Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Editor Has Spoken

I thought a lot about my CNF piece throughout the night and figured out what I was trying to get across with it. I was also pleased to receive some good feedback from our writers workshop this morning too. So, this afternoon I got to work. I wrote, changed a diaper, wrote, made a bottle, wrote, sent Jakob to a friends house, and I wrote. I was just thrilled that my brain was working again.

I finished with the piece and I thought I'd send it to my dad (my editor:) As a chief copy editor for the Deseret News, he has an idea of how to critique a paper. I asked him to read it and give me his thoughts. And he did. What I was happy about was that I number one, didn't get upset by his requests, and number two, I could follow what he was trying to suggest. To me, that tells me that this class is paying off.

He told me that I had good stories but the flow of the piece wasn't smooth enough. So, I went back to work. I actually think I may have accomplished what he was suggesting. I guess we'll see...

Happy Almost July!

I Love the month of July! I especially love the 4th of July when we celebrate our great country. So I was anxious to make my blog show my patriotism! I will take the time later to write a few more thoughts on this subject. But for now, Happy Day!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Still Working On It

I follow a woman's blog who lost a little girl a year ago. She drown in their hot tub. This woman is a wonderful example of faith and hope. Often when I read her blog I come away in deep thought. It allows me to process some of the feelings and experiences that I still have when it comes to the loss of my girls.

It still amazes me that I feel their loss. At the same time it just feels like a very vivid dream. However, there are times when I feel the reality. A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a friend. She called to tell me that her niece had just given birth to a set of twin daughters who had the same condition as my girls. They survived. We talked for a little while as I asked some details and she felt eager to share. The problem was my attitude within my heart. As we were talking I grew irritated. I kept wondering why people contact me just to tell me that they know of a set of twins who Survived! Why would I want to know that!? Call me if they died, and I can help, and have something to say. But if they survive, what am I supposed to say!? All the while as these thoughts and feelings are going through my soul I know that I am in the wrong. This is NOT how my Savior would have me react. He wants me to celebrate with this family.

Then I tell Leif, and before I blink an eye he questions my reaction and tells me I should be happy for them. I get ANGRY! He begins to tell me about some feelings that he's had about the girls that week, but I'm too Angry and I hush him saying I don't want to talk about it anymore. But then I realize he was going to share some deep thoughts about the girls (a rare moment) and I am immediately humbled. He really does care about the girls and my feelings... So the humbling begins...

Pride and grief can become frightfully intertwined. It ts vitally important that we recognize this and work to keep them separate. I am still working on it...

Hit a Wall or a Crossroad

I'm working on a Creative Non-fiction piece about my time living in Hawaii. It has turned out to be a traditional Memoir. My professor wrote a great lecture about keeping our ego out of our memoirs. I really needed that lecture. I find that when i write a memoir, I often try to weave a deeper meaning into it. Something that I want to "teach" my readers. I want to avoid that with this piece. The problem is, I don't know how. I'm stuck in a rut of habit and I am working on digging my way out.

I put the piece on our class' writer's workshop early hoping to get some good feedback. Really, this piece was written for them. My first draft was a bunch of ideas that I could write on and they seemed to really like learning about Life in Hawaii and their culture. So I'm hoping they can help me finish it like they helped me start it. We'll see. In the mean time, I'm going to set it aside for a bit and roll it around in my brain.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Liven': With Pics

WOW! I have been able to nap over 4 hours today. AMAZING! Sure hope I can sleep tonight.:) Little Caleb has a fever again. I'm thinking it's teething. He finally had two teeth break through this past week. He had a little fever with those. But he's miserable today. I figure I just have to get used to fevers and achy kids. Jakob had high fevers and misery regularly for the first three years of his life. Caleb is following suet.

So every one's napping and I figure I'll update. We're doing well.... See ya!

Na, just kidding:) Let's see, Leif and I are finishing up the main phase of our diet. Leif lost 25 pounds and looks Great! I lost 16 pounds and look better and I feel great! The phase that we're entering now is called the maintenance phase. We get to eat as much as we want of anything except carbs and sugars. So still not perfect, but a lot better then the last phase. We're hoping to continue to loose while we're in this three week maintenance phase. I'm just looking forward to being able to strengthen my muscles and use the elliptical trainer that we borrowed from Leif's parents. It will be nice to have more energy. At least that's what I'm hoping. We'll keep up our HCG blog so we can track how we're doing. The main question that we, and everyone else is asking is, Will We Keep It Off? I sure hope so! We shall see!

