Sunday, December 14, 2014

Anxiety and Life

I recently read an article written by Sandra Turley that resonated with me so strongly.  Reading it actually gave me the internal permission to admit out loud what was happening with myself.  I have been fighting a battle with anxiety - especially the last 5 1/2 months.  I've had little blips on the radar before that, but these last 5+ months have really been tough ones.  There wasn't just one thing that I was troubled about, there were several.  And these were life-altering situations.
  • My husband was told he was being put on probation at work for something he didn't do and may lose his job.
  • I was told that I would need to do something with my job that causes me anxiety.
  • The school I worked at last year closed and a new school opened.  More than double the number of students and staff.  Add in behavior and special ed class rooms.  Starting the school with no behavior plan and a gym not done - just to name a few things - and you end up with a whole lot of crazy!
  • My husband had major surgery on his cervical spine.
  • I'm having increased problems with my back.
  • We have family members who are struggling with extreme health conditions.
  • A daughter had a baby and moved and we went to help.
  • Another daughter and her family moved and we couldn't be there to help.
  • My church calling (Stake RS President) takes me away from my home ward most Sundays.  We recently had boundary changes and lots of people moving in and out.  The short of that is this: when I am able to make it to my own ward - I don't feel a connection there any more.  I've been away for the most part for 5 1/2 years now.
  • And so on and so forth.
 So - when I read this article: it struck me that I needed to own what I was feeling in order to deal with it.  I've had my husband give me a priesthood blessing.  I resigned my position at work.  A change was not able to be made to relieve me of a two hour disaster in my work life once a week, so I quit.  Not even having that be acknowledged by my supervisor hurt incredibly, and I had to work through the feelings of feeling worthless and not valued, but now I feel ok.  So glad I am walking away.

I am trying to focus more on my Savior, on the blessings he has given so abundantly to our family and the moments when He has whispered Peace to my heart.  I am allowing myself to be in the scriptures more.  I am saying no to things that are not necessary right now.  I am focusing on our family.

I had my anxiety medication prescription renewed and am being vigilant in taking it on a scheduled basis rather than just PRN as I did for so long.

This is just the beginning.  I have much to do.  I am a worrier.  I am a fixer.  And I need to learn to let most of that go. 

The Savior has born all of these feelings of mine.  And because of that, He alone knows how to succor me and strengthen me.  It is upon Him, my Rock, that I will lean and trust.  I feel that I will move forward, and that things will be better than I could have ever imagined.  But for now, I am striving to slow down a bit - enjoy my blessings - and Let Go & Let God.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Piano Guys

This video was shot at one of my favorite places - Tony Grove - high in the mountains above Logan, Utah!  I've walked around this lake more than just a few times.  And I love this song too.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade marshmallows

I pulled out my favorite mug tonight.  I really needed some hot chocolate!  It's been cold in Missouri, and typically once I get home at the end of the day - I stay there.  But tonight I had to go back out into the cold to attend a PTA meeting.  

If you notice, there is something missing from this mug of hot chocolate.   Marshmallows!  I checked the pantry - none.  I went downstairs to my storage area - none.  Guess what I'm doing tomorrow night?  I'm going to make some marshmallow cubes.  It's a recipe I've been using for years - usually shaping into eggs and dipping in chocolate for Easter, but hey, I'm good with a naked marshmallow too!  Or wait ~ what about the homemade marshmallows still dipped in chocolate and then put in the mug of hot chocolate?  Can you say rich hot chocolate?  Hmmmmm.  Maybe I'll dip some in white chocolate too - or mint chocolate ~ oh, the possibilities are endless!  I'll have to give you an update on that later.

Here's my basic marshmallow recipe:

Homemade Marshmallows

6 T. cold water 
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt

In a medium bowl, combine 6 T. cold water and the Knox gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.  Meanwhile, boil 1/2 c. water and the sugar together in a small saucepan.  Stir just until the sugar is dissolved and pour over the gelatin mixture.  Let cool.  A film will be created on top of this mixture as it cools - spoon off the film and discard.  Add the vanilla and the salt and beat 8-10 minutes with an electric beater until soft peaks form when you lift the beaters from the mixture.

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.  Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.  Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and spread it out.  When it sets (doesn't take long), cut into squares and enjoy!  Before eating - lightly brush off the flour and toss in that mug of hot chocolate.

Store in an airtight container - or - dip in some chocolate and doubly enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

LDS Church - General Women's Mtg.

