Friday, September 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

Just a little warning before you read this blog. First, it's long. Second, I usually I do not use my blog as a personal journal entry, which there is nothing wrong with, it's more for my family and friends who I never see, so they can get a glimpse of my life, whenever I happen to post, but life has definitely been riddled with ups and downs lately. And so, beware that the following is a little personal because I'm looking for an outlook for my thoughts. My husband is a super great journal keeper. Me? If scrapbooking counts, then I'm okay. Just bear with me.

My dad always says, "The Lord will not push us beyond what we are able to handle. He may push us to the edge, but he will not push us beyond." I've been thinking about this a lot lately and feel a little like I'm about to fall over that edge. I'm going to be super vague and probably all over the place, but maybe that is so you can relate to what I'm saying and be able to feel uplifted by my ramblings, or maybe it will just help me with my struggles.

I was reading my scriptures this morning and came across a saying by Pres. Faust. "In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd." Unfortunately, that is so true for me. I know when my life is going great and there seems to be no problems or needs, my prayers get more repetitious and my faith just floats stagnant. I walk through life doing the things I always do and I'm okay.

However, disappointment comes knocking sometimes, whether it is self-inflicted disappointment or disappointment caused through other's agency, but it does come. I have struggled with different things in my life: death, self worth, finances and infertility, but I know that I am blessed. This too shall pass .... isn't that the saying? It always passes and we are always stronger. Our prayers get more sincere, our faith is strengthened, even when we want to give up and say "I'm done, no more."

I remember at times in my life when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, especially with our adoption situation, that I would just get on my knees and plead with Heavenly Father to help me and my husband get through it. Sometimes life is hard and sometimes you just want to cry. For me, sometimes I just can't cry and I stuff all the emotion into this little bottle in my stomach that one of these days will explode. Regardless of my struggles and my choices, I've always kept to my faith. I might not have been the stellar exemplar of Mormonism, but I always had my testimony.

My heart has recently suffered knowing that people give up. Life tests you and sends trials your way and people give up. People stop trying and people lose their faith. It breaks my heart because what we have to lose is such a high price to pay. People you thought could withstand trial and tragedy, choose other paths. I know there is free agency, but it still makes me so sad. Friends are divorcing, family is struggling, people are walking away from the church and it just stinks. I think, "Could I have done something to be a better friend, to encourage more, to show my love to them that would have helped divert their choice?" I don't know. What makes people make the choices that they make? What makes people choose to walk away? Why are we given the trials that we have been given? I do not have the answers. I know that we've been promised that ..."he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven." Life is a struggle right now and it would be easy to give up. All in one week the pump on the well goes out, the washer is leaking and the checkbook ... well, it's leaking too because it seems like there's hardly anything in it ;) But, you figure it out. You make it work. People are thrown curve balls in life and you deal with it: injury, death, job loss, financial hardship and a lot of other hard things. Life is hard. Who better to be our example of enduring tribulation? The Savior. Elder Marion Romney said: "All who are being tried in the crucible of adversity and affliction: Take courage; revive your spirits and strengthen your faith. In these lessons so impressively taught in precept and example by our great exemplar, Jesus Christ, and his Prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith, we have ample inspiration for comfort and hope." We can do it. We are here to help each other, build each other up and make it back together where we are all supposed to be.

I was asked to teach Relief Society this Sunday.... and no, this isn't my lesson and I apologize if it sounded like one, but it was interesting for me to look at the lesson and find that it is on True Friendship. I just want to say that I love all my friends. I have so many good ones, ones that I see often, some that I hardly ever see and that doesn't matter because when we visit it as if we pick up right where we left off. Friends that I've recently reconnected with, old roommates, RS sisters, visiting teachers and some of my best friends are ones that I'm related to. I have great sisters, great sisters-in-law, great cousins-in-law, a great mother-in-law, people that I know I had a relationship with before I came to earth. To all of you, I'm grateful. Life does stink sometimes and sometimes it's not because of things that we do, sometimes it's because of what others do, but we can do it!! We're here to make it together and to love each other. Thanks for being my friend.

