for katie

Nov 20, 2010 by

so final it seems
No more of her hugs
No more mommy-made dinners
No more special Easter dresses
stitched up by her hand

It’s true
those things will end

But what will begin?
What faith will grow?
What help will be given by an army of angels?
What will she do for her family from the other side?

We do not know,
we cannot say

Only that she is safe and pain-free
Her love for you continues
Her love will never end
Her watchful care is real
She waits to hold you all again
And with the life she led, her faith lives on.

is fleeting,
not forever

If we could only understand.

Katie Hansen, young mother of six, passed away this week after fighting the good fight, faithful to the end, and blessing those of us who knew her with her love, her optimism, her humor, and her testimony of Jesus Christ.

Goodbye Katie, we will see you soon.

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jonah – the cutest version ever

Nov 15, 2010 by

If you need to smile, laugh, renew your faith in goodness, remember God’s love for you, or just want to start your day off on the right foot, go watch this video right now. You will love it!

It sure brought back memories of when Blythe gave talks like that!

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the unconquerable room – or so i thought

Nov 15, 2010 by

You know the “room”. That room. The room that is overflowing with all the stuff you have no idea what to do with. Maybe you don’t have a room like that. Maybe you are so orderly and on top of things that you don’t have that room, but I seem to have one at all times (and many times I have several).

Well, my entire family is coming in to town next week and we are going to need every ounce of space we have under this roof, so I have been working and working and working for what feels like months to get my home in order so everyone can feel comfortable while they are here.

I did the bedrooms, I did the dining room, I did the laundry room, I did the bathrooms, I did the storage room, I did the storage room hallway, I did the underneath-the-stairs room, but that room still seemed unconquerable to me. It has been all too easy to shut the door and pretend the giant mountain of STUFF wasn’t there. Clutter is my nemesis. I hate it and it overwhelms me and somehow I can ignore it for months years on end until I finally notice how gargantuan the clutter has become and decide to tackle it.

I have been working for the last several hours on that room and have made a ton of progress! The best part is I have been listening to downloads from past TJED Forums and have been inspired while I have been cleaning!

My faves from today?

Stronger, Wiser, Deeper, Brighter, Sweeter, Finer, Gentler, Kinder:
How Classics Lead Us and our Children to Be More
by Heather Burton

The Freedom Crisis by Oliver DeMille

The Heart of a Man by Dale Milsap

If you don’t have these downloads and you need some inspiration in your life, you can find them at TJED Marketplace. I think they are $4 each. I always buy all the recordings and then listen to them throughout the year as I am washing dishes, sewing, driving, or you know, cleaning that room.

I am starting to have hope that just maybe I can get it clean and we can have a sewing room again…and Cameron can have a place to live next week when he comes all the way from Wisconsin!

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thank you america

Nov 11, 2010 by

I love America. I love it through and through. I am so grateful to have been born here in the fruited plains of freedom. On this special day of honoring veterans, my heart is full and I can’t stop crying after listening to this tribute by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

So lovely…

After talking to my children about Veteran’s Day and showing them this video, I challenged them to make something for their Grandpa Ward today to show him how thankful they are for his military service in the Vietnam War.

Thank you to everyone who has helped America be a land of freedom, a land of opportunity, a land of goodness. May it ever be so.

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live an outstanding life

Oct 12, 2010 by

I was reading over at Maggie’s Month and saw this post. Read, watch, cry, rejoice, and then do it again!

p.s. Our project for Maggie’s Month is almost ready to launch. It is called Make It For Maggie and is going to be oodles of fun! Keep November 6th open and be watching here for all the details coming soon!

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i can do it with a smile

Oct 10, 2010 by

I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately. Stressed out, exhausted, and at times, without hope. I watched this video this morning and tears were brought to my eyes, hope to my heart, and yes, a smile to my face.

Trust me. Watch the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks Jess for the heads up about it…it was just what I needed to day.

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by our love – christy nockels

Oct 9, 2010 by

My friend Kari shared this song and video with me and I fell in love with the words. I am up to my neck in cleaning and rearranging my home…remember the great bedroom rearrangement project…and I took a short break to listen to this song. The more I listened, the more I loved it. I listened to a few more of her songs and now I want to listen to all of them! I have to get back to work though, so I will limit myself to sharing this one with you.

Brothers, let us come together
Walking in the Spirit
There’s much to be done
We will come reaching out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love

Sisters, we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us
We will come reaching with a song a healing
And they will know us by our love

The time is now
Come church arise
Love with His hands
See with His eyes
Bind it around you
Let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

Children you are hope for justice
Stand firm in the truth now
Set your hearts above
You will be reaching long after we’re gone
And they will know you by your love

The time is now
Come church arise
Love with His hands
See with His eyes
Bind it around you
Let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

The time is now
Come church arise
Love with His hands
See with His eyes
Bind it around you
Let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

By Christy Nockels

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which side are you on?

