Friday, May 31, 2013

My Pen

The pen, used like a sword, to thrash demean and conquer. It is a weapon, but it, too, can sign treaties and create peace. It can be used for great good. It is an instrument of God. It creates, draws and writes all things of beauty. The conduit for a deluge of thoughts and dreams. What will I use my pen for? Will I pen things of worth, things of uplift or will my pen be used as a weapon of war?

For your weekend, may you find time to journal, 
write and create something uplifting and inspiring.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Journals, Oh My!

Remember when I recently blogged on the topic of journals?  I felt, I needed to go there again.  I'm kind of obsessive that way.   You see I am a lover of books, and journals aren't any different.  I love to caress their cover and smell their pages and wonder of the stories that CAN be written within.  I have a fascination with journaling, though I haven't done much of it in the least consistently anyway.  I have many journals for different reasons.

  • I have journals containing bits of my own poetry
  • Other journals contain others' poetry
  • Another is for taking notes and thoughts during church meetings or conferences
  • Another journal is for reflection on my scriptures study
  • A journal for the funny things my children said and did when they were younger
  • I have another journal where I write things I love about my husband or things I have appreciated he has done.  I saw a lovely journal on Dayspring, but came up with my own.  I wish I were more consistent  but when it gets tucked in a drawer I forget.
  • I have a journal for regular thoughts and experiences.
  • I have my own "Smashbook" creation.
  • And, I now have started a Mother/Daughter journal for writing back and forth with Ladybug.  I saw it on Gadanke and could not resist.

It would be lovely if all these thoughts were written in one place instead of scattered amongst a variety of journals, but each has it's own purpose.  Not to mention the fact that I blog, which has become a journal of writing, of sorts, as well.  I guess you could say this is most definitely not an area I have simplified in.  I really love the quote on the top journal, "Happiness is found along the way of this journey."  ~Howard W. Hunter~

These are my favorite pens for journaling and writing.  
They have a nice weight and feel to them.

What are your favorite things about journaling?  
Any creative journal ideas?

**This is not a sponsored post.  I'm just sharing information about a topic I am excited about**

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Chillin' on the Porch

I am loving my porch this spring.  The weather is perfect enough to sit outside sipping on my diet cherry coke or iced herbal tea enjoying a good book.  I have to say this is one of my favorite places in my house and it isn't even inside.  The porch has evolved a bit since then.

I do a lot of contemplating, thinking, and reading until my eyelids get heavy from relaxation.  These moments don't come that often, so I have to soak it up when I can.

For your weekend, I hope you enjoy a little porch time.

What do you enjoy about your home?
What do you most enjoy about Spring?

Amanda’s Books and More
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A New Writing Gig


I'm excited to say that I have a new writing gig.  I'm extremely excited about this opportunity and hope that this will help improve my writing skills, and maybe, perhaps a little bit, increase my readership.  I'll let you know when something of mine goes live.  

Thanks as always for being followers and supporters of me and That's What She Said... 

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Miguel's Missionary Moment

"Yo! this is Elder Miguel!
Well it was a crazy week!!! Our car went into a ditch!!!! We were parked on the side of a rode on some dirt with a slight incline, and it had been raining like crazy for the past few days.  We turned the wheel to pull out and right as we hit the gas the car slid the other way down into the ditch! It was crazy!! Some dude with a big truck stopped and pulled us out.  The whole way down we were sliding really slow, and I was laughing so hard.  We definitely got covered in mud.  It was so funny.  Other than that it was a good week.

Elder Loertscher and I are getting along great.   He has a real British accent, so I have been having fun with mine.  Earlier this week we were out going door to door and it was pouring.  Elder Loertscher says  "can we go somewhere without rain?" And I said "there are people on this street who need the gospel."  The very next house the lady let us right in.   We didn't teach her much because she talked a ton, but she now has a Book of Mormon, and then 2 more houses down we taught another lady and we are actually going back to teach her this week hopefully with her family. It's funny how that works out.  The Spirit is amazing.

Not much else is going on.  As a District Leader,  I have to babysit two elders in my district because I'm in charge of them and they don't do anything.  I have to call every night and trying to motivate them to work.  It can be kind of  annoying but whatever.
Well that is all!!!

