to my two pages of questions to God.

It came from Bruce D. Porter and was entitled Beautiful Mornings.

I do this every 6 months. I write down all the life struggles that I am having in form of questions to God and then I spend a whole weekend listening to living prophets, and I listen for the answers. They always come through the gift of the Holy Ghost. God whispers them directly to my soul. This time there were 18 specific answers all small parts to my journey back to Him, and all connected to one another.

My questions varied from how can I afford to go back to college to should we move to a cheaper place to save money. How can I strengthen my marriage? What is my life mission and how do I accomplish it? How can I be happy in my calling? (I meant my job at church but had no idea until I listened intently that I also needed this answer for my calling in life)

All the answers pointed to my most important title: mom

Pleasing God needs to be my first priority. When I make pleasing God the top priority in my heart, my husband and children rightfully earn their places at the top of my to-do lists. If pleasing God means that I have to quit my job and live on rice and beans, so be it. If it means that I don’t get to go back to school for another year or two, it’s o.k. I need to live my life on God’s timetable and with his rules because He is where I will find the greatest happiness. If I never get the dream house or the coveted vacation because I limped through hubby’s law school and supported him through the aftermath (and beyond – for the next 40 years of student loan payments) and encourage my children’s extra-curriculars it will be to my glory: eventually.

For me the answer is always that MY JOB is to nurture my children and support my husband. My job is to let go of my need for approval in the eyes of others. I have to let go of the Western culture of acquiring wealth. I even have to let go of my need to achieve certain things because if I am doing it for me and not for Him, it’s wrong. It’ll never be right no matter how wonderful.

It’s so ironic that after recommitting myself and finding inner peace,
my beautiful morning looks like this:

“Mom, do you know what this is?
It’s my job to do.”
“Mom, move out of my way!
I’m looking for something important.
Can you help me find it?”

Who knew inner peace would be so loud?

or rainy?

and disguised 
as one mess after another
for me to clean?
Once again I am brought to my knees.
Please God, help me to understand.
Help me be humble.
Help me love my job.
Help it to make me happy.
And I just found this on facebook and must include it
for my Mormon friends.
I guess things could always be worse.

Book Review: Parenting with Spiritual Power

Parenting with Spiritual PowerParenting with Spiritual Power by Julie K. Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know the old philosophy that parenting doesn’t come with a manual?
Well, it’s crap.
If you have The Holy Bible, you have one of the greatest parenting manuals in existence.

If you add to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the teachings of the living prophets, and you are still struggling as a parent, Julie K. Nelson has written this book just for you. I have been so touched as I have read this book: God has given us great stories to help us with the most important work we are called to do as parents. If you, like me, need help in applying those resources, then you need to get your hands on a copy of this book ASAP. It is truly an inspired parenting manual.

I have long studied principles of parenting and found many of the most important theories I’ve learned over the years in the pages of this book. Truth just oozes from the pages of “Parenting with Spiritual Power.” Oozes. As I read I found myself amazed at how many modern-day applications there are in the ancient scriptures. I know that sounds lame, but it’s true. I have learned a lot of these truths already in my own study, but to find them gathered together in such an easily applicable format is almost too good to be true: but it’s not. This book is full of truth in one easy-to-read resource.

If you want to learn more about depositing into your children’s banks of self-worth, setting reasonable boundaries, how to positively correct your children, live sacrificial lives, stomp out anger and develop greater charity as a family, and how to show faith in your children this book is for you. Like me, I believe you will be totally shocked at all you’ve been missing when studying the scriptures. I’ve had the handbook in my hands all along, I just didn’t realize that I needed Julie Nelson to translate it for me.

Thank you Julie. I recommend this book for all parents, even those that aren’t Mormon. What a wonderful and much needed resource for all of us.

You can buy the book for just $11.04 at Amazon or $13.99 at Deseret Book. After reading this book I can honestly say I would spend double that. Really, can we even put a price on better parenting?

View all my reviews

Easter Photos 2013

I’ve decided I really shouldn’t torture the family with a photo shoot more than twice a year. 
It’s pretty painful for them (and me) to have the required patience with my budding interest in photography. 
I find solace in one thing:
I am being a great example
of diligent pursuit of hobbying.
I hope that all my girls
will have hobbies
that they love and enjoy
and don’t give up
for any reason.
(especially when they are moms)
The pictures may look good
but trust me
they took a good hour or two
and there were many many outtakes.

My favorite moment of the day:
making out with LG
while the kids watched
hammed it up for camera.

My second favorite moment:
watching the girls enjoy the shore.

Note to self:
no guardrails

Crazy Family.
I’m really bummed
we didn’t get a good one
of this set-up.
really bummed.

The Mom Test

It’s 12:50 a.m.
Because I am a mom
this is how I spent the last
15 minutes of my life.

