Friday, December 18, 2009

My Dear Friend Linda

There are certain people who come into our life and their tender touch never leaves us. One of these dear people in my life returned to her Heavenly Father this week. Linda Bisson was (and still is) a dear friend of mine. It never mattered how many years passed between our visits. Whenever we talked or ran into each other the sincere love that Linda had for me always shown in her voice or as a sparkle in her eye.


I have many precious memories with Linda. She took me under her wing when I was a self conscious young girl and helped me catch a small glimpse of who I might become... If only I believed in myself as much as she believed in me. I remember one particular moment when Linda gave me a sincere compliment and I disagreed with her for the last time. She looked me in the eye and said, "Just say thank you!" I was deeply touched by this simple yet profound lesson that she taught me and I try to pass the lesson on whenever the chance arrives. Linda saw greatness in me. For that I will always be grateful.

Linda (and her dear William) came to me during one of the most difficult times in my life. I had just lost one of my little girls and I was sitting in the hospital hoping that I would be able to keep her twin sister. William and Linda surprised me with a visit to my hospital bed. They shared their love with me along with the testimony they had gained together that I would be with my little girl again. They had been in my shoes many years ago when they lost their little girl. To have their love and testimony wrapped around me during that time was a gift I will treasure forever.

Now as I am forced to say goodbye to Linda for now, I cling to the memories of her Love. I cherish the witness of her strength and fighting spirit. Even during the darkest hours of her life she chose to fight on, if for no one else but her precious family. For those of us who are left behind, we marvel at the tapestry she has woven throughout her life and thank our Father in Heaven for allowing us the privilege to be a part of that masterpiece.

Thank you dear Linda for your love and your life. You will be forever missed. Enjoy that unfathomable feeling of being pain and sorrow free. We look forward to twirling in our beautiful white dresses right along side you as we dance together to heaven's songs when our time comes. God Bless you precious sister... Until we meet again!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Toddler Destruction

Good Heavens! Caleb is on a role.

So he woke us up early this morning. We sit in my bed and munch on pretzels and ginger ale until my stomach settled. I decided that I HAD to take a shower this morning. So, I took a risk. I left Jakob in charge of Caleb and jumped in the shower. Half way through I hear this, "MAMA! Help! Caleb's on the table... Not one foot is on a chair... He's got the pretzel bag... He's dumping it... Mama! He's spreading it ALL OVER! He just threw the advent candle... a piece fell off... MAMA!" By then I was out and caleb was on his way to time out. Jakob and I clean up the mess. As we clean up the mess I took the time to explain to Jakob why my energy is zapped and I feel like I'm going to throw up all day long. He agrees to be a big helper.

So then I decide to tackle breakfast. We manage to finally decide which cereal everyone wants. We sit down to eat and read our morning story. Suddenly I hear a swooosh-swoosh sound. Caleb has dumped out his entire bowl of cereal on his tray and is spreading it from side to side managing to push it all off of his tray - which was his intention of course. Lady saved the day on that one. Good Dog!

The morning progresses and I get Jakob settled in for a long shower and decide that I have a minute to check my email. And then I hear it... Clink. Clink. The sound registers and I RUN! Two seconds too slow. My precious china crashes to the floor. I had my prized china dishes sitting out after using them a couple weeks ago. (Yes, that's my fault.) Caleb pulled a small box down that was filled with the salad and tea plates. From what I can figure one of each was broken. SAD! So Caleb is in his second time out in one hour.

As I was cleaning up the mess, I hear... Rip. Riiip. Caleb was ripping the homemade art from the walls behind his crib... He's still in his crib.
So I have folded up all of the chairs and stools in the house. Pushed the china into the middle of the table waiting for Leif to help me put it up. And I decided I better vent out this morning and hope for a better afternoon. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mama and Jakob's Date: Polar Express

Jakob and I went on a special date last night. Our town sponsors a "Polar Express" every year. Last night I was able to take Jakob. We listened to the "Polar Express" story read by our local librarian. We then passed by a table spread with all kinds of tasty cookies and hot chocolate. Outside, we boarded a large wagon decorated with lights pulled by a tractor. They pulled us throughout town as we visited together and sang an occasional Christmas song. Eventually we made it to "The North Pole" Which was the elaborately decorated home in the town and this is where Santa visited us and gave us all a bell. It was a fun night out together!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joyful News!

I have a minute of peace and quiet and the energy to blog. So I will share some of the Joys of this precious season. This shouldn't be too long, but I think you might want to continue reading;)

We're almost to our first day of the Christmas Count Down (Twelve Days of Christmas Reading.) I am really looking forward to it! We have a Christmas Advent candle that we will read Christmas scriptures by each night. I have also purchased and checked out several Christmas books this year to fill our days with the Christmas Spirit. I am proud of myself this year, I actually thought ahead a bit. I got on Oriental Trading and ordered 4 Christmas Craft projects to go along with some of the books that I bought. The main theme of the books are the Legends of the Stocking, tree, St. Nick, Candy Cane, etc, that all point us back to our Savior. I'm really looking forward to the fun and the spirit.

I feel so much better about the Christmas season this year. Leif is REALLY busy with school. I feel bad about that. But other then that, I'm not too overwhelmed with life and it's happenings. I am grateful for that.

Well, for those of you who have stuck with me through this post, you get to hear our exciting news! Yep, the Baron family will soon be getting bigger (not just the mama either;). I'm pregnant and THRILLED about it! I thought about waiting longer until I told the world, but I feel at peace and content that all will be well. So, there you have it. The due date is the first week in August. I am currently 5 weeks and 3 days. So far, SOO Good. I'm planning on feeling well for the next nine months... But I'm not naive enough to say I probably won't be sitting at the computer blogging for the next while. But, Who Knows!?... Send your Positive Vibes my way and I'm sure it will help!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Country Christmas Candy Making and Advent Candle Event

I have a fridge filled with a beautiful variety of chocolates and a house that smells of peppermint. Do you know what that is like? .... heaven, indeed.

I held the first annual Country Women's Christmas Candy and Advent Candle making event in my cozy cottage this weekend. It was a great success! I believe that it will only get better as the years progress. My dear mother in Law and close friend, Harmony, were with me from the beginning to the end. I am happy to say we also had other women come and go throughout the day. We started around noon and ended after 4:00 in the afternoon. There was never a dull moment and we all had a wonderful time.


The house was filled with the Christmas Spirit as we baked along side one another. The sounds of the season filled the air as an undertone to the stories, laughter, and sisterly encouragement shared between each woman. The tables were spread from one end to the other with baking supplies and eventually platters filled with colorful candies. All ready to be dished up on plates and shared with families throughout the town. Some of us also walked away with a candle stick marked with 12 little cinnamon candy pieces to advent the days leading up to Christmas.


We made 8 different kinds of chocolates. I was lucky enough to find the recipes all online so I can share them with you. Here it goes:
Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Toffee Peanut Clusters
Yummy Cracker Snacks
Orange Coconut Creams
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Peppermint Fudge Truffles
Holiday Truffles
Cashew Cluster (not online) Just melt white chocolate and mix with cashews

When all of the candy was finished and the women back to their homes, Leif and I finished dishing up individual plates and made little tags for the families who we Home and Visit Teach. We climbed in the car with our boys and delivered all of the candy. It was the perfect way to share the true meaning of Christmas with our children. My hope is that next year more of the ladies will be able to share the gift of giving with their own families at the end of the event as well as my own.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Family Fun and Festivities


Life has been fun lately, truly fun. Luckily, not in the sarcastic sense of the word. A couple of days ago during school we learned about the Apatosaurus. Of course this led Jakob to ask if we could go hiking and digging for dinosaur bones. Luckily it was on a Monday, which means Family Home Evening and Papa doesn't have school at night. So I told him yes. So Leif got home, Jakob grabbed his digging tools, we put Lady on her leash, and headed out to Wood Hill (just out of town.) We climbed the hill high enough that we could see for miles around. There is so much beautiful open land surrounding us. We enjoyed the view for a while as we gathered pretty rocks and petrified wood. Then on the way down we stopped for a bit and had a Juniper Berry War (throwing berries at the opposite team.) Great Fun!

