Monday, October 15, 2012

Time Warp

Almost a week after writing my last post about missionaries, I experienced a time warp.  I was sitting in front of the TV watching President Monson give the first talk of General Conference.  He announced that Young Men would now be able to leave for their missions at the age of 18.  Young Women would be able to leave for their missions at age 19.  More details on this here.
photo found at lds.org
I was so excited and my mind starting rolling through what this meant for me and for all the youth that I know.  My sons will now be able to go right after High School Graduation.  My daughters will now more likely go than not go.  Then I thought.  I could of gone on a mission.  I would have been able to serve at the same time that my husband went.  But then, I thought my life would have turned out so differently.  Every revelation that comes from the lord is all in good timing.  It was not in the plans for me to go on a mission.  This is ok.  I think my life has still followed a path that has been set out for me.
I knew this was BIG and had to look at FB to see what people were saying.  Everyone was excited and some anxious parents were adding up the months at how quick they can send in the papers. Many mom's out there just lost a year to prepare.  All in all it is good news.
The mission prep has been put into overdrive for this household.  I need to get some extra good lessons planned for Family Home Evening.  Oh, heaven help me!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Hope They Call Me On Mission

Yesterday, in Church the talks were on preparing our son's to go on missions.  The couple who gave the talks are sending their 19 year old boy out on his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  This Young Man also spoke to us about what he did to prepare himself for a mission.   I was very impressed with the Faith that they all displayed.
Why do LDS people(Mormon's) get so excited about these young men(or women) going on missions?  We send them away from home for two years to a different place and the only phone calls are on Christmas and Mother's day. Why? This is what I think or KNOW... 
 The LDS Church has over 50,000 missionaries through out the world spreading the word about our savior Jesus Christ.  Either by teaching or example the message is the same, 'Come Unto Christ'.  There is something to be said about a person who will sacrifice their time and substance and give it to others.  When these young people have prepared themselves spiritually and temporally to serve the Lord, their is reason to rejoice.  It shows faith, humility, stamina, and courage.  This is a very focused time is to serve others.  It is not easy either.  These missionaries follow a rigid schedule and do get scrutinized by those who do not understand.  However, the reward is great.  Those who return from their missions have learned patience, understanding, perspective, and for some a new language.  They are able to learn life skills that will help them through out the rest of their lives.
It is the most exciting time to wait for the mission call to come in the mail.  When my brothers and sister received their calls we held our breath until the place of where they were to go was announced.  I did write a letter to a missionary every week for two years.  When he returned home we got married six months later.
I love this clip with David Archuleta(I am an archie), my sister, Allison made the comment, "It's too bad that every young man doesn't get a standing ovation when he announces his decision to serve a mission."  She is right.  Everyone may not get a standing ovation but they do get the satisfaction in knowing they are doing right by the Lord.  If the clip does not work you can watch it here.


 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Time

Time seems to be of the essence these days.  Do we have time to do it all? I think there is time to get the necessities done, but there is not time for very many want-to's.  I really frustrate my husband when I start complaining about all the things that I haven't gotten done.  One time he said, "The kids are feed and nobody died today, I think that is enough."  And this is true.  I managed to get through the day with getting the necessities done.  I was searching through LDS.org and found this great quote from Julie B. Beck(more on her here):
photo found at lds.org
“A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently. The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." —Julie B. Beck (Liahona, May 2010, 10-11)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Last Line

I previously posted about 'What Is Your Last Line?'  If you could sum up your identity in one sentence, what would you say? I purposely didn't put my last line on because, I didn't want to spoil my Relief Society Lesson.  I had asked the sisters in my ward to think about what they would say for their last line and then I told them mine. So here it is:
 
I'm Wife To The Professor,



I am a mother of five beautiful kids,

I'm A Runner,
  
I'm A Soccer Mom,

And I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Update from Sharina

Sharina updated her blog with some fun new photos.  It is that time of year again for Family Pictures.  Just putting in a plug for Sharina and her talents.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Is Your Last Line?

Have you ever linked up to mormon.org and watched the clips on different people? Every Sunday my kids and I love to go to this site and see if there are any new clips of people that we can watch. The clips go through a persons life experiences and life lessons that they have learned. The last line that the person says is a quick summary of their identity and then they say, "I'm a Mormon." If the production crew came to your house and filmed you in your everyday life, what would they see? Where would you take them? How would you sum up your life into one sentence?

Monday, August 20, 2012

JUMP!

