Monday, November 24, 2008

family gratitudes

Tonight's Family Home Evening was about Gratitude and we talked about not only being thankful for things - but to live our lives in a way that reflects our gratitude. Then we talked about the things that we were grateful for and each made a list. I loved when Gabe said our closing prayer how he asked Heavenly Father to "help us to be more gratitude" and to "Have more thankful". We could all have more of those things huh?

Gabe is grateful for:
  1. books
  2. parrots
  3. Halloween shakers (he made a tamborine in preschool - and he specifically is grateful for HALLOWEEEN shakers)
  4. cups
  5. piggy banks
Hunter: (When we asked Hunter what he was thankful for Gabe answered, "He's thankful for all the same things I'm thankful for!" We also think Hunter is thankful for these things)
  1. spending time with Gabe
  2. songs
  3. books
  4. baths
  5. a mom & dad who clean up after his messes
  1. Joanna
  2. Gabe
  3. Hunter
  4. our home
  5. the gospel
  1. preschool
  2. warm beds
  3. pillows
  4. bodies
  5. hot baths

I am grateful for...

  • laughter - especially the kind of laughter that you can't stop, or children's laughter

  • a sense of humor

  • television - and uplifting programming

  • all things Disney - Disneyland, Disney characters, Disney movies, music from Disney movies....(a little sad we won't be there this week...)

  • holidays

  • reading

  • cheesy LDS fiction (I love Anita Stansfield books!)

  • gas prices going down (it's $1.71 at our local station!)

  • watching my kids learn new things

  • good nights sleep

  • modern medicine - especially simple things like Advil and Tylenol

  • vitamins

  • hopes and dreams

  • sunshine and blue skies

  • puffy clouds - especially ones that look like fun shapes (last week Gabe was certain that the trials from airplanes in the sky were shooting stars - there was no convincing him otherwise!)

  • green grass

  • ranger rides with my boys

  • hugs and kisses

  • soft textures

  • flannel sheets

  • Diet Dr Pepper

  • forgiveness from others, and most importantly from Heavenly Father

  • repentance

  • music of all kinds - rock, classical, country, children's music, church music - but most of all I love to hear my kids sing (I wish they'd do it more - Gabe's not that into it)

  • excitement - that feeling that settles into your whole body and makes your toes start tapping because you're so excited.

  • I'm grateful that we all have different hobbies and talents - isn't it great that there are people who enjoy all different kinds of things in life?

  • hobbies - I'm gratefl for scrapbooking (and just wish I had more opportunties to do it!)

  • ice cream - I've recently been loving peanut butter cup ice creams (Blue Bunny's Peanut Butter Explosion or Dreyers Peanut Butter Cup - YUM!)

  • Choices and variety - even if sometimes there seems to be too many choices.

  • smells of all kinds - especially yummy Scentsy smells (today I tried some free body-spray that came with my deodorant. Gabe came up to me a little later and sniffed me and looked disgusted and said, "Mom - you STINK!" Thanks.)

It's been a while....

.....since I've posted. I've just been a bit consumed with the holiday preparations and life with 2 kids. I also had a fun chance last week to run up to SLC with some friends and meet up with my sis Julia. We had some fun going to the Carrie Underwood concert and watching a taping of the Good Things Utah tv show. Good times.

Now I'm feverishly trying to get some Christmas gifts done and get ready to spend time with the Ellis clan for Thanksgiving. Should be good fun. I know Gabe is THRILLED for the sugar cookies with Grandma Tammy and can't wait to see his cousins.

But I have had several people tell me recently that I need to get more Gabe-isms up on the blog. My first thoughts were that I probably haven't shared much lately because Gabe hasn't done much other than boss me around - but then I remembered he's sweet some of the time. He can be a hand-ful, but I keep telling myself that his strong personality will get him through tough times in today's world. Hunter is going to be strong willed too I have a feeling. Here's a few things about the boys:


  • I asked him what his favorite part of Primary was today. He said, "When I got to see YOU! I think I need to give you a hug now." (They have been bringing the nursery kids into Sharing Time with the Jr Primary to get them prepped to come into the Sunbeam class in a few weeks. I teach a 6-7 year old class - so he gets to see me too.)

