Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19, 2013 "Tithing, a Law for Our Protection and Advancement"

Happy Sunday!!

I attended a beautiful church service today that was centered on the sacredness of families, the importance of strengthening the families, and the importance of the law of tithing (yes, they all go together!).  I was so inspired I wanted to write it down and share it with the world! (so share it! ;))

"The law of tithing is one of the most important ever revealed to man. . .Through obeying this law the blessings of prosperity and success will be given to the Saints."  
"In a meeting held on May 18, 1899, President Snow declared: 'It is the word of the Lord to you, my brethren and sisters, that you should conform to that which is required of you as a people who have these glorious prospects of exaltation and glory before you.  What is it?  Why, it is something that has been drummed into your ears from time to time until you perhaps have got tired of hearing it...the word of the Lord to you is not anything new; it is simply this: The time has now come for every Latter-Day Saint, who calculates to be prepared for the future and to hold his feet strong upon a proper foundation, to do the will of the Lord and to pay His tithing in full.  That is the word of the Lord...'"
Our Sunday School teacher gave us a scenario at the beginning of the lesson similar to this: 

      Imagine my husband and I owned an incredible and prosperous business that supported a million people (likened to the Rio Grande Valley where we live) and our whole lives we have thrived with this business and each of you relied on the business because we have hired all of you to help with certain areas of the business.  One day, we are asked to serve a mission for the Lord, OF COURSE we accept the call, however we must figure out what to do with our business, we don't want to up and leave it because it is supporting so many people!  So what we do is call a meeting and all of you attend.  We tell everyone we are going on a mission and we would like you all to have a stake in it an run the business together.  Our only condition is that you send us 10% of what you all earn to support us on our mission.  We won't check up on you or enforce that condition, but we count on you to support us!  You get everything else to do with as you will.  

Sounds like an incredible deal right?  All you have to do is send 10% to support a worthy cause and you get the other 90% for whatever you want!  This is similar to what our Heavenly Father has asked of us with tithing.  Heavenly Father has provided us with this entire earth (prosperous business), and we would not be supported with out it!  All He asks is we give 10% of what we gain to support God's work on earth.  

"Tithing is not a difficult law...If a man receives ten dollars, his tithing is one dollar; if he receives one hundred, his tithing is ten...It is very easy to comprehend."

"I say to you in the name of the Lord God of Israel, if you will pay tithing from now on, the Lord will forgive you for all the past [nonpayment of tithing] and the blessings of the Almighty will be poured out upon this people."

"If we will keep that law [law of tithing]...the land will be sanctified, and we shall be counted worthy to receive the blessings of the Lord and to be sustained and supported in our financial affairs and in everything we do, temporal as well as spiritual."

Thought: One of the definitions of the word sanctified is "to free from sin : purify".  So if we keep the law of tithing, our homes (or our land) will be purified.  How awesome would it be to have our homes free from Satans' influence?

3 Nephi 24:10-11 "Bring ye all the tithes unto the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and PROVE ME now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will REBUKE THE DEVOURER for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts."

Thought: This is the only instance I know of where Heavenly Father actually gives us permission to PROVE HIM.  He has told us to prove His word that He will give us certain blessings if we follow the law of tithing, WHY THE HECK NOT???

What if you had a bag of MnM's (yum) and your dad told you "Hey, if you give me one MnM I'll give you 10 bags of whatever candy you want!" and of course your first response is "Yeah right, you aren't going to give me all THAT for just one MnM!" so your dad says "Prove it!!"  Are you going to hang onto that one MnM thinking "I just won't have enough if I give him one of my MnM's"?? No way! Same thing with tithing!!!

The blessings our Heavenly Father will give you for obeying the law of tithing are so much more than 10% of what we earn!  One of these blessing is that He will "rebuke the devourer", who is the devourer?  Satan of course, the devourer of all that is good! (I said that in my dramatic movie announcer voice).  Heavenly Father will rebuke him for our sakes IF we pay our tithing!  What does rebuke mean?  One of the definitions is "to turn back or keep down".  So Heavenly Father will turn back Satan and keep him down IF we pay our tithing!

