Tuesday, October 13, 2015


It's early. The sun is cresting over the horizon showering its rays across the tops of the trees. I am running in their ample shade with a cool bite in the crisp morning air. In my ears my earphones are blasting out my workout playlist. It's a tired list. I don't update it often. But it still helps motivate my body to move. 

I have reached that point in my morning run where I am ready to be done running. Up till now it's been pretty easy. But I am running up the last long hill in my loop. Today I am letting that music in my ears push me the rest of the way up the hill. I know once I crest the top, it's all downhill to my house.

As I round the bend at the pinnacle of the hill, I see the lights from the high school stadium and the tops of the trees and water towers in my town. My playlist Odin the middle of the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips. The scene and the song hit me causing a tidal wave of emotion.

I listen to these lyrics, taking in the beauty of this town that has become Home over these last two years. And I feel Camille there with me... singing to me, comforting me, and letting me know she has been helping make this place my Home.

"Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Reunited... In a dream

I just woke from a vivid dream in which I was reunited with Camille after a long separation. In the dream all my family (both Waites and Harris') were traveling together through strange foreign lands in Africa and Europe. Somehow we fell into a river and we got separated from Camille. I knew she was safe with family in my dream. But I also knew there was no way to find her or contact the family members who were with her. All I could think to do was to go back to our home base hotel and pray those who had her could make it there.

Much time passed. I had all my other kids and we were going to the pool to play at this home base hotel where we had been living and waiting. Suddenly a messenger came to me with a note saying Camille was in the hotel with these family members who had been caring for her and we would see her the next day. I dropped everything. Grabbed my kids and told them the news. Then I turned to the messenger and told him to take me to the person who sent the note. I have waited all these weeks and months to see my little girl and I will not wait another day! With Noble running ahead breaking souvenirs in the gifts shop along the way in his zeal and excitement, we finally reached Camille and I took her in my arms and held her and talked softly to her.

It has been years since I last had a dream with Camille in it. Oh how I miss her! What a gift to spend a little time in my dream with her last night. Oh how it makes me look forward to that glorious day when we will in reality be reunited. 

I am so grateful to my Savior Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice that enables my hope for that great day. For it is only through Him that we can repent and be worthy to live as families in God's presence one day. I am so grateful to be able to perform ordinances here on earth to show Him my commitment to following His plan and living His gospel. I am grateful for the restored priesthood authority on the earth that gives effectiveness to those ordinances and has power to make assurances of eternal blessings in as much as we keep our covenants. 

One day I will hold her again, all thanks to the Savior. Glory to His Name!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Be Prepared

This morning I went for a swim to get a little exercise. While I was swimming I got a chance to do some pondering. My thoughts turned to how we can get the most out of going to church on Sunday. Sometimes, our time in church can seem to do us little good. This is especially true at various stages of life.

This morning I realized how important preparation is to a meaningful church experience. It really can make all the difference in the world. I remember one of my most meaningful church experience many years ago.

I was 17 years old. I was living in Spain as a foreign exchange student for the summer before my senior year of high school. The town I was sent to was tiny. I could easily walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes. I was one of only 2 English speakers in town (the other a man who had lived in the States for some part of his life to whom I was introduced once.) I was the only Mormon. The closest church building and congregation was 30 miles away. My host family didn't have the money or inclination to take me all that way to church.

I went through some serious culture shock and missed everything American. I also didn't speak Spanish well enough to understand or talk to people. The only one I could speak to in English was God and the only book I had in English was my Quad of Scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.)

So I read lots of scriptures and I prayed almost constantly. After about 6 weeks there my family, I think in an effort to cheer me up, took me to the nearest city to go find the church. They took me on a Sunday so I could attend services. I had never in my life been 6 weeks without taking the sacrament.

I was living in a home with people who were good people but they didn't have the gift of the Holy Ghost like I did. I felt for the first time what it was like to live in a home where the Spirit wasn't a part of the framework of the home. I realized that if I wanted the Spirit to be there, and I NEEDED the Spirit to be there, I would have to bring it myself. No more relying on my parents for that.

After six weeks of preparing myself, I was finally able to take the sacrament and renew my baptismal covenants and be blessed once again with that feeling of renewal and of sanctifying that we can feel when we worthily and preparedly take the sacrament. It was a sacred experience for me that changed me in profound ways.

