Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nov 29th & Nov 30th

Nov. 29th-My Dad
November 29th is my dad's birthday. I am thankful for him. I am grateful for a wonderful childhood. One that I could be blessed to grow up in a home filled with love, harmony and where the Spirit was able to dwell. I am thankful for the good values that were instilled into me. I am thankful that I was taught about my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I have had so many opportunities in my life and am so grateful to a loving dad and mom that provided me with so much. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my dad was the day of my mom's funeral. I will never forget him calling all of us kids in his room and talking to us about the Plan of Salvation and how my mom's spirit would be in heaven, not the ground. I can't imagine losing Thomas and talking to Hayden about the Plan of Salvation calmly. He wanted us to understand the gospel significance of life after death. I am so grateful for his example and the ways he always looked to teach us to be better people.

Nov. 30th - Spoiled Rotten
I can't begin to be grateful enough for my dear sweet husband. He spoils me to death. It was so cold in Arizona this morning. My husband started my car, turned on the seat warmers and got it all warm so I wouldn't be cold. He always makes sure there is gas in my car. He makes me breakfast every morning. He is such a good dad, such a good husband and such a good example of Christlike service and love. I feel very grateful to be married to such a wonderful man!

Thanksgiving Day

This year was Thanksgiving with the Simonton's. We were all together, as JD and family came in from Minnesota. My Dad was in heaven as it was all the Simonton's and Bair's combined, which made for a very large group. It was a beautiful day outside and we had Thanksgiving dinner, out in the sun, by the pool. I absolutely love when I can be with my entire family.

I have been so blessed with such a wonderful family. I am so grateful for my dear husband who is my world. We were blessed with the most incredible son. I am so grateful for the family I was born into and the wonderful brothers and sister that my Heavenly Father blessed me with. I can't imagine my life without them. I am so thankful for each of the wonderful people they married and how much they have blessed my life. And then, so very very thankful for my incredible and loving nieces and nephews, that I love, cherish and adore. I am also so very thankful for all those that I have chosen to be my family! They bless my life so deeply!

Here are some of my favorite moments:
Jodi playing with Talmage. I love watching Jodi with Talmage. He is such a joy in her life. She lights up when she is with him. He is such a blessing!
I love that Thomas gets along with my brothers. I sat back and really looked at my brothers this year. They have all grown up a lot and I love the great men that they have become.
JD & Jodi's family. I love just sitting around and talking with my siblings and their spouses. We all laugh and have so much fun together.
My own family! Words cannot express the gratitude I have for my sweet family! I love them. I cherish them! I am so very grateful for them! And little Coby in front, oh how you melt my heart!
Josh's gang... each of these mean so very much. Dallin informed me he was no longer one of the kids but a young adult. He makes me smile! Austin I cherish for how he treats Hayden and Brinley.... I secretly think my mom told her that she was part mine before she left heaven. Casen and Braden can make me laugh and laugh.
Dad and Bonnie-so grateful for how hard they try to put on such wonderful events for all of us. I love seeing my dad so happy. He does truly love being around family.
The gang... sheer chaos when we are all together and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Ann-my bonus in life. I sure love her and the relationship we have. It has been so much fun to watch her grow up and change so much this year and go from a parent role to more of a friendship role with her. I love it!
Josh, Vaughn and I in the kitchen on turkey duty.
Katelyn, Kaylee and Kiley.... oh how they bring joy and thankfulness to my heart. They are each mini Jake's in their own way and I adore them.

Nov. 27th-Plan of Salvation

I am so grateful for the knowledge and blessing of the Plan of Salvation. As I was talking to Hayden about family pictures, he asked me if we could have the FHE lesson again where I draw where we go after we die. I asked him and talked to him about the Plan of Salvation. I then asked him why he was thinking about it. He said sweetly, "Because, I want to know where Grandma Sue is since she won't be in family pictures today." I am thankful that I can teach my sweet son about the eternal plan that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. I am grateful for the reassurance it not only gives me, but him. What peace that it has brought to my life.

