Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Ensign Article

Awhile back I wrote an article that was just published in the January 2012 Ensign.  You can read the article by clicking this link or see it below. 
Mom taught all of her 13 children to play the piano, but I never made it easy for her. I remember lying on the piano bench whining, insisting it was too hard. I learned, but to say that I played well would be an overstatement.

Years passed. I married and my husband was accepted to dental school. As we prepared to move to Indiana, I felt frequent impressions to practice the piano. I feared it was because our new ward did not have enough pianists.

Sure enough, shortly after we settled into the ward, the bishop extended to me a calling to be the Relief Society pianist. My heart sank. I told him I didn’t play very well but I would try. I fought tears as I left his office and cried all the way home.

After several sleepless nights, I concluded that I would simply tell the bishop that I had reconsidered. Even though my parents had taught me to always accept callings, I just couldn’t do this.
Before calling the bishop, however, I talked it over with my husband, who encouraged me to at least try. He reminded me that I had yearned to play better and that this could be an opportunity to do so. I decided he was right.

I prayed fervently and asked for Heavenly Father’s help. The words of Proverbs 3:5–6 came to my mind: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” With those words in mind, I put my trust in Him.

The only hymns I could play were those without any sharps or flats. Unfortunately, those would get me through only a few weeks. When I talked to the former Relief Society pianist about my situation, she kindly offered to substitute for a month while I practiced. Another friend offered to watch my children so that I could focus on practicing.

The first week I played in Relief Society, I made so many mistakes that I could barely see through my tears. When I finished, I didn’t want to come out from behind the piano. But the sisters in the ward were so encouraging that I kept trying.

As I continued to practice the piano—sometimes for more than two hours a day—I slowly began to improve. I’m still not an excellent pianist, but now I feel confident enough to volunteer when needed.
I’m thankful my loving parents taught me to accept callings. I was the Relief Society pianist for less than a year, but my testimony of and love for my Heavenly Father grew more than I ever could have imagined. I know that when we trust in Him, He will direct our paths, and we can see His hand in all things.
More about this calling:  The lady that was the chorister for Relief Society was hearing impaired.  She would put her hand on the piano to feel the vibrations to know how to lead (what tempo).  The only problem was that I was playing slow and making many mistakes, so I was hard to follow.  We were quite a pair trying to make it through the hymns each week!  (This was also a testimony to me that she agreed to the calling to be chorister.  She could have offered the best excuse of all for not being able to do it.  Yet she did it.)

On one occasion, she called me on a Saturday afternoon through a TDD service for hearing impaired.  They were able to relay a message to me.  I was told by the person relaying the message that she had given me the wrong practice hymn.  When I was told the correct practice hymn and was off the phone, I immediately ran downstairs to my hymn book and opened to the hymn.  My heart sank when I saw that the hymn had 3 flats and I would be unable to play it (especially without all the time that I needed to practice it).  I had to call a substitute for the practice hymn.  I'm sure people were confused that Sunday when they announced the practice hymn (and that I was the pianist) only to have someone else get up and play the hymn instead.

I think the older I get, the more I realize that I can laugh at myself and not take things so seriously.  I can be content with who I am and who I am trying to become.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


You have Plantar Fasciitis!

It was funny going to the doctor yesterday and having him do an ultrasound on my heels.  He gave me a printout of each.  When he gave it to me I said, "Oh darling!"  Not quite as cute as seeing a baby on an ultrasound.  A few cortisone shots and feet wrapped later, I was out the door and on my way.  I have been dealing with this dang, double dang plantar fasciitis for quite awhile now.  My sweet husband has been willing to rub my feet for me and that always seemed to help.  Hopefully I can nip it in the bud this time (and maybe John will be able to retire for a day or two--hee hee).  I have been doing VERY LITTLE exercising for a long time now.  When I do, I can barely walk the next morning--my heels hurt so bad.  If you have ever dealt with it, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.  Needless to say, I get winded just carrying my laundry upstairs to fold.  Holy-out-of-shape Batman!  It's crazy how quickly a person can get out of shape.  What a bugger.

I'm not going to lie, it would be nice to be getting a baby ultrasound.  John and I have been trying to have another baby for about 4 years now.  Up until now, I have kept this relatively quiet.  I didn't really want the entire world to be cheering me on and asking me all the personal questions about "When are you ovulating?  Can I come cheer outside your bedroom window?"  I said that previous statement to my mom and she just laughed.  I don't think much shocks my mom when it comes to her dear sweet daughter Heidi. 

