Monday, December 29, 2008

Pictures of Christmas in Indiana 20008






















We spent Christmas with some friends in Indiana. We had a lot of fun. We were so busy with 15 baby puppies, and 7 kids. Lots of fun, but busy, Enjoy the pictures. We had a blast! To see more pictures of our fun, check out my photo's on my Facebook page. :)












Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in Indiana

We are spending Christmas in Indiana with some really close friends. They breed rotweillers, and one of their dogs had a litter of puppies, 10 puppies... too cute. One of their puppies is having issues, so i'm helping to take care of this sweet little baby. I'm getting so attached it's sad. I hope it pulls thru. I'll try to upload some pics of the puppies. They are so stinkin cute! We are having such a great time with our friends, The kids are having so much fun hangin out with their kids. It's a house full but fun filled. Have a great Christmas!

To see my friends business check out her website... www.guardianrotweilers.com

Monday, December 15, 2008

My husband ROCKS!

My husband rocked this weekend. We had a lot of fun things to do, and he helped with the kids. We had a busy Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a primary activity, bowling from 1-3 and then we had the missionaries over for dinner, we ordered pizza and invited some neighbors over for dinner with the missionaries. We stayed chatting with them until around 8 and then watched a movie with our neighbors while their kids played with ours until late... then helped clean up the dinner mess. (usually he's not very social). He was also had a good spirit about our busy day. then sunday, he was tired, I let him sleep in a little, He then helped get the kids ready for church, while I was taking a shower, then we went to church and then after church, we met up with our neighbors from the night before and the missionaries for a trip to the Washington DC Temple Festival of Lights - Concert of the Mormon Choir of Washington. It was fabulous, We could only get tickets to the concert for 9pm. We got there at 7pm. We walked around and visited with our neighbors, watched the live nativity and looked at lights. By 8pm, my neighbors had enough and went home. We stayed for the 9pm with the missionaries, as they wanted to see the concert. Stayed in a good mood and walked the kids around while I waited in line for the show. He was in good spirits the whole time. It was amazing to see, even though there were huge crowds and lots of things going on. We got home late last night but it was a very fun weekend. I will post pictures later. Thanks Bill for all you do... YOU ROCK!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Fun!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper and Gift bags - depends on who it's for and how much time I have.
2. Real tree or Artificial? we own an artificial tree... but i like both, it's just easier with the kids to have an artificial tree. plus it's more cost effective
3. When do you put up the tree? just after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take the tree down? after the New Year - I heard that brings good luck..
5. Do you like eggnog? oh yea, I love eggnog mmmnnum yummy
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hard to say I got a lot of gifts I loved. I think it would have been my fake cabbage patch doll. My grandma Lancaster made it for me.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband, he gives me his list of electronics he wants and usually will buy them himself, and doesn't let me get him what I want or he'll make me tell him what I'm getting him. It's really hard to keep a secret from him. I have to do better. I say that every year!
8. Easiest person to buy for? my boys typically. They are boys... pretty easy, nerf guns, bionicles or legos, and Cars for my youngest.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Oh yes, I love them so much I collect them, I think I have about 5 or 6 so far, and every year I see another one I want to add to my collection.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?I buy cards, and some years i've even written the name and address on them, even signed them just never get around to mailing them off. I was good the first part of my marriage, but after three kids, i've been really bad, I'm planning on sending out cards this year. WE'll see how well that goes.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?I think it was last year or the year before, my husband bless his soul... he tried to get me a gift he thought i would love and needed. He got me a franklin planner purse. It was not what I wanted or needed. He has learned not to do that again. I love him for his efforts and trying to help me make my life easier. I applaud him for his effort. but yea worst gift I ever got.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story, White Christmas, The Nativity, Its a Wonderful Life
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I try right after christmas on all the after christmas sales, but those usually get used for birthday gifts throughout the year. So usually after Halloween.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? heck yeah. Those are the best gifts to give to someone else;)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate, Ham, Bill's Grandmother's christmas cookies, Homemade yeast rolls, everything basically.
16. What story do you read on christmas Eve? We read the night before christmas as well as the story of Christ's birth.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night, and What child is this?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Usually we stay close to home, we are home the first part of the day then we usually go to Bill's parents house. This year we are traveling to Indiana, unless my dad passes and then we'll be going to Texas. That's the plan so far.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Of course. Who can't... I don't know anyone, do you?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? nothing at the moment, but usually an angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? one on Christmas Eve the rest on Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? materialism, crazy people in the stores
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? kids, my kids decorate the tree with things they've made, to me that is so special. Usually red, green, white, yellow
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? ham
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Time spent with my family and friends, Love and peace

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Husband Rocks Bunches this weekend

It was a very busy weekend! We didn't have alot scheduled, but alot was put in. We ended up with two appointments at 9am but we just didn't have too much of a hard time deciding what we should be doing, first appointment at 9 was a Daddy and Me at work, and then the second one was a last minute call for people needed to help with food orders at the church. We saw that as a great opportunity to teach the boys about selfless-service for those in harder cercumstances than we are in. It is a great program thru our church. So we went to serve. We were there til 2pm or so. While I was there a friend called and said she was moving and wanted to know if I still wanted her couch, she couldn't keep. She was able to deliver it if I helped her put it on her truck. So, Bill took Bryen and Mikey home to pickup for the new couch while Braeden and I drove the hr or so to get the couch and load it up on her truck. Bill had worked so hard on the food orders, he over did it. He might have pulled something in his chest. So I didn't want him to help with the couch. Even though he wanted to. So, My friend and I loaded the truck with the help of two of her neighbors and we drove it to my house and with the help of two of my neighbors we were able to get the sofa safely in my house and in place. Yea me, new to us couch!, lots of work, but we had a deadline. My friend had to head back to Richmond VA. I had a ward christmas party to get the family prepared for. Bill was still in a little pain and uncomfortable. I got the boys dressed. It was a night in Bethlahem. We were to dress in period dress. We had sheets as dress, and then pillowcases on their heads. It was a lot of fun. Bill even dressed up and went. It was I think the best most spiritual christmas programs we've been too. We had to walk thru Bethlahem to the cultural hall of the church where we were in the middle of Bethlahem and had a few items we could participate in, story telling by an elderly person, we could make stars of David, play dradel, make a bracelet, and hangin out. While the Roman Soldiers roamed around and pestered people. Each family was given a bag of golden shekles to "pay" for the things to do. Then they closed the activities, and we were to sit in our family groups and have one of the family members go to get their famlies food, period food, grapes, pita bread with a yogurt sauce, honey cake, and bread with olive oil. While we were eating our finger food and enjoying each other's company on the floor on our blankets, Mary and Joseph walked around looking for a place to stay, knocking on doors and being turned away. There was a narrator and music... and Mary and Joseph ended up in the Stable and had a baby. It showed the kids it really ment. Bill was in good spirits for the whole thing. It was a lot of fun and spiritual. Bill when he was around the boys put on a good face and was energetic. I appreciate all he does for our family and his desire to help our family feel the spirit and to teach us about what is truely important. Thanks Bill for your willingness to enthusiastic even if you were feeling bad. You Rock! Thanks for helping to make it a great day, busy, but great!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My husband Rocks!

My cousin started putting a post about her husband once a week on how he rocks! I want to let you know that my husband Rocks too! Yesturday was so nice. I had to go into the office yesturday for work (I work from home a few days a week). When I got home from work a little late, he had dinner almost done, the trash was taken out and homework done for all boys! While working himself. How amazing. It was so nice to come home to dinner and things started. I am so grateful for his efforts when he helps around the house. It makes the whole house seem easier to feel the spirit when all are pitching in. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who helps around the house and can make dinner. His spagetti was awesome along with his cresant rolls. Here's to you Bill... You ROCK! Love ya and Thanks

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Talk on Obedience given by Shae Clark

Hello all,

I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago. Here is my talk. Enjoy. :)
   