The next day (Tuesday) the boys and I ended up going on another good hike through some of the hills around our back country. We are learning about the Joy of the Earth for Joy School and we went on a nature observation hike together with our friends. It was beautiful and so fun to be out in nature with great friends. That night, Papa came home from his class early enough for us to load in the car and go to the grocery store to buy our Christmas tree (against tradition.) WOW! We got a true beauty!!

On Wednesday we had another great day. Jakob and I decorated the Christmas tree first thing. I must say it turned out beautiful! It's covered in multi-colored lights. The top half of the tree has bulbs (gold, white with red poinsettias, gold with poinsettias) and angels dotting the tree. The bottom half of the tree has a few butterflies throughout the area. I decided to completely eliminate temptation for Caleb. I'm SOOO glad I did!! I then wrapped maroon colored ribbon that is lined with golden beads. around the tree three times. And to top it off there is a beautiful golden star with white lights. Jakob really did help. He actually insisted on the angels and I think they made a sweet touch. Precious memories. If you're wondering what Caleb did during the decorating, he sat in his high char (most of the time.)

Just as I was laying down to catch my breath after all of that fun and excitement Leif called me. He said that the school was having a bird of prey assembly that he thought Jakob would enjoy. HE said he would be able to sit with us if we came. So, I of course loaded the kids up and we headed over to the school. It turned out awesome! The man who came had a true passion for the birds that he took care of. He brought an eagle, falcon, and a hawk to show us. It was so neat to learn about the birds that fly right in our area and we don't even recognize them. Now Jakob is constantly looking in the sky bird-watching. LOVE IT!

And then as if we hadn't had enough fun, we got to go to a rocket launch at Papa's Chemistry class. It was Bitter Cold. But really fun to see the rockets shoot into the sky. There were several women from Colorado City in Leif's class. They were so sweet and prepared a delicious meal for us. So the night was closed with homemade turkey sandwiches and pumpkin cake. Ahhh, so nice!
Today has been more of a get things done day. Well, kinda. We started off after breakfast by going to the middle school and decorating a table with my china for a Christmas Festival that the town holds every year. Leif's mom then sent us out to lunch (Bless her heart) MMM! After I finally got the kids down for naps and Leif working on school work I finally got my shopping list written up for my Ladies Time Out candy making party I have here on Saturday. Looks like we'll make around 8 different candies. All very easy, and SOOO Yummy! Can't Wait! Tonight I also through together a couple of pretty wreaths for my door. One is artificial the other is from the tree branches we trimmed off of our tree. I'll try to get pictures.

Again, just as I was laying down to catch my breath before I put the clean laundry away, we got a phone call. Leif's mom called to let us know that our neighboring town was holding their annual parade of lights festival tonight. So, we bundled us all up and headed out the door. It was cold again. But such a fun little treat to enjoy the small town parade and friendships.

So, as I said, life has been fun lately. Tomorrow we get to go do the shopping for Saturday's party and I get a much needed hair cut. Then Saturday is the party. Then Sunday I teach the Sunbeams (3-4 year olds) in primary for the first time. I am looking forward to it. But I need to plan the lesson. So I best be saying good night!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks-Giving

I really haven't been putting off sharing my "thanks" during this past Thanksgiving season. I've simply been too involved in all that I am thankful for to stop and write it down. Now the Thanksgiving season is past and we have welcomed in the Christ-Centered season. But are the two season's so much different? I think not.

Oh, I love this time of year. Last year I swore that I would not get too busy to feel of the Christmas spirit. I think I have accomplished that goal (so far.) Leif gave me my first gift of the season this past weekend, his time, which for me equals Love. He shares a lot of his time with us daily. But lately he has been booked solid with school work and we have all felt of his absence. By Friday we had decided that we would face the crowds on Saturday and do some early gift shopping. However, by Friday night Leif and I were at our whits end with Jakob. He was nothing but naughty and we were nothing but weary. Well, that night after our evening prayer together Leif came to a wise conclusion. He realized that Jakob had been without his two most valued playmates for the last while and it had taken it's toll on his mood, Grandma and Papa. At this realization Leif made a change in our Saturday plans. He decided that Saturday he would spend the whole day doing nothing but playing with Jakob and Caleb. So, we woke up the next day and guess who got a day off? ME!! Ahhh, it was so nice! And Jakob was SOOO thrilled! In fact he was so thrilled to have Papa's full attention that he got a bit over zealous for a time and decided that he no longer liked me, he only liked Papa. And he let me know it. Well, eventually this did hurt my feelings and when Papa found out what was happening he jumped right on it. He sat Jakob down and began listing all of the things that I have done and continue to do for Jakob and helped him understand that I care for him because I love him. It was a sweet moment that I will treasure. The whole day ended up wonderful.

I have just shared an experience that pretty much gives a clear picture of all that I am grateful for. I am grateful for the power of prayer and the connection that our Heavenly Father has with us. He knows us personally and will guide us if we seek His direction. I am thankful for my precious family and all that they mean to me. They are EVERYTHING to me, All of them! I am thankful for moments of peace. I am thankful for my cozy home where some of my choicest memories are made. I am thankful for my husband who is my soul mate in every sense of the word. I am forever grateful...

And what did we do to celebrate all that we are thankful for on Thanksgiving Day? We ATE! I found the Country Women's Christmas cook books by Taste of Home at the library and they are filled with amazing recipes. I cooked more for this Thanksgiving then I have ever cooked for one thing in my life. Carrot Cake Doughnuts, Butterscotch Pull apart Bread... So much I can't even list them all. Leif made an amazing ham and gravy from the cookbook and a delicious turkey. We had Leif's grandpa Dixon over and his sweet wife Dee. It was a treat spending time with them. We all stuffed ourselves and had leftovers for the whole weekend and into this week. I have concluded that Thanksgiving Feasts are symbolic for some people. For me, the food is symbolic of all that I am grateful for. This year our feast symbolized much gratitude!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Raising Chickens:Photos, Stories, and Updates

We share a good bit of land (that is owned by Leif's parents) with Leif's parents. Half of the land is developed into a nice backyard with green grass, trees, benches, and a trampoline. Behind the developed yard is a miniature fruit tree orchard and a homemade log jungle gym for the grandkids. That is the portion of land that sets behind Leif's parents house. To the east of their home they built what is called, The Barn. The barn looks like a well built, pretty, yellow barn. In reality it is a two level building with a two room garage on the bottom and (up until three years ago) the upstairs was 800 square feet of open space with an enclosed bathroom. Now, the upstairs is our cozy two bedroom cottage. Before Leif's parents graciously allowed us to gradually make ourselves at home, the land surrounding the barn consisted of wild alfalfa and fox tail fields with a large greenhouse (turned storage unit) at the back of the property.

Why am I beginning a post titled "Raising Chickens" with a description of the layout of our land? Well, because now the land surrounding the barn could be classified as a growing little homestead filled with a large dog house and a puppy, a small plot of grass for the family, a good sized garden, a pile of enough wood to burn for a winter, and two large chicken coups filled with almost 30 chickens. It seems that all we need are a couple of goats and maybe a miniature horse or cow. But I'm getting away from the subject at hand: Chickens.


For some families, the chickens they raise are intentionally given names such as "Sunday Dinner," "Frozen Dinner," or "Barbecue." When it comes to our chickens, they have been affectionately given names such as Frank, Marty, Bessy, Sue, Sally, Hershey's Kiss, Silky, and Tiny. We have 30 pet chickens. Some of them we naturally know and value more then others. For example, we had a Silky named Princess who unfortunately ended up with some brain damage and had to be put down. This is No Fun! We tried to help her live a decent life. But she got to the point where she couldn't figure out which way was up or down. She would twist her head around and end up on her back in a corner. That has been one of the more troublesome experiences with our chickens. But then again, there have been other times. Like the morning that Leif rushed in after checking on our chicks we had just moved outside the night before. He carried a tiny half frozen chick in a towel and hesitantly handed it to me to try to revive as he had to run out to work. I worked with the chick wrapping it in a heating pad and such. But it took a final breath after a while and was gone.

