Sunday, October 23, 2011


For whatever reason, I've been thinking about when Peter went to walk on the water toward Christ and started sink. That led me to compare myself to Peter. Interestingly (and majorly weird), last night in the adult session of stake conference, the stake president invited to compare ourselves with Peter (like I said, weird).
None of us are perfect. We make mistake…after mistake…after mistake…you get the picture. We have a choice whether to sink or swim. Our Heavenly Father and Savior have made sure there is a choice.

Toe in the water testing the temp.
Moving further in to gauge the depth
Advancing further out flowing with the tide
Floating deeper in letting the water take me for a ride
Ripples start to rock me very slow
Wind picks up; waves kick in and toss me to and fro
Look up and around to see which way is shore
Surrounded by deep water, there is no land anymore
Waves swallow me pushing me deeper in
All the strength within me still can’t help me swim
Darkness now; completely overtaken no more chance for me
Despair, now numbness; black as the eye can see
Someone reaching down stretching out a hand
Feels so far away, hopeless; hurts more than I can stand
The hand reaches out again begging me to take
Eyes want to close; why reach out and try at all when I may just break?
Pulling inside myself; the safest place to be
If I’m to be saved someone will have to come all the way to me
The presence looms above my head and patiently reaches out
The answer is within me; I just don’t know what it is about
What if I reach to grab the hand that is stretched out to me
Only to be dropped further in the darkness of this sea?
Soft as a whisper, the voice is there, “Come. I will not let thee fall.”
Fighting against the depths, I stretch, I reach, I crawl
At last fingers intertwined I begin my ascension from the waters dim
I am too heavy, I am too numb, I have no strength to swim
Slow and painful is the pace, the temptation to let go is strong
When at last I break the surface I hear, “I’ve been here all along.”
“Before you called for me, I was here. You are always in my heart.”
So many questions flying around I don’t know where to start.
“If you were there how could you let me fall into the very deep?”
Pain flashes across my heart; my eyes begin to weep.
There is love behind the eyes looking at me; sincerity in the voice:
“I cannot take what is yours to make. You must make the choice.”
To choose to step, to float, to sink was always mine to make.
Just as the hand reaching out to me was always mine to take.
So it is up to me to decide whether to sink or swim.
Will I reach up and take the hand or fall to the depths within?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Arizona Trip

At the end of April, we did the unthinkable…packed up our van (four kids in tow) and drove 30 hours to Arizona. The kids did phenomenal! I think Jake & I complained the most. We were able to spend Easter weekend at my dad's with the how fam damily. The only ones missing were Geoffrey (on his mission), Jessica (she got married and is too cool for us now…), and Melanie who was out of state visiting her family.

We had so much fun and never had a moment to breathe between Easter egg hunts, tractor rides, temple sessions, the zoo, and good ol' visiting (sorry for those of you we missed :(….). Porter only got car sick twice and once we convinced him the dramamine would keep him from spewing, it was all good. That, and he got to sit shotgun the rest of the time. It all went so well, we're actually crazy enough that we've started planning our trip next year!

Here are some pics of our adventures:

The boys just after their tractor ride! (Thanks to Warner and Rose Marie Mattice)

I snuck this one of Papa Max and Porterman

Another sneaky pic at the Mesa Temple Visitor Center. 
The best ones happen when they don't know you're taking them :)

The whole (almost) fam damily ;)

Whenever we get together, I still feel I'm 9 years old (in a good way)

Feeding the ducks at the fairgrounds. We HAVE to do this every time we make a trip to AZ

Kiddos at the Zoo. I promise they were having a blast despite what their expressions may say.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ode to my siblings :)

Since I last posted in October (Yes, I know Jeana...but I've been busy!), A LOT has happened. Between school, birthdays, and holidays there has not been too much time to breath. I just had the awesome opportunity to go to AZ for my niece's wedding. It was awesome or "Amazing" (as Jen would say).  I gave me a reminder of how grateful I am for the family I was born into and the one born to me. My siblings and I share our own world - here's some thoughts for you guys....

I absolutely love my siblings. We can go months…even years without seeing each other and pick up where we left off. The mixture of our presences ignites an energy that is not around when we are left to ourselves.

At Jessica’s wedding, we one by one gathered into the chapel awaiting the time to be sent into the sealing room. As each one of us filtered in, I could feel the excitement we hold for each other. We got a bit rambunctious in our greetings to each other and were “shushed” more than once. I wonder if we would have been the first ones to get kicked out of the temple for being too loud.

I giggled about our unintended irreverence for a while and then started to view it in a different light. It is not that we were being irreverent but the excitement and love that we hold for each other and our family cannot be contained. When we attempt to bottle such energy it is left bursting at the seams. We have been through a lot together; more than most and I think that causes such energy to be intensified. That is not to say that other siblings do not have a loving connection. We are connected at the heart. We have been broken at the same time and all the splinters and pieces were put back together only when we jumbled them all together and then split them amongst ourselves.  I feel like Heavenly Father had to be giggling along with us. How can you squelch the sharing of love?

