Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maude's 101

Misty tagged me a week ago to do this 101 things about me. I had to think about it for a while, but here it is:

1. I struggle to pick one ultimate favorite...
2. I can be a little indecisive at times (now you know the why of #1)
3. My Favorite color of all time is red.
4. I love to read
5. I love Jane Austen's books and movies, I could watch and read them over and over again! Unfortunately Joseph does not share my passion.
6. I can't wait for "Breaking Dawn" tomorrow night!
7. I Love Tom Clancy's Books too!
8. I wish we could get a President who is like Jack Ryan!
9. I am a legal Alien
10. I can be a bit OCD with some things like folding laundry...
11. I do not dwell on the past very much; what is done is done, all I can do is be better in the future.
12. I took 1 year of piano lessons
13. I took 2 years of Art and was chosen as part of a team to make a statue which is on public display in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
14. I like art and artsy things.
15. I don't scrapbook because I am too cheap to buy the supplies, but I would love to one day
16. I cannot wait for Joseph to be done with his bachelor's degree in FIVE weeks!!!
17. I want to celebrate Joseph's graduation by taking a little overnight trip without the kids.
18. I have a list of "requirements" for Joseph's 1st job as a graduate.
19. I claim I am only a stay at home mom but I have a couple side jobs like watching kids.
20. I try not to judge people.
21. I don't understand why someones race/gender/religion is a big deal in a political setting.
22. Race, gender and religion are not an issue in my book.
23. I love living in Utah! I wasn't sure that I would, but I truly do!
24. My present ward is my "home ward". It took me a long time to consider anything but Lemoyne ward that...
25. I don't particularly consider myself a "strong woman"
26. I can be strong when needs be,because I have God besides me.
27. My faith is VERY important to me, I try not to take things for granted.
28. I grew up on the south shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
29. I am proud of my French Canadian roots.
30. I don't speak enough French to my kids.
31. I fell in love with Joseph when I was 16.
32. He did not know it until I was 17 and he was no longer a missionary.
33. We got married 3 weeks shy of my 19th birthday.
34. I weighed 117 lbs the morning of our wedding about 6 pounds short of my usual at that time...
35. I won our honeymoon trip from a bridal fair!
36. When I got the call to tell me that I won, I thought it was a joke!
37. I used to think I was fat...
38. I wish I could be skinny again.
39. I am working out and dieting to lose weight.
40. I am not sure I can be 125lbs again; I'll settle for 135...
41. I am hoping to file the paperwork to become a citizen in the near future.
42. My Parents do not want me to renounce my Canadian Citizenship.
43. I think that if I am going to live here, I mine as well get a say!
44. I Love and Hate Politics...
45. I consider myself a conservative.
46. I was raised rather Liberal... but then again there isn't anything like conservatism in Eastern Canada... Especially not in Quebec!
47. I know Nationalized Health care does not work! My grandma got her Cancer treatment in Vermont...
48. I love Volleyball!
49. I was captain or assistant captain of my Volleyball team through High School.
50. I was a very good student in High School.
51. I did not go to college because I knew I would be getting married and moving away.
52. I am still not sure of what I want to do "when I grow up" or more precisely when my kids grow up a little.
53. I don't think you're ever too old to go back to college.
54. I plan on going back when all my kids are in school...
55. I love history.
56. I thought of doing a minor in political science...
57. When I was in Junior High, I wanted to be a Lawyer
58. When I was in High School I wanted to be a writer or a teacher...
59. I still dream of writing a Novel someday...
60. I like blogging even though I am not the greatest...
61. Emily and Emilie are the best bloggers I know!
62. I finally learned how to put links on here thanks to Lauralee!
63. I don't think I teach my kids enough about everything...
64. I think my kids are REALLY smart!
65. Some days I yell too much.
66. I am trying really hard not to yell at my kids anymore...
67. I think being a mom is HARD, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world...
68. I really want a baby girl, but somehow I think I would be okay with all boys too.
69. I really want another baby.
70. My kids are true believers in the motto that says that "early risers own the world".
71. My mom says it's payback for my rooster behavior as a kid...
72. I Love my parents but I don't necessarily aspire at being like them.
73. I love talk radio.
74. I listen to Sean Hannity a lot.
75. I try to catch Glenn Beck whenever I can; he scares me sometimes, but mostly he cracks me up!
76. My father and I do not agree on politics.
77. I believe the best way for me to make a difference is to teach my children well.
78. I believe in "the American Dream"
79. I think the American Dream is synonymous of hard work.
80. I think the American people should demand a lot MORE from their political leaders...
81. I want my kids to take piano lessons, swim lessons,...
82. I am better than I deserve: The Dave Ramsey method is awesome!
83. That's right: WE'RE GETTING OUT OF DEBT BABY!!!
84. I hate when my house is messy, but I can never keep it clean for very long...
85. I keep "job hunting" for Joseph
86. We have a dog, a cat and some fishes...
87. I don't mind the Fishes, tolerate the dog and the cat drives me nuts!
88. I make friends pretty easily for the most part.
89. I am a lot more shy than I was when I was a teenager, but I am coming out of it.
90. I am trying to become better friends with a few sisters in my ward.
91. I always look at houses for sale even though I know we won't be buying a house for a couple of years.
92. I keep hoping for a miracle so that we can buy a house soon!
93. I start chomping at the bit after a couple of months without a calling.
94. I loved being in primary, but my favorite calling of all times was being YW camp director.

