Monday, September 28, 2015

MM: Trial of Faith

I had a hard weekend this last week. After another unsuccessful attempt to get pregnant, I was feeling pretty discouraged. My faith in my own ability to hear and understand the word of the Lord was wavering, and my soul was in pain.

After reading a few scriptures, I decided I needed to fast and pray to find some comfort and answers.

So, I began fasting Saturday night through Sunday afternoon. It was just what I needed.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had its general women's meeting Saturday night and many of the talks seemed to be directed at me. One in particular that I enjoyed was President Uchtdorf's talk called where he told a story about a women who managed to be happy even when life didn't turn out the way she expected.

However, it was during Sacrament Meeting the next day that I really felt the love of the Lord. Our bishopric spoke in church on Sunday, and everything that they said pretty much made me tear-up. Everything seemed to speak to my heart and answer some of the questions that I had been having.

During primary, the primary president shared an experience that also really touched my heart and brought me comfort.

One of the main lessons that I learned was about faith. Without faith, we can't have hope. I felt that I really needed to work on building up my faith. I was reading in the Bible Dictionary just now, and I read:


Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1Alma 32:21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone....Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one’s faith...
...All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity.

I did learn some things that I needed to work on in my own life, that might have been contributing to that despair. I had lost my confidence in myself, and thus my faith was lacking. It wasn't that I didn't believe in my Savior or my Heavenly Father, I just was doubting previous revelation that I thought that I had received.

However, after a wonderful weekend of talks and spiritual upliftment, I have felt a rekindling of my faith and confidence in myself. Faith is difficult to have sometimes, especially if you're not sure that the thing you're praying for is God's will. However, I have been reminded that in order to know if it's God's will or not, we have to experiment upon His word. As we do so, he will let us know if we are on the right path.

Link to picture source
We just have to plant the seed to know if it will grow. 

I am so grateful to the faithful men and women who prepared their talks over this last weekend. I feel that they were inspired to answer my prayers, and I'm sure they answered many others' prayers as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Painting the Bathroom and Other Adventures

I was going to title this blog "Bathroom Adventures," but then I thought that might come off a little weird.
These two are sure happy to be together again.

Arkhon loves new toys! (Unfortunately, this one only lasted two days).
 Last weekend, we went by the store and bought some paint. Since working in the apartments, I have had a number of projects that I have wanted to accomplish around the house. The biggest two were painting the pink room of death, and the upstairs bathroom.

I finished painting the bathroom on Monday. Here are the before pictures:

This is what is looked like before. It was very yellow. I didn't really like that color, so we decided to paint it white with turquoise around the door frame. Here is the final result:

I personally think it looks a ton better. For some reason, my brothers-in-law enjoyed the yellow color, and they were slightly disappointed by the change. I told them they could paint their home that color.

I think it looks much better. It took me most of the morning. Kevin was pretty good while I was painting. At first, he was doing pretty good at helping me paint. Then, he started wanting to stick his hands on the freshly painted wall, so he had a bath. After a rather long bath, he finally told me he was done, which I don't think has ever happened before. I'm usually the one who tells him that he's done. He even let all the water out himself.

Then, he went out and watched "Wheels on the Bus," and other nursery rhymes while I finished. About the time I was cleaning up, he finally decided he had been patient enough. He wanted attention, right now!

The other big thing that almost happened this week, is we started potty training!

Without too many details, he made it all of one night and most of the morning in new superman big-boy underpants. Then, after two accidents in the afternoon, I decided he wasn't quite ready yet. He still doesn't tell me when he needs to go. I think we'll give it a few more weeks.

With all of that going on, it's been kind of crazy around here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

MM: Sabbath Day

Lately, in some of the different wards that I've been attending, there has been a lot of focus on keeping the Sabbath Day holy.

Whenever I think about that, I am reminded of a story from my childhood.

Every family has different rules on what is appropriate to do on the Sabbath. Some people don't have any rules at all, but when I was growing up, my parents set certain guidelines about what they wanted their children to do on Sunday.

We weren't allowed to play with friends or to play sports. It was supposed to be family time, and it was supposed to involve calmer activities. We only watched certain shows (mainly Christ-centered), and we always attended church.

One Sunday, the neighbor kids were playing baseball in their backyard. We would often watch them playing through the adjoining fence, and we were very close. This particular Sunday, they invited me to come play, and I chose to do so. I was fairly young at the time (younger than 10), and the temptation seemed too great for me.

