Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Precious Sisterhood: Relief Society

Tonight I spent the evening in awe at the blessing I have been given to be a member of Jesus Christ's church. Tonight I felt especially blessed to be witness to and blessed by the beauty and intricate nature of it's organization, particularly the organization of the Relief Society.

We spent the day as a family harvesting our garden. So by mid afternoon I was very tired. We laid down for a nap and I fell into a deep sleep. When Leif woke me up and told me it was time to get ready to go to the Relief Society General Meeting broadcast I had to make a decision. Would I stay snuggled in my soft comfortable bed? Or would I get up, shower, put on a dress, and drive to the dinner and broadcast? I thought for a moment, my bed was very tempting. But you know what pulled me out of bed? The sisterhood that I share with the women that would surround me. Do I know all of the women? Do they know me? No. Does that matter? No. There is a precious feeling of sisterhood within the Relief Society that I cherish.

I missed my dear grandmother deeply today. I found myself pondering about her as I fell asleep for my nap. As I sat this evening with my Relief Society sisters along with the sisters throughout the world I realized why my grandmother had come to mind today. The legacy of our Relief Society sisterhood never dies. The sisterhood is eternal. My dear grandmother taught me the true meaning of the Relief Society motto "Charity Never Faileth." President Henery B. Eyring spoke tonight about the way that the legacy of the Relief Society is passed on from one generation to the next. He said that it is passed on from Heart to Heart. I pray that one day my heart might come close to reflecting that of my grandmother's pure heart.

I have many many sisters. One sister by blood who is one of my dearest friends. But I have ever been surrounded by a sisterhood of women throughout my whole life. My sisters in the gospel have always been a sustaining strength for me throughout every season of my life. As I listened to our leaders speak tonight my mind and heart reflected upon my dear sisters. I thought about my mother, my sister, my aunts, my grandmothers, my sister in laws, the sisters I grew up with in primary and young women's, their mothers, the sisters who taught me in the gospel, the sisters who were my missionary companions, the sisters who have been my visiting teachers, the sisters I have visited and taught, the sisters I teach in Young Women's, those sisters I serve with in the church, and so many more sisters whom I love. So many sisters.

As the faces of these sisters floated through my minds eye, I found myself envisioning all of us walking together along a long dusty path. The path wasn't an easy path to follow and some of us were carrying awkward heavy loads. But then I noticed something, many of us were linking arms. We were all helping each other carry our loads, together. I then had a question strike me, a question I ask all of my sisters whom I love so dearly: Are you still on the path with me? We have all shared so much love and devotion together, are you still with me? I pray that you are! It is impossible to keep all of my dear sisters in view as I travel down this dusty path. But please know that I pray with all of my heart that you will stay on this path with me. That one day we will once again embrace each other and shed tears of joy that we have finally reached our destination, together. Heart to Heart dear sisters, we will always be. Please stay with me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Fondue

We welcomed in the Fall season yesterday with a fondue dinner. We enjoyed an evening with Leif's parents and a delicious meal. I didn't get a lot of photos. But here is one to prove that we had a good time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcoming The Fall Season

I love the Fall season where we live. The sky is blue with white puffy clouds. The air is cooler and smells like the changing leaves. As I drive down the road I can tell that the Fall season is coming because the landscape is dusted by yellow instead of the sage green that has flourished throughout the summer. I welcome the cool breeze and the occasional thunderstorms that drop by throughout the Fall season.

Last week we had a Fall Festival for our church community. My favorite part was the Caramel apples.:) They melted Caramel in a crock pot. What a great idea!! This year we are going to welcome the Fall Season in with a fondue dinner the beginning of next week. Yes, we will have carmaled apples again! Stay tuned for pictures to come...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Offended - Now What?

What do you do when you find yourself feeling seriously offended? Not just the irritated, "ah I hate when that happens" irritated, I mean the times when you stand aghast at how hurt and angry you feel, offended.