But raising chickens isn't all down and dreary. We had a hen go broody for the first time last month. That means she was ready to sit on any eggs we were willing to put under her and she'd hatch them out. We gathered 10 eggs for her and set them in front of her one at a time. She took the egg with her little beak and gently rolled the egg underneath her. She took 8 eggs and squawked when we suggested she take more. She then incubated the eggs for 21 days straight, only getting off of her nest twice that we know of the whole time. The mother hen's natural instincts are astounding. We were thrilled to find Sally, (our mother hen) with five baby chicks exactly 21 days to the hour that we set the eggs at her beak. Three of the eggs didn't develop. But the five that did are still alive and well. It has been so fun to watch all of them grow. It is also Very Nice for us not to be the mother hen. Jakob tries every day to make sure they know who he is. He'll climb in their coop and visit with them, which also helps Sally to accept our presence.

Before this current batch of chicks we actually purchased several fertile eggs online of a chicken breed that is very rare in the US (Light Sussex with Lavender/Coronation Gene) We did order some of the pure Coronation Sussex but none of them hatched. Leif is planning on raising them and selling their eggs and chicks. It was fun to get the eggs in the mail and take them to a friend who has a nice incubating machine. Again, 21 days later (actually, some were 23 days) we had a batch of skittish little chicks. I don't mind having them in the house. They actually don't smell and the little peeping sound is soothing in a way. These are the chicks who were spared from the smoke that I wrote about in a previous post. We will be securing our heat lamp much better in the future. However, we hope to always use a broody hen to raise future chicks.

As you can see, there is much that can be said about raising chickens. It has become a family endeavor. We now let the chickens free range throughout the yard for the afternoon and they are mighty grateful for the chance. The boys love to walk among them and try to pick them up. So far the easiest to catch are Sally and Sue, our Buff Orpingtons. Our roosters are very tame as well. We actually have three. Frank is the head rooster, Marty and Silky are the two underdogs. Which chicken am I most attached to? I would have to say Bessy. Bessy is the very first chick that we bought. She is a Black Australorp. When she was a chick she was very curious. So much so that we had to put an oven rack over the brooding box to keep her inside. However, it wasn't at all uncommon to look over and see Bessy's little head poking up through the bars turning every which way. She is still a leader. But very calm and patient.

This isn't even the half of what I could write about our "Raising Chicken's" experience. Until next time, I hope the picture I've tried to draw for you flows through.

Early Thanksgiving Gathering: Hunt Grandparents

Last weekend (or was it two weekends ago?) My parents made a spontaneous weekend trip out to visit. Leif had loads of homework. So the kids and I played with grandma and grandpa while Leif hit the books (poor guy!) One of the days we even met up with my aunt JoAnn and played with her in SG for a day. Saturday we stayed close to home and spent the day together and had a mini Thanksgiving Feast. My mother (who is an excellent cook) prepared some AMAZING pork chops, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, salad, and a delicious Cranberry ice cream pie. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. We were happy to be able to spend a couple of days with them before their next big run of Hunt Mystery shows in November and December.

Unfortunately, I didn't get very many pictures throughout each of the days. But here are a few from the day in SG.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Motivation For This Mama!

ADDED LATER: My dear cousin in law wrote this comment on this post and I wanted to share it with everyone. She drew an even better picture for me of what my life's work is then I did. I originally had a photo of an apple orchard on this post. Now, a temple. Thanks Sandra!!
"Your post reminded me of a poem of Grandma Stanger we inherited. It's called Two Temples. It talks about one builder who built with grace and skill. Wonderful pillars and arches. His fame would not be forgotten. Then a mother who built a temple with loving and infinite care. Laying each arch with prayer. None praised her efforts, they were unseen by the eyes of man. The builder who's temple is now crumpled to the earth is forgotten. But the temple the mother built will live on. For that beautiful unseen temple was a child's soul. Your building temples Lena :)"

ORIGINAL POST: My life is very full at the moment. I wish that I was able to take the time that I used to, to return emails, visit everyone's blogs, comment, and write every day about life and it's happenings and my studies. However, there are seasons in life. Right now, it is planting time in my world. I am working sun up to sun set sowing seeds that I pray will one day flourish and grow into beautiful trees who will in turn bare good fruit to share with those around them.

I pray for this constantly through the joys of my day as well as the weary times. Today I was blessed with one of those priceless moments in time when as a mother I felt a tiny glimmer of success. We were at a restaurant for lunch. I had dished Jakob up a plate and set it in front of him and began eating my food and trying to keep Caleb from dumping his own plate of food as well as mine. Suddenly an elderly lady tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear and said, "your son has the most beautiful table manners. I've been watching him..." Now, she may have thought the compliment was meant for my son. I think not.;) This Mama felt a Mission Accomplished!

Jakob said something very cute tonight. We were reading book #15 in the Magic Tree House series titled Viking Ships at Sunrise. There was a paragraph where one of the characters in the book says that the word civilization is "when people have books and art and good manners." After reading this Jakob stopped me and said, "hey! That's us, we should put a sign on our door to let everyone know!" The book then goes on to explain that monks are "religious people who spend their time praying and reading and helping people." Jakob's eyes lit up at this and said we needed to add that to our sign. I thought this comment was one of those priceless moments in time and wanted to share.

I miss my time building my friendships and writing my thoughts and feelings. But I do cherish this time with my family that I have recommitted myself to. Life is not always perfectly peaceful at our home. I have one boy who loves to reenact war battles and watch military documentaries on a daily basis (if we would allow it.) And a toddler who loves to throw a fit when he doesn't get his way. But it is nice to go to sleep at night and know that I am making some sacrifices to raise them the very best that we know how.

This post s in no way meant to be a bragging post. In the end, I think it came out of my head as a motivation booster to help me smile throughout my day tomorrow.

Gnight' All!

A Release: Young Women Presidency

Ahhh, Saturday Mornings.... This morning has been the wonderfully classic Saturday morning. We slept in, able to stay cozy in our warm beds until the kids insisted that our day begin. It's cold and rainy outside. So none of us are anxious to get outside and work in the yard or with the animals. So we sat down for breakfast together. Now we're just doing what we WANT to do. No school, no appointments. I am going to blog! To make this more fun, I need to add photos.




Well. I was released from the Young Women's Presidency in our ward two weeks ago. The women that I served with have become my dear friends. I hope that we will continue our friendships. Being with the girls on a weekly basis gave me the chance to see all of them at their best as well as at their not so best. And they saw me in the same light. They taught me a lot and I pray that I was able to teach them something. All in all, it was a valuable experience that I will treasure.

Well, I guess blogging isn't going to be an option right now. So, I'll leave me update at this and try to give more when I don't have little ones demanding my attention.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Answers: Christmas Scriptures, Did the Chicks Survive?

I wish that I had more energy at the end of the day to write. So much happens in one day here at our little homestead. Maybe this short post will spur me on to write more tonight. We'll see...

Anyway, A couple of friends have asked me questions that I want to answer before it's out of my mind.

The first question is: Did the chicks survive through the smoke incident? YES! And we are So thankful! They huddled in a far corner of the box and were spared.

Second: What are the scriptures that I will use for my Christmas Countdown Candle? I found a great resource online that has a page full of great scriptures HERE. It has scriptures in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I'm really excited to start our countdown. This particular list of scriptures starts on December 14th. It's a 12 day countdown. I will put 12 marks (with red wax, sequins, beads, etc.) on our candle. We will burn the candle to the next mark each night. We'll read and sing by candle light and of course the Christmas Tree lights. I Can't Wait!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Our House Was Protected

Our eyes were opened this afternoon to the blessings that come from a merciful Father in heaven. My parents came to visit this weekend from up north. We have had a wonderful time. But we have stayed up later then usual and were very tired this morning (Sunday.) We had to make a conscious decision to go to church today, rather than going "as usual."

Upon our arrival home from church we were greeted with the front door wide open and the smell of smoke overwhelmingly strong in the air. My first thought was, "good heavens mom, popcorn for breakfast!?" But my parents soon explained the true source of the smoke.

My dad has come up each morning that he's been here to take a shower. Apparently a shower wasn't in his plans this morning. He was going to sleep in late with my mom. Well, he said that he woke up a bit earlier then expected and he just felt like taking a nice shower. My mom tried to get him to stay in the trailer. But he just felt like going up (which is a big deal because it's a long flight of stairs which isn't easy for my dad who uses crutches.) So he made the trek up the stairs only to find that the house was thick with smoke. He immediately went to the baby chick brooding box that holds seven baby chicks warmed by a heat lamp. Sure enough, the heat lamp had fallen face first into the sawdust and was only a few minutes away from bursting into flames.

