September 27, 2009

Tender Mercies

I have experienced the tender mercies of the Lord this week.
Tuesday was Brandon's birthday and as I scrambled to get things ready for dinner, my phone rang. On the other line was a worried husband. Worried for his baby girl and loving wife. He was away on business and called to tell me that his wife and baby were at the hospital. The doctors didn't know what was wrong with his daughter but that they wanted to keep her overnight on an IV. She's been feverish and not eating or drinking for the last few days. He told me he didn't know how to ask but was wondering if I could bring his wife dinner cause she hadn't been able to leave their baby to grab a bite to eat. I assured him that I would take care of her and thanked him for letting me know.

Tender mercy #1 was the opportunity I have to be a VTer. I have to admit that I love when my VTer's call me for help. I, like many women in this world, want to feel that I am needed and that I can help make a difference. Giving service gives so many women the validation they are seeking. As women it is in our natures to nurture and care for others. And I love that I can be part of that. Giving of myself to help someone else in charitable acts is service. And by thus doing so I have the opportunity to grow and learn.

Tuesday night I came down with something bad. It was 'the 15 hour flu bug from hell'. It was awful. My sweet husband ended up staying home from work the next day to help me. Tender mercy #2 was my dear husband. Knowing that he loves me...and seeing it on a daily basis gives me the confidence and desire to be a better wife, mother, and friend. I care so much what he thinks and in small and quiet moments when he tells me that he loves me and jokes that I'm 'the best wife he's ever had' I feel like the luckiest woman on earth.

Tender mercy #3 was a priesthood blessing. As I asked Brandon for a blessing I was reminded of the promise given to those who seek priesthood blessings. If I had faith that I could be healed...I would be.

My VTers were suppose to come over Tuesday at 10:30. I asked Brandon to call Emily and let her know that I would have to cancel...they came anyway. Tender mercy #4 was 2 VTers who take their calling and stewardship seriously. Unbenounced to me, Shana and Emily came with dinner in their arms, asking about my health. Both with lots on their plate that day but took time to make sure that I was taken care of. Emily even offered to take Ford. And Shana, who's car was hit at the grocery store while purchasing my dinner, had a smile on her face as Brandon opened the door to receive their generousity. I love my vters because they, like so many others, are true friends. They are my sisters.

Thursday, as I worked hard to use the surviving strawberries on my counter for jam, I received another call informing me that the sisters mentioned at the beginning of my week was still in the hospital with her baby. Tender mercy #5 was a loving VTing companion who took the reins. As I called to let my VTing companion, Kendra, know of Leah's situation...she gladly took over. Saying it was her turn to do something. She made phone calls, left messages, and offered herself for meals and anything else that might be needed. Knowing of her desire to serve gave me the peace and comfort I needed to go about my day worry free. I knew that things would be in place if either of us were to get a call to help.

Thursday night as I prepared the kids to go to Kennidy's soccer practice, there was a knock at my door. Tender mercy #6 was a friend with dinner in her arms because she heard I was sick. I am not able to express the love I felt as this sweet sister handed me a cookie sheet with a complete meal on top of it. She had heard from my husband that I was really sick the day before and wanted to help. She expressed how she's been there...with a four year old little girls and twin 2 year old boys. She's felt helpless and 'how can I do what needs to be done today if I'm sick' as I did. I was reminded of my prayer to my Heavenly Father when we moved to Dayton. I pleaded with him to find me a friend. Just one. I just wanted one friend that I could be best friends with. I wouldn't ask for more than one because if I had just the one I could do the rest. Well, he has blessed me with many friends. Many sisters that have blessed my life phyically and spiritually. I love that quote...'Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the blessings of each day?' I did today.

At soccer practice came tender mercy #7. I was able to run and practice without being weary. My health was returned to me in full. It was amazing. Just the day before I was throwing up and couldn't barely get out of bed, except to run to the bathroom. I was drained. And yet here I was running and doing drills with these kids.

Saturday night was the General RS Broadcast. As I sat there listening to the General RS Presidency and to President Eyring, I felt overwhelmed with the responsibilities I have as a RS President in our ward. The list kept getting longer and longer. At the conclusion of the mtg. President Eyring gave me tender mercy #8. He said that if we magnify our callings as RS sisters...'angels would be our associates.' The peer knowledge of a Father in Heaven who wouldn't give me anything I couldn't handle and that angels will be my me the courage to continue to do his work. To help feed his sheep in our Dayton Ward. And those angels...are my sisters in my ward. Working together we can fulfill the purposes of the RS which are to Strengthen Home and Families, Build Testimonies of Christ, and to Come Unto Christ.

I have been so blessed this week. I can't wait to see what's instore for the next.