I follow this blog called A Lemon Squeezy Home.  I don't even know this person but I love her blog and style.  Her husband is in a band called Kindle Creek and they have a new music video called Jump.  It is a fun song and it reminded me of the photos that I took with my siblings this past summer.  We are going to have to photo shop to get one just perfect... in the mean time here are some of the results.  This is really for those who know us and our personalities. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Mom of Five


I loved these pictures so much that I had to share. Of course, I love the mom and the kids in the picture and so that helps make the photo even more wonderful. These pictures were taken by Sharina, you can see more of her work here.
There is something to be said about a woman who dedicates her life to raising children.   Raising children is God's Work.  Sometimes it is hard to keep this perspective when we are knee deep in messes and noise.  Some days I find myself wanting to hide in my closet and read a book to escape the demands that children bring.  I am guilty of doing this.  Bedtime is often my favorite time of day.  My kids are getting older and time is speeding by.  I look into their faces and realize time is what I have and it is running out.  Pretty soon they are not going to be running up to me to tell me about the big bug they found in the garden or come find me because they need a bandage for a skinned knee.
I can only pray that I will be able to focus more on them in these next few years and bask in their innocence and  love. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book by Sandy



Book Description:
Cody Livingston has been in love with Lisa Ridge since the moment she stepped into his life. Now three years later, Lisa's past threatens to keep the happy couple apart when she is kidnapped while on a business trip.

Lisa's past has always been in the back of her mind during the three years since she was placed in the witness protection program and sent to live in Utah. A native of New York she finds herself in a strange place, but soon finds the love of her life in Cody.

When Lisa returns to New York to defend against the latest appeal filed by the man convicted of killing her younger brother, she is taken captive. She is told the man in jail for her brother's murder is innocent. With her help the two go on a journey when Lisa agrees to search for the murderer, even if that means it clears the name of the man she has believed for so long to be responsible.

How this book came to be:
I started writing "Fighting For Love" in late 2005. I added to the storyline as often as I could. My son, JD, was only a few months old when I started writing this story. In the summer of 2006 I had submitted some sample chapters to Rachel Ann Nunes (pronounced noon-esh) website. She had an aspiring author section. In September 2006 I received an email from Rachel, stating that she was happy to post my sample chapters. I had a few people email me to tell me they enjoyed what they read.

The email got me into gear to finish the overall storyline. Then began the editing process. I let a few sisters in the ward read it and if they wanted to, they made comments in the margins. One sister was a bit worried that she would offend me with her comments. I told her that if I couldn't handle criticism from a friend, I would never be able to handle it from an editor. I also asked my sister to be the editor.

Working around busy schedules and life changes, it took 4 years to edit and revise "Fighting For Love". In the meantime, I began many other projects that I'm still working on! In July of 2011, after the final edits were in, I decided the best route to go would be to publish through Amazon and Barnes& Noble. Both avenues were free to publish as an ebook, and with my limited funds, it was the best fit for me! I had sent out my manuscript to a few publishing companies, but I either didn't hear back or I received their well worded apologies in not accepting my work.

On August 7th, I received from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, emails stating that "Fighting For Love" was ready to be purchased through each of their sites, respectfully. I decided to make the grand announcement on the 8th of August, 2011. Making for a great birthday present to myself!

As of today, "Fighting For Love" is only available on Amazon for Kindle readers as well as paperback! If you would like to read more samples of my work you can go to http://sandysteele.wordpress.com

Enjoy!

About the Author:
Sandy H. Steele was born in Vernal, Utah the youngest of four children. At the age of five her family moved from Vernal to Tracy, California where she was raised. Graduating from West High she began college at Brigham Young University - Idaho.
She attended one full year before marrying. The couple lived in Rexburg, Idaho until 2004 and returned to Tracy, California. Shortly after the couple moved to St. George, Utah and had a son, who is now almost seven, before moving to Cedar City, Utah.
Sandy is now a single mother and has returned to school to finish a degree in English at Southern Utah University. She is an active part of the LDS church. She currently is working on many writing projects in between raising a son and going to school.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Give Away!

Head over to Sundi's Blog for a give away from Chandra and Collette.  I love all of these girls and their talents.  They can really work magic with fabric.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Good Food For The Soul


Hello,

I know that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting most of you, but want to tell you how grateful I am for the warm smiles and kindness that I have felt since moving here in March. My family has fallen in love with the community and the over all feel of Cedar and hope to stay here for a long time.

Mariam and I have had the opportunity to talk about nutrition a few times in the last couple of weeks, being that it is something that be both feel passionate about and she has asked me if  I would be willing to share a little bit about the way we eat and the benefits we have experienced in our family from doing so.

My family and I eat a whole foods, mainly unprocessed, plant based diet. When we are at home I do not cook with meat, dairy, eggs and we use oil, sweeteners, and flours (especially white flour and sugar) VERY sparingly. When we are not at home and are at some social function/gathering my children are free to choose what they would like to eat (as are my husband and I) so long as they eat healthy items too. Our diet consists mainly of whole grains like oats, wheat, rice, quinoa, millet, barley, lentils and beans, we love them all! We also love nuts and seeds. We eat a TON of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. We drink lots of water each day, the kids get at least 30 ounces and my husband and  I drink closer to 90 to 120 ounces a day. We stay away from sugary drinks.

