Sunday, January 25, 2015


We have been wanting to teach T-Rex about paying his tithing.  It is hard to teach a toddler who is just barely grasping numbers that we give one-tenth, but we attempted to monday night.  His Grandma K sent him $10 for his birthday and we needed to put it somewhere, and teach him.  So I took some little boxes that contained vitamins in them and then just covered them with some cute scrapbooking paper and added some stickers and walla!  Now he has a place to put his money.

I also made a chore chart because I want him to start helping out.  I used the simple chore chart tutorial here and then jazzed it up a little, because hers was too plain for me, and I had scraps left from the above project.  Now I just need to go and get it laminated and I am good to go!

I liked this simple chore chart because he can't read yet, and these pictures are pretty self explanatory.  It's easy to see what you have done and what you haven't.  I just want to set the expectation before I begin homeschooling him that there are things that we need to do each day.  We'll see how it goes!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shake it Off

I remember last year, at about this time, realizing I would be turning 30 and being nervous and scared.  The thought of leaving my twenties (aka the young and fun time of life...or so I believed) was frightening!  My mom counseled me that she loved her thirties. She said that it was when she "came into her own," whatever that means. At the time, I couldn't then imagine being really comfortable in my own skin..I had just had a baby, my hormones were crazy, I hadn't slept much, and well, that makes for a time when fears might be a little irrational.  However, it's a year later,  I have turned thirty, and I think I have a better understanding of what it means to "come into your own."   I don't want to be embarrassed if I'm not the best singer in the ward choir, or I don't have the clean and organized house most of the time, or the fact that I have a poochie tummy because I've had two kids. I don't want to be insecure about meaningless things anymore.  I want to sing out and just enjoy singing, have a messy house just because I spend more time on the floor playing with my kids, and be okay with my tummy because I have two glorious children.

(UVU Ballroom team on tour in Australia.  I'm the one in the red dress....I know not helpful.  
Back row, sixth one from the left.)

We went to vocal point concert at BYU this evening and it brought back memories of when I was on the UVU ballroom dance team. I wanted to be the best dancer on the team. But I was insecure, and I didn't enjoy ballroom dancing as much because I didn't feel like I was the best. I held back, embarrassed of what others would think if I did everything bigger-including making mistakes.  What a waste! I feel like it could have been so much more fun, had I been able to set aside my insecurities. However I feel like the only way to get on a team like that was to be competitive.... so at this point I think I'll forgive myself and live differently from now on.  Other than not constantly stressing about a clean house (why do I care what people think so much!?!) one thing I really would like to do is to sing. I just want to sing and enjoy it. Regardless if I'm great or horrible I just want to sing. I hold back when singing with my husband (who has a great voice) or others who are better than me.  I am the only one holding myself back from the joy. I am just gonna sing out.  Be okay not being the cleanest, the best singer, the skinniest, etc.  Maybe my mom was right on, your thirties aren't so bad, maybe I am coming into my own.

P.S.  And truthfully, Taylor Swift got it right....

Cause the players gonna play, play, play

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake
Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off


I really love that song.  Listen to it all of the time.  Sing to it all of the time. Shake to it all of the time. Can't stop, won't stop GROOVING!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

JOY in the COUNTLESS small moments

I guess I named this blog, Joy in The Small Moments because I wanted to pay attention to the times that are joyful - and sometimes those times are small.  BUT there are SO MANY of these moments in a day.  You could say there are countless moments of joy with these small children. I LOVE my little ones.  Just thinking of the last 24 hours....thinking of my little guy.  We went and saw the Cristus at the Oakland Temple.  He learned that, (in his words) "Jesus has scars.  The bad guys put nails in His hands and feet.  They killed Jesus."  But then, with a little prodding, "He was resurrected."  Although at 3 years old T-rex doesn't fully comprehend everything, he is learning and growing.  In those moments when I hear him reverently talking to his Grandpa W. about it, I am brought to tears that this little boy is maturing, and one day he'll truly gain a testimony of his Savior.  But for now, he knows enough.

Thinking of the last day, I can't not think of the continued giggles of my kids, Love Bug giving T-Rex kisses for the first time, the dialogue they have been having with their grandparents, T-Rex singing "I love to see the temple" to everyone at Love Bug's 1 year birthday dinner, Love Bug eating a HUGE piece of chocolate cake and getting chocolate frosting all over her angelic face and smiling for pictures, T-Rex's prayer where he blessed everyone in the room by name to "sleep good" and watching Love Bug sleep peacefully on the drive to Oakland.   There were snuggles from both of my kids, kisses from Love Bug, and T-rex folding his arms for prayer before being asked. These moments are scattered throughout the day and I know if I'm not paying attention to them, I might miss them.  So that's the purpose of this blog, to catch those joyful and wonderful moments amid the daily ins and outs of life.  Catch them, find joy in them, and thank my Heavenly Father for them.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

So I'm truthfully not one to set New Years Resolutions.  I always think, why set a goal you're just going to screw it up?  Life just happens and our priorities change.  I'm one wants to do it right, or not at all.  BUT, I'm going try.  Better that we shoot for the stars and miss, than shoot for a cow pie and hit it dead on, right?  It could be that today, I'm not thinking clearly.  I had way too many stuffed mushrooms, jalapeno poppers, and shrimp and stayed up way too late playing hearts and canasta.  Regardless, I'm making a New Year's Resolution.  I'd like to send 365 thank can be a card, an email, a Facebook message.  I just sent my first one to Joyce.

Vanessa, Shu-Yan, Joyce, Me, and May.

Joyce was from mainland China.  At the time, families weren't supposed to have more than two kids.  Joyce's mom loved her family and wanted more children.  So she had more.  She was fined by the Chinese government and had to work hard and long to pay the fines that she could keep her children.  When many women would abort or leave their babies, this woman had the courage to pay the price to keep this precious soul.

Joyce joined the church in Cambodia and came to BYU-Hawaii as a student.  She had to learn English in one year, and then complete college courses in her second language.  She worked hard on her degree and at her job.  She then decided to serve a mission for the church and served an honorable full-time mission in California.  She then went back to BYU-H to finish her degree.  Met a wonderful man, married in the temple, and now lives in Taiwan with her husband and two beautiful little boys.  Is that not inspiring?  Yup, she is my first thank-you of the new year.  Her example inspired me then, and continues to inspire me.

Here is to many more thank yous this new year!
Happy New Year!