Today I asked myself, "how am I preparing myself to get the most out of church tomorrow? Am I prepared to fast? Have I thoughtfully pondered the purpose of my fast? Am I planning today so that tomorrow morning will run more smoothly as I get myself and the family ready for church? Do I have a plan to bring the Spirit into our home tomorrow morning to get us ready for feeling the Spirit at church? Am I hungering after righteousness?"

The reflection this morning has changed the way I am spending my day and it will change how I run my Sunday. I am hopeful that these things will help me make the most out of my time in the church building as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Happy Birthday! Eight is Great!

Today would have been my Camille's eight birthday. I was a fairly peaceful and low key day for us. We celebrated with family and cake and released a few balloons. We really enjoyed our Cami Kindness week. I kinda wish my kids would keep that up all year long because they really do step up their game and are kinder to others that week.

The reason our birthday celebration for Camille was more low key this year was because we are in the middle of a move. I really wanted to do something big to celebrate Camille's 8th and I think the move is a celebration all its own.

about 7 months ago, I told my friend in the ward who is a real estate agent what my ideal house looked like and asked her to keep an eye out for one that might fit that description. We were not necessarily looking to move. Our house was suitable for our needs in many ways. Still I felt limited in how much I could entertain in our current home and there were a few other features I wanted in a home. I didn't think there was a home already built that would fit what I wanted. I thought I would have to build to get that. But I asked her to let me know if she saw anything I might like.

She dropped off a brochure of some new homes going up near me. I stopped by and loved them. Jon did NOT love them. Jonathan did not want to buy new. So we looked at homes that were already built one day several months later. Every house we entered I said, "No. I would have to gut this and start over." I didn't want to live in a construction zone.

We kept casually looking over the next couple of months. It was more of a fun hobby than a serious pursuit. Through prayer Jon and I came to a sort of compromise. I just had a feeling that if there was an already built house out there that was right for us, we would know it when we saw it.

So in January we went looking at a couple of homes on the list of available homes that had been there for a while but just seemed a bit out of our price range. They had been on the market for several months though which we hoped meant the sellers would be willing to negotiate on price.

We walked into our new house and after I looked at the entry and kitchen I said, "I actually don't have this house." It was a first for me in already built homes we had seen. Then after looking at the mudroom and laundry room I thought, "Geez. This is just how I would lay out a house if I were building it. Someone really thought about the layout of this home."

Jon was exploring upstairs during this time. I eventually got to the rest of the house and it just felt like US. It felt like "the" house. Jon and I got together and both said, "This could work." Still it was listed pretty high and we weren't sure how we could afford it. We both kinda felt, "right house, wrong timing." It would have been much easier to afford in, say, a year.

Just to be sure the next weekend we had our agent take us to ALL the available homes in the area that sort of fit our needs. We wanted to make sure that this was the best and see how hard it would be to find another home we loved. We saw about 12 homes. We loved one of the other homes. It had some features we liked even better than the house we are buying but it was only 4 bedrooms, didn't have a gas cooktop, and the yard didn't really compare. Most importantly it didn't have that feeling of HOME that our new house had.

We made a lowball offer because we felt the home was very overpriced. Another couple also made an offer the same weekend. We put forward our best bid which was still pretty low. We didn't want to get in a bidding war. We prayed about it and felt fine about letting it go. The other couple had their offer accepted.

We kept looking after this and didn't really see anything we liked. We both felt a little sad not to get the house but we also felt as peace about it. It is hard to describe but the house kinda felt like ours and we both just had a feeling that somehow things would one day work out to make it ours. Still in light of the fact that it was under contract, we started fixing up our current house to make it nicer to live in and started to look more seriously into building.

We found some lots we really liked but running the numbers we found that building would be far more expensive than if we had paid list price for that house. We kinda just put the idea of moving on the back burner again and focused on fixing up our current home.

Then one day I got an email from my agent showing that the house was "Back on the Market." I called her immediately. Neither Jon nor I was surprised. We made another offer higher than our last one. The seller countered at $10,000 above our offer. We didn't really want to go up. They refused to come down any further. So we sat in a stalemate for a weekend.

That whole weekend we thought and prayed and studied out numbers etc. Finally we just thought, "are we really gonna let $10,000 make us lose this house?" After all, building would be so much more expensive. So we relented and went under contract on the house.