 We began eating this way about four years ago and as time has gone by have grown to really appreciate real food and the amazing flavors/textures that they have on their own. Some of our favorites are mushrooms, quinoa, tomatoes, carrots, coconuts (Especially Baby Thai! That is my favorite food and the water is so delicious it has become one of our favorite drinks), sweet potatoes, yams, artichokes, avocados, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils etc. At first glance it might seem that our diet is limited, but we have noticed that we have a ton more variety in our diet now! We have also enjoyed using seasonings that we hadn't used much before, but that are now favorites like Garam Masala, Nutmeg, Turmeric, Curry, Sage, Etc.

Another thing that has been a blessing in our change of diet has been in the amount of money that we have been able to save! You can get a bag of beans/lentils/rice/etc for around a dollar a bag and that is enough food to be the main part of a meal to feed my family (family of six) and when you add some vegetables, vegetable broth (which we make homemade because it is so easy and you can do it with parts of the vegetables that would usually be tossed any way) to flavor it, it usually costs around $4-5.00 for a delicious and super healthy meal!

So what started us eating this way you may ask. It all started a few years back during a time when I felt like my world was falling apart, but that I now realize was actually the Lord taking my life and showing me a better way for my family. It began like this:

Neither my husband nor I were raised this way. In fact growing up I knew a girl that was vegan (she too followed a plant based diet, though not necessarily a healthy one) and I thought she was a fool. Then it happened. I was told that my son had most of the symptoms for autism. My daughter was diagnosed with asthma and I was told that she would have to use an inhaler most everyday for atleast much of her life. She couldn't run from one side of the room to the other with out having to stop to just be able to breathe. We all got sick (colds, flu, etc) constantly. My husband's side of the family had many serious health issues and I began to worry that I would lose him prematurely. We both had some weight to lose. I had a miscarriage (a pregnancy that I had wanted so badly for many years) and began to experience feelings of depression. Everything seemed so out of whack and my husband began to experience these almost uncontrollable feelings of sadness as well. My spirit hurt. I was so lost and I had no idea where to turn, so I turned to God. I prayed and asked for guidance. I couldn't help but wonder what the scripture meant in D&C 89:18-20 which states, "And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint." End quote. Well, where was our good health!? Why couldn't my daughter (due to her asthma) run and not be weary? I'll admit that I felt betrayed for some time. I didn't lose faith completely though and I continued to pray for guidance. Then one day while on the internet  reading about autism I found an article about how food effects autistic children in a huge way. There were a bunch of dos and don'ts to follow but what I gathered from it mostly was that I needed to really clean up my family's diet in order to help my son. Around that same time I read an article linking dairy to some people's asthma. The idea seemed absurd to me but I had to admit to myself, I was curious. I asked my Dr. his thoughts and he admitted that they were now just finding out that atleast 50% of us can not fully tolerate milk. So we immediately took a break with drinking dairy and with eating dairy products. I was amazed that my daughter's asthma almost disappeared overnight. We had also cut out meat and most white sugar, white flour and many processed products at home and were beginning to see huge results in my son as well! (He now doesn't even have enough symptoms for the Dr's to even consider testing him for autism.) Not to mention that I noticed that our moods had stabilized and the depression was gone. My husband and I lost weight, (My husband has lost over 60 pounds!) and we had more energy than I could ever remember having and we rarely ever got sick (usually if we do it is after eating something made of white flour or white sugar). I even overcame some serious heart palpations that I had been experiencing for the past 5 years due to a weight loss "medication" that I had taken right before meeting my husband. We felt great, and it was at this time that I read my patriarchal blessing which said, "strictly obey the word of wisdom." Up until that point I had not thought anything of it. In fact as a youth I remember thinking, "Doesn't Heavenly Father know me at all? I would never smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, etc. Why would he put such an emphasis on this subject for me?" I hadn't thought for one moment that it could be saying to strictly obey the word of wisdom because of diet. In fact up until then I had thought that our diet was very good compared to the Standard American Diet. I began to study the word of wisdom a little deeper and was stuck on this part:

D&C 89: 10-17
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man— 11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. 12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; 13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. 14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; 15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger. 16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground— 17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.

