I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

October 5, 2010

Cowboy Up!

Last week was Jalen's birthday. For some reason, this year and this birthday was a real challenge for me. I couldn't get motivated or excited about planning a party.  So with not even a week left until his birthday, my answer then became that we wouldn't do a party but instead would plan something fun for our family to do...maybe a Diamondbacks game, Chucky Cheese, or the Children's Science Museum.  (So much easier for me!) But I failed at this...miserbly.  At the end of our conversation, I had a heartbroken little boy with crocodile tears running down his cheeks, who was set on having a party, and me, experiencing a very guilty conscious.  I began to think, there's not going to be too many years left that my little boy wants his mom hanging out with him or his friends on his birthday or that a party at our house is cool.  So I better just get with it and plan something!!

When Jalen's birthday came, I couldn't believe how emotional I felt all day about it....Jalen turning five.  And although he was so proud, mentioning it all day to almost everyone he talked to, reality hit that I am not ready for my baby to reach this age.  I love so much the moments that only a little boy creates that makes me smile and laugh.  I don't ever want them to be outgrown.  Here's a few examples of what I love so much about Jalen:

* He is a loveable little guy; always has a kiss for his mom; loves to cuddle; and still (not sure if this is a good thing) likes to come and sleep in my bed at night

* He is a peacemaker; always on the lookout for his sister and brother; and will easily give up or share something to make them happy

*Jalen has such a fun personality. He continually keeps our family entertained and laughing.  A couple of stories to share....

Whenever we head outside and Jalen spots a landscape worker, he has to run over to them and say, "Hola!" He will even wait for them to come closer if they are driving the lawn mowers and are some distance away. The workers usually grin, laugh a little and nod and then Jalen rides off on his bike with a very proud smile! One day while at the park, Jalen was leading a group of 4-5 little boys chasing down and running after a lawn mower.  I ran after them to explain the danger in that and how they needed to leave the workers alone and let them do their work.  Jalen's response, "But Mom! I just want to say 'Hola' to them!"  At first I didn't know if I should be embarrassed or embrace his efforts in identifying with culture differences and trying to relate to them.  Whether it's appropriate or not, I'm not sure. Regardless, Jalen loves trying to communicate just that one Spanish word he knows!

One day after watching the garbage truck go through our neighborhood, Jalen turned to me and said, "Garbage truck drivers are the smartest people in the whole world!" I said, "What makes you think that?"  "Because they have to know how to do lots of things...drive that big truck and not hit other cars or people and they have to pick up all those cans without dropping them.  Maybe when I get bigger, I can be smart enough to learn how to do that, too!"

During the summer we took the kids to a rodea, the Ute Stampede in Utah.  We had a blast! We had great seats, right next to the bull pen, where all the horses and bulls were let out.  We closely watched the riders saddle up, their preparations before the gates opened, and the cowboys who led the horses or bulls out of the arena.  So Jalen had a very up close and personal experience with cowboys, horses and bulls. The next day, Jalen was talking to his Aunt Meagan.  Here's how their conversation went:

Jalen, very seriously: Do you ever wish you could be on TV?
Meagan: No, not really, do you?
Jalen: Yes! Someday, I'm going to be a cowboy and ride those bucking bulls and be so good people will all come to watch me and I'll be on TV, too.

I love his insights about life!

It wasn't too big of a surprise when Jalen wanted a Cowboy Birthday Party.

Jalen had a very fun day. His favorite cowboy games we played were shooting squirt guns at plastic snakes and hitting empty pop cans with nerf guns. Typical boy!!

Towards the end of the party, I was sitting by the table while the kids were eating cake and ice cream.  They were all being so cute and funny...talking about Halloween and saying some of their favorite cowboy words, like Yeehaw! and Ride 'em cowboy! and Giddyup!  I couldn't stop smiling at how adorable they were.  And then I realized, this is why I do birthday parties.  It may be a ton of work and take many hours, (especially when thrown together at the last minute) but it is so worth it!  These kids are all so worth it!