  • In regard to the last one - I was telling Gabe today that he only has a few more weeks left in nursery at church - and then he'll be a SUNBEAM. He got so upset and started throwing a little fit. He finally said, "I don't want to be a sunbeam and you can't make me - even if it IS in the song!" (Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam)

  • I was telling Gabe what I was going to be doing on my quick trip to SLC and that I was going to see Carrie Underwood in concert. He looked at me and said, "No mom, I am pretty sure that it's Carrie Under-WEAR!" (and he didn't even laugh at his silly joke - he was serious.)

  • Last week we were eating dinner and Gabe says, "So Mom -when are you going to go to the store and buy the presents for Santa?" I asked him what he meant exactly - afterall - Santa gets the presents at the North Pole and delivers them to us on Christmas Eve...He said, "No he doesn't - YOU buy them FOR Santa." I had to quickly change the subject because I was a bit nervous that the conversation seemed to be leaning towards the idea that he might know more about Santa than he really should.....and at 3 years old?!?!?

  • Gabe is pretty enthralled by the idea of a Christmas List. Whenever he sees something he wants he'll refer to "THE LIST". The other day he said, "Mom? Do we have a see-saw?" No Gabe - we don't. "Oh - we better get out the list!" I hear that several times a day. His list is getting pretty long!

  • The boys were in the bath tub tonight. I warned them that I didn't want them to splash me because if I got wet I would probably get mean and yell. Gabe got really upset and said, "Oh please Mom - don't do it! I just want you to be a MOMMY!" (I loved that he didn't think that getting mad and yelling was the same as being a Mommy....)

  • I asked Gabe what he was thankful for. Here are a few of the ideas he's come up with: turkeys, hands, firemen, fingers, Mom, Dad, Hunter, ME (Gabe), counting, bees, bow ties (and then he said, "Do I have a bow tie? Why not?"), Mommies, noses, tv, movies, and his friend Noah.

  • Just lately Gabe has started wanting to look at books when he goes to bed. I love it! I'll let him get like 2-4 books to look at (after we've read our stories together) and then I'll give him 5-10 minutes to "read" in his room by himself. Then we'll go in and turn off the light for him. I love that even though he can't read the words quite yet - he still has a love for reading. I hope that keeps up!

  • The boys have a lot of grandparents living (2 grandmas/grandpas, 5 great grandma's, 3 great grandpa's, and a great-great grandma/grandpa) - they are really quite lucky. But sometimes it gets kind of confusing because there are so many. I guess Gabe picked up on the fact that a lot of times I explain which ones we're going to see and he's started to explain it to me. For instance - if we're talking about Nana and Papa he will pause and say, "You know - your mom" or "You know who papa is - he's your dad".


  • I sang a couple of little kid songs to Hunter this week with actions. He totally caught on to them and sings them around the house all the time now. He's still not really talking - so no one else probably has a CLUE what he's doing - but he loves to sing "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home", "Head, shoulders, knees and toes", "Popcorn popping", "Once there was a snowman". It's SO cute!

  • Hunter is such a happy kid most of the time - he smiles with his entire face and has the widest grin. I love how his smile makes me feel!

  • Hunter is so jealous of his big brother - especially if Gabe goes somewhere without Hunter. Lucky for Hunter he got to go play with Gabe and his friend Noah this week for many hours - as well as a few other ours at another friend of mine's house. He loves getting to do things with Gabe.

  • Hunter loves ducks. Weird huh? He loves to quack like a duck and can spot ducks everywhere.

  • Hunter likes to say "Ho-Ho-Ho" - like Santa - and he says it with his whole body - it's funny because he kind of "shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly" (You know - from Night Before Christmas?)