The answer was there all along, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and my heart. God has given us what we need to live healthy, happy, vibrant lives.
I hope that this may have been beneficial to someone. I would just like to end with a few quotes from President Ezra Taft Benson-

"The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early, that we should not run faster than we have strength, and that we should use moderation in all good things. In general, the more food we eat in its natural state—without additives—and the less it is refined, the healthier it will be for us. Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies of certain elements in the body can promote mental depression. A good physical examination periodically is a safeguard and may spot problems that can be remedied. Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion and is a necessary change of pace; even its anticipation can lift the spirit."
And also this one here:
"We need a generation of young people who, as Daniel, eat in a more healthy manner than to fare on the “kings meat”—and whose countenances show it.
But what needs additional emphasis are the positive aspects…the need for vegetables, fruits, and grain, particularly wheat…We need a generation of people who eat in a healthier manner."

(For more quotes from the apostles about living the word of wisdom more fully please ask me, I know of tons of good ones).
If anyone is interested in some recipes or talking about eating healthy let me know. I have such a passion for it and have loved helping others lose weight and get off medications that they never thought they would.

Have a great day!
Rachelle

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is Aaron Marsden.  He just moved here with his wonderful family.  Check out his music here.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  He writes, sings, and produces his own music.  That is Talent.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

You want me to sit for how long?

Those who have kids have learned some tricks to keeping kids quiet during church.  But even some of the best tricks don't always play in the mind of a baby or a two year old for that matter.  There was a time during a Stake Conference that four of my kids were all under the age of five.  One of the talks was on reverence and what protocol should be taken when a child is making noise or disturbing the meeting.  During this talk I had managed to walk in and out of the chapel three times with a different kid each time.  I finally gave up and walked out to the car and put some kids in the car then stood outside the car, giving up on the whole meeting all together.  Before the meeting even started, I had walked these kids of mine around the church building three times to try and get the 'wiggles out'. 
When we lived in Texas our family grew by leaps and bounds.  We also attended a ward that encouraged a 'no food' policy in the chapel.  Really? How else was I going to get a kid to be quiet(fast) without shoving a goldfish or fruit snack in their mouth?  Looking back, this helped my kids realize they could go an hour and 10 minutes without eating.  We lived in this ward for five years, these were crucial toddler years for our family and the other families attending.  This ward was full of young married students and grad-students.  It had three nurseries and a huge junior primary.  The funny thing is, I don't remember it being that noisy.  I think the no food policy encouraged the reverence in the chapel.  I know a lot of mom's make their kids eat in the kitchen at home. So it only makes sense to keep the same rule in the church.
Some people have commented on how well behaved my kids are at church.  Well, they didn't know us when we were in the training stages of these busy little bodies.  I can say that we have always gone to church.  The only time that we miss church is if someone is sick or we are out of town attending another ward.  It is frustrating for parents to wonder why they even bother going to church, if they are not getting anything out of the meeting.  Kids are better off in church than at home in front of the computer.  It is three hours of spiritual entertainment.  When we come home we feel happier and the spirit is in our house. We do have a choice.  Do we choose to feel the spirit at church or do we let other influences depict how we feel about our church experience?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Control

How much control do we have as parents?  Sometimes I feel like I have no control.  I do try and control more than I should.  In reference to my previous post I did some research on network safety.  I have found a new site/blog called Online Mom.  It is a great site to help parents with technical questions about internet and other electronic devices such as cell phones.  It also gives good advice on internet safety and compares cell phone plans that have parental controls.   Take a look.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

They Look at WHAT?

Driving away from a community activity, I had this conversation with my 14 year old son:
Son:"I just saw ___ and ___. Yeah, they look at Pornography."
Me (trying to stifle the real emotion):"WHAT?"
Son: "Yeah, there is a girl who texts them pictures. But mostly they just look at girls in their bikini's on their phones, that's not porn."
Me: "Uh, yes, it is porn."
Son: "So, I can't go to the beach or swimming pool and look at girls in their bikini's?"
Me:"Yes, you can still go to the beach, but if you are looking at girls who are hardly wearing anything and getting some kind of satisfaction out of it, then there is a problem."

My son and I have an open relationship, we have had many talks about life's topics. But I had just brought this issue up with my kids a week prior and did a role play with them. I wanted to know what they will or would do if a naughty image came up on the computer, while they were sitting in the computer lab at school. We had discussed it for a little bit and I felt better as a parent that they did have some ideas on what to do.

Pornography is a PROBLEM. Some would not consider what we see everyday in magazines, movies, FB, and other social networks porn. I am ready to shut down my pinterest account because of the body images that are popping up and also I received an email from pin and didn't know who it was from. I was a little naive and opened it because I thought I could trust it from pinterest. Well I was shocked at the 'porn' I saw.
I call it (or have heard it called) 'soft porn'. This soft porn that is making its way into our homes and minds is a slow ascend to the hard core porn. Over the past few weeks I have heard of different instances of people being addicted to Porn. One instance started with an image through a text in middle school. How the others started I am not sure, but the end result is the same. Despair and anger for the loved ones. Those who look at these images and have the addiction really do not think they have a problem. I don't claim to be an expert on this topic, so I am linking you to this article The Battle Against Pornography. It is from the LDS Living site. Also, there is another site on what you can do and how to recognize the signs of addictions. It is here.