So Happy Birthday Jalen! You are a sweet, good boy and we all love you so much!

September 20, 2010

Mama's Big Belly

The past week has been quite entertaining as my little ones try to figure out this thing called "pregnancy." There have been quite a few conversations and remarks that have sure made me smile.

When we announced the news and Mason first realized that I was going to be having a baby, he instantly looked at my tummy. And he wouldn't stop.  The first thing he did was walk over and lift up my shirt to check out where this baby was. He did this all morning long. When his ride came to get him for school, he ran out the door yelling (sharing) our news. I walked out to talk to my friend and with a van full of kids, Mason says "Mom, show them all your big belly!" Ya right, I'm going to lift up my shirt! But so funny because just the day before, my tummy wasn't so big. Now because Mason knows there's a baby there, it's all the sudden BIG and he wants to share and announce this to everyone!

Madelyn's reaction has been so cute. She has anticipated this for a very long time, and even consistently started praying for a new baby several months ago.  To her, this is "our" baby. Just as much hers as mine.  Madelyn was so intrigued with the fact that I've known since July that I was expecting.  This was just mind boggling to her.  She continues to ask, "But mom, how did you know you were pregnant?" I continue to say, "Mommy's just know these things." Or "Mommy started feeling really sick, so I just knew."  These answers will satisfy her for a short time and then the question is asked again. I'm not sure what else to say....

I've been able to hide the sickness (in other words, throwing up every night and morning) pretty well. But this last week I've been caught a couple times.  After one occassion, I was lying on my bed and here's how the conversation went:

Mason: Mom, are you sick?
Me: Yes, I don't feel so good but I will be fine.
Mason: How come?
Madelyn: Because she's pregnant, Mason.
Mason: How come that makes you sick? Is the baby sick?
Me: No, Mommy's body isn't used to a baby inside, so it makes me a little sick.
Mason: Oh, so you probably just throw up when the baby hiccups, right? Or when the baby spits up, that makes you spit up, too. Right?

All the things they're figuring out. Too funny!

Another time I was caught by Jalen. He wouldn't leave the bathroom. He just wanted to stand over my shoulder. Of course he announced it to everyone else so they all had to come in too. Then his response was, "Oh mommy! You're so sick! You just need to drink some sprite and lay down."

I was thinking, I would love that! But then who would finish cleaning up breakfast, make lunches, help Madelyn with piano, finish helping Mason with his homework, comb 3 kids hair, change the laundry, shower and get ready, drive the kids to school and be ready to go visiting teaching by 9 am????

Sipping on sprite and laying around would have been nice, but the reality for Moms is that life continually demands our attention. There's no time to slow down, give in to what our bodies really want, or ease up on schedules and responsibilities.  So we deal with it.  We hide the sickness.  We carry on.  And for the most part, we do it well. Because really, there's no other options!  So to all of you mothers, Kuddos to you!! You are amazing and courageous and give me strength knowing I'm not the only one to do this before!

September 7, 2010

Alan's Birthday

Today I want to say Happy Birthday to my sweet husband! He is an amazing husband and father and always works so hard at everything he does. We all love him!

We want to share a little of the birthday surprise that took place in our home this morning...

September 6, 2010

Madelyn's Special Day

Madelyn had a very special birthday this year, turning eight and getting to be baptized. She has anticipated this day for a very long time as she has watched many of her friends have their own baptism day. We were so fortunate to be surrounded by many family members who participated in the program and made it such a wonderful and special day for her.

My brother Jake and his wife Natalie sang "What Heaven Sees in You" and put together this slide show of Madelyn. It was amazing. After the song, there were few dry eyes in the room. Here's the link.

August 10, 2010

Fancy Delma Day

Some of my greatest childhood memories were made in "The Big Blue Room" of my Grandpa and Grandma Dyreng's home.  It's here that many dinners were held...Thanksgiving feasts, regular Sunday dinners, Easter and Christmas, and really everything in between. 