One of the driving forces in my life (as I am sure is the same for other parents) is my children, learning different principles then teaching them so they can be wise and happy.  

"Teach [children] that when they get any money they should pay one-tenth of it to the Lord, however little it may be.  Educate them to pay their tithing in full."  
Thought: As a homeschooling mom I try to put gospel teaching first in the day and as a priority.  Just as I put gospel principles first in my life, and let the other things fit where they may, I believe if I teach gospel principles first, I will be guided to the subjects, curriculum's, and resources that will help me give my children the best education.   

I'm certainly not perfect in this law, but I am working on it!  I am always willing to pay, usually I just forget :/  Either way, I need to work on it!  When we are consistent in paying our tithing Ernest and I almost daily name off the extra blessings we receive.  Spiritual blessings are always there, but of any law I have noticed the most temporal blessings come from paying tithing.  I know that the more consistent we are with our tithing the more blessings we will receive and the more we will prosper.

I would love to hear your own testimonies on tithing and how paying it consistently has affected you!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013 - Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness

I have been feeling the inclination and desire to share my testimony once again as I record my thoughts and favorite sections of my scripture study.  Tonight I am reading a talk from our latest General Conference titled "Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness" by Elder Quentin L. Cook.  I love General Conference so much, I love to read and re-read the inspiring words I know come from our Heavenly Father and I cannot wait until the next session in October!

A little of what is going on in the life of Katie right now:  Troah has started Jiu Jitsu!  It is so much fun to watch him interact with his coaches and the other kids and he is learning quickly and wants so badly to earn his first stripe.  At home I made him a chore chart that we (try to) go through every day.  I am amazed at the responsibility he shows when I give him the opportunity!  He has been cleaning his room (even making his bed), cleaning the living room, helping me wash and put away dishes, taking laundry to the laundry room and helping me wash and switch out loads, as well as helping me mop.  He has such a beautiful spirit, I am so blessed!  He is also playing so well with Aria and helps her whenever he see's an opportunity to do so.  Yesterday he asked me if he could play with Aria in their room, it was adorable!  Of course that consisted of him giggling in his bed until she got about a foot away from him then he bombed her with socks and underwear, but who am I to argue when it brings bursts of laughter??  We also broke out the little potty to see if Aria is ready to start and Troah keeps asking if we can "potty train" Aria yet.

We have also started home school (officially)!  It mostly consists of reading books together, going through letter flash cards and practicing sounds, playing Uno (he has to use spanish for all the colors and numbers), candy land, matching jake and the neverland pirates, and sequence for kids.  He also did some painting the other day and I'm lining up crafts on pinterest (particularly home decor crafts he can help with ;) two birds, one stone!) so we are having a blast!   We start each day with a devotional, watching a short video (we started with the Old Testament) on and talking about it, singing a song (working on "I Lived in Heaven" right now), and memorizing the Articles of Faith (he's got 1 down in two days!).   I'm loving home school and he is too!

Aside from Troah's activities we are pretty much just working, unpacking, and cleaning over and over again :)  Aria is a little doll baby, loves her purses, shoes, and trying to boss Troah and Cloud around.  She is a great sleeper though and knows exactly when it's time for bed...she'll tell every one "night night" and take me to her crib.  One night she didn't even want me to put her pajamas on her, had me lift her into her crib and when I turned back to undress her and put her pj's on she had her eyes tightly closed and her lips pursed in the "no" I just left her as she was ;)  pick your battles wisely right?

Alright, now that we are caught up on the family happenings I'm ready to read :)  As with the last one, I'll just be recording the same as I would in my journal, so now I'll say good night! I'd love to hear any insights you had on this talk as well!

Here is a direct link for the talk if you would like to read it as well:

"Agency is essential to the plan of happiness.  It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression.  This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others."

"The apostles were told to leave peace upon the worthy houses they visited but warned that they would be 'in the midst of wolves...[and] hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.' A significant pronouncement is made in verse 34: 'Think not that I am come to send peace on earth.'  It is clear that universal peace did not exist on the earth during Christ's mortal ministry, and it does not now."  
"His Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), which is given to every person who comes into the world, 'shall not always strive with man.' Also, 'peace shall be taken from the earth.'  Prophets have declared that peace has indeed been taken from the earth.  Lucifer has not yet been bound and exercises power in this dominion." 