September 24, 2009

The 'Sick' Insight

Long story short.

Tuesday around midnight it hit. And it hit hard. There I was sleeping peacefully when all of a sudden I started dreaming that I had a stomach ache. But this was no dream. I got up and went to the bathroom only to start throwing up 5 min. later. I continued this pattern 5 times that night. Twice I was able to talk myself out of throwing up but the other 3 times...there was no time! By 6:30am Brandon decided to stay home.

He took Kennidy, Landon, and Hayden to school, got Adam and Makinley ready for the school bus, had scriptures and family prayer, called my VTers to cancel their visit today (they brought me dinner later, thanks Shana and Emily, you're the best), played football and baseball with Ford, did the dishes and laundry, made lunch for Ford, took a nap with Ford, read some of his book, picked Kennidy up from school, went to Smith's to get me some things, got Adam's Cub Scout shirt and book and took Adam his bike so he could ride to the church after school for Cub Scouts, picked Makinley up from the bus stop, picked Adam up from Cub Scouts on his bike, helped Adam with his homework and reading, helped Makinley and Kennidy with their piano, made dinner, helped Makinley and Ford with their showers, watched some of Heroes, got everyones teeth brushed and floride, had family prayer, and put everyone to bed! Whew. At the end of the day he said, 'You have a hard job.' I replied, 'And you only had to do half of what I normally do.' (I only had him do the NEED to do today things. And he knew that.)

It's moments like these that I feel validated as a stay at home mom. Because my husband gets it. He gets how much I do to keep our family going. He gets how much time and effort it takes to run our home. He gets that I don't go back to bed after the kids leave for school, as much as I'd like to. Being a stay at home mom is a tough job. It may not sound tough, in fact I use to think that being a stay at home would be the greatest, cushiest job in the world. Then I had kids. Hello! Wake up call. But I wouldn't trade it in for anything. Because even though it can be tough and is also the most rewarding and has it's benefits. Like the other day, I played tennis for 2 hours. Not because I didn't have things to do at home...but because I could choose that activity. I can go kayaking with Ford and have lunch on the beach with him. I can go shopping and bring Ford with me and have a great time. I can do laundry and watch a movie at the same time. I can read books and take naps with Ford. There are so many things stay at home moms can do with their children and still have fun and feel fulfilled. We read scriptures daily, have family prayer, and teaching in never ending with kids. No matter what the subject.

I love being a stay at home mom! And all this insight comes from being sick in bed and having a husband who loves me enough to take care of me. And him acknowledging that I have a hard job. I love you, Brandon. You are the best husband for me.

Happy Birthday, Brandon!

Monday we had a BBQ Birthday party for Brandon. Since our family doesn't do cake...I decided this year we would get Brandon a Blizzard Cake from DQ. Cookie Dough. It was so yummy! Brandon blew out all 36 candles with a little help from the breeze. Then the all the kids dove in to help me take the candles out and Brandon and Wayne disappeared to the garage for some ping pong.
On Tuesday we had our traditional family party. Complete with presents. This year Brandon said I did good. I made lasagna...thanks to Kendra for a super yummy recipe (and it wasn't runny), broccoli, and wheat bread. Brandon balls from the Workmans, Smallville Season 8, Heroes Season 3, MI:1, MI:2, treats to eat while watching so many movies, a vintage panoramic of the Washington, D.C. temple (which came the next day), a camelback, and...DVR! He was so excited. I wrapped the remote in a box and when he unwrapped it he showed Ford the DVR button. 'What are those letters, Ford?' 'DVR!'

I love this smile!
Happy Birthday, Brandon!

'A' is for Alligator

These cutie patooties love learning. They are all the last child in their families, have lots of imagination, enjoy each other's company, and are great kids! I just love teaching them. They are so easy going and love being around each other. The first week of school we reviewed the letter 'A'. For our project we made an alligator and they each got to name them. Raquel named her's 'Mommy'. Hallie named her's 'Jack'. Jaynie didn't want to name hers. And Ford named the front side of his 'Racer X' and the back side 'Speed Racer'. I love these kids!


This fall Kennidy is my only child that wanted to play soccer. She rocks! Saturday was her second game and she SCORED! Yeah! I was so proud of her. She doesn't normally like to play forward but she had an opportunity during this game and she did a great job. I love watching her play!

Dayton High School Football

Friday, we went and supported our local high school football team. Dayton High vs. Sparks. Dayton took awhile to get the ball moving but once they was TOUCHDOWN time. 29-14 giving the Dust Devils a 4-0 record. Way to go, Dust Devils. This team has a lot of talent for high schoolers. Brandon and I were pleasantly surprised. They had a good game.