Nov. 28th-New Ward
Our ward was just split and I was a little nervous as to the change. I dislike change. But, on Sunday when I sat and listened in Sacrament meeting, I realized what a great thing this is going to be for Hayden. Our ward is so much smaller, calmer and quieter. There are less than 25% of the kids which makes Primary much more accomodating for Hayden. So although it is change, I am excited to see the positive changes it will bring for Hayden.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov 26th-Black Friday

One of my favorite days of the year is Black Friday. Jodi and I started our shopping adventure at 10:30pm Thursday night and headed for Walmart. Unfortunately, when we got there, Walmart had already let people open not only the midnight items but the 5am items, as well. Luckily, we got most of the things we were after. We were done with Walmart at 1am. We were too cold to stand in line at Target until 4 am. So, we drove around trying to decide what to do while we laughed and talked.

We found ourselves at San Tan Mall. Everyone was coming out of the Disney Store with bags and we stopped and asked if they were having good sales. We laughed that Hayden and Brooklyn have basically outgrown the Disney store. (Sad fact for me). We didn't have anything we needed there, but decided it was warm, so we would go in. I was thrilled when ornaments were marked down to $4. Me and my Disney Christmas house LOVE that. As we walked through the store the first time-I picked up a couple of things and checked out. On the way out, I found another section of ornaments so I went back to check out. I kept finding things I needed.... and Jodi checked out of the Disney store twice and I had checked out 5 times. The Disney people were laughing at us and that we kept finding good stuff.

We left and went to Children's Place next door. Bought some cute stuff. (Erin-got you some winners). Then, we went back to the Disney Store to buy some princess stuff for my dad for the granddaughters. The Disney people were busting up laughing at us. I have now checked out 5 times and spent a ton of money in there. We laughed with them, that we didn't have a list for Disney Store yet happened to need a lot when we came in. They had these cute Christmas Mickey and Minnie's for sale after 12:00. I asked the manager if she could hold them and I would be back.... of course my Disney Christmas house needed another Mickey and Minnie. They said that they enjoyed us so much in there, that they went ahead and sold me them. So, I checked out a total of 7 times in the Disney Store... yep, it was crazy fun. Jodi and I laughed and laughed as we had to make two trips out of the Disney Store.

I will always remember that moment. We had so much fun laughing....and when we went to Target, we still almost got everything we were after. After breakfast at Village Inn, Jodi and I called it quits. We had the best time! Thanks, Jodi for a ton of fun and unforgettable moments! I couldn't ask for a better sister! I love you, Jodi!

Nov 25th-Thanksgiving & the ads

I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving day. I could list for hours all the blessing the Lord has so graciously and wonderfully put into my life. Endless and countless are the blessings I have been given.

So today-I am thankful for the ads. Yes, my favorite Thanksgiving tradition is that Thomas runs and gets 2 papers, 2 Pepsi's, and 2 donuts. I know my sister is headed over to start strategizing for Black Friday. With black sharpie in one hand and my Pepsi in the other, Jodi and I embark on circling ads and figuring out our game plan for shopping. It is our time together and one I cherish dearly. We laugh that, "We don't know what we want or need until the ads tell us" yep-pathetic but we love it.

For several hours, we compare prices, figure out when to go, where to go and what to buy! In the end, it isn't about the shopping, the deals or the finds, it is about Jodi and I being together, the laughter, tears and moments shared! So grateful for this wonderful tradition and incredibly understanding husbands that understand our need for these silly, yet fun traditions!

Nov. 24th-My siblings

I have the world's GREATEST siblings. Hands down they are simply the best. I am so lucky to have some of the best brothers and sister ever. Not only that, they are some of my best friends. I feel so much love, acceptance and peace when I am with them.

Wednesday late afternoon, I get a call from Jake saying, "Jer-ditch the kiddos and Thomas and lets just go to dinner as the 5 of us". I quickly call Thomas and he leaves work early to come get Hayden and Talmage. JD had just gotten into town and we wanted to spend some time together. Within in an hour, we were all meeting up, without Josh though, bummer.

We went to dinner, along with my dad and Bonnie. We sat for 3 hours and talked and laughed and laughed. I love when we all get together. No one can make me laugh harder than my brothers. They have me in tears within moments because I am laughing so hard.

I am so grateful for the group relationship we have and for the individual relationships I have with each of them! I was truly blessed with the world's greatest siblings....I am just so thankful that they are my best friends, too!

Nov 23rd-My testimony

I am so grateful for my testimony of the Savior. As the time turns more to Thanksgiving and Christmas, my heart is so full. I feel my thoughts turning more and more towards my Savior and all he has done for me personally. Yes, I am grateful for the atonement, his life, his example and his gospel.