Thought: I never thought of the difference between world peace and personal peace in relation to Christ's mission on earth.  There was never meant to be world peace (as nice as that would be), but one of the main reasons we are on earth is to use our agency to DECIDE to lean on Christ and accept his sacrifice for us so we can attain a personal peace.  Every adverse prompting and temptation is there to create doubt in our ability to be forgiven and healed, and therein receive a personal peace.  Personal peace only comes when we fully accept Christ in our lives and it stays with us when we CONSISTENTLY do the things we know are right.

"President Joseph F. Smith taught, 'There can never come to the world that spirit of peace and love ... until mankind will receive God's truth and God's message ..., and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine.'"

"We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness.  This peace is a promised gift of the Savior's mission and atoning sacrifice." 

Thought: Once again the importance of families striving to live the gospel together is brought to my attention.  I know this is everywhere within the LDS church, but it seems to be a more urgent and pressing issue to me (maybe to others as well?) within the last 6 months.  A daily devotional has been the most important area of our homeschool that I make sure we do first thing every morning and it really does make a difference in our home.  It is through these kinds of actions that I can make the greatest contribution to peace and sharing the gospel with others, by teaching my children the correct principles and how to share it with others.  

"The peace to which I am referring to is not just a temporary tranquility.  It is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment."

"'His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.'" -Heber J. Grant

"We all long for peace.  Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention.  Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life's devastating trials and tragedies."

"Remember, 'God is not the author of confusion, but [the author] of peace.'"

"'To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.'"

Thought: The "surprises" part reminded me of our wonderful lesson in Sunday school.  I can't remember the scripture exactly, but in general it said when we master certain commandments we will be given more commandments "and not a few."  At first glance this seems more threatening than enticing! However, we talked about how every commandment comes with a big blessing, or surprise!  As we follow commandments we are blessed so much! The more commandments we are given, and follow, the more blessings our Heavenly Father rains down on us.  I know with my kids when I want to give them something I usually come up with a task of some sort they need to do to earn the reward, this is so they appreciate the reward more and understand the value of it.  I imagine commandments and blessings work similarly. 
"What are the sources of peace?  Many search for peace in worldly ways, which never have and never will succeed.  Peace in not found by attaining great wealth, power, or prominence.  Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment, or leisure.  None of these can, even when attained in abundance, create any lasting happiness or peace."
"The answer is the Savior, who is the source and author of peace.  He is the 'Prince of Peace.'"

"How do we stay close to the Savior? Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace ... Repentance and living righteously allow for peace of conscience, which is essential for contentment..."

"The church is a refuge where followers of Christ attain peace.  Some young people in the world say they are spiritual but not religious.  Feeling spiritual is a good first step.  However, it is in the Church that we are fellowshipped, taught, and nourished by the good word of God.  More importantly, it is priesthood authority in the Church that provides for sacred ordinances and covenants that bind families together and qualify each of us to return to God the Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom.  These ordinances bring peace because they are covenants of the Lord."

"Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world ... In the celestial room, free from the turmoil of the world, she [a Hindu woman of Indian descent] dissolved in tears as she expressed the feelings of peace that overwhelmed her.  She felt the Holy Ghost comforting and bearing witness of the sacred nature of the temple."

Thought: The feeling of peace I feel inside the temple is completely different than any other kind of peace.  I feel the temptations of the world lifted off me when I am there, I can feel the presence of my Heavenly Father and His love and concern for me, nothing compares to the feeling of peace within the temple.  Lately as I think back on my temple experiences and the feelings I have there (I wish I could elaborate more, but because of the sacred nature it must remain in the temple...if you have the opportunity to go or work to be worthy to enter the temple please do! Your life will be forever changes and your eyes will be opened to amazing truths about your spiritual nature!), I KNOW all of the teachings are true and it makes my outlook on my mortal life so simple.  We are here for one attain a body, follow Christ, and earn our places back in God's kingdom.  I have this kind of view of life and the teachings in the temple shows me the whole is so different than I have always pictured it...there is no way to fully express the feeling of KNOWING why we are on earth and the reason behind everything that happens (because there IS a reason for everything!).  It is inexpressible in a way you can only understand after attending the temple. :)  
"The Savior is the source of true peace.  Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior's Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.  'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you' ... 'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'"
"Life up your hearts in praise of God;
Let your rejoicings never cease.
Though tribulations rage abroad,
Christ says, 'In me ye shall have peace.'"