We move in this week and I am so glad we made the decision to buy it. It feels so right. I have felt Camille's hand in this process in ways I can't really describe. This would have been her 8th birthday. Soon after she would have been "reborn" through baptism. In a ways I feel like our family is going through a rebirth as we move into this new home. It will be a fresh start for us in many ways. I can't think of a better way to celebrate her Eighth.
                                         Our new home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cami Kindness Week is Coming

It is that time of year again! The bluebonnets are blooming here in Texas and Camille's birthday is next Sunday April 19th. We have been rather busy around here as we are moving 2 days after Camille's birthday to a new home in our same area. We are excited for the move and feel so blessed to have found a home we love!

We are looking forward to continuing our tradition of doing acts of kindness the week before Camille's birthday as gifts to our angel girl. I have felt her close to me these past few months and I feel her joy in my acts of service for others. I hope you will join us and feel of that joy as well.

Comment with any kind acts you perform so we can send them up in our balloons on Sunday. :0)


Monday, March 9, 2015

Where I have been...

Hello! I know. It's been a long time. Where have I been? I have switched most of my online presence to Instagram. I haven't officially stopped blogging though because I feel sometimes like I have something I want to write out and record or something important to share that will take more time and space than is practical on Instagram.

So if you want to follow me on Instagram my username is sawaite.

I will post there for you if I post here.

Thank you for your love and support over the years! Texas has been a good move for us. We are very happy here and feel the Lord blessing us in many ways.

As we approach what would have been Camille's 8th birthday and I watch her contemporaries get baptized I have an ache of wondering what she would be like now. But the Lord knew this would be a difficult birthday for me and has blessed me by letting me help another mother through the early days of fresh grief. 

She says I am helping her. Little does she know how much helping her helps me.

And so I will keep this blog up even though I may not post with any regularity. It is still somehow doing good for me and a few others.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Powerful Answer

In my last post, I pondered how we can increase the "Staying Power" of spiritual experiences to keep their impact in our lives fresh longer. Today I got an unexpected answer to my own question. Today I spent a good portion of the morning ... mourning. But I was not mourning my own losses or trials. I was mourning for a sweet family I don't really even know.

Oh I am sure I have crossed paths with this family. Their oldest child and my Annie were in the same grade at the same school and both on the cheer team together. But they were never in the same class. We were never in the same ward. Still somehow their loss this last weekend hit me hard today.

A few months ago my best friend had told me about a friend of hers who found out she had cancer, a mother of 5 young children aged 11 to 1. After spending the last couple of months feeling pretty good despite getting treated for the cancer, she passed away rather suddenly this Saturday, three days before her 33rd birthday.

There have been a few times in my life where I am keenly aware that I am literally fulfilling my baptismal covenant to "mourn with those who mourn" or "comfort those who stand in need of comfort." I am not sure how much comforting I could do for this sweet family who is aching for their mama, but this morning, I was mourning with them... for them.

I am fortunate to still have my own sweet Mama with me on this Earth. What a blessing she is to me! But, as a Mama myself, I know what it is to be separated by the veil of death from your baby girl. And today I was feeling for this Mama and most especially for her daughter.

I cried grief ridden tears on their behalf. I felt the injustice of and anger and pain of loss that came to me early in my own grief only this time under the umbrella of their loss. By the time I said my prayer on my breakfast, I was unable to speak in audible words. So halfway through, after saying grace for my food, I prayed silently, fervently, for this family.

And an amazing thing happened. I felt the Spirit wash over me in a stillness and peace that was both powerful and undeniable. I felt the anger leave and a whispering in my soul told me all was as it was meant to be. Where everything in me was yelling the opposite and that surely God didn't need a young mother of 5 small children, I felt that somehow this was all part of a Master Plan. And I felt that this family will be okay.

Then I prayed that they would be able to feel that comfort I had just felt through the powerful emotions of grief. I remember how hard it was to feel comforted in those early days of overwhelming, crippling grief. I prayed that this family, each one of them, would feel that peace that is so life sustaining at such a time. I will keep praying for that and for them.

In this day of mourning for those that mourn, I have discovered that doing so is one powerful way to keep the flames of a searingly powerful spiritual experience fresh in our hearts and minds. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons we are commanded to do so.