What I am most grateful for is the Savior's knowledge and love for me, Jerlyn. It is that sacred relationship that I am most grateful for. I know he lives. I know he knows me personally. He knows of all the pain, joy and wonderful things in my life. He knows that I don't have all the answers, that I am not perfect, that I get up and try every day to become more like him, yet when the day is done, I never reach all my goals. Yet, when I get in to bed at night, He is grateful that I tried. I know he is so much gentler with me, than I am on myself. He sees the good in me when I see my shortcomings. He sees what I did do right when sometimes I focus on what I am lacking or coming up short in. I am grateful for the peace he brings me as I go to sleep, resting assured that tomorrow is another day to get up and try again.

I am grateful for my Savior's gentleness, tenderness and love for me. I know that he loves me more than I can imagine or understand. I am so thankful for this knowledge and it makes me want to be better and try harder. So very grateful for my relationship and love of the Savior.

Nov. 22nd-My Job

In this economy and this market, I am thankful for my employment and Thomas' employment. Each day as we leave the house for work and school, we are thankful to our Heavenly Father that we have jobs and incomes to support our family.

I am so thankful for the flexibility that my job offers me. I am thankful that I get to work with my dad and Jake and Josh. Lately, my dad and I have had some great talks with my dad. Those moments are priceless to me. I love when we just sit and talk....family, church and life. And, although, my dream was to be a stay at home mom, I am thankful that since we need me to work, that I have the opportunity to work where I do. I am thankful for the time it gives me to be a mom and that I am fortunate to take Hayden to work and pick him up from school. I am also thankful for the moments I can run to the school if I need to or that I can bring Hayden with me.

I am so thankful for Thomas' job and his ability to provide us with insurance. That is such a security and blessing. I am so thankful for the hard work that Thomas does to support our family. He loves where he works and enjoys going there. Such a blessing.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Saturday night, Thomas and I took Hayden to Gammage to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We had such a great time. I love going to plays but I absolutely LOVE musicals. The cast was amazing and did such a great job. The Grinch was hysterical. Hayden just grinned and laughed. I love watching him discover something new or thoroughly enjoy an experience. He definitely loved this play. I looked over at Thomas and Hayden laughing at something during the play and felt such joy watching my two guys. I love them dearly.

Good play.... great night with my boys.

Nov. 21-Christmas Tree

One of the things I love the most in this entire world is putting up my Christmas Tree. I look forward to it all year. That means it is Christmas time, my most favorite time of the year. I love pulling out each ornament and remembering who gave it to me, where I got it, or why it is significant to me. As I unwrap each ornament, I unwrap such cherished memories.

I absolutely love looking at the tree with the lights on in the dark. It is such a magnificent sight and one of my favorite things in the world to sit and look at.

This year Julie made the most delicious homemade hot chocolate...yummy! I loved sitting by the tree and watching the lights in the dark and silence. It is heart warming to me. I love it and cherish it! I am so glad the tree is up.

Nov. 20th-Photographers

Saturday morning, Jodi, Julie, Thomas, Hayden and I set out on an adventure to get our family pictures taken. We left at 5:30am so we could drive to Vulture Mine and get our pictures taken. I have learned from Jodi and Julie that good photos are all about the right light. So, we ventured out and laughed and laughed.

I don't know what was so funny but they had me in tears laughing 1/2 the way to Vulture Mine, past Wickenburg. Hayden loved the ghost town and all the old buildings.... he didn't love getting his pictures taken so much. Jodi is so great with Hayden and has a way of making him smile for the camera.

I loved watching Jodi with Hayden and teasing him, making him torture me and doing whatever she could to get a good photo. I am so thankful for her and her sacrificing her time to get me great family photos.

I am so thankful for Julie for her driving with us, showing up this great location, and taking pictures with Jodi. With these two around, I have FANTASTIC photos.

Having a photographer for a sister-wonderful.... Having Jodi for my sister and best friend-Priceless! So very thankful for her and any chance I get to spend time with her!

Fall Festival

Hayden's annual Fall Festival was Friday night, Nov. 19th. All of the teachers make up a basket to auction or raffle off. Hayden's class was "Thrill of the Grill", so we brought in marinades, corn baskets and skewers for his basket.

There were bounce houses, throw pies at the teacher, a DJ, limbo, cotton candy, chocolate fountain, food galore, carnival games, cake walks, boutique vendors and the raffle.

