Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break 2016

Last week was Spring Break in our neck-of-the-woods.
While most everyone was getting tan on a tropical beach or camping in the mountains, we were having the most fun of all. . . .
 going for daily walks,
 playing around on snapchat
(username: watchmewhisk)
and enjoying the much needed break from getting up early, schedules, and homework!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Service with a Smile!


Service (SUR vis)- an act of helpful activity, to help, to aid.

Serving others brings happiness into my life. A couple weeks ago, my girlies and I had the chance to attend the General Women's Session of Conference in the Conference Center.
The talks that night were all about service and serving others. As I've pondered about service and what I can do to serve more, I've had the following thoughts:

1.  Service does not have to be grandiose. It can be small and simple.
Sometimes I forget that as I go about my daily tasks, as routine and mundane as they are, I am serving.  Through every load of laundry, every dish washed, every meal served, every story read, and hug given I am helping or giving aid to my husband and children. 
Just because it is done in your home, day after day, it still counts.  You're still giving service - probably the best, most important service you can possible give.

2. In her talk, He asks us to Be His HandsSister Esplin reminded us that "When we reach out in love and service even in the smallest ways, hearts are changed and softened as others feel the love of the Lord."
This got me thinking: 
I, as a mother, have the opportunity to serve my family in small ways everyday. How do I serve them?  It is happily and cheerfully, or is it ornery and with a bad attitude toward? Do I see my "motherly duties" as chores or as opportunities to serve my family? Is my family able to feel the love of the Lord through my service to them? Is contention decreased and hearts softened through my service to them?  I sure hope so.

3. Sister Esplin also said, "We give service when we don't criticize, when we refuse to gossip, when we don't judge, when we smile, when we say thank you, and when we are patient and kind."


As a mother, this is what I strive for:
- to criticize my children less and praise them more.
-to refuse to talk bad about my kids and husband to others
- to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and believe that they're doing the best they can
-to smile especially when I feel like yelling or rolling my eyes
-to thank more, especially for the tiny little things
-to be patient and kind

So I guess what I'm trying to say is to never discount the service you do in your home and for your family no matter how routine, boring, or unimportant it may seem, it's not.

"The most important work service you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Let's Taco 'bout Prom

A couple weekends ago, after a fun date night with these two, we came home to this:
 Taco Bell on the front porch!
 Actually it was an invitation to Prom for #2.

Then a few days later, #3 decided he wanted ask someone to Prom, using none other than. . . . .

drumroll please

TACOS
His invite reads:
There's alot of "TACO" 'bout Prom So "Lettuce" go together!
He left the sign and a box of tacos on his dates front porch.

p.s. - Notice who's doing all the work?  Hint: It's not #3.
But to give him credit, he did come up with the pun.

Having teenagers ROCKS!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Scare the Pee out of Ya



My kids are really into scaring.  When I say scaring I mean hiding and jumping out at the first poor innocent victim that walks by.  Last week during a sleepover, the little girls scared 10 years off my parents' life sneaking up on them. 

This is getting to be a serious problem. I'm nervous to go anywhere in my house for fear of being scared. You always have to be on guard. If you come over for a visit, be careful, you never know who might be hiding around the corner.
 Consider yourself warned.


Monday, April 4, 2016

The 21-day Experiment

Grandma Tabitha

Please excuse my lack of blogging, I'm conducting an experiment.
This experiment was issued by Sister Wendy Watson Nelson at last year's BYU Women's Conference.  She said:
I’ll never forget a fascinating interchange I had with a young friend I’ll call Amy. Late one Saturday night, as I was working against the clock to complete a major project, I received an email from Amy, who was in distress. She wrote, “I was asked to speak, last minute, at my ward Relief Society activity this Wednesday. The topic is stress. I sent out a survey last night to 75 of the women here in BYU married student housing to find out what is stressing them out. After receiving their responses, I realize that I NEED HELP!!!!” 

 As I read through the survey responses, these young wives and mothers reported they were experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, and marital intimacy problems. They listed as the cause of their problems school, finances, lack of sleep, housework, homework, feelings of failing at everything, and an inability to balance all of their responsibilities. I wondered how I should respond. What would really make a difference for these women? And what could be offered, during a 22-minute Relief Society message, which could possibly reduce the real-life distress of these young mothers? As I thought about Amy’s difficult assignment, my experiences with family history and temple work filled my mind. As counterintuitive as this may seem, I felt compelled, in a way I could not deny, to encourage Amy to offer a 21-day experiment to her Relief Society sisters. So I emailed back, “Invite the sisters to make a sacrifice of time to the Lord by increasing their time in family history and in temple work for the next 21 days.” 

Amy accepted this suggestion, and the results were remarkable. Here are just three examples of what happened.

 One young wife and mother wrote, “During the 21 days that I increased my temple attendance and my family history work, I not only felt happier, I felt a sense of relief. I felt a weight had been taken off my chest. When I made time to do these things—which is hard because we all are busy—I found that somehow I had more time to get other things done that needed to be done.” 

Another woman was able to stop taking her medication for anxiety. Her positive changes in mood, energy, and inspiration were so dramatic that she wrote, “My husband started to pray in gratitude for the increased Spirit in our home since I have been making sacrifices of time to the Lord in temple and family history work.” 

And yet another sister reported, “I have a two-year-old and just had a baby last week. The 21-day experiment helped with the end of my pregnancy. The sacrifice of time to do family history was something I could do sitting down that was productive and brought the Spirit! It gave me more purpose and helped me not to focus on the discomforts of the end of my pregnancy.” 

