Saturday, June 29, 2013

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This Sunday at church I am going to be playing a piano and organ duet with my friend Karen. I remember I got goosebumps the first time I heard an organ and piano duet played by some missionaries. There is something powerful when those two instruments are combined. 

We're playing the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." We joke that this is our ward's theme song since it's been played so many times by different people in our ward. But, I think it's been at least a year since the last time so we should be okay. (:

I think the reason it's so popular is that it describes our struggle to do what's right and our desires to be better. But we realize that because of the natural man in us we are prone to wander from the God we love. We want to be with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ in their heavenly courts and be worthy to live in their presence.

"Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above"

The only thing we can offer HIM is our hearts, to give up our will and follow HIS will for us.

(The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
singing this song).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Skiing down a Mt. Everest

My Mr. and I

 Skiing in fresh powder makes me giggle!! 

This was seriously the funnest date we have had this whole year. I bought him two lift ticket vouchers for Christmas. Fun family activities create memories! When he opened the envelope he said, "Sweet! I can go twice!" Lol. I love his humor. I replied by saying, " can take your wife!" (That is the only reason I bought two tickets!)

The day we went the lady at the ticket office asked us, "Do you really want to use these today? The weekday lift price for locals is only $...these vouchers are good for all the lifts on the mountain and you can come back and ski on the weekend." We decided to buy the  tickets that were $30 cheaper and I'm really glad we did. It had been several years since we last skied and it always takes me awhile to get used to skiing again. Plus that meant we got to ski twice! And there was tons of fresh powder the second time. At least a half a foot on the groomed trails and over a foot when we would ski off trail through the trees. SO MUCH FUN!

Our second time skiing there was this particular hill that Ben and I kept crashing on. I would just giggle because it was like landing in a pile of feathers there was so much snow. It was hard because I've never skied in that much powder before. The easy route would have to pop out of my skis and just walked down that hill but I was determined to conquer it and I did! If you feel like giving up on a certain challenge, don't. Keep pressing forward in faith, help will come, though maybe not in the way you thought. It's not always easy but you are never left alone to face your heartbreaks when you turn towards your Savior. 

It was Hillary Weeks song "Beautiful Heartbreak" that finally convinced me to blog about my mental illness. (You can read that post here). I like the part in the song that talks about our view from the top of our mountains of adversity. There are eternal rewards for overcoming challenges and learning to rely on and trust our Savior. And, just think, after you've made the climb, you can ski down the other side!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yellowstone Tourists

My family and I met some really friendly people in Yellowstone. We met a couple from South Africa who had just recently became Canadian citizens. A nice Asian lady shared her umbrella with my girls while it was raining and she taught my husband how to say the word China in her language. I said hello in Mandarin to an Asian family and one of the adult sons who spoke good English asked, "Oh! You speak Chinese?" I laughed and told him that I only know one word and then they laughed. Two Bulgarians made our Subway sandwiches. When I asked what language they were speaking to each other he told me Bulgarian and then told me they were here for the summer to improve their English. (I think he spoke and understood English better than his friend and translated people's sandwich orders for him).

I guess I never realized how popular Yellowstone is as a tourist destination for people all over the world. I was impressed at how friendly and courteous everyone was to each other. There would be fewer conflicts and wars between nations if governments could get along as well as people do in Yellowstone.

It's very common to see buffalo grazing
just off the side of the roads in Yellowstone. 

I told my husband that of all the times I went hunting with my dad I've never seen an elk in the wild before. That translates into my dad never getting his elk while I was with him, lol.
This elk that we saw was just sitting on the lawn ignoring the tourists who had gotten out of their vehicles to snap some photos. I was in our car when I took this photo. I don't like getting close to wild animals!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Panhandler Pies Restaurant

I saw this sign and loved it! I love seeing businesses keep the Sabbath day holy.

On Sundays my family chooses not to go out to eat or to shop. For the past year my husband and I have decided to make Sundays "media free" days. We have noticed a lot less contention in our home throughout the whole week as a result of this decision and I love it!