Most of the kids from Hayden's class were there and they ran and played and had a great time! He LOVED throwing a pie at the 1st grade teacher that he is an aide for. He loved popping balloons with Gunter and Joey. He was in heaven.

Thomas and I purchased $20 worth of raffle tickets, for a total of 12 tickets to put into the different raffle buckets. Before the raffle, I told Thomas that we needed to get up early and we weren't going to win anything so lets just leave. He wanted to stick around and it is a good thing we did.

It felt like every other name called was "Hayden Murphy". In fact, all the parents were cheering Hayden on because he was LOVING all the attention and going up to claim his prizes.... yes, prizes. He won... an MP3 player and jumped up and down and one would have thought he won the lottery. Nevermind that this boy has an IPOD, nope, he won his long awaited MP3 player and was so happy. Then, he won $50 to Bounce U, a $25 Target gift card, ice cream cones, a Brighton purse, and the grand prize... a bbq grill, bbq tools, propane tank, cookbook and gadgets. No one could believe all that he won. Yep, 1/2 of our raffle tickets won. Hayden was on the clouds and loved all the attention. (I was tempted to have Hayden purchase lottery tickets that night-boy was he on fire. ) We had such a great time! I love just hanging out and talking with the parents, teachers and staff. Too much fun! And, winning over $300 worth of prizes, yes, that was great, too!

Nov. 19th-Liberty Arts Academy

I am so thankful for the school that Hayden attends. I am so thankful for the wonderful teachers, staff, parents, students and therapists that make our lives so much better.

Hayden has been going to Liberty Arts Academy since he was 3 years old and in pre-school. Most of his class started out together in preschool and are still together. The other students are soooo wonderful with Hayden. He has so many friends and so much fun with them. They are all so encouraging and supportive...I am so grateful.

Every teacher that Hayden has had there has been wonderful, encouraging, supportive and just great to not only Hayden but our entire family! The staff is AMAZING from Principal to Office Managers to teachers and aides. All Fantastic!

I am so grateful for the other parents! They make it so much fun to attend events, class activities, fundraisers and anything at the school. I have become such good friends with so many of them.

I LOVE that the other parents support, cherish and love Hayden. He goes to school and is surrounded by those that love him. He has so much encouragement from so many.... what more could I ask for. It is definitely the perfect school for Hayden.

Nov. 18th-Warmth

I am so thankful for a warm house, warm baths, warm slippers, warm jackets and the ability to get warm. It has been getting colder here and I do NOT like to be cold. I am so thankful for all the modern conveniences that help me to stay warm. I consider it such a gift.

Deer Farm

While we were in Williams, we also took the boys to the deer farm to feed the animals. Oh how Hayden absolutely LOVED this adventure. He LOVES loves LOVES animals. He had the best time and just played with the deer.
Hayden went through tons of deer food and kept wanting me to put more quarters in. Julie preferred to feed the little baby deer. They were so cute!
Brody was a sport and tried so hard to keep up with Hayden. He was nervous but did such a great job.
Before the deer farm, Julie took Hayden to BearZona. He absolutely LOVED it! It is basically a drive-thru Yellowstone. Brody and I hung back at the hotel since he was, "Allergic to bears...definitely not scared, just allergic to them." Too cute!

Hayden loved seeing the black bears, red foxes, wolves, buffalo, elk and more. He is such a nature boy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nov 17-Seeing a difference

As I spoke at the East Valley Autism meeting the night before, I left not really self assured if I had said anything that mattered. Yet, knew I had tried to find the right words.

As I pulled up to Hayden's school, one of the front office ladies had me come talk to her. She had been there with her daughter-in-law. She told me what a difference I had made in this young mother. That she had felt like a bad mom and realized that she loved her son but he just had some challenges. My dear friend, proceeded to tell me how much that this changed her life, her families lives and especially her grandson that was now going to get the help he needed.

As I spoke with her, I felt the calm, sweet reassurance from the Spirit telling me that I needed to do this, I could do this and it would change lives.

I am still very in awe from the experience and it makes me tear up a little. I am so thankful for this experience and the love of a Heavenly Father that would show me the tender mercy of how I could make a difference. I was reminded of when on a mission, if I can bring the Spirit, the Lord can convert. I guess with this new experience of speaking, if I can bring the Spirit into my teaching of what I have learned, the Lord will touch the hearts he needs to and help them, like he did me, to find the answers to help their children.