It's where the magic of Christmas Eve or Christmas day unfolded when surprises like Grandpa bringing in a Honda motorcyle for the grandkids and starting and revving it up, with smoke and exhaust kicking out right in the middle of Grandma's beautiful living room! Or when a present was opened and out flew real, live pigeons!

It's where I learned the art of quilting.  Many times when stopping in to visit, I would find Grandma with a quilt set up in her big blue room, either tying or quilting away and patiently teaching me how to do it, too. 

In this room I also learned how to play Rummy, a must know in the Dyreng family and over time, hours and hours have been spent in the blue room around card tables with cousins, aunts and uncles playing all kinds of games...rummy, hearts, hand and foot, spoons (the list can go on and on!)

The big blue room was always welcome to my friends. I even had a big sleepover with all of my fellow beehives! Grandma not only had the space for 12 silly little girls, but more importantly, had the patience, kindness, sense of humor and love to enjoy it with us.

I was surrounded by the most important women and girls in my life during my Bridal shower in this room. 

And one of the most special experiences for me in this room, was when my Grandpa gave me my patriarchal blessing.

To say the least, there is much memory and emotion for me when thinking about Grandma's Blue Room. And recently, I added another special memory to the list....Fancy Delma Day.
This event was created by my extremely talented sister, Kristyn.

Our most clever and brilliant host, "Captivating Kristyn"

She had a thought to have a fun luncheon, for all the girls in the family, using many of Grandma's beautiful China dishes.  But what developed from her simple idea was an extraoridnary day, honoring our adored Grandma Delma and learning more about our ancestors, namely Great Grandma Nettie May and Great Grandma Vera. It all began with the invitation:

Your presence is requested for a
deliciously splendid gathering.
Fancy Delma Day
Place: The Blue Room at Delma's Palace
Be sure to wear your fanciest accessories

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a book to sign in, a fancy name for the day, and a red feather boa. We sipped on frappe and listened to "Clair de Lune" (Grandma's favorite) while mingling with cousins, aunts and of course, the lady of honor herself "Darling Delma".

"Darling Delma" and "Exquisite Emily"

"Marvelous Mandi", "Lovely Queen Kera", "Adorable Cute Kelsey" and "Nice Natalie"

Through several tributes given by cousins, I learned what strong, faithful and amazing women my Grandma and her mothers were. It is so interesting to learn how they lived their day to day lives...baking their bread, growing large gardens and then harvesting everything from them, sewing all their clothes, washing clothes by hand, gathering eggs from their chickens, feeding the chickens, tending to the needs of all their children, having sick children die, doing a lot of this by themselves because the men were away from home so much.  Wow. They were busy. They were amazing ladies.

We enjoyed a fashion show of some prominent dresses

"Magnificent Meagan" wearing a dress of Great Grandma Nettie May's

Me, "Angelically Good Jennie" wearing Great-Grandma Vera's dress she wore on Grandma's wedding day

"Exquisite Emily" wearing Grandma's wedding dress.

"Nice Natalie" wearing Grandma's "First Nightgown" to be worn on her wedding night. There is a funny story to this...my grandparents were both serving missions and would be coming home around the same time.  Marriage had already been discussed and Grandpa was very anxious, to say the least! Not only did he have a ring bought by the time he went to get Grandma at the train station, but he also had bought this "nightgown" while he was a missionary and sent it to my Grandma while she was a missionary! Great-Grandma Nettie May thought this was scandalous! So inappropriate!!

And of course we ate delicious food off of Grandma's beautiful dishes.

