Monday, January 24, 2011

Me? An instrument?

There are numerous people mentioned in the scriptures that were said to be instruments in the hands of God. Who are these people? Well clearly more righteous and incredible than I am. But I have been told since I was young that I could be an instrument in His hands. Me? Really? No way. And what does that mean anyway?

I had two specific experiences this past year in a half that makes me think maybe at the age of 35 I finally have a glimpse of what it means.

The first experience started in August 2009 when I was called to be the Young Women’s president. My oldest child was 10 years old. I didn’t know anything about teenagers. I didn’t know the girls well and many I had never met. I didn’t know anything about the YW’s program. I had totally forgotten how the Personal Progress program worked and really didn’t know how the entire Young Women’s program was supposed to work. Immediately thoughts came to mind. Loud and clear. Strong thoughts and impressions that I knew weren’t coming from me. I knew. How could they be? I didn’t know enough to think those thoughts and have those ideas. I was told exactly what to do and I acted. At one point I felt that others were trying to tell me what to do that was contrary to what I felt the Spirit was telling me to do. I was bold and stood my ground. I knew that over time the Spirit would back off a bit allowing me to rely on others and myself to figure things out, but for the moment He was the one that would tell me everything. True enough, a few months later when it seemed we were in a miraculous groove, that gift of the Spirit was gone. I didn’t wish it back because the YW girls were on the right track. That’s not to say that I don’t feel the Spirit now or that I don’t feel guidance, inspiration, and revelation pertaining to those girls. It’s just back to being a quiet Spirit that allows me to think for myself and intervenes when necessary.

The second experience started on October 9th 2010. As I was driving home from the gym I thought I should call my sister. Immediately I learned she had just experienced a very severe and heart wrenching tribulation. I had never gone through this experience myself. I didn’t know anything about it or how it would feel or how to deal with it or what to do about it. I knew nothing. Immediately thoughts came to my mind of what to do. Words came to my mouths of what to say. These impressions were loud and clear. I knew they were not coming from me. I knew. How could they be? I didn’t know enough to have those thoughts. I was told exactly what to do and I acted. I was told exactly what to say and I spoke it. I was bold and stood my ground. After two months my sister was strong and able to move forward. I felt the absence of that almost tangible Spirit when it left. I didn’t wish it back because I knew she was on the right track. She was ready to stand on her own and feel the Spirit for herself.

Mosiah 27:36 “And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of truth, yea to the knowledge of their Redeemer.”

Maybe it is possible that I can be an instrument in His hands. And if I can be, no doubt anyone can be.

This quote hit me strong when I heard it a few weeks ago. I hope to never forget it.

“Never ever ever doubt yourself. Never ever ever have somebody tell you, “That’s Crazy!” Crazy things happen to those who apply themselves and believe in themselves. When you know, you know. Just keep moving forward no matter how dark things are, no matter how on the edge you are. It will all work out. Good and bad will happen but it will all work out. Believe in yourself.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

That's so typical

It seems like each of my children have been quite independent from the time they were born. Separation anxiety was never an issue. They loved nursery from the get go and were never upset to get a babysitter. At the age of three, when they grew out of nap time, we implemented “quiet time”. Quiet time was a 2 to 3 hour block time after lunch where mommy slept and the kids could do anything they wanted that was quiet. That break in the day was my saving grace when I had a 1, 3, and 4 year old. My ears were always open for emergency sounds but I was never disturbed.

My kids have consistently showed signs of independence from a young age. For example, when Chandler was 2 years old he wanted to open an Otter-pop. Instead of crying for help he brought me a steak knife and the Otter-pop. When Morgan was two she wanted a helium balloon that was on our ceiling. Again, instead of crying for help she solved the problem by placing a kitchen stool under the balloon, stood on the stool, and got the balloon. Ashtyn is a momma's girl for sure. She has never liked it when I’m gone but as long as she knows I’m around and available she’s good to go. I worked a lot when Chandler, Ashtyn, and Morgan were young so I wasn’t surprised with their behavior. However I’m a stay at home mom with Ethan so his independence surprises me. Even though he’s been my little shadow his entire life, he has never had a problem with me leaving him. He never once cried when left at the gym daycare, nursery, or preschool. Ethan is the only kid in the house during the day and loves his “quiet time”.