First, as a mother with three boys, there is always in one form or another lessons on obedience. For example, when I ask my son's to clean up their room. A simple task expecting obedience, returns with great opposition and disobedience. I get complaints "Why do I have to?" or "It's not messy? or "I don't want to" the list can go on and on. I have been praying and thinking of how I can get my boys to obey, to do the right thing. To have them WANT to do the right thing without being compelled. Even in smaller tasks they stray, from obedience, such as when they are asked to put their shoes away, or to throw away the wrapper from the string cheese they were eating. The request rarely gets fulfilled. A messy clutter-filled house results and the spirit leaves with the arrival of the mess. I am reminded of the small things we are asked to do to follow the Lord. Such things as reading our scriptures, write in a journal, say our prayers, listen for promptings and acting upon them. be nice to each other, be grateful for what we've been given. Just to name a few. how often do I say, I'm too tired, or I just read my scriptures yesterday, I don't need to read them today.  I just don't have time to write in my journal, or I'll do it later when I have more time, or I don't need to call so and so... I'm sure their fine. But time never comes. I get sidetracked. I don't call the person that needed a call from me. I know I have good intentions at time I'll even remember. I'll even have my scriptures in hand, or sitting at the table/computer ready to follow thru and low and behold... the kids start fighting and I have to break them up, or the phone rings - it's important, or I just don't know what to write. So it doesn't get finished or even started. Sidetracked again. Just as easily my  children get sidetracked on the way to the trash with the wrapper from their string cheese, by a passing sibling, or a flashy cool commercial on the t.v., or just plain forgetting what they were doing in the first place. As we become distracted or as we re-prioritize our list of the rising demands on our time. How easy like our children, are we being disobedient to the commandments and covenants from the Lord without meaning to. And how many times do we create opposition for the spirit tot dwell within us? Thru our own disobedience to the things the Lord has asked us to do. In the October 2008 Ensign is a great little story of how those little distractions and detours can affect the whole outcome. "Lines, Levels and Living the Gospel" by: Sandi Matlock Fairbanks. (It can be found on Lds.org, search articles). 
After my husband and I finished some remodeling on our house, we decided to paint our daughter’s bedroom. She requested that we paint the top half pink and the bottom half purple. I never imagined that such a simple task would teach me so much about the gospel.

On the day I wanted to start painting, I couldn’t find a tape measure to mark the dividing line. I used painters’ masking tape instead and decided to eyeball the line. After all, how hard is it to tape a straight line across a wall? After I had one wall taped, it looked so good that I thought I’d find a level and check my work. Initially, the line started out even, but to my surprise, it moved fractionally downward. By the time I got to the opposite corner, the difference was about half an inch (1 cm). Although the difference may seem insignificant, if I’d continued on all four walls, the ending line would have been at least two inches (5 cm) below the beginning line!

After discovering my mistake, I found a yardstick and measured from the ceiling to the desired height on the wall, marked the measurement in several places, and then connected the marks by drawing a straight line with the yardstick and a pencil. I repeated the process on all four walls.

As I worked, it occurred to me that living the gospel of Jesus Christ is similar to painting a room. Sometimes we use our “tools” to keep us on the strait and narrow, while at other times we go through our days “eyeballing” our spirituality. We have the tools we need to stay on a straight course—scriptures, church, daily prayer, family home evening, counsel from Church leaders—but we don’t always use them. We often think that we are faster and better off doing the task on our own.

Painting my daughter’s room, however, showed me that I wasted time by not using the proper tools in the first place. Instead of making an even line on my first attempt and finishing the job faster, I had to fix the mistake and then finish the other three walls correctly.

We can also be the tools to help others. As home and visiting teachers, we have the responsibility to help both those who are struggling and those who seem to be fine. As teachers, we can prepare our lessons prayerfully and in advance, allowing the Lord to work through us. We can serve our families and others by being an example of one who strives to live the gospel.

As a Latter-day Saint in these troubling times, I have learned that I can’t get by with just eyeballing my spirituality. I need to use all the resources and tools I’ve been given to constantly check my bearings and remain on, or return to, the straight path that leads back to Heavenly Father.

Just as "eyeballing: and not using the proper tools in her painting, she ended up off course, just as my little child with his string cheese, and we to with the little things of forgetfulness, can easily get off course and further from our goal of returning to live with our Heavenly Father.
What are some things we can do to help us remember to be obedient to the things the Lord would have us do? For instance, if your reading your scriptures and he phone rings, don't answer it. It can wait 5 min or so until you've finished reading. If your sitting down and going to write in your journal, start with a prayer and ask the Lord what you should write and the Lord will place in your mind the things to write, just by starting simply. If your writing in your journal and your kids are around, have them write in their journals with you. It helps teach them the importance of Journal writing as well as time well spent. Even in they can't write they can draw pictures. To help us remember to keep the spirit with us we can place signs in our house to help us remember the savior, or play calming music. I have tried recently to not yell at my kids when I'm trying to get them to obey. Which helps keep the spirit in our home and still helps them accomplish the task they were asked to do. Does the Lord yell at us when we are being disobedient? No. He still quietly and lovingly tries to reach us.
Recently, I had an experience with my mother that I'd like to share. She recently sprained her ankle. She calls and needs a ride home from the emergency room. She assures me she is okay. When I arrive I have her recovery plan already planned out for her. She will stay at my house where I can take care of her needs. Mind you this is without asking her first what she needs or wants. I try to be persuasive. I try to tell her it is what is in her best interest. Then it dawns on me... Duh?! Did she even ask me for this? Is this what she really needs or wants? How many times when we are given a situation from the Lord that would normally require us to receive counsel from the Lord on what he would have us do, do we try to take over? Think we know best? and not go to him for what the situation is in need of.? When we finally do... do we try to persuade the Lord into doing what we want to do, not obeying what he asked us to do? In the end, I obeyed the wishes of my mother and let her take care of herself. And I had to submit to the will of my mother, juts as we need to submit to the will of the Lord. He knows what needs done. If we would only listen and obey what he has to say. How much easier would our life be?
In the 3rd article of Faith it states: We believe that through the atonement of Christ, All mankind may be saved, by OBEDIENCE to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Those laws and ordinances of the gospel grow as your understanding of the gospel grows thru the first four basic principles of the gospel found in the 4th article of Faith: We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; Second, Repentance, Third: Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; Fourth: Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. By following those things and the things we know we should be doing such as reading our scriptures, saying our prayers and waiting for the answer from the Lord,  acting upon those answers, following the counsel of our church leaders, writing in our journals, not getting sidetracked into the worldly things. We can draw closer to our Heavenly Father and be ready willing and able to obey. We will truly be blessed.
I know this church is true. I know that by being obedient to the teachings of the savior and by obeying the laws and ordinances of the Gospel we will truly be free and blessed. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas - Getting to know you

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE! 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? wrapping and gift bags 2. Real tree or Artificial? we put up a fake one.
3. When do you put up the tree? the weekend of thanksgiving. usually friday.
4. When do you take the tree down? usually after the new year 5. Do you like eggnog? OH, Yea!!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? a basketball 7. Hardest person to buy for? my husband, and giving my husband an idea of what I want. 8. Easiest person to buy for? the boys!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yep several, i collect them. I just love them! my favorite one right now is the Willow tree nativity set. 10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I try to mail cristmas cards, but i usually get so busy i don't get them out.. I know i'm bad. maybe this year the boys can help me. :) I have several boxes from the other years. So luckily I don't have to buy any. :) 11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? a franklin planner/purse from my hubby.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas and the Nativity
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? last minute due to lack of fundage... but this year i'm already ahead. The boys are mostly done. Just afew odds and ends.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yea. Those are the best!!!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Ham, mashed potatoes, Bill's grandmother's cookies, pecan pie, christmas cookies, orange rolls, the whole shibang!!! 16. Lights on the tree? oh yea... we have a fake tree with it's lights already on it. Pre-lit. I know lazy but effective.red, white and green! 17. Favorite Christmas song? It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... every where you go! ..... 18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Doesn't matter as long as I'm with family!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? dasher, dancer, prancer and vixen, comet and cupid, donner and blitzen..... and of course Rudolf 20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star... but some years it's an angel. both significant
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We give the kids one gift on christmas eve, usually christmas pj's.... then the rest on Christmas
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? my husband's bah humbag attitude...
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? my favorite ornament.... hmmm... would have to be a heart. Bill got a glass heart right after his first heart surgery. to me it represents the love of christmas and the blessings that we have.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? all of my favorite foods.... mmmmm yummy
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? don't know. to see my side of the family, a little girl, a horse, a farm. things I can't have yet. oh well, it's good to dream!
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? don't know, those in the christmas spirit!
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? those who are bah humbags... scrooges!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Employee's first article


I moved internally at AOL this year. I was asked to answer the following questions about my time at AOL... It was what they call Employee's First Article. It is posted on the Internal AOL web page. I thought I'd share my experience. It also was posted with a picture of me. Here is the picture they used. Enjoy.


After working as a contractor at AOL for nine years in several positions, last year Shae Clark became a full-time employee in Human Resources. She then transitioned into a role as data analyst for the Global Workforce Analytics team responsible for ad-hoc reporting, data integrity auditing and project management. In the Q&A below, find out what brought Shae to AOL in the first place and how she turned a temporary position into a full-time career.