I was in a dream
and then there appeared
 my 11 year old
at the side of my bed.
I opened my eyes
she was covered in
florescent paint
and saying
I couldn’t quite understand.
She called to me
and so I knew
it was important
but I couldn’t
get a handle of what
was happening
in my dream
until I let it
“Mom, I just puked.”
I wasn’t dreaming.
I flew out of bed
using the wings
that God installed
just for moments
like these.
If I would have looked
back I would
realize that
my partner in crime
couldn’t help it
that God didn’t
make him for this job
and that is why
he hadn’t moved
an inch
or an eyelid.
Before I knew it
I had stripped
down every inch
of that top bunk.
Of course
it was the top.
And of course
I needed those wings
so as not to
wake the one
sleeping on the bottom.
No need to mention
the smell or color
of the foulness
or how it sloshed
from pillow
to sheet
to comforter.
I looked down at my
to see her
use the trashcan
I had somehow provided
before flying into action
on the bedding.
The florescent
colors were gone now.
I blinked to make sure.
Before I could get my bearings
I started to remake the bed
and then thought to ask
do you want to sleep on the couch?”
The answer came quietly,
“Yes mom, that’s a good idea
but I have all this gross stuff
all over me.”
“Is it just on your shirt?”
“I got a little on my cast,
and it’s all in my hair.”
In to the bathroom
we flew.
I cleaned
off her arm cast
(and chuckled
at the thought
of the flu
and a broken arm
at the same time)
with a Clorox wipe
in between
the heaves into the toilet.
I applied
the two plastic
bags and rubber bands
that I had so
neatly stored
under the bathroom sink
I then turned her around
and stripped her down.
She’s at a private age.
11 is tricky.
Somehow I was
instinctual enough
to just know
to have her step into the
shower before removing
her soiled clothes.
did you start your period, too?”
As in,
on top of
the broken bone
and puking.
She looked at me confused.
“Or did you
just poop your pants?”
She sheepishly answered
that she thought
that wasn’t her period.
I plugged
the tub
and started the warm water.
Then I gathered the
dirty clothes
and the dirty linens
and headed to the laundry room.
I got the worst
loaded into the washer
and realized that the 13 year old
never started her laundry
like her told her to
before heading to work
this afternoon
or yesterday afternoon,
depending on the time.
Thank goodness
for adolescent
I grabbed
an extra blanket
and headed back upstairs
to the couch
where I found an
almost empty roll
of duct tape
which someone
had not put away.
The item that
had been alluding
my memory
for the past two days
came to me.
Compound W
needed to be added to
the grocery list.
Baby Caroline’s
wart must be attended to.
Compound W
combined with
duct tape
is the best
for warts.
I actually
learned that
before I had
if you don’t
count the hubby
and his massive
wart on his right knee
that I cured
shortly after marriage.
I washed and rinsed her hair.
And handed her
some soap
to take care
of the backside.
I held up her right arm
wrapped in plastic.
Placing back the soap
I told her to rinse with water.
I took care of the towel
which I had given her to rest
her broken arm on.
I guess the ledge on the tub
wasn’t big enough,
it was floating at her feet.
I ran (I mean flew)
into her room
and grabbed her
comfy shorts,
and a cami
because times like
these are too harsh for bras
(even if she does
normally wear hers to bed)
and she will appreciate
the extra layer
of support.
How do I know?
Because I am a mom.
And I always pass the test
even when I am failing.
Here I sit
watching, typing,
shaking my head in disbelief,
not even longing
for sleep to come back to me.
Because I am a mom.
And I am always on duty.
Notice her favorite
scooby doo blankie?
I made it for her
when she was seven
and without even realizing it
I had grabbed it off
the couch downstairs
while fetching
the other warmer
before flying
back upstairs
30 minutes ago.

Just say no to mom jousting.

I recently read this blog post
after it was shared several times
by my friends on facebook.
Rage Against the minivan wrote it.
Can I rage against the minivan too
even if I drive one?

This is my two cents today.
Parents don’t have to tell other parents
what to do or not to do.
Parents have to grow a backbone
and tell their kids to NOT expect something
just because other kids have it.
This is the problem with our society in general.
Parents are all competing
instead of supporting each other.

Sometimes (actually all the time)
we just need to check out of the
Mormon mommy blogger culture.

“Oh, you throw huge themed parties for your kids,
well my kids must have that too.”

You read 10 books every night.
You always have ironed clothes.
You have sterile bathrooms.
All your clothes are from Matilda Jane.
You have an elf on the shelf.
You have a 5 course meal every night?
Your kids are each in a music lesson, a sport, and a cultural extra-curricular…
and you have 10 boys and 5 girls?
You have a leprechaun that shows up for Christmas?

Do you see how it can become a really huge problem
when you try to do everything like everyone else?

No. No. No.
That’s all it takes.

And guess what?
Your kids don’t care.

Or they may care
and then when you say no
they’ll figure it out for themselves.

Case in point.

This is Bella
pretending to be
a leprechaun
for Saint Patrick’s Day.
She thought that
Caroline deserved some fun
that we didn’t want to provide.