To think that Father in Heaven, He who holds the universe and it's inhabitants in His hands, is aware of our tiny little cottage in our tiny little town, and was willing to send the prompting to my earthly father to make the trek necessary to spare us, is profoundly humbling.

The rest of our day was filled with prayers of thanks for this precious gift and mercy.

Thank you to both of my Father's for their love and care!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This year for Halloween we were excited to get out in the community and enjoy the festivities. Unfortunately that wasn't a possibility due to Jakob being sick. But we didn't let that stop us too much when it comes to having fun.

I went to the video store (yes, I went to the store ALL BY MYSELF! Thanks Love!!) and rented a couple of little kids Halloween movies. Then I went to the grocery store and bought the fixins' for Chicken Enchiladas and Magic Cookie Bars. I topped it off with some sparkling Apple Juice and a Pumpkin Pie for Leif. MMM!

Earlier in the month we purchased two of the biggest pumpkins at the store. So we had a lot of fun Halloween afternoon carving them. Let me rephrase that, LEIF had a lot of fun. All I did was draw the basic Jack o' Lantern face on the pumpkin at Leif's insistence. Jakob drew a dinosaur on the other pumpkin and Leif carved it so we could see the light through it. Fun! Fun!

Since we had planned the kids costumes ahead of time we decided to dress them up anyway. They thought that was a great idea of course! Jakob changed his mind three times this year when it came to what he wanted to dress up as. First it was a spooky Halloween Cat. Second it was a Dinosaur. Finally, he chose a sailor. This followed right along with his obsession with the military. The costume is an antique made from my grandfather's official sailor uniform from WWII. My father wore it when he was Jakob's size, my brother Jason wore it, and now Jakob's worn it. So needless to say I am protective of the costume. But I'm grateful that Jakob thinks it's neat. Caleb wore a Tigger costume that Jakob wore when he was Caleb's size. I must say he was adorable!

So all in all, we had a Happy Halloween, as it should be!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Swine Flu Update

Well, Jakob and Caleb seem to be better. No fevers this morning. But all I want to do is lay around or sleep. My head hurts. No fever. Other then that, we're alright. I have A LOT I want to write about. But like I said, I'm tired. So hopefully after nap time... Let me list what I want to blog about so I can remember when I feel up to it:

Caleb's 18 month update
Jakob update
Raising Chicken stories
Halloween Night

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Swine Flu's Hit Home

Well, as Leif put it, "the Piggy Cold has hit the Baron family". Jakob woke up on Wednesday with a high fever, terrible headache, deep chest congestion, and a few rounds of throwing up. So I called the doctor. He had three out of the four Swine Flu symptoms that they look for. He just needed a sore throat. Well, that hit today. Luckily he hasn't been seriously sick. It's just lasting a long time and put a serious damper on our festivities.

So far the rest of us haven't been knocked down by it. But Caleb started acting like he has a sore throat today and my throat is itchy and feels like it's on the edge of something. But we're praying that it passes.

We're surviving. We did have a nice Halloween. I'll write about it and post photos tomorrow. It's time for bed!

Three Years Have Passed

From Jakob and Rhea
I was sitting in our little nursery with the kids the other day and we were admiring the curio filled with all of the little mementos from our girls. I then realized that the anniversary of their delivery was coming up. They would have been three years old yesterday.

Time does truly heal. We still talk about the girls in one way or another on a daily basis. But the pain of their loss is not constant. I am now able to be grateful that I can raise them in a perfect world. Throughout my day yesterday I reminisced here and there about some of the memories I have of the time with my girls. I had very little time with LeOra. But I had 8 days with Rhea.

After the emergency C-section I instinctively knew that I needed to spend as much time with Rhea as I possibly could. So either I was blessed with a quick initial recovery, or I fibbed and was able to go to her hours after I delivered. That was a special day. My in-laws had come to be with us and care for Jakob. The veil between this life and the next was very thin. I remember feeling almost as if we were all in the midst of heavenly clouds. Wrapped in a peace and comfort. This was the spirit of the Lord and His comfort. My father in law tells of his experience of actually being allowed to see his mother (who had passed away years before) bringing LeOra (grandma's namesake) to visit Rhea in the NICU and then to me in my hospital bed. I can sense their presence when they are near though I have never seen them.

Yesterday I was looking through books online for the boys. I came across the original version of the book "The Little Engine That Could." That was the book that I read out loud to Rhea as she lay in the NICU. I need to buy that book...

Jakob asked the other day if he was ever able to hold Rhea. He actually held her on the day that we took her off of life support. But the picture we took of them turned out fuzzy. But the memory is clear. Jakob held her and tried to give her his binky. It was a precious time.

Though we would rather have our girls with us at this moment. It is a true blessing to know that the Lord can heal our hearts in time. I am ever grateful for this knowledge and the comfort that it brings me in this life. I look forward to the day when we will be with our girls again.

So, my sweet Rhea and LeOra. Thank you for your precious love and memories. We are doing our best to live worthy to be with you again.
From Jakob and Rhea

From Jakob and Rhea

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Precious Moments in the Fall: Photos

My precious boys playing together in the leaves:

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

Jakob's Photo of our Ginger Bread Haunted House
From Fall 2009

From Fall 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mama's Projects and Pass Times

Sandra (my cousin in law) asked me what projects I have been working on lately. I thought that was a question worthy of a blog post. I'd like to answer that question for myself. I feel like I have a lot of "projects". But what exactly am I talking about? Let's see... Since I DO NOT want to do the dishes in this free moment of time I have I'll answer this question.

The number one thing that I do in my short moments of "Mama Time" is reading. I am currently interested in novels relating to the Amish faith and lifestyle. They are uplifting and interesting. I am pretty picky about what I spend my time reading. Some people read for the pure entertainment and enjoyment. I read for those reasons too. However if there is nothing uplifting or enlightening involved in the story, for me, it's a waste of time. My time is too valuable. I also find myself taking on the attitudes of the characters that I'm reading about. So if they're not good I'm in trouble.

The next thing I do is blog. As you may have noticed I haven't been blogging as much. This is mostly due to the fact that my "Mama Time" is taken up or non-existent.

And then there are my "Projects." These are my ongoing things that I dabble in when I know the kids won't let me alone, or I feel guilty because I want to get these projects FINISHED. My main project is the ongoing process of home school planning, preparing, and presenting. The every day lessons for the next while aren't really my focus at the moment. But I am trying to plan ahead and have a supply of lessons on hand to use if need be. My goal is to have 30 school days worth of "Bedside Lessons in a Packet" completed and ready to go when I need them (yes, this in preparation for weeks 6-10 of pregnancy.) My plan is to have these packets in a file box next to my bed. They will have everything needed for that day in the envelope. Jakob can choose a packet and we can work on them together. Jakob loves dinosaurs and jets. So each packet will be themed around dinosaurs and jets. There is a series of books called The Value Tales. I grew up reading these books. Each of them overviews a certain value by telling a story about a person who has made a great impact in the world. I will include one of these books in each packet as well.

My next ongoing project is our family prayer rug. It's coming along slowly but surely. I have set up a play group two days a week. I try to pull out my rug during these times and work on it with my friends.

And finally, my upcoming project is going to be planning and carrying out a Ladies Night Out each month for myself and any of the ladies in town and around who want to join us. There are certain things that I like to do each month for the holidays and such. But they're often not as fun to do alone. So, I thought I'd invite others to join me. Each month we'll work on something and enjoy a themed refreshment. For example, in December I'm actually planning two nights. The first we will make a Christmas Countdown Candle along with scriptures that we can read by candle light with our families leading up to Christmas. That night the refreshment theme will be Anything Cookies. The other night in December we'll have a gift wrapping night where we can all come together and wrap gifts, visit, and eat Anything Candy. I think it sounds fun and I hope it sounds fun to the ladies.

So Sandra, that's what this Mama does in her moments of Mama Time. Thanks for asking!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rollin' Along At The Baron Homestead

My blogging hours have been drastically reduced. One of these days I will set aside several hours and write to my hearts content on all of my different blogs. Until then, I'll take a moment here.

