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Finding the Joy. . .

Morning Sunrise – May 24, 2017

This is the view from my back door each morning I drive E to seminary at 4:40 a.m.

This is the view from my car, as I sit and study the scriptures for an hour, while I wait for E to finish his class.  I get to look at one of God’s great temples on this earth every morning.  How blessed I am to have this amazing building so close to my home.  To feel its strength and warmth brings joy to my life.

We are also blessed to attend church each Sunday right behind the temple.  What a unique experience to have, and I hope my children will remember this with a feeling of love and fondness when they are older.  They are truly blessed to be surrounded by such beauty.

I didn’t make it to the temple this week; well, at least not yet because the week isn’t over.  But each Wednesday I take a few hours out of my day to attend the temple.  It is literally 6 minutes from my home without traffic and about 15 with heavy traffic at that time of day.  I love alternating between the endowment session and intiatories.  The promises we make in that Holy House brings my life joy, grace and charity.  I don’t know who I would be without the blessings the temple has poured upon me the last 28 months.

Instead of going to the temple Wednesday, I chose to rest and recuperate, hoping that this flu will not only pass but actually help my immune system grow stronger.  To help me with this, Joy Boy made me a delicious lunch of ham & string cheese cracker sandwiches, a red apple with a spoonful of Nutella (a healing powerfood – just kidding) and a very SWEET banana.  Look at that message!  Isn’t he the sweetest.  You can do this yourself by poking the banana with a toothpick.  You do need to push almost into the meat of the banana to get it to show up, but it is a fun way to send a message to the one you love, via “banana mail.”

Curly Cook’s caterpillar “Nature” in his cocoon – May 2017

Remember this creepy guy?  Well . . . he FINALLY hatched and Curly Cook (L) got to set him free!

Curly Cook freeing “Nature” – May 25, 2017


I am SO VERY GRATEFUL that she got to have this experience and that it turned out well in the end.  I am also VERY GRATEFUL that I was prompted to look at the container today.  After being sick all week, and not really in the kitchen, it was truly a miracle that we noticed this BIG GUY had hatched.  Thankfully he was bursting with excitement to get out and fly and Curly Cook got to see it all happen!

Stonehenge and “rainbows” – L’s Stonehenge on the left and G’s Stonehenge on the right. K made the bows, one for each of them. – May 24, 2017

We had a WONDERFUL History lesson from The Good and The Beautiful Curriculum this week about “our” ancestors . . . the Britons!  We have been learning a lot about Egypt and the Jews, so it was a nice change to FINALLY learn something that applied to our family.  The kids loved the lesson so much that they were actually excited to do the activity – make their very own Stonehenge out of salt dough.

Joy Boy has really been enjoying baking lately and finds any opportunity to bake because it takes Math work off of his daily plan.  I allow 1 page of Math to be taken away if he cooks because cooking requires a TON of Math.  He LOVES the exchange and in turn, he and Ginger Snap took E’s suggestion to make one BIG cookie and went for it.  I was SURPRISED, to say the least, that the cookie actually baked completely through, actually better than the smaller cookies did.  Joy Boy was VERY pleased with himself.  The cookies were delicious!

Before we made cookie dough, Joy Boy was complaining this morning about “having” to do his schoolwork and said, “I wish I could do what you do because YOU don’t have to do any schoolwork.”  I looked at him with a shocked face and said, “Oh YES, I DO!  I learn just as much as you do everyday, maybe a little bit more!” (because lets be honest, being a Mother is a new learning experience almost every day!)

He looked at me quizzically and asked, “What classes do you take?”  I replied that I took at least 5 classes a day and had already finished one by 6:15 am.  He was SHOCKED and backed off to accept his schoolwork but it made me think, what do I do all day?

Well, each day is really a new day.  I do start with a list that I write out each and every morning in my daily journal.  (I go through at least one journal every 4 months)

I make a list as to make sure that my priorities are always at the forefront of my mind.  I like to check things off as I remember to do them.  It isn’t a “to do list or check-list” of sorts but a feeling that I put “first things first” in my day and it serves as a reminder that I am practicing to be more mindful of how I use my time and energy each precious day of my life.  After I put first things first in order, I just let the day kind of come to me.  I might find myself talking with one of my children for 30 minutes, to 2 or 3 hours, whatever they need to set themselves right, but it is all part of the big plan.

Maybe I will run to a store or two, but not often.  I try to do all my shopping on the days that I am already out of the house to go on a walk with my friend or to attend the temple.  But no matter what, most days I strive to learn something new.

Currently I am working on a Mother’s University course to better help my children learn to see the beauty in the world and to feel the music of the gospel.  I am also learning to play the piano, striving to exercise at least 150 minutes a week, I also strive to write down the food that I eat and water that I drink, read a good book, make sure FHE is always planned and a priority on Mondays, plan dinner to be ready each night so Paul can have a good meal before he leaves for the night (Bishop duties), and last but not least email and/or blog.

But something I haven’t been able to figure out is how to make time to do Family History.  My kids are whizzes at finding names for temple ordinances but I can barely keep up with the work that needs to be done.  So I have asked them to back off for a bit.  This didn’t feel like a good decision because I feel that they are still needing to use their Apostolic Blessings and do Family History work.  But if I don’t know what they CAN do, beside find temple ordinances to be done, then I can’t encourage them to do “it.”

So today, I took a few hours to LEARN how to research censuses and find names that need to be added to our family’s lines.  It was REALLY FUN and I ended up finding an entire family through my Grandma Wardle’s Barron line.  It felt AMAZING!

My Spanish Primary Songbook that I am transcribing from the Spanish Chord system (Do, Re, Mi) to our English System (C,F,G), my Family History Journal and the pile of Temple Cards I need to verify and possibly help research more – May 25, 2017

I love how working on our gifts and talents can bless our lives and help us find joy!  I have thoroughly enjoyed memorizing piano chords so I can hopefully, one day soon, bring music to our Primary.  It pains me that they don’t have that blessing in their lives.  So I am eager to learn and pray for the humility and wisdom to play for our ward’s children, as well as 2 of my own, and help them better feel the music of the gospel.

What a week it has been!  I am grateful for the sickness I have experienced this week, mainly because it has helped me SEE how much better I am feeling now and to also feel gratitude that I am more or less a healthy person every day.  I have all my faculties about me, so I can do ANYTHING, if only I set my mind to do it.  What a blessing our bodies and minds truly are.  What a blessing life can be, if only we seek to look at it from that perspective.

Until next time,

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