For the last several years, when we kneel down for family prayer I have felt like someone is missing.  Weird feeling.  As luck would NOT have has not happened for us.  A few years ago I had my dad give John and I a blessing.  Shortly after that I went and had surgery.  It was basically a laperoscopy with lazer stand-by.  They were checking for blocked tubes or endometriosis.  During surgery the doctor did not see anything wrong.  I have also taken fertility pills to see if that would help.  After the surgery I must have been put on some mailing list that I just had a baby.  I have been receiving coupons for diapers, baby formula, free cans of Enfamil with congratulation letters enclosed.  Why thank you for pouring salt on my wounds! :)  The diaper coupons aren't even helpful as we no longer have anyone in the house in diapers.  Maybe if it were coupons for adult diapers, now that might be helpful.  Sneeze = pee, Jump = pee.  Good times.

Two weeks before my dad passed away, he gave each of his children one more VERY SPECIAL fathers blessing.  I just about cry thinking about it.  I'm grateful that I recorded it and typed it up.  He once again blessed me that I would have another child.  The day before he passed away, I gave him two specific instructions...

NUMBER ONE---When he sees my brother Brian--give him one hard punch in the arm.  (He would occasionally give me a numb arm punch and I felt like one good hard one from dad might get him back).  Hee hee.

AND NUMBER TWO---Find the cutest little boy up there and send him down to me.  (Is that too much to ask?)

A couple of weeks ago I turned the big nasty 4-0.  Now I am feeling like I may have to change my tune and be patient for grand kids in several years.  Also, Haley (my youngest) is 6 and that is quite a space.  This may be too much information, but sometimes I say... "You know you are too old to be having more kids when...

#1---You are too dang tired to try
#2---You can't get any dang privacy
(I'm extremely sorry Riley and Brynn if you are reading this.  You may need counseling later).  :)

Sometimes I get frustrated watching all my siblings getting pregnant without even trying.  It's like they think it is time to have another one and they are already several weeks along.  I often tell myself, "Quit being such a whiner "Nancy" you have 4 beautiful, wonderful children...some people can't have ANY!"  Sometimes it is hard to realize that you don't have any control over something and you just need to learn to deal with it.

I know that Heavenly Father is in control and He sees the big picture and knows what is best for us.  How grateful I am for that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas From Our House to Yours!

What a wonderful time of year!  As I have been busy shopping, etc. I have reflected on why we get so busy and hurried this time of year.  It seems to me that we have Christmas so backwards now days.  It is Christ's birthday that we are celebrating and we are worried about what we are getting or what we are giving to someone else.  I have had a song running through my head the last couple of days.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  To me, it says it all...

“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ,” President Monson said. He spoke of witnessing the annual commercialization of Christmas, of seeing Christmas become less about Christ and more about sales, parties, and presents.

And yet, President Monson said, “Christmas is what we make of it. Despite all the distractions, we can see to it that Christ is at the center of our celebration. If we have not already done so, we can establish Christmas traditions for ourselves and for our families which will help us capture and keep the spirit of Christ.”

I am beyond grateful for my Savior and for the many blessings he gives me daily.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Such a sweet little guy

I just love reading things my kids write in school.  Jace is a very thoughtful and considerate boy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For cryin' in a big fat bucket!

Well, it's here.  I'm officially 40!  Good grief!  Can this really be true??  I don't feel 40!  But alas, I look in the mirror and my reflection reminds me that it IS in fact true. 

Age spots, sagging in various locations, wrinkles, thinning hair, tired looking eyes.  My mom always reminds me that life begins at 40
Did she, perhaps, leave something out of her sentence..."Life begins to sag at 40"....or something to that effect?
When I was a kid, I SO remember my parents in their 40's.  And I remember thinking that they were so old!  I can only imagine what my kids think of me.

I was awake at 11:59 pm and watched the clock change to 12:00 am.  I almost said to myself out loud, "How in the crap is it that I am now 40?!"

I don't really feel "40 and fabulous"...more like "40 and farty". 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just a great kid

This picture was taken the morning of their Primary Program.
I have been thinking the last couple of weeks how great Jace is.  He is really developing some great habits that I hope he will continue to do. 

When I wake up in the morning he is already up.  He has already showered, dressed, eaten breakfast, brushed his teeth, and he has his coat and backpack ready.  So now, I am having him clean his room and make his bed before he heads off to school.  I think he likes being up when no one else is up and he also likes to have some free time before he goes to school.  His mornings are not rushed and crazy like all of his sisters.