  • Dancing - Hunter loves to dance too - and he dances with his whole body too.

  • Gabe has never liked to spend time by himself - at all. He wants to be by my side doing something, or being entertained at all times - but Hunter can often be found in his or Gabe's room surrounded by toys or piles of books - just entertaining himself. It's cute that he's ok being by himself - but it also gets him into trouble at times.

  • Web-cam - We have a web-cam on our computer and if Hunter ever sees a picture of Nana on the computer (like if I'm chatting with her on Instant Messenger) he starts climbing all over me to get up to see her and chat with her. He LOVES talking to all of his grandparents on the web-cam!

Posts (hopefully) coming soon - with pictures :

  • Carrie Underwood concert
  • Good Things Utah
  • Superhero jammies
  • BYU blue

Friday, November 14, 2008

Check out this deal

My friend Jessica passed this deal along to me and I had to pass it to you guys. How about a FREE 8 1/2 X 11 photo book?

Check it out - you have to redeem the coupon by today at midnight, and have until Sunday at midnight to finish the book.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

another happy thing to add to the list....


Grateful for things that make me smile...

Today I'm grateful for things that make me smile. There are a lot of them - but here are a few:

  • Paying $2.13 a gallon for gas. It cost me like 40 something to fill up my big car - that's cheaper than I've paid in ages, and less than 1/2 as much as I was paying a few months ago. Feels good. It actually has become a little contest for me - seeing what the cheapest I can find gas for - just SEEING the lower prices brings a smile on my face.

  • Magazines in the mail - sometimes these make me crazy - but I got these two yesterday - Signals and Downeast Outfitters - and they both had cute stuff. Loved the cute (and modest!) clothes from Downeast, and Signals has such sweet, thoughtful things - nothing that you'd NEED - but indulgent and thoughtful gifts. I also love that on days when Gabe begs for mail I can generally toss him a catalog - and he's satisfied (doesn't even matter what it's for most of the time!)

  • Sales online (or anywhere for that matter). I got a coupon from and for this week. Save 30%! If you want the email with the code and stuff email me - it's good the 14th-17th I think and then 5% of your purchase is donated to a non-profit organization of your choice - a great time to get Christmas jammies on sale!

  • Preschool crafts - I love to see the things that Gabe brings home from preschool. My favorite so far was a cute spider he made for Halloween, but Tuesday's turkey handprint card was a close second.

  • My new RED phone - I LOVE it! (See the post a few down - I got the Sprint Blackberry Curve). Today the internet package we got for the phone was activated and my phone is AWESOME! It has all kinds of capabilities - so now I can even watch TV on my phone. That might be one more reason to lock myself in the bathroom (generally I just do it to get away from the boys for 2 seconds....but now I can catch up on Grey's Anatomy too!)

  • One thing that makes me really smile is when people - complete strangers - stop to chat with my little boys at the store and comment on how adoreable they are. Of course I expect loving family members to think that - but it's nice to hear it from strangers.

  • Driving around today with my windows down because it was too hot in the car - and right now I even have my house windows open because my house was heating up. I know this weather will be short lived - but I sure love it!

  • We've been really working with trying to get Hunter to talk more. (Gabe answers for him all the time - so that's been tough.) So I've been trying to get him to say please and thank you. He signs for please and he's decided that to say thank-you he just needs to smack his lips like he's kissing us. After he does it he looks at me as if to say, "I know I didn't say 'thank-you' - but isn't a kiss from me even better?" - I love it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Consumer warning....

Well this might sound a little negative - but I feel like I should warn consumers - do not buy this soup. I had bought it a while back and had it sitting on my shelf. Tonight I didn't have any fancy dinner plans, and quite frankly have needed to go major grocery shopping for weeks now - so the choices were kind of slim. We had some bananas that needed to be eaten, so I had planned on making some banana bread (the recipe is at the end of this post) - but needed something to go with it. I gave Gabe a choice between a couple of different Bear Creek Soups - and this is what he came up with - Bear Country Hot and Sour Soup.