Tonight after reading my scriptures, I decided to do a little extra and read a talk from last April's General Conference. Is it any coincidence that I randomly chose Elder Nelson's talk "Let Your Faith Show" in which he talked about his own sweet daughter Emily, mother of five, who died of cancer? I think not. His talk spoke directly to my heart. Allow me to end by quoting some of it here.

"When we speak of faith—the faith that can move mountains—we are not speaking of faith in general but of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can be bolstered as we learn about Him and live our religion. The doctrine of Jesus Christ was designed by the Lord to help us increase our faith. In today’s vernacular, however, the word religion can mean different things to different people.

"The word religion literally means “to ligate again” or “to tie back” to God. The question we might ask ourselves is, are we securely tied to God so that our faith shows, or are we actually tied to something else?..."

"Contrast the fear and faithlessness so prevalent in the world today with the faith and courage of my dearly beloved daughter Emily, who now lives on the other side of the veil. As mortal life was leaving her cancer-ridden body, she could barely speak. But with a smile on her face, she said to me, 'Daddy, don’t worry about me. I know I will be all right!' Emily’s faith was showing—showing brightly—in that tender moment, right when we needed it most.

"This beautiful young mother of five had full faith in her Heavenly Father, in His plan, and in the eternal welfare of her family. She was securely tied back to God. She was totally faithful to covenants made with the Lord and with her husband. She loved her children but was at peace, despite her impending separation from them. She had faith in her future, and theirs too, because she had faith in our Heavenly Father and His Son.

"In 1986, President Thomas S. Monson said: 'Of course we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. … Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with [faith] have courage as well.'

"President Monson’s counsel is timeless! So I plead with you, my dear brothers and sisters: Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclaim your faith! Let your faith show!

"I pray that you will be securely tied back to God, that His eternal truths will be etched on your heart forever. And I pray that, throughout your life, you will let your faith show! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Staying Power

Once in a while you have an experience that sears into your soul. Perhaps it is a major life event that fundamentally changes you. Or it could be as simple as a powerful answer to prayer or an experience where you learn something important from or just strongly feel the Spirit. I have had experiences both great and small that have profoundly and deeply touched my very soul.

In the moment of these experiences and, to varying degrees, the time just after the event, I am so committed to living to my fullest potential and being so dedicated to living according to all the truth I know. But as time goes by, inevitably, I get lazy. The iron clad grip the experience puts on my determination slackens. I suppose it is just human nature. But I want to find ways to keep this from happening. Maybe it isn't possible to keep it from happening. Maybe that is why we need to be always seeking and knocking and asking so that we have more soul touching experiences to keep us going in our determination.

What I have tried to do to keep these experiences with me is to write them down. Also I do share them with others in lessons or conversations when they are applicable and when I feel prompted to share them. This does help. I also do consciously "Remember" many of them when I am feeling weak or challenged. I remind myself when my faith is feeling faint of the MANY answers to prayers I have been given and the miracles I have seen in my life.

But I want to do more. I want to feel more of these experiences in my life. I the effects of them to last longer and I want to build on their momentum. Is that possible?

Maybe just writing this out will help me lose the laziness and recommit myself to be more mentally and emotionally engaged in my daily spiritual workouts or prayer and scripture study.

What do you do to keep those fires burning once you have had a spiritual fireball sear your soul?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Good Day

Today was just a good day. I have long been saying that there will be a party in our house the day Harrison is both potty trained and water safe. Today at his swimming lesson he was swimming all parts of the pool and flipping on his back every time he needed a breath or got nervous. He is finally kicking well and really swimming about 10 feet pretty well. We have come A LONG WAY this summer after 4 months of lessons from Feb. to May of him just launching himself into the pool and hanging out there vertically waiting for someone to grab him. He used to just use his legs like rabbit.

Also, Harrison kept his pants dry and clean today all day without me even having to tell him to go to the potty once. Wahoo!

This morning I turned on some Mormon Tabernacle Choir for our breakfast/scripture reading background music. It was maybe a little too good since Noble didn't want to go up and get dressed because he "couldn't feel the Spirit" upstairs. He just wanted to sit in the family room and enjoy the music and the feeling it gave him. Can't really blame him.