I am grateful that not only has the Lord given me the answers to help Hayden, but he is now using what I have learned to help others. It is very humbling and my heart is full of gratefulness to Him, for allowing me to be used in helping other children find the help they need.

Nov. 15-The Spirit

I am so grateful and eternally thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I can't imagine living my life without its constant guidance and direction. I am thankful that when I need to make a choice that I can rely on the Spirit to help me decide what direction I need to take in my life. And, for giving me the confidence to say, you can do this, even when I feel overwhelmed and like I can't do it.

Nov. 14-My nieces and nephews

I couldn't be a luckier aunt. I am so blessed with so many wonderful nieces and nephews that I have incredible relationships with. They bring me so much joy. As Brody and I stayed back at the hotel while Hayden and Grandma Julie went to Bearzona, I loved my conversation with him. He said, "Aunt Jer, we are a lot alike, aren't we? We are both allergic to wild animals". I laughed. Yes, I am not a huge fan of wildlife.
My Brigham boy, when I called, "Hello, who is this?" I said, "Your favorite person on earth." Brigham responds, "Aunt Jer, you are my favorite person on earth, how did you know that?" Oh how I love that boy.
Brinley-"I want a slumber party with Aunt Jer"
Brooklyn-"I want to show aunt Jer my new clothes, she will love them and want them posted on facebook."
Those all just happened in the past couple of weeks.
Talmage-Kaylee-Katelyn-Kiley-Dallin-Austin-Casen-Braden-Bryson-Coby-Tanner-Logan-Victoria-Ann-Megan-Jazzy-Ashley-Nathan-CJ-Lilly - I could tell stories about each one. And, all of those that let me count theirs as my own, too, I love them all!
I absolutely LOVE being an aunt!

Nov. 13th-Christmas magic

I am so thankful for the magic of the wonderful Christmas season. I love the feel in the air, the kindness in people and the happiness and joy that comes. I know for me, Christmas brings more gratitude in my heart, more rejoicing of the gifts I have been given and I concentrate more on all the blessings in my life. I wish I would choose to keep these feelings, joy and goodwill in my heart all year. I am so thankful for this time of year that helps me to re-group, re-focus and feel my Savior's love and the magic of this season.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Polar Express

Hayden loved the Polar Express! He especially had a great time with Brody and Grandma Julie.
I loved him writing his Christmas letter to Santa. Especially since I told him that Santa doesn't give big electronics to 9 year olds. So, his list consisted of the Nerf Stampede, Ben 10 alien watch and Draganoid's enemy. On the way to see Santa, it would have been a plasma tv, a blu-ray player for the toy room and an ipad. Who does this kid think he is? He has spent way too much time with all the teenagers. I loved the excitement he felt as he carefully wrote out his list.
He was so funny trying to figure out if this was the "real" Santa or just one of his helpers. He sure looked at Santa long and hard trying to figure it out.
As Santa handed him the bell, he immediately put it up to his ear to see if he could still hear the bell ring. He knows that once you don't hear the bell ring, Santa no longer delivers presents. He took such a deep sigh after he heard the bell. Priceless for me. I absolutely loved it!
Hayden looking at Santa out the window at all the lights at the North Pole.
Grandma Julie with Hayden and Brody. These boys have her wrapped, they get whatever they want with her.
We had such a great time! The boys were exhausted and actually asked to go back to the hotel and go to sleep after all the festivities. So much to do and they loved every minute of it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Point of Grace

Friday night, Julie, Ann and I went to the Point of Grace concert. I absolutely loved it. They sing my absolute favorite song ever-Turn up the Music. I love the words. I love the meaning. I love listening to Christian music and the good lyrics and feelings that come. It rejuvenates me and wants to make me live my life better. These words are how I try to live my life each day....I am not always successful, but I do try!

Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don't spend your life lookin' back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
Cuz it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth
'Cause you can't get away
Just face it and you'll be okay
Oh wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin

So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
E'en when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end there's nobody else

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lisa and gang

Lisa, Katie, Chad, Jodi, Brooklyn, Brigham, Talmage, Jake, Rosie, Kaylee, Katelyn, Kiley and Suzi all came to hang out on Thursday night. So fun! Lisa is moving to Denver. We are going to miss her and her family so much! Talmage was so fun. He saw pizza and wanted an entire piece. Too cute! We laughed and had such a great time!