Oct 6, 2010 by

Today I share with you the moving story of Gianna, an abortion survivor. Watch and weep and rejoice and remember and let the fire of truth be lit in your soul.

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some more favorite quotes

Oct 5, 2010 by

I have some more favorite conference quotes to share today. Enjoy!

In family relationships, love is really spelled t-i-m-e.

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.
~Sister Wixom~

A teacher’s attitude is not taught, it’s caught.
~Brother McConkie~

We will not change our moral standards.
~Boyd K. Packer~

Challenges and temptations are coming toward our teenagers with the speed of a freight train.
~Larry R. Lawrence~

Parenting is not a popularity contest.
~Larry R. Lawrence~

I gained some new perspectives from Elder Gong’s talk on family relationships and love the concept he taught of a generation of family relationships being shown in the temple mirrors. During his talk I made a whole list of ways I want to teach my children the concept of eternal family lines and can’t wait to get started. They, of course, know about eternal families as that is a big focus in our home, but I don’t think I have fully taught family lines.

Some of the things we have done to teach about our eternal family are

1. We celebrate our anniversary as a family and talk about how this is the day our family was created.

2. We call the Salt Lake Temple our temple because that is where our family was created.

3. We have a sign in our home which reads “No Empty Chairs” which refers to the concept that in the eternal worlds we want each member of our family with us.

4. We often talk about eternal families and emphasize that teaching in our Family Home Evenings.

Now, I have some new ideas to teach specifically about the sealing power and the strength of family lines.

At the end of his talk, Elder Wong said something like “We will find ourselves home, pure and clean, sealed together in family lines of love.” It’s what I am striving for.

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favorite conference quotes

Oct 4, 2010 by

This weekend was the General Conference for my church. This is a time for Latter-day Saints to gather together all over the world and listen to our prophet and other leaders give us counsel from God.

It is my favorite time of year. I love conference. I love listening, learning, and laughing. I love crying, pondering, and recommitting to be a more Christlike woman. As often as possible, I get my girls to Salt Lake City so they can attend with their grandma. Sometimes I get to attend also. This was one of those times and it was fabulous!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Conference:

Agency is precious.
~Boyd K. Packer~

Trust comes from knowing God.
~Henry B. Eyring~

Each of us is an individual child of God.
~Henry B. Eyring~

The devil will not triumph. He cannot take away any blessings earned, he cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions. He has no power to destroy eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children. He cannot quench true faith. He cannot take away your testimony. Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations, but he has no power in and of himself to destroy them.
~Richard G. Scott~

When it comes to a mature knowledge or testimony of the truth, we should not be dependent on a mortal mediator between us and our Heavenly Father.
~Dallin H. Oaks~

Don’t just express gratitude, live in gratitude.
~Thomas S. Monson~

Gratitude unlocks the doors of heaven and helps me feel God’s love.
~Thomas S. Monson~

The road of discipleship is not for the faint of heart.
~Neil L. Anderson~

The more your character is fortified the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith.
~Richard G. Scott~

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become.
~Richard G. Scott~

Choose faith over doubt. Choose faith over fear. Choose faith over the unknown and the unseen and choose faith over pessimism.
~Richard C. Edgley~

God does not rule in cities, but he calls individuals to change their part of the world.
~Henry B. Eyring~

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one true thing…ditto elise

Sep 28, 2010 by

Tonight I was given another gift from the wonderful Elise at A Path Made Straight. Just trust me and go read it.

Right now.

I am adopting this practice right now.

Tell me one true thing.

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tender mercy #9948390483902

Aug 24, 2010 by

I believe in an amazing God. A God that can create worlds, move mountains, walk on water, bring people back to life, and cure people of cancer. He can also heal hearts hardened by anger, sorrow, or abuse. He can give people a whole new perspective. He can change lives.

Not only can He.

He does.

He does those things and many more every single day.

I made a last minute decision to mentor a math class this fall and I need a specific, somewhat obscure math book for it. I am quickly running out of time to create this class. I found the book online and it is about $10-$15 on Amazon. On Friday, I got the prompting to go look at our local used book store for it. I looked at the three shelves of math books and the third book in on the top shelf was my book! For $3.99! I quickly scanned the rest of the books to see if their were any more amazing treasures. Nope. All the rest of the books were boring and dusty and far too technical for my taste. Just the one book, waiting right where I would find it, at a great price, in perfect condition.

God knew it was so.

And He sent me there.

Not because I couldn’t have ordered it off of Amazon. But because He chose to show His love for me. His intimate knowledge of me and the fact that I needed that book right now, not whenever it would come from Amazon. His compassion for me. His tender mercy.

He knows. He loves. He does.

He is.

I hope to always remember that.

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jane’s new home

Aug 24, 2010 by


Top row, then bottom row:
RuthAnne 17, Daniel 15, Noah 18, Sophie 18, Elizabeth 14, Isabelle 9, Jane, Elijah 12, and Kate 9.