I don't know about you - but I need a spiritual pick-me-up!  And it all begins this weekend!

It begins with the General Women's Meeting this weekend.  There just might be cupcakes or ice cream, or both afterwards!  And it continues the following weekend with General Conference.  I love having the opportunity to listen to Prophets, Apostles and leaders of the auxiliaries speak.  I love reading over their talks after conference is over.  You should see my Ensign!  Lots of notes in the margins, lots of colors, lots of wondering what I  need to do to be better....

Won't you join us?
 Information here 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This is our time....

There has been A LOT going in with our family the last little bit. 
  • A daughter and son-in-law moving, and another getting reading to move.  These are good moves, but nonetheless, if you have moved you understand some of the stresses involved with that.
  • Some health issues.  The normal aches and pains for us old folks, and possibly some carpal tunnel that will need to be taken care of.  And maybe a herniated disk in my lower back that will need to be fixed sooner than later.  An eye condition that is being treated through an FDA approved trial.
  • A new grandbaby!  
  • Big sister adjusting to having a new little brother, a new house, and not having her special friend MJ just up stairs.   
  • The lack of support from a boss and the possibility of losing a job.  
  • Deciding that maybe we should just find another job rather than wait and see if his still exists in 6 months.
  • Concerns over extended family members and struggles in their families: babies born, cancer, the need for a job, upcoming back surgery, knee surgery, recent back/neck surgery, other health concerns, not being able to have babies, etc.  The list goes on - and there are many situations I'm sure we are not aware of.
I found this on Pinterest and wanted to share it here.  I'm going to have it printed off on a large piece of paper to help us remember the positives.

The original link for this is here, at

We have been overwhelmed with the love and support of family and friends.  Through the prayers and fasting of others - we truly have felt lifted up.  Our burden has been made lighter.  We can do this!  This is our time and we are going to move forward. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Not feeling so bad....

Every time I walk outside, I try to pull a few weeds from the flower beds at the front of the house.  Sometimes I feel bad that my flower beds aren't as pristine and beautiful as some of our neighbors'.  But then I go to the kitchen to cook dinner or do dishes, look out the window......

.....and then I don't feel so bad!  

Those aren't bushes you see that are almost 6 feet tall, obscuring the hot tub.  Those would be weeds.  The grass along the back fence was recently attacked with a weed-eater as it was initially too tall for the lawn mower to handle, and the trees that are growing along the fence really shouldn't be there.  They are volunteers that never got pulled out when they were a few inches high.  

The fence runs right along a LOT of utility lines.  Can you imagine what those roots are doing?!

The front yard was killed off a couple of years ago - and now it's just weeds.   It's really quite an eyesore in our neighborhood.  

So - back to those weeds in my flower beds - I don't feel too bad about them!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Reading

A friend let me borrow a book when she was done reading it.  She told me not to give up - she didn't really get hooked until about page 75.  Well --- I was hooked somewhere between pages 2 & 3!  This is the first book in a trilogy - "A Discovery of Witches" in the 'All Souls Trilogy'.  I highly recommend this book.  It is about witches, vampires and daemons.  But not like 'Twilight' or other juvenile books.  These are more grown-up books with a lot of historical references included. 

A Discovery of Witches 

I'm just starting book two - "The Shadow of Night"  and Book three comes out in July!

The Book of Life
Shadow of Night
I'm looking forward to some good summer reading.  I did find out last night that you can 'preorder' "The Book of Life" for your Kindle or other e-reader.  On its release date - it will be downloaded to your device.

Oh - and while I was browsing to get the pictures of the book covers - I saw that Warner Brothers has bought the rights to make a movie of 'Discovery of Witches'. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pollen. It's not just for early spring!

I was out working in the garden this morning and decided to go check out Mr. Pine.  It is covered with these:

Each of these yellow shoots is where the new branch growth is.  And that yellow stuff -- it's pollen.  I wish I could have snapped a good picture of what happens if you brush up against or shake a branch.  It's a yellow cloud of -- pollen.  I haven't been too bothered by allergies yet this year - just the last couple of days.  Maybe it's Mr. Pine.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Who would drive almost 3,000 miles round trip on vacation to sleep on sofas, mattresses on a floor, and lumpy beds?  Or spend your vacation days watching 'Frozen', playing with play dough, going to the park and hiking in the mountains when you are used to a much lower elevation?  Who would carry their suitcase hither and yon, living out of it and not having any place to really set it down and stay for a while?

A grandparent!  That's who!  