Today, I found myself offended. I wish that I could say that I handled it just the way that I teach my children to handle such feelings. I wish that I could say that I handled it just as our Savior teaches us to handle it in the scriptures. I hope to handle it better in the future. Thankfully, I did not do any permanent damage to any relationships. But I sure had the desire to lash out. Unfortunately, Leif is the only person who reaped the lashings of my wrath.

When I found myself withering from the result of this offence I bubbled over with hurt and anger. Gradually I began to just simmer. After hours of simmering I was finally to a point where I found myself thinking about my own actions toward this person who had offended me. Just before putting the kids to bed I was struck by a memory. I remembered writing something to this person months ago. I then realized that what I wrote at the time was from my sincere concern and love for this person. However, it is very possible that she may have found herself sitting in her office chair simmering with offence. Oh, how the tables can turn and how often we misconstrue love for criticism ... How will I handle it next time?

Leif just posted this in response to this post:
"I was thinking and talking with Lena about why she was so offended I thought of this analogy I thought I would share. Sometimes we bury our fears and troubles under our faith. Faith in our Heavenly Father, faith in ourselves, faith that good will overcome. But then sometimes as in this example with Lena, someone pulled up or revealed that exact fear that she had worked so hard to bury in faith. So it hurt...until she realized that she still had faith and that all was well."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Preparing For My Pregnancy Journey - Sickness

This afternoon Jakob and I were sitting in the rocking chair together watching Caleb play his silly games. Jakob chuckled at Caleb and said, "I'm so glad we had a baby. We need another baby!" How can that not melt a mother's heart?

When I married Leif I was a nanny for a family with six children. I had been a nanny previously for 10 years. So naturally I felt prepared for motherhood. Four months after we were married I was pregnant with Jakob. But the bliss only lasted a week. From five weeks on I was very very sick. I have talked about this on several occasions. So I won't go on with stories. I will just say that I have never quite recovered from the shock that runs through me every time I get to my sixth week of pregnancy. Luckily I can begin eating again by the 12th week. But that is only due to the medication that I take until around the fifth month. So, with that said, you will understand why pregnancy takes preparation for our family. This blog is my thinking corner. A place where I plan and discuss my plans. So, tonight I will discuss some of the ways that I prepare for a pregnancy.


First and foremost I am preparing my body and spirit. I take a very high grade prenatal vitamin, Liquid vitamin B complex, and Omega 3's. Spiritually I try to stay in tune with the guidance and inspiration from the Lord as I study, plan, and prepare. In the end, I put my journey into His hands.

Before I become pregnant (I usually have a pretty good idea of the time frame) I will order liquid vitamins as well as liquid Paxil. Because I can't keep food down I can't keep medication down. So then I have to deal with the cursed withdrawal symptoms that come from the lack of medication. So I have decided to try a liquid form of my medication which will absorb quickly. I will stock up on gingersnaps, string cheese, and yogurt. I have also liked frozen fruit in the past, so I'll stock up on that. I also learned that the ions in water can cause nausea for some pregnant women. This was true for me, so I drink Gatorade, juice, and ginger soda. I also want to use essential oils. So far I've heard that peppermint, fennel, and ginger are most helpful. Once I am pregnant I immediately contact the doctor and make an appointment. By week five I go in and am tested to make sure my progesterone level is high enough to sustain a pregnancy. If not, I take progesterone. However, this time I am taking Vitex (an herb) so I'm hoping my progesterone level will be balanced. I also get a prescription for Zofran. I very much dislike taking medication during pregnancy. But there a couple that I take out of requirement. I have also accepted the necessity for frequent intravenous fluids. So I will either go to the hospital often, or have it set up so I can do it at home. Great Fun! And finally, I find a good series of books to keep me inspired and away from wallowing in self pity.


This is the most pressing need for me as I prepare. It's frustrating to know that what I struggle with makes life so much harder for Leif and the kids. He is kind about it of course. But I feel bad and try to help beforehand as much as possible. I try to get the house as deep cleaned as possible. We spend one day together and prepare one months worth of dinner meals to freeze. We will also stock up on food items to make easy lunches, snacks, and breakfasts. My calling in church is to work with the Young Women. So I have gotten to know them well, as well as many other good women in the ward. So I will call on their sisterhood (those who are able and willing.) I will organize games, books, and movies for the kids to play that won't require too much effort or movement on my part. And in the end, I will PRAY!