Other then our crazy diet, Leif and I are wrapped up in school. He is doing well. It's a pretty intense course and he's trying to stay at his A average. My classes are intense as well. I am just hoping to pass and come away a stronger writer with a more established writing voice and broader experience range. It has not, and will not be easy. But, Leif and I feel good about our schooling efforts. Hopefully it will all rub off onto our kids and their vision of school.

We have had to come up with a routine in order to meet all of the needs of the family. In the morning, Leif and Jakob take care of the chickens and the yard while I do the morning routine around the house and with Caleb. From there, Leif goes over to the trailer (that is his parent's by the way. Some of you thought it was ours. It's not.) Anyway, he goes there and does school work for 3-4 hours. Until lunch time. Then we eat lunch together and I go over to the trailer until around 3 or 4:00. By then, we have to switch gears and just have family time.

Jakob is handling the summer pretty good. He plays outside a lot more and Really appreciates it when we go outside with him. He enjoys doing his school work throughout the week. I had hoped that it would be more organized, but it's not. It pretty much consists of writing his name each day, finding pages to work on in a work book, or playing on the computer on the selected educational sites that I put on his computer. I hope that some how we've kept his brain growing. I shouldn't even question. Today he called out to us in anger and frustration, "you're just jealous!" Uhh, who taught him that? He is a sponge and he is learning ALL kinds of things these days. Good, bad, and ugly!

Jakob started swimming lessons this week. Unfortunately, the water is FREEZING and though once he's there he has a good time, he wakes up each morning and the first thing he says is, "I'm not going to swimming lessons!" Another clue that it's really stressing him out is that his night terrors have become extreme. Night after night he has woken up constantly for hours, until I finally give him benadryl to get him to fall asleep. He also came down with a really yucky cold. So, by Thursday we decided to back off on the swimming lessons this year. We night call K pool to find out if it's warmer during their lesson times. I'm sure it is. So, we'll either take him there or just teach him there ourselves on our own time. Again, we'll see. August is our month without too much school.

Caleb is growing up! He's still my little baby. But he is smart! We can tell that he understands A LOT more then he lets on. He'll shake his head yes and no according to the way he feels. He's crawl over for family prayer and last night he even half way folded his arms. He is a CLIMBER! He won't walk, but he will climb! He especially loves the step stools up to Jakob's bed and to the kitchen table. So now we have to tip the stools on their side when they're not in use. Several times I have forgotten the kitchen stool and I'll turn around and Caleb will be sitting in the middle of the table playing with whatever he can. One time it was a big cup of water. He spilled it. That's what alerted me to his circumstance. Unfortunately, I didn't catch that he had put Leif's cell phone in the cup before he dumped out the water. So Leif's phone sat in a bit of water for a while and had to take a few days to dry out. RRRG!

Caleb is a tease too! He finds all kinds of ways to tease us. Mostly doing little things against our will and snickering as he does them. Silly, normal, baby!:) So Precious!!! We love him so much!

So, like I said, we're doing well.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Chose This Journey

Technically, I have created this blog as a request from my Creative Writing Professor. But it is a very good request. I have felt the need to just have one place where I can rant and rave about my writing. Or, celebrate when I feel I've made a break through.

I took creative writing this summer semester because I thought I could breeze through it without too much thought. Uhh, can we say, the arrogant amateur has been adequately humbled! I was dead wrong in my assumption. I thought that this course would be so easy that I even signed up for an English 102 course along with it. This was a mistake! Now I am constantly trying to find the right voice depending on what I am working on. There is naturally a different voice to poetry then a research paper. My mainstream, only mine, voice comes through in all of my writing. But I always have to find the right tone to that voice. Sometimes I find it, and sometimes I am lost. Such is the journey that I have embarked upon. No looking back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We're almost done with the hardest part of our diet. So I should be back to posting more on this blog in just over 7 days instead of our HCG Diet blog. We've both slimmed down a good amount. It feels good, but I still have hopes to reach the goal that I set. I hope! I Hope! I HOPE!

Otherwise, we're busy and REALLY overstressed! But I'll write more about it tomorrow...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Our Girls Camp Experience

Earlier this week I kind of hinted that I had girls camp coming up. But I didn't really mention that I decided months ago that I was not going to Girls Camp this year. My life was too hectic and I felt that it would be okay if I didn't go this year.
Saturday afternoon my heart changed. I felt that I needed to go. I felt that I needed to go for myself, as well as for the girls. I needed to bond with them a little bit and show that I cared about their lives.

I don't go anywhere without Leif. Someday, I know I will be forced to break this habit. But that's not my point with this post. My point is to tell you about our experience.