There is nothing better than hearing: "Outside grandma!", or having a little one 'get you' in his own special way, or staring into the eyes of a newborn as he lays on a bili light table in the middle of the night.  These are bonding moments for us and our grandchildren that we wouldn't trade for a 4 star hotel on a beach somewhere.  Well, maybe if that hotel had a suite that was designed for kids we would consider taking them along!  Living away from our family has been a hard thing for us.  We are grateful for phone calls, emails, Skype and face time, but none of those things takes the place of a child sitting on your lap, or asking for one more story, or just being content to lay in your arms.

Our first stop was Colorado where we visited
Casey, Millie and Parker.  Isn't he adorable?  He has the most kissable cheeks!

We had fun playing games and going to the park.

We loved spending several days there.  We went to Red Rock one day and did an easy hike.  I was grateful because, not being used to the altitude, Don and I just couldn't get any air.  Then we headed to downtown Denver and enjoyed lunch at Maggiano's Italian Restaurant.  Yummy!

 Parker wasn't sure what to think about the bear!                          
And then we were off to Utah.

Emma had a birthday coming up while we were there!
The big #2.  She helped make the cake - but seriously - we
all know that licking the spoon and the beaters is the best part!

She discovered Sofia the First and loves this cartoon.
I attempted to make a Sofia cake.  It's not fabulous -
couldn't find a doll top that really looked like her and I've
never worked with fondant before either - but I guess it's
ok for a first attempt.

And then came Easter time.  It was the day before little
brother was scheduled to be born. 

We had previously colored eggs and gone on the Easter
Walk that Logan, Utah started this year.  The children go downtown with their parents, and stores that have a specific sign on their door or window have treats inside for the kids.

And then the much anticipated birth of Garrett on April 21st!  We are so happy he made it here safe.  He weighed 8 lbs 4 oz and was 21.5 inches long.  He and mom both did great!

We stayed at the house with Emma and she went to the hospital often to visit baby brother.

He is precious. 

And then we had to say goodbye.  It was hard when we left Colorado - and it was hard when we left Utah.  I will be grateful when we are all just a little closer to one another.  I will continue to sleep on sofas and live out of suitcases until that happens, though, because that's what grandparents do, and we wouldn't trade a single minute of it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stake Relief Society Conference

We had our Stake Relief Society Conference this past weekend.  The theme was: Look Ahead and Believe, taken from Elder Dube's talk from October 2013 General Conference.  We had an opening with some brief remarks, then had four workshops that the women rotated through.
They were:
Look Ahead and Believe that the Temple is a Place of Worship.  We were so blessed to have this one presented by the Kansas City Temple matron.  
Look Ahead and Believe that you can be happy in tumultuous times.
Look Ahead and Believe that you are of worth.
Look Ahead and Believe that our homes can be a refuge from the world.

The workshops were followed by a simple luncheon. One of the ladies who helped decorate owns a shop, Searcy Creek Designs, and she provided the beautiful temple pictures that you'll see.  Everyone commented that having them there made it feel like we were sitting in our homes looking out at the temple.

It was a fabulous day.  Here are some pictures of what we did.

Here is a closeup of the post-it note holder that we made for each sister.  Bought the coasters on Amazon and covered with scrapbook paper.  Put a magnet on the back and tied on the pretty ribbons. 

It really did make it look like you were looking out your living room window!  Loved it!

The sister who taught the class on our homes being a refuge told us that she'd never had a copy of The Family - a Proclamation to the World hanging in their home because the print she had was too small to really be able to read it well.  She recently got the pdf from the LDS Church's website and had it printed off in a large format from Costco.  She had it sitting on the floor of their home and didn't know where to hang it.  She knew there was a nail in the bathroom, so she hung it in there so it wouldn't get stepped on.  She related how many times she has read it and how much she has learned.  Even their teenage daughter asked that it be kept hanging in the bathroom because she had learned so much by reading it so many times!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Good Morning!

I woke up this morning tired from a long weekend, with aches in my body that I wished I wasn't having.  But when I wandered from my bedroom to the kitchen at what felt like 'way too early on a Monday morning' to take some medication, this is what I saw from our front windows. 

A big, bright full moon!  My little point and shoot doesn't do it justice.  It was a very defined full moon with a halo around it.  I stood in awe for a moment as I felt my Savior's love for me.  I felt peace and I felt gratitude.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter Storm

Yes.  We were in the middle of the snow storm that blanketed the mid-west this week.  We were out of school for three days. Two because of snow - one because of COLD.  We got about 81/2" of snow at our place - but after the snow came the wind - and drifting.  There were some crazy drifts and LOTS of snow.  I love how peaceful and clean everything looks right after a snow storm.