Looked good enough.

Well - it wasn't.

The banana muffins I made however - were AWESOME! I took my mom's wonderful banana bread recipe and just made it into muffins. Took less time to cook and turned out DELICIOUS!

2 eggs
3 medium bananas - mashed
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 & 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup nuts - chopped (optional)

Mix eggs, bananas, sugar and oil. Combine dry ingredients and add to the mixture. Stir in nuts (I didn't add nuts - and I actually like it better...). Pour into greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

I made 18 regular sized muffins and cooked them for somewhere between 15-20 minutes.


So last year during November I was posting things I was grateful for daily. I found that it really helped me think about things I was thankful for on a daily basis, and really helped me enjoy and appreciate the Thanksgiving season a bit more.

This year I have been a bit more down in the dumps and frustrated with life - and I think that might be because I haven't been focusing on the things I'm grateful for, the blessings I have. I've looked too closely at what I don't have, or the things in my life that aren't perfect. So I'm going to work on being grateful a bit more in my life, and specifically this month. Here are just a couple of things I'm grateful for.
  • The gift of sight - We get a lot of comments from people about being "BLIND" - since our business is The Blind Guy. And we joke about it right along with them - but I don't think there's a comment that goes by when I don't think, "Man, I'm lucky not to be blind!" To absorb the sights of our world - or more than anything - see my little boy's smiles - what a gift!
  • Colors - (this kind of goes along with the last one....)I love that there is variety in life. From hair color, wall/paint color, color of people - I love that there are different colors of sunsets, clouds, grass, trees. I love that I can wear different colors, eat foods that are different colors, and decorate in different colors.
  • Taste - This weekend when we were up in SLC for our anniversary we ate some tasty food. (ZTejas and Rumbi Island Grill both have AMAZING salads!) I feel so grateful that I can taste things and marvel at the different flavors. YUM!
  • Technology - I think about life as I was a little kid and it was pretty great - but WOW! life is so amazing with all of the technology available to us. The thing I love the most about technology is how it can help us stay closer and in contact with the people we know and love. I love being able to chat with my mom on the webcam or instant messenger at any time of day. I love that my little sister can instant message me a question, or that my kids can talk to their grandparents on the computer. I love that we can have blogs, email, and other amazing things all because of technology.
  • Books and libraries - The whole world can open up to us because of books. How sad it would be to not have books at our convenience. I was reading a story about "The Little House on the Prarie" times and thinking about how the pioneers and our ancestors from years ago didn't have bookshelves full of books - or libraries to borrow books from. We are blessed by books in so many ways. I love that I can teach my boys by reading them books. I love that we can be silly, we can learn gospel principles, or journey to a far-away land through the pages of a book. I feel blessed that we have 2 local libraries and a bookmobile! (And today is bookmobile day - yay!)
  • Modern medicine - our lives are made better by medicines, doctors, and technologies that can help us live our best lives. I'm grateful for doctors who follow inspiration and promptings, and who better the health of those of us who need it.
  • Music - I often complain that since I have had children I don't get any time to listen to my own music. I have thousands of songs on my ipod and computer - but we are frequently found singing the ABC song, a song from Primary, or something from Sesame Street. But you know what? I love it all! I love singing Gabe's night-time songs to him. My favorite in our night-time line up is "A Child's Prayer". As I sing him the words, "Heavenly Father - are you really there?" I feel like I am singing my feelings in a lot of ways. I love that music can have such emotion and feeling to it. I love how listening to a song can make me want to dance, relax, or think of love. Such power!
  • Family who I love so much! I think one of the things in life that causes me so much saddness and frustration is not living closer to any family. I get so sad that we don't have family around for Sunday dinners or family shopping trips. I hate that I have a neice that was born in APRIL and I haven't even met her yet because she lives in Dallas - and another neice that was born in August and I've only held her for like 1/2 hour! I hate that our family has to travel at least 4 hours to see any of our family, and that every trip to see family feels so strained for time. I feel so conflicted trying to choose who we're going to see, and know that we can't do it all. (anway - this was supposed to be a GRATITUDE post - and I'm just complaing about this one) - but the only reason I'm complaining is because I am so grateful for the family I do have and wish we got to spend more time together!
  • Sunshine
  • Comfortable shoes and sandals
  • Warm slippers to keep my cold toes warm at night
  • flannel sheets
  • Changes in seasons - I might not enjoy the cold - but it is nice that it's not hot all the time.

