Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Several per day, usually.
We put them in clear plastic cups so they are easy to take when we are on the go.
Which is often.
But in an effort to be conservative
we wash and rinse the cups out,
then place them in the windowsill to dry
so that we can reuse them.
There are usually one... or two... in the corner of our windowsill.
But since we've had houseguests this week, we've made quite a few extra smoothies.
Even more than normal.
So we've had this little pyramid going...
Well, this morning, after breakfast,
I lifted Daynen up to the kitchen sink to wash his hands.
He looked at them and said, "Cool! Are doze Jesus cups?"
I wasn't sure I understood what he meant...
My mind was puzzling over whether he meant,
So I said, "What kind of cups?"
He repeated, "Jesus cups! Let's do the trick!"
Still confused, I said, "What trick? Show me."
He reached for the center cup on the bottom row and pulled it out,
explaining, "Like when Jesus dies and dey awe come tumb-wing down
and da choo-wuch cah-w-ashes."
(Toddlerese to English Translation: ... and they all come tumbling down and the church crashes.")
I couldn't help but smile as I caught on and realized what he was saying.
I guess he really WAS listening at Family Home Evening last week
when we had our lesson about The Great Apostasy...
We labeled some of those same plastic cups and then stacked them,
creating a tower to represent the Church as it was when Jesus Christ was here upon the earth.
Then we pulled out the bottom cup (representing Christ as the foundation of the Church)
and talked about how it all fell apart after his death and the martyrdom of the apostles.
We showed the boys how many of the same principles and ordinances of the gospel remained,
but explained that some were lost, distorted, misinterpreted or even forgotten.
The big boys seemed to understand the object lesson,
but of course the little ones were way more interested in just building and crashing towers.
The rest went right past them.
So imagine my surprise when my sweet, barely-3 year old replays the message to me.
All on his own!
Almost a whole week later!
It was one of those far-too-few-and-far-between "Parent Pay-offs".
When you realize something you thought went right over their heads,
Even just a little!
...Guess we'll keep at it!
It also reminded me of a particularly touching talk from last fall's General Conference...
Reaffirmed to me the total and absolute truth of it.
Like many other moms, I sometimes struggle with feeling like I just try SOOO hard...
And for what?
The job often feels overwhelming and fruitless.
Trying to get everyone to cooperate and do the right thing
seems like a lot of hard work
and often even ends up feeling counter-productive.
So Elder Bednar's talk pierced me to the core
and warmed my very soul with a rekindled commitment for consistency.
Despite the sometimes discouraging individual instances.
I remember sitting in my car in the Costco parking lot.
Feeling so filled that my emotions were spilling over.
Streaming silently down my cheeks.
I heard... really HEARD... his words.
Spoken as if straight to me.
It felt as if the teardrops spotting the bosom of my t-shirt
were imbedding them indellibly upon my heart.
So as a reminder to myself,
and to share with anyone reading, who may also benefit,
here is the part that I just loved:
"As our sons were growing up, our family did what you have done and what you now do.
We had regular family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening.
Now, I am sure what I am about to describe has never occurred in your home, but it did in ours.
Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered
if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile.
Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts
such as “He’s touching me!”
“Make him stop looking at me!”
“Mom, he’s breathing my air!”
Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking.
And with active, rambunctious boys,
family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification.
At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated
because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster
did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected.
Today if you could ask our adult sons what they remember
about family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening,
I believe I know how they would answer.
They likely would not identify a particular prayer
or a specific instance of scripture study
or an especially meaningful family home evening lesson
as the defining moment in their spiritual development.
What they would say they remember is that as a family we were consistent.
Sister Bednar and I thought helping our sons understand the content
of a particular lesson or a specific scripture was the ultimate outcome.
But such a result does not occur each time we study or pray or learn together.
The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps the greatest lesson—
a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time.
In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field.
The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—
none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive.
In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass
of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint.
However, as you gradually move away from the canvas,
all of the individual brushstrokes combine together
and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field.
Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together
to create a captivating and beautiful painting.
Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study,
and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls.
No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable.
But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other
and produce an impressive masterpiece,
so our consistency in doing seemingly small things
can lead to significant spiritual results.
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing,
for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.
And out of small things proceedeth that which is great”
Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes."
That message and that image of the wheat field has stayed with me.
So, here, in this simple stack of plastic cups drying in my kitchen windowsill,
I am painting.
One. Stroke. At. A. Time.
Painting the portrait of my own ever-growing, testimony
and imprinting it upon the hearts of my children.
One scripture study.
One Family Home Evening.
One heart-to-heart chat.
One teaching moment.
