Our family

Our family

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Found this old poem. Its probably one of my favorite five Ive written. Maybe the best. Its too bad that its about an ex because Its just so dang good. I currently love that part that makes it sound like Im jealous of the Tshirt he will keep around, even tho he wont keep me around. I dont care to be with that person anymore, but the poem is just so well written I have to post it.

When “We can't see each other anymore” AshleyElizabeth
go ahead, blindfold me.

I still see you,
thinking on half a piece of Sweet Peppermint gum,


like steel strings,
caressed by your calloused fingers--
fingers that pick locks, find baby her pacifier,
dip into freshly grated cheese
swatted away


like the ruffle of your feathered hair,
stirring jet strands and disclosing two white secrets-
another age within.
snowy owl, nervous


like the stir of your spoon
in a steaming midnight Ovaltine
dressed in ball shorts and an old white tee
the worlds greatest Gramma mug in one hand,
and in the other,

not me
not the puzzle of my fingers fitting yours
nor the question of whether my eyes are blue-green or green-blue
nothing to provoke emotion
or confuse.

Go ahead, caress the six string, kiss the Ovaltine, and lie
with the old white tee you'll keep
forever, and ever, and ever.
while my fingers trace your nothing
on the bed, and my tongue tastes absence
before the Sweet Peppermint even hits
my lips.

Close my eyes,
and when “we can't see each other anymore”

I am still the expert on you.

A couple months ago I read through some of my old posts and I was totally inspired to start writing again, but its been hard. Im pretty much always holding our newest babe (A BOOOOOY!) or cooking, cleaning, caring for the others. But then I went throuigh some old music (pretty much journal entries for me) and poetry and was re-inspired. This is the first chance Ive had since going through all that (I mean, with playoffs everything else is on the back burner... IM actually missing the game to write today haha- GO OILERS).

But, today is the kind of day that begs for notation.
It sucked the life out of me, stole some tears. Big ugly sobs actually.
but that forced me to breathe more. to show me where Ive fallen, how I hobble, and which muscles I really can flex.

Oh my little Nod. My first baby. Life is hard for her, as her brain zips and zaps. 0 to 150 in seconds. My No is poison to her lips. So I go silent, and her tears are stronger, so I speak, and they are stronger still. But then I remembered my parenting plan, helped her to calm, and My Love came home and listened to my sobbings.

And my littlest Sage. She had a rough go today too. Although my favorite part of today were her first words to me. "Mama, you look beautiful today." I didnt know she said that word. But it was the beautiful moment I clung to the rest of my day.

And my Boy. I let him skip one nap and the rest of the day he becomes a monster. Usually such a sweet baby, but today he screamed so hard he gagged and choked.

And my Love. Off from work, needing.

and all through this Im supposed to breath!!??

Well I had forgotten how. For me, I breathe in words, in chords, in diddies I make up while Im driving home.

so here I am, a[nother] painful beginning. Its always hard to start writing again, oh the writers cramp. and I need to chop these nails off. They are clacking the computer keys and they will get in the way if I try to chord. piano or guitar.

So here it is. Im going to go back to being me. to writing (i HOPE).

<3Love and peace to all <3

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Pho Recipe (Laos soup) (our gerenal conference tradition)

Take out your beef soup bones and brown them in the bottom of a large stock pot (I say large because if you're going to make pho ot may as well last you a couple meals...yum). After they are brown fill the pot up with water almost to the top and salt the water like you would any soup stock. Throw in a few pieces of celery, a whole onion (don't cut it up), about 6 pieces of star shaped anise, and add a pack of pho soup flavoring (its like a tea bag for soup, pictured below). Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer all morning. When youre almost ready to eat begin the rest of your prep.

Cut and wash cilantro, green onions, Thai basil, mint, and some peppers (jalapenos or thai chillis depending on your heat preference). Also wash some bean spouts. I usually lay these all out on a big platter together on the table so everyone can choose how much to put in their individual bowls.