For me, the thing that helps me focus, the things that make it worth it is this........

We're trying to grow our little family and disappointment creeps in there as well. Things get lost, policies change and even fingerprints get returned due to lack of readability or something like that. My good friend asked me, "How does this happen to you guys?" My answer...."It's just our trial." This is what it's for. My wonderful husband whose testimony never wavers even when he comes in from a late scout meeting and I tell him the washer is leaking; even when I tell him at 5:00 in the morning when I'm trying to brush my teeth to go teach my early aerobics class that the water isn't working and there must be something wrong with the well pump; even when the economy throws a wrench into our savings, this is what's it all about. The blessing of a little boy that climbs into bed with you and says.... "Mom, I love you in the whole wild [world]"; A little boy that says "Good grief" when he spills the dog food while he's doing his morning chores; A little boy that thinks Tom's car is "amazing"' A little boy who says "I'm drinking my spit" during the family prayer at a funeral; a little boy that says, "Mom, we don't say stupid" (oops); a little boy that expresses his feelings about life with words like, "fantastic", "awesome" and "good job putting that puzzle piece there, Mom"; a little boy who helps me clean the toilets, dust the house and loves to help water the trees. Even when he helps me sweep and I'm sweeping that last little bit of dirt into the dust pan he says, "Thanks for letting me help with the sweeping, Mom." A little boy that has blessed my life beyond measure. This is what it's all about. Thanks for listening, thanks for understanding and thanks for being my friend.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lovin' Summer

I just love summer. We stay so busy with yard work and water fun and projects around the house. Life is great here in the Arizona sun. Brody is getting so big and says the funniest things. His favorite attire is this pair of goggles that actually go to his play work bench that he got for Christmas. He wears them in the tub, in the wading pool, and just on top of his head when he is walking around the house. He's a riot.
Summer also brings for our little family the 4th of July festivities. Rodeo, parades and the 10K United Families Run. I am going to brag for a minute because I shaved 11 minutes off my time from last year's run! Woo-Hoo!

We've had fun camping and bike riding and Rick is even training for a triathalon at Lake Powell this fall. Me? No thanks. I'm petrified of swimming for some reason. Something about not being able to touch freaks me out or maybe it was too many sisters pushing me under the water. I don't know.

One of my favorite things about summer is gardening. I love my vegetables and I absolutely love my flowers. I wish they would bloom all year long. We have already made a batch of salsa and after my "begtables", as Brody would say, that we picked last night, it looks like I'm ready for round two. I think I could intraveneously live on homemade salsa.

I hope you are all having a great and wonderful summer. We are looking forward to the rest of our harvest and, of course, our Halloween party that is just around the corner. Get your costumes ready because it will be a blast!! Brody is already giving his opinion about what we should be. Time to get sewing!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life Is Busy

I'm not going to even get started with the excuses, only to say that my life went from pretty slow to pretty darn fast paced. The last few months have been super crazy. The main thing has been cub scouts. I've been working in our scouting district for the Prescott area and have been putting together our cub scout day camp. I'm a den leader in our pack, but this was day camp for the entire district. All in all we had 155 kids. It was crazy and it is over and now I'm catching up on life, all the things that I've neglected, and in Amie's words, "like updating your blog?" and my house work, laundry, yard work, etc., etc. And so ,yes, here is what the Mangums have been up to for the last little while.

That AA -- that's me. Three strikes in a row baby!

We had these great plans to go camping and Brody was so excited. Forecast says...... rain, rain, rain. So we just camped out in our front room.

Brody and his daddy "The Easter Bunny."