Leif and I took a camper for us and the kids. This year was a stake camp (meaning there were several different groups of girls and their leaders that went up.) Anyway, we drove our camper up and parked it next to some good friends of ours (The Jensens). Harmony is in the YW leadership with me and she brought her family up too. Our husbands were considered our ward priesthood leaders. Well, our two families parked out where we thought we were on the outskirts. Unfortunately, other wards set up camp closer to the family camp then we had hoped. We wanted our families out away from the girls so the kids wouldn't disturb the camp experience.

Well, when we got up to the camp it was pouring rain. Not the most welcoming experience for anyone. Then Leif turned on the generator for our camper. Initially, we thought the camper would run off of batteries. Unfortunately the batteries were bad. I had no idea how LOUD a generator is. When you're out in the middle of a beautiful pine forest, a generator is like a predator all by itself. It was Very Embarrassing! We tried not to run it very often.

Luckily it stopped raining soon after we all got our camps set up. So much happened in that first day. I was able to spend some time with the girls and smile with them and generate a few smiles from them. That night I was able to visit with some of them around the camp fire. For the most part it was a good experience. I desperately wish I could share with them the AMAZING experiences that I had at girls camp as a youth. But it just wasn't to be this year. The whole time I felt torn between the girls and my kids.

-Kendra and Sarah- -Karin and Silver Hendersen-

Well, it all came to a head in the middle of the night. We turned the generator off when the sun went down. I really had no clue how cold it was going to get. The kids woke up FREEZING! Jakob ended up in bed with Leif and I. But Caleb is NOT a snuggler when he sleeps. So I couldn't put him in bed with me. He was Freaking out and that made me see Red! Leif finally insisted that we turn on the generator so we could turn the heater on. I was SOO mad at the whole situation! I knew right then that we had to go home. I refused to disturb the girls camp experience! There needs to be a harmony throughout the whole camp in order for the spirit to be present to touch lives. So I woke up in the morning and started packing up. It was sad because the Stake leadership asked the other family camped there to leave too. They had worked very hard to get there and they had worked even harder to help our ward leaders prepare for camp. So it felt like a slap in the face to them. So we felt really bad about that!

But for us, we're not positive why I felt so strongly all of the sudden that I needed to go to camp. Looking back, I think I just needed the experience as a whole. I needed to show the Lord that I am trying to fulfill my calling even if it always feels half baked. I needed to feel of the spirit that I did feel. And I needed a break from reality!! I think that was the main reason. I needed to get away for a little while.

Because we had the trailer and we were packed for a few days, we decided to go off and find our own camping spot. We found a beauty! I wish I had pictures. But I left my camera with Harmony. We had a good time!

We read our book together, went for a walk to gather firewood, had a deer walk right into our camp during dinner, ate tinfoil dinners (HCG Diet Style:), looked at the stars, sang a few songs around the fire, and slept well.
As a family, it was a great experience that I look forward to doing again soon!

As for a true LDS Church Girls' Camp experience, it wasn't complete. I wish that it was. I wish that I could get our girls to show love and respect toward each other and feel a sense of warmth within the group. But I only caught a glimmer. They love each other, but I know there could be more... I wonder if it will happen tonight... Maybe...

BTW: You may have noticed that every leader in my camp pictures is holding a baby. That is what makes our young women's' leadership a little unusual and often difficult. All but two of us as a presidency and teacher have little babies and small children. It makes the responsibility so much easier if you don't have young children to raise as you are trying to influence these youth for good...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

YW Lesson About Unity and No Camp Pranks

Thank you all for your great words of wisdom about girls camp! I really appriciate your help.

I taught today and it went Really well! I love when we as leaders get to catch a glimpse of the light that is within our girls. They felt the spirit of what we were trying to teach them, accepted it, and found excitement in the "Good" pranks that we have planned.

Have you ever read in Proverbs about the seven things that God Hates? It fit this situation PERFECTLY! The verses are Proverbs Chapter 6:16-19. The two things that turned the light on in the girls' heads were "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief." They all chuckled when I mentioned Snipe Hunting after "Wicked Imaginations."

I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that can comfort and wisper truths when understanding is needed. So Grateful!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

HELP US!! YW Girls Camp Question! -Pranks-

Hey ladies, I NEED your thoughts ASAP!!! Please send this out to anyone you know that might have a few good thoughts!

We have a very small ward (about a dozen girls or less.) and it is vital that we get our group unified. We have camp next week and it has come to our attention that some of the girls have created a club and they are hoping to carry out a serious amount of pranks. I would love to believe that these are all cutsie pranks. We're not thinking this is the case.

