Years ago I kept a list of "Things That Make Me Happy". Although I still think on the things that make me happy, it's been a long time since I've actually written them. I decided it was time for me to do just that -- list the things that make me happy. These are my first 10, in no particular order....
1. Purring cats
2. Laughing -- "I love to laugh - HA HA HA HA" (from Mary Poppins)
3. Crisp, crunchy apples
4. Making chocolate chip cookies and having the kids beg to eat the dough
5. Hearing the kids at the dinner table say, "Thanks for dinner, Mom!"
6. Helping my girls experiment with different hair styles
7. Jacob's origami creations
8. Autumn days
9. Finding notes that the girls have written to each other
"It is in the home that our behavior is most significant. It is the place where our actions have the greatest impact, for good or ill. Sometimes we are so much 'at home' that we no longer guard our words. We forget simple civility. If we are not on guard, we can fall into the habit of criticizing one another, losing our tempers, or behaving selfishly. Because they love us, our spouses and children may be quick to forgive, but they often carry away in silence unseen injuries and unspoken heartache. . . . "When we feel anger or contention in our homes, we should immediately recognize what power has taken control of our lives and what Satan is endeavoring to accomplish. Solomon provided us this wise formula: 'A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger' (Prov. 15:1). "Our home should ideally be a refuge where each member feels safe, secure, loved, and insulated from harsh criticism and contention that we so often encounter in the world." ~Wayne S. Peterson~
It was a most delightful afternoon to leave school with the temper- atures chilly and rain coming down. What made it delightful was that before we could even get to the car the rain turned in to brief snowflakes then sleet! How I LOVE wintry weather and to have it so early makes it all that much more wonderful!
After making the rounds to the the middle school and high school to get the kids for orthodontist appointments, we went home quick to let them brush their teeth. As we were pulling into the drive way the weather forecast called for "sprinkles and flurries" and we all cheered!!!! WOO-HOO!
Once out of the car, we were surprised to see bumble bees on the Russian sage that looked as though they were frozen in time -- still, as though they were lifeless, but still clinging to the tiny blooms whose days are numbered with the freezing temperatures that are predicted for tonight and tomorrow night. As if that wasn't fascinating enough, we then found a very large praying mantis clinging to the door frame, moving ever so slowly, no doubt because of the cold temperatures. We had time to "play" with the mantis so we got a container, scooped it up and brought it inside.
4 inch long praying mantis the kids named Sasha!! :)
The mantis getting a little too friendly for Jacob's liking! He was the only one brave enough to play with her!
Snow flurries, sleet, still-life bumble bees, a huge praying mantis....what more could I ask for to make my day? Well, there was one more wonderful thing.....
Gas for $2.09!!!! I decided to take a picture because I may never see that again!
Annah's birthday party was today. I find it hard to believe that my "baby" is turning 9! For her birthday she wanted to go to see High School Musical 3 so that is what we did! She invited 4 friends to the party, had pizza for lunch and then they frosted and decorated cupcakes. Since we didn't have an actual "cake" we frosted a cupcake for her and put 9 candles in it. :) After cupcakes and presents we headed for the theater!
Annah's decorated cupcake -- yum-o!
Abigail's creature cupcake! :)
High School Musical 3 was a blast to see with the kids! When it was over we were all dancing out of the theater! WOO-HOO!
Last night was our ward Trunk or Treating. I made some of my witch's brew (a.k.a. chili!) to bring for the cook off. Sadly, I didn't win first place this year as I have two other years but it was first place with my family so I consider myself a winner!
Howard Stern? Ozzie Osborne? A pirate? Does the hook hand give it away?
The witch and the hippie!
The burning question....what did Jacob go as?????
A pink haired witch?
A green haired witch?
A glow in the dark skeleton whose bones were much too small????
Or a lovely Monarch Butterfly?
Well, for Trunk or Treating he wore the much too small skeleton costume and for the stake Halloween dance tonight he was a lovely Monarch Butterfly! BWHAHAHAHAHA! It takes a very secure young man to wear his sister's costume from two years ago!