When did you begin working at AOL?
It's an interesting story. I had been a contract worker on and off for nine years in various groups such as Broadband, Marketing Operations, System Operations, Network Operations and others. The temporary nature of the role gave me flexibility -- I have three small children -- and working for several groups allowed me to learn a lot about the company. As time went by, I wanted a more stable situation. My last contract position in 2007 working for Michaela Oliver led to a permanent position as an administrative assistant in Human Resources.

What attracted you to AOL?
My husband has worked at AOL for 10 years and has always enjoyed it -- that influenced me. Also, it made sense for us to work at the same place since we only had one vehicle. Once I began temping I enjoyed those roles and the people I worked with, so even after we owned two cars, I wanted to continue to work here.

What were you looking for in your next role?
A challenge. I did administrative work for nearly 13 years and wanted to use my knowledge of the company to expand my horizons. Through networking with my colleagues in HR, I was intrigued with the newly forming Analytics team and was given an opportunity to cross train and devote some of my time to that team. It was a wonderful learning experience and ultimately I was offered the chance to work on the team full time. I still have a lot of learning to do, but I'm excited about the position.

Why did you decide to look internally versus looking for positions outside of AOL?
I just love AOL -- some might call me a "lifer." It's a great company to work for and I have so much history here, it would be hard for me to leave.

What did you perceive to be your biggest roadblock when considering a job change?
My own insecurities about breaking out of the admin role. I needed to find a group that recognized I could do more and that was willing to give me an opportunity.

What steps did you take to prepare yourself?
Networking was a huge part of it. Through discussions with my manager and other HR colleagues, I identified opportunities.

What steps worked best for you in your search for a new role?
Communication and action -- I tried to be proactive and speak with people about my interest in changing roles. I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and take on new projects that were exciting and challenging at the same time. Talking to my manager about my goals and what I wanted helped me to get those new projects and ultimately a new position.

Which skills were most transferrable from your previous job to your current position?Relationship building, knowledge of the company, understanding the environment at AOL, networking, organizational skills, communication skills, time management and the ability to multi-task. Having energy and excitement about the future also helped me transition and to continue to perform well.

How did your manager support your career development?
My previous manager was very supportive of my career development. She gave me opportunities and allowed me to take on more responsibility. She encouraged me to try new things, and I appreciate her efforts to help me succeed.

Any advice for those looking for other positions internally?
Don't be afraid to discuss what you want with your manager. Be open and honest about your current job, but share that you would be interested in a change if something came up. Be willing to take on new responsibilities and keep the lines of communication open with your manager on how those new responsibilities are working out. Be honest if it isn't a good fit -- the only way your manager will know is if you communicate that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

As a mother, I try to be objective.  I got up this morning on time, a little tired but not too bad, got ready for work, went to work thinking today is going to be a good day. Optimisim.... I'm trying.... Well, I'm not at work (mind you I have a 1 hr and 15 min commute.) more than 30 min... and my kids school calls.... no they aren't sick.... my oldest (9 yrs old) is suspended from school for 10 days!!! he brought a pocket knife on the bus/school. He lied to the bus driver, and then proceeded to lie to the assistant principal. Deep breath.... okay, so I'm notified that an expulsion hearing will be held where we need to get an attorney. Also, the police were called and he could be removed from my home, if deemed a threat to others. Yea so much for my good day. I proceeded to finish the conversation with the assistant principle, told my boss I needed to leave work and go home to try to handle the situation, call my husband, breakdown in my bosses' office. Pull it together, head home and try to figure out what I should do next. 

So, I do a lot of thinking, praying, and trying to be calm on the drive home. My husband picked him up from school, as it was his day to work from home. We still don't know what he was thinking except he wanted to trade the knife for something else from another student. 

I continue to pray for guidance on how to reach him. I would like to get some advice from those few readers that read my blog. I'm struggling with the right course of action. We have grounded him, he now has to do all of the house work since he will be home for the next couple of weeks. There will be no thanksgiving celebration with extended family. We are just so furious. I have not spanked him... even though I've felt like it a few times, when he gets smug with me. I'm trying to be level headed. Tough love and discipline. It is not tolerated in our home. but this is his second offense at the school that he's been suspended for this year. AHHHHH Luckily we have his therapy appointment tomorrow. WE will be discussing his latest infraction and behavior issues with her. Please pray for us and feel free to comment.. I would love some outside perspective. Thanks, 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Testimoney

Yesturday was a great day. We went to church and felt the spirit, sang in choir practice, had a great lesson on Knowledge and how important it is to have Truth! We then went home and had dinner and then the missionaries came over to share with us a Preach my gospel activity. It was so good. The boys drew pictures of things like their interpretation of heaven, our family (all with smiling faces and no bodies, thanks Mikey) and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The boys did those things while Bill and I shared our testimoneys and prayed over some of our friends names with the missionaries on who would be open and ready to hear the gospel in their lives. I felt very blessed to have 5 names on my list come to my mind after the prayer. I am so grateful for the gospel and the love of my Savior. I know that the Lord in a healer and will bless the lives of those who allow him to enter their hearts. It has happened to me in my life. I am so grateful for my Savior and all that he does for me. For all of his blessings he showers upon me daily. He is my deliverer when I am down and out! I am grateful for the prophets who lead and guide the church and for their example. I am grateful for a wonderful Family immediate and extended. I am grateful for their example to me! I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true! I know that Jesus is my savior and died for me on the cross. I know that we have living prophets that lead and guide our church today. I am grateful for Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel in this Dispensation. I know that the Savior can heal all wounds and make us whole again. I know that Miracles still happen. I am grateful for the knowledge that I can talk to my Heavenly Father. And that he knows me by name, and loves me. I am truely grateful for the lessons i've learned.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Pictures



Here are our family Halloween Pictures, Bryen was Dr. KillJoy, Braeden was a Clone Trooper, Mikey was our little Iron Man. Bill was a Woopy Cushion and I was a sleepy kid. We went out and collected lots of candy and we went door to door with some friends from the neighborhood. Their little boy is in our family picture. I can't remember which one. It was fun.







Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken on Saturday, Nov. 1. They are so amazing. Please click the link and enter the code to view. They are amazing. The big family picture is of my husbands side of the family. I would love to try to get one of the Dickson side of the family too. But for now here is the Clarks. The Photographer is from my In-law's ward in Charles Town, WV.

I would like to invite you to view your pictures at Postma Videography and Photography. Go to our website at http://ordering.postmavideo.com.

Click the Access Gallery link and enter in the access code below:

Access code: billandnancy

After you do that, you will be able to view these pictures.

Barack Obama Our new President

Well, here we are, the day after, the most historic election in US history. What an amazing night. I stayed up to watch the speaches from McCain and Barack. They both did a fabulous job. I think McCain would have been more the way he was lastnight then he might have won. His demeanor and his words never sounded so true. You could tell they were words from his heart and I was touched by them. Barack also made a fabulous speech about how it is our Duty to work hard to make the changes we need. I completely agree. We've all taken a huge step and we need to now follow thru. It's amazing to see how exciting it was for those in DC lastnight. They had to close down streets because of the spontaneous celebration from Barack's victory last night. There were celebrations on U St. and 14th street in downtown DC. and in front of the White House as well. When I went to bed at 1pm they were still going strong. I feel very blessed to be able to have seen and taken part in this historic event. Even my children are touched and affected by this event. What an amazing thing. Here's to a bright hopeful future!