"Sweetie Pie Sam", "Cutie Katie", "Magnificient Meagan", "Angelically Good Jennie" and "Exquisite Emily"

"Sweetie Pie Sam" and "Marvelous Mandi"

"Cutie Patootie Hallee", "Diva Diane" and "Adorable Miss Maddy"

We all received the surprise of our life when my Grandpa's twin sister Pauline and her husband Udel showed up...dressed for the occasion! When they heard about the fabulous party, they couldn't stand to miss out. They drove two hours in their costumes, even Uncle Udel...dressed like a woman!! When he came in decked out with pearls, high heels, and a dress so tight he could barely move, we about died laughing!!

The Dyreng Girls

This day was just lovely. Absolutely delightful!

June 2, 2010

Lovable, Furry Friend

For some time, our kids have been asking, pleading, and begging for a pet, more specifically a dog.  I don't blame them. It wouldn't take much to convince me to have one of these:

or one of these....

There's only one problem and that is this:

Alan's idea of a dog is one that can roam around the farm; jump into the back of a truck; play fetch with a tennis ball; can be taken camping, hunting or anywhere else in the rugged outdoors; and most importantly, thrives outside (in other words, would NOT be allowed in the house). Sure there are plenty of dogs that fit in this category. That's not the problem. However, reality for the Cox family in Arizona is that 1.We don't have a farm. 2. We don't even have a backyard big enough to play fetch with a tennis ball. and 3. It is HOT outside for a big dog.
So we find ourselves in a bit of a dilemma. I want a small dog, and Alan wants a Lab. Instead of Alan and I coming to an agreement, Alan and the kids have found some interesting substitutes that they call a pet.

Meet "Scorpy".

After sending Alan out to the desert to get some dirt, he came home with two very excited boys and a new pet scorpion, who was named "Scorpy". I know, very original. I couldn't believe he brought home a very poisionous, ugly insect.  I quickly insisted that they follow two very important rules. First, the lid on the container was NEVER to be taken off by them and second, it was to remain outside at ALL times. Easy enough, right? A few hours later, Jalen went outside to check on Scorpy. Jalen came back inside, trying to sneak past me and carrying the big container behind his back with those pleading eyes, "Don't look, Mom!" I jumped towards him, grabbed the containeer and insisted that he take it back outside. He knew the rule.  Jalen's pleading response, "But Mom! Scorpy is all alone outside. He wants to come and watch the movie upstairs with us! Please!"
After laughing with Alan about this, I explained that our kids want a pet they can love and bond with. They need a loveable, furry friend...not a poisionous insect that has to be kept locked up!
Gratefully, Scorpy only lasted two days.

Now meet Dino.

He is the result of a Father and Son's campout without me being able to insist on releasing the horny toad back into the wild when the camping trip was over. He too is an ugly, creepy reptile. I do have to appreciate that he's not poisonous but still, not a loveable, furry friend.  The kids are very fond of it. Jalen likes to carry him on his shoulder while petting his back and saying, "Hi boy. You're such a nice little boy." Mason likes to let him cling to his shirt and hunt for crickets and bugs to feed it.  T


On our recent trip to Utah, at the last minute, Alan and the boys decided to bring Dino along. Insisting he would starve to death if left alone for 5 days, I reluctantly agreed.  While stopped at a gas station, Madelyn pointed out an adorable dog, with it's front paws and face hanging out of the front seat of a car.  After we both doted over the cute dog, I couldn't help but laugh to myself.  Here we are traveling with our pet, too. Only, he is an ugle horny toad. How entertaining would it be if we held it up to our window for fresh air and for passerbys to see!

Honestly, I was wishing I had the lovable, furry friend for my kids, not the reptile.

May 14, 2010

2 hr. 5 min.

