Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Catching Up--This and That

When September began I determined to rededicate myself to my blog. I like to write and I frequently compose blog posts in my head. But the reality of sitting down and writing those posts just hasn't been happening for me. I wanted pictures to attach to my posts but that wasn't happening either. I have given up and since a post is better than no post, this will have to do. Plus, I'm not that great of a photographer anyway, so you're really not missing out.

Explore New York
For years I have wanted to visit some beautiful and historical sites in New York, but time and money, and well, all the million things busy moms have to do got in the way. Now that five of my children are at school leaving me at home alone with a 7-month old baby, I decided to act. I emailed a few friends with a proposal to meet once a month and explore something in New York. Several friends responded and I set up our first adventure.

On Friday, we visited Boscobel Gardens, a beautiful property on the banks of the Hudson River. The property has a historic reconstructed Manor home from 1810. We splurged on the guided tour of the house and it was well worth it. Learning about the manor's owner and family, along with details about the lifestyle of a wealthy family at the turn of the century was fascinating.

Following the tour we walked around the grounds. Boscobel has THE best view of the Hudson River I have ever seen. Whenever I see the Hudson River and spend time along its banks, I feel so blessed. I live in a beautiful part of the world. I am determined to enjoy it.

The best part of the whole adventure was spending time with friends. We talked and talked and it felt SO good. I am very grateful for good friends. I am so blessed that I could return to New York and pick up those friendships again.

My Cute Baby

My baby girl is seven months old now. She is cute and fun, chattering all day and on the go. Sometimes I feel rushed with my other responsibilities, but she reminds me to slow down and enjoy my time with her. My time with her feels especially poignant and sweet because she is most likely our last baby. My husband and I have spent a lot of time in prayer and discussion and feel that our family is complete. We aren't planning on doing anything permanent to achieve that end, but neither are we actively pursuing more children. Quite honestly, I feel enormously blessed that I have six children at all. Ten years ago, I was told that I might not be able to have more children. The fact that I went on to have three more babies is a miracle! And what miracles they are! The last three pregnancies each came with their own challenges. While I felt pretty good physically during two of them, I was very, very sick while pregnant with my fifth baby. I had bleeding for the first trimester with the last two babies. My fourth baby was very small and that was a constant worry during the entire pregnancy. I was unable to gain much weight during the last three pregnancies--about 12 pounds for each one, despite constant eating and consumption of fatty foods. And I suffered a pretty awful miscarriage at 13 weeks between my last two children. As I age, the complications will only continue. I want to be healthy and strong for the children I have. I know Heavenly Father has blessed me richly, giving me health and strength during my last three pregnancies, despite having lupus. I think the time has come for me to focus on new things.


I am the Education counselor in my ward's Relief Society Presidency which means that I coordinate lessons and teachers. Our first Sunday topics have focused on different facets of Self-reliance. A few months ago, I assigned a mother and daughter in our ward to teach about education. They taught their lesson two days ago and it was powerful. The mother recently completed the Pathway program, a program for online education provided through BYU-Idaho. It is an inspired program and one that I am so excited about! If you are someone who has longed to earn a degree, but hasn't had the time, means, or thought they lacked the ability to go to school, you need to check it out.

I personally have been blessed by the education and degree I received from BYU-Provo many years ago. Other than my husband and children, it is the thing I am most proud of. I know women bless their families when they receive education.

Sweet Scripture Study

Scripture study has been a challenge for our family. I had some inspiration recently about our family. We now study scriptures in the evening before bed and eat dessert. This is a big change for our family because we are now eating dessert every single night and studying the scriptures consistently. It is paying off though. My kids love it and we are seeing less bickering and chaos during scripture study.

Last night during FHE which we combined with scripture study, my baby was so cranky. When I passed out brownies to everyone, she lunged for her daddy's brownie and got a chunk of it. She immediately shoved the delicious bite into her mouth and instantly stopped crying. Yes, sweetheart, chocolate does make you feel better! And would you believe it, she was happy for the rest of the night? When we saw her with the brownie, we all burst out laughing. That was just as sweet as anything, laughing as a family and rejoicing in a cute moment.

Garden Bounty

I have been so neglectful of our garden. On Saturday, the family and I went out to salvage what we could. We ended with a far more generous yield than I had anticipated. We weeded quite a bit because it is still warm enough for the plants to grow. I anticipate picking more things soon.


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