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Historic Election on Tuesday

I have been debating in my mind about who is the right choice in this election. I have made it a matter of prayer and study. While doing so I've been wrestling with my own assumptions on what it means to be a good Latter-day Saint. I felt that if I vote for a Democrate then I can't be a good mormon because of some of the things such as abortion and gay marriages they support. Even though the rest of what I believe is in line with that party currently. My wonderful husband has helped me with debating both sides with me. Helping me see different perspectives on each candidate. I had felt that the only reason I would vote for McCain is due to the aforementioned reasons. And it bothered me. When I went in prayer those didn't feel as important as the rest of the reasons to choose a president. My husband recently mentioned that we in our church support the right to choose that we do in fact allow and accept free agency. whether or not we agree with their choices. That really hit home to me. It made me realize that thru the Gay marriage and Abortion we were allowing them to still make the choice whether or not I agreeded with that choice or not. Because I want the right to still be able to choose what I may. I then felt much better about my decision to vote. Then on Saturday my mother-in-law sent me this article http://ldslivingonline.com/article.php?articleId=79643. It just put it in persepective even more. And how important it is to truely have diversity and choice in our life. I will be going to the voting booth on Tuesday to make my voice heard and make my choice. I will be voting for Barack Obama. I feel that he is the best choice for the position as we need in our current world and crisis that we have been going thru as a country. We need a fresh approach and a new set of eyes and ears on the pulse of society. I know when writing a paper. We go to someone who has never seen it before to make changes and fix what could be broken. Not because they are necessarily an expert but because they help you see what needs to be fixed and can help you move forward and continue to progress. I am not typically an outspoken advocate in these political arena's but I know for myself that I will be supporting Barack Obama for president. It is good to have new ideas, new choices, new perspective in any situation. I feel Barack Obama is the person to help us as a nation to accomplish what we need to. Thanks for letting me spill my soap box and share what is going on here. Here's to choice! what a wonderful thing. I am so glad that I have the freedom to choose and to know that that right is not just given by the United States of America but a God given right!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Bryen! It's hard to believe your 9!!!

Here I am just after my oldest turns 9 yrs old. It is so hard to believe that they are going up so fast. When did he get to be so old? His birthday was interesting. I was hoping it would be a happy day. It started out that day. My youngest was "Pioneer of the Week" and had lunch with daddy. We were hoping to stop by his class at school and surprise him with some fun things for his class. Unfortunately... we were called to the school not 10 min after school started. He had brought a cap gun to school and it was noticed on his bus. We don't buy guns of any kind toy or real. He had gotten it from someone at the bus stop. He was suspended from school for that day. I had a dental appointment to go over the results of my biopsy. He came with while Daddy went to the lunch with Mikey (our youngest). We tried talking to him about why he did what he did. And who gave him the toy gun. But friendship is more important to him than telling on his friend so he lied to us!!! several times. as his parents we caught him in his lies... it was very disheartening. Here we wanted to celebrate his birthday but we couldn't. How could we! He was grounded and now we have to pat him down before he leaves the house and watch him closely before he gets on the bus. I hate feeling like I can't trust my kids. He got one birthday present for his birthday on his birthday. No party, no friends, no fun. Bill's parents came to the house last night for Family Home Evening and to give him his presents. They also didn't give more than 2 so that he wasn't rewarded for bad behavior. We as parents are trying to do what is right and it is so hard. I am grateful that it wasn't a real gun. I am grateful that we were home when we got the call to go to school. I am grateful that we can try to work thru these issues now before they snowball into bigger issues when he gets older.

Saturday was a much better day than Friday. We had a race cleaning the house. It made the job so much funner. We split the house by floor. Bill, Braeden and Mikey had the downstairs - living room, front room and kitchen. (not the messiest.) and Bryen and I tackled the upstairs (4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. (the messiest)... can you guess who won?..... Bryen and I. We worked together well and stayed focus on the task. We decided to work on each room as a team and when one room was done then we would move to the next room. My husband's team took a different approach. He decided he would do the kitchen and the other two boys were to do the other two rooms. The boys had a hard time staying on task and staying focused without constant supervision and encouragement. Bill felt like he was working alone and worked much slower alone than with another person. He was frustrated and flustered where as Bryen and I were happy and encouraging and enthusiastic. We were so excited to see we won the race. Bryen got some Cotton Candy from Walmart as a special treat for helping our team to win. All the boys got a candy bracelet for their efforts. It was interesting to see how important it is sometimes when things are so tough or overwhelming to work as a team or with someone and not alone. I can see many parallels between this situation and the other obsticals in our life. I makes things easier to get thru when we have someone help us thru it instead of trying to do it on our own. I am grateful for that situation. Not only because I got a clean house but because of the wonderful lesson I learned.

Sunday was a family day... we played hooky from church... we have been so busy with our callings and work, both of us pulling a ton of OT that we needed a family day. We went to the Catoctin Animal Refuge Zoo near Thurmont MD. It's expensive... but for a great cause. The boys did a scavenger hunt thru the Zoo for a prize at the end. It helped them really enjoy and learn about the animals there. They have snakes, bears, deer, buffolo, camels, bangel tigers, jaguars, peakocks, kangaroo, turtles, makaws, lemers, black swans and much more. It was so cool to see the animals. Some of them we could pet and feed. The kids liked getting all messy while feeding the animals. The tigers were so close, they are such majestic animals. Bill wanted to stay there all day and just watch the tigers play with one another. But the kids wouldn't have it. :( :) It was a good day. Now we are back to work, and working hard.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Health History

Well, Here I am 31 yrs old and diagnosed with Hypertension. Did I ever think I was going to have extremely high blood pressure? No, definately not. Thru finding out that I have hypertension, trips to the hospital(ER) and Urgent Care visits, I've called my mom to see if this is hereditary. And was informed that it was. My grandpa Dickson had Hypertension and was on medication and diet to help him keep it under control. My grandma Lancaster (on my dads side) died of a heart attack, possibly related to Hypertension or high blood pressure. She didn't discuss much of her health with us. I find it amazing the things in our family history that affect us. My father is tall, I have a grandmother on my mom's side who was tall. I am also tall. I often wonder how the behaviors of our ancestors affect our lifes as well. What were they like? What issues health wise did they have? Were they generally healthy or did they have any other things such as food allergies, or cancer in their family? I am however, greatful that we live in a day and age where hypertension doesn't have to be life threatening. It can be treated with medication and diet. I know that our geneology is important in more ways then one. I am grateful for what I do know about their lives. It helps me get thru the shock, and realizing that I'm not alone. That joining together gives me strength.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Braeden's Birthday and upcoming Baptism

Well, it's amazing how time flies. I now have two 8 yr olds. One will be 9 in roughly 25 days and the other just turned 8. Yes, they are 11 months and 1 day apart. I don't think I ever realized that they would one day grow up. They were such a handful, and half the time I thought I was loosing my mind. Well, time has passed and they've gotten older and more independant and I've come close to loosing my mind. But here we are about to have two boys baptised. It's amazing. Braeden will be baptised on October 11 at 11am. He will be getting baptised with a new member convert who is 9 yrs old. I think that is awesome. Braeden wants to get baptised as soon as possible. He can't wait to be baptised. He is so excited. I have noticed how he loves the gospel. He loves to read his new scriptures he got for his birthday. I hope that it stays that way. Well, we had a good birthday party - even though Bill and I were both under the weather. Saturday we had about 25 people over at our house, we had 5 other kids besides our 3 and the rest were adults - Bill's parents, his brother Chris and his girlfriend Liz, Bill's Sister Jenny and her boyfriend DJ, Our neighbor Carrie and Scott with Carrie's daughter Jillian and her boyfriend, the mom of three of the other kids, John and Sandra Chadwell. I think that's it. oh and bill and I. So that's alot of people. but it was fun. We had Hotdogs and hamburgers, and a huge spread of sides. Almost everyone brought some food. The kids played the Wii and boardgames, and ran all thru the house while the adults visited. It was scheduled to rain but luckily no rain. So we were spread outside and inside. Which didn't make it too uncomfortable to have that many people. We hope everyone had a good time. We enjoyed the time but were grateful when everyone left so we could die on the couch. It's hard putting on a good face when we're sick. Bill did well not to show it and complain and I think I hid mine pretty well too. Braeden had a blast. So here's to another party in less than a month. Kindof hard when on Bryen's birthday is the Ward Trunk-r-Treat. But maybe we'll make that his party. Just without the presents... Hmmm do you think that will work... Nah me either. well, so much for trying. Thanks for reading. That was our weekend. How was yours?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor day trip to Boston

Well we had a whirlwind weekend. Lots of driving. We took the boys to Boston for the labor day holiday. We started the drive up on Friday evening... Slept somewhere in Pennsylvania, continued the drive to Boston on Saturday... we got into Boston around 6pm on Saturday night. Found a hotel in Boston (mind you we didn't book a hotel before we left) very last minute. Most everything we was full. We went on a guided tour of the Freedom Trail up thru Paul Revere's house... then finished the Freedom trail on our own. It was a 4 mile walk. Lots of fun. Lots of interesting facts about what really happened. We went and saw 'old Ironside" USS Constitution. The oldest US Commissioned war ship. Then we went back to the Boston Commons and headed to Maine for a little side trip. We went all the way to Scarborough, Maine on Route 1. It was getting late and we didn't have a hotel so we decided to turn aroun and head back home. We made it as far back as somewhere in Connecticute that night before we found a hotel on the side of the road and went to sleep around midnight. then we got up and out by about 10am, got breakfast at a truckstop and headed home at about 1130, we finally got home last night at around 730 pm. What a fun weekend it was. On the way home we stopped at OCC Orange County Choppers in NY. Went and took pictures of the bikes they had on display and got a few suveniers. (sp?) and finished our drive home. We did a lot of walking and learning history. i can't think of a better way to spend a holiday. We discussed going back up for thanksgiving. and doing some more exploring. Finding things that had to do with the first Thanksgiving in the US. We'll see. We may not. But it sure sounds fun. Well, I hope you all had a safe and fun Labor day holiday. I know we did. I took a ton of pictures. I will put them up as soon as I can get them off my camera. :) Now we are back to work, and school. Lots of fun stories to tell. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School








Well, I survived, the kids survived.... The first day of school. I made it thru the day with out too many tears. All three of my boys are now in school, officially. Mikey is in all day kindergarten, Braeden is in Second, and Bryen is in Third. It is hard to believe they are all in school. I look forward to the days of volunteering at their school. PTA here I come. Well, I have a few pics to share as well. i hope you enjoy. I know I am. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is it that time already?