We can not delay in talking to our children about these topics. If you look at the statistics, Porn sites are more popular then Google and yahoo. To put it into perspective, every time you use Google someone else is already logged onto a porn site. Here is a link to a family home evening site that has it all outlined for you. Once you click the link, click FHE Lessons and then scroll down to pornography, and it gives two lessons, each that are age appropriate for your kids.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

You Are Enough!


I know a lot of you saw the post on the Power of Mom's site last week. I had just joined this site and found the link via FB. I had just been talking to some of my friends about this very thing and was going to blog about it. And there it was, someone had beat me to the punch. That is ok, because the Power of Mom's reaches more women than my blog. This one post received over 700 comments and one million views. It received so much attention that now you can see a Studio 5 clip on it as well. I only hope to reach the women in my Relief Society and a maybe a few others who stumble onto my blog.
At the beginning of the year I wanted to encourage the sisters to gain a house of order and a house of God. I still want this. But now more than ever I want my sisters to know they are enough. Let's not compare ourselves to other women's strength's. As President Uchtdorf said in his last General Conference talk, 'Stop IT.' Let's Stop beating ourselves up for what we are lacking and start feeling good about what we are and what we can become as daughters of god. I had to post this photo of Teri and her baby. It is just perfect.

MUST READ!!!

I posted about this book here. I have read The Entitlement Trap from cover to cover now, and if you have not read it yet, YOU HAVE TO. It has wonderful insights on family finances, and gives great ideas on how to help children make good choices. Not just choices about money. Many kids make bad choices because they have been sideswiped with a situation that they have not been prepared for. Such as cheating, smoking, pornography, premarital sex, etc. This book gives some fun ideas on how we can prepare our children for that big scary world out there and how we can unify as a family.
The Eyre's have a website that you can join here. Or follow their blog here. They have wonderful insights and share experiences of parenting. If you have 7 minutes watch this clip of Richard and Linda from a piece they did with Studio Five. Don't tell my sisters and sister in laws, but this is what they are getting for their birthday's or Christmas this year. Whatever comes first. ;) I want everyone to read this book and gain what I did. It is a little overwhelming to think about all the ideas that we can do as a family, but we can start implenting one thing at a time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oils

Sharina asked me to post this:

Beginning Essential Oil Class
Thursday, April 12
at 7:00 p.m.
Cassie Tiede's Home
340 West 1425 North #98
Cedar City, Utah 84720
I'm really excited about this presentation! If you have heard about the many beneficial uses of essential oils and want to learn more this class will be very helpful and worth your precious time. We could easily spend 3 days discussing these oils, but this condensed class is a great way to increase your understanding and answer your basic questions. Many hours and hundreds of dollars have been spent learning about essential oils and this class is a great way to share some knowledge with you. Some of the questions we will be answering in this class include:
How essential oils have been used in the past?
What are therapeutic grade essential oils?
How do I know where to buy oils?
What precautions do I need to use with essential oils?
Why do essential oils work?
How can I use essential oils?
Are single essential oils or blends better?
Whare are some favorite essential oils for each body system?
What are common suggestions and practical uses of different essential oils?
When can essential oils be used?
The cost to take the class is $10 which needs to be paid in advance. You can pay Sharina Adams (516 West 2075 North Cedar City, Utah 84721) or Cassie Tiede (340 West 1425 North #98 Cedar City, Utah 84720). Plan on the class lasting about an hour and a half with time for questions at the end... We want to empower you... and help you feel confident... in the use of these precious oils...!
Hope to see you there!
P.S. This is not a class to sell oils (although they will be available). It is meant to help you be informed so you can make good decisions and choices about what oils will be of most benefit to you in your individual circumstances.

I have to say that I have started using oils that Janice has introduced me to. I am a fan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy


I opened up my March Ensign a month ago and found my fourth great-grandmother. I wasn't exactly sure it was her, so I ran to my family history book. I found the same name but still not sure it was her, because the pictures were a little different.
I called my mom and told her what I found, she had me explain what the photo looked like. She then verified that it was the same woman. She then proceeded to tell me that she has the broach that Nancy is wearing in the picture. I couldn't believe it. This encouraged me to read Nancy's autobiography. I was reminded that my ancestors played a big part in Church History. They knew Joseph Smith and had a testimony of the living prophet. Nancy's life was a living example that Christ is our Savior and we have a Heavenly Father that loves us. She had witnessed God's miracles among the hardships and trails that the pioneers endured.
I didn't know that Nancy was part of the first Relief Society meeting. My heart swelled. I continued to read that her daughter Eliza was the Relief Society President in Huntsville Utah for 30 years. 30 YEARS... (please don't let the Bishop read this;)). I found all of this family history exciting and it increased my testimony of God's plan here on earth. How are we living our lives? Will we be happy to share our autobiographies with our future grand-daughters and great-grand-daughters? Some days I am really not proud of the way I conduct my life. But for the most part I think I am trying and doing the best I can. This is all I can do--Do the best I can. Just remember we are writing history.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blogging For Good