Instead we spend time just being together as a family, reading or taking naps. My husband likes to do indexing (for family history work) on Sundays. Our kids spend more time doing things together and they actually get along!

The sign reads, "Families are Special
and Sundays are for Families therefore
we are closed on Sundays."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Technical Difficulties, Lol


So temporarily my blog has two gadgets exactly the same. Lol!

I need my computer savvy husband's help!

Monday, June 17, 2013

"For things to change..."

"You can't talk your way out of a problem you've behaved yourself into."

--Stephen Covey, author of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"

This is something I heard while listening to a book on our drive. It really stood out to me because of all the empty promises I made while in the denial stage of my disease. (This was me trying to "talk" myself out of trouble). Mental illnesses do affect behavior but that doesn't necessarily excuse all of one's accountability.

I remember asking my LDS family therapist about wanting to differentiate between what things I did (while being diagnosed 10 years ago) that I needed to repent of and what was simply "the disease." She said, "I don't believe that's your responsibility. Leave it in the hands of your Savior, the perfect judge."

I started crying after she told me that. It was such a relief. It was like I was given permission to let go of a heavy burden and so I did.

Initially in the diagnosis process of my disease I was so mean to my husband, my mother-in-law and to some other people who were only trying to help. I was hurting and in denial and I didn't trust anyone. I have felt the godly sorrow and made the necessary restitution to help repair relationships. And I know this is "good enough" in my Father in Heaven's eyes because of the peace I feel.

I chose to seek out therapy so I could better understand my disease and know what steps to take that allow recovery and healing to take place.

I choose to take those steps!

I choose to be careful of what I eat. For this week of camping I bought more fruit and veggies for our menu than junk food. Yay!

And yes, I need to choose to go to bed at 10:00 at night. I now realize it's the first step on the downward slope of my depression cycles. -Sigh- I've been so stubborn and prideful about this critical need I have. Sleep is essential.

"For things to change...I MUST CHANGE."

--Kirk Duncan, President and founder of 3 Key Elements

***I had cell coverage!!

Wild Yellowstone Strawberries

My family and I are on vacation with limited cell service so I will post as often as I can! (:

I am so grateful for the time I have had with my husband while he's been away from the computer and phone! He wanted to extend our family vacation one more week. I sure love that guy!

Check out these wild strawberries that were growing right outside our camper! No fruit yet, just blossoms. 


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Paying it Forward

 In Kindergarten one of my kids really struggled to learn her sight words and was behind in her reading when she entered first grade. With the help of some amazing reading specialists at her school and one on one reading with a "reading grandma" tutor she finally learned how to read!!!

I am so grateful for the help she received. I worked really hard to help her at home but she would often get frustrated with mom (; Since then she has really taken off in her reading and begs to go to the library.

So when my Stake Relief Society asked us to volunteer to be reading tutors at this school that is one of the poorest performing schools in our state I wanted to pay it forward because of the help my child received.

This is the blue card that he gave me on the last day. Cute, huh?
That's apparently me on the right with a  book to read to him
although he was the one that always read to me. (:
"Scooer book" also known as the book about soccer that
I gave to him as a gift. I hope that he will read it throughout this
summer because it is a long book!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What's Been Keeping Me Very Busy for the Past Two weeks

I spent all day every day last week weeding and trying to get rid of huge dandelion weeds and a whole bunch of field bindweed, also known as morning glory. These weeds are so invasive and quickly spread. Last year I was too busy moving into our new home that I wasn't able to get ahead of the weeds. This year I am almost done (YEAH!) and have put down bark to discourage any new weeds. I will stay ahead of them this year!

I've come to realize that for me to be able to effectively help others I need to remove old emotions (whether it's about past mistakes I've made or being overly hard on myself for something I did), to "ROOT" them out and let them go. I've really been working at this for the past few weeks.

Old emotions are not healthy and they keep me stuck. They are also very depressing and they do trigger my depression cycles.

I'll post some "after" pictures when I finish!

There's strawberry plants in there somewhere!