I know from experience that true peace only comes from following the commandments, participating in church and the temple, reading scriptures and the words of our modern day prophets and apostles, and accepting Christ in my life and actively repenting and consistently trying to better myself.  If anyone who reads this feels they do not have that deep abiding peace spoken of in this talk, please send me a message.  I am not perfect, but I have attained this great and amazing peace, and I would be beyond happy to be able to help others find this peace for themselves. <3 font="">

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 8, 2013 - More Diligent and Concerned at Home

Almost two years later and I am back!  Too much has happened to recount in detail, so here's the short version.  Ernest made it home safe.  We had a beautiful baby girl November 11, 2011, Aria Marie.  Ernest has switched to Army Reserves and is now working in Natural Gas and we live in Edinburg, Tx.  I started my own business helping people become healthier and losing weight as an It Works! Distributor.  Ok, now that we are all caught up on life events I will continue...

At this time I feel impressed to use this blog as a sort of diary.  As I strive to make my house a home and become the wife and mother I feel my Heavenly Father wants me to be I have grown a lot as a person.  One of the greatest things I can do in this life (aside from making the string of choices that will ultimately lead me back to my Heavenly Father) is to share the truth that I am blessed to have in my life.  I'm the kind of person who, when I find something amazing, I want to share with EVERYONE! That's why I make a great Network Marketer (huge aspect in my business), although up until owning my own business and learning how to properly and efficiently run it did I realize many of the same principles applied to the Gospel.  I have the gift of a strong testimony, I don't just believe the gospel is true, I know WITHOUT A DOUBT that it is true, even when I had small doubts along the way I could never fully deny it.  As soon as I cast off all doubts and embraced the truth, I have changed...I no longer look for excuses, I am blessed and I am truly happy and content.  I want to share this with others.  I believe everything happens for a reason, every talent is given for a reason.  In Sunday School last Sunday we were taught that each person is given a different talent so as to lift up and strengthen everyone else on earth.  This blog is not just a journal to me, it is a way I can use my talents to share my daily spiritual experiences with everyone I can.  It is a way I can be a missionary.  It is a way I can touch lives who need the power of God in them.  If you come across this blog, and you experience for even the slightest moment a desire, impression, or thought to share with someone, please do.  Every GOOD desire, impression, or thought is from our Heavenly Father and you never know what the reason may be.

Today I was browsing pinterest skimming homemade chore charts to inspire my creativity to create something for Troah and I came across this blog:  Weekly Family Home Evening has never been one of my strengths, though I have a great desire to follow the commandment to hold FHE every Monday night.  As I read through the "getting started" section she asked her readers to begin by reading "More Diligent and Concerned at Home" by Elder David A. Bednar (  As I read it certain paragraphs stood out to me so I shared them on Facebook (, but I felt like that wasn't enough, so I pondered a moment and immediately resurrected this blog...and now we're here :)  So for the rest of this entry I will be sharing the excerpts that stand out to me, my thoughts, impressions, and promptings...I aim to write as I would in my journal rather than to an audience.  I would love to hear any thoughts, impressions, promptings you may have as well...after-all, we are all here to teach and learn from each other :)

Suggestion Number One: Express Love—and Show It

President Thomas S. Monson recently counseled: “Often we assume that [the people around us] must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. … We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 86).

We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we express love—and consistently show it.

Suggestion Number Two: Bear Testimony—and Live It

“That which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do” D&C 46:7

Thought: Am I living in a way that I can hear the Spirit testify what I should do? If not, what could be the consequences of not hearing specific and personal instruction?

Feeling the power, the edification, and the constancy of testimony from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such testimony fortifies faith and provides direction. Such testimony generates light in a world that grows increasingly dark. Such testimony is the source of an eternal perspective and of enduring peace.