Lately, when he gets home from school is goes right in and finishes most, if not all, of his homework.

Jace is 99.9% of the time happy and willing to do anything I ask him to do!  What a great kid!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011

Another Halloween has come and gone...hard to believe.  Once again, we had our annual family Halloween party.  This year we went to my mom's house for the party.  We always eat soup and my mom's delicious homemade bread.  My mom doesn't mess around---she makes some mean homemade bread.  I could just about eat an entire loaf. 

Most everyone dressed up for the occasion. 

This year, John and I dress up as Johnny Lingo and Mahana.  If you don't know who that is, I would suggest watching the movie.  I was Johnny Lingo and HE was Mahana.  Ugly?  Absolutely.  Funny?  You-betcha!  I shant be posting any pictures this year of the two of us.  It may leave some lasting irreparable damage on the viewer.  Let's just say that I had a short boy hair wig with big bushy eyebrows.  John was wearing a long black wig.  We DID look something like this...
My costumes are usually ugly.  I'm good with that.  Any "lady" costumes in the store are all short, low, and a little too sexy for this gal.  I'm not sure why Halloween costumes have evolved into ladies dressing like "ladies of the evening".  It's a bit of a head scratcher.  Who wants to see a grown woman dressed as a sexy kitty, red riding hood, or wonder woman.  Especially a grown woman that has had a few kids.

Here are a few pictures from the party...
This is only some of the grand kids.  There were a lot more scattered all over the house.

I could baste her and eat her for Thanksgiving.  She's a dolly.

For one that didn't want her picture taken, she posed for me pretty well.
I think a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Little Miss First Grader

I SO love it when Haley comes home from school with something she has written.   It always puts a smile on my face.  It is so awesome to witness a child learning to read and write.  Haley came home from school a couple days ago with this...

I love the ending when she says, "I like school and you."  It's always nice when your kid likes school!

My cute little lady
Last night while John and I were at Parent/Teacher Conferences, someone called and left a message on the answering machine.  Haley took the message down on paper.  You read it from bottom left...Dad sum wun kold 573.  (Dad someone called...and then she wrote the last 3 digits of the number).  She was so proud of herself for taking the message.  She is just so darn cute and becoming such a little smarty pants.  I love these little priceless notes!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birthday Rewind

Due to the "summer crazies", I was not able to post anything about Riley's 15th birthday. First of all 15...what the holy crap! I am so not a fan of her getting closer to "dating age 16". It almost causes a physical nauseous reaction in the pit of my belly. I certainly hope the boys she dates next year don't mind a long lengthy interrogation from BOTH John and I. Especially since (no offence men), BOYS ARE SUCH IDIOTS sometimes.

I already can stand waiting up for her to get back from stake dances. Not to mention watching the boys watch her when I drop her off at the high school for volleyball practice. I'm like, "HELLLLLO eyes off please"! So off my soap box and onto my post..

Riley and Hayden (a boy in the ward) have a birthday on the same day. They were born on the same day in the same hospital. A couple of years ago, Riley and Hayden celebrated their birthday together and had a joint party. This year, they decided to do a joint party again. The each invited several friends to a swimming/pizza party. They had a great time swimming, playing keep away, eating pizza, and just hanging out.  I was so entertained by just watching them all interact. 

Birthday Buddies

Hayden and the ladies

Riley with the guys

A CRAZY bunch!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Promptings of the Spirit

A couple of weeks ago, John purchased some kayaks for the family.  It was a nice warm day, so we decided to load the kayaks on the top of the van and head to the lake.  John took all the seats out of the van except the front two seats, so he could put an already inflated raft inside.  He then left with one of the kids, and I took the rest in his car. 

We had a great time at the lake, and we were there for several hours.  By late afternoon, Riley and I were completely ready to go home.  We had been out in the sun all day, and it was getting close to dinner time.  I kept trying to convince John and the kids that we needed to head home.  They were not ready to go, so we continued to wait.  This went on and on for quite awhile---me convincing them we needed to go...they not wanting to go.
John kept telling me to take his car and head home with Riley...and I kept telling him that, that idea would not work because there were no seats for the Brynn, Jace, and Haley in the van.  He tried to convince me that they would be fine sitting in the back of the van inside the raft.  (I always make my kids wear their seat belts...and John well, let's just say that he doesn't care about seat belts as much).

