The man who leans heavily upon the Lord becomes the master of self and can accomplish anything he set out to do, whether it be to secure the brass plates, build a ship, overcome a habit, or conquer a deep-seated transgression.

President Spencer W. Kimball

Never complain, never explain, just do it.

1.  Barf bags in the car.  The Princess sometimes gets car sick, and we have started keeping a stash of Ziploc bags by her seat.  Then if she throws up, we can seal the bag and don’t worry about it spilling in the car.

2.  Organizing hair accessories.  I use the snack size ones to organize her clips and elastics by color.  Then it’s easy to grab the coordinating bag and let her pick what she wants in her hair.

3.  Organizing Legos.  We have a toy bin and all the Legos are organized by color in different buckets.  But there are only so many bins, so we use Ziploc bags to keep the smaller groups organized.

4.  Scrapbooking.  I use bags so much in my scrapbook room.  Mostly I use the gallon size ones to help organize photos and school papers and such for each child. 

5.  Portioning out snacks.  I buy food in bulk (goldfish crackers, trail mix, etc.) at WinCo and then we portion them out into bags that are ready to be packed into lunches.  However, for this, I usually use the fold-top bags because they are cheaper and the kids can just throw them away.

6.  Packing on trips.  I always, always pack my liquids into Ziploc bags.  Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, toothpaste, etc.  Then I never have to worry about leaking.  If they do leak, the bag will contain it and I won’t have wet clothes!  I also pack extra bags for those just in case moments.

7.  Swimming.  Especially on trips, the swimming suits never seem to dry out in time before it’s time to pack up.  I just throw them in Ziploc bags and then into the suit case. 

8.  Leftovers.  It’s so much easier to throw leftovers into a bag and then in the fridge, or even the freezer.  Especially the freezer! 

9.  Frozen fruit.  I will prepare the fruit, and then put in in Ziplock bags and into the freezer to be used for smoothies.  Fruits I have done are apricots, peaches, pears, cherries, mangos, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.  Then when it’s time for a smoothie, you just throw the bag in the microwave for 2 minutes to soften the fruit, and then into the blender with 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/4 c. sugar, and some milk.  No need for ice! 

10.  Frosting/melted chocolate.  When you need to frost something or drizzle melted chocolate, just put it in a Ziploc bag, clip the corner and squirt away.  Always clip smaller than you thing.  It’s easier to cut more off than put it back on!

Now, just to clarify, when I say Ziploc bags, I mean Ziploc bags.  I will not use generic for this.  I have tried and they just aren’t as thick, they don’t close as easily, and they come undone a lot!  I do use the generic for the fold-top bags.

And finally, wash your bags and reuse them!  A little soap on your hand, wash them out and let them dry on the side of the sink.  They are sturdy enough to be used several times before they give out on you.  When you are rinsing them out, just fill them with water and check for holes. 

I would love to hear if you have any other uses for these wonderful, amazing bags!

Well, we aren’t moving.  We sat down and ran the numbers and even if we got a full price offer on our house with no concessions, and it was lucky enough to appraise for that amount (which is a big if), we would be in the hole $17,000.  That doesn’t take into account moving expenses and utilities and then deposits for renting a new house, etc. 

We just looked at each other and knew that we were not comfortable with that.  So we took the house off the market and we are going to give it a few years to let the market hopefully stabilize. 

Strangely, I am relieved to make this decision.  I have hated trying to keep the house clean and company-ready all the time.  The bad part is that I have to unpack boxes and put things back away.  I have liked how uncluttered the house feels, even though we are having to go out to the garage several times a week to find things!

So if you know anyone who is moving, I have lots of boxes they can have! 

We are a really healthy family, and we rarely get sick.  Even when I get a cold, I suck on zinc, stay in bed for a day, and that’s it.  I’m good to go. 

I got a cold 2 weeks ago, and it hit me hard. I was so tired and felt awful.  And it lingered.  And lingered.  Finally, Saturday, I went in to the doctor.  I was diagnosed with 2 ear infections, a sinus infection, and bronchitis.  No wonder I felt so awful!