Peter Piper Pizza

Veterans Day we met up with Jake, Rosie, Kaylee, Katelyn and Kiley for lunch at Peter Piper Pizza. Hayden had so much fun playing with the girls and getting a ton of tickets. He was so happy that his 100 tokens got him 698 tickets. He bought slime, a stuffed animal, slinky and tons of trinkets. The girls all had Jake helping them to win tickets, too.... over 3000.

I enjoyed just sitting and talking to Rosie and Jake. I sure need to spend more time with them. They are so fun. Hayden thought it was a great day off of school in the middle of the week. Great day!

Nov. 12-Sleep

I have been getting only a little sleep this week and I am absolutely 100% exhausted. I am thinking that sleep is one of my greatest blessings. I absolutely love when I can sleep 8 uninterrupted, continuous hours. I get more done, I am more productive, and I am in SUCH a better mood.

Here is hoping *and praying** for an afternoon nap. And, even more so that I can get Hayden to take one after being up until 11pm last night. Wish me luck!

Pima Air Space & Titan Missles

Saturday we got up early and drove down to the Pima Air & Space Museum. Hayden and Thomas LOVED the planes. Hayden fell in love with the blackbird and we have been talking about it ever since.
After the Air Space Museum we went to the Titan Missle Museum. Hayden and Thomas went underground thru the tunnels and down to the missle launching site. He thought it was so cool. He absolutely loved the launching sequence, except for the loud noises. It was such a fun day and so neat to go exploring in Arizona. I love family day trips!

Nov. 11-Cousins

I have decided cousins are the greatest. I love watching Hayden play with his cousins and watching the relationships they have. I am also thankful for my cousins.

Last night, my cousin, Lisa and her kids Katie and Chad came to visit. Jodi, Jake, Suzi and gang all came over. It was so much fun! Hayden was in heaven. He absolutely loves Chad. I am so thanful for Chad and even though he is 12, that he is so good to Hayden.

I love talking to Lisa. After living with her while I was in college, I got really close to her. It was fun to catch up, chat and just enjoy.

As I watched Hayden with all the kids screaming and running through the house last night, I smiled because these are the special moments that he will look back on enjoy and treasure. It was a good day!

Nov. 10-Freedom

I have been thinking alot about the freedoms that I am thankful for. I am so thankful for those that serve in the armed forces to keep my family safe. I know that because of their hard work and dedication that America is free.

Feeling very grateful that I was blessed to be born in the United States of America. My heart swells with pride everytime I listen to "I'm Proud to be an American". Definitely one of my favorite patriotic songs.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov. 9-Doctors

I am so thankful for modern medicine. Yes, I choose to use the holistic approach whenever I can. But, when I am sick and nothing is working, I am thankful for doctors, modern medicine and antibiotics. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be back to myself, sinus infection free.

Nov 8-New Shoes

I love and hate taking Hayden for new shoes. It is definitely an adventure. It takes him trying and trying to find the "perfect" shoe. I get it, it is his only form of expression at school with school uniforms. They get their backpacks, lunchboxes and shoes...so way important to him.

What I absolutely LOVE about shoe shopping with Hayden, is once the perfect shoe is found and has been placed on his feet, then the true test of compatibility is used....he has to run in them. Yep, wherever we are, he has to take off running to see if they make him run faster and then he has to jump to see if he can jump high in them.

As I watched my boy running in Dillard's yesterday, I smiled to myself and laughed. I thanked Heavenly Father right then and there for blessing me with this sweet son. Even with all of his quirks, I think he is the greatest. I am so thankful to be his mom. I feel so awed at the task. He has such a sweet spirit, so innocent, and so willing to learn and soak in the love of his Heavenly Father. He feels the spirit so strongly. I am so glad that buying a pair of shoes forced me to stop and really look at Hayden and thank my Heavenly Father for him. I am so very thankful that I was chosen to be his mom!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nov 7-Hymns

While sitting in church, I found myself flipping thru the hymn book and singing the different hymns in my head. As I did this, I sat back and recalled what the words said to my heart, where I was in my life when they touched me and the events surrounding some of those tender moments. I do love singing hymns. They are prayers to me of praise for all the Lord has done for me.