Happy Birtday to me!!! Isn't this gorgeous? Rick made this gardening hutch for me to put on my porch for potting and seeds and this love I have found for gardening. I love it! Rick told Brody it was a "Poko" so that the surprise wouldn't be ruined. Rick is so talented. Unfortunately while moving it, it dropped on my foot and did this. Ouch!!

Did you know you could get a goose egg on your foot? Sheesh.

Family Home Evening!!

At the Scout-A-Rama!! I am biased I know but this kid is a lady killer!!

Okay -- so I am so proud of this next picture. For a while now I've been doing the coupon thing and I must say, at least for me, this was great. I got all of this for 79.85. I saved 62%. See that pineapple way in the back. On sale for 1.00. I had a coupon for .50 cents off. They doubled the coupon and so I paid nothing -- for a pineapple. There's 10 boxes of cereal there. Household cleaner. Give me any ideas you have on this concept because I'm addicted to coupons!!
Dick and Carole got their mission call to Austria and have entered the MTC. They leave for Germany on Wednesday and I'm a little surprised at myself at how emotional I have been over them leaving. I am really going to miss them and love them very much. They are great people and will make great missionairies.
These are my kids -- my pack-- and I love them. All the endless hours for day camp, this is what it's all about. My boys.

Last but not least, Happy Father's Day to my crazy husband who I love more than anything. 143 Ricky!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I know, I know, I know.

I told you all when I started this blog that I didn't know how well I would do with it. But, after a little chastisement from friends and family, I thought I would catch you all up on the "going-ons" in our little family. It's amazing that March is already here. Brody had his birthday and is now three years old. I can't believe it. Time flies too quickly. We celebrated in Disney "Cars" style at Grandma and Grandpa Mangums and it was a great party. Maybe by the time Brody is four he will figure out how to blow out his candles.

This was a crazy snow storm that we had a few weeks ago. We usually don't get this much snow, the snow we get usually melts within the day, but this snow was big for our little town and it was perfect for snowman building. I haven't done this in a very long time. It reminded me of making snowmen with the entire elementary school out in Cedar Fort at recess. Brody was so great at rolling the head!!We began the month of March with family here in Arizona. Andrea blessed baby Rachel and Amie was here from Japan. Brody is such a hambone!! When you say "say cheese" he of course yells at the top of his lungs. All Boy!!
Well, I don't know if you all remember how the potty training at our house began -- remember the toilet seat stuck on the head? Well, we have a little fetish going on. I heard Brody giggling in his room the other day and when I went to check, this is what I found. He is a riot.
So......... I know I need to be better at this blogging thing and I will try harder because to be honest, life hasn't been that busy lately, I've just been a little lazy with the blog. I blog stalk all of you, don't leave comments, and I am a little hypocritical to say I don't like it too much when you all take too much time to update your blogs -- I know, I know, I know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New Year

We had such a great holiday season. I love spending time with family and participating in "traditional" activities. We spent Christmas Eve at Rick's parents. We always have such a great dinner and it is always followed up with a program. Our little family sang "Rudolph". Rick played his saxophone and Brody and Amber were supposed to help with the vocals, but it was just me that you could hear. We all know how well I can sing. (Your blue might be gray....) The kids then acted out the nativity while Grandpa read the story and Brody was a shepherd. Of course my little "Linus" had to have his blanket incorporated into his costume attire. I'm not sure how reverent he was, especially using his shepherd's cane (a wrapping paper roll) to poke the Baby Jesus in the manger and the wiseman. We of course ended the night with our Christmas Eve jammies and hit the hay.
Christmas morning was wonderful. We were very spoiled by all those who gave us gifts. Santa aka Amie came all the way from Bahrain to deliver Brody's perfect gift............... an airplane.

Brody was even excited about his church clothes.
On a separate note, I just want to let you know how much I love you all and how grateful I am for all the family and friends that are a part of my life. 2008 was such a great year for us and we just feel so blessed. May 2009 be so wonderful to all of you and may all your dreams and desires come true.