Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's 2015!!!!

I can hardly comprehend that I am now living in the year 2015! I mean - we are literally back to the FUTURE this year!

In the last few months, we have had some very memorable experiences as a family - thus the no blogging - oops!

 I graduated from nursing school - again. Technically, it is my third time doing it! Lest you think I am a slow learner - let me explain a little better.

In 1997, I graduated from SLCC with my LPN degree.  In 2002 I graduated from Regent's College with my Associate's degree RN. And in 2014 I graduated from BYU-I with my BSN.  If you are new to nursing, you may wonder why the different levels. Well - it is because I had to take this one step at a time - as I chose to grow my family from just the two of us to the nine of us!  Do I wish I could have just gone straight through and done it all at once like a normal student? YES. Would I trade my children or my experiences over the last 18 years of schooling? Heck NO!!

We also enjoyed having our traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years here in Idaho. While I do think that it would be wonderful to spend some of the Holidays with our parents or extended family in other states, our jobs and the size of our family has largely made that impossible.  We have, however, tried to create our own traditions with our children and make it a memorable time for them.
This year we enjoyed having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings up at the Cabin in Island Park, and my brother Tom came with us. It was great! Then, for Christmas, we were privileged to have Tom again and my awesome little sister, Emily.

I kid you not when I say that they make the day so fun! They are both kind and caring and generous. They appreciate my inexplicable sense of humor, and they enjoy good conversation, good food, and eating ice cream. If you don't believe me, you should try it. I mean, try spending a Holiday vacation with them. Especially if you are of the opposite sex. And single. (*wink wink*)

But I digress...

For Christmas we took a quick trip to Utah to see the entire Hanson clan (on Greg's side) and to see the lights at Temple Square.  We did our traditional service activities.  We spent a lot of time watching movies, wrapping gifts, playing games, and making fun new recipes.  Basically, we were blessed to do the very best possible thing - SPEND TIME TOGETHER!

"Family: It's About Time!" = True!

our new tradition this year: Dodge Ball at the church!

Confession time: As a child, I really didn't enjoy the inevitable phone calls from my neighborhood friends on Christmas day that went something like this: "Guess what I got for Christmas? What did you get?"  I guess that I was too concerned about my gifts not beings as cool or as trendy or as expensive or as big as the things that they always got. Looking back - I was just young and inexperienced and always comparing myself unnecessarily.  So - here I go as a *slightly* more mature adult...

Hey - What did you get for Christmas? Guess what I got for Christmas?
 I got some money from my sweet Mother-in-Law (which I am using to hire an artist to draw sketches of each of my children - something that I have been dreaming about for years).  I got a year's subscription to "The Blaze" from Tom and Emily. I got a beautiful wooden star to decorate my house from my sister Jennie. I got some cool family history stuff and yummy honey from my parents. Greg gave me a pre-paid pistol class at the new Gun Club in town. And - there were many additional gifts as well. I felt very very blessed.

The New Year came and we also continued our tradition of each person making a new appetizer to munch on all night long! It is quickly becoming one of our favorite traditions.

That day is always extra fun for us, because it is Landen's birthday too.

 It is hard to believe that he is already 16! Or that I have two, yes TWO children that are of the 'dating age'. Luckily, to keep me from feeling so OLD all the time, I have two very much younger hooligans that are 4 and 5 and always saying the FUNNIEST things.

For example...

On the drive home from my mission reunion in Utah a few weekends ago,
Emerson and Miles were saying the most random things and making us all laugh.

Me: "Your hair is getting pretty long Miles, you might need a haircut soon."
Miles: "I know! My hair is like 60 degrees long already!"

Miles: "Houses are really expensive, like 400 million dollars to get."
Emerson: "But mom can get one, she has so much money like a HUNDRED dollars!"

Emerson: "Did you know that if you pulled off your belly button, you can see your food?"
Me: "But, you also might die if you do that, buddy."
Miles: "Hey, Emerson. I know a better way to see your food without getting can look on your plate!"

Silly kiddos...keepin' me YOUNG at heart!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I honestly feel so grateful for the technology that allows me to enjoy and learn from the wonderful Sunday evening devotionals that are being put on around the world by awesome speakers.
Tonight's was by Randall L. Ridd. It was amazing and you should all watch it here.

Thought I would share some of my 'quick notes' that I jotted down from it.

*The youth today is called Generation Y.  They have instantaneous access to basically everything, While this is generally a blessing, it can also cause some problems, like not being able to make a decision and stick to it. He called this "Decision Paralysis" due to too many choices and to the fact that things become obsolete so quickly.

*We are all becoming more and more easily distracted.  The best antidote to distraction = living with purpose, having real intent.

*Ponder the "Why".  It is far better to look forward and ask yourself, "Why would I do that?" than to have to look back and say "Why? Oh why did I do that?"

*So many times we are distracted when we could have acted. The ability to focus, helps us to avoid distractions.

*Best way to avoid distractions is to be anxiously engaged in a good cause.  Don't spend time focused on climbing a mountain only to decide you've climbed the wrong one.

*Inspired thoughts produce good deeds, and good deeds produce other good deeds,... and so on and so forth...eternally.

*There is great power in the compounding effect of little things that we do each day.

*Satan leads us slowly and imperceptibly off the path.

*Our challenge is that sometimes we look at others and see the 'perfect family' and don't see the small daily acts that got them there.

*Simple daily disciplines repeated over and over again = spiritual power.  The small things are easy to do, but are also easy NOT to do. 

*If you really understand the WHY behind these following three things, you would make them a TOP priority in your life.
1. REMEMBER!!!...Not only while taking the sacrament, but ALWAYS.
2. PRAY: the real purpose of prayer is to open TWO-way communication with the Lord - with the         real intent to do whatever He directs us to do.
3. Study the SCRIPTURES - this primes the pump of personal revelation. This is HOW we grow to know     the mind and will of the Lord.

*Most consequences, positive and negative, come LATER, over time - but they will come!

*The compounding effect of the little daily things can be the difference between having a difficult life of struggles and being immensely successful and fulfilling the purpose of your life.

*Let the Savior wipe the slate clean. Repent with REAL INTENT.

*Put the power of compounding with daily disciplines in your life today.  Ponder these three questions:

1. Can you do it?
2. Will it work?
3. Is it worth it?