When I am struggling, nothing speaks directly to my heart like, "Where Can I Turn For Peace?". The beautifully inspired words speak directly to the depth of my soul. It reminds me where I need to find solace in my life.

Love At Home-brings back so many childhood memories. My mom always sang it when we were fighting.

I Know That My Redeemer Lives-I want to belt out the song with all my heart. It is what I believe, how I feel, and I feel the Spirit so very strong whenever I sing this hymn of praise.

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go-This song brings it all back in focus. I re-commit to my Savior that I will go/say/do whatever he asks of me. I remember why I am here and where my responsibilities lie.

Count Your Blessings-I used to listen to this song and think I needed to just be grateful. As I opened it yesterday, I realized this is the key to happiness. If we focus on our blessings then we will have joy. I have been blessed with so much. My trials are so insignificant to the many many blessings I have been given. When I truly sit and list my blessings, my heart softens, my gratitude swells, and I am so thankful for my life.

Nov. 6-Family Time

I love when we can take off as a family and just explore, spend time together and enjoy being with one another. There is something about leaving the cares of the world behind and just focusing on my family. I love it! It rejuvenates me and I cherish those moments. I hope the special times that we spend together will be the ones Hayden looks back on and remembers fondly, that we just left the world behind and had fun together!

Nov. 5th-Friday afternoon

I absolutely love Fridany afternoons. I work in the morning, grab Hayden at noon and off we head for an adventure. I don't worry about the house, most errands or to do lists. Friday afternoons are reserved for time with my boy. I love them, I look forward to them and so does Hayden. It doesn't matter what we do, Hayden knows those moments are reserved for us. I absolutely cherish and love them.

Nov. 4-Mac N Cheese

I am thankful for Mac N Cheese. Yes, it is true. There are days that after working I am so busy, running errands, cleaning, doing homework or whatever it may be. I am thankful that mac n cheese is quick and easy. I can't imagine living before convenience food. And, most of all, I am appreciative for a husband who doesn't complain when he comes home to mac n cheese or even worse, to me handing him a box of mac n cheese to make. He is so understanding and never complains about my cooking or lack thereof.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov. 3rd-My mom

23 years ago today, my sweet mother died. It was such a sad day. I couldn't imagine living my life without her. She was the person I turned to for guidance, assurance, understanding, teaching, comfort and love. How would I do it without her?

23 years later, I can say that I miss her still. I long for those mother/daughter moments with her. I can't wait until the next life when me and Jodi can just sit down with her and talk and laugh. I have longed for those moments so many times for the three of us.

What I am grateful for, is I know she isn't gone...She is very alive and has just moved on ahead of us. I am grateful for those tender moments when the Lord allows her to still be by my side...comforting me, guiding me, teaching me and loving me. When I have really earnestly needed her, she has been close.

Those moments allow me to understand the love of a mother and the love of a Heavenly Father. Both are close by, both are there, I just need to stop more and listen and feel both of them guiding me in my life.

My mom may not walk this earth with me, but she definitely hasn't left me alone. For this knowledge and love, I am very grateful!

Nov. 2nd - Another chance

Today I am grateful for another day, another chance... some days I don't have the best mom moments. I fall short with my patience, understanding and lose my cool. I love my little boy so much. He definitely has his quirks and trying moments for his mom. When I lose my cool, I am grateful for another day to make it up to him, try harder and show him how much I love him. I am grateful not only for a Father in Heaven that will forgive me, love me and give me another chance, but for a loving, kind son that also lovingly forgives his mom. He wakes up the next day with a smile on his face, big hugs for me and a completely happy heart and face ready for a new start. He doesn't hold on to the past days grudges but starts anew, every day, with a smile, hugs and ready for a new beginning. I can't express my thankfulness for another day and another chance.

Nov. 1st

I can never start a thankful/blessing list without first and foremost being thankful for my Savior. I know that he lives. I know that he loves me. I know that he cares about me. I am so very thankful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and the loving ways that he has put in place so that I can return to my Father in Heaven's presence. I am so very grateful for this knowledge. I am so very grateful to him for all his sacrifices for me. I try every day to put the Savior at the core of my heart. But, it is the tender moments that I know that I am his, that I am the most grateful for. He has given me everything and then continues to love me and comfort me whenever I need him. Words cannot express my love or gratitude for him.