I line all the bowls on the counter beside my stove/work station and fill them with Fresh Rice Stick noodles. Yep that's what the English on the bag says but I took a picture so you can find them in your local Asian market. I slice some steak (or other beef) up incredibly thin and lay it over the noodles in each bowl. Then I heat the broth to boiling again and pour it over the noodles in each bowl (so it cooks the meat while you add your seasonings and herbs).

I set out the condiments/seasonings on our island area right by our kitchen table and two people at a time can take their bowl from the counter over to the island to season their dish. These seasonings include soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, oyster sauce, pho beef paste, white sugar, fried garlic (we make this ourselves and keep it on hand in the fridge) and possibly fried pepper flakes (we also fry these ahead of time and keep them on hand, we use them instead of fresh peppers when we have them). I start by putting about a 1/4 tsp of each into my bowl and them tasting it and adding more as I go. I always use at least a tbsp of white sugar. If you like it hot, add more peppers or sriracha (but watch the sriracha cause it also makes it more sour), if you like it sweet then add more beef paste and sugar, if you like it sour of course the lime juice does that. My youngest only takes the beef paste in hers (she is very picky), and my 6 year old likes everything but the sriracha and peppers.

Then everyone takes their bowls to the table (we usually say grace at this point) and then we add the fresh herbs and sprouts. cilantro, green onions, Thai basil, mint, bean sprouts, and peppers (if you used these instead of fried pepper flakes).

Then you dig in, and enjoy your bowl of Pho, though that isn't the last step. You each (in laos culture at least) takes a spoonful of everyone else's broth to test it and see if you like the way they seasoned it. Our kids have a lot of fun with this!

I'm off to watch the last session of conference now. will add pictures later!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blended Family Miracles

The last time I tried to mention our miracle, everyone ended up thinking I was pregnant. Its cause I was trying to be vague so I didn't offend my husband by talking about the negative aspects of our blended family. So I just said something like "something I thought would never happen actually happened and it was a miracle and I just love my family..." blah blah blah. Well, Im not pregnant- and being pregnant is a LOT more likely than the miracle that did happen. The miracle was simply (or magnificently) that the hearts of our children are being softened
We have been praying for this since before we were married. These beautiful young girls who have seen so much heartache simply NEED their father, but they have him blocked out of their hearts due to circumstances outside of their control (and ours). So we have been working our way in, praying earnestly, making friends of teens who would rather be enemies.
It has been slow.
It first they warmed up to me. Probably on the last day of their visit in May 2012. When they came at Christmas it took only a couple days to get them warmed again, but they would only warm to me. During Spring Break it took even less time for me, but then there was a confrontation and we seemed to lose ground. However, their Dad dealt with it marvelously. After E screamed about hating being here and how she wishes she would never come and how she was NOT going to pray and ask the Lord to help her........ then... my wonderful husband responded by telling her about the day she was born and how happy he was, and how beautiful she looked etc. By the end everyone was crying, and otherwise silent.
Then, summer came. I was SO SCARED for their vist! I was trying to become confident, but some of our phone conversations had me losing hope. However, it took only one day, maybe 10 hours, for them to warm up to me. And theyve been warmer than ever before. I would be ungrateful not to record this miracle. They just came in the door from a shopping trip with Gramma B and told me about all their amazing buys. Then E asked for advice about an eye infection she might have, and S told me about this great book she is reading. And I didnt have to ask. I didnt have to beg them to talk. AAAAND, they've been including their Dad. AAAND in their prayers (or when they are the voice of our family prayer I mean) they say "thanks that we could have fun doing (insert fun activity here) today".

MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

and part of this miracle is due to the fact that their Dad is beeeeeeyyyyond sick this month (mono-hepatitis, and he has it baaad). Their compassionate sides and really showing. *blessing*

SO, even though he is grumpy, and so contagious that I cant even kiss him, and out of work so we have no money.... I am grateful my husband is sick. hah and I am learning patience.