Here we are almost time for the kids to start school. I will have all of my boys in school. It is hard to believe that I and they have made it to this point. Bill is almost back to his old self again. He's back to work and has a busness trip to NY next week, the week after the boys start school. Bryen starts 3rd grade, Braeden starts 2nd and Mikey is going to Kindergarten which is all day... They will all ride the same bus. It is strange for me as a mother to have them all be out of the house. Luckily for me I work from home 2 days a week and Bill works from home typically the other three days a week from home. So we will be able to be here when they get on the bus and when they get off the bus and can participate in their school things this year. It will be so wonderful. We are so excited. Things are looking up and we are moving forward... good things are coming... It's nice to be here. They are all growing up... YEA... as much as I enjoyed them when they were littler... I am excited about seeing them grow and become more independant.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Feelings

Well, I've been feeling a little anxious... my brother Curtis has called me a couple of times and I don't know how i feel about him calling me. My mom wants us to have Family Home Evening with her and him... YIKES... what./... NO....! I've forgiven but does that mean that I need to include him in my life? I'm so unsure of the right thing except my gut says don't do it. I wish the best for my brother but I don't want him near my kids. Is that wrong? He has hurt them once, and I don't want him to hurt them or anyone else again. He says he's changed... But I don't want to find out. Bryen my oldest wants to see him.. and say he's sorry for letting Curtis do bad things to him... my heart breaks... It might be healing for Bryen to do that but I don't want him to have to feel bad for that. It wasn't his fault. Deep breath... Therapy maybe that will help him realize that it isn't his fault... that he doesn't need to appologize to him... I don't know. WE are going to counseling and working thru things but I still feel apprehensive. I'm trying to protect my children and at the same time trying to be christlike. I will work thru this and get over it... I just want to be able to do what is best for my children. I love them and want to protect them from anyone who could hurt them. at least away from people I know have hurt them in the past. Since I can't keep them locked in a closet for the rest of their lives. Well, thanks for letting me vent. I'll try to have more possitive posts later. Have agood day and thanks for reading.

Monday, July 21, 2008

News Update July 21, 2008

Breaking news...

My little brother Curtis is getting released today from Juvie... I'm a little nerveous as my mother wants us to welcome him home with open arms. He has been in for just over 2 yrs. I don't think Bryen knows that he is getting out so soon. I am concerned that he will revert back to destructive behavior once he finds out he is out of Jail and is near by. I want him to keep feeling safe and I feel my hands are tied. I pray for strength every day and courage to do the right thing.

Braeden lost a tooth this weekend. He is very excited.

Shae and Bill celebrated their 10 yr wedding anniversary on Friday.

Mikey worked on overcoming his fear of the ocean on Saturday... It took him 2.5 hrs to put his feet in the surf but by small steps... we can overcome our fears.

Bill's doing well with his recovery. He had a little bleeding from his insision area but have been reasured it is normal and doing well. He still gets tired easy but is in good spirits. He went to the beach this weekend and felt rejuvinated by it. It was nice to see him enjoying himself.

My sister Katy is closing on her first house this week. I'm happy for her.

My mom will have my brother Curtis living with her again. She is very excited to have him home. She has missed him greatly.

My sister Jennifer is still living at my dad's house working two jobs last I checked. She says she is doing well.

Kenneth and JP I haven't talked with in a long time. I hope they are doing well.

That is the update on our family. I'll try to post hightlights often as I know them. Thanks for your prayers.

10 yr Anniversary - Bill and Shae

This weekend was my 10 yr wedding anniversary. actually friday July 18. We decided to take a trip to the Beach with the kids (we couldn't find a sitter). So we drove to Seaford DE. stayed at a hotel there and then drove on Saturday to Assateaque Island MD to the beach and spent time there. We played in the cold ocean. Mikey didn't get brave enough to get in the water until after 2.5 hrs there. It took a good hr to get him to just sit close to the water. The noise scares him and he is worried about being pulled in the water. He has been several times before but one of the last times he was in the water... he was drilled by a wave and he didn't like it so it made him very leary about going back in the water. We were there about 4 hrs. Lots of sun... too much sun. I got sunburned on my legs (only one side). The rest did well. we got them covered with enough sunscreen. Bryen and Braeden had a fabulous time. Braeden lost a tooth at the beach. I was checking it to see how loose it was and it fell out. He was very proud to have another chance for the tooth fairy to come and visit. We went back to the hotel by way of Red Lobster--- yummy. Then went back to the hotel. I stayed in the room and nursed my poor legs with aloe vera, while Bill took the boys down stairs to the indoor pool at the hotel. They had fun there and then came back to the room for showers and bed time. we had a fun filled day. Sunday, we went to the Ocean City Boardwalk and walked around a few hrs and then came home. We go too much sun on the boardwalk (we forgot to add sunscreen) so I got more sunburn on my neck and arms. Bill got sunburned on his neck and the back of his arms and the boys were fine. (no sunburns). No gifts, no major romantic interludes... just good times with the family. I am grateful to have my little family and the time we get to spend together having fun.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another year older... maybe not that much wiser...Who knows

Well, it's hear and gone my birthday. I got a pair of PJ's from my mom, flowers, dinner, chocolate covered strawberries, and $60.00 for clothes from Bill and the boys. I got a $50.00 gift card to Lane Bryant from my mother-in-law. A couple cards and well wishes. I was sung Happy birthday about 10 times between my sisters calling, neighbors with their kids and my kids... It was nice. I was able to go shopping today on my way home from work and got several pairs of shorts and shirts (much needed). YEA... NEW CLOTHES. All in all it wasn't too bad. I've been a little emotional lately with feelings of being overwhelmed. I'm glad I got a little break.

Not much wiser because....I haven't learned to appreciate that I'm getting older... Growing up is hard even though I don't want to be a youngen... I don't even wish to be in my early twenties... Things are getting harder and I'm glad I have the experiences that I have however, Deep breath.... I am tired. I know there is more learning and growing as we get older... I'm just tired right now and would like to take a summer break sotoo speak. That was one thing I loved about school... Summer break, No school, No getting up early for school/responsibilites. I could play with my brothers/sisters and not have to worry about homework or anything it was nice. Of course there were draw backs to that as awell... I didn't get to see my friends everyday... I had more chores to do since we were all home all day long. I got into trouble more since we were goofing off alot. I loved just lying under a giant tree on the soft green freshly cut grass... looking up at the sky at the huge white puffy clouds rolling by... make believing or seeing things in the clouds like Gigantic icecream cones, or Pirate ships sailing by, or things like a cat or dog jumping over something. Eating watermellon in the back yard and spitting seeds at my brothers and getting all sticky and rinsing off in the hose for an impromptu water fight. Helping my dad by washing cars he would work on for a little extra money and then going to the store across the highway for candy and sodas. Ah,... the good old days when things were simple.

Back to reality... Work 8 hrs a day. Full time mom, fulltime wife, daughter, friend, church callings, scripture study, temple attendance. the list goes on and on. Nothing is as simple anymore. but maybe just maybe thinking of the simple times helps us gain a better perspective of who we are, where we've been and where we are going. To realize things don't always have to be crazy out of control and things can be simple if we were willing to accept simple and be fullfilled with that. I guess that too is part of growing old that we are not content with the simple. We feel some need to be crazy out of control or we are not fully fulfilled. Oh well, enough of my ramblings.