Life is rolling along. Is it REALLY almost Halloween? The end of October? Unbelievable! Life for the Baron family is full and happy. I concluded today that I am content with the fact that I do not have the time I used to have for myself anymore. I used to spend hours working on MY projects. Ever since I made the choice to shift my complete focus to teaching my children full time at home rather then sending Jakob elsewhere, my life has been full and content. I am busy. I have A LOT of Projects. But I am happy. I love watching Jakob AND Caleb progress daily. I love to know that it was all of us working together that resulted in the progress. I used to give the credit where much of the credit was due, to Jakob's teacher. But now, Leif and I are the teachers. I LOVE IT!

This last week something has clicked in Jakob. For weeks he has been stuck in the habit of immediately saying NO! or WHY?! to any request from myself or any authority figure. He has finally found the word OKAY in his vocabulary. It is Beautiful and so peaceful. Now, I am not so naive that I believe we will never struggle with this issue again. But I relish in the moment.

My Caleb is growing up. I absolutely love the age that he's at. It's filled with exploration and giggles. He loves to make-believe along side his brother or on his own. It is not unusual to find him in a corner somewhere with an airplane in hand sputtering through the air. It is a joy to see his personality bloom. At the moment he is in his bed singing and jabbering to himself. Leif made the comment the other night that our boys love to hear their own voices. We were driving down the road and both Jakob and Caleb were in the back seat jabbering away to know one in particular. Most of the time I consider their voices music to my ears. And sometimes...:)

Leif... ahhh, my Leif. I love this man! We just spent several hours on a day trip to and from SG with a lot of shopping in between. Now he is out in his office (the trailer) writing a paper for one of the several classes he's taking. And the thing is, the man just accepts his lot in life. When I had a paper to write, one paper, Everyone knew I had a paper due. I walked around with a neon sign strapped to the front and back of me informing everyone that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment so they had better not ask for my assistance. Leif, he has two or more papers, a chemistry test, AND the everyday homework, daily job, church, family, and chickens to balance on a daily basis. And he just does it. No questions asked. He will naturally show signs of being tired or occasionally overwhelmed. But 90% of the time, someone who doesn't know him well would have no idea how much he carries on his plate. He has a gift. I only pray that I can follow his example as well as be the help that he needs and deserves.

Lady, well, our little Lady is still with us. she's still up for sale, even though Jakob has prayed that we won't sell her;) Nice huh?:) So for now we've actually found a doable solution to the majority of our issues. We keep her outside during the day. We have a nice set up and she seems okay with the situation. She stays out there and WE visit her. So when she comes in the house, she is visiting and doesn't cause as mush disruption. So, we're okay until it starts getting really cold. What we'll do then, I'm not completely sure.... Unless we find a new home for her, and then it's not an issue.

We've set up a cute little homestead here in our small part of the world. We have many chickens now and get at least a dozen eggs a day. We have our Lady outside, and our little family. Leif's brother who lives not too far away now has pigs along with their chickens and several dogs. And soon they plan to purchase a cow. So together, we all have a lot of fun. If not together, we at least have a lot of fun sharing stories. If we are ever tempted to get other farm animals it would be a couple of female Pygmy goats. But that's not on the agenda. Just an occasional joke here and there.

As I said in the beginning, life is rolling along singin' a song. And simply by the sillyness of that last line, I can see that it is time for bed for this mama. G'night all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Need Fall Season Recipes

We have two weeks left until Halloween. Then a few more weeks until Thanksgiving. I am hoping to spend some time in the kitchen throughout these upcoming weeks making some YUMMY food.

Last night we ate a WONDERFUL Potato Cheddar soup (with our homegrown potatoes) and an amazing Pumpkin crunch cake. They were wonderful! Now I need your help. Send me some Fall Season recipes!!!! Any and All... I look forward to hearing from you!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thank You!

THANK YOU SWEET FRIENDS!! Thank you for your sweet words of comfort about Lady. All will be well...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sad Puppy Tales

Well, you all won! I write this with sad and mixed emotions... We have to sell our puppy. I have avoided writing about it because I can't take any "told you so" comments. So if you feel the urge, resist!

Lady is precious. Actually, there is nothing wrong with her. She is simply a puppy. And as many of you tried to warn me about, puppies are A LOT of Work! We told Jakob tonight and tears filled his eyes, which brought tears to my eyes, and it was all really sad. So why are we selling her?

Well, although I'd really like to have a grand reason like, she bit a whole through Jakob's bedroom door and devoured his stash of snacks, that's not the case. The truth is that she barks and wakes the kids up. She nipps at the kids non stop which leads to non stop screaming and a need for intervention. And potty training is a full time job. The truth is, She's a PUPPY!

It's a very sad story. I have grown to love her and I feel like I failed myself, my kids, and her. But with all that I have going on in life and all that is surely in the future, the current situation isn't working. So, we've put her on KSL classifieds and I hope I can confidently tell the people who call that YES, she is available. And then, I hope I'll be able to pass her to another family and not hate myself after it's all said and done.

So, that's the Sad Puppy Tale, folks. It is sad indeed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Day In Our Life

Have you ever sat at your computer desk and tried to pretend that a tornado has not blown through your house, that your To-Do list is Doable, and your five year old isn't calling for your attention? Well, that is where I'm at at the moment.

I wanted to write more. But Jakob's got a point. The eggs need to be gathered, and counted. The newest book needs to be read. And soon it's lunch time, Right? YEP! Sure is! Wish me luck today good friends!

All is well!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Journey Through Grieving

After the loss of our girls I found comfort through writing. Unfortunately I had not figured out the value of blogging at this point. So I recorded my writing on a website that I created. It is now time to close that website. So before I do I will copy a page that I wrote onto my blog for the record.

This was written around February-March of 2007:

The Journey:
Loss - Mourning - Grieving - Remembering -
Living

Healthy Grieving: Never forgetting, yet always moving forward to a brighter existence. After all, I think that is what our loved ones who have passed on are doing….

I have been strengthened through my grief by my Heavenly Father, my family, and the environment I have created around me. I find ways to share my experiences and heartache. I allow the tears to flow. And I listen to my soul and go at the pace that I need to. I take in the loving words that bring me comfort, and cast out thoughts of the words from others that do not bring comfort. I pray, I ponder, and I move forward.

I deeply miss the children whom I have lost; as well as my dear grandmother, as it should be. I never forget, I just continue to walk with faith. Faith is an action word!
Late Night Thoughts Along The Way...

Some people in my life seem to think that I am perfectly okay. When in reality, I am not always Okay. This is part of the grieving process. Good, bad, and ugly days. I’m not sure why people have this perception that everything is “all better.” It is either that I am sending off false signals, that they are interpreting my signals falsely, or, they just simply don’t feel the loss anymore in their personal lives, so it no longer exists. What ever the reason, my feelings are real and grieving the loss of a child (or three) is ever present. I read this evening about this ever present grieving. It was defined as “Shadow Grieving.” That is exactly how it feels! I have also found that I can recognize the “shadow” now in other mothers who are on the same journey as I am.

So what do we do? Well, we keep walking on! We keep smiling through the tears! We stop and have a good cry and let our souls process the experience of loss! I explain those moments as if my mind is opening up the doors in a house that I once lived in one by one and reliving all of the experiences and emotions of that “room” one by one. As this process takes place, it allows my soul to heal; one room at a time, one experience at a time, or one emotion at a time.

March 2007: The night that I wrote the content of this page I was experiencing a defining moment in my grieving process and I didn't know it at the time. For several days leading up to that night my whole body had become consumed with a huge amount of physical pain from my head to the soles of my feet. I finally accepted the fact that I was in pain and I feared the worst.

That night as I was trying to fall asleep I began to allow a few memories and emotions about my loss to flow. From that moment on I cried for six hours. I cried and experienced all of the emotions that I needed to feel. The next day I was blessed with the chance to sleep the whole day. What I didn't notice until I was fully awake was the fact that the horrible pain in my body was gone! Because I had allowed my body to process all of the emotions that I was experiencing I was cleansed both physically and spiritually. Truly Amazing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pregnancy, Estrogen, and Women

My friend just posted this on her blog and I Loved it!