Makinley's First Tooth

Makinley's Tooth 09.13.09

Actually it's the first tooth lost. This tooth has been loose for months. And finally tonight she pulled it. The tooth behind it has already started to come in. The tooth next to it is loose too and wants to come out but Makinley won't pull it and tells us, 'It's not ready yet.' She wanted to lose her first tooth at school so she could get a cute little plastic tooth container she was about 9 hours too early. But it's out and we are all happy.

September 16, 2009

September 15, 2009

Senior Year Tag!

So I saw this on my sister's blog and thought it would be fun...since we are in a new school year.

1. Did you date someone from your school? Okay so I was brought up to date around. Not Sleep Around. So I dated my share of guys in my high school and out. The ones out of my high school always seemed to be the keeper type, though. Really good guys!

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? Well, he went 2 years to my high school then moved away. So I never went to school WITH him.

3. Did you car pool to school? Yes and No.

4. What kind of car did you have? Occassionally, I was priviledged to drive our big honkin' light blue and white van.

5. What kind of car do you have now? I have a Dodge Grand Minivan that I didn't actually want. But now that we've had it for 7 years and it's paid off, I can't get rid of it. My kids keep saying, 'Mom, you need a new car!' But really, I don't want a car payment. Let me be happy with NO CAR PAYMENT! On either one of our cars! No that's freedom!

6. Its Saturday night...where are you now? relaxing, watching a movie with my sexy husband.

7. It is Saturday night...where were you then? Senior year? On a date. Staying out way past my curfew but could you blame me? My curfew was 9:30!

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? Waitress.

9. What kind of job do you do now? I have the best job. I am a stay at home mom of 4 beautiful children. I have a million and one responsibilities and how I handle it all is amazing to me sometimes.

10. Were you a party animal? I wanted to be...I think deep down I was but all the party animals were into drinking and that's not my scene.

11. Were you considered a flirt? Yes

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Yes. I played the flute my freshman year then went to the french horn my sophmore year...then quite band.

13. Were you a nerd? No.

14. Did you get suspended or expelled? No

15. Can you sing the fight song? Did we even have one?

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)? Our Physics teacher, Mr. Hamorsky and Mrs. Bazmore my 11th grade English teacher. I liked my Graphic Arts teacher...but I can't remember his name right now.

17. Where did you sit during lunch? Outside mostly. On nice days.

18. What was your school's full name? Oxon Hill

19. Did you like High School? It was okay. Didn't hate it. Wouldn't do that school again. Change is always good.

20. What was your school mascot? Clipper (it's a ship)

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? No. I think I am the only person on the planet that would do Jr. High over again.

22. Did you have fun at Prom? I felt my prom was over-rated.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? No.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? I've never been invited to ANY of my reunions. I don't know whether our class officers just don't do it or they just don't know where to find me. Either way I'm good.

25. Do you still talk to people from school? No. I really didn't have super close friends and I am terrible at keeping in touch.

26. School Colors? Black, Gold, White

Anyone who wants to do tagged!

September 08, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Ford was so excited about preschool! He got dressed super fast, ate breakfast fast, brushed his teeth, and wanted a cool hair-do. Ford was ready to leave before Makinley and Adam! Here's his cute class.

Raquel, Ford, Jaynie, Haley

Labor Day Weekend

Kayaking on the lake . Mom, Adam, and Makinley tipped over in the kayak . Welcomed Devree and Shana home from Memphis . Canning Bruschetta . 10 Wheat Bread loaves . BBQ with friends . Brandon throwing Logan in the pool . Ford hitting his head on the gravel . Miss Jayden signing 'Please' . James Bond movies .

September 01, 2009


I have to say that I love the women that Kendra and I visit each month. There have been many times when I have learned from them as we’ve gone to share a message in their homes. I value their friendship and hope that I give them a little something in return. I am so grateful for the VTing program. It forces me out of my comfort zone and I have the great opportunity to become friends with such wonderful women. I hope they know how truly loved they are not only by me and Kendra but by their Father in Heaven. We can’t fully comprehend the measure of his love but when we step back and take a closer look at our blessings...we can catch a glimpse of that love.

Fall Schedule

Kennidy Monday - Piano @ 3:50

Tuesday - Soccer Practice 5:30

Wednesday - Activity Days @ 3:30

Thursday - Soccer Practice 5:30

Friday - FREE DAY

Adam Wednesday - Cub Scouts 3:30

Friday - FREE DAY

Makinley Wednesday - Piano @ 3:30

Friday - FREE DAY

Ford Tuesday - Preschool @ 9

Thursday - Preschool @ 9

Friday - FREE DAY

Brandon Tuesday - YM @ 7pm, Temple Trips, Service Projects

Thursday - Round Table (once a month)

Friday/Saturday - the occasional Youth Dance, Scout

Training, Campouts

Staci You don’t even want to go there! I’d like to take more

pictures, though.