I get emails from LDS living with updates and happenings within the LDS world. Today they had a clip(click here) with Sister Julie B. Beck who is the General Relief Society President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sister Beck talked about blogging for good. It reminded me of an article that I read about Mormon women's blogs. Read it here. I have the most admiration for Sister Beck. She was recently featured in the LDS Living magazine. In her interview she talks about the women of the church and the diverse backgrounds that each sister has. She also made a comment on how she has not slept well since being the president. I realized I have nothing to complain about. She has over six million to watch out for and I only have 150ish.
This blog has been a good mouth piece for me to share what's on my mind. As well as letting others share their talents and knowledge.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mental Health


This is Chelsea and her adorable baby. This picture is actually almost two years old. She is a Mental Health Professional and has a LCSW License(Licensed Clinical Social Worker). She was willing to share some knowledge on the subject of Mental Health. I am very grateful for her willingness to do this. I hope you can gain something from this and it helps someone. We all need a little reminder that we are not alone. I know I do.

Very few terms are as loaded as “mental illness”. Ask yourself what you think of when you hear that term. Even as a mental health professional I have to admit a sterile looking room with padded walls is among one of the first images I see….shortly followed by the words CRAZY and WEAK. The “mentally ill” in our experience tend to be reserved for those severely psychotic great aunts and 3rd cousins twice removed that nobody really ever talks about. The reality is that one in four adults (approximately 57.7 million Americans!)-experience a mental health disorder in a given year. It’s the person sitting on the same bench as you at church, around the same table at the last relief society meeting, the person you visit teach. It has affected your best friend, that family at church with the perfect looking children, the woman in the ward with what seems like limitless energy that does it all. It’s a real and around us every day.

What it really looks like

Mental illness can vary vastly from person to person, but it generally involves a disruption in a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. It is an actual disease like diabetes that makes it hard to attend to daily responsibilities like working or going to school and can even be so debilitating that simple tasks become overwhelming, even things like showering. It cannot be overcome by “willing” it away or trying to be stronger. The way it manifests itself looks different from person to person. The most common disorders include bipolar, depression, and various anxiety disorders. You’ve probably heard all of those terms but likely don’t know exactly what they really mean. There tends to be a lot of misconceptions/hysteria/drama that circle these disorders which can make it even harder to recognize them in oneself. For example, OCD doesn’t always mean that you’re a clean freak. Bipolar doesn’t mean you’re flying to Vegas one day and L.A. the next. Depression isn’t just the unemployed person that hasn’t left their bed for a month. Post-Partum Depression isn’t just reserved for the woman you saw on the news who drove her kids into the lake. Eating disorders aren’t just for the 90-lbs model. Let me tell you that I see productive members of our society in my office every day who are challenged by each type of these disorders.

When to Seek Help

The reality is that most people suffer with their experience far longer than they should. Our culture tends to be all about the perception of perfection which serves as a huge barrier to seeking help. I feel like with the advent of social media like Facebook and blogs, the power behind that perfection has been magnified. How often do you see status updates about the fight she had with her husband the night before, or the messy house and burned dinner? Conversely, how often do see posts about “loving life” and “having the best husband and kids in the world” (insert 15 exclamation points). I’m partially joking but the perception is real. It can make admitting there is a problem and a need for help very difficult. I know many people who verbalize feeling like coming to treatment is like admitting they’ve failed or are weak. I must say that the people I see seeking treatment are of the most courageous people I know. It’s about an investment in living and living well. That was a little soap boxey but the case I’m making is to not let self- judgments (that must mean I’m crazy/weak/a failure) perpetuated by distorted views of perfection keep you from seeking help. Research suggests that nearly every human being could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. This website:

http://www.campusmindworks.org/students/when_to_get_help/Knowing%20When%20to%20Seek%20Professional%20Help.asp provides an awesome overview of how to know when to seek treatment. I always say that if you’ve considered it, you should go.

Other Reasons to Seek Help

Mental health therapy isn’t just reserved for those with a clinical diagnosis. In fact, the majority of people I see in my practice don’t fit that criterion. They’re parents who are overwhelmed with the burdens of child rearing. They’re couples who’ve hit a rough patch in their marriage. It’s moms who feel guilty because they work…AND moms who feel guilty because they want more than to be “just” a mom. They’re women with low self-esteem. They’re real people with every day challenges who could use a little support.