PREGNANCY Q & A
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

"ESTROGEN ISSUES"10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says:'How's my driving-call 1- 800-'.
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from outer space.
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND
10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.AND,the Number One thing only women understand:
1. OTHER WOMEN

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Quick Update

The last post I wrote was started Wednesday or Thursday around nap time. I can't even remember which day. Since it was just finished and published tonight, that might show you that things are a little slow around here. I'm sick. Caleb's sick. Jakob's sick. And Leif is stressed.

I really hope that things are better tomorrow. Luckily Jakob isn't feeling sick. He just has a nasty cold. Caleb had/has the same cold. Then he started in with his monthly fever episode. So that's miserable. His temperature was over 103 today. Thank heavens for medicine!! Me, well I have a weird cold. I am achy all over and really tired. I can tell I have head congestion. I'm praying I can get back in the swing of things tomorrow. Leif has a lot of school requirements and it is NO FUN!! It doesn't help to have me down in the dumps either!

I was going to write more, but I'm tired. So guess this is just a For The Record post. Sorry it's no fun!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Family Home Evening Packets

I have 20 minutes until nap time! I really need nap time today. Mama's sick. No, I'm not pregnant. Just a cold that makes me want a day of bed rest. That ain't happening. So, I'll settle for a good nap. We'll see if that happens. Anyway, enough complaining. I'll tell you about the great thing that Jakob and I accomplished today... Well, I'm thrilled about it anyway;)

Jakob and I were reading out of the Children's Friend magazine this morning for our morning devotional. The last story we read talked about Family Home Evening. After talking about the story a bit Jakob asked me a very good question: "Why don't we have family home evening every week like they do?" ... And the child shall lead them.

That very moment I decided to act upon the desire I've had for months to create several FHE Packets. The spirit quickly gave me an idea of HOW I was going to accomplish this. I've been wanting to purchase a book that has games and ready-made activities in it. Instead, the prompting came to use what I already have been given in the Children's Friend magazine. Funny how something so simple took so long to recognize. Oh well... Jakob and I seized the moment... Finally!

During school time we sorted each magazine into piles according to years and months (I have to use any teaching moment possible.) Then we tore out each Sharing Time activity and any other games available. From there we glued, cut, and completed 9 weeks worth of activities. YIPPEE!!!

It feels so good to know that every Monday we can go to the stack of manila envelopes and choose an activity that is already to go. LOVE IT!!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Our Conference Reverence Tent

This weekend is a special weekend for our church and our family. It is General Conference weekend. The members of our church throughout the world gather together to listen to the prophet and other leaders of the church speak to us and give guidance and counsel from the Lord.

Leif and I look forward to listening to the speakers and feeling a renewal of spiritual strength from their words. Jakob on the other hand looks forward to our Conference Reverence Tent. What is this, you ask? Well, in the Book of Mormon there is a righteous king named Benjamin who asks all of his people to gather together to listen to the word of the Lord. He instructs each family to set their tents so their door faces the temple which is where King Benjamin was speaking from.

Last year we took on the tradition of setting up our own Conference Reverence Tent. I told Jakob Friday morning that we would be listening to conference on Saturday. He very excitedly reminded me of the Conference Reverence Tent. He even went on to say "This will be the greatest Sunday EVER!" ... Mission Accomplished!
The night before conference we clean the house and then read a story about either King Benjamin or a story in the church magazine (The Friend) that shares another families story about their Conference Reverence Tent. We then gather the blankets and clothes pins and set up our tent with the opening facing our computer (we watch General Conference online.) And to top it off I plan and make lots of goodies and games for us and the kids to share throughout conference. We bring in Jakob's art desk and art supplies and Caleb's puzzles and a few toys to keep them entertained. The best resource that I've found for ideas is Sugardoodle.net. She lets everyone list their ideas on her site.

So how does it work out? Well, let's just say that I REALLY appreciated Elder Bednar's talk today about the value of consistency in a family. Leif and I are trying to consistently show our children the importance of listening to the prophet and following his counsel. Do they grasp what we are trying to teach them? Yes, I believe they do. Is it perfectly reverent? No. Our goal at this point is to become more and more reverent throughout the growing years. This is our mission and prayer.

LDS Youth Murder Mystery Dinner Activity

Wednesday night our ward sponsored a Tri-Ward Youth Activity. We live in a small town. We have two wards in our town and one ward in a town just west of us. We planned and carried out a Murder Mystery Dinner for the youth. It turned out Fantastic! The kids were so excited about the activity that they told EVERYONE at the school. We ended up having just over 90 people come to the activity. For our small area that is a wonderful turn out!!

My family owns Hunt Mysteries. It is a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Company. Because I was raised planning and carrying out Murder Mystery Dinners, I was given the "honors" of being in charge of the nights events. Because this was a church activity, I wanted to find an LDS version of a Murder Mystery. So naturally, I went to the ever-faithful Sugardoodle.net. They have several LDS themed Murder Mystery Activity ideas. Once I found the game we wanted to play I began delegating.
The second best part of the whole night was to witness the follow-through from every leader who accepted a responsibility. We made really cute centerpieces for all of the tables, salad, spaghetti, bread, and brownies and ice cream.The decoration theme was Halloween and it turned out perfect!

The VERY BEST part of the whole night was watching all of the youth participate with enjoyment and enthusiasm. For anyone who works with youth, you know what I mean. At the end of the game my husband and I gave a finale run through of what the story was really about and who the the murderer was. The story we chose came from the Book of Mormon about the prophet Nephi prophesying about the king's death. When we came to the part in the finale when I read who the murderer was the kid's filled the room with cheers of triumph because the majority of them had come to the correct conclusion. Tickled by their reaction, I continued with the finale and closed the night with my testimony of the fact that we have a living prophet on the earth today just as they did in the days of old. The spirit was there to testify to not only the youth who attend the activities regularly, but to those who don't come as often and those who are investigating Jesus Christ and his church. It was a night I will not soon forget. I hope it is the same for those who attended as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Precious Sisterhood: Relief Society

Tonight I spent the evening in awe at the blessing I have been given to be a member of Jesus Christ's church. Tonight I felt especially blessed to be witness to and blessed by the beauty and intricate nature of it's organization, particularly the organization of the Relief Society.

We spent the day as a family harvesting our garden. So by mid afternoon I was very tired. We laid down for a nap and I fell into a deep sleep. When Leif woke me up and told me it was time to get ready to go to the Relief Society General Meeting broadcast I had to make a decision. Would I stay snuggled in my soft comfortable bed? Or would I get up, shower, put on a dress, and drive to the dinner and broadcast? I thought for a moment, my bed was very tempting. But you know what pulled me out of bed? The sisterhood that I share with the women that would surround me. Do I know all of the women? Do they know me? No. Does that matter? No. There is a precious feeling of sisterhood within the Relief Society that I cherish.

I missed my dear grandmother deeply today. I found myself pondering about her as I fell asleep for my nap. As I sat this evening with my Relief Society sisters along with the sisters throughout the world I realized why my grandmother had come to mind today. The legacy of our Relief Society sisterhood never dies. The sisterhood is eternal. My dear grandmother taught me the true meaning of the Relief Society motto "Charity Never Faileth." President Henery B. Eyring spoke tonight about the way that the legacy of the Relief Society is passed on from one generation to the next. He said that it is passed on from Heart to Heart. I pray that one day my heart might come close to reflecting that of my grandmother's pure heart.

I have many many sisters. One sister by blood who is one of my dearest friends. But I have ever been surrounded by a sisterhood of women throughout my whole life. My sisters in the gospel have always been a sustaining strength for me throughout every season of my life. As I listened to our leaders speak tonight my mind and heart reflected upon my dear sisters. I thought about my mother, my sister, my aunts, my grandmothers, my sister in laws, the sisters I grew up with in primary and young women's, their mothers, the sisters who taught me in the gospel, the sisters who were my missionary companions, the sisters who have been my visiting teachers, the sisters I have visited and taught, the sisters I teach in Young Women's, those sisters I serve with in the church, and so many more sisters whom I love. So many sisters.