How have you seen Gods hand in your life this week?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My thoughts on the "Drops of Awesome" post

First, if you haven't read it click here to get your tears on for today (seriously, I cried so much I have another headache)

I LOVE the drops of awesome idea! I NEEDED that post! here is a quick overview of my fave parts:

This Mom realises she needs to have more positive self thoughts, so every time she does something awesome she pretends she is putting a little drop of awesome in her "bucket". Of this experience she says:

"When I started thinking about my life in terms of adding these little Drops of Awesome for every tiny act of good, I found that I was doing more and more of them because it’s a lot more fun to do good when you’re rewarded with joy, rather than being guilted about every failure in your past...As I added up these Drops of Awesome, I found that in those moments I actually became the person I had always wanted to be...You made the right choice once. And in that moment you were the person you want to be and that is a triumph...When we are in a relationship with Christ, striving as God’s sons and daughters to do His will, He pours more into our buckets than we can ever hope to imagine. He can fill us to overflowing with peace, with joy, with perfection, with Awesome...Our capacity for joy and light increases. And we just keep working, one tiny drop at a time. And we don’t compare today’s drops to yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. And we live and we love and we repent when we do wrong and we allow ourselves to be glorious, beautiful, and dare I say perfect in Christ, children of God."

Isn't that just amazing!!!!!????

Last night I got to experience my first parent-teenager battle... well, first time from the point of the parent. The girls are here, and while it has been a treat for me to have their help around the house and their smiling faces at lunch time, they immeditaley turn sour when their Dad is home. They have been taught to hate him, and last night I witnessed the results of that. 
"I hate it here! You can't make me like it you can only make me come! You are being selfish to force me to come!"
Boy did that fiery fourteen year old remind me of myself! I'm pretty sure I yelled those exact words. Dad calmed them down by sharing memories of their beautiful births and their tiny toes, yelling turned to tears- though I'm not sure if they were happy, sad, or confused.
Then we went upstairs and gave them some time.
I wrote a blog post/ poem that may never be posted (because if their mother found it somehow she would probably murder me...lol). Then I sat around and wondered how I ended up with such large shoes to fill. I'm only 25 for heavens sake, and I took on teenagers!!!???

Well, I began taking all the water out of my bucket, telling myself I couldn't do it. After all, I haven't read my scriptures as much lately, or prayed as sincerely as I used to. I have been stressed about school and haven't been the best mom to Nod. A few times I even broke down and said bad words in my mind when she was driving me bonkers. 

But... then I read this post... and started to think about my drops of awesome

Sunday night I spent 10pm-11pm outside Brosie's door soothing her poor heart and teaching her that what she was feeling was called 'sad' and 'tired' and that I love her, and that Jesus loves her and she can pray to him (even though I couldn't break my commitment that I wouldn't come into her room a 4th time). I sang a few songs, she said a prayer, and eventually she made it back to bed on her own. Triumph. Drop of Awesome. I am the stable but caring mom that I want to be.

Sunday night when the 14YO was mean to her sister and her Dad had to talk to her about it and did an awesome job I remembered to give him a hug after and tell him I love him and that he is my hero for being such a great Daddy. Drop of Awesome. I am the caring and compassionate wife I want to be. 

Monday I read my scriptures AND said a sincere prayer. I am the disciple of Christ I want to be 

Tuesday I met with two groups and almost finished two major projects. Bam. I am the motivated and diligent student I want to be.

Tuesday the girls and I had a laughing fit over something the 14YO said and enjoyed each others company over dinner. Drop of Awesome. I am the fun-loving, optimistic step-mom that I want to be.

Tuesday night I wrote a poem. It was fantastic. I was the poet who uses her talents, just like I want to be. 

And, when is all is said and done, I've only got 20 drops in my bucket, but the Atonement fills me to overflowing. 

as it also fills each of you