Monday, April 30, 2012

Congratulations Jessi

Yesterday in church Jessi was presented her Young Womanhood Recognition Award.  The Bishop asked her before if she would share one of her favorite projects.  It was fun to reminisce with her over the past few years and the projects she was able to accomplish.  She spoke about how she enjoyed going to all 13 temples in Utah and reading the Book of Mormon with her dad's ward which ended with a temple day and Sis. Elaine Dalton came to speak.This is a marvelous program and I'm so glad that she finished it.  She will definitely be a better person because of the things she chose to do and to study.   She is awesome!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Women's Conference

Amy, Jessi and I were able to attend BYU Women's Conference last week.  I realize that many people shy away from it because crowds and crowds of women are everywhere.  You wait in line to get into classes, to eat, to go the restrooms, to get a drink of water.  One lady mentioned it reminded her of Woodstock??  Even with all the people and problems I LOVE it.  I have gone every year for close to 30 years, minus the years I had a nursing baby.  I have seen it grow from a few thousand to over twenty thousand and I yearn for the easy days of not many people, but then I realize how awesome it is that so many women care enough and are searching for truth and righteousness in the world today.  They will all go home infused with the spirit and instill that love of truth into their families.  It is incredible.   What an honor it was to share it with Amy and Jessi.  We are indoctrinating Jessi a little young, but she claims she enjoyed it.  One of the class presenters, certainly the best ones we heard, were our dear friends the McKays.  Wow is all I can say.  They are both amazing and incredibly inspiring, faithful and also humorous.  It was worth attending just to hear them speak.

The three of us brainstormed about having all the Crosland Women attend together sometime soon.  What a great tradition that could become.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dr. Rodier's Regime

Since Jessi had been sick for so many months without much relief we decided to take a different approach other than what I refer to as the "Band Aid Approach",  which is what I call the GI doctor's suggestion about taking Imodium AD and Benefiber to see if it would help her stomach problems since nothing else he had done had worked.
A dear friend had recommended a Dr. Rodier who in his own terminology specializes in "GUT" problems.  He is located about an hour drive from our home and is a practicing General Practitioner (MD) but has a totally different approach to medicine.  He studies and studies medical journal articles, nutrition  and seems to be up to date on most everything.  He is radical and intense!!!
Besides treating Jessi with more antibiotics, he has given her prescriptions for parasites and yeast.  She has had IV vitamins and antioxidants, bi-weekly injections of vitamins, oral supplements and probiotics galore.  He recommends, no he advocates like absolutely necessary, an extreme diet.  Here is the basic plan:
Week 1:  Lean meat, eggs, raw nuts, and vegetables sans potatoes.  (Remember she is a teen ager who does not eat meat, eggs and vegetables besides potatoes).  She can drink almond milk.
Week 2:   Add in a different fruit each day.  (Now there is something she likes to eat)
Week 3:  Add in legumes which includes peanuts because they are not a nut I guess.  (Yes!!  Peanut Butter, but what to put it on?)
Week 4:  Whole grains!!  (She can finally have bread and cereal, just not that fluffy white kind)

How impressed I have been with this wonderful daughter of mine.  What a trooper.  I have hardly heard a complaint and we have gotten very creative with our meals and she has learned to like so many new things that she would not eat before, especially spinach!

The marvelous thing is--- It Is Working!!!!  She feels better and looks healthier than she has in months.  WOW, what a great feeling it is to see her have energy and life once again.  She might have to stay on a strict diet for quite some time, but when you get to Week 4, it is doable.  The one item she misses most is "Dairy".  Dr. Rodier wishes she would never go back to it, but I'm sure she will give it a try to see how it makes her feel.

How impressed I am with this Young Woman.  She has been much more patient than I know I would of been.  Fingers crossed that she will continue to improve.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Addiction or Insanity?

For years we have gone through therapy with Kevin.  Every time he is given a new counselor they tell us the definition of an addict.  It is "Some one who does the same thing over and over expecting different results". Then I was in another setting one day and the definition of insanity was given.  It was "Some one who does the same thing over and over expecting different results."
I've decided lately that our family has one of each.  Kevin is obviously the addict and I am the insane one.  I just keep doing the same thing over and over to help him but now I don't expect different results I only hope for different results.   I'm not sure that helps but I guess it makes me feel better.
I have just spent the last hour and a half jumping through hoops to satisfy the demands of the work center so Kevin could go to work this morning.  It is the never ending saga and my insanity continues.  I HOPE this time for different results.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Best Mother (or Grandmother)