95. I believe in eternal friendships. I think that distance may hamper the frequency of exchanges, but not the ardor of feelings.

96. I have 4 brothers and 1 sister.
97. My sister was and always will be my best girlfriend.
98. My little brother Charles will pass the 3 year mark of the accident that put him in a wheelchair next week.
99. I admire my little brother Charles immensely for his optimism, attitude and positive outlook amidst hardship.
100. I am the only active member of the church among my siblings.
101. I am soooo glad I am done!

I will not tag anyone because I thought that was HARD! but if you feel so inclined, go ahead!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A visit from the Tooth Fairy!

After days of being scared and enduring the discomfort of a very wiggly tooth, Matthew finally decided that he was ready to be brave and let us pull his tooth with a thread.

THe tooth fairy did pay us a visit in the course of the night!

Look at the the toothless smile!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Samuel the Adventurer...

This Little boy of mine has been taking new steps in his quest to more fully discover the world... Sometimes though I wonder how much of this is actually NORMAL, since my older 2 boys were never this anxious to taste all that is around...

It all started with the puddle of dirty water on a slab of cement last week. Samuel laid on his belly and drank: GROOOOOSSSSSSSS!

This morning it was the white out bottle painted around his mouth...

Later it was the Lemi-shine, a "natural" dishwasher soap...

Then, it was the half squished plum he picked up on the grass...

Seriously: How much do you really need to eat these things?

That boy has quite the sense of adventure, at least when it comes to tasting nasty things!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer Heritage...

I've been thinking for a while about Pioneer day here in Utah and about what it means for me. My husband has some "real pioneer roots" through his Grandma Beckman, I know that, but being the French Canadian that I am, I don't. Then I started thinking a lot about my heritage. My ancestors surely weren't the kind to just do what they were told. I have a great great great grandfather who made his way back to Canada (in snowshoes, in the winter) after having been deported to Louisiana by the British. My Dad taught me that I was of noble ascendancy, not only by birth but mostly because I AM a Daughter of God.

This was the start of a new perspective in terms of heritage.

Long before I was even a thought into my parents mind, a young man by the name of Jeff Packer decided to go on a mission. He was called by the lord to serve in eastern Canada, and went to Montreal. There he met a widower and his young fiancee. They got married and accepted the gospel. My aunt and Uncle. As my aunt and uncle were eager about the gospel they shared it with my father who was more or less interested. Until a young elder named Royal Eccles came to teach him. This young missionary was not afraid to teach by the spirit, and to follow the lord's guidance. When he met my dad, he knew that he was who he had been prepared for. He knew that he could not give up on that man. His efforts were rewarded. The spirit touched my father. He could no longer deny.