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What to expect

The majority of first-timers I see for therapy usually have the same fears; that they’ll be asked to sprawl out on a couch and admit their deepest-darkest secrets while I analyze them. Ha! If only it were that easy!

You can go here:

http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=About_Treatments_and_Supports to look into the various treatment options that are out there, but you can generally expect to find a normal looking office where you will converse with a (fairly) normal person. The treatment I provide generally involves looking at the way your thoughts impact your emotions and subsequently your behavior. We work together to address distortions, make behavioral plans and changes in an effort to meet the goals that YOU set for yourself. I promise it’s not nearly as scary as you’ve likely imagined.

The Good News

It really does work. The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological (medication) and psychosocial treatments and supports. The earlier you seek treatment, the better.

Mental Health

I hope I got the message across that mental health is a critical aspect of our overall health and an important element in everyone’s life. Taking care of one’s mental wellness is crucial to overall wellness. Who doesn’t like feeling positive about themselves and their life!? I have this theory that if everyone aired their deepest-darkest secrets the way they do in therapy, we’d all be better off. Then we’d know that all moms lose their temper and react in ways that they’d be ashamed to see in replay…that all moms question whether or not they’re cut out for motherhood…that all wives occasionally wonder why in the world they married their husband…that all women have felt like the ugliest and fattest person on the planet. As women we more than ever are faced with daunting expectations to be the best mother, most supportive wife and most fit female there ever were. Not only do we have those expectations; we have social media acting as our ruler stick. We could all stand to take a little better care of ourselves. Go here: http://oser.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=1142 for a nice run-down of everyday tips to care for yourself.

Resources

· Go to your Bishop! I happen to know that our bishop is very well versed in mental health needs and will refer you to services when needed. LDS Family Services is an amazing resource that provides a number of individual and family services. You can visit their website here: http://www.providentliving.org/familyservices/strength/0,12264,2873-1,00.html or call our local office at (435) 586-4479

· Dial 211 from your phone! Or go to http://www.211.org/ and enter our zip. It’s an information and referral source. These operators know their stuff and can link you to any social service you might need.

· Go to your doctor! They can refer you to any services you might need.

· For more information about mental health visit: http://www.nami.org/

· Again, here is the link to a good rundown of self-care strategies: http://oser.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=1142

· You can go here for an accurate description of the majority of mental illness: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness. Let this be for information purposes only. A licensed professional is really the only one who can tell you if you have a disorder.

· For information and help regarding domestic violence visit http://www.udvc.org/home.htm With emergencies call 1-800-897-LINK (5465),

· For child abuse information visit http://www.emedicinehealth.com/child_abuse/article_em.htm To report child abuse call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Emma

The Relief Society Birthday is coming up(March 17th) and I wanted a reminder of how it all started for the latter-day saint women. I made this movie last year for our Relief Society Birthday Party. I copied it from one we saw on YouTube. I like to make things my own and there were scenes from the Emma movie that I wanted in it that the other YouTube version didn't have. Like the organizing of the Relief Society. I learned two weeks ago that my fourth Great-Grandmother was present for the first Relief Society meeting. I will write more on that in my next post. I am really excited to share that with you.
The song is called Emma by Mindy Gledhill and Dan Truman. It is found on the Joseph-A Nashville Tribute To The Prophet Album. You can buy it through iTunes. The Movie is called Emma Smith; My Story. You can find it here at Deseret Book.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Lovely Leilani


The original reason for this post is laundry soap. But I will get to that in a minute. I want you to meet the fun-loving Leilani. I just love this girl. Her husband thinks that she is soo good-looking. I would have to agree. Leilani started her own blog/business a while ago(click here). She is now a busy mom of four and has great ideas for the home and family. I wanted you to see her pin boards, especially the Laundry Board. I have tried the recipe she found for laundry soap and it works great. I am now trying the laundry bag for kids socks. Great idea! For those who are in the ward we will be making this laundry soap for our RS night in April. Can't wait!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Running


My long time friend Jenny wrote a post on her blog about running and how she really doesn't like it. I have had many people tell me that they don't like running. Some days I agree with them. I have a love-hate relationship with running. I love running because I feel so good when I am done. I love the feel of running shoes on my feet, and the way my legs look after a few weeks of conditioning. I love the feeling of my legs rotating through and the brief second that I am flying. I love the smell of the track when the sun hits it and especially after a snow storm. I love the sound of dripping water when the snow is melting off the black rubber creating little puddles. I hate getting out of bed in the mornings to go running. I hate the way my lungs and throat burn after not running for a few months. I hate paying so much money for running shoes. I hate running on main street when people can see me(especially if I am one of the last ones).