Well, this weekend will be my 10 year anniversary being married to Bill. Some days it is hard to believe that we've been together that long after such a short courtship. I know we both try and that is the most important thing that we haven't given up on each other just yet. Luckily for me... He's not fed up with me. (just yet) ;) we can still laugh at eachother and with eachother. WE can still work thru our issues. Nothing has been more than we can work thru with the Savior as our guide. I'm grateful for that. Happy Anniversary Bill. I STILL love you!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A happy 4th of July

We had such a nice 4th of July this year. We didn't go anywhere. We stayed home and had some neighbors over here. We had hotdogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, nacho cheese/chips, beans, chips, dip, veggie tray, peach cobbler, brownie bites. and much more. It rained the first part of the evening but we cooked the hamburgers  and hotdogs inside. We played SkipBo and watched TV... Bill and the boys played Guitar Hero. and we just hung out. Then around 830ish... the neighborhood went started exploding with fireworks. we went our side and the kids played with sparklers and Bill set off some little fountains and we watched the show from our driveway of the huge fireworks in the sky. It was so nice since the rain had quit and it wasn't muggy. Lots of fireworks... we didn't come back inside til after 10 then we cleaned up a little and the neighbors went home and we went to bed. It was such a nice day to stay home and spend time with friends and family. Low stress and lots of fun. i hope you had a great safe 4th of July. We did :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're home

Well, we are home from the hospital. We came home on Sunday, June 22, 2008.  Bills surgery was a success. He did extremely well and was recovering well so they sent him home. It hasn't been easy but we are pushing along. We are blessed by the power of the priesthood. It has been a wonderful blessing to us. Bill, myself, and our three boys along with his parents all received blessings before he went into the hospital. We have been given the strength to endure the hardships that have come our way. I've been able to be strong and collected thru it all so far. Our faith has grown and our love for each other has expanded. I am grateful for the blessings of our family and friends as they have supported us and helped us thru this time. We are grateful for the prayers and well wishes from everyone. We have been able to keep a positive mind frame which has helped us thru these times. Bill is still recovering and is still in some pain. But he is home and doing well. Thanks for all of your prayers. :) I'm grateful for the savior and his watchful hand over our family. He carries me thru these times of trial and helping me to learn and grow and rely on his strength. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



Remember when we were all young and close? It is strange to believe that we're all grown up and have children of our own. I remember the family reunions and times we would spend at the Kirks house, and Blanco State Park and Grandma and Grandpa's house. I remember looking forward to our get togethers everytime. Those were some happy times. Look at how young we all were. Good times... good times. Well I just wanted to share with everyone part of my family. Now it is grown and would love to have another Dickson/Frazer/Lancaster/Kirk/Beaver/Moffett/Neathery/Jankus family reunion with all the cousins and their kids and spouses. Wouldn't it be fun... Maybe next year..? Any takers?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Down to the Wire and Happy Father's Day

Well, we are down to the wire almost time for Bill's surgery and I'm getting a little more stressed everyday. My house which once was cleaned is now a royal mess again, so I'm not feeling very organized and prepared for this. Yesturday was father's day and I had a wonderful day with my husband and my Father-in-law. We gave my father-in-law a heirloom Book of Mormon and a book about the Power of a Virtuous Man. We wanted him to know that we support him as the head of the family and as a priesthood holder, and that we look to him for guidance and inspirations sometimes. The boys and I gave Bill a grill and a 5lb. bag of hotdogs. He loves hotdogs. So he cooked hotdogs and we roasted marshmellows on the new grill last night. It was a nice evening. Bill is getting nerveous. He is starting to stress about the proceedure and the pain of everything. I am trying to keep his spirits up. But it isn't easy as I am getting nerveous too. I trust the lord and his power. I am just lacking in other areas. I know that the lords will will be done. We are still taking a day at a time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blessings of the Temple

I was blessed, this Saturday, to be able to attend the temple with my husband. It was such a wonderful experience. I was able to feel the love of my savior and his gentle arms around me. I was able to feel the comfort of prayer that can bring peace to the soul. I know that everything is in the Lord's hands and that he has made my burdans light and that he will grant my righteous prayers. I feel so blessed to have had that experience. It has brought such peace to my soul. I just wanted to share.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My thread of Joy

I am grateful for the example of my cousins. They are wonderful examples of finding the silver lining in crazy clouds when we are weary. My cousin mentioned in her blog how she was weary and yet still trying to find her thread of Joy weaved thru her life within one week. I decided that is what I needed to do as well even if on a more general level. My life right now especially, I am very weary and feel sometimes that there is no Joy only sorrow. I know the Savior has said that we must pass thru sorrow to truely be able to feel Joy. As I am going thru sorrow. I am trying to stay focused on the Joy he speaks of. It is helping me feel not so weary and overwhelmed.

1) Having a husband who loves me and that I can trust.. Peace and Joy I find in that thought.

2) Mikey (age 5) getting up on Sunday and bearing his testimony - Not scared at all - Finding strength in Truth - Such a Joy

3) Expressing my testimony on Sunday - Sharing the truth I have in my life and praising my Savior. For he carries me thru these trial that feel to much. What a Joy to have him at my side always.

4) Spending time with my boys and watching them interact nicely one with another. Realizing they are truely trying to be honorable young men. - Such a joy!

5) Finding and purchasing new Makeup that looks good on - I feel better and more like a Daughter of God. - Joy in Beauty.

6) Having a job that challenges my mind - Being able to learn new things a expand my knowledge. A joy in knowledge.

7) Having the flexibility to work from home 2 days a week. A Joy to be able to spend more time with my children and my husband. Family first/Family forever.

8) Being able to attend the temple - Joy in things of a Higher sphere. Thinking beyond self.

9) Having a priesthood holder in my home and being able to call upon the power of the priesthood when needed. This is such a JOY! Having a worthy priesthood holder as my husband is such a joy and a blessing.

10) Knowing I love my husband more every day. Joy in love!

I know some of this is broad. But sometimes our Joy can be. Anything to help brighten our lifes and see the good is a Joy. I'm greatful for the love and strength of my family. I am so happy that my Aunt Beth decided to be baptised. It is such a joy! I know it was a personal decision. But I share in her joy!

I know the Lord loves me and my family. And that as long as we put our trust in him we shall not fail. Keeping our faith and trusting in his goodness.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

We have a date

We finally have a date for Bill's Surgery. He will have a cardiac Cath on June 18 and will then be admitted to Fairfax hospital for his surgery on June 19. Please keep us in your prayers. If all goes well he will mostlikely have a month of recovery, possibly a little longer. I will be home with him for all of it except that part of the time home with him I will be working from home so I can keep my job. (unless I get layed off which I should find out about within the next couple of weeks) so pray that I don't get layed off. well. Have a good day. God smiles on us daily. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Still waiting

We are still waiting for his surgery date. We talked to the surgen and he has another test to have done a TEE test. It is an outpatient test. He will be going tomorrow May 9th for that. Hopefully after that we will have a surgery date. We are still trying to get him to calm down and not stress so much about work and other things. One day at a time... and lots of deep breathing. I know that everything will be ok... The Lord's will be done. I am comforted that what will happen is suppose to happen and that we all have a purpose to fulfill and will not be cut short until our work here on earth is done. I know that I have enormous support in my family, friends and coworkers. I take comfort in that as well as my faith that the Lord loves me and my family and that his is our greatest source of comfort in our times of trial, need, sorrow, and struggles. He is also our biggest cheerleader in our accomplishments. He helped us to achieve. I am not stressing as much on my house as I know that it is too small in the grand sceme of things. I'm not going to sweat the small stuff.

In lighter news, my mother-in-law just retired. Which is really cool. She will be able to help us with the kids while Bill is having surgery and when we need a little help with childcare. I am so greatful for the blessings of my in-laws in my life.

The boys are getting big and growing up fast.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Getting Ready

Well, here I am working from home, looking at my messy house. Thinking of all the things I need to get done to have my house in order before Bill goes in for surgery. It is so overwhelming. I think about the messy kitchen, mt. Everest's pile of laundry in my room to wash and the other mt. olympus pile of laudry to fold and put away in a different room. The boys room is as if a tornado hit it along with an earthquake... especially since everything is in total disarray and broken dresser drawers and all... Dirty bathrooms that need cleaned. A lawn that is like a jungle that needs mowed. I'm not very focused on my work for work. My mind is preoccupied with other things. There are times that I think I'm not serving my family as I should because I am working and so many things go undone... as I am the one that has to motivate, encourage and lead to get anything done. I get so tired, I really need to spring clean,,, clean out and get rid of excess. Become a minimalist. But, unfortunatly... no time/energy/resources to do so. I'm just venting... I am working on building my faith that all will be fine. Nothing major is going to happen and we will get thru this hard time stronger and able to see the truely important things in life and lay hold upon those things. I am struggling to know how to comfort my children during this time as they are visibly shaken in this situation... I know being strong is part of the job description of being a parent and mother.