I could go on - and I probably should - but I am grateful for so many things. Please - leave a comment and tell me something YOU are grateful for today!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BYU Game - Go Cougs!

There are 2 times of the year that I get sad and a bit homesick for where I grew up - Utah County - the 4th of July season and Freedom Festival, and BYU Football season. Those are 2 things that I just miss since we don't live in the Provo area. I have especially missed BYU football since the changes with the football games on tv (where BYU games are only on The MTN channel - and our sattelite company doesn't carry that channel).

So when Cory said he had it planned for us to stay in SLC this past weekend to celebrate our anniversary I ran online to see if we could get tickets for the last BYU home game for the season. I was thrilled that I found 2 tickets for us to enjoy Saturday's game!

There aren't a lot of things that get me as excited as the energy of a BYU game - and this didn't disappoint me. We wandered around the tail-gate area before the game and even stood in line to try to throw a football into a hole - Cory even won a t-shirt for me! Then we got our hot dog (not-so-grea) and cotton candy (which was DELICIOUS) and headed to our seats.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the game....I like exciting close games - but it was clear from the beginning that BYU was going to win. It was still fun - but I like nailbiting games. I also need to bring people who like to dance around and cheer LOUDLY with me - Cory was a little too mellow at times. I was glad we went together - but I needed someone to sing out "Rise and shout!" when the Cougars would score.

Anyway - we had a great time and now I'm just trying to figure out how I can justify getting season tickets for next year.....

Little Mr. Independent

Oh boy - we've entered a new era at our house - the house of toddler independence. YIKES! Just this last week, and more specifically this morning - Hunter has decided he is a BIG BOY. He wants to do what the big kids do. He seems to think that now that he can walk (all-be-it wobbly - he wobbled into something yesterday and has a nice little black eye) that he should be able to go to preschool, feed himself - there's no way we're going to feed him anything anymore - he wants to do it himself, play outside by himself, walk through the store, etc.

This morning Cory was around so he took Gabe to preschool for me. Hunter fell apart when he realized that Gabe left with dad and that he hadn't gone with them. He pounded on the back door crying yelling for Dad & Gabe. As soon as he realized that they had left without him he started yelling for the dogs - as if they would come rescue him. He went over to the coat rack in the entry-way and was banging on it and pointing to Gabe's jacket and finally got a hold of it and tried putting it on. He seemed so determined to go somewhere so I offered to take him with me to get a drink at Maverik. He RAN to the door and started banging on it.

So I took him to the garage and started to get in the car - but he wasn't about to let me carry him - HE was walking himself. And he RAN right out of the garage and wanted to play in the driveway. But he didn't want help manuevering around the rocks - he would plop down, turn around and crawl off of the cement into the rocks (and then eat the rocks....) It was so funny to watch. I worried that we'd be outside all morning (in the fog and chilly air) - but I asked him if he wanted some fruit snacks and he ran almost as quickly back into the house.

Oh - and when I got the camera out he started totaly cheesing it - eyes closed and everything. Silly kid.

I don't know if I'm ready for another independent and strong willed child......

Monday, November 10, 2008

5 things tag

I was tagged - and although I am usually horrible about getting around to these (I have the best of intentions) - I thought it was a great way for me to avoid what I'm supposed to be doing right now - mopping the floor....