I do not regret or resent the pains of the past. They are what created the bond we have. We are left with memories of such pains, but they are for our benefit. Our scars make us tougher – more durable, and yet have allowed a greater increase of love.  Sitting in the sealing room, I was able to see all of you and could not help feeling immense gratitude. It was Jessica’s day, but I am glad I had the opportunity to be reminded of just how lucky I am. When all else is said and done or if I should be stripped of all I posses, I take great solace in the knowledge that I will never be empty handed nor empty “hearted”. I have you guys…whether you like it or not. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kids say the darndest things...

My kids constantly crack me up. Here are some of their latest:

Fiona won a prize at a church Halloween party - a flavored lipgloss set. She was so excited to show it to me and tell me about the flavors, "Mom, look, there's cherry, root beer, ice cream, and Made in China". I didn't explain to her that the "Made in China" was not the flavor but that the "Orange Cream" that was written above it was. I'm still giggling over that one.

This weekend we had stake conference. Any of you who have small children know that they get a bit restless after a while. Well, Porter was ready to go home. He had read all of his books and colored as much as he wanted to. I told him to sit still and went back to listening to the speaker. She (mission President's wife) was comparing what life is like walking in high school hallways vs walking through the temple doors. She then asked how our home fit in. She then asked (rhetorically) how we want our homes to be. Just as loud as he could, "HAPPY!" At least he was listening, right?

Friday, October 15, 2010

...way too fast...

I update my kids pictures every year about this time. They love it when we put the new print in and look at the pictures from past years (I keep the older ones in the frames). I always thought it was such a cliche that your children will be grown up before you know it, but holy cow! Here's my cuties in their updated pics:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fight like a girl!

Okay, so I should warn you, this is going to be a venting post....

I have had the opportunity in these past years to go to school. I'm always entertained by the way people think things SHOULD be. There are some who tell me, "Good for you. (for going to school) You can't let yourself be lost as a just a mom." Then, there have been others who have said, "I want to go back to school but my kids come first."

The world would have us believe that women should be equal to men. That children are a way to hold us back; hold us down. Family is second to career. I disagree with all of that.

Some well-meaning people out there think that women should forego their identity after having children. Children and husband are the priority, you are last on the list (if you're on the list at all). I disagree with all of that.

In my years of school, I have been bombarded with unsolicited advice. Such advice usually leaves me feeling a bit beat up. I really don't need anyone to make me feel inferior or inadequate...I do good enough job of that on my own!

On a particular trip to our local library, I parked out front (I usually park in back). I was frustrated, know, all of the mom feelings. I stepped on the sidewalk and happened to look down at writing that had been spray painted on the sidewalk. The words said, "Fight like a girl!" I think that is a fabulous advice!!!!

I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend and most importantly...I am ME! I do not feel inferior to men, and certainly don't want to be treated like one! I do not believe Heavenly Father intends for us to "lose" ourselves in marriage, motherhood or anything else. I believe he intends for us to "find" ourselves in it all.

Thank heavens for General Conference. It has reminded me to fight like a girl and not get beat up by what everyone thinks I should or should not be. I know who I am and what I need to do for myself and my family.

So, I'm ready to fight. Anyone with me? :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birds and the bees....

Yep. You read the title right. Last week after I had the boys in bed, my girls came and sat at the dining room table. I was doing my homework but paused to tell them good night.

Kennedy hesitantly asked, "Mom. How does the baby get in your tummy? I know how it gets out but how does it get in there in the first place?"

I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer that I would give the right amount of information that wouldn't scar them for life. Lucky for me, I'd been preparing for this for quite some time. I think I did a pretty good job of explaining and not giving so much information that they were confused and grossed out. :)

We talked about dating and the progression of holding hands to hugging to kissing. And, then we talked about the right time and the right place with the right person. I know they must be hearing things at school and I was proud of them to have the courage to ask questions. I then had to make sure they knew that they were not allowed to take our conversation and go educate their friends at school. (I so do not want to get angry parent phone calls!) They also promised to ask me any future questions instead of trying to find them out elsewhere.

After they went to bed I had a small panic attack; not because I just had a sex talk with my daughters but because I realized they are truly growing up. I saw their futures flash before my eyes: first date, driving, getting's a little hard to take in. I'm a little needy and want them by me as long as possible.

Thank heavens we have forever because I NEED every moment I can get.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch up....

Ok. Sorry. I know it's been a few months. What can I say? Life happened. I finished my spring semester and quickly jumped into a Linguistics class for summer while working at our local summer school.

We had fun on the 4th of July. Kennedy even won a brand new bike in the raffle. She was other three were not so happy. They bounced back. (They didn't really have a choice...)

In the middle of all of that, my mother and her two sisters came to visit! We had a blast!!!! Grandma did what she does best and spoiled everyone rotten (including me!!!). It was so much fun having my aunts here. When I was growing up, all of my aunts and all of us cousins spent our summers together. It's awesome to see that personalities don't change. I had so much fun with them!