This has been the question I have asked six years and four pregnancies. Well, I think I have come to my conclusion. There are many theories about why women have pregnancy sickness. Some reasons are low blood sugar, stress, lack of vitamin B, H-Pylori (a bacteria in the gut), and a reaction the the hormone changes and new chemicals. I believe that this is my issue.

This summer I followed the HCG Diet. It is a diet where you inject a small amount of the HCG into your body. HCG is the hormone produced when you become pregnant. And it induces weight loss. When I was on this diet I was Very weak. I felt horrible. Worse then I was typically supposed to feel. I believe that my body has an adverse reaction to the HCG hormone that is produced in abundance when your first pregnant. So, that's my answer.

I would truly love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to cope with the pregnancy illness, and how to help my family while I am down. Feel free to share!

How Is Home School Going?

School is in session at the Baron's. I think Caleb's smile reflects perfectly how much fun we're having. Some have wondered what I do with Caleb during our school hours, the picture tells it all. He is right there with us. Luckily, school time does fall during his morning nap;) but when he is awake, he's coloring and reading with us.

Lately Jakob has a favorite word that he uses immediately after I ask him to do something, it goes like this: "NO!" (we're working on that!) However, I was thrilled yesterday to hear something else when I told Jakob we would be starting school within the hour. He walked away and quietly said to himself in a somewhat surprised tone, "I really like school..." Mission Accomplished!;)

As you can see in the photo we have a school table cloth. This cloth helps Jakob know when we are officially having school time verses family time. Every morning we eat breakfast together. During breakfast we have a short devotional (Jakob doesn't know that's what it's called.) To him it's just a story about one of the great hero's in the scripture. For me, it's a moment to teach my children the very most important lessons for life's journey. Even before the scholastic learning. After breakfast and devotional we begin our duties. We follow the Accountable Kid's program and it works well for our family. Then it's school time. Jakob and I spread the table cloth out together and begin. When school is over, we fold up the tablecloth together and thank each other for the fun. Then it's lunch, story, and NAP TIME!!:) By then, we're all ready for a nap. After nap Leif is home. We visit, eat dinner, have family time, and go to bed. I LOVE that we can create and follow our OWN schedule. We can change things up however we want. I Love it! We have another family in our neighborhood that is homeschooling. So yesterday Jakob went to their house for lunch their art time. He had a great time.

Another thing I love about home school is that if Jakob wants to veer towards another direction and create something on his own we can go that direction. This picture shows the flag that Jakob decided to make with the extra markers box and a Popsicle stick. Small, but fun. Love It!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still Here - Stay tuned

WOW! We have been busy! Nothing too out of the ordinary. Just a full schedule. I want to ramble on about a few different events. But tonight Leif and I have a date with the last chapter of New Moon in the Twilight series. Now that is one thing I want to write about... Honestly, I must be crazy, but I don't Love this series... But I'll get into that as soon as I can. I'll upload some pictures tomorrow and that will help me recall all that I've been wanting to write about. So, stay tuned. Hope this finds you well;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How You Can Tell It's Been A Long Day!

This is a picture of what happens when a tired mom is trying to talk to her husband and clear the table after dinner at the same time (that's sloppy Joe in the cupboard.) The funniest part is that I didn't catch my error until Leif pointed it out to me. Uh, is it bedtime yet???