Thought: What keeps me from bearing my testimony more to my family? I believe setting an example is a great way to bear testimony; however, there must be a great power in verbally conveying my knowledge of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and the whole of the gospel.  If it "fortifies faith and provides direction" then what is keeping me back from talking about it?  Perhaps a fear of rejection?  Any reason to not bear my testimony revolves around some kind of fear...and that kind of fear only comes from Lucifer...which must mean that nothing positive can come from keeping it to myself.  I MUST strive to share my testimony to my family more often.
We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we bear testimony—and consistently live it.

Suggestion Number Three: Be Consistent

Sister Bednar and I thought helping our sons understand the content of a particular lesson or a specific scripture was the ultimate outcome. But such a result does not occur each time we study or pray or learn together. The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps the greatest lesson—a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time.

Thought:Consistency is key. I need to put this on my mirror as this is the biggest reason I fail to gather my family for regular scripture study, prayer, FHE is the doubt of if it is all worth the frustration and stress.  It IS worth it!  

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.
“express love—and show it,” to “bear testimony—and live it,” and to “be consistent.”

Thought: The opposite of this counsel is hypocrisy.  If I express love without showing it and bear testimony without living it, I am a hypocrite.  I must be consistently striving to follow the teachings I have declared belief in to maintain my integrity as a true daughter of God.
“But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thought: I know that Elder Bednar is an apostle of God, he speaks truth and I know if I follow his counsel to express my love to my family more often and bear my testimony consistently, I will be given the promptings I and my family needs to follow the path back to our Heavenly Father.  Acting on these teachings, even though they are hard, is what it means to be a mother, and there is truly nothing else I want to be more than the best mother for my children. 
Until next time,

           Katie, xoxo

Monday, August 1, 2011

and so it begins...

Yesterday was a difficult day, Troah and I dropped Ernest off to begin his deployment.  I was pretty proud of how well we held it together (particularly my emotional self), and aside from asking "Where did daddy go?" Troah seems to understand "well, he is getting on a bus [Troah: a BUS??], then an airplane [Troah: what?! an AIRPLANE?!], then he has to stay at work for a really long time" pretty well.  He is mostly excited for daddy that he gets to ride a bus and airplane. ;)

After dropping Ernest off we made it home around noon and Troah watched Veggie Tales "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" while I deep cleaned the entire house.  At one point Troah came running to me saying "Mom! Pirate Troah!" I figured out he wanted to be a pirate with Bob, Larry, and Mr. Lunt, so I wrapped a bandana around his head, laid his blue blankey out on the floor for water, put a box on it for a boat, then gave him the carboard cylinder found in paper towels.  He was grinning from ear to ear and loving being Pirate Troah...

That evening I put him in his room to play his mobigo system then he fell asleep shortly after, after several late nights he was exhausted and I'm sure he will be catching up on sleep for the next few days!

The night before Ernest left we went to Las Cruces, NM for a barbecue, turned out there was lot of booze so we didn't even get out of the car, rather we went to Papa Murphys (sadly, they do not have on in El Paso), picked up a couple pizzas then came home to enjoy them.  We watched UFC, Daddy helped Troah do some gymnastics, and helped Dad finish packing.
 Delicious Papa Murphys!
 My hero in more ways than one, providing me with delicious Garlic Chicken Pizza!
Last evening together
Poor boy was exhausted!


 Ernest called around midnight to let me know they were stopping off in Maine before continuing on.  His ankle is swelling and hurts, but hopefully he can get it all back down and under control.  

That's all for now! Have a good week yall!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby, dog, couponing, and upcoming deployment...

Okay, I officially suck as a blog writer since it has been over 3 months since my last post.  My excuse...I was finishing up my Associates of Arts emphasis in psychology degree.  I completed my courses July 10 and have been adjusting to being a full-time mom without the distraction of being a full-time student as well, I have to say I love it!  So much has happened in the last few months, and while I keep my facebook updated (probably over-updated) I want to stay updated here as well, as I hope my blog will be more lasting than my facebook page.