10 years ago:

  1. I was going to school at Ricks College - my 2nd year and I was studying "generals" with an emphasis on health sciences. (I thought I wanted to get a degree in Radiology....sometimes I wonder why I didn't - and then I remember that the woman I job-shadowed said that like 80% of her job was giving old men barium enimas... and I couldn't handle it!)
  2. I had just had my 2nd wedding reception (a joint one with my sister and brother in law Ashley & Spencer). My family had just left to go back to New Mexico and I was officially a married woman! (which was weird because I felt the same I had a few weeks before in a lot of ways....)
  3. We were returning wedding gifts, using gift cards from our wedding, and enjoying being able to do some newly-wed shopping. (If I had only realized that you only got wedding gifts once...I would have used it a little more wisely)
  4. I was busy organizing our new HUGE apartment (3 bedroom 2 bath - it was bigger than we needed, and got us too used to a big place!) I felt spoiled - especially after the little DUMP we were going to live in together.
  5. Working at Walmart.....something I wouldn't wish on anyone! But at the same time - reminded me that I needed to finish college so I wouldn't be stuck doing that for the rest of my life!

Five things on my To-Do List today:
  1. Research new cell phones - mine died yesterday. I'm leaning towards this one - the Blackberry Curve 8330: SP8330RIMR
  2. Researching new washing machines. Ours died on Thursday right before we left to go out of town for the weekend. I'm still not sure if I'm going to buy a new one or get mine fixed (Cory thinks it's the transmission and thinks it's going to cost more than it's worth to fix). This is the one I'm looking at - the LG Electronics 4.2 Cu. Ft. Ultra Capacity Front Load SteamWasher :
  3. Completly overhauling/organizing/cleaning the boy's toys. They have so many junky happy meal toys, pieces of toys - and parts all over the place. Right now I'm trying to get all of the cars together, all the little people together, and pieces of everything in the right places. Any great motherly organizing advice? Anyone have a great way to keep kids toys organized? (Other than to stop buying them? I'm getting there....)
  4. Mop the kitchen floor - I REALLY needed to do this before we left for being out of town for the weekend, but it didn't end up happening - and I can tell you it about killed me to come home from a weekend away to the dirtiest kitchen floor EVER!
  5. Make a major grocery shopping list so I can feed my family decent meals this week (I've gotten SO lazy with this!)
Five things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
  1. Pay off all business debts
  2. Family trip with all siblings/spouses/neices/nephews/grandparents to Disneyworld for Christmas
  3. Help with several charaties
  4. Save for kids college/mission expenses
  5. Send happy mail to all I love - and just people who might need a pick-me-up (unexpected, fun, silly packages)
5 Places I have lived (this is just the last 5):
  1. Enoch, Utah (right outside of Cedar City)
  2. Rexburg, ID
  3. Farmington Hills (Detroit), MI
  4. Spanish Fork, UT
  5. Strongsville (Cleveland), OH
5 Jobs I've had (from order of most recent)
  1. CEO of our home (the best and HARDEST job ever!)
  2. Co-owner of The Blind Guy with my hubby (I used to do the books, but we have hired someone for that, and now I don't have as much involvement which I guess is good)
  3. Designer and Marketing Director for Kopp Design (a scrapbook company)
  4. Marketing Director for The Scrap Coop
  5. Porter's - Accounts Payable and Acconts Receiveable manager

Anyone else want to join in?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More from our photo shoot

Photos by AK Studios - visit her website here.

I got the disk of our photos this afternoon and I just had to share a few more that aren't on the website. These are ones that haven't been edited - but right out of the camera I still love them. Looking at these photos brought me so much joy and will always remind me of how much I love these smiley, sweet little boys. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much to have these 2 sons - my friends, playmates, reading buddies, wrestling partners, mess makers - my sweethearts.