Dear Montvale, New Jersey

Dear Montvale, New Jersey, I really don't want to scare you away from my blog! But I've noticed your vist a few times on my visit tracker. I'd love to know who you are! Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you feel inclined. If not, I hope you enjoy my blog! Take Care!!!:)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This Just Might Work

Thank you to those of you who sent me encouragement this morning as I took on the task of home schooling Jakob. Today actually turned out Great! We had a lot of fun!! We put a "big kid" puzzle together for math. It was a 100 piece T-Rex that glows in the dark. We worked on it in 15 minute increments throughout our school time. But he helped with the whole thing and we had a great time. We learned a lot about sorting and matching. Great fun! Now I need to glue it to cardboard so he can hang it in his room. We made a dinosaur picture with colored corn flakes glued to it for the skin. And we played a game where Jakob had to follow a path of dinosaur tracks (that we traced from his feet) away from a volcano lava flow. The only way to get from track to track was to name all of the letters that I showed him. He did great. We sangs songs, Jakob practiced writing his name, and we read a few stories in between. All in all, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to tomorrow.

Jakob also started his dance class again for this year. They started a Hip Hop class and invited boys to join. Jakob started a new era in K. He was the first boy to join their dance team. Now he is in a class with several boys and only one girl. I am really excited about the class. I was nervous that it might not be the style that we're looking for. But I think it will be fine.

Caleb is starting to try and talk to us. His first official words are Amen and Hi. He really hasn't looked at me or Leif and said Mama or Papa. However, I could swear that he did come to me from around the corner tonight and say "Hiii, Mama!" So we're making progress:) I am tickled every time I look over during the prayer and see him folding his arms. I so Love it!! Poor little guy has been sick since this weekend. I hate when he's sick!! Don't ask me what the problem is. Leif and I have just concluded that he has gets a fever every month at the same time which causes him to feel miserable. ugg!

So, life is busy! Busy, but good. And I think Home School might actually work out! Good Thing, huh!;)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Home School Starts Tomorrow

Tonight marks the night for a new journey for me. I will start homeschooling Jakob tomorrow. I haven't made the fact that we took Jakob out of school a big deal for several reasons. Honestly, the main reason is because I don't want to hear how we should have stuck it out. No offence to those who feel this way, but we haven't taken the easy way out. This was NOT an easy decision. And it won't ever be. Will we put Jakob back into public school? Who knows? We don't! For now, I'm focusing on making this year great for him. I feel bad for a very few things that he'll miss out on while going to public school. But in the end, I hope not to regret it. And if I do, well, it's kindergarten and I don't think I can screw him up that bad (at least I hope!)

I have found some incredible resources online as well as in our community. So I have a good feeling about our direction. I have started a Joy School group in our community. So far I have one other mother who has joined (and her daughter of course) and I hope that we can find more to join us soon. On the days that we don't have Joy School, we will focus on subjects such as language, math, science, music, and art. For the first while we will follow a dinosaur theme. Jakob LOVES dinosaurs. So, I have found activities for the rest of the month about dinosaurs that still incorporates these subjects. I feel blessed to live in a day when I have such a huge resource at my finger tips (online) with so many free options.

I think one of the most useful tools that I have found is a free downloadable program that helps me keep all of our home school plans and records organized. I can record everything and if I ever needed to print out Jakob's attendance or his grades, or the lesson plans that I taught, I would have it all right on my computer with official printable forms. It is AWESOME! A gift from the company to home schooling families. The website is

So, the house is straightened and the plans are set and organized. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Reflecting Upon My Day

I need to review my day. It feels like I've done a lot. But in reality, my list is still long. I think today I did a lot of things that came up that weren't even on my list. You know how it is... Take a minute and reflect with me on my day.:)

Let's see: Leif purposely didn't close the chickens in their coop last night so that he/we could sleep in this morning. Lady woke me up at 6:00AM for her routine morning run out in the yard. I read my scriptures (Sure appreciate the silent reading time!) Then I brought her in. She was extra needy and didn't want to go back to sleep. If she barks, Caleb wakes up. If Caleb wakes up, Jakob wakes up. If Jakob wakes up, we ALL wake up. So, I got up with Lady and worked on the computer. Lady eventually calmed down at 6:50 so I went back to bed. I climbed in bed, snuggled up to Leif, and the phone rang. Yep! It was for me. A nice woman asking me to be a hostess at the Women's Forum this month. Not a problem. Was looking forward to going anyway, now I get in free and a dinner the night before with Leif! SWEET! So, I talked quiet enough on the phone that all was still quiet in the house. So I snuggled back up to Leif and pretended that I could actually fall back to sleep. Ya, right! My mind planned the rest of my life for me as I laid in bed. Finally, some time shortly after 8:00AM we heard Jakob's voice outside his door, "8:00!! 8:00! Morning Time! 8:00!" Sweet boy, he knows the drill. He can't call out to us unless the clock in his room says 7:00 on school days and 8:00 on weekends. So, the day had begun.