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Looking up

Sometimes the most beautiful sights are found when looking up. 

May your weekend find you looking Heavenward

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kickin' my Donkey

My husband hates it when I say that, "Kickin' my donkey", but it sounds so much better than, "Kickin' my a..." .  Well, you get the idea.  Last year after Miguel left for his mission, I gained some weight.  I'm not sure if I was depressed, just not running around cleaning up after that mess maker or maybe just the change in hormones.  Either way, I gained weight and it got away from me.

Interesting how trying on your summer shorts and not having them fit will give you motivation.  Some people might look at that as motivation to go shopping.  Not me...well, not all the time...So instead of new clothes, there was that day I was out grocery shopping at the World that is referred to as Wally and I saw this.

It was cheaper than a whole new wardrobe...Now I've worked out with Jillian before, you my family room, and she can kick my trash like non other. So, I thought what the heck?  What do I have to lose? Besides a size or two.  

What motivates you to get healthy?
Do you have some secrets for losing weight?

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Jewels in my Crown

I have often heard children referred to as the jewels in your crown.  I am assuming I have a crown because I am a daughter of a Heavenly King, otherwise, I'm not sure WHY I have a crown.  But, I do know I am blessed with three beautiful jewels....Priceless and irreplaceable.

I have to say that Mother's Day was probably the best one ever.  How is THAT with two of my boys gone?  I'm not sure myself, but KT sure pampered the heck out of me.  He cooked, he did dishes and he started the laundry.  All I had to do was sit back on my royal backside.  Ladybug made me a beautiful card and hugged me and told me she loved me throughout the day.    Miguel got to call home from his mission to talk to his mama for an hour.  We don't talk by twice a's a distraction.  I thought it would make him more homesick...It didn't, but it made me more Miguel sick.  Gosh I miss that kid...TJ, who is in the Air Force, Face Timed with me from New Mexico.  He and I text or call almost every day, but the Face Time was different.

Not to brag, but I feel so blessed...I love my little family.  
How did your family make you feel special yesterday?

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Marriage Advice

My mamma always said, "Life is like a box of..."  wait a second that wasn't my mom!  No, my mom said, "Always put your makeup on and look nice for your husband because there is always going to be someone lovelier than you at his place of employment".  "Jeesh!  Mom!  Thanks a lot!"  Was my first thought, but, this lady knew what she was talking about.  She has seen marriages dissolve through the years and some because the wife didn't take care of herself.  That's not saying men don't have self control, because they do, but I should always WANT to look my best for my husband.  It's easy for young mamma's to want to stay in sweats all day or skip the shower because there isn't time.  FRUMPY!  Your man didn't marry a frumpy woman.  Besides, looking your best and getting dressed makes you feel better about you, too!

I read this article 1994 when my boys were one and two years old.  It really blessed my life and gave me a different perspective on being a mother.  I truly love the advice found here and applied it to my life often.  Here is the article.  You can read the original here.