The pressure to be the very best mom or even the very best grandmother can at times be overwhelming.  Comparisons between children, families and parenting styles are easy to make, but obviously not always accurate.  The greatest knowledge we can instill within us is that we are the best moms for the children the Lord has given us.  It is amazing to me that the world has taken even simple life activities and expanded them into extravagant, embellished events that need so much time, money and effort spent on them that I fear it will take away from bringing the necessities into our homes such as prayer, scripture study, or even simple reading of books, playing games and cuddling with our children.  I read a post recently from the Power of Moms that explains my thoughts so much more eloquently.  Read it here.
I love to visit each of my married children's homes to see and feel the activities and spirit there.  They are all different in their parenting styles and that is good.  Different is good because each of the families are different and each have been blessed with different children who need the exact kind of mom that they have been given.
At times I have thought that one of my sons needed a different mom, maybe he was sent to the wrong family because I was beside myself not knowing what to do.  I strongly felt for so long that he would be better served by another mom besides me.  Then it was truly revealed to me that I was the mom, I was the best one for him and I needed to seek ways to help and serve him.  It was not a mistake he was sent to our home and I needed to step up and do the very best I could do because the Lord knew I would be the one to help him the most.  We all have our trials with motherhood, we all have days when we question not only our sanity but our ability to handle what we have been given.  I do know though that we are all the very best moms, in our very own way, to parent the children that we have been blessed to raise.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Road Trip

Jeff and I just returned from an 1150 mile road trip!!  We had recently bought a car from our son Ben in Oklahoma to give to our other son Kevin and we finally had a couple of days to go and get it.  We flew into Oklahoma City on Thursday afternoon, met Ben and Carrie and kids at Ted's, a Mexican restaurant for dinner and then quickly went swimming at the pool at our hotel.   Unfortunately by then it was almost time for bed.  We spent a few hours with them on Friday morning and then got in our 2000 Dodge Neon for the ride home.  It definitely wasn't a luxurious ride by any means, but we had a marvelous time.  I love road trips when it is just the two of us.  I have a captive audience, we have to talk because we have hours alone, and we live in an incredibly beautiful world and I would love to see every inch of it.  We arrived home safe and sound about 55 hours after we left.  I am married to an amazing husband who drove every mile of the way in his completely capable manner!!

Cody and Macey spent the night with us at the hotel.  Macey exclaimed the next morning at breakfast:
"I just love hotels."

 Oh how we miss these kids.  I wished they lived closer but they are doing so many good things with their lives.

                                                                        Our Purple Girls

 I promised Cody I would put a picture of him "Flipping a Wheelie" on his skateboard on my blog
 I had to include this pic because this is the only time that Mackayla let me hold her.  I don't think she realizes who it is that has her.

                                                                      Papa and his kids!

The wheat fields of Kansas.  They were beautiful and went on and on and on for miles upon miles

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stop, Drop and Hold On

This morning at 10:15 a.m. the entire state of Utah participated in "The Great Utah Shake Out" which was a trial drill for a large earthquake.  We are past due for a major earthquake and we need to prepare.  At 10:15 everyone was supposed to Stop Drop and Hold On.  I will have to confess that I just watched it on TV instead of actively participating, but it did make me stop and analyze our preparedness.  I gave the married kids very large and complete 72 hour kits for Christmas.  Unfortunately ours is not quite so complete.  I've made a good start on it and then like every thing else in my life, I didn't finish it.  I also want to make one for the cars and for Jeff's work.  I also have two 50 gallon water drums without water in them.  Not really prepared.  I guess those items are going to have to be on my priority to-do list now.  

I also pondered this morning about am I prepared emotionally and spiritually for the personal earthquakes that are bound to occur in my life?  They are rampant as we observe the world around us.  We know from revelation that the literal earthquakes as well as the symbolic ones are going to increase in number.  Obviously my spiritual preparation needs to be on the absolutely necessary to-do list.  It looks like I have lots to do.  Thanks "Great Utah Shake Out" for reminding me of my priorities.

Monday, April 16, 2012

You Reap What You Sow

Yesterday was our ward conference in our YSA ward and Jeff spoke on the Law of Harvest.  His message was amazing.  He had pondered and prayed about this for weeks and obviously the spirit was with him.  He talked about how we reap what we sow.  We will not reap anything different.  When we plant peas we get peas not corn.  We can't cram and plant in September hoping to have a harvest by the end of the week.  We need to prepare the soil(remove any impurities, toxins), plant, nourish, and then we can reap.  The most important element is the sun (Son) through out the process.  Amazing.

Through out his talk it kept coming to me that this was the same concept as I mentioned in my last post about giving up being a caterpillar to become a butterfly.  We can't become a butterfly without lots of giving up unproductive habits, nourishing good habits or planting new ones, and the Son always needs to be involved.