This is Jane. She is my friend and has been for the last thirteen years or so. I remember the day I first heard about Jane. Her sister-in-law lived in my ward and she said “You are my sister-in-law’s twin! You remind me so much of her! I attended her last birth and she was just like you, laboring in water, eating healthy food, breastfeeding. You would love her. Maybe some day she will come visit and if she does, I will make sure I introduce you two soulmates.”

Well, pretty soon Jane not only came to visit, but she moved right down the street from me. We started hanging out together. A lot. I went over every few days to have lunch with her at her huge wooden table with benches (Guess what? Now I have a table with benches) or to picnic on the lawn. She taught me how to make pesto, shared her love of gardening, fed me delicious homemade bread, and gave me her heart. We spent hours talking about life, mothering, music, hiking, cooking, and faith. She taught me how a mother trusts the Lord. She showed me how a busy mother of many children can serve her friends and neighbors. She blessed me with her knowledge of the Savior’s love for her and helped me see the Savior’s love for me. She taught me how to nurture children and be a busy homeschooling mother. She grounded me in goodness.

Quite simply, she was my friend.

I moved away and we kept up our friendship. I would drop in on her whenever I went to Pocatello. We would sit around nursing our babies, laughing, discussing wonderful books, and listening to Sophie practice her cello. She watched my girls when I attended births or had doula appointments. She fed me delicious food. She threw a party for us after a cello recital. She shared her garden’s creations.

I remember once when she was watching Blythe for me and Blythe and Elizabeth cut their hair. Jane knew that this was Blythe’s first “haircut” and she saved all the pieces of hair for me in a ziplock bag. How precious and dear is that?

I remember when she was pregnant with the twins and how huge her uterus was. She birthed those two precious girls with bravery and beauty. She nursed them, two at a time, with a smile on her face.

Her husband left her and still she kept smiling, kept serving, kept loving.

Sometimes we would meet at a park and watch our children play together all afternoon. I remember one day, my friend Delinda and I were at Ross Park and in swooped Jane and her eight children on bikes. We had so much fun together and truly loved one another deep down to our little toes.

I can’t even count the number of times I was at her home and she was cooking dinner for someone else. As a single mom, without an income, without hope of getting an income, she was constantly cooking, giving, and loving others. Always. It didn’t matter what was going on in her own life, she was thinking of others and blessing all of us with her love.

Then Jane discovered she had breast cancer. Her hair fell out, her body struggled, and her faith shone. We laughed at her various head coverings and tried to design ones that would help her look her best. We prayed and fasted and worried and hoped.

Jane was beautiful as she went through treatment because her spirit kept on being beautiful. Kept on reaching out to others.

Then her house caught on fire. She insisted she didn’t need anything and shared her gratitude that her family was safe and together.

Then she discovered she had a brain tumor.

And now? Now she has been given a new home by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Her community has created a miracle for my dear Jane and I cannot even think of it without crying my eyes out.

People are good. Yes, they are.

Old Home:
Jane's Old Home

New Home:
Jane's New Home

Today is the day her family will be welcomed home. To their home. Designed for them and built with the love of thousands of people.

I am so happy for her. For each of them.

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mamahooper: she writes, i read

Mar 25, 2010 by

Another one of Elise’s mind-expanding, soul-filling, heart-warming posts. Her words of wisdom and truth help me feel as if I am curled up with a hot rice sock, a dear friend, and yummy food.

Someday I hope to meet her in person and give her a big hug for the good she has done my impatient, impertinent, and imperfect self.

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i can only imagine

Mar 24, 2010 by

Two posts from me in one day? Well, after the drought of the past eight days I thought I would bless you with some life-sustaining nourishment for the soul.

You have perhaps heard of Dick and Rick Hoyt. If not, let me tell you about them. Rick was born with cerebral palsy. His doctors told his parents he had no cerebral functioning, would never understand anything, and would be a vegetable of a person his whole life. They recommended he be put in an institution and left behind.

His parents said “No.”

They brought him home and loved him. They held him. They talked to him. They watched Bruins games as a family and he watched with them. They tried to raise him like any other child. They knew something was going on in his brain because of the light in his eyes and the strange sounds he would make at jokes. After many years they were able to have a computer made for him that would allow him to use his eyes and mouth twitches to type out his thoughts. No one knew if it would work or if something really was going on inside his brain.

GO BRUINS was what he typed that first day.

The beginning of his communication journey.

Later, he found out about a five mile run. He typed to his dad that he wanted to do it. His dad was overweight, out of shape, and in no condition to run five miles. He said “Okay son, we will do it.”

They finished second to last, but they finished. To everyone’s amazement, they finished.

He typed another message “Dad, when I was in the race I didn’t feel disabled.”

The beginning of his athletic journey.

Now, he and his father have done hundreds of races and specialize in the triathlon. They love doing Iron Man races and together they are changing the meaning of the word CAN.

If you want to give yourself hope, joy, and determination, go watch this video now. Do yourself a favor, get the tissues before you hit play.

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