As the faces of these sisters floated through my minds eye, I found myself envisioning all of us walking together along a long dusty path. The path wasn't an easy path to follow and some of us were carrying awkward heavy loads. But then I noticed something, many of us were linking arms. We were all helping each other carry our loads, together. I then had a question strike me, a question I ask all of my sisters whom I love so dearly: Are you still on the path with me? We have all shared so much love and devotion together, are you still with me? I pray that you are! It is impossible to keep all of my dear sisters in view as I travel down this dusty path. But please know that I pray with all of my heart that you will stay on this path with me. That one day we will once again embrace each other and shed tears of joy that we have finally reached our destination, together. Heart to Heart dear sisters, we will always be. Please stay with me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Fondue

We welcomed in the Fall season yesterday with a fondue dinner. We enjoyed an evening with Leif's parents and a delicious meal. I didn't get a lot of photos. But here is one to prove that we had a good time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcoming The Fall Season

I love the Fall season where we live. The sky is blue with white puffy clouds. The air is cooler and smells like the changing leaves. As I drive down the road I can tell that the Fall season is coming because the landscape is dusted by yellow instead of the sage green that has flourished throughout the summer. I welcome the cool breeze and the occasional thunderstorms that drop by throughout the Fall season.

Last week we had a Fall Festival for our church community. My favorite part was the Caramel apples.:) They melted Caramel in a crock pot. What a great idea!! This year we are going to welcome the Fall Season in with a fondue dinner the beginning of next week. Yes, we will have carmaled apples again! Stay tuned for pictures to come...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Offended - Now What?

What do you do when you find yourself feeling seriously offended? Not just the irritated, "ah I hate when that happens" irritated, I mean the times when you stand aghast at how hurt and angry you feel, offended.

Today, I found myself offended. I wish that I could say that I handled it just the way that I teach my children to handle such feelings. I wish that I could say that I handled it just as our Savior teaches us to handle it in the scriptures. I hope to handle it better in the future. Thankfully, I did not do any permanent damage to any relationships. But I sure had the desire to lash out. Unfortunately, Leif is the only person who reaped the lashings of my wrath.

When I found myself withering from the result of this offence I bubbled over with hurt and anger. Gradually I began to just simmer. After hours of simmering I was finally to a point where I found myself thinking about my own actions toward this person who had offended me. Just before putting the kids to bed I was struck by a memory. I remembered writing something to this person months ago. I then realized that what I wrote at the time was from my sincere concern and love for this person. However, it is very possible that she may have found herself sitting in her office chair simmering with offence. Oh, how the tables can turn and how often we misconstrue love for criticism ... How will I handle it next time?

Leif just posted this in response to this post:
"I was thinking and talking with Lena about why she was so offended I thought of this analogy I thought I would share. Sometimes we bury our fears and troubles under our faith. Faith in our Heavenly Father, faith in ourselves, faith that good will overcome. But then sometimes as in this example with Lena, someone pulled up or revealed that exact fear that she had worked so hard to bury in faith. So it hurt...until she realized that she still had faith and that all was well."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Preparing For My Pregnancy Journey - Sickness

This afternoon Jakob and I were sitting in the rocking chair together watching Caleb play his silly games. Jakob chuckled at Caleb and said, "I'm so glad we had a baby. We need another baby!" How can that not melt a mother's heart?

When I married Leif I was a nanny for a family with six children. I had been a nanny previously for 10 years. So naturally I felt prepared for motherhood. Four months after we were married I was pregnant with Jakob. But the bliss only lasted a week. From five weeks on I was very very sick. I have talked about this on several occasions. So I won't go on with stories. I will just say that I have never quite recovered from the shock that runs through me every time I get to my sixth week of pregnancy. Luckily I can begin eating again by the 12th week. But that is only due to the medication that I take until around the fifth month. So, with that said, you will understand why pregnancy takes preparation for our family. This blog is my thinking corner. A place where I plan and discuss my plans. So, tonight I will discuss some of the ways that I prepare for a pregnancy.

PREPARING MYSELF

First and foremost I am preparing my body and spirit. I take a very high grade prenatal vitamin, Liquid vitamin B complex, and Omega 3's. Spiritually I try to stay in tune with the guidance and inspiration from the Lord as I study, plan, and prepare. In the end, I put my journey into His hands.

Before I become pregnant (I usually have a pretty good idea of the time frame) I will order liquid vitamins as well as liquid Paxil. Because I can't keep food down I can't keep medication down. So then I have to deal with the cursed withdrawal symptoms that come from the lack of medication. So I have decided to try a liquid form of my medication which will absorb quickly. I will stock up on gingersnaps, string cheese, and yogurt. I have also liked frozen fruit in the past, so I'll stock up on that. I also learned that the ions in water can cause nausea for some pregnant women. This was true for me, so I drink Gatorade, juice, and ginger soda. I also want to use essential oils. So far I've heard that peppermint, fennel, and ginger are most helpful. Once I am pregnant I immediately contact the doctor and make an appointment. By week five I go in and am tested to make sure my progesterone level is high enough to sustain a pregnancy. If not, I take progesterone. However, this time I am taking Vitex (an herb) so I'm hoping my progesterone level will be balanced. I also get a prescription for Zofran. I very much dislike taking medication during pregnancy. But there a couple that I take out of requirement. I have also accepted the necessity for frequent intravenous fluids. So I will either go to the hospital often, or have it set up so I can do it at home. Great Fun! And finally, I find a good series of books to keep me inspired and away from wallowing in self pity.

PREPARING MY FAMILY

This is the most pressing need for me as I prepare. It's frustrating to know that what I struggle with makes life so much harder for Leif and the kids. He is kind about it of course. But I feel bad and try to help beforehand as much as possible. I try to get the house as deep cleaned as possible. We spend one day together and prepare one months worth of dinner meals to freeze. We will also stock up on food items to make easy lunches, snacks, and breakfasts. My calling in church is to work with the Young Women. So I have gotten to know them well, as well as many other good women in the ward. So I will call on their sisterhood (those who are able and willing.) I will organize games, books, and movies for the kids to play that won't require too much effort or movement on my part. And in the end, I will PRAY!

WHY DO I GET SO SICK?

This has been the question I have asked six years and four pregnancies. Well, I think I have come to my conclusion. There are many theories about why women have pregnancy sickness. Some reasons are low blood sugar, stress, lack of vitamin B, H-Pylori (a bacteria in the gut), and a reaction the the hormone changes and new chemicals. I believe that this is my issue.

This summer I followed the HCG Diet. It is a diet where you inject a small amount of the HCG into your body. HCG is the hormone produced when you become pregnant. And it induces weight loss. When I was on this diet I was Very weak. I felt horrible. Worse then I was typically supposed to feel. I believe that my body has an adverse reaction to the HCG hormone that is produced in abundance when your first pregnant. So, that's my answer.

I would truly love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to cope with the pregnancy illness, and how to help my family while I am down. Feel free to share!

How Is Home School Going?


School is in session at the Baron's. I think Caleb's smile reflects perfectly how much fun we're having. Some have wondered what I do with Caleb during our school hours, the picture tells it all. He is right there with us. Luckily, school time does fall during his morning nap;) but when he is awake, he's coloring and reading with us.

Lately Jakob has a favorite word that he uses immediately after I ask him to do something, it goes like this: "NO!" (we're working on that!) However, I was thrilled yesterday to hear something else when I told Jakob we would be starting school within the hour. He walked away and quietly said to himself in a somewhat surprised tone, "I really like school..." Mission Accomplished!;)

As you can see in the photo we have a school table cloth. This cloth helps Jakob know when we are officially having school time verses family time. Every morning we eat breakfast together. During breakfast we have a short devotional (Jakob doesn't know that's what it's called.) To him it's just a story about one of the great hero's in the scripture. For me, it's a moment to teach my children the very most important lessons for life's journey. Even before the scholastic learning. After breakfast and devotional we begin our duties. We follow the Accountable Kid's program and it works well for our family. Then it's school time. Jakob and I spread the table cloth out together and begin. When school is over, we fold up the tablecloth together and thank each other for the fun. Then it's lunch, story, and NAP TIME!!:) By then, we're all ready for a nap. After nap Leif is home. We visit, eat dinner, have family time, and go to bed. I LOVE that we can create and follow our OWN schedule. We can change things up however we want. I Love it! We have another family in our neighborhood that is homeschooling. So yesterday Jakob went to their house for lunch their art time. He had a great time.