We have decided to eliminate pranks altogether and encourage acts of service. But I am wondering how you have overcome this obstacle?

Please let me know. I will be teaching a lesson about unity and knitting our hearts together as one, tomorrow. But I would love your insight!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Smiling Again!

Today was the first good day I have had in about one week. I had the energy that I needed to really take time on my house. I was also in a good frame of mind 95% of the day. This was a huge relief and a great blessing! Another great thing is that Caleb FINALLY got tubes put in his ears. We figure he's had at least a dozen ear infections in the 14 months he's been alive. So we're hoping we're on a good road to the future.

So you're wondering what made the last 7 days so hard? Well, Leif and I started the HCG Diet. I'm not going to go into detail about what the diet is all about. In order to really get the truth about it you have to read what the doctor who originally created it wrote about it. You can read it here: Pounds and Inches.

It has not been easy for me at all. I have realized that it is because I haven't been able to take vitamin B until now (it was in the mail.) So now, I'm feeling A Lot better. I really hope I'm on the road to this being the norm again.

On the good side, Leif and I have each lost 10 pounds in 11 days. That is a Good Feeling!! So, if you're really curious now, I'd REALLY love any cheerleaders that feel like cheering me on for the next few+weeks. Just go to our HCG Diet blog and give me a smile:)

On another great note, I got my floor mopped today! Just to know that it's clean for Caleb to crawl on gives me a relief. My floor is painted OSB board so I can't really value the look of the floor:) But I sure appreciate it when it's clean.

So anyway, that's a bit of an update in my world!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A View Inside

Screaming Kid's... Need I say more?

Mama Bear Pays a Visit... Any Questions?

Just in case you wanted a glimpse into my world at the moment...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Busy Life Update

Writing, Reading, Driving, Talking, Eating, and Living.

Yep! That about sums it up.

Our classes have started and they are extremely time consuming (especially mine.) We're carefully working on the balancing act between school and life. Life being the family and church. So far I think we're managing. As for my dishes, that is a totally different story. They are looming over me tonight and I am not looking forward to conquering them! Luckily Leif is my Knight in shining armor and he has agreed to read to me as I wash them. He would help me wash, but the task at hand is for the matron of the home.

Jakob is growing up like crazy, as is Caleb. Jakob entertained us last night on a long drive with his version of coyote hunting. It was extremely detailed filled with fire, sneaking up behind them, and using fish on a hook as bait. We all had a good time looking out for the coyotes flickering eyes in the dark. Jakob has an amazing mind that stores every detail waiting for the slightest comment to remind him of the new found knowledge. He amazes Leif and I with his memory.

Caleb is finally steadily gaining weight. He is communicating more and more every day. He has mastered his unique rendition of a wave. He keeps his hand pointed to the ground and waves his arm back and forth. It is very cute. He is a little charmer just like his brother. What am a going to do with these Baron Boys!... Love Them!

Life is Good!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I Believe in Soul mates! Happy Birthday My Love!

I believe in Soul mates. Actually, I can't speak for anyone else. I just know that I found my soul mate. Today Leif is 30 years old. We have spent the day together. For the most part we just went about our day, business as usual. But we added flare to the day by eating a lot of yummy food. But my favorite part of the day (besides the time I was with him) were the moments I took to think about why I love Leif.

There is no way that I will ever be able to truly explain my feeling for Leif. But I can give a few ideas of why I love him. I will just give some examples that stem from the events of today:

I love Leif because he woke up this morning and ran outside first thing to take the garbage can out to the curb. Then he came back in and had personal scripture along side me.

I love Leif because he nurses his sick chickens as if they were his own children.

I love Leif because he helps me hold down a squirming baby while I change a stinky diaper. And if I'm not available, he would change the diaper as needed.

I love Leif because he is willing to do hard things just because he knows that it will make me happy.

I love Leif because he will drop anything to help me if I need it. He is especially good at helping me prepare meals.

I love Leif because he enjoys being with me. He doesn't even blink an eye when I ask him to go grocery shopping with me.

I love Leif because he has taught my little boy that ladies are served first at every meal. He is the perfect example of how a gentlemen should treat a lady.

I love Leif because he will sit and read out loud to me chapter after chapter as I go about the daily tasks of life or just sit next to him while he reads.
I love Leif because he is the only person who can make me laugh to the point of giving me hic-ups.

I love Leif because he is the ideal father.

I love Leif because he is the perfect husband for me.

Happy birthday My Love!
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