In doing so, I broke two of my parents' rules. I had a really good time for a while, and then it was my turn to bat. One of the neighbor boys was playing catcher and he was standing at my left. I was holding their metal bat and I was ready for the pitch. When the oldest son threw it to me, I closed my eyes and swung with all my might.

I heard a crack, and excitedly, I opened my eyes to see how far I had hit the ball. Unfortunately, it wasn't the ball that I hit. It was the younger boy's head. The older brother was furious at me, and accused me of doing it on purpose because I was smiling. I quickly explained that I was smiling because I thought I had hit the ball, and they took the crying youngster in the house. I went home feeling miserable.

The boy that I hit ended up having to go to the hospital, but he turned out to be okay. I was very grateful that I hadn't hurt him too badly.

It was an important lesson for me. I learned that we don't break the family rules on Sunday, and it was important to be obedient. I never played baseball at the neighbor's house on Sunday again.

My sister the other day told me that she had learned another lesson from my story. She explained that she had realized that when we don't keep the Sabbath Day holy, we lose the protection from the Lord. I had never thought about it that way before, but she is absolutely right.

Just as with all of the commandments, if we are keeping them, we are protected. If we disobey, we lose that protection and we may fall prey to temptations or other trials that we otherwise wouldn't have had to experience.

In a recent talk by Elder Nelson called "The Sabbath is a Delight," he says:
How do we hallow the Sabbath day? In my much younger years, I studied the work of others who had compiled lists of things to do and things not to do on the Sabbath. It wasn’t until later that I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father.12 With that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don’ts. When I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal clear.
 I still don't always do the best at keeping the Sabbath Day holy, though I am trying to improve. I know that keeping the Sabbath Day holy is still a commandment from the Lord.

When I was going to college, I worked at a zoo, and I had to work alternating Sundays (the animals still had to eat). It was pretty difficult for me to work on Sunday because I needed that extra spirituality. I feel like my soul is a battery, and by the time Sunday rolls around, I really need the spiritual recharge. Temptations are harder to resist, and I feel tired. However, after I go to church and focus on the Savior, I feel spiritually refreshed. I am ready for the rest of the week, come what may.

I am so grateful for the Sabbath. I am grateful for the chance we have to put aside the cares of the world for a day.

I know that the Sabbath Day is important and that we can be renewed if we do our best to choose activities that will bring us closer to our Savior.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Update on Job Search

Many of you have been wondering how Grig's job search has been going.

Really, there isn't much to say yet. He's been busy applying, working 55+ hours a week, and taking night classes. My husband sure is a trooper. He's also very tired.

He's had a few interviews and weld tests, but so far nothing has panned out. They all seem suitably impressed with his skill, but they haven't been calling him back. We've been praying that if he's not supposed to get the jobs, that they won't call him back, and if he is supposed to get the job, that they will call him back.

It seems so far, he wasn't supposed to get those jobs.

We still have a lot of peace about it, and we're hoping that something happens soon. We are grateful for the extra income that Grig is making right now, though we wish he could get a little more sleep.

Kevin is adjusting to being home. He's been a bit grumpy, but he is happy to be home and with his uncles and aunt. There have been some adjustments, but things are going pretty well. Kevin is sure happy to be around his dad again. They've been having a pretty good time.

I'm struggling a bit with balancing my time. I'm still in the "work mode," and it's hard for me to stop working and play with my son. I think that's not helping his mood. Tomorrow I plan to schedule more time to play with him. He's a good kid and he deserves more attention from his mom. I've gotten a lot accomplished, but Kevin is my top priority, and he should come first.

I'm still learning how to be a good mom. Life can be tricky, but we're learning.

Personally, I've sure enjoyed having my husband around. I really missed him. He is my best friend, and I wouldn't wish to spend my life with anyone else.

Friday, September 11, 2015


It's been a little while since I've done a blog post.

It's been a crazy few weeks.

My grandparents own some apartments, and I've been in Idaho since the beginning of August working on them. The college that they're associated with only has a seven week break for the summer, so we have to do all the repairs and cleaning in those seven weeks. One of my younger sisters got married the second week (congratulations!), so we weren't able to start until the third week.
My dad took all of these pictures. I'm borrowing them, because he has my pictures from the wedding.
The wedding was really nice though. I was excited for my younger sister.