Two hours and five minutes doesn't seem like a long period of time, right? Sometimes when watching a good movie, or shopping in a favorite store, 2 hours and 5 minutes passes all too quickly. However recently, I experienced 2 hours and 5 minutes in a much different light. Every minute was felt and accounted for. Every minute was endured but somehow still enjoyed. Recently, I spent 2 hours and 5 minutes running my first race...13.2 miles, a half-marathon. And yes, we did run the entire 2 hours and 5 minutes...no walking...no breaks.  At the finish line, a wave of emotion came over me as my husband and children were there to cheer me on.  The realization of what was accomplished hit me. All those early mornings (sometimes even in the 4 am hour); the extra lunges and sit-ups; running in 90+ degrees; and giving up hours of Florida sunshine on the beach to hours on the treadmill...all paid off. The feeling of setting a goal and actually accomplishing it was exhilirating! And my biggest thought about it all is this: If I can do it, anyone can!!  I've never been a runner and really, I'm not built to be one either . I think back to where I started a few years ago, not even being able to run 1 mile without stopping. I've definately come a long ways. So my point is, all it takes is commitment, dedication and a desire to do something and the possibilities are endless. For so long, I've put aside working towards goals because I thought it was impossible. With the many demands of being a mom, wife, sister, friend, neighbor, nurse, visiting teacher, cub scout leader, primary teacher, etc, etc, who has time to do the extra stuff! This experience has really motivated and taught me that I can and should set goals in other areas of my life, and that hopefully I will achieve them.

Here are some pictures from the race. I can't say enough about my running partner/friend/motivator, Brittany. Knowing that she would be standing on the corner at 5 am got me out of bed each morning. Knowing that she was more sleep-deprived than me (yes, she ran even with a newborn!), and knowing that she was not going to let this opportunity pass us up were all the reasons that I accomplished this goal. I couldn't have done it without her!

March 24, 2010

My American Idol

Over the last couple of years, Madelyn has joined the fans of "American Idol."  A few nights ago, she asked me what the title of the show meant, specifically the word "Idol". As I began to explain its meaning, I couldn't help think how unforunate it is of the "Idols" or role models this show portrays for my seven year old.  There isn't an episode that goes by that Madelyn doesn't comment on someone's dress being inmodest or a song that says a bad word, or an action that is done in a provacative and inappropriate manner...especially for my innocent little girl.  This led me to think of how important it is that I continually find ways to reaffirm and establish appropriate behavior and standards.  It may be very simple like the music we listen to or complimenting about a modestly dressed young woman at church to Madelyn, or maybe sharing experiences or stories with her of people I know that are my role models. I've recently discovered someone to add to my list of idols...someone who has truly touched and motivated me to be a better person.

I recently picked up a book that has been collecting dust on my bookshelf for years. I have fallen in love with it, or more accurately, I have fallen in love with who it's about.  The title is "Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley."  Before reading this book, I didn't know much about our late Prophet's wife. I remember her being funny, diligently by her husband's side and always wearing a smile.  But other than that, I didn't know a whole lot.  After reading this book, I can honestly say, Sister Hinckley is my new Idol.  I can't tell you how many times I stop and think, "Now what would Sister Hinckely do?"  Whether it's in dealing with my kids or my thoughts about others, or my approach in various situations. There have been countless times I find myself reacting differently, always in a much better way, when I think of her and what I've read. So I want to share (journal for myself too!) some of the highlights of this book and some of those things that have really impacted me.

For being the wife of a prophet, you would think that the position might give her a feeling of prestige and higher social standing.  However, this is not the case! That means nothing to her. Here are a few descriptions made by others:
"One gets the feeling around Sister Hinckely that she is absolutely unconcerned with the fads and fancies of the secualr world.  She is comfortable with kings and queens, princes and prime ministers, but she is just as comfortable-and probably more interested in- the newest member of the Church she just met in a distant land.  You get the feeling that she sees right to the heart of everything and everyone.  The idea that anyone could be false or pompous or self- aggrandizing with Marjorie Hinckley is unimaginable.  She has a radarlike sense of honesty, humility, genuineness, and sincerity."

"If I knew nothing else of Sister Hinckley, that alone would be the testimony of her values and priorities.  She does not do things to impress.  She does them for the right reason--because they make sense to her and to the Lord."