This one is of our front steps.  YAY for the hubby who went out and shoveled more than once and for our fabulous neighbor who loves to use his snow-blower!  Thanks Mike!

This is at our church.  Yes, there are bushes up against the building, but seriously - look at all of that snow!
Snow on our deck.

A drift out our front door.

The snow was so heavy on the bushes and trees.

Another shot of our deck and back yard.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I don't know when I first heard it - but for a lot of years 'Rabbit' has been the first word out of my mouth on the first day of the month. . . when I remember!  It's supposed to bring you luck for the rest of the month!

Our daughters loved the tradition and would often say Rabbit themselves.  They would ask me where this came from - and honestly - I didn't know.  But thinking about it yesterday - as I said Rabbit to myself while sitting in the recliner in the wee hours of the morning (I woke up with a whopper of a headache), I decided to see if it was something I had just made up, or if it really was handed down from somewhere else.

Wikipedia says this: 
The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, though it was recorded in Notes and Queries as being said by children in 1909:
"My two daughters are in the habit of saying 'Rabbits!' on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula."[1]

Yankee Magazine says:
Today is the first day of the month and Rabbit! was the first word spoken in this house. I grew up thinking that our family was the only family with this strange tradition. On the morning of the first day of every month, there was a slow chorus in our house, from room to room, the word “Rabbit” was spoken one and then another until we had all been granted our month’s worth of good luck. In my mind, my grandmother was the originator of the tradition, and it extended to all my aunts and uncles and cousins on my father’s side of the family. My mother was complicit so I didn’t realize it was not her tradition, growing up, but rather something she adopted once she married my father. The superstition was that if you forgot to say rabbit, spoken as the first word on the first day of the month, you would have bad luck that month. Now that I have written that down, I realize how spooky it sounds, as if we were a bunch of paleolithic cave people, clinging to the earth by virtue of luck and whimsy. Whenever I mentioned this custom to friends, they would usually ask me where that came from. My only answer was “from my grandmother,” which, of course, is the short answer. Beyond that, I had no idea.

Rabbit rabbit" is a common British superstition. The most common modern version states that a person should say "rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit", "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit", "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits",[1] "rabbit, rabbit" or simply "white rabbits" upon waking on the first day of each new month, and on doing so will receive good luck for the duration of that month. In the United States, the tradition is especially common in Nantucket, Cape Cod other towns within Massachusetts and Chester Vermont. 

However, some reports place its origins even earlier, into the 1800s. Today it has spread to most of the English-speaking countries of the world, although, like all folklore, determining its exact area of distribution is difficult. This superstition is related to the broader belief in the rabbit or hare being a "lucky" animal, as exhibited in the practice of carrying a rabbit's foot for luck. Some have also believed it represents jumping into the future and moving ahead with life and happiness.

So - if you haven't been a fan of 'Rabbit' up to this point - may you speak it first on the first of each month and enjoy good luck!

Happy February!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A cold, hard winter!

That's what the Farmer's Almanac said we would have this year.  And we have.  We missed some days of school because of extreme cold.  -5 or so real temperature and -20 to -25 or 30 wind chill.  Even when it warmed up a smidge and some of the snow melted, it would get cold again.  There was another day or two when we could have been out of school because of cold, but were in session. 

This has been the scene outside of our house several times this winter.

Even in the midst of the cold, dark winters of our lives, God grants us some amazing vistas and reasons for hope along the way.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Look Ahead with Faith and Believe

I'm hopeful about 2014.  Good things are going to happen!  A new grandson.  Better health.  Better connections with family and friends.  Fabulous memory-making with family.  Lots of new babies joining our extended family.

My motto for the new year is:  "Look ahead with faith and believe".  

Believe that strength will come when you feel weak.  Believe that God knows the course your life needs to take and will guide you along as you ask for His help.  Believe that there is strength in making righteous choices.  Believe that forgiveness is healing.  Believe that better health is an option.   Believe that spiritual strength will come as we keep our covenants and obey the commandments, listening to counsel from prophets and apostles that is relevant to us today.  

I found this sign on the website of My Computer is My Canvas and thought I would put it here to go along with my 2014 motto.   If you would like to read Elder Dube's talk on this subject - go here. 

Happy New Year!