Well, I need to get back to work... I'll keep plugging along.
Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

A little scared

Well, It's been awhile since I've written. I've got alot going on here. We just found out Friday evening (April 25, 2008). That my husband Bill will have to have another open heart surgery. His aortic root is twice the size it should be and could burst.. at which point instant death... yea scary. Well, he is been told to lower stress, no heavy lifting and to take it easy until the surgery.. which we don't quite have a date for as of yet. WE see his surgen on May 9th and then he will set the surgery date. Bill has had an open heart surgery before I met him when he was coming off of his mission. He had the ROSS proceedure done. His heart at the time was the size of a dinner plate. He almost died then as well. He was blessed by his mission president and the surgen Dr. Doty (sp?) at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah. They thought the proceedure would be good for at least 20 yrs or so... but unfortunatly as we have found out. That only 12 or 13 years later... Time for another surgery. He isn't as terrified as I am... He has been thru this once before. But, I haven't and I have three boys to think about. I'm trying to work and stay focused on the things I need to do... but it is hard. I am lucky to have a support network here. My mom is here, my husbands family is here(they've been thru this once before) and my ward and friends. I feel at this point still kind of in shock and numb. I'm going thru the motions. I don't want him mowing the lawn but he said that the doctor said he could. I just don't want to take any chances. Not only is his Aortic root twice the size but he has a leak on one of his valves from his previous surgery. So, his blood pressure is fine. but he really isn't doing well. He is tired alot. and I feel somewhat helpless as I'm not sure how to help him. I'm trying to be strong. Please keep us in your prayers. Thanks for letting me share. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Days with the boys

I've been able to spend a few days with my boys this week, as I've had the pleasure of working from home. On Monday I got a call from the school nurse she mentioned that Bryen (my oldest) had a strange rash on his face. I didn't know why he would've gotten a rash, he didn't have one that morning when I dropped him off at the sitters. Their sitter said he didn't have one when she dropped him off at school either. So we were in a quandry as to why he had a rash. He made it thru school and then when I got home I noticed it... His brother Braeden had some on his cheeks too... really strange. We put some Hydrocortizone cream on it and gave him some benedryl for the itching. I took them to the doctors yesturday and he said it was a form of rotovirus or rodovirus... something like that. He said it was a quick moving virus and was here quickly and gone quickly. Nothing really to do for it but wait it out. He mentioned that what I was already doing for it was good. but not to exceed 5 days with the cortisone cream or it would stain their skin. That i'd never heard before. But luckily... this morning, neither had a rash on their face and were back at school. So just as soon as it came it was gone. So I stayed home yesturday and today they are so fun to have around. I hope that I can make it a perminate thing working from home at least a few days a week. I like having daylight with the boys and doing homework with them. It is hard with my 2 hr commute to spend much time with the boys.



I got a haircut this weekend and It's too short. It's really short. I seem to get haircuts too short. It hasn't been this short in years. Bill doesn't like it he said luckily it will grow out. He is hoping it grows fast. That is one way I know it's a bad haircut.



I enjoy reading my cousin Mimi's blog. I get uplifted from reading her blog. I am encouraged to know that relationships where husbands are truely equals with their spouses do exist. I am working on that in mine, but it is really hard. My husband isn't as supportive of the things that I need to do as I would like. I have a hard time getting him to even make dinner when I'm so swamped. It would be nice if he helped out around the house more. Maybe I wouldn't be so swamped all the time. I keep feeling like I can't breathe... my house is so messy all the time now. I can't even think sometimes to make dinner. I am grateful for those truely blessed in my family who have wonderful spouses who help them. It is such a blessing. I am grateful for the things that my husband does do. He works really hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I am grateful for his priesthood and the blessings that it has brought to our home. I'm grateful for the blessing of him completing an honorable mission. I am grateful that he is still here. I have been really worried about him as of late. He had open heart surgery on his mission to repair a bicuspid aortic valve. He had a heart valve transplant. This last week he started having severe heart palpetations. He went to the emergency room on Thursday night and they told him he had had too much caffiene and too much stress (probably from work) and so he took off work on Friday. Back to work this week. But I worry about him. He has a cardiology appointment on Friday this week. I'm hoping everything really is ok. It is hard with him... but it would be even harder without him. Please keep him in your prayers. He had his surgery over 9 years ago, with no issues, no problems. Here's to hoping for several more.



I don't mean to vent.... i just needed to share. Don't get me wrong I love my husband and he does alot for our family. I just know that if he wanted he could do so much more. Thanks for reading. :)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Flower Pictures I've taken








Pictures

The first two are at Arlington National Cemetary



















These two are outside of my car driving in California

Spring Break

This last week was spring break for my kids. It was a fun week. I had off on Monday and Tuesday, then I was off to California for a training class on PeopleSoft. My husband Bill had all week off with the boys. They had a lot of fun and traveled. Monday and Tuesday were nice sleeping in and letting the boys wreck havoc on the house. Well Monday at least and half of Tuesday. We just wanted to let down our hair and relax. We didn't really go anywhere. We had had a very long weekend prior to then. The friday before Spring Break was my Grandpa Dickson's Burial at the Arlington National Cemetary. It was an amazing experience. I got to visit with some of my cousins that I haven't seen in many years. My Aunts and Uncles that I haven't seen in years as well. It was good to see them all, even if it was under such curcumstances. I got to see Kotrina and Darius from the Jankus Family, Robbie and Stephanie from the Beavers and David from the Neatherly clan. Kotrina, her husband and their two boys (I unfortunately can't remember her last name or her husbands name.) They are so cute! Her little family. I remember those days all too well. She is doing so good with them. I really was so glad to see them. I brought my boys with Bill and I to the Burial. We felt it would be a good experience for them to see the patriotism of the Burial as well as the Honors of the Military. They loved the horses and they thought it was neat. It was amazing. Mikey, my youngest, started crying when they removed the casket from the hurst and put it on the back of the horse drawn wagon led by four white majestic horses. The casket was covered by the flag. The Honor Guard did a fabulous job with their movements in sync. It was very majestic. Once the casket was loaded on the back of the wagon he stopped crying. I asked him why he was crying, he said he didn't know. I think he could feel the spirit of the moment and understood even in his little 4 yr old soul, what was going on and what it all ment. It touched me to see his genuine expression of feeling at that time that I started tearing up when I thought about what it all ment. We were then invited to follow the persession of the military down to the burial location from the top of the hill where we were standing. Some drove and others walked. As we walked those visiting other graves that we passed, Stopped and saluted and stood in attention as we passed. It was so touching to see their Honor for Grandpa, whom they didn't know but knew was a fellow soldier. The commrodery was so heartfelt. After the wonderful service with the twenty one gun salute, Taps and a prayer. They folded the flag and handed it to Nancy. They said several words of praise for Grandpa and condoliences for the family. Then it was over. No one seemed to want to leave. We hung outside by the cars talking for quite a while after we were dismissed. Hugs and consoling each other. Drinking in the events of the day thus far. We eventually departed ways and several of us met at a restaurant called the Green Olive in Alexandria, VA. It was a chinese buffet. It was good. Afterwords, Bill, and I with the boys went over to Jeanne's house to let the boys run off some steam. They had a lot of fun playing in her back yard. They got very dirty... Their nice church clothes were definately worn in. luckily no rips or tears. For that I was greatful and the rest was washed out. After we hung out there for a while we all met back with the family at Aunt Jeanne's church building for a wake service of sorts. Where we could all visit and talk and relax. My kids played with Kotrina's oldest son, until he got hurt. My boys can get alittle rough. But I think they all had fun. It was nice visiting with family and catching up on what they are all doing these days. We drove home and got home around 10:30pm it was a long day. Then Saturday was running errands and getting ready for Church on Sunday. Sunday was church. Monday was the first day to rest and relax. We didn't run anywhere or do anything but stay home and try to be calm. Which was a nice day. Tuesday we slept in and then worked on the house, cleaning up and doing laundry. Braeden started getting sick and was weezing so we had to take him to the doctors as he has resperatory issues easily. He was put on an inhaler for weezing with his cold. I left for California on Wednesday. I had an early flight out of Dulles. VA at 9am which is rush hour as well as having to be there at least 2 hr early for airport security. So I was there by 7am. I got up at 4am to finish getting ready to go. Bill and the boys drove me to the airport. It was very nice of them to do. It's a long drive early in the morning. I had an uneventful time at security, and on the flight out to California. I arrived 6 hrs later in California around 12pmPST/3pmEST. The only person I know in that part of California is my husband's cousin Jessica who lives outside of San Francisco. I was going to a training class on PeopleSoft, in Pleasanton CA which is 45 min outside of San Francisco. I drove my rental car to the Hotel, but didn't stay there long. I wanted to explore this area a little bit before the sun went down. I drove around and found a Target, Walmart, Food places and other little shops. I got acclamated to the streets and found the training facility I was to attend the next day. So I would know how long it took for me in the morning to get there. While I was exploring, I called Bill to let him know that I had arrived safely. He informed me that he was on his way to North Carolina with the boys and that they were going to the Beach. I was sad. I wanted to go to the beach with the boys and see them play in the water and have fun with them. But I was doing something for work and was unable to go :( Well Bill took pictures for me so I wouldn't feel so left out. Of which I am greatful. I was still sad. I was also happy that he was taking this time to be with the boys and have fun with them. It was a long drive to the Beach (9hrs one way) with three boys in the back seat. With no help. What a brave man! I didn't do much but sleep, go to training and walk around a little in Pleasanton. It is a quaint little town with cute little shops and the best bakery for crassaunts I've ever had in my entire life. It is called Bibito, it was YUMMY! I finished my class on Friday, flew home on Saturday and got sick. I was sick Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and even today. I'm just I hope getting over it. I got Braeden's cold. Saturday the flight home wasn't too bad except for coming in to DC. My ears get too pressurized and they hurt really bad. It also took a while for me to hear anyone for the first 3 hrs I was home. Not a fun experience. It was also Mikey's 5th Birthday. I didn't like not spending it with him. I did get to have dinner with him at Red Robin. He enjoyed it. So now here we are back to work on Monday. Still a little sick, looking forward to this weekend, to be able to spend more time with the boys. Here's hoping you have a good, fun, safe Spring Break.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Sorrow, life regret