Today I also went shopping with my buddy Harrison, make 7 loaves of whole wheat bread and a batch of yummy sour cream rolls plus salmon, salad, mashed potatoes, gravy and strawberry, blueberry and banana (red white and blue for 9/11) salad for dinner with the missionaries and a recent convert/friend in our ward.

It was great to hear the sister missionaries message of faith and the importance of tithing.

I have been going all day today. I am beat tonight. But it is a good kind of beat. I have been fighting an asthma attack for about 5 days. Finally got to the Dr. yesterday and got lots of drugs to help my body kick it out. They are doing their job and I am breathing so much better today. Breathing is good. I am so grateful for the health and energy to accomplish all I have been able to get done today.

It is good to feel tired after doing good purposeful work all day. It is even better to feel the Spirit in my home and feel the blessings of a gracious Heavenly Father in my daily life.

Monday, August 18, 2014

6th Grade Girls Camp

My Mom said I should post on my blog about the little "girls day camp" I organized for my lovely daughter Annie who is entering the 6th grade next week. Here in Texas that is the start of middle school. My daughter's elementary school is a feeder to two different middle schools. So half of her friends will be going to a different middle school than she will. Meanwhile there will be LOTS of new kids at the middle school from other elementary schools.

I'm not sure how well you remember this phase of life we call middle school. I think most of us just want to block it out. But I remember well how important it was to find a good group of core friends and how excited I was to find a friend in a class filled with relative strangers.

Sixth grade is a big transitional year and I wanted to give Annie a head start in all this. So I called around in our church community and found out the names of every other LDS girl that would be in the 6th grade at her middle school. There were a total of 8 girls. I had only met 3 others who are in my congregation.

I contacted all the parents and organized a week of planned activities for the girls so they could get to know each other before school started. I asked the other parents to volunteer to plan one of the days activities. Three other moms were able to do it so I took the first day and we all came to my house to play get to know you games and do team building activities.

The next day, one of the other moms took the girls to see Maleficent. The third day they went swimming and had a pizza at another girls house. On Thursday the school held the 6th grade orientation. Several of us found each other in the school gym and sat together for the boring talking part. Then the girls went off to get their schedules and run a mock day of school. Turned out that Annie had 2 classes with two of the girls she had not met previous to the camp. She did not have any classes with any of the kids from our congregation. She only had one class out of eight with any of her friends from school last year in them. I was so glad we had made some new friends so she could have a couple more classes with familiar faces!

The last day the girls got together for a Just Dance and cake decorating activity. And one of the moms took it a step further and has invited the group to come over for a late over Tuesday night! So Fun!

So for my day - It was really important for me that the girls felt united. Four of our girls were from one ward and four from another. I really wanted them to see themselves as a group of 8, not 4 and 4. So here are the games I planned. First I had each girl bring a shoe to describe herself. That was fun and took about 15 minutes. Next we played a game with skittles where each girl took a few skittles. Then for each yellow they had to tell about their family or any random thing. For orange= something that made them happy. For Green = something that made them envious. For purple = an embarrassing moment. For red = something that made them mad.  We played several rounds of this and the girls really opened up about embarrassing moments.

Next I took the girls into the front room where I had jersey knit strips cut up to make finger knit bracelets. Before we made the bracelets, I talked to the girls. I told them that this was the whole of the LDS female 6th grade class at their middle school. I told them about how hard middle school can be and how different it is from elementary school. I told them how important finding a good group of core friends is in that time. I related a story about my middle school years where a guy called me a "B" and how hurt I was. I ran off to the bathroom and heard one of friends slap him and tell him what a jerk he was (Thank you Heather Shaw Bankhead!) That meant so much to me that she would stand up for me like that.

I told the girls that the girls at this table were the ones that would be there to defend them when others questioned or teased them. I had Annie stand up with her hands at her side and feet together. I told her not to move her feet and then I pushed on her and illustrated how easy it was to push her over. Then I had one of the new girls come stand up the same way but holding Annie by the elbows. I could still push them over. I added another girl holding both those girls elbows. I could still push them over but it was getting harder. I kept adding girls holding elbows. By the time I got to 6 girls, I could no longer push them over no matter how hard I tried. I had all the girls stand up together like that, feet together unmoving and holding on to two other girls elbows. I could not budge them.