Shortly after Ernest returned from NTC (pre-deployment training on Ft Irwin, California), we headed to San Antonio to visit our good friends the Ramirez's.  While in San Antonio we went to a 3d ultrasound place to learn the gender of our baby!  I was 17 weeks at the time and we just couldn't wait any longer to find out!

It's a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My little sea monkey

17.5 weeks

Two days after learning we are going to add a baby girl to our little family I felt her for the first time.  Ernest was on the couch watching television, while Carolynn and  I were doing homework and I felt our little girl start kicking!  What an exciting moment it was ;) 

Two weeks later, back in El Paso, we had our next doctors appointment followed by the "official" ultrasound.  Thankfully the baby was still a girl and we had a name ready for the ultrasound pictures! Aria Marie Rodriguez.
Sucking on her thumb (every ultra sound she had been a thumb sucker)
An awesome 2d pic of her face :)
19 weeks
Thankfully the awful morning sickness that claimed me the entire nine months of Troah's pregnancy has lessened for this pregnancy!  Wow, I can actually function and feel good while I'm pregnant, it's an amazing concept :)  The last doctors appointment went well, although the placenta is still at the bottom of my uterus, so I should be getting another ultrasound next week or the week after to see if it has decided to move yet.  Here is my growing belly up to now:
20 weeks
22 weeks

24 weeks

At 24 weeks pregnant Aria is jumping around like crazy (which I love feeling), and I'm feeling pretty good for the most part!  I've had a little nausea creeping back into my life, though I attribute that to being more physically active since finishing school (more time for cleaning, playing with Troah/dogs, and working out), so I suppose I just need to monitor myself better and take it easy.  

Another new addition to our family is a German Shepherd named Oso.  A friend of ours was unable to keep him, so we took him in.  Though he has been somewhat difficult with adjusting to a new family, we have started crate training him and switched him to a higher quality food.  He seems to be doing better (though he still sneaks into the pantry and eats our bread if we don't keep a close eye on him), and I'm sure he will fully adjust in no time at all :)  Here are some pictures of him with Cloud and Troah.

Troah and Oso LOVE to play together, Oso is getting much better at giving the rope up when he fetches it rather than trying to play tug-o-war, Troah is always excited for our outdoor play time with his new buddy :)

Aside from new baby and new puppy, since finishing school my life has revolved around deep cleaning my house a couple times a week (nesting instinct set in early) and learning how to coupon!  My wonderful mother mailed me a book called "Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom."  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn to save money on groceries!  She focuses first on learning to shop by sales (and stock up when your "high impact items" are on sale) then adding coupons into the strategy.  I admit I have not been great at coupons yet, but the sales have already saved us about $50 each shopping trip.  I do have a great coupon collection started though, and my goal is to begin planning my shopping trips by sales and coupons after August 1.  

Ernest is scheduled to deploy July 31 (could be the day before or the day after, though) to Iraq.  Last week he participated in a combatives class (pretty much his job was to beat up the soldiers in lower levels than him, he was pretty excited ;)), and injured his ankle.  After a couple days the swelling was only getting worse and the bruising was quite impressive.  

Taking advantage in Costco, if only we got temporary handicapped parking passes...

We decided it would probably be best for him to go to the ER to get it x-rayed and make sure it wasn't broken.  Luckily he was only at the ER for a few hours with no broken foot, but they gave him crutches and a nice boot to keep it safe.  He spoke to the military ortho doctor a couple days ago and found the ligaments are pulled away from the bone (ouch!) but he is still deployable.  He will work in the aid station though, rather than as a line medic.  Something I am very grateful for!  

So that is what has been happening in my life lately!  Ernest leaves this weekend, and I am just hoping I can help Troah feel secure without his dad.  He has been acting out recently (I'm positive as a result of Ernest leaving soon), and I am constantly trying to figure out how best to deal with his melt downs (sometimes it means sticking him in his room then going to my room for my own melt down).  Troah is really a sweet boy though, so I know everything will be alright :)  He has gymnastics on Saturdays and I am going to sign him up for swim lessons twice a week during the month of August, so we will survive I am sure!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ernest is gone, Shaina is here, and conference was awesome!