During the third week, it was only me and my youngest brother.We patched and painted all the apartments. (My aunt was also around helping, but she had some other responsibilities too, so she worked on the harder repairs when she was able to.)

During the fourth week, my twin sisters joined us. We began cleaning. We were trying to work quickly, because we wanted to tile a couple of bathrooms too, but with only four of us, it was slower going than we wanted.

During the fifth week, my little brother started school, and it was only the three of us. We finished most of the apartments (except the ones that had girls staying in them), but then we had to go back through and redo a couple of things that had gotten missed. I forgot that as part of my job as supervisor, I had to check on their work and make sure they did it right.

My twin sisters haven't worked on apartments with us through the years. They had watched smaller children so that my aunt could help, so they didn't have the same amount of experience as some of my other siblings. However, they worked hard, and it was fun to get to know them better. When I left home for college, they were eleven and my youngest brother was four.

So, by the time we finished cleaning nine apartments, we only had about a week and a half left. We shampooed the carpets and waxed the floors during the sixth week, and in the first half of this, the final week, the girls switched apartments, and we cleaned, shampooed, and waxed the final three apartment in about four days.

We finished everything late Wednesday night. It was sure nice to have the apartments ready for the girls to move in. My younger siblings have been troopers.
My little brother's back hurt, so I was massaging it and Kevin wanted a turn too!
It has been hard to be away from home for so long. Grig had to stay in Utah for his job, and so I would only see him every other weekend or so. Grig is my best friend, and I really love him a lot. I really missed him.

We had a really fun date one weekend though. We went and watch Age of Ultron, and afterward we got ice cream and wandered around the town. When we drove back to my parents' home, there was a lightning storm going on in the sky. It was beautiful, and we parked in front of my parents' home and watched the fireworks.

We were having a great time, until there was a flash so bright directly in front of us that it blinded me, and a split second later, the car shook from thunder. We decided that was too close, and we ran inside the house.

It was a great date though, and we really felt close to each other after that, despite the near-death experience.

Kevin really missed his dad as well. He loved skyping with him and every time he came to visit, he just wanted to latch onto him. My mom also told me that everytime a male figure came into the house, he got super excited and wanted to wrestle with them the way he does his father.

Kevin also missed his dogs. The dogs stayed in Utah with Grig so he would have company. However, the second weekend that I was in Idaho, we had both of Grig's brothers move in with us. I came back briefly that weekend to help them move in and go to my ten-year-college-travel-study reunion.

Now, we have three of Grig's sibling staying with Grig, so he had lots of company!

Kevin did pretty well. He stayed with my mom while I worked, and he was pretty good for her. He was pretty mad at me though. When I came home, he'd follow me everywhere, and if I had to go into a different room, he'd scream at me. He was a little champ though. The last week, especially, I worked long hours.

He played with his cousins quite a bit though, and he became really good friends with them. That was really fun for him.

It was hard to go to Idaho and work for so long, but there were many blessings that have come with it. The first is that we now have more savings. Grig hasn't yet gotten a new job (he's had some interviews, but nothing's panned out yet), and so we now have enough to live on for a couple of months if it takes a little longer.

The second thing is that I got to know my younger siblings better. Recently, I was regretting the fact that I'm far away, and that my siblings have all of these bonding moments that I can't go to. It was really nice to get to know them as the adults they are now and talk to them about their perceptions of the world.

The third blessing I received is that I regained some self-confidence. I've been feeling kind of overweight for a while, and down about how I look. Sometimes it's especially hard when I am around my younger siblings, and they're all so thin and beautiful. However, as we were working on the apartments, I was reminded how strong I really am. Things that my younger siblings could barely budge, I could pick up by myself. I remembered how much I like being strong, and how I wouldn't trade my strength for a smaller frame.

I like how I look, and I feel good about myself. Do I need to lose a few pounds/inches? Definitely. However, it's okay that I'm a little bigger, because I'm also a little stronger.

It was a great experience, and I'm grateful that I was able to help out my grandparents and aunt. It was nice to work again, but I'll enjoy going back to being a full-time mother. I now have a lot of projects that I want to work on at my house as well.

It will be an interesting few weeks as we readjust to life at home with permanent company, but I think it will be good.

I should be blogging more regularly again, and posting more videos.