"My Career—Motherhood

I have often thought of the similarities between a career in the work force and my chosen career as a homemaker. I have found that when I think of motherhood and homemaking as my profession, I am more satisfied and fulfilled with my choice to stay home. Here are some ways I treat my chosen career with respect.
Dress for success. Many professions are associated with a certain style of clothing. Although my clothing style changes depending on what I do in a given day, I avoid dressing sloppily. Wearing a touch of lipstick or a dab of perfume helps me have a positive attitude.
Continuing education. People in the work force must keep informed of new developments in their field in order to maintain their credibility. It’s no different for a homemaker. New ideas for child rearing can give practical help in maintaining discipline, understanding our children’s development, and helping our children develop spiritually. Workshops, seminars, books, magazines, and television documentaries are some resources I use that add to my understanding of my service.
Many professionals attend annual conventions to associate with colleagues and to keep abreast of current issues. Next time you attend a monthly homemaking meeting, consider that you are taking part in a homemakers’ convention. One purpose of these meetings is to help you have greater success in your career.
Break time. A ten-minute break in the morning and afternoon and an hour at lunch is a common part of many work schedules. Homemakers also need breaks to avoid feeling burned out in their career. It is important to me to take regular breaks from whatever I’m doing to write a letter, call a friend, read a book, push a swing, or sing a song. Children benefit from a change of scenery and the day’s routine as well.
Association with colleagues. An advantage many people enjoy in the working world is the opportunity to meet and associate with other adults. I need this association as well. Spending day after day with no one but my little ones to talk to can bring frustration and discouragement. I have learned to create opportunities to enjoy adult conversation and friendships through experiences such as exercise classes and visiting with another mother at a nearby park while our children play. These and other activities supplement my lifestyle and bring greater contentment to the time I spend with my children.
Wages. Although there are many ways that homemakers can save money, the real wages aren’t paid in hard currency. I like to think of being paid when I watch my babies learn to walk, when I can care for a sick child all day, when a school child runs home to show me something he made in class, and when I see the joy in a child’s face as she tries on something I’ve sewn for her. It’s important to notice and appreciate things that are of an eternal value.
Recognition and appreciation. Motherhood and homemaking occupy positions of honor, but recognition and appreciation are often slow in coming. On days when I feel discouraged and unappreciated, I love to read scriptures such as Doctrine and Covenants 122, especially verse nine: “Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; … for God shall be with you forever and ever.” [D&C 122:9] Studying the gospel and learning of my worth to God give me assurance that my efforts in my chosen career are worthwhile.
I have learned to cultivate a positive attitude toward my chosen profession of motherhood. I find great joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in the important work I do in my own home.—Karen Peterson Mosley, Tucson, Arizona"

You can read some other advice I received here.  
Just FYI, the good advice came from my mom.  
The other advice came from someone who shall not be named.  
Can you say embarrassing?

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mothers are Smart Cookies

In light of the fact that Mother's Day is coming up, I thought I would share some sound advice I've received from my mom.  I don't often talk about my mom on  my blog.  Maybe it's because she is so much like me or I am like her, or perhaps it is because she avoids photographs like the plague leaving me nothing to blog about.  The one thing about my mom is she is ALWAYS right.  There is no arguing it, even if I am right.  I have learned that relationships are more important than being right.  However, when I was a young woman preparing to get married and start my own home, she gave me some advice that has stuck with me.  It is been tried and proven by me so I am, therefore, passing it on to you, and it is RIGHT.

#1 Always make your bed.  I was like, are you serious?  Because when I first got married I was kind of housekeeping lazy.  I liked a clean home, I just didn't want to be the one to do it.  She said even if you have a layer of dust, that made bed will make your room look put together.  She even suggested starting to make it before even getting out of bed...pulling up the covers, smoothing and straightening.  Then, just slip out and put on the finishing touches.  I'm addicted to a made bed now.  When I have over slept and don't have time, I have been known to come home in the afternoon and still make my bed even though I will by messing it up just a few hours later.  I'm pretty much obsessive about it.

#2  Never clean your kitchen first.  Her words..."You'll never leave".  It's true!  I can remember as a young mom how often I was getting snacks and drinks and meals...It was like I never did leave.  If I start my cleaning in the bedroom and work my way out, then more of the house gets clean.  My goal is to always go to bed with a clean kitchen so I'm not tempted to start there in the morning in the first place.  Who wants to wake up to crusty dishes anyway?

Source - and definitely NOT my mess

#3  Wash as you cook.  While I'm cooking, I wash dishes as I go.  I try to always have a sink full of soapy water ready to wash the prep bowl or that utensil.  When dinner is done, I might have a pot or two, then rinse and load the dishwasher.  This has been especially helpful with holiday meals.

I'm grateful to my mom for the things she taught me.  She might have thought I wasn't listening at the time, but I definitely was learning from the best.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Miguel's Missionary Moment

Missionaries need to eat, too.  

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty good, Luis was baptized on Saturday and he is loving it! After he received the gift of the holy ghost, he seemed to get a lot more out of the classes. After the interview, we actually went to the baptismal font to find him a white jump suit and while we were in there I asked him if he wanted to check out the font.  We walked down in and after he walked in he got a really weird look and backed back up the stairs, took a deep breath and slowly walked back into the empty font and looked at me and said "It is really strong in here" referring to the spirit.  it was such a spiritual experience. 