"'Sister Hinckley is so real ' is the description often used in describing her influence in people's lives.  She is not one who would want to be held up as a perfect model to intimidate others.  Rather, she is one of our beloved sisters to walk beside, learn from, laugh with, and follow, knowing that she understands and cares."

Recently I have felt like my children deserve a better mother...someone with more patience, kindness, love, a better disciplinarian, etc. etc. This book has shared great insight about Motherhood for me.  Here are a few examples:

"Have joy in your children" is something Sister Hinckley expressed often.  Love them for who they are; find happiness in the stage of life your experiencing; look for the good in all they do; and most of all, treasure the time you spend with them.  I love the story shared about her son: "One day when Dick had to stay after school for some grade-school discipline, Marjorie marched over to his classroom and announced to his startled teacher, 'You can do anything you want with this boy all day long, but after 3 p.m. he's mine!'"
I found myself questioning my own attitude. Am I excited and happy when the time comes for Madelyn and Mason to be coming home from school, or do I wish I had just a little more time....
Sis. Hinckley emphasized how important it is to just let kids be kids! They're only going to be there once and for such a short time.  So much of their lifetime is going to be spent scheduled, competing, and stressful.  She teaches, "It has never been so important that children have a home that is a place of refuge, a place of peace, a place of unconditional love--even when the report card may not be what you hoped for."
"While you enjoy your days of mothering, be sure your demands on your children for perfection are not so heavy that they cannot be children."
"We all feel the pressure and stress of the sophisticated, fast-paced, complicated, competitive world in which we find ourselves.  Not only do we feel it as adults, but the children feel it too.  Because of TV, the press, and videos, our children are exposed to adult life very very early.  This makes it doubly important that mothers and fathers consciously  strive to make it possible for children to be children before they become adults."
"Praise your children more than you correct them.  Praise them for even their smallest achievement."  When they feel like they can do anything, they will try to do so. 
"Sister Hinckley sincerely believes each one of us has the wherewithal to do the right thing, and she communicates that belief.  Her confidence empowers others to make the right choices." 

I love that.  It's not through force, or threats, or taking prized toys, but confidence empowers our little ones to choose the right.

I find Sister Hinckely's perspective so intriguing.  Kids don't need the pressure to excel in everything they do; or physically and emotionally stretched thin because of too many activities.  Instead, they need love and positive encouragement.  Secular achievements and prestige don't amount for much...not in the big picture.

In the Hinckley home, there were very clear expectations that only courteous and respectful language was used.  The other was just not tolerated. A story was shared that exemplifies this.
"Kathy and her friend Bobbie Olson were playing at our house.  They were about twelve years old.  It was a summer day, and they were in and out of the house, racing around acting their age.  Mom was trying to tell them something, and they ignored her and were probably a little sassy.  They were getting on her nerves, and I remember watching her frustration mount.  They were being in a word, naughty.
Getting nowhere and totally exasperated, Mother finally blurted out, "Damn you girls!"  Well, the world might as well have stopped! I was shocked. Kathy was shocked.  Bobbie was shocked.  Most of all, Mother was shocked.  She froze in her tracks, covered her mouth with her hand, and said incredulously, 'Oh dear, did I say that?'
Instead of staying mad at the girls, she said, 'Oh, I am so sorry I said that.  Can you girls ever forgive me? I think I had better go and wash my mouth out with soap!'  And she did!  That was our punishment if ever we said anything we should not have said, and she wanted to make sure we saw her do the same.
Then she went to her bedroom and sat on the edge of her bed and cried.  I felt terrible.  Kathy and Bobbie felt terrible.  I never heard her swear again."

I wish my kids could say the same about me!!

The Hinckleys' belived that children rise higher when treated with respect. And they learn all about respect in the home.  Sister Hinckely states, "Home is where you are loved the most and act the worst.  But I have come to the conclusion that it is in the home where we are tested the most.  Most of us have developed a pretty good set of company manners that we exercise at school and socials and church and other places, but it is what we are at home that tells the true story of what we really are.  The family unit is fundamental.  I wonder if this was so there would be some area where we would function with our guard down so that the Lord could see what we really are."
After reading this, I had to stop and reread it.  Her statement is so true! But I have never thought of things in that perspective and it makes me want to really be better where it counts the most.