Eventually, I grew tired of the coaxing, so Riley and I jumped in John's car and headed for home.  I left the lake, even though I didn't feel good about it.  We had only been in the car for a couple of minutes when Riley turned the radio down and started to cry saying, "We need to go back".  I asked her if she forgot something to which she replied, "No, I just feel like we need to go back".  I didn't question her another second, and we turned around and headed back to the lake.

When we got back to the lake, everything was fine and I was a little more content to wait until the kids were done playing.  I'm not sure what would have happened that day if Riley wouldn't have spoken up.  She said she too didn't feel right about it when we left, and didn't want to say anything.  After a few minutes in the car, she knew that she needed to listen to the promptings of the spirit and say something to me.  I am grateful that I didn't question Riley, and also that I too felt like we needed to go back. 

When we knelt down for family prayer that night, we thanked Heavenly Father for his guidance and protection that day.  We truly felt that He had watched over and protected us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

One year ago...

One year ago today, my dad lost his long, hard, battle with cancer.  (You can read more about it here and here).  I just can't believe how quickly the year flew by.  To me, it seemed like the first couple of months would never end, and I always had the song, "Wake me up when September ends" running through my mind.  Right at first, it seemed like time was going at a snails pace.  Soon after, it seemed like time was shoved into fast speed and stopped with a jolt one year later.

One day, when my dad had only been gone a month or so, my mom called me to ask for some help with a few things at her house.  I only live about a mile from my mom's house, and gladly went over to help her.  When I got to her house she told me that she wasn't able to get one of the garage door openers to work (it needed to be programmed correctly).  She was also concerned with the light not going on (on the garage door motor).  She didn't like coming home late at night to a dark garage.  She was planning on calling a garage door repair man, because she had changed the light bulb before and it still wasn't working.  I was able to get both things working for her, and they were both easy fixes.  I could barely get through helping her without bawling my eyes out.  For those of you that know my mom, you know that she is able to accomplish and fix just about anything.  It was painful thinking that the safety net (meaning my dad) was moved and no longer there.  My dad would fix things that absolute minute he found out that they weren't working.  He was ALWAYS "johnny on the spot" when anything needed to be done.  It almost absolutely had to be done that day.  (Now I know where I get that from).

When I got in the car and left my mom's house, I had myself a good cry.  I cried all the way to the mall where I was heading to return some pants.  I had to sit out in the car for several minutes to gain my composure.  When I thought I finally had it all together, I went into Macy's.  I was hoping to dash in, (not see anyone I knew), and dash out again.  As luck would have it, I bumped into my friend Michelle.  Of course I wasn't able to keep it together there and had myself another good cry right there in Macy's.  There is nothing better then making yourself a spectacle in the middle of the store...ugly cry and all.

The older I get the more I realize that time picks up speed every year.  Sometimes when you really stop and think about things it really puts life into perspective.

From the hymn---Improve the Shinning Moments (vs. 2)

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
’Tis as a single day.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of my dad....even one year later.  I love and miss you dad!
This is an old picture but puts the biggest smile on my face!  The look on my dad's face is priceless!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to the 80's

Recently, when I have been shopping with Riley for school clothes, I have noticed the back-to-the-80's styles hanging on the racks.  The cut off sleeved sweatshirts, florescent shirts, colorful sunglasses, suspenders, etc.       Exhibit A.
I also see kids wearing their hair in the AWFUL mullet...."business in the front, party in the back style" (sorta gives me the shivers).

It's just like a blast from the past!  It is so surreal shopping with my teenager for clothes that I wore when I was her age.  I just kind of walk around laughing.  I think it would be more fun browsing with an old friend, reminiscing about all the old styles and good times.  When you talk about it with your teen, they just think you are weird.  I wish I had more pictures when I was in Junior High so I could show my kids just how the styles have returned. 

The one thing that has not quite made a comeback yet (and hopefully never will) is the big, huge, out of control, hair sprayed hair.  Oh so painful to look at!

I recently came across this picture of me, my sister Pauline, and our friend Cresta.  I made me completely laugh out loud.  I think this is the first day of school, and I don't remember what year....just sometime in the 80's.  I cannot believe how our hair literally had a shape.  I couldn't resist photoshopping a little shape on the front of our shirts that resembled our "hair shape" (not that it wasn't COMPLETELY obvious).  Good stuff!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Addition to the Back to School Photos..

Well, I finally managed to get Riley's back to school picture taken this morning before school....only 5 days late.  I guess it is better then not having a picture at all.  Of course she was not ready for school and I had to write her a note for being late.  She spent extra time getting ready this morning because she had school pictures (as well as my 30 second photo session out in front of the house).  John cannot stand all the time she takes when she curls her hair.  He would like her to slap it up in a pony tail and call it a day. 