November Blessings

I have been thinking of all the good things that are in my life. Each night, I have been trying to tell the Lord all the things that I am thankful for and acknowledging all the blessings he has put in my life. I was just doing this for myself but, want to write it so that Hayden will know how many blessings we have been given in our lives and how truly blessed we are by our Father in Heaven.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

23 Years

Some people measure time by the new year, a passing birthday or day, for me, I think I measure where my life is by the anniversary of my mom's death. Yesterday marked the day that she died 23 years ago. I can't believe it has been that long.

This year I have thought of her so often, probably even more so than most. When she was my age, she was paralyzed on one side and unable to care for herself on her own. As I have walked this year, I have thought of her, how I remember her handling herself during that time and have clung to any advice and insight that she gave me. I have tried to understand her and her life more. Tried to understand how hard that last year of her life must have been and what things were most important to her.

My mom was an amazing person with an amazing spirit and an amazing personality. During her last months with us, she continued to try to help others, encourage others and kept an incredibly optimistic and positive attitude. Some days I struggle to do that. I get that in the eternal scheme of things that what I am worried about or dealing with is insignificant, yet it still weighs on me or my heart.

I have really tried to put my life and priorities in place this year. I have tried to create the balance between family, church, work, responsibilities, friendships and fun. I have made decisions based on the long term effects of mine, Thomas and Hayden's lives. I am learning that is sometimes harder to say no than it is to just say yes and try to do things.

I admire my mom and her positive outlook, how she always knew instictively how to help others and had the magic touch of helping people to feel better. I have always held her up on this pedastal as someone that I was trying to emmulate. Someone that I had to somehow live up to. I had been struggling with feeling like I could never measure up and how, if I was her daughter, couldn't I do the things that she did.

I was questioning this and really struggling with this for a long time. In my eyes and everyone I talk to, my mom was perfect. I have always felt the need that in order to measure up in any way, I also had to be perfect.

One morning last week, I had verbalized these feelings to Thomas. Later, I was getting ready for work. As clear as day, I could hear my mom talking to me. She spoke to me of what she did with her life and what I was doing with mine. It was such a short moment that she was allowed to speak to my heart, but such profound feelings and emotions and knowledge was passed on to me. She told me that I wasn't sent to this earth to be her or live her life, I was sent here on my own mission. She expressed that during the last year of her life, that she did in fact try to help and serve a lot of people and then showed me my life. She explained that she wasn't perfect, and given the chance to do some things over, she would make some changes or do things differently. I was allowed to see things from my perspective today, not as a child actually going through the situation. Then, I was allowed to view things in my life from the same outsiders perspective. My mom told me that I was choosing the better part. I was choosing to put my priorities, choosing to follow the promptings I was feeling from the Holy Ghost as to how to live my life, choosing to put my Savior and family first. She assured me that I was doing okay. She also told me that perfection is not required here on earth, it is daily striving to be better, do our best and get up again and try again the next day. I felt her telling me that the more my heart desires to do good, the more my life is trying to strive to be like the Savior, the more I realize my imperfections, but the closer my life will come to being the life my Savior wants me to lead.

I came out of those quickly passing moments with such a different attitude and perspective. My mom was right, I wasn't sent to this earth to live her life or to be her. I have some of her qualities and talents, some of my dad's and some of my very own. I was taken back to the blessing I was given as I was set apart to be a missionary. "Jerlyn, the Lord is sending you, Jerlyn, to Korea, with all of your attributes, personality, faith and shortcomings. Don't try to be anyone besides the person HE wants you to be. The Lord can use you, if you are willing to let him, to touch and teach these sweet Korean people." I clung to that as I did things my own way.

The despair that I had been feeling over struggling with where I was at in my life seemed to dissipate. I felt relief. I felt like it was such a blessing to be able to have this experience. My mom, who has passed on before me, told me that I was doing okay. I was living my life how the Savior wanted me to. What a reassurance. What a blessing. What a great gift from my Father in Heaven. To know, that even with all my shortcomings and imperfections, that I am still okay and headed in a direction that will help me to return to my Father in Heaven.

My mom may have gone on to the next life, but I know I will see her again. I know she is very aware of me, what I am doing and what is happening in my life. She has been so close this last month as I have tried to walk through my trials. I am so grateful for her love that still guides me, comforts me and for those rare moments when heaven is right here on this earth. I will always love my sweet angel mother.