I began to reflect on where I was at when I heard this analogy of the butterfly.  I remember I had two small children and probably was pregnant with my third.  I attended an American Mothers Convention and was in a class taught by Elaine McKay.  I remembering her saying forcefully "You need to want to be a butterfly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."  I'm sure she said it much more eloquently but that is all I've got this morning.  Anyway----I knew immediately what I needed to change.  This sounds so silly now, but was so important to me then.  I watched two soap operas daily and I needed to stop.  They were overtaking my life.  The soap operas then were like the reality TV shows now, full of drama, back biting, promiscuousness and deceit.  I would plan my day around them, I would worry about the characters after the show.  It was sick.  I am proud to say that from that day forward I never watched them again.  It was so difficult at first, but I'm sure that Luke and Laura from General Hospital got along just fine without me and if they didn't I don't know because I didn't watch.  There- self confession-but I know I immediately became a much better person, not only because I had an extra hour in my day, but because I wasn't being dragged down by the smut I was involved in as I watched them.

Today I don't watch TV at all so I know that is not a habit I need to change, but I do know I need to start sowing some greater seeds than I am currently sowing because I do know what I want to reap.  Obviously some real deep contemplation and prayer needs to take place this week.  Just watch.  It is going to be amazing because one day I'm going to be an incredible butterfly!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Butterfly Life

Butterflies have always symbolized many things in my life.  Eons ago when I was young, foolish and rebellious they became a symbol of freedom.  Unfortunately the freedom I desired at that time was from all that was good in my life.  Now as I reflect on those times it wasn't a butterfly that represented my life it was an ugly obnoxious moth.  Thankfully that era in my life was short lived.  Now I realize the freedom that they represent is a freedom from worldly possessions and temptations.  They have become almost spiritual to me as they symbolize an ethereal existence that isn't burdened with the filth, vulgarity, and unholiness that is present in the world today.  They can fly above all that and so can we as we become in tune with the spirit and fill our lives with family, faith and uplifting friends.  

When Jessi and I were at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park we went to a butterfly exhibit that was an enclosed, luscious green sanctuary that was filled with butterflies of all kinds.  It was breath taking.  As you quietly strolled along the paths the butterflies would just randomly land on you.  It was so cool.  

I had on a green shirt that they loved.  I think they thought it was another plant.
 Jessi had on this orange shirt which I thought they would love, but she didn't attract near as many as my green shirt did.  The guides told us that surprisingly the butterflies love white shirts.

                                                                Another one on my shirt.
              My lungs really enjoyed the humidity in the exhibit, but obviously my hair style does not.
This butterfly landed on my purse when we first went in and stayed right there the entire time we were walking around.  When this butterfly opens its wings it is an iridescent blue.  Probably the most striking of all the butterflies but it refused to open its wings during its ride on my purse so I could not get a picture of the beautiful color.  

Years ago and several times since in many lessons that I have taught I have used the analogy of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.  The short version is this.  The caterpillar is not so cute but may be content with its slow and limited life.  It crawls on the ground maybe it can creep up a plant but it is certainly bound by its little legs and long body.  I'm sure it wants to be a butterfly, but it might be scary to make that change because it is a very drastic change and life is comfortable the way it is because that is all they know and understand.  Finally the desire to become something greater, more beautiful and certainly to have a more fulfilled life overcomes their belief in their world as it is now.  They decide to make the change.  They have to want to be a butterfly bad enough that they are willing to give up being a caterpillar!!  Just like that caterpillar we have to give up what we are and where we are now to become the best we can be.  It is scary and maybe some of the habits, hobbies and routines are comfortable and we understand them and their outcomes.   BUT are they taking us where we know we should be going, are we achieving all that we could be accomplishing, and are we living the life the Lord intended for us to live.  We need to want to be a butterfly bad enough that we are willing to give up being the caterpillar.

I have been so impressed with many of my young adult friends lately.  Lots of them are looking at their lives and leaving their comfort zones and striving to be incredible butterflies.  They are changing jobs and careers, starting businesses, attending graduate school, moving out of state.  It is obviously the season for them to change.  I realize that for most of them this isn't the life they dreamed of as a child, but they are making the most of where they are and utilizing the many gifts they have been blessed with and leaving their caterpillar lives.
Now I need to think about what I am doing.  Scary thought.  I have become caught up in many caterpillar activities that need to be changed in my life.  I realize I could do so much more, serve more diligently, and use my time more meaningfully.  Now is the time to not only spring clean my closets, cupboards, and rooms but to spring clean my habits, hobbies and routines.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Change of Heart

Last week was our General Conference which I look forward to almost from the moment the last one ends. I have this desire to have my house clean, food prepared, and life in control so I can just sit for two days and bask in the messages of these great disciples of Christ.  I'm not sure I really have been able to do it for all the sessions, but it is a worthy goal.  This year Carly and kids were coming to stay at our home conference weekend, which I was thrilled about but also concerned because I wanted to listen intently to each session.  I was feeling a little bit selfish. 