I recall curling my long hair in 7th grade and it took FOREVER.  I guess looking beautiful is the ONLY important thing when you are a young girl. (Riley looks just as beautiful when she does slap-it-up in a pony tail).  I suppose you don't learn the tricks of getting ready quick until you are married with kids of your own.  Either that or you just don't give a crap.  Here is my slightly painful 7th grade picture.  I just have to say that those bangs are very sad.  I guess that's how the "final look" turns out when your curling iron is about as big-a-round as a pencil.  It makes a nice little "weenie roll", and no that is not the look I was going for.  Don't judge.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Funny Kid

We have been in school for just a couple of days now.  This week Jace has been working on spelling sentences.  I must say that several of his sentences crack me up and I have to share them.  I'm sure that his teacher will think they are funny too.  I put an arrow next to the ones that Riley and I thought were very entertaining.  Jace thought that he was hillarious when he wrote #13.  I didn't make him change anything.  Afterall, I'm sure that Mrs. C. could use some interesting sentences to read.  #18 made me laugh, and I have no idea how he came up with that one.  I think it would be fun to be in his head and see how he thinks.  He is just a funny kid!!  Thanks Jace for adding such spice to our life!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School 2011

Well, the kids are finally back to school and it is WAY beyond time to clean up this messy house.  I'm pretty sure it will take me about 2 weeks to dig out!  I am excited that they have the chance to get back to school to learn and grow.  The summer schedule was starting to get to me, and no one was being ultra productive.  That is a huge beef with me!  I like to see things getting done.  Don't get me wrong I love having my kids here and just "playing things by ear" around the house.  But, I also love it when things are being accomplished.

This year Haley is at all day school.  She is starting the 1st grade and is very excited that she gets to be a big girl eating lunch at the school.  She was very happy to be heading to school this morning. 

So yes, I am all alone here at the house.  Let's just say I'm not sitting here with tears in my eyes.  I am sitting here in the quiet....blogging...and listening to the hum of the dryer. 
 Jace is starting 5th grade this year.  It is also his first year to play football with pads.  I'm not sure if he will stick with it or not.  Being from a family of all girls, he has never learned to really tackle somebody.  I think you learn that when you are living with a brother.  But, he is fast!  So I guess we will see what he decides next year.  Recently Jace has had the major desire to start working out.  He is always doing push ups, sit ups, pull ups...etc.  A couple of days ago, he decided to do sit ups all throughout the day.  By the end of the day he had done around 610 or so.  The next morning his abs were so sore!  This morning I saw him working out a little before school.  After all he is sitting between to of the cutest girls in the class!
 Brynn is now over at the Junior High.  She was excited for her first day of 7th grade.  It seemed to me that she was A LOT less nervous then Riley was when she started 7th grade.  I was glad that Brynn was able to hop out of the car with confidence and not look back with a petrified look on her face (like Riley did).
Riley was not ready for school when it was time to take pictures.  She didn't have her makeup on and the finishing touches done on her hair.  She wouldn't let me take her picture and told me that I would have to do it after school.  I think that she forgot that she has volleyball practice after school and that a sweaty picture is not the look I'm going for.  I hope that this is not a sign of the school year to come.  She was able to finish getting ready in the car and get to school on time.  I will just have to get a picture tomorrow morning on the 2nd day of school.

I love my kids and hope they have a great year!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


It is just RIDICULOUS how behind I am on my blog.  This summer has been just. plain. CrAzY!  I guess for journaling (is that even a word) sake, I will try and rewind back to the early part of the summer.

The end of June--my mom, brothers and sisters, and all the grand kids went to Downata Hotsprings to camp and swim for a couple of days. The pool was so nice and warm, and we spent A LOT of time swimming and riding the water slides. All of my siblings and most of their spouses were able to go. It was a lot of fun to just hang out with everybody. This was the first summer family reunion that we were missing my dad. It felt very different not having him there.

Of course I took my camera, but only took it out about 1 time.  We were too busy swimming!  I took a couple pictures of the adults, but because we were camping and swimming I will not post those on here.  (You're welcome.)  I am however posting some pictures of some of the kids.  I should have organized everyone together for one group shot.  Maybe next time.
I wanted to chew on those cheeks!

"Emily's spa"
I could seriously eat all the babies that were there with us!  They are all just so beautiful!  I could just take them all home with me.

I simply could not resist!  That is a cute little bum!

Haley was so good at this!