 Sisters, my suggestion to a group of overtaxed, exhausted young mothers may seem counterintuitive, and the results highly improbable. It may even seem cruel to ask a woman who feels as though she’s barely surviving to make a sacrifice of time to the Lord. But these young mothers proved that it works. It works for women who have made covenants with God. Why? Because when covenant women keep their covenants, they have greater access to the power of God. The power of God flows into them, and that power, His power, generates a decrease in stress, an increase in energy, more and clearer revelation for their lives, renewed focus, courage to make needed changes, an increase in patience, and more time for what matters. That’s what these young mothers taught me as they kept their covenant of sacrifice. 

Would you be willing to try an experiment? What would happen if between now and Christmas we each selected a 21-day period of time and then did whatever it took in order to make a sacrifice of time to the Lord by increasing the time we spend in temple work and in family history work during those 21 days? What blessings, miracles, and other positive changes would come to our lives? 

I want to find out!  The blessings seem too good to pass up.

Last October, my mom taught me how to use the LDS church's FamilySearch program to find and record my family history. I've been adding photos of my grandmas. I even stumbled across the photo of my great-great maternal grandmother, Tabitha (pronounced Ta- Bye- tha) Catherine Teager (Tea -grrr). 
I also learned that from my paternal side, I have noble blood running through my veins.  We're related to Lord Borthwick of Berwickshire, Scotland.

How cool is that?! Please call me Lady Rachael, from now on. HA!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

BE HAPPY!


I've been thinking a lot about happiness, and I ran across this quote by President Thomas S. Monson.

"Of this be sure: you do not find the happy life, you make it."

What are you doing to make "the happy life" for yourself?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ramblings

Last Friday I realized that I hadn't posted one single post all week.
So let me give you a little update:
p.s.- this picture has nothing to do with anything.  I just think it's cute and my husband is HAWT!

1. We've been sick - Mentally and Physically Sick
Some have had Bronchitis and others have had made-up stomach aches.
The Bronchitis I can handle, the anxious pretend stomach aches I can't.  It is physically and emotionally draining to cure the "I don't want to go to school because___________, so I'll pretend I have a stomach ache or I'll worry so much I give myself a stomach ache. Once school is underway, this child is miraculously cured!

Hallelujah! It's a miracle.

Except it's not. What it is is exhausting. We've talked with school counselors and teachers.  We even visited the doctor- you know, "just to make sure". Finally I just had to put on my mean mom jeans and tell this child that if he/she wasn't throwing up and/or if there was no fever, he/she was going to school! With a grand finale of "AND you better not call me "sick" from school because I will not come pick you up."

There may have been some finger wagging and head bobbing when we had this little discussion.

After a tons of crocodile tears and a lot (I mean a LOT) of whining, finally everyone is back in school.

Hallelujah!  Now that's a miracle.

2. Speaking of exhausting, The hubs and I have been planning out our landscaping.
When we bought our house three years ago, it didn't have a yard.  Our realtor told us it would cost us around $5000 to landscape it. HA! What he meant to say was that it would cost us around $5000 times 6. 
Since we can't afford that, we have decided to do a little at a time. Last year we spent way too much on dirt. Doesn't that sound like an oxymoron? You buy dirt to add to the dirt you're trying to cover up with grass. Yeah weird, but if we didn't, our grass would be half a foot below the sidewalks, and that could cause a lot of sprained ankles.

This year, we are installing (by ourselves) the sprinkler system. Before you do this, however, you need to map out where everything is going to go - flower beds, rock-walls, patios, basketball court (yes that will come eventually), and the garden spot.  This was hard- way too many decisions. BUT I think we came up with a plan that will eventually give us an awesome yard.

3. #3's first dance, Preference, was on Saturday. I posted a photo on Instagram and I'll post more photos here on Wednesday. I had to laugh when #3's friend took the words right out of my mouth by commented: "They grow up so fast!" Boy do they!

4. We've lost another library book. 
UGGH!
If you happen to see the book Ellie and the Good Luck Pig will you send it this way please.
Thanks!

Friday, March 11, 2016

2 Exciting Things



#3 has two exciting things going on :

1. He was asked to his first dance- Preference.
The night this invitation was delivered, all my kids were surprisingly home (something that never happens).  So after tucking in the little girls, we locked up the house, turned off all the lights (inside and out) and settled down in to our warm comfy beds. Just as we're drifting off to La-La Land (around 9:00), there was a knock at the door. I sent Clint to investigate.  He came back with this.

How cute is it? "Beary" Happy.
The asker's name was somehow magically written in the huge giant homemade gummy bear.
So sweet!

He answered her back with the classic "DING-DONG " answer, just changed the wording around a bit.
2.  We have ourselves a new hard-working man, bringing home the bacon.
(What is it about my kids choosing jobs that require them to wear a vest?)
This picture was taken on his first day. I said to him in my sweetest mom voice, "Let's take your picture so we can remember your first day of work."
His answer, "I'll think about it."  Which, in case you don't know, in teenage boy language means, "No thanks!"
So while he was distracted, I snagged a picture of him!  

HA!  Take that!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Photo Wall

I've been going through years and years worth of photos looking for my absolute favorites to hang up in a gallery wall I want to do going down the stairs. There were so so many. It is hard to decide. I printed them all but I have still yet to decide which ones I want to frame. Here are just a "few" of my favorites:



























There are about 50 more!  
HELP!