I told them that if they would stand together they could make it through middle school. Then I showed them the bracelets we were making and how to make them. I told them that these bracelets could be subtle reminders of their alliance. They could see the other girls wearing them and know that is a girl who stands with me in my standards and my beliefs and is my friend who would stand up for me and defend me.  Then we made some really cute bracelets.

Next we played a game called press conference where one kid pretends to be a famous person and the other kids act as reporters asking the person questions and trying to figure out who she is. Lastly we divided into 2 teams (with one person you knew before and two you didn't) and made up skits / dances to music. Then we performed them for each other and some of the parents as parents arrived to pick up the girls.

I felt it went really well and was glad to have gotten to know the other girls and met their parents. All in all I feel this is great way to prepare a kid for the social craziness that is the transition to middle school. Feel free to use the idea if you wish! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts on Faith From a Road Trip

I just returned from a month long road trip with my kids. My husband was with us the first 10 days and 22 hours of driving. The 36 hours of driving and 21 days I was on my own. It was a great adventure. For the most part the kids did great and we had a fabulous time. I paid them $5 Monopoly money every 30 minutes they were good in the car. If they were not good I charged them Monopoly money.

I had a garbage bag full of treats they could buy for $5 each (like a granola bar or fruit roll) and I had another big bag of prizes for higher prices they could save up for. It was a good incentive and the prizes kept them motivated and (once they bought them) entertained.

I had a chance to catch up with several old friends along my journey and time to visit with each or my siblings and in laws. It was great.

But somewhere along the way, a train of thought began to form in my mind. Hours of driving on the road gives you lots of time to think. My thought is about faith. I began to think about those times in your life when you just don't know. I think most of us come to a point somewhere in our lives where we question everything we ever thought we knew.

In that moment of doubt and uncertainty, we have a choice. Because the fact is, when we are in that moment we don't KNOW anything. We feel we have "lost our faith" perhaps. But this is just the thing that has struck me. When we "know" things are true we aren't really using "faith." It isn't working our faith to "know" the church is true when you are feeling the Spirit witness that to you. When you are feeling that "testimony" and witness of the Spirit of God you can know the truth of those things about which it is testifying.

On the other hand, when you come to a point where you pray and don't get an answer, or you can't feel the Spirit for one reason or another (because I can tell you that even if you are doing everything right both of those situations can and likely will happen at some point in life); it is at this point that FAITH comes into play. You see Faith is believing and acting upon that belief when YOU DON'T KNOW.

It is when you stand at the cliff with no more reassurance that there is an Indiana Jones Bridge than the word of some old guy you barely know that you must choose whether to step out and hope or stay where you are. Let's face it. The sane thing to do, the reasonable thing, the rational thing is NOT to step out. But in that situation, we must make a choice. Choosing to step IS exercising faith.

I felt like this when Camille passed away. I was in so much pain that I could not feel the Spirit. Here I had just prayed like I had never prayed before for my daughter to be made whole and all the while her condition worsened. I had always been taught that the Spirit would warn and comfort but here I felt no warning voice before and there was no comforting my broken heart.

In that moment, I could have easily chosen to forsake my belief. But instead, in that moment of NOT knowing anything, I Chose deliberately to believe. I REMINDED myself of the countless prayers I had said that HAD been answered. Sure most of them were about small in and inconsequential things but I KNEW they were prayers answered from God. I Reminded myself of the times I had felt warned of the Spirit. And I chose to believe that because I was not warned that Camille's accident was part of her and our plan in this life. Did I know this? No. I chose to believe it. I chose to have believe on faith. I still rely on faith in so many matters that I just don't KNOW.

But I guess that my big thought from this trip was that it is not those who "KNOW" the most that have the most faith. It is those who KNOW the LEAST and choose to believe and live that belief anyway that have the most faith.

What I have also come to discover is that as we act in faith and choose to believe in the face of complete uncertainty (Notice I don't say doubt because if you are choosing to believe you are choosing to stop doubting and just believe.) the Lord will in time help us feel that foundation under our feet and in time perhaps even let us "see" the path upon which we walk so that we can "know" more certainly where we stand.

This I do KNOW: God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He Lives! Christ's Atonement has both that power to cleanse our souls from sin and the power to bind up the broken heart. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and was instructed of them to restore Christ's church on the Earth. That Church is today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture and written by ancient prophets of God for the people of our day and age.