So I apologize for being MIA.  I am on antibiotics, but they haven’t quite kicked in yet.  Hopefully in a day or two, I will be feeling better.  But until then, I am going to go take a nap.

Failure is always an option. 


…don’t say anything at all. 

I love my children, but the thought of doing this for another 12 years is overwhelming. 

If Satan can't get you to be bad, he'll make you busy.

A few months ago, I was feeling horrible.  I was struggling with multiple things that were weighing me down and I wasn’t handling them well.  I am sure you could all tell by the tone of my blog.  I know my mom and sisters’ did. 

One morning, the kids had all gone to school and I hopped in the shower.  As the warm (okay, scalding hot) water rushed over me, my tears were released and I bawled and bawled.  The shower is a great place for that because you don’t need a tissue!

Anyway, I was sobbing and mourning over some choices that my son was making.   How was I supposed to go on with my life when I felt like such a total and complete failure as a mother?  My child was choosing a path that was not right.  What if I had just held him a little tighter, or a little longer as a baby? What if I had smiled more and yelled less? What if I had played more and cleaned less? What if.

As I stood there and cried, I asked my Heavenly Father how He could sit back and watch this happen to my child. And then I had a revelation.

It was His son that was causing all this heartbreak.  His son doing this to my son.  His son putting the garbage out into the world and tempting all of His other children, trying to get them to fail.  How many nights has He cried over His son rebelling and causing so much pain?

That really helped me to realize that I am NOT a bad mom. I don’t look at Heavenly Father and think he is a bad father.  He lost 1/3 of children to rebellion. He completely understands the pain and grief that I was feeling.  But I just have to keep trying.  I can’t give up. 

And I didn’t give up.  Things have gotten so much better since that day. My son is back on the right path, making choices that are in line with his upbringing and testimony.  It hasn’t been easy.  He has struggled and had set backs.  But he is going to be okay.  He is even fun to be around again. 

I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy, but I just have to do the best that I can.  And I know that my Heavenly Father will be with me.  Because He loves me.  Of that, I am positive.  He love me, and He loves my children.  And I love my children so very much. 

It is hard being the mom of teenagers.  They think they are so grown up and want to make their own decisions.  And they should.  But it’s hard to watch them make bad decisions.  I know it’s part of Heavenly Father’s plan that we each get to make our own choices.  I know that I wouldn’t want to be forced to do things that I don’t want to do, even if they are righteous things.  But it’s still hard to have to sit back and not have any control.  All I can I do is pray and talk to them and give them my opinion and hope they make the right choices. 

It sounds easy, but it’s not.  I have been stressing about my kids for quite a while.  And last night, I realized that I have been living in fear.  I have been fearing the decisions they will possibly make instead of having faith that Heavenly Father will watch over them and take care of them. 

And He will.  He will not take away their agency.  He will let them make their own choices.  But He will always be there when they need Him.  He will not desert them.  They just have to ask.  And I have to have faith that things will work okay. 

They might make choices that take them down the wrong path.  I don’t have control over that.  But I have control over what I teach them.  I will continue to hold Family Home Evening.  I will continue to have family prayer.  I will continue to have family scripture study.  I will continue to take them to church.  I will do everything that my Heavenly Father has told me to do to teach them and show them the right way.

Child: Teach me to walk in the light of His love;

Teach me to pray to my Father above;

Teach me to know of the things that are right;

Teach me, teach me, to walk in the light.

Parent: Come, little child, and together we’ll learn

Of His commandments, that we may return

Home to His presence, to live in His sight.

Always, always to walk in the light.

Both: Father in Heaven, we thank thee this day

For loving guidance to show us the way.

Grateful, we praise thee with songs of delight!

Gladly, gladly we’ll walk in the light.

I will have faith.  And I will pray.  A lot. 

This is what happens when you try to use a ball to get a ball to get a ball to get a ball that is stuck in tree.

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.