So much for my goal to blog once a week!!  In all fairness I had every intention to, but as priorities happen, other things came along that took up my time.  My plan was to blog two Sundays ago (oh my, did I really miss three weeks since my last blog??) after General Conference and share my favorite quotes and my amazing insights. ;)  However, that apparently did not happen.  What has happened since my last blog?  As Troah says, Hmmmmm leeets seeee.....

Since my last post we enjoyed a wonderful weekend of General Conference.  I even kept especially good notes to be able to share with all of you...unfortunately, I cannot seem to find my GC notebook I guess that blog post will have to wait till later.

On April 8 (very early in the morning) Troah and I dropped off Ernest at work so he could leave for a month to NTC (I don't know what it stands for, but it is basically pre-deployment training) in Fort Irwin, California.  As he was packing his bags the previous night I asked him if he packed his phone charger because that is usually an item he forgets.  He said, "No, but we can't use our phones anyways." I looked at him wondering why he would say that, what does he care what the rules say?  If he wants to take his phone he would! Besides, he took his phone last time he went to NTC, but oh well.  So I figured at least we could get one or two calls in before his phone died, because being the wife I am, I KNEW he would show up there, find ample time to use his cell phone as I'm sure many other guys were taking their phones as well (who doesn't take their cell phone?).  So as we drop him off he ends up giving me his phone....*sigh* I put on a smile anyways because I know he won't listen to me (if your a guy and your reading this, ALWAYS listen to your wife, she is ALWAYS right :p).  So...guess how many times I've heard from my wonderful husband?  ONCE.  Yup, apparently he borrowed someone's cell phone.  Ironic, eh?  Oh well, just another experience for him to realize he should listen to me. :D

Now most wives might be upset to have a husband who did not take better precautions to ensure communication when he is going to be absent a month, but I have good reason to be happy :)  (well, as happy as I can be with my other half several states away) my best friend Shaina came to visit!!  I have to say, it is nice living with a woman, lol!  The house is cleaner, Troah gets more attention during the day, we take turns cooking/ is fantastic!  Not to mention she wanted to do the same diet/exercise program I did recently, which is helping me to eat healthier as well...diets are always easier when you have a supportive partner. ;)  So Shaina flew in April 12 and we have been having a ball ever since.  I had to introduce her to my favorite television show, Better With You, so now our days refer to different quotes from that show and we laugh all day!  Troah absolutely LOVES Shaina (honestly, who couldn't love Shaina?  I have determined she is impossible to not love) and we both crack up when we hear him through out the day, "Shaaaiiinna!!  What are you doing?" Or if he does not like what I say he goes to Shaina and says, "Shaaiinna! Plleeeaaase!" It is just too funny!

Last night we had the pleasure to take my dear friend Lena out to dinner for her birthday to Cheddars.  It was absolutely delicious and we were all dressed up and pretty for our night out!  Unfortunately, we were unable to hold with tradition and have  picture taken before we left Lena's house, then it was just too late by the time we dropped Lena off so Shaina and I will be going over to visit Lena sometime this week to get a picture of the three of us, then I'll post it here for your viewing pleasure.

Sadly, I have been unable to attend church the last couple weeks (before and after conference) due to being sick!  So yesterday I decided I was feeling pretty good so I should definitely plan the lesson for my Sunday School class (14-15 year olds) and it was a fantastic lesson!  Though a little oddly put together in the manual, however I think I learned more than the kids did!  The lesson was on the Keys to Heaven (the priesthood) and there were three parts, the one I wanted to mention here was about the Transfiguration of Christ before he experienced the atonement.  I had NEVER heard of this before!!  It was an extremely significant event in the New Testament, this is when Peter, James, and John received the keys of the Priesthood from Moses and Elijah (the very same angels who gave the priesthood keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry).  Peter, James, and John were also shown what the earth would look like after the Second Coming and they were told/prepared for Christ's sacrifice.  At this time Heavenly Father transfigured Christ so He could receive comfort and preparation for the atonement, which wasn't too far in the future.  I just thought this story was amazing and had to share it!  I was so proud of my class today, through out the lesson every one of them participated by reading scriptures and giving input into the discussion.  I have never seen better behaved teenagers for class, I love them!