If you doubt these things: I hope you will consider me (though perhaps I am a stranger) as the old lady upon whose word you can rely as one who has walked the invisible bridge before you. Choose Faith. Choose belief. Step out and I promise you in time and through continued belief, you will find your footing.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Makes Me Sad and Makes Me Happy

Today I went to Annie's "moving on" ceremony. She is officially done with elementary school. She got dressed all cute for the ceremony today. I sat wrestling with the boys for an hour while they recognized kids for various achievements and reflected on their time at the elementary school.

Overall, the ceremony made me sad. I feel no real connection to this elementary school. Those teachers didn't watch my girl grow up from a tiny, violin-playing, chapter book reading kindergartener into the budding young woman she is today. Coming in at the beginning of fifth grade, she didn't have a chance to run for student council or be one of the school helpers. All that was determined before she got there.

In my mind I though of how different her end of elementary school ceremony would have been if we had stayed in Vegas. I imagined how much fun she would have had on the 5th grade field trip to the PALI institute in California and maybe even the GATE trip to Space Camp. I thought of the opportunity to be a host on the schools "Good Morning School" show. She would have been AWESOME on that and would have LOVED it. Moving erased all those opportunities for her. This morning it just hit me and it made me sad.

I was allowed to take her out early after the ceremony and I did. As we drove home, I asked her how she felt during the ceremony. She said Happy. I told her I thought she was pretty darn wonderful. She said, "I think I am pretty wonderful too." And that made me very happy.

Later in the day, we had friends over to celebrate the official beginning of summer with homemade ice cream and a giant water gun fight. The kids had fun. Time came for Sabrina to go to a party her friend was hosting. On the drive over she said, "I think I am getting more freckles."

I told her she probably was because the sun gives you freckles and she has been spending time in the sun. Then she said, "I love my freckles! I think they are so cute." That made me happy too.

There are few things in this world about which I am truly passionate. But two of them are my testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ and his restored church on this earth (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and instilling in young women a healthy self esteem.

To have two of my daughters in one day so openly express genuine feelings of self love made me feel so happy. I am so incredibly grateful that my 13 year old can love some of the unique things about her that create her own beauty. And I am also incredibly grateful that even though my Annie didn't get as recognized and awarded as she could or would have been at her old school, she still knows she is pretty wonderful.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

S'more Krispies

For last night's So You Think You Can Dance party, my girls wanted me to make Rice Krispie Treats. But I wanted to do something a little more interesting. So I looked in my pantry to see what I had and I threw these together ... S'more Krispies.

Now I like a good Rice Krispie treat as well as the next girl. But these were so good I had to tell my husband to hide them from me before I finished off the whole plate. 

Here is how I made them:
Smore Krispies
3T Butter
5 1/2 cups Marshmellows
1/4 cup Nutella
6 cups Rice Krispies
8 Oreos broken up
2 cups mini marshmallows
5 graham crackers crushed

Melt 3T Butter and 5 1/2 cups of marshmellows in a pot.
When melted add the Nutella (I just got a big spoon and put a spoon and a half in. I would guess it was about 1/4 a cup.)
Pour in your Rice Krispies
Start stirring. Add your extra marshmallows, Oreos, and graham crackers.
Put in a 9x13 sprayed pan and press down with clean hands you have sprayed with cooking spray.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Question and some ideas for service

Okay Ladies, where do you buy your shoes and why? I need help finding the best place to buy ladies shoes! HELP!

Also I am having my Dance Watching party Wednesday night at 8:30! Come if you have access to my address!

Looking for a way to help someone else? Here are a couple of ideas:

Feed the local missionaries from my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.) They won't try to convert you. They just will pray with you and eat with you and maybe share a Christ centered message (3-5 minutes) with you. It will be a blessing to your family to do the Christlike service of feeding these young men and women who are sacrificing 18-24 months of their life to the Savior. So if they knock of your door or you see them on the street, offer to have them over for dinner. You'll feel good knowing you helped someone out.

Go to this link and learn more about Prader Willi disease and see how you can help this family whose daughter has it.

Go buy a cookbook from this cute couple to help them afford IVF. I did this just because the girls name is Camille. You know that won me over. :)

Okay people I am trying to do an extra good deed daily. I am counting posting this as one of mine for the day. Have you done a good turn today?