As I have been meditating about my heritage these lasts weeks, I have come to realize that our heritage is not only by physical lineage, but also by spiritual lineage. I am Grateful to Elder Packer and Elder Eccles, and to the unknown missionary who baptized my mom. Their Perseverance, efforts and faith are a part of me. They are my spiritual pioneers and I will forever be grateful to them for what this heritage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The funniest Cartoon!

Last night while he was waiting for me to be ready for bed, Joseph opened his favorite bedside reading material: Calvin and Hobbes.

I have to say that Calvin and Hobbes has got to be the funniest cartoon ever put on paper! It is also a good insight on how we used to think as kids and what our kids must be thinking oftentimes. I really like the wisdom and the charm, but mostly I love his wit and humor!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Challenges in the life of a Mom...

This week has been a little rough on me mostly because it's been a very busy week for Joseph and we haven't spent much time together as a family.

It all started Monday evening with the Departure of Chris. Then there was the second (all night) job Tuesday night. Wednesday was bishopric visits. Joseph was home not very late but we didn't get back from Nancy's party until 9pm. Thursday night was school, of which he was let out early because the air conditioning wasn't working. Finally, last night (Friday) Joseph went straight from work to girls camp. He will be back home later today, hopefully around 2pm. Needless to say the kids had little time with their dad.

Starting Wednesday, I noticed an increase in bad attitudes, whining, crying, fighting, and naughty behaviors in my kids. I thought it would be better after a good night of sleep... Thursday was worse! So I thought maybe I had become too lax on my 123 magic... I told the kids that if they got to 3 it was a time-out no matter what! By bedtime, I was absolutely rung out.

Friday had a bad start. I got out of the shower to find Samuel sitting on my kitchen counter, his feet in the sink with water all over... It was another day... But then something happened in the afternoon. I was reminded why I LOVE being a mom. Because I love my Kids and because they are cute!

I had no idea what was in store for me at bedtime.

Samuel got up twice after I put him in bed, then the hysteria started. He started crying uncontrollably for his Daddy. I called Joseph and had him say goodnight over the phone, I hung up and he went ballistic again: "Daaaaddaaaaa, daaaaddyyyyyy" for a good half hour. I would call Joseph, Samuel would calm down while he was on the phone. As soon as I would hang up, he started again. Finally I told him I would stay by him until he went to sleep. Around 8:10, he finally was sleeping. I put him in bed at 7pm...

This brings me to this train of thought: being a Mom IS HARD!

But then a new day starts and I do it again... It's not like I would ever give up, it's just that sometimes I am overwhelmed...

What about you?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The newest American citizen / Hill Air Force Museum

My friend Nancy took the oath and became an American Citizen yesterday. I am sooooo happy for her and I must admit a tiny bit jealous! I have been eligible for a while but we usually have something more pressing to do with the $675 that it cost to send in the LAST paperwork...

Her Husband Luke and sis-in-law Katey organized this cool surprise Party @ Greg's and Lisa's last night. It was an all American BBQ with burgers, hot-dogs, chips, potato salad veggies, cake and the BEST TRIFLE EVER! SOOOOO YUMMY! They decorated the yard with a gazillion American flags! IT was really fun! Honey, take notes for when my turn comes around...

Congrats Nancy, you are now welcome to Vote!!!

An other fun thing we did yesterday was to go to the Air force museum. Anessa and I took all the kids after lunch. They had a fun time! I am always amazed that they like it so much, but they do!

The best part of it all: it's free!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Island Park and Yellowstone National Park

We went away for a couple of days last week! It was nice to get away! We left thursday around 5pm and got to Island park around 9. We had a fun time around the fire, talking with our friends Rich and Joni.