"What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow--through our premature death or through His unexpected coming--what would we do today? . . . "If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them."( Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming," Ensign, May 2004, 9)
"In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities. . . "We need to make our homes a place of refuge from the storm, which is increasing in intensity all about us. Even if the smallest openings are left unattended, negative influences can penetrate the very walls of our homes." (L. Tom Perry, "The Importance of the Family," Ensign, May 2003, 40)
This is a snippet of a cross-stitch project that I did many years ago that sits on a shelf in my family room. What a nice thought for the day! I decided that I really needed to think about this today -- letting my sorrows be patched and my joys be quilted.
At times I can be more focused on my trials than my joys. It is like driving down the road with rain on the windshield -- if you focus on the raindrops or even the wipers clearing away the rain, you cannot focus on what is before you. If you take your focus from the rain drops to what is ahead of you, you can see what is beyond your rainy windshield. I do believe that we have to look beyond our trials, beyond the rain. It doesn't mean the rain isn't there, it just means that your focus is different. I am striving to look beyond the rain.
Today I'm looking for rainbows........and I wish the same for you!
This is not my pretty little porch but one I saw in Kirtland, Ohio. It just looked so "fallish" that it called to me to take its picture to capture the pleasantness I find in the season.
Last weekend Tim and I worked to put our garden to bed -- clearing away the dead and dying plants, pulling up the tomato cages that once held up the bounty of the fruits of summer, emptying pots of spent plants that produced such goodness not very long ago. Putting the garden to bed always makes me inhale deeply and smile, my invitation for colder weather to come. I love the cooler temperatures of fall, the cold nights that make me take out fuzzy socks to hug my feet and pull a soft, fleece throw across my lap to warm me. I love the cozy feel of fall dwindling into winter. Fall is like a welcomed friend after a scorching summer -- welcome, my friend. Come and let me enjoy your company!
So last night at FHE I was taking pictures of my crew while we stuffed treat bags for the up coming ward party and I wanted to take a picture of Jacob but he wouldn't smile for me. He was giving me one of those, "I am a grumpy teenager so deal with it" looks and I wouldn't take the picture. I then pleaded with him, "Jacob, you need to smile for me! I want to put a picture up on my blog and my blog is a happy place!!!!!!!!!!" Well, didn't the family just roll with laughter at that comment! :) It's true.... "My blog is a happy place!"
When the treat bags were full we threw them to Jacob to catch in the basket! Check out the treat bags in mid-air....and I didn't even use trick photography! :)
Tonight for FHE we got our Trunk or Treat bags ready for the ward Halloween party happening this Friday night. We filled 80 bags with treats, played balloon volley ball with hands only then feet only.... :) Tim took a picture of me with my skeleton friend who rattles and shakes in his cage while pleading for someone to let him out..........
Well, after taking the picture we reviewed the above picture and said, (and I quote!) "He (meaning the skeleton) looks great....and you do to!" BWHAHAHAHA! Thank you, Tim!
For that I am posting Tim's picture to expose him to all the world! :)
My Eternal Companion, love of my life, man of my dreams! I love you, Tim!!!!!
My day began a bit too early for my liking but it is back to school after a week long fall break. I enjoy the days of no school both for the kids and for myself. It frees us from the rigors of a set bedtime, setting out clothes for the approaching day, setting alarm clocks to shake us from our slumber. But, back to school it is. My only reprieve is that I don't go to work at the school until 10 so I have a few hours to myself in a quiet house. No matter that my time alone is spent getting laundry done, doing the morning dishes and straightening a messy house that I was too sleepy to do last night after a marathon phone call to my best friend. :) My time taking care of our home is well spent. I am happy to do it -- happy to have the time to do it.
I love productive Saturdays! Today I made some applesauce from apples that we found in New York growing at the beach area that belonged to my grandparents. It was an unexpected find so we picked some to bring home and PRESTO....applesauce!! It didn't make a lot because we didn't have a lot of apples but it was fun to eat it and make a memory -- applesauce for the kids made from apples picked from the lake side property of their great grandparents!
I am Loretta..wife to Tim and mom to 6 great kids. Tim (the younger), Andrew, Jordan, Jacob, Abigail and Annah and mother-in-law to Lisa and McKenna and grandmother to two grandsons, August Samuel born in September 2015 and Mackson Timothy David born in March 2016!
Tim and I have been married for 32 years and have lived in central Kentucky for over 20 years. Cancer invaded our lives in December 2008 when Tim was diagnosed with base of tongue cancer but in spite of it, we are still a happy and thriving family! I am grateful for my life, all we have come through, all we are going through and all that is yet to come because I believe, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."