A year and a half ago Jason and I both needed to attend a church meeting on Sunday from 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. once a month. We wondered how we would get our 3, 7, 9 and 10 year old ready and back to church on time at 9 a.m. No fear. We set their alarms for 7:45 a.m. and prepped them the night before about what needed to get done in the morning. When we got home the kids were mostly ready and we were out the door in no time. This year Jason and I will be in that same meeting twice a month. No problem.

Today was a typical Wednesday for my family. It was so typical that I realized unless I write it down I’ll probably forget what a blessing my independent and “typical” kids are.

Jason will be working 32 hours straight today. Typical. He woke up the kids at 6:45 a.m. before he went to work. They got up, got dressed, took the dog out, ate breakfast, and brushed their teeth. I woke up at 7:45 and had Chandler start the car. At 8:00 a.m. I got into a warm car and took Chandler to school. When I got home at 8:17 a.m. Ashtyn and Morgan were ready for school. We said morning prayer together as they headed out the door for school. Independent. Typical.

After school there was homework, piano, and guitar to do. We had four Young Women girls over for dinner. At 6:30 p.m. I left my kids and went to Young Women’s. Chandler went to the Rec Center to ice skate. Before leaving I set the oven timer to go off at 8:00 p.m. I instructed the kids that when the timer went off they were to get their PJ's on, read books, and go to bed. After YW’s I picked up Chandler and got home at 9:15 p.m. Ethan was in his bed, pajamas and diaper on, sleeping. Morgan was in bed sleeping. Ashtyn was sick, watching TV in my room. Independent. Typical.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm baaaack!

When I started my blog 2 ½ years ago I called it “A blog about nothing”. Mostly it was a title that I felt would fit the audience, if anyone would ever read it. I knew my blog would generally not be very clever, insightful, or particularly entertaining, hence to the reader it would basically be about nothing. After neglecting the blog scene for over a year I have realized that my blog was about something to me. It helped imprint life moments in my brain. Not only could I remember experiences through reading back but they were more imbedded in my brain from writing them down in the first place. I wish I would have written posts this past year. I know I had some great learning experiences both pleasant and difficult. I am going to have a hard time remembering moments that seemed small and insignificant at the time but probably had a great impact on me. I’ll post my Christmas card. It’s pretty superficial but how do you wrap up a year in one page? In the future I will write in my blog whenever I want or need to remember something. Most of the time I feel my life is full of small and simple experiences but when I look back over a period of time I recognize the great things that have happened. My blog will help me remember and enjoy all my moments.


We want to express our love to you this season and hope you know that we are truly grateful for your friendship.

JASON feels fortunate to work at his dream job at Intermountain Medical Center as an anesthesiologist. Though he loves his job he tries to work as little as possible which happens to be about 60+ hours a week. Sitting in the hot tub is his favorite place to unwind. Free time includes BYU football season tickets and he stands strong while getting “harassed” by our mostly Red neighborhood. Helps coach Chandler’s hockey and baseball teams. Not normally talented in the art field but designed the backyard deck that was built. Loves folding laundry because it gives him a chance to sit and watch TV for 15 min. Not a lot of chill time so embraces any chance he can to golf at his home course.

SUZANNE I’m thrilled to be retired from my nursing job of 10 years. My time is spent with my kids and the Young Women in my ward. Each hour that goes into these two callings is such a blessing and has shaped my entire life. I also get to watch my 17 month old niece at least once a week while my sister works. During the summer I enjoy boating. My new love is wakesurfing and wakeboarding. I did the Salt Lake 1/2 marathon and a triathlon in Vegas just to keep myself focused on working out as much as I talk to my family and friends at the gym.

CHANDLER (11 years old): Plays hockey in the winter, baseball in the spring, and golf in the summer. Loves playing the guitar.

ASHTYN (10 years old): friends, cheerleading, singing, piano, and skiing.