My sorrow is that two people that I respect and admire for different reasons have now passed beyond the veil. My prophet Gordon B. Hinkley Died on Sunday night and my Grandfather Donald Dickson Died on Monday Night. My regret is not getting to know either of them better.

I thought I was ok on Monday when I heard the news about Gordon B. Hinkley... I could go to work and think about the wonderful things that he accomplished in the church and the love that he had for his fellow brothers and sisters. I thought about when I went and watched conference at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, UT. I was single, and living in Provo, UT at the time. My room-mates and I slept out overnight on Temple Square to get (free) tickets to Conference. We met others who were waiting out to get tickets.. Sang songs and drank hot cocoa.... It was a wonderful night,... then we got tickets at like 8am and then ran to the car to get dressed... It was cold that night so we were bundled up. The car was parked at the Stadium down the street from the square. I remember waiting to get in to the tabernacle and singing songs like we "We thank the O God for a Prophet" and the "Spirit of God" I remember the spirit being so strong that day... Just to sit there and watch the twelve apostles walk in and then the prophet walk in I was standing and singing and then It was as if I was standing right next to him. I was in the very back of the Tabernacle on the second floor. sqooshed with no legroom and I was right there. I had the confirmation that I saw a man, who walks, talks and is close to God. I could feel my saviors love for me. I KNEW with out a shadow of a doubt that he was a man called from God and that The Church was TRUE! It was a revelation I had known was true... But I think it wasn't as confirmed as it was on that day. I will always remember him and the Joy that he brought to those around him. Those who were able to feel of his sweet spirit and his love of the savior and for all man kind. I will miss him until we meet again.

Next my Grandpa Dickson. It wasn't your typical relationship between Grandfather and Grandchild I don't think... I didn't see him very much. I met him when I was young girl in San Antonio TX. And then he was absent out of my life until I moved to Virginia after I had graduated High School. I was a nanny in DC and my Aunt Cindy had come out to visit. She had mentioned Grandpa Dickson and I visited with him after she left or just before. We met in Downtown Oldtown Alexandria... We went to one of his favorite Thai restaurants. He spoke their native tongue and ordered for me... I had never had Thai food before. It was very interesting I like the Peanut chicken the best. Mild of course. But he thought it was funny. I asked lots of questions about him. We talked about my mother and my family in TX. It was a wonderful visit. And then he was absent again for a while until after I was married. He helped my husband and I when we were in a pickle once. I was very grateful for his generosity and his loving spirit towards us. Even though we weren't "Close" as one might say. But we were closer than others. I tried to keep in contact with him and his wife Nancy throughout the years. Nancy gave me some House selling advice once or twice. I enjoyed my conversations with Nancy. It was nice to get to know her what little I had. I don't remember actually meeting her in person. I'm sure I will at the funeral. (How unfortunate it had to be under such cercumstances.) I am sorry for her loss, my loss, my families loss and my regret is that I didn't know more about him. I didn't spend more time with him and Nancy. To actually KNOW my grandfather. I am grateful for the opportunities that I did have. He will be missed and I will always treasure him as my grandfather. I miss you.

I have learned in my life how fragil, how special life is and how family is so very important... It gets you thru the good times and the bad times. I have lost in the last 6 months two grandfathers. I miss them terribly... I wasn't able to go to my Grandpa Frazer's funeral. I was so sad that he passed away. He was the one I remember mostly. as well as my Grandpa Lancaster. Who passed away I think 18 months ago or so. It is strange that in two years I have lost all of my grandfathers. But I guess that is the way that life is. I just don't want to miss time with those that are here now. I find that family history is important as well. It helps us get a feel for where we came from and our heritage. A further sense of belonging. I am grateful for the wonderful men in my life who have helped me to grow and who have been an example for me in my life of husbands/fathers and how a man should treat a women. Thank you.

May we no longer have life regrets of what time we should have spent with family... We should just do it. May our sorrows be turned to joy as we remember the men in our lives. Thanks for everything.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Timing is everything

Timing is everything. So i've come to realize. As I have spent this last week just running into forehead slapping moment after moment. My husband and I are at our wits ends lately with all that we have going on in our crazy life. 2 hr commute each way to work to work a 9 hr schedule, Drop our kids off at the sitters way too early in the morning and then pick them up way too late in the evening. Trying to work from home one day a week so we can participate in things like scouts and Karate for at least one of our children. Never having time to do what needs to be done with the kids or for the family. So, needlessly to say, my husband and I finally sat down this weekend (saturday). and Decided that we need to prioritize our lives better. WE have got to do more of the Important things not necessarily the Urgent things but the Important Non Urgent items in our life which will help our family so much more. Things like alowing sleepovers for the kids on the weekends instead of saying we're too tired. ( some of this just to preface) is due to the fact that we realized that our children have no friends that they play with in our neighborhood or outside of. They are very isolated by our schedules. How sad, right!. Well, we decided that we need to start putting them first and helping them to blossom and when they are grown and gone then we'll try to slowdown. ( actually sleep in on a Saturday). Well, We talked thru alot of issues that we've been having with the kids, with each other and our never ending crazy life. So, We had a wonderfully inlightening discussion. With out hurt feelings and without yelling and screaming. there were tears but on both parts. We I guess finally woke up and slightly grew up all at the same time. Well here is the fun Timing issue. WE went to church on Sunday (late) but we were there. We made it for Sunday school and Relief Society/Priesthood. Sunday School was awesome and uplifting, discussing things in the Book of Mormon. Well, Then we went to our separate classes and (we had the same discussion) on Prioritizing from the Conference talks. I think it was Dallen H. Oaks talk, If i'm remembering correctly. Where he talks about several of the things that we've noticed in our family and discussed not just the day before. How awesome is that. Reinforcement for our thoughts, our hearts and our life. Timing in this discussion was everything, or we may not have been so receptive to the spirit of this talk. I'm so greatful for a loving father in heaven who helps us to come to the correct conclusion. And then reinforces our own thoughts as a confirmation to the truth of it. I am going to see about working from home more. We are going to plan more activities with the kids and other kids in church/neighborhood so they feel a sense of belonging. Eat dinners at home at night at our kitchen table even if it is late (after 8pm). Definately read our scriptures more, say our prayers more, and have our family home evenings more. The excuse that we're too tired isn't an excuse anymore. How blessed am I! To have found a truth in my weekend. :)