Monday, January 23, 2012

Another milestone...

Notice anything different with Ben's super cute smile?
Oh yes. He "officially" is becoming one of the big kids as he has lost his first tooth.
Yeah Ben!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1000 Thank You's

Consider this an invitation to join me with my New Year's resolution..wait..I hate resolutions. A friend of mine recently said "If it wasn't worth your time to do it two weeks ago then it probably isn't now."

I guess this isn't a resolution...more like a life style change.

This past year I have had some unique experiences for me. One of them was the "Time out For Women" that Deseret Book produces every year. All of the speakers spoke a lot of truth and touched me greatly, but two of them really spoke to my soul.

One was Mariama Kallon. She grew up in a war torn country, was the victim and was a witness to horrid war crime, and then became a member of the LDS church. She served a faithful mission and then immigrated to the USA. She has been through so much and yet, she is happy, confident and inspiring. All three are my goals in life. How do I get there?

Hillary Weeks was also at the event. She told about an experience she had where she used a "clicker"..or count all of her good thoughts that she had in a week. She spoke about the profound change in heart and mind that this brought about her. People everywhere had a clicker in their hand and were counting their good thoughts. She had about 1000 good thoughts in a week. It intrigued I have that many?

She also sang a song that has become a mantra for me. I'm sure she wrote it just for me. It is titled Beautiful Heartbreak. It describes the pain that I have tucked away that comes growling out every once in a while. It describes the heartache that I feel when I think about the assault. I feel the heartbreak part easily..but do I feel the beautiful part? That is very difficult for me.

I was pondering these moments for weeks. Trying to figure out a way to incorporate them into ME.

I was perplexed on what I needed to do. I need to be better..I want to be a better person. I think I am doing ok..but ok isn't where I want to be.

At Thanksgiving I received my answer of what I needed to do.

I was reading my friend's blog (Hi Besty! ). She wrote a list of 100 things that she was grateful. Wow I thought. That is super cool. As I pondered her post I knew it was connected to the heart's change that I was looking for.

I recently read an article by Pres. Thomas S. Monson. It is about gratitude, and how if we have a grateful heart then we "unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love." (Its an amazing talk, go read it!)

I figured it out. I needed to be more grateful. I needed to be grateful for everything, always. When I made this realization, I suddenly became very aware of ungrateful attitude I often had.

I desire a grateful heart. A grateful heart will bring healing, joy, confidence, and peace.

This year is the year that I learn to be grateful.

For Christmas I made a few plaques for a couple of friends to join me on my "grateful journey" this year. (Write on them with and erasable marker..changing it as they see fit.)

My goal is to everyday write three items of gratitude on my grateful poster. Something that I am grateful for in my spiritual life, my home life, and in the world surrounding me. By the year's end I want to have more then 1000 things that I am grateful for.

I know many people use gratitude journals, and I think that's fantastic. But here's my thing..I want to remind myself every time I am in my bedroom of all that I am grateful for. I don't want to forget! I seriously am like Dory the fish in Finding Nemo..I forget things very easily! When I have bad days, and I get crazy depressed, I want to have a visual reminder of how blessed I am. I am so blessed to have the gospel, my family, and this world to live in. I need to see it.

Why am I sharing this on my blog? Seem a little ostentatious? That,s not my intent...I share to keep myself in check. If its a secret, then I will easily find excuses to not fulfill my goal. I will be posting a small update, hopefully monthly, to help keep myself on task.

I've only been writing on my gratitude poster for 5 days now and it isn't to difficult so far. It is nice to already be thinking of things that I want to put on the poster tomorrow. Maybe this will change this heart after all.

What are you thankful for?

I invite you to keep a gratitude journal/poster/paper this year. Learn the blessings of being grateful with me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas eve and day

On Christmas Eve we attend the community Christmas Program. Traditionally it is done by the city royalty. This year it was great!

The only thing missing was the reading of the Christmas story from the book of Luke. I don't know if it was an oversight, but it was notably missing.

Also missing was a smile from Mark when he went and saw the big red guy.

All smiles in their Christmas pj's!

Since it was Sunday, we attended church before opening gifts. I absolutly love having church on Christmas morning. I really wish that we would have church every year on Christmas like a lot of other religions do. Usually we sing just about every Christmas song you can think of, but my massive Christmas song book somehow ended up packed and placed into storage. so there is stayed.

The kids (and big kids) were all smiles on Christmas day.

This just says James ALL over it.

Luke has wanted this flag for as long as I can remember.

See the little fuseball table???? Oh yes it is much fun!

Ben with his slightly-to-big-jacket-thats-really-warm-and-cozy.

Cory and his porta-potty...hee hee hee

No pictures of me (oh darn!) but I was ELATED when my hubby got me a cheese making kit. YES! If the world ends in 2012, I will still have my cheese.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and the New Year is looking good!

Christmas Traditions..part three

Luke is enrolled in the choir at his private school. He loves to sing.
This post is mostly for the relatives that wanted to come, but were unable to. Everyone else is just lucky. :-D

Luke is a gifted singer, as are ALL of my handsome boys.

Every Christmas the commonwealth choir has their Christmas Concert. In the past it has been held in various churches and community centers, but not this year.

His choir teacher is very talented. The commonwealth is very lucky to have her involved. She planned this special concert over a year ago to be held in the Tabernacle in St.George. Only a few choirs are given this opportunity, especially at Christmas time, but she pulled it off.

Luke has a solo at 2:56. :-)

Proud Grandma Sutton.

Even Cory got to come to this one!!

Cousin Mia Celeste and Conner with James. They were rocken out during the a good way.

Luke and one of his good friends Zach.

I love the choir! I can't want to see what they are able to accomplish this next semester.