Adam is doing really well he is listening to the Book of Mormon on his commute to work, and we are starting to prepare him for baptism.  He won't commit for a date until he knows for sure, which  is good.  He keeps all commitments and is really reading to know.  I think he just has not recognized his answer. We have an appointment with him this week and our Elders Quorum president is coming.  Our Elder's Quorum President is a convert who had a great experience with the Book of Mormon so i think that will help a lot.

It has been a great week.  I'm going to be training a new missionary, and I meet him on Wednesday.  I am District Leader now.  A District Leader trains missionaries but running training meetings.  They look after the welfare of other missionaries by checking up on them.  A District leader also conducts Baptism interviews to make sure the convert is really ready and doing it for the right reasons.  As baptism is a covenant with God.  

Elder Miguel out!

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Friday, May 3, 2013

That Time I Was Selfish...

I have always tried to live my life pleasing to others and to my Heavenly Father, but there was that one time I was selfish and called out for it.  Although I wasn't the perfect teenager (let me just say moody is an understatement), I always tried to do what was expected of me.  I had awesome grades and tried to be a good daughter, I had a job and paid for my own clothes and other necessities.  I remain active in the Church of my youth.  I am the one who instigates extended family dinners, the birthday celebrator, the planner, the glue.  As a wife and mother, I'm always trying to please, clean and nurture and meet often times demanding needs.  It is a constant battle, this pleasing others thing, a balancing act,  and sometimes I slip.

Like that time my son came home for a visit for a belated birthday present.  What a surprise!  What a whirlwind weekend...less than 48 hours to enjoy him.  Less than 48 hours to make up for not having seen him in four months.  Forty-eight hours to mother, nurture, cook for and enjoy this man boy of mine and selfishly I did not share.  Out of necessity and obligation, I took him to see his grandparents.  It was fun, but I longed to be able to take him home to the nest.  Friends pleaded, "If he comes home, please send him over."  Did I call or send?  No.  Even my own brother and his family I didn't call.  He was mine and that is all.  

And in one text, my selfishness was like a slap to the face.  I had hurt my brother.  All those years of trying to be the best and to do what's right culminated to nothingness in the wake of my omission.  My omission of including others, my imperfection.  I expressed my sorrow to my son over hurting my brother.  He said to me that "It doesn't matter, mom, I'm here for YOU"...It doesn't matter...I'm here for you...  I think I've heard that somewhere before.  The Savior whispers this to us everyday.  After every little imperfection he whispers and sometimes yells, "It doesn't matter, I'm here for YOU".   All these imperfections and sins of omission, He is here for me.  As I strive to make up for these imperfections, I am forgiven.  While I may not be forgiven by my brother for a while, I know that my Savior forgives my weaknesses and for this I am so very grateful.

 Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I  give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my  grace is sufficient for all men that  humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pervert in the Parking Lot

Last week found my husband and I sitting in Tucano's.  He took a half day off of work to spend with me and to use my free birthday meal from said restaurant.  It would be such a waste not to use it, wouldn't you think?  After a lovely, VERY filling meal, we were headed home when KT received a phone call from Ladybug's high school.  The attendance secretary was concerned because she received a suspicious sounding phone call from someone claiming to be Ladybug's father trying to have her released early from school.  The attendance secretary wanted to confirm that KT had indeed made that call.  We informed her that we did not make the call and to not release Ladybug from class.  We told her we were on our way, and that we wanted to see who was waiting for her in the parking lot.

All kinds of scary thoughts raced through my mama head.  A pervert she met online, fishing for information and baiting her out of school.  In those panicked moments, the traffic could not have moved slower.  Everyone was going five miles under the speed limit.  I wanted to roar at them to move it, out of the way! As we finally reached the school, my husband wanted to peruse the parking lot before actually running inside.  This is who we found....

The pervert wasn't actually a pervert at all, but my Air Force son, TJ, home for the weekend for a surprise.  We ruined his surprise with our paranoia, but whatever...

A mother couldn't have been more relieved and excited at the same time.  He drove up from New Mexico to spend about 48 hours at home.  He said it was a late birthday present for his mama.  He brought his sweet girlfriend and we had all kinds of fun.

Have you ever gotten a call like that at school?  
What would you do?  

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