I finished reading the Book of Mormon early Saturday morning before the conference began.  As I was reading in Moroni 8 it says "Little children are alive in Christ" and I began to rethink my desires. I began to remember the importance of children and being near them.  Then the second speaker in conference that morning was Pres. Boyd K Packer and his entire talk was on the importance of children.  Watch it here I was definitely beginning to feel chastised. My favorite quote from his talk is: 
"One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophecy that “a little child shall lead them.”4

It was amazing to me how my attitude changed completely and by Sunday night I was so thankful that Lucy and Clara, Blake and Callie had been with us through out the conference.  How honored I felt to be able to share this wonderful weekend with my family.  I would of had it no other way. 

During the Priesthood Session all of us girls went to the new City Creek Mall.  It was crowded, crazy and fun.   

Monday, April 9, 2012

Marine Biologist??

I have always thought that in my next life I would be a wildlife biologist.  Now after visiting SeaWorld again after 25 years maybe I want to be a marine biologist.  I love any living animal, bird or fish.  (Notice I did not say amphibian.  Not a fan of snakes, lizards, etc.)  I am so intrigued by them and cherish time spent around them.  How fun it would be to study them and work among them.  Oh well.  Like I said, maybe in the next life.
                                                  Here are a few pics from SeaWorld.
                                                                            The Sharks.

                                                                             The Turtles
                                                              We got to pet these dolphins.
                                             Jessi with the killer whales.  (Shamu type whales)
Jessi believes this is an attack bird.  It kept trying to steal the little fish she was feeding the sea lions.  
       This is one of the sea lions  she was supposed to be feeding the fish to but the bird kept taking it.
                             This is dinner for that bird.  I think the sea lions maybe got one or two of them.
 Now I will have to proudly admit the sea lion got all of my fish.  Maybe it is because I didn't scream every time the bird came near.
                                                    An incredible day at Sea World.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

3 New "Firsts"

Spring Break has always been a time in our family to travel and celebrate together.  When our oldest son was in high school we decided to plan a "FUN" trip over spring break with the family and then he wouldn't be tempted to have a "Friends only" spring break trip.  This tradition has stayed with us since.  Many years we took friends with us but it was always a family trip first and foremost.  The only bad thing about that is we never developed many Easter Traditions because we were either in a hotel, just getting home, or just leaving depending on the timing of Spring Break.  We have some incredible memories though!!

This year Jessi and I were the only ones on hand for our annual spring break vacation.  This trip was actually a pay off for an incentive (Note: Not a Bribe but Incentive) for Jessi to finish her Personal Progress Award.  Learn more about that here.   The timing was perfect for us to go during spring break.  The timing couldn't of been more perfect for me personally either because before we went I was emotionally and physically exhausted.  I kept telling my kids the few weeks before we left that I was "weary".  My mom used to use that word and it has taken me until I am 54 years old to really understand what she meant.  I was "weary".

It is amazing though what four days in San Diego can do to rejuvenate the spirit and the body.  The ocean has always been healing to me.  I thought deeply about it this time I was there and we really didn't spend much time at all on the beach, but I still felt so much better.  I have decided that the humidity and being at sea level are also huge in the equation.  I also have a great love for palm trees.  I loved living in Las Vegas mainly because we could have palm trees in our yard.
                     We could see this Palm Tree from our hotel room in San Diego.  Definitely Healing.

This trip had a few personal firsts for me.
1.  I drove on the California Freeways!!  That really isn't a first because I did a few years ago and because of that I was incredibly nervous about it this time.  Last time I was following another car this time I was on my own.  That is not exactly true.  There were three of us involved in this endeavor.  I was the driver, Jessi would tell me where to go, and the sweet lady on the GPS would figure out which direction and which freeway to take.  We could of never done it without the GPS.  Thank heavens for modern technology.  We certainly worked out a great system between the three of us.  Jessi kept telling me that she felt like the mom because she was always telling me where to go and I told her I cherished the role reversal because I was tired of being responsible and in charge so feel free to take over the mom role, it is up for grabs.

2.  The next personal first happened at San Diego Safari Park.  We had a great day in the park, we had rode the tram to visit the remake of the African Plains and was walking on the trails to see the rest of the African animals that couldn't be let loose on the plains with the others i.e. lions, tigers, and bears.  OK no bears.  We were near the lions and they were laying down napping.  Pretty boring so most of the people walked on, then we noticed that the big male lion had got up and was urging one of the females to get up also.  When she did he climbed on her back and probably 5 yards in front of us they began to mate.  The funniest thing about it was an elderly lady standing next to us was narrating exactly what was going on.  It was hilarious and definitely a first.

3.  The best first for the trip was that Jessi and I went on a Segway Tour!!  It was so much fun.  We chose a shorter one not knowing how it would go, but we both mentioned when it was over that we could of gone much further.  It was a blast.  Everyone at home was so surprised that I was willing to do it.  I really must be boring at home.  We loved it!!