Porter turned 5 in August. We had a small impromptu party with his cousins. His request for birthday cake was chocolate frosting, lots of sprinkles, with a pic of a tractor. After the cake and ice cream, he and his siblings and cousins had a water balloon fight.

We also had the Schertz family reunion (my mother-in-laws side of the fam). The day was spent with food, swimming, food, visiting and food. My kids fell asleep early that night and slept in late the next morning. I think it was the 5 hours in the pool that did them in.

Porter and Fiona had a chance to play t-ball this summer too. They were both excited. Porter was roaring and ready to go until he ran out to the field (his team's first time out) and slid fell in the dirt. I think his pride was hurt more than anything. When his team came in to bat, he came running to where I was sitting. He wasn't going to go back out but Great-Grandma Carol in all of her wisdom gave Porter a dollar to go back out and play. He perked up and went right back to his team.

The summer is officially closing on us. My NAU classes start tomorrow :(. What keeps me going is knowing that I only have 2 semesters left and then I GRADUATE. Who'd have ever thought that I'd end up with a Master's?

On Tuesday, my kids get to meet their teachers and bring their supplies. Then Wednesday is their first day of school. Porter will be officially in Early Childhood, Fiona in 2nd grade and Ken in 4th. Gryffin will just be kickin it with me until Porter gets home at lunch.
Summer went way toooooooo fast. I actually enjoy having the kids home with me. But, they are ready to get back to school and see their friends. I guess they're tired of being put to work. :) So, sorry if it's another 4 months before I post again. I promise it's because I busy not lazy (well....maybe a little bit lazy...)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

When life gives you lemons.....

So....we are supposed to be at Stake Conference right now. The boys have been struggling with a cold or allergies and now both have a gross cough. Jake had to leave for work last night so he's not even here so I could go. Oh well.

The girls and I decided to make the best of the situation. We made oatmeal scotchies (oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips) and banana bread & muffins. We read scriptures and some stories from the Friend. The tv has been off all day and we've been listening to good music; it's been great. They asked why we were reading our scriptures so early (usually we do this at night) I told them that we weren't going to get the chance to be spiritually "nourished" at Stk. Conf. so we would "nourish" ourselves at home. They were confused so we talked about how food nourishes our bodies and the gospel provides what our spirits need. After looking through as many scriptures as we could find that had the words eat, feed, or nourish in them, we found an awesome quote by a previous Primary President:

"Life is a fabulous feast of experiences just waiting for you to choose and explore. The best feast is at the table of the Lord. What is on the Lord's table? Love, good fun, uplifting music, peaceful prayer, scriptures, smiles, learning and service to others. This is where eternal joy can be found." - Michaelene P. Grassli

So today, we have done our best to "feast at the table of the Lord" and even did our best to help "feed" others. Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Art Blog

As some of you know, I had an art website. It just got too expensive to keep so it no longer exists. However, I did just create a blog. So erase and go to


Monday, February 1, 2010

Give me a sign....

Okay. Admit it. You are just like the rest of humanity wishing for some sort of sign to tell you what to do. I'll admit that I am from time to time. Sometimes a sign comes when I don't even ask for it....

If you know me fairly well, you'll know that I love quotes and have many signs and knick nacky things on my walls with sayings, phrases and words. Today, I was in the local pharmacy, Drier's. They always have awesomely neat things. I happened to walk down an aisle that was all clearance. (I love clearance shopping!) I walked 3 steps and saw a wooden sign and fell instantly in love (no pun'll understand the clarification in a few seconds) "All you need is love [and then in smaller type under] Love is all you need". It was the coolest looking sign with dandelions and crackled paint. I loved it and it was only $10. Did I need it? No. Did I really have the extra $10? Not really. But I loved it! I stood in my spot for 5 minutes (no exaggeration) trying to figure out how to justify this purchase but couldn't come up with anything.

Feeling a little deflated I picked up our prescriptions and walked out the door. Then the most peculiar thing happened. On my way out the back door I saw a sign, literally. They have a wall of neat signs some vintage, some wooden but all cool. There right above the door was the sign "Simplify". With the one word, the wind was brought back into my sails. I didn't need the much desired sign to remind me about the importance of love, nor would my walls suffer because of its absence. "Simplify" seemed to be the message I needed in general for life at the present time.

So, while I don't encourage anyone to request a sign from Heavenly Father, I will say this...if you keep your eyes open you just might see the sign you didn't know you were looking for or even needed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Growing up...

A week ago, Fiona came home from school super excited. She handed me a yellow sheet and said, "Can I go? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssseeeeeeee?!"

It was for cheer camp. The first day was Friday (two days ago) after school for two hours. No biggie. However, they had to go on Saturday (yesterday) from 1-5pm. I tried to explain to her how long that was going to be and that I didn't know if she could handle it. Her reply:

"But Mom, I'm growing up and it's good for me to do new things."

I couldn't argue with that. She went and had a great time and now gets to perform on Tuesday during the varsity basketball half-time.

Kids. Where do they come up with this stuff?