I started running in the 5th grade. My teacher Mrs. Dial had a wonderful PE schedule for us, we would do aerobics on some days and running on the other days. I really didn't do much running other than in PE after Mrs. Dial's class. Once I was in High School and trying to find myself, I toyed with the idea of trying out for softball. But my best friend Lori was going out for Track. Well, I decided to start running with her and then I met a girl named Trisha at Practice. Trisha is very persuasive and kept me going to practice and running(Trisha became my SIL). My Coach saw something in me or he was just desperate for runners back then, but Coach Corry cheered for me and ran along side me in practice. To make a long story short, I was hooked. Running on the college team helped pay my way through college. Since then I have helped coach two different high school teams and tried running between having babies.
Running hurts and it takes awhile before it doesn't anymore. But if you can get to that point of it not hurting, your body will tell you to go out and run because you will feel so much better. For those who have wanted to run and not known how to start, here you go:
Day 1: Walk for 1 minute run for 1 minute, do this for 10 minutes. That is all 10 minutes.
Day2: Walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute, do this for 10 minutes
Day 3: Walk for 10 minutes, run for 2 minutes
Day 4: Walk for 10 minutes run for 5 minutes
Day 5: Walk and run on what you feel
Really, it is what you feel. If it hurts don't give up just slow it down a little. Just put your training shoes on and go for a walk to the mailbox, but take the long way around. Let the air clear your mind and soul.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Parenting


Here is a book that might interest all of you. If you have perfect children and you are the perfect parent, then you can ignore this post. This book really gets to the root of why children 'need' so many 'things' to be happy. Why is our country in so much debt? Do we feel entitled to that new car, new furniture, and big house? We work hard-- don't we deserve toys? All of us have a desire to reward our children for good behavior, chores, good grades, or because we like them so much. Where do we draw the line at paying kids for chores? Shouldn't chores be done to better the house and family.
I dare say that our children have more than we could ever dreamed of as a kid. Growing up I loved clothes(I still do). During these growing years, I never had many clothes to spare. I was the oldest, therefore, I didn't benefit from hand-me-downs. I remember standing in front of my closet and wishing for more options(I still do this too). OK, my point is that my humble circumstances made me a better person. BUT my kids have more clothes than they know what to do with. Yes, I am compensating for lack of in my younger years. I found a way to give them more options by shopping post season sales and saving the clothes for the following year.
The funny thing is---my girls don't really care what they wear. I go down to their rooms and the clothes are scattered all over their rooms. They don't feel any ownership over these clothes.
Do our kids feel ownership for any of their 'stuff'?
This book is really good at helping you decide what we could do as parents to help our children feel responsible for their choices. Is it Mom's fault if they forget their homework or backpack. One morning after getting the kids on the bus I came home and found that my daughter forgot her homework. So, I rushed it out to the school and beat the bus there. Nice mom, Right??? Well, later I realized that I didn't teach her a thing. How is she going to learn to remember these things, if mom is going to bail her out? Are we guilty of stepping into conflicts to save our children from feeling bad about a decision they have made. Believe me I feel for my kids and would love to put a bubble around them, but if I want them to succeed as adults, I can't do this. I want my children to contribute to society. Learn that if the job is done without pay, just as well. It is what I once heard as a 'invisible reward.' You can purchase the book here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steph


This is Stephanie, but her friends and family call her Steph. She was my first neighbor after moving into Old Farm. She came bearing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies when we moved in, which was nice. But even nicer, because she was in the middle of a move herself. Steph is going to kill me for this post, but I wanted you all to know how savvy she is with baking, saving money, and other crafty skills. Here are the links to her pin boards. This will help you get to know her style and likes.

Bountiful Baskets

I know most of you know about Bountiful Baskets by now. It is a fun and cheap way to get lots of fruits and vegetables. For the website click here.
This past Saturday I got all of this...


For $16.50. We sometimes get things that we don't like or don't know what to do with. But for the price and the amount, I feel it is worth it. If the fruits and vegetables are in my house, I am more likely to use them. If we know that we are not going to use them we share with the neighbors or other friends.

Valentines Cards

Made some Valentine Cards for those I didn't Christmas cards out to.
Classic Scarlet 5x7 folded card
Send special Valentine's Day cards from Shutterfly this year.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old Farm

For those of you who just love us and don't want to leave. The lot prices have gone down in price.

The Little Brick House

Today I went to lunch here...


And saw her...



For those of you who don't know 'her', this is Dani. She and her husband manage this charming cafe and boutique. I have been there twice now with friends and the food is real tasty and the service is great. They serve soups, sandwiches, and salads with a complimentary bite of fudge. Go onnn-- go try it.