Friday morning, we went on a small hike with the kids. It was a 2 mile flat hike but Zack had a hard time at the end... His legs were tired! Then we went back to the cabin and had tinfoil dinners! Yummy! reminded me of girls camp! After lunch we went rafting on the lazy river. It was very beautiful. Very shallow by moments, but also so very clear! You could see the trout in there! THe kids had a ball! Joseph got picked on a lot by Kylie, Kelsie, Chelsea and Kambree. Rather funny... I did come to his rescue though!

After we got back, we packed a picnic and we headed for Yellowstone. SOOOOO PRETTY! It was my first time and I loved it! We were lucky enough to see a black bear (very well) and a grizzly bear (through a nice lady's scope)! We had good laughs!

WE got back to the cabin late, but it was worth the fun! That night Joseph got sick. I think it was a heat stroke. Kylie saved us! I woke her up to see if she could wake up her dad for a blessing. My knocks having produced no result. Bishop got up and gave Joseph a blessing at 2:30 am. Then, Joseph finally stopped shivering and got some restfull sleep. When he woke up saturday morning, he still had the remnants of a headache, but he was feeling a lot better.

Saturday we mostly chilled around the cabin. THe kids were having so much fun just being outside. Samuel was in heaven! He was dirty and he did not care! He was outside and no one was telling him to go inside!

The kids had their first experience with a bibi gun They thought is was cool We had a great lunch of grilled chicken in a very yummy marinade! After that, we started to clean up and pack. We Had so much fun though! !

Thanks Swanson family! We had a great time!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Divine guidance

Last Year around this time, I knelt in prayer before bed like usual. Joseph was working that night so I said my prayer and laid down. But I couldn't sleep. I had this feeling in my heart. It invaded my whole body. I was somewhat overwhelmed by the spirit, it was keeping me awake, telling me, warning me; something was coming. I did not know what it was. A calling for me, for Joseph, something that was going to alter our lives... 2 months later, we were sitting in the stake presidents office. President Scoffield (2nd counselor in our stake presidency) extended Joseph a calling as 2nd counselor in the bishopric of our ward. The feeling came back in force, but I also felt peace. I knew. The Lord had warned me, he had prepared me so that I would be able to support my husband in this demanding calling. And I promised myself I would not complain about the time he spent away from us, serving the Lord. I have done pretty well.

We have been blessed beyond measure.

As I was ready to go to bed Saturday night, I knelt in prayer. I gave a prayer of thanks and asked for a few blessings on our family. I laid down in bed (technically it was the floor, we had family over and gave up our bed to sleep in the boys room). I was tired, but I could not sleep. I had this strong feeling once more. My heart felt like it was in my throat, I was shedding tears. And I was COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED.

Something is coming.

Something that will affect me, my family. I do not know what my Heavenly Father has in store for me, my husband, my family, but I know with certainty something IS coming. I do not know when, where or how. But I KNOW i am being warned, prepared. And so is my family.

Joseph woke up, Probably because i was so restless. I told him about my feeling. How I could not "shake it off". In his sweet way he told me not to worry and held me in his arms. Then I was even more overwhelmed because of my husband. I LOVE HIM. I AM a truly blessed woman to have him in my life, at my side, with 3 amazing sons.

I know I am loved by my Heavenly Father, I know he loves me so much that he knows of my need for preparation. I know his warnings are real. I WILL do whatever He asks of me. I am infinitely grateful for His guidance, for His Love, for His tender care, but most of all for His tender mercies. What an amazing , perfectly loving Father is OUR GOD. How amazing that he cares for each and every one of us. How powerful is His love. I bear witness of him, in my simple yet strong faith. He loves us, He sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us. That through Christ we may all come back to Him, our loving Father. This is the song and desire of my heart; that I might testify of Him who made all and everyone, whose love is without end, even GOD the father and of his son, my brother, Jesus Christ.