MORGAN ( 8 years old): monkey bars, piano, cheerleading, hopscotch, and wakeboarding.

ETHAN (4 years old): our dog Indy, preschool, DS, Xbox, Wii.

INDY (1 ½ years old): Almost died from a rat poison overdose. Oops!

OUR FAMILY: We added a new member to our home for 6 months. A 17 year old neighbor girl got clean, sober, went back to school, did a TON of makeup work, graduated, and started at Snow College in August.
February: Disney Cruise with Jason’s sister, her family, and his mom and dad.
May: Adult trip to Zion’s National Park with my siblings, their spouses, and my parents.
June: Our first Lake Powell trip with some of Jason’s siblings.
July: Houseboat Lake Powell trip with all the Hosenfelds and my sister in law’s parents.
August: In charge of Youth Conference. Took teenage boys and girls from the neighborhood to Park City and boated for a couple of days.
October: Went to Texas to visit friends from BYU and to watch the BYU/TCU football game.
November: Heard this phrase often: “Is Dad STILL at work?” So Jason took a week off and we took the kids to Disneyland.
The rest of the months were filled with life’s activities.

We love you all and know that our life is full because of the friends we’ve made and the memories we have together.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I was 34 for a moment

Yesterday was my birthday. I haven’t considered posting anything for the last couple of months until right now. I’ve pretty much been on a non-stop pace lately. My brain is fried and it’s hard to think straight, but I don’t want to forget what I did and learned when I was 34.

My 34th year started with one of the best trips I’ve been on. Jason and I surprised my kids with a Disney World/ Disney Cruise vacation. We first spent four days in Disney World. We loved everything except… Chandler didn’t like it when I was taking pictures during Thunder Mountain. Did he fear my safety because I wasn’t holding on or did he fear the camera might be dropped? After all, it is the wildest ride in the wilderness. Chandler also didn’t like the Rock –N- Roller Coaster. I have to hand it to him for at least going on it. Ashtyn stood in line for the roller coaster, got the front seat, started crying, so they kicked her off before she could ride it. She was relieved. Jason didn’t like feeling panicky and claustrophobic when the Mission to Mars left him in seriously small quarters while they had a 15-minute delay. Ethan was happy and got his naps in whenever needed. There was one night I forgot to feed Ethan dinner before putting him to bed. I realized when he woke up crying. Oops. We somehow got a banana to hold him over till breakfast. Morgan soaked everything in with lots of smiles and enjoyed every minute of it. Our hotel room was in the perfect location, the Ducks court. My hockey addicts loved it.

The kids were thrilled to find out we were going on a cruise. The cruise was great…there’s just nothing better. Even Ethan throwing up in the shuttle in St. Thomas or Morgan throwing up during the night all over the wall by the side of her bed couldn’t damper the fun. There was karaoke, movies, beaches, jet skiing, snorkeling, swimming, and lots of sun.

Not feeling too well

Ashtyn saying "Hi" to me since I stayed on the ship with two sick kids at St Thomas.

The wonderful year also included the Iron Girl triathlon in Las Vegas, Salt Lake ½ marathon, the Spudman triathlon in Idaho, jeeping and hiking in Moab, exploring upstate New York with the Hosenfeld's, a trip to California with the kids, my siblings and parents, but solo from Jason. Another trip to California, adults only, to celebrate my grandparents 50th anniversary. We got into the world of boating and have had a good time learning the ropes. Jason got his anticipated Cougar Club BYU football season tickets and enjoyed going to the home games with family and friends. There was lacrosse, football, hockey, golf, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lots of piano practicing. Ashtyn learned to ski and is awesome at it. We had the addition of two new dogs. I also have been able to babysit my adorable little niece every Mondays while Alisa is at work.

A great blessing was the opportunity I had to quit my job and become an official “stay at home” mom. A dream come true! My famous last words regarding my retirement from the Newborn ICU was, “with the blessing of not having to work and having more time comes more accountability for me. I will need to answer for how I use my time.” I was called to the Young Women’s 1 1/2 weeks later. Well that pretty much takes up any extra time I would have had…and then some. And I love it.