If I were to take away just one idea from this book that represented Sister Hinckley the best, it would be here sincere compassion, love, and interest in anyone she was in contact with.  Many examples and stories were shared by people throughout the book of how personable and genuinelly interested Sister Hinckley was with family, new acquaintances and dear friends. And they all adored and loved her for it.
"Sister Hinckley is like a human magnet who draws people to her.  Whenever she enters a room, she brightens it because of her cheery presence.  She has such a caring way about her that she makes each individual feel as though she were a personal friend whom she would help in any way she could."

"Mother has the ability to see beyond the exterior and look into people's hearts."

"The typical greeting Marjorie Hinckley gives sincerely to literally thousands of people is: 'Hello, my friend." And she truly and genuinely means you are her friend, and what an amazing friend she would be!

I literally could go on and on about Sister Hinckely, how her perspective on life has changed me, and how much I love and admire her strength and example. But I've written enough! If anyone's even still reading, maybe I've convinced you to read the book for yourself!! But I can't stop without sharing my favorite part of the book. It is a bit long, but bare with me...it's worth it!  She states, "We have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives.  We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us.  We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove anything, to be what we are.  With all of these decisions we have three responsibilities:
We have a great responsibility to our husbands.  I know it is hard to believe, but almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with him.  You had better be sure that you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring.  Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important.  Encourage him.  Be kind.  It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive.  Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner.
We have a great responsibility to our children.  Find joy in them. Don't overschedule them or yourself.  You may not be able to take them on exotic vacations.  It doesn't matter.  When  the day dawns bright and sunny, take an excursion to the canyon or park.  When it's cloudy and wet, read a book together or make something good to eat.  Give them time to explore and learn about the feel of grass and the wiggliness of worms.
Now to our homes.  Your home is your own private temple.  Keep it clean.  Put something beautiful in every room for your family to look at. Your home can be beautiful without being elaborate or expensive.  Create a feeling of order and spirituality.  As you create your home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for either you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think about your successes.  Have joy in your home.  Have joy in your husband.  Have joy in your children.  Be grateful for the journey."  

Isn't she so wonderful!  It's almost like she's too good to be true. But reality is that she was this good.  So many people experienced her genuine goodness and honest love for them.  Realizing this has made me think, maybe I can be better.  I know I won't ever be like her but I can sure try...to be a better mother, wife, and friend.  I know I'll never have the experiences she did, being the prophet's wife, watching the growth and success of the church, or sitting accross the table with the most faithful and honorable people in the world.  Most of us will never experience that life but we can sure still live by her standards.  As was said so perfectly, "We can't walk in Sister's Hinckley's shoes, but we can emulate her stride."  That is my goal.

March 12, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Each year, Mason anticipates his special day for quite some time. He loves the excitment, attention, and surprises that birthdays bring. This year was no different! I'm not sure which he enjoys the most... the decorated kitchen with balloons and crate paper; choosing what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner; not having to make his bed or do any jobs (which he loves to remind everyone all day!); the presents; the party; the special phonecalls from loved ones; or maybe it's simply because for one day, it's all about him! Whatever the reason, I love making him feel special and helping him know how much we love him.

Mason's 6th Birthday

Bike Birthday Party

Mason and his friends decked out their bikes with streamers, personalized license plates and noisemakers on the wheels.They loved this!

They were then ready for the bike parade.

They had fun racing on the chalk made roads, through the obstacle courses, and most importantly, seeing who could bike the fastest!

Of course, another favorite at the party..cake & ice cream!

We had such a fun day! Thank you to everyone who celebrated with Mason and helped to make this a fantastic 6th Birthday!!