In Relief Society we had a fantastic lesson about the Sabbath.  So Shaina and I come home and think, we should definitely do our best today to keep the Sabbath holy after that lesson!  So we made lunch for ourselves and Troah then played with Troah before putting him down for his nap, then we decided to watch the Priesthood session from conference, and it was fantastic!  My favorite talk was by the Prophet, he is so funny and has such amazing insights (not surprising) and my favorite quote from him is, "Choose your love, love your choice."  His entire talk was beautiful and I definitely want to keep up with the Priesthood sessions seeing as I am raising a future Priesthood holder. ;)

So that's pretty much what we have been up to, mostly hanging out and waiting for a certain man to try and call home, but we are having a blast and I will be so sad when Shaina leaves!  I will definitely have to kidnap her for the next time Ernest goes out of town, it definitely makes the absence of my love easier!!

I wish you all a Happy Sunday!  And now that I have Shaina here to remind me, I should remember to blog again next week ;)  Next time I'll be adding pictures of our fun times!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In a nutshell....

With my last post being December 2009, I've decided I should just start fresh. Today. I've re-decorated my blog and ready to start a-fresh with a renewed commitment to blog at LEAST once a week! In a nutshell, since December 2009....We moved to San Antonio, TX for Ernest to attend occupational therapy school (March 2010), after attending school Ernest realized occupational therapy isn't his cup of tea, so he is still a medic (the best medic you will find in the U.S. Army ;)) and in October/November 2010 we moved to El Paso, Texas. Troah turned 2 in October and his Tia Barbie helped us throw an amazing Spongebob party!

Troah and his cousin Ariel

Delicious Spongebob Cake! Happy Birthday Troah!

Troah, Anna, and the HUGE Spongebob pinata!

Troah taking out Spongebob!

The magic behind the scenes ;)

After celebrating Troah's birthday in San Antonio, Troah and I drove to Montana to spend some time with the Rogers/Nevilles while Ernest got our new house in El Paso set up for us.
We got to play in some leaves

For Christmas we were lucky enough to travel up to Montana to spend the holidays with my family :) Unfortunately, throughout the trip we had two car accidents. On the way up to Montana when we were passing through Price, UT, we slid off the road then blew out the transmission trying to get back on track. So we left the Truck in Price and rented a fabulous brand new Expedition! We made it the rest of the way, had an amazing time and wished we didn't have to leave! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for the trip so all our Christmas pictures are on Lelsy's camera, I'll post them as soon as I get them from her. :)

The last day before we had to leave I took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, it was positive! We spent the last day celebrating and discussing names, happy as clams. On the way home, the day after we picked up our newly fixed truck, we slid off the road again but into a steep ditch, which caused our truck to roll. We were all perfectly fine, I went to the closest ER and was checked out just fine. We had to rent another car to make it back to El Paso...The truck, very sadly, was totaled. Ernest spent a few parting moments saying goodbye to his beloved truck, almost had me in tears for him! He climbed into the rental and turned to me and said, "Well, I guess I can't have too much good stuff. God says either my truck or another baby...I'm really glad I get another baby." There he did it, almost had me in tears again! Despite all our bad luck with travelling we were in incredible good spirits and grateful we were safe and together!

On January 5, a few days after making it back to El Paso I began bleeding. We went into the ER and discovered I had miscarried. It was a very difficult time for us both and took a few weeks before the emotional breakdowns settled down. I am so grateful Ernest was here with me, I do not know what I would have done without him by my side!

On January 29 we were making our first trip to Costco (thanks to my parents for our Costco membership!) and while stopped at a stop light an old Mexican decided not to pay attention to the road and rammed my sweet orange caliber, pushing us into the truck in front of us. Gratefully again, none of us were badly hurt (although Ernest did have minor whiplash). Sadly, my caliber was totaled. So then we had a rental for about three weeks as we searched and searched for a new car. After many tears of frustration we settled on a white 2004 VW Jetta, her name is Genevieve (we thought giving her a name would provide her with better luck than our previous cars).

That's what has happened since December 2009 in a nutshell!

PS- I am not sure why the format suddenly decided to underline everything I write, but I can't figure out how to get it to not underline my text, sorry!