Today on the way home from running errands Gabe and I were arguing. He had thrown one fit after another and I snapped at him. I was getting out of the car to fill the car with gas and I said, "Now Gabe - I am going to get out, and when I get back in the car and we drive home I want us to talk about ways that we can work to get along with each other better."

When I got back into the car and we were driving home I asked him what some of the things he thought that we shoudl talk about - what things we could do to get along better. He snapped at me and said, "Mom - I don't need to talk about it with you! I already said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help me get along better."

Now I didn't love the way he responded to me....but I found so much joy with the idea that on his own he would pray and ask Heavenly Father to help him with something! That right there, in combination with those sweet smiles you see - that is why I'm a mom.

My November desktop

I have been exhausted all day. You know - one of those days where you just want to curl up with a book, warm blanket, and hot chocolate. It's been blustry outside all day, and those things just sounded so comforting. Or a warm bubble bath....ahhhh - something warm and cozy.

And so I had been anticipating bedtime tonight. I couldn't wait to hop in my bed and get cozy and go to sleep early. However - here I sit at 11:08 pm after spending way too long on the computer creating a new November desktop for my computer. Sheez - here are my priorities.....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Family Pictures

A couple of weeks ago we had our family pictures taken by a local gal Aby Khyl of AK Studios. I just got the online album link and I've enjoyed looking at the pictures. The boys weren't the happiest that night, they both had runny noses, and it was oddly chilly (compared to most evenings previous and after) so I'm happy that we managed to get ANY pictures that worked out. She said there are more on the disk that she is giving us tomorrow, so I'm excited to see them! She's a fun photographer and I enjoyed the time we spent with her. I'm also probably going to be taking some little lessons from her about photography. I just need to learn how to use my camera better. Anyway, here are the ones she posted online.

A day for the history books....

(I took these pictures of my boys to mark a day that will go down in history - one way or another. They might be too young to realize what is going on, but I want them to know that choices that are made right now will effect them, and that THEY are the future we are working for - their goodness and hope!)

Over the last few weeks as I we have been getting ready to vote I contemplated a lot of things - freedoms, choice, our future, agency....I have been thinking about my children, their future as American's, about our economy, war, rights, feelings of entitlement.....

I've had a lot of anxiety, fear and anger. I've worried about the direction things are going, the things I don't seem to have much control over - all of it has scared me quite a bit. But on Sunday a man that I respect a lot in our ward got up in Testimony meeting and was so optimistic. He talked about how he didn't know the outcome of the election, or the direction things would be taking - but that he had a feeling of hope and optimism, and felt like our sweet little town would be protected. He said that we have good people in our community and that no matter what - we will take care of each other.

After he spoke I had a different feeling. Yes - I am still anxious in the fact that I am looking forward to see who we choose as a nation to lead us - but he's right - for the most part we as people are GOOD, and want GOOD things. We should be more optimistic than pessimistic. As people who know of truth we should rejoice, live the ways we've been taught to be correct, and look for the good things that are to come. Yes - there will be hard times, and yes - we will have trials - but if we follow our church leaders and look with hope to the future we will be blessed.

I love this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley,

"I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we 'accentuate the positive.' I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good. … Look for the sunlight through the clouds" ("The Continuing Pursuit of Truth," Ensign, Apr. 1986, 2–4).

Now I'm not saying that I will necessarily be thrilled with the decision we come to as a nation tonight, but I do know one thing - we are blessed to live in America and have the right and privilege to vote. What a blessing. I thought about the feelings I had in South Africa when I went to the museum that discussed apartheid. I felt SO grateful for my American citizenship and knowing that I had the chance to vote and make a difference. I was so filled with a feeling of thanksgiving for the freedoms that we take for granted every day. Think about the people in Darfur, North Korea, Iraq, places through the world - look at how blessed we are!

So do your part, vote for the officials you feel will best lead our country, and then look with hope to the future. Afterall - children like these sweet faces are the future leaders for our country. They hold the future - don't we want them to feel of the hope and possibility, and not the fear and doom that is so often spoken of?