One plastic cup tower. At. A. Time...
Friday, May 7, 2010
And I try to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Back row (Left to Right): Mike Staker (Matt's older and oh-so-much-wiser brother),
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Our wonderful, a-MAZ-ing and completely over-achieving sister, Mindy,
has put this great event together in our behalf.
The blessings just seem to have no end.
We are absolutely thankful.
We are also grateful
that this will provide us with a much-needed opportunity
to thank so many of you for your love and support,
and allow us to throw you a bit of a Thank-You Party!
So whether you run, or not... please
Come celebrate the gift of life with us
in honor of Bronson's second chance!
There will be a 5K and a Children's 1 Mile Fun Run.
Starting at 9 am
Food, Games, Prizes, Raffles, Bounce Houses!
Register online @:
We look forward to seeing you there!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Why BACK to the hospital, you ask?
Well, quite simply, because we needed to go.
KSL Radio invited us to come and assist in their annual fundraiser
for Primary Children's Medical Center.
So of course, we absolutely agreed.
If there is any way we can help that wonderful place and those amazing people,
we will absolutely do it... for the rest of ever.
They gave us our boy back.
Healed and whole.
How can you ever put a price on the life of your child?
We could pay that hospital bill a hundred times over and never come close to repaying them.
They did what we could not do for ourselves.
Some people believe that medical science and faith are at odds.
At opposite ends of the spectrum.
I believe they are two languages telling the same story.
Seeking the same eventual truth. Perhaps with varying methods.
Or differing means working towards the same end. The same goal.
I believe our loving Father in Heaven guides the hands and the hearts of those here on earth
who have the knowledge and training to assist Him.
I believe that He allows us to do as much as we can do, to the best of our abilities,
to allow us to learn and grow, and to further research and knowledge.
And then I believe He steps in with His grace, and does the rest of the work necessary
to accomplish His will, whatever that may be.
In Bronson's case, it was for him to LIVE.
And not just live, but live HERE.
And not just here, but WHOLE.
Again, we could NOT be more grateful.
Ever so grateful.
Yet this gift we've been given will not go without price, philanthropically speaking.
And we are eager and ready to pay it in whatever way we can.
Expecting much of ourselves and our family.
We will serve willingly wherever we can.
Like at the KSL Radiothon.
And so we dropped everything, made the arrangements and went.
And for my soul, still healing.
And even good for Matt, who does NOT like the spotlight.
He ate up all the attention.
Ran around like crazy.
Played fetch with the stuffed moose.
High-fived the tech-guys.
Explored the set.
Flirted with the team of call takers.
What a cutie.
They all loved him.
He ate popcorn from a cup and threw it onto the floor.
Which we tried our hardest to prevent, but well, that's why parents have hands.
And why they make vacuums.
To clean up messes.
So we told our story yet again.
And asked for help.
Not for us, but for the hospital.
And for other children who need it.
We asked people to open their hearts and their wallets and give to a worthy cause.
There is still plenty of time.
The Radiothon goes through tomorrow.
We aren't the type that like to ask for things.
Especially for money.
But if you feel so inclined,
and if you have a dollar or more to spare,
this would be a wonderful way to spend it.
It all goes toward a deserving child.
Every single penny.
While we were at the hospital, I read a poster with a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own."
It struck me so strongly.
I knew this was the key the moment I saw it.
And we have tried to do that.
Tried to share the surplus of support we have been blessed with.
Tried to share and ease the burdens of others we have met and love.
Well, today I am making a choice.
This trip to the hospital tonight was as much about healing me
as the last one was about Bronson.
I have decided.
I am done feeling guilty.
I am done being ashamed.
I am done feeling like the poster-face for negligent mothering.
I am done beating myself up for a momentary lapse in judgement.
I am done feeling feeling crappy about all the pain I have caused.
Because I am not perfect.
Never will be perfect.
Not in this life.
But I can make a difference.
I can lift another's burden.
I can look for ways to serve. Give back. Share.
And I have found a voice.
That voice is getting stronger the more that it speaks out.
And as I speak from the keys on this little laptop,
I find my heart full and overflowing, often with words that are not mine alone.
For God has found a way to use me to strengthen others.
To strengthen you.
Perhaps this was not something I did, but something He allowed to happen.
For my own good. And for the benefit of others.
Knowing that I am stronger than I feel.
And have more to share than I knew.
But believing I had the tenacity to discover it.
Knowing Bronson's miracle would lead to others as it's ripples spread,
touching lives around the globe.
Today is a new day.
The day I learn to turn my pain over
I am still not sure exactly how, but only that it's right.
And that it's time.