What has meant the most to me this year are the simple things. Being a mom to four healthy kids is so much fun and it’s so nice having Jason to share life with. I love going to the gym everyday. It’s a huge part of my life because of the friends I’ve made and the way it makes me feel. It's also so cool that my mom and two of my sisters work out with me. The Young Women are also a significant part of my life with how much time I get to spend with them. There's not a day that goes by that I don't have some form of Young Women interaction. Service is a miraculous thing. Everything always seems to work out. When I’m busy someone is always around to help take my kids here and there or fill in wherever I can’t.

my BYU boys

Another year is gone. While I'm 35 I'm going to try to hold on tight and make the most of it because before I know it I'll be writing "I was 35 for a moment".

Monday, December 28, 2009

My kids have potential!!!

I don't know if this video shows that Ethan will one day be a cowboy or Morgan will be a movie director. Either way...I like their style.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cell Phone to the Rescue

I’m one of THOSE moms! You know the kind. The ones who get their 8 and 10 year old children cell phones. It’s true. In June Ashtyn got her pink phone and Chandler got his blue phone. What do they need a cell phone for? Nothing really. Do they NEED to text and call their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends? Not really. When I’m not home do they NEED to tattle text? NO. “Chandler said he is a lot skinnier than me because he keeps on sneaking food…cookies and chocolate.” “Chandler said I’m a bad skier.” Do they NEED to text each other behind my back while they are in bed after I told them lights out. Definitely NOT.

Is it way nice to be able to get ahold of them anywhere at any time? Yessiree! I can call Ashtyn after school if plans have changed for her to walk home. I can call Chandler after school and tell him to walk to his grandma’s house to play with his cousin. I call them if I’m running late to pick them up from practices. They can call me when they are ready for me to pick them up from ice-skating. Ashtyn calls me during her lunch break to let me know how her ski lessons are going. It’s fabulously convenient and keeps communication open. And I LOVE communication!

Here are some priceless bits of communication through the wonderful world of texting:

(July 1st while I was in my room and he was in his):
Chandler: “I love you so much. Thanks for buying me and Ashtyn a cell phone. I was stunned (with a “stunned” face). Text me back. I’m so happy my eyes are watery (with a face with tears)."

(Nov 11th when I was not at home):
Ashtyn: “Dad said he will get rid of the dogs because they spilled the meatloaf and broke the glass. He also said he hates the dogs. Ethan took the dogs out of their crates. Can you please tell dad to not take the dogs away. You promised you would not take the dogs away.”

(Nov 5th I dropped Ashtyn off at school and noticed she only had ballet type shoes on. She assured me that “they don’t make us go out to recess when it’s snowing” 10:40 a.m. I got a text):
Ashtyn: “Can you come to school and bring me my boots?”

(Nov 23rd communication vs. miscommunication):
Ashtyn “I love you so much. I’m sorry I mess up on so many things a lot.”
Me: “Sorry I mess up on so many things a lot.”
Ashtyn: “It’s ok. You don’t mess up a lot.”
Ashtyn: “Wait are you mad at me?”
Me: “No I was capitalizing it so you would know that you really don’t mess up a lot. I love you girl.”
Ashtyn: “Oh Good! For a second I thought you were mad at me. Love u too girl!”

(Dec 5th while out to dinner with friends):
Ashtyn: (7:29 p.m.) “Dad put me to bed without dinner. I’m starving. Please tell dad to give me at least one thing.”

I secretly talked to Jason on the phone and found out what was going on.

Me: Why is dad mad?
Ashtyn: I don’t know.
Me: Really?????
Ashtyn: Wait do you know?
Me: Yah! Do u?
Ashtyn: Well maybe because I did not eat dinner when I was suppose to.
Me: Yep! So work it out with dad…ok.
Ashtyn: I don’t think I can because maybe he is too tired.
Me: You need to work it out with dad.
Ashtyn: How?
Me: Talk to him.
Ashtyn: What do I say?
Me: Ashtyn …you can apologize all by yourself.
Ashtyn: I did, does that mean I worked it out with him?
Me: Did he feed you?
Ashtyn: Yes but does that mean I worked it out with him?
Me: If u r getting along.
(8:27 p.m.) Ashtyn: Yeah, we always get along.
(Then why did we just have an hour text conversation?)