Another thing I love about home school is that if Jakob wants to veer towards another direction and create something on his own we can go that direction. This picture shows the flag that Jakob decided to make with the extra markers box and a Popsicle stick. Small, but fun. Love It!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still Here - Stay tuned

WOW! We have been busy! Nothing too out of the ordinary. Just a full schedule. I want to ramble on about a few different events. But tonight Leif and I have a date with the last chapter of New Moon in the Twilight series. Now that is one thing I want to write about... Honestly, I must be crazy, but I don't Love this series... But I'll get into that as soon as I can. I'll upload some pictures tomorrow and that will help me recall all that I've been wanting to write about. So, stay tuned. Hope this finds you well;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How You Can Tell It's Been A Long Day!


This is a picture of what happens when a tired mom is trying to talk to her husband and clear the table after dinner at the same time (that's sloppy Joe in the cupboard.) The funniest part is that I didn't catch my error until Leif pointed it out to me. Uh, is it bedtime yet???

Dear Montvale, New Jersey

Dear Montvale, New Jersey, I really don't want to scare you away from my blog! But I've noticed your vist a few times on my visit tracker. I'd love to know who you are! Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you feel inclined. If not, I hope you enjoy my blog! Take Care!!!:)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This Just Might Work

Thank you to those of you who sent me encouragement this morning as I took on the task of home schooling Jakob. Today actually turned out Great! We had a lot of fun!! We put a "big kid" puzzle together for math. It was a 100 piece T-Rex that glows in the dark. We worked on it in 15 minute increments throughout our school time. But he helped with the whole thing and we had a great time. We learned a lot about sorting and matching. Great fun! Now I need to glue it to cardboard so he can hang it in his room. We made a dinosaur picture with colored corn flakes glued to it for the skin. And we played a game where Jakob had to follow a path of dinosaur tracks (that we traced from his feet) away from a volcano lava flow. The only way to get from track to track was to name all of the letters that I showed him. He did great. We sangs songs, Jakob practiced writing his name, and we read a few stories in between. All in all, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to tomorrow.

Jakob also started his dance class again for this year. They started a Hip Hop class and invited boys to join. Jakob started a new era in K. He was the first boy to join their dance team. Now he is in a class with several boys and only one girl. I am really excited about the class. I was nervous that it might not be the style that we're looking for. But I think it will be fine.

Caleb is starting to try and talk to us. His first official words are Amen and Hi. He really hasn't looked at me or Leif and said Mama or Papa. However, I could swear that he did come to me from around the corner tonight and say "Hiii, Mama!" So we're making progress:) I am tickled every time I look over during the prayer and see him folding his arms. I so Love it!! Poor little guy has been sick since this weekend. I hate when he's sick!! Don't ask me what the problem is. Leif and I have just concluded that he has gets a fever every month at the same time which causes him to feel miserable. ugg!

So, life is busy! Busy, but good. And I think Home School might actually work out! Good Thing, huh!;)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Home School Starts Tomorrow

Tonight marks the night for a new journey for me. I will start homeschooling Jakob tomorrow. I haven't made the fact that we took Jakob out of school a big deal for several reasons. Honestly, the main reason is because I don't want to hear how we should have stuck it out. No offence to those who feel this way, but we haven't taken the easy way out. This was NOT an easy decision. And it won't ever be. Will we put Jakob back into public school? Who knows? We don't! For now, I'm focusing on making this year great for him. I feel bad for a very few things that he'll miss out on while going to public school. But in the end, I hope not to regret it. And if I do, well, it's kindergarten and I don't think I can screw him up that bad (at least I hope!)

I have found some incredible resources online as well as in our community. So I have a good feeling about our direction. I have started a Joy School group in our community. So far I have one other mother who has joined (and her daughter of course) and I hope that we can find more to join us soon. On the days that we don't have Joy School, we will focus on subjects such as language, math, science, music, and art. For the first while we will follow a dinosaur theme. Jakob LOVES dinosaurs. So, I have found activities for the rest of the month about dinosaurs that still incorporates these subjects. I feel blessed to live in a day when I have such a huge resource at my finger tips (online) with so many free options.

I think one of the most useful tools that I have found is a free downloadable program that helps me keep all of our home school plans and records organized. I can record everything and if I ever needed to print out Jakob's attendance or his grades, or the lesson plans that I taught, I would have it all right on my computer with official printable forms. It is AWESOME! A gift from the company to home schooling families. The website is www.HomeSchoolTracker.com

So, the house is straightened and the plans are set and organized. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Reflecting Upon My Day

I need to review my day. It feels like I've done a lot. But in reality, my list is still long. I think today I did a lot of things that came up that weren't even on my list. You know how it is... Take a minute and reflect with me on my day.:)

Let's see: Leif purposely didn't close the chickens in their coop last night so that he/we could sleep in this morning. Lady woke me up at 6:00AM for her routine morning run out in the yard. I read my scriptures (Sure appreciate the silent reading time!) Then I brought her in. She was extra needy and didn't want to go back to sleep. If she barks, Caleb wakes up. If Caleb wakes up, Jakob wakes up. If Jakob wakes up, we ALL wake up. So, I got up with Lady and worked on the computer. Lady eventually calmed down at 6:50 so I went back to bed. I climbed in bed, snuggled up to Leif, and the phone rang. Yep! It was for me. A nice woman asking me to be a hostess at the Women's Forum this month. Not a problem. Was looking forward to going anyway, now I get in free and a dinner the night before with Leif! SWEET! So, I talked quiet enough on the phone that all was still quiet in the house. So I snuggled back up to Leif and pretended that I could actually fall back to sleep. Ya, right! My mind planned the rest of my life for me as I laid in bed. Finally, some time shortly after 8:00AM we heard Jakob's voice outside his door, "8:00!! 8:00! Morning Time! 8:00!" Sweet boy, he knows the drill. He can't call out to us unless the clock in his room says 7:00 on school days and 8:00 on weekends. So, the day had begun.

We made Monster pancakes for breakfast. We have a sudden need for such meals. The chickens are blessing us with eggs. It was fun to compare our chicken eggs to the last of our store bought eggs. Our egg's whites are extremely firm. I have never seen egg whites so firm. Neat!

After breakfast, Leif won my heart yet again. He headed out the door hand in hand with Jakob and a bag of library books to return. He told me last night that his plan for today was to spend quality time with Jakob at the library reading stories together. They were there for over three hours. They read together and then participated in the Story Hour that the librarians present every Friday for the community. So, ten-fifteen years from now when Jakob's sick of us, hopefully reminding Jakob of these precious moments will soften him up a bit. Hopefully;)

While Jakob and Leif were at the library I worked on shopping online that I've been trying to do this whole week. I got almost all of it done. I stopped because I didn't want to spend any more money.

From there, it is all kind of a blur. I prepared lunch while Leif ran to the store to get sour cream for me so I could put a cake in the slow cooker. We ate lunch and then laid everyone down for nap. Caleb woke up fussy. He was fussy for the rest of the day. He just followed me around and fussed. It didn't take long to realize that a fever had set in. His routine fever that comes around for one week out of the month. What a pain!!

I finally showered while everyone rested. Leif took Lady outside so she wouldn't wake Caleb up (I laid him down again.) My mind didn't let me rest for long. I decided to head outside with Leif and be productive. We decided to figure out how we could give lady more space for her den. Well, we concluded with a baby crib. Leif's parents have many random items floating around on the property. There are a couple of old baby cribs amongst these items. So, we brought one upstairs and put Lady in it in place of the pack n' play she's been in. I spent a while weaving and sewing material through the rails to keep Lady from climbing through. She's finally calmed down, but she's not too thrilled with her new home. Mostly because she can't see through the rails like she could see through the mesh sides of the pack n' play. Hopefully she chills out. It was a lot of work to have her fuss about it!

Then it was dinner time. Leif made pasta Alfredo, MMM! From there we all headed outside to close up the chickens, let Lady run, and enjoy the neat lightning storm that was headed our way.

Now the boys and Lady are finally asleep and we just ate a bowl of my FAVORITE chocolate cake (slow cooker pudding cake) and ice cream. And I just gave you a play by play of our day.

I have no idea why I felt the need to give a run down of our whole day. Maybe it's to help me realize that much was accomplished in this day even though I still have dirty floors and piles of papers tilting towards the edge of my desk. The accomplishments of the day were family based. We ate three meals at our table and prayed together. We cared for our animals together. We read together. Tickled each other. And Loved each other. So in the end, all is well!
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