Thursday, 7 July 2011

Laugh When You Feel Like Crying

I was challenged to provide a spiritual thought the other night for a meeting I had to attend at church. I chose the following from the book Small and Simple Things by Marjorie Pay Hinckley:

Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, "We are here in mortality, and the only way to go is through; there isn't any any around!" (Ensign, May 1998, 9). I would add, the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Solitude," st. 1

Hinckley, M.P. (2003). Small and simple things (p. 126). Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book

I am trying to remember this as I face the reality that my mother's days on earth are few and only God in Heaven knows how long she has here with us. Trying to remember the happy times and the realization that life on earth is but a moment in the scope of eternity. Love you mom!

Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

1. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by?
Is that what you do? So do I!

2. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you swim in a pool, to keep yourself cool, or swing in a tree up high?
Is that what you do? So do I!

3. O, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you march in parades, or drink lemonades, or count all the stars in the sky?
Is that what you do? So do I!

Words and music: Dorothy S. Anderson b. 1927
(C) 1964 by Dorothy S. Anderson

Now that grad school is finished for the summer, we've been trying to make the most of this week before we travel off to Ohio. We had hoped to spend as much time in the pool as possible but thunderstorms moving through the area have limited that. The kids don't seem to mind all the mindless TV watching but I do worry about their eyeballs falling out.

We are travelling up to Ohio/West Virginia to see my mom while she is in the hospital at WVU. You can get the updates on a blog we set up for her updates at My aunt and uncle in Danville have graciously offered to hold summer camp for the kids so they can get to know their cousins for a few days. I am grateful for this because my mom is in ICU and the children would not be able to go into visit her, nor do I want them to see her in her current condition. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, 16 May 2011

So it's been almost a year...

Life sure has gotten crazy and I seem to have forgotten that I have this blog. We have been up to a whole lot of stuff in the last 11 1/2 months since I last posted and because life is soooooo crazy, well, blogging hasn't been a priority. I am going to try and change that.

As part of a course requirement for my master's degree I have to keep a blog where I can reflect upon the weekly reading assignments. That blog can be found at I decided this would be a great opportunity to start blogging here again as well. So my goal is to blog at least once a week here just to let my one reader that I am alive. It will also be an opportunity for my to practice my writing and to continue the record of our family adventures of country living (in which I never thought I would enjoy, but I do). So here is my first attempt. This post will serve as a quick (and I mean quick) catch up from the last year.

Shawn - Shawn is getting closer to his retirement, he is now only a year away. We are sorting out what we need to so that he can prepare for the transition to civilian life. At church he serves as the ward executive secretary.

Karen - I am in my third semester (of five) of graduate school studying elementary education. With the economy the way it is, there do not seem to be many music teaching positions open so I felt it would be a good opportunity to become more marketable. Also, while living overseas, I committed the cardinal sin of an educator... I. LET. MY. LICENSE. EXPIRE! So I really didn't have much of a choice; if I want to work as a teacher, I need more education. I am also serving as secretary in the Relief Society presidency at church.

Natalie - Natalie is in the 2nd grade and she loves to read. This year she has read Little House in the Big Woods, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and numerous other books that I can't even remember. She also loves to read scriptures to the Bishop at church because he gives her candy. We are helping her prepare for her baptism this summer when she turns 8.

Robbie - We've had an up and down year with Robbie. He started out the school year behind in reading and fine motor skills and he was having behavior problems at home and at school. This spring he was diagnosed with ADHD and we made the difficult decision to have him take medication. We are happy to report that he is now a star pupil and no longer needs reading intervention and is a whiz kid in math!

Clayton - What can I say about Clay, he just turned 2! He is into everything and has tons of energy. He commands the house, but his cuteness and ability to love is what makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Oops, forgot about this

I have been a very bad blogger indeed! It has been 6 months since I have posted anything on here but I thought for the 3 of you that look here from time to time who aren't on facebook (which is were I spend more time than I should), I should post some more current pictures. We haven't been up to much, just keeping up with the daily life of 3 energetic little children and the comings and goings of everything. The kids are getting big, Natalie will turn 7 this summer and Robbie is getting ready to enter Kindergarten at the end of summer break. Then it will just be me and Clayton, that will be weird! Here are some pictures from the first part of 2010.

Snow in February

Happy Birthday Clayton, March 17.

Natalie's vegetable stand, she sold 3 radishes from our garden for $1.

Our attempt at taking cool pics of the kids, not very successful.

Trying to get a pic of his first teeth, but I am just getting smiles, so not a total loss.

Our chickens, 2 weeks old, Easter.

Today at about 3 months old, yummy! We have 7 hens and a rooster. We are hoping that they start laying soon.

Our new puppy Maisy, we got her on June 1st.

They lurve eachother.

Clay and his crazy beach hair, he is apparently terrified of sand and waves and sandy water so I put him in the beach chair and he didn't move at all, very uncharacteristic of him :)

Robbie, he was afraid at first but once he relaxed he had a blast!

Natalie is fearless! She is such a little fish and would still be swimming if we let her.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Never mind all my good intentions, I never did get my Christmas cards sent out. I usually make hand stamped cards and just didn't have it in me to do them this year. I did get a new digital program and this was my attempt so I thought I'd post it here and if you usually get a nice handmade card from me and you don't this year, it's nothing personal, no one is getting one :)

Monday, 7 September 2009

It's been a long time!

I don't think I can even begin to think about all the catching up I need to do on here, it's been a LONG time! I think a brief update is all I can manage for the moment.

I guess the biggest news is that we have moved halfway around the world. When I say we, I mean the kids and me. Shawn is still living it up in Cornwall. We bought our very first house in the middle of nowhere Virginia (aka Carrsville) and when Shawn is finally able to come and be back with us at the end of the month he will be working on the main Naval base in Norfolk. Carrsville is barely a blip on a map with a handful of houses a post office and an elementary school. Why did we decide to live outside of civilization, you ask? Let me tell you why... We wanted a great big house on more than an acre of land in a community with a great elementary school. I think we've ticked all those boxes with the house we've found. The sacrifice we've made is Shawn's commute time to the base.

The house is great (click here for pics from when the sellers lived here). We have 2500 square feet on 1.2 acres. Carrsville Elementary has a 9/10 great schools rating and has a reputation as one of the best elementary schools in the state. The house has a lot of character too. It was built in the 1920s (with a few additions added over the years) and also has an 1800 square foot "store" on the property that served a Daughtery's General Store in the late 19th century. My dad thinks I should knock it down and he fears the next major hurricane may actually save me the work. This was one of the selling points for the house for me and that would break my heart! Anyway, back to the house! When we were doing our prelim online house searches this one kept coming up and I kept brushing it off because I didn't like the kitchen. But I kept going back to it. Then one day I noticed something I hadn't noticed before... As I was looking at the pictures that were hanging on the walls, I saw a few that I recognized painted by artists that belong to my church. These are paintings that are pretty specific to Mormons too, lol. Then I realized that I must actually know the sellers because the house sits within the boundaries of the ward (congregation) we attended as newlyweds. So as any self respecting person would do I sent a message on facebook to some people on my friends list that could give me more info. As it turns out, I did know the sellers and because of that Shawn and I agreed for me to take a trip to the states to view the house in person and here we are.

I moved into the house about a month ago and had been living on air mattresses and borrowed furniture until last week when we got our household goods. I have managed to get the living room, dining room, kitchen and kids rooms in a good place and now have to sort out the den, playroom, guest room, master bedroom and garage.

Once I get everything the way I want it I'll post the after pictures. And one of these days I also take some pictures (or upload from my camera).