If that's not dramatic enough...

There was the time during school when Ashtyn went to the bathroom and snuck in a phone call to me. She was very upset because Abby told Mrs. Schneggenburger that Ashtyn stole Abby’s Arctic Circle free ice-cream cone card. Ashtyn said she didn’t do it but Mrs. Schneggenburger didn’t believe Ashtyn and just thought she was lying. Even her friend Charley couldn’t convince Mrs. Schneggenburger that Ashtyn was innocent. During our secret phone call I comforted Ashtyn in her tears and distress and told her to walk proudly back in the room and not care what anyone else thinks. As long as both she and I knew the truth it didn’t matter if others thought she lied. Ashtyn was then able to carry on with her difficult day.

Now don’t think that Chandler doesn’t use his texting too…because he does. His very important texting happens mostly between his friends and cousin Ryland. He was texting Ryland during school giving each other important updates like, “I’m at recess”, “I’m in class.” I had to inform Chandler that the cell phone has to be in his bag and off during school. He looked at me as if that was a crazy rule.

His friends have text nicknames and they have named Chandler "Chick Magnet". As soon as I explained what a chick magnet was, not to be confused with the actual refrigerator magnet, he changed his text name to simply "Magnet". This is what texting with his friends sounds like:

Bulldog: Are you still up?
Magnet: Yeah (even though he told me he was going to sleep).
Bulldog: k- well what do you do on the last level of Indiana Jones Lego? I’m stuck on the cup part.
Magnet: First hit the knight so he gets knocked out then go all the way left to the room. There will be a pattern of pictures that only a person who has a book can solve. Then once you solved it change to Indiana and go across the thing.
Bulldog: Ya, but when you go across the thing all there is are cups.
Magnet: Yeah look for a brown cup then once you got the cup go and put the cup in the fountain.
Bulldog: Cool.

Another dramatic predicament solved!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Whatcha been up to lately?

Nothing much...except:

In August I was feeling disappointed that summer was going by so fast and was quickly coming to an end. It hit me, as it commonly does, that time is rushing by and I'm having a hard time holding on without it slipping away. I've had eleven summers with Chandler and I only have eight more before he leaves the house. Since having kids I've always sensed how fast time goes. When I'm 50 years old I suspect I'll have certain thoughts and feelings when all my kids are out of the house. I'll be amazed and saddened how fast those years went. I can imagine myself saying, "It seems like just yesterday it was 2009. I remember some things clear as day and other things I don't remember because it all happened so fast." What regrets will I have and what did I miss that I shouldn't have? How do I absorb these years with my kids so that I'm ready when they leave? In a strategic attempt to make the most of my short summers and find a way to have my upcoming teenagers want to hang out with me...we bought a boat. We might use it as a type of enticing bribery for the time when my kids would rather hang with their cool friends over their overbearing and annoying parents...I hope it works.




Adults can have fun too.




My girlfriends
Rosanne and Jess

At the end of August I was given 14 teenagers that I get to spend time with at least every Wednesday and Sunday! It's been way fun! These girls are awesome to hang with and I know I'm going to be a better person after knowing them.

Then there was upstate New York

We visited the town and house my dad grew up in. Visited my grandpa and grandma's grave.
Went on lots of scenic walks

Niagara Falls

We rode bikes 14 miles along the Erie Canal

My favorite place we went to was the Sacred Grove. As we walked along the path that surrounded the mature trees there was a strong spirit of reverence that I didn't expect to feel. That seemingly simple groove of trees had an obvious spirit that made it clear to me we stood in a sacred place. I have never felt the spirit like that and knew I had never been in a more holy place. I have been blessed to go to many beautiful and amazing places and there has been nothing more impressive to me than the Sacred Grove.