We made Monster pancakes for breakfast. We have a sudden need for such meals. The chickens are blessing us with eggs. It was fun to compare our chicken eggs to the last of our store bought eggs. Our egg's whites are extremely firm. I have never seen egg whites so firm. Neat!

After breakfast, Leif won my heart yet again. He headed out the door hand in hand with Jakob and a bag of library books to return. He told me last night that his plan for today was to spend quality time with Jakob at the library reading stories together. They were there for over three hours. They read together and then participated in the Story Hour that the librarians present every Friday for the community. So, ten-fifteen years from now when Jakob's sick of us, hopefully reminding Jakob of these precious moments will soften him up a bit. Hopefully;)

While Jakob and Leif were at the library I worked on shopping online that I've been trying to do this whole week. I got almost all of it done. I stopped because I didn't want to spend any more money.

From there, it is all kind of a blur. I prepared lunch while Leif ran to the store to get sour cream for me so I could put a cake in the slow cooker. We ate lunch and then laid everyone down for nap. Caleb woke up fussy. He was fussy for the rest of the day. He just followed me around and fussed. It didn't take long to realize that a fever had set in. His routine fever that comes around for one week out of the month. What a pain!!

I finally showered while everyone rested. Leif took Lady outside so she wouldn't wake Caleb up (I laid him down again.) My mind didn't let me rest for long. I decided to head outside with Leif and be productive. We decided to figure out how we could give lady more space for her den. Well, we concluded with a baby crib. Leif's parents have many random items floating around on the property. There are a couple of old baby cribs amongst these items. So, we brought one upstairs and put Lady in it in place of the pack n' play she's been in. I spent a while weaving and sewing material through the rails to keep Lady from climbing through. She's finally calmed down, but she's not too thrilled with her new home. Mostly because she can't see through the rails like she could see through the mesh sides of the pack n' play. Hopefully she chills out. It was a lot of work to have her fuss about it!

Then it was dinner time. Leif made pasta Alfredo, MMM! From there we all headed outside to close up the chickens, let Lady run, and enjoy the neat lightning storm that was headed our way.

Now the boys and Lady are finally asleep and we just ate a bowl of my FAVORITE chocolate cake (slow cooker pudding cake) and ice cream. And I just gave you a play by play of our day.

I have no idea why I felt the need to give a run down of our whole day. Maybe it's to help me realize that much was accomplished in this day even though I still have dirty floors and piles of papers tilting towards the edge of my desk. The accomplishments of the day were family based. We ate three meals at our table and prayed together. We cared for our animals together. We read together. Tickled each other. And Loved each other. So in the end, all is well!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mama's To-Do's

I need to make my Mama's To-Do List. I figured I'd make my list here and keep it for posterity. Maybe it will make me smile in the future when I don't have to DO anything on the list. :) Nah, it's all good. I just felt like blogging for a minute. So here it goes: (The layout of the post is messed up, but I don't have time to fix it. Read on, and you'll know why!;)


Organize the piles on my desk

Mop the floor

Shampoo the carpets

Plan the 30 Meals in a Day Menu

Plan the Culinary Road Trip Menu

Order 50 States Sandwich cookbook

Order Lady's Pee-pads

Order Chamomile for Jakob

Catch up on the Prayer Rug

Plan the YW Murder Mystery Dinner Night

Order Supplies for Home School

Tell Nate about the BYU Online Math Classes free to the public
BLOG: Caleb walking/17 months, Jakob update, HCG Diet and serotonin, Recipes,

Organize Play Group

Send Netflix back

That sounds about right:) Wish me luck!! If my posts seem sparse, you'll know why:)
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