I can’t complain about this years schedule. I do have a lot of running around that you don’t see on this schedule but I only have one child in fall sports and that is GREAT! Spring sports will be insane. I can live with this schedule. Jenni and I have figured out our carpool for soccer since Oakley and Kennidy will be on the same team! Hurray for friends. I really think this fall will be cake compared to previous years! So let the games begin.

Stake Conference

The Adult session of conference was Saturday night. We decided to take the opportunity to go out to dinner with friends beforehand. I love eating at Reds! But I don’t think I will ever get the Trout or the Flat Iron steak again. It’s always good to try new things anyway.

The Adult session was really good. The talks were ‘Protecting our Children from Pronography’, ‘Holding a Current Temple Recommend’, and ‘Temple Worship’.

Sunday’s session was just as good. ‘Obedience’, ‘Missionary Work’, ‘Getting Through the Storms in Life’, and our stake president ended with a plan for happiness. He touched on 3 things he invited us to try, if we weren’t already. 1. Don’t Be Grouchy 2. Smile 3. Say Thank You

I love feeling uplifted and edified by these mtgs. I am so blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are so many reasons to be happy in this life.


Just being on the beach makes me miss summer. Paula and I took Jaynie and Ford up to the lake for some kayaking fun. Oh it was so pretty.

The water in spots looked like Blue Raspberry Koolaide. So beautiful. Then there were spots where the water was so clear that you could see all the rocks below. It was spectacular. We paddled down the beach line till we came to Thunderbird Lodge.

And when Brandon saw my pictures he said, ‘Sheri works there.‘ An old co-worker. Ford had snacks and saw boats and wave runners. Every time a boat would pass, we would turn our kayaks into the waves. Ford would count the number of waves we went over and we got up to 9. That was fun. On the way back to our beach, Ford fell asleep. How cute is that?

Paula helped so much with pulling the kayak off my van and onto the beach. I really wasn’t that much help with my back. But by the time we got back from our little excursion I could actually bend down and pick up Ford’s shoes. I was so excited! I told Paula that I needed to do this everyday so my back could feel this great all the time.

Thanks, Paula! You’re the best. Ford and I had a great time! Let’s go next week for our preschool field trip!

Back Pains

For the last week I have been having a ton of pain in my lower back. So I called my friend, Tiffany, to come over and fix me. Towards the end of our massage session she says, ‘You my friend are very tight.’ And she wasn’t just talking about my lower back. It’s hard for me to totally relax when someone is giving me a massage. I don’t know what it is...I just can’t completely relax. Anyway...she warned me about the possibility of bruising but I think it was worth it. I hope I can still go kayaking tomorrow with Paula. I really don’t want to cancel. So we’ll see how I feel in the morning. Tiffany told me to stretch really good tonight and drink at least one glass of water. So I stretched and drank 2 glasses of water. I really hope this is just a pulled muscle.

Bear Patch

I am so proud of Adam. This summer he has really worked hard to earn his Bear. Tonight he was awarded 2 red beads, his Religious Knot, his Bear patch, one Gold Arrow, and 2 Silver Arrows! All this 2 months before he turns 10! Congrats, Adam! You’re doing such a great job in Cub Scouts.

The boys enjoyed racing wooden boats tonight. They had a blast. Cub Scouts is so much fun!

First Day of School

The first day of school. So much fun today. Lots of driving. Middle School starts earlier than the Elementary School and this year Middle Schoolers where we live don’t get a bus. So I had to take Kennidy this morning. I wanted to meet her homeroom teacher, that was the only teacher we knew of, so far. Her first day of school assembly lasted 30 min longer than I had anticipated but she has a great teacher, Mr. Hunt. He is super nice and funny. And all the kids in the school cheered really loud when his name was called. That’s always a good sign. When I got home I still had one child to bathe and get to school. Oi! But we got to the elementary school and found out where their classrooms were and where they would line up for class.

*I have to say that I don’t like the lack of organization in these two schools. It may work for the staff but as a parent it’s an organizational nightmare. Whatever happened to going into the classroom and meeting the teacher first? First day of school is killing me!

I got the kids off and then Ford and I didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. So much freedom! So we went home. Clean the house. Take a shower. Presidency mtg. at 11. Lunch. Tennis at 1:00. Pick up Kennidy at 2. Adam and Makinley at 3:15. Piano lesson at 3:50. Share the days happenings. Dinner. Bedtime. The end of the day.

Back to school and schedules. I just love it all. But it does make me long for longer summer days.