Grant me patience
to deal with my

Sunday, March 18, 2012

True Happiness

Russ and I spoke in church today. Our topic was "Service." I didn't get to share everything I had prepared, but I wanted to post a quote by George Albert Smith that I really liked.

True Happiness Comes From Loving and Serving Others

"Do not forget no matter how much you may give in money, no matter how you may desire the things of this world to make yourselves happy, your happiness will be in porportion to your charity and to your kindness and to your love of those with whom you associate here on earth. Our Heavenly Father has said in very plain terms that he who says he loves God and does not love his brother is not truthful. (see 1 John 4:20)

It isn't only what we receive that makes us happy; it is what we give, and the more we give of that which is uplifting and enriching to our Father's children, the more we have to give. It grows like a great fountain of life and bubbles up to eternal happiness.

When our life here is ended and we return home, we will find credited to us there every good act we have performed, every kindness we have done, every effort we have put forth to benefit our fellows...

...Let us evidence our appreciation of what the Lord has given us by serving Him, and we are serving Him when we do good to His children. Freely we have received, now freely give (see Matthew 10:8). With hearts warmed with love and kindness for our fellow men, let us press steadily on until the final summons shall come, and we shall meet our record. Then, if we have improved our talents, if we have been honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and charitable, and have sought to uplift every soul with whom we have associated, if we have lived up to the light we have received, and disseminated that light whenever opportinity has presented, how happy we will be and how our hearts will swell with gratitude when we receive from the Maker of heaven and earth that welcome plaudit: 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:21)"

I am resolving to make this new week one that is full of service to my family, friends, and neighbors.

"Because I have been given much I too must give..."

Next time you are angry, try serving someone. The next time you are sad, lonely, bored, frustrated, tired, grumpy....for whatever reasons you feel the way you do....go out and do something kind for someone, send a letter of appreciation or gratitude, give your kids a hug and tell them how much you love them and then eat dessert before dinner....just do a kind act....

I think it will do us some good...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My new favorites when it comes to cereal

I LOVE cereal. When I was in high school, it would drive my grandma crazy when I would come home from cross country or track practice and choose cereal for dinner!

Once I got married and had our first baby, I was more than happy to have a heaping bowl of cereal for dinnner instead of having to cook something! Russ didn't share the same sentiments!

My kids take after me. Many many nights, I served them a bowl of cereal for dinner, even lunch, and they accepted it gladly. And I always do a little happy dance because that means no dirty pots and pans!

Over the past few years, especially since my grandad had a heart attack, I have tried to be more conscious about what foods I eat and how those foods will affect my life in the future. I love my grandad beyond words. None of us wanted to lose him. Many family members realized that life is so precious, and short, especially after we visited grandad in the hospital, and I know other members including myself, made a goal to take better care of our bodies, so we can be around as long as possible.

My grandad is doing well. He did give us a scare last summer when he got a pulminary embolism. He is so quiet and content that I guess every once in awhile, he likes to give everyone mini heart attacks!


Let's talk cereal. I have found some yummy favorites that I wanted to share. You really should give them a chance!

GOLEAN Cereal, Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble thumbnail
Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble

Heart To Heart Cereal, Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters thumbnail
Kashi Oat Flakes and Blueberry Clusters

GOLEAN Cereal, Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble thumbnail
Kashi GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble

If you want to learn more about Kashi, click the link below.
Official Website for Kashi

Quaker Natural Granola - Apple, Cranberry, Almond
Quaker Natural Granola-Apple Cranberry Almond

Quaker Whole Hearts - Original
Quaker Whole Hearts

Official Website for Quaker Oats

I love the fact that all of these cereals are made with whole grains, are a great source of fiber and protein, are low in sodium, and they taste great! The Quaker Whole Hearts are a great dry snack for toddlers or even adults, and the Natural Granola can be mixed with yogurt for a healthy snack. I just love the fact that there are so many choices out there, and there is always something in our diet we can replace with something just a tasty but contains a better variety of nutrients our bodies need and crave. We need to take better care of our bodies so we can all be around for a long time and be able to enjoy life at the same time.

What are some health foods that you have discovered and love? I want to know so I can try them too!

Next Health Food Post: I have never tried Hummus or Quinoa. Once I try them, I will post a review about what my family and I thought about it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

17 weeks and an early ultrasound...

Here is the profile. So cute! The baby was very wiggly and moved around alot! There were three times where I watched the baby kick and felt the kick right where the ultrasound "thingy" was pressing on my tummy!

Anyone know the name of the "thingy" they put on your stomach?? Haha.

This one is of the side and back of the head, arm, and you can see the cord wrapped around the back of the neck and going inbetween the arm towards the front of the face. The 3-D pictures were a little smudgy because the cord was right in front of the baby's nose and mouth!

The baby is very active and I have been feeling it move consistently, especially at night, for about 3 weeks now. Every week the kicks just get a little bit stronger and I feel a greater amount of them. It's a pretty amazing thing, at least to me, and I am amazed during each pregnancy at the miracle of life!

Thee baby's hands were always up by the face, which was so cute! It is amazing how perfectly formed everything is when the baby is still so tiny! I think at 17 weeks the baby is around 4 inches, the size of an avacado from rump to head.

Cute little feet that were crossed at the ankles!

Arm and ear. I think it is so cool how we could see all the bones, and I just love watching the heart beat. So crazy to comprehend that life is living right there below my belly button! Fourth baby, and it just still amazes me everytime! This being our last baby, I am just trying to savor everything and not take anything for granted. I will truly miss being pregnant!!

This one is my favorite! The baby just looks so cute and perfect! We are just so grateful to be able to do this one last time!

And here is the shot everyone is waiting for. Boy or girl? What do you think? And yes, we definitely have a name picked was picked out before Kya was born!

As for me, I feel great, have much more energy and haven't suffered from any weird side effects. I had to give some more blood so they could re-check my thyroid levels, since the first test results were low, and we are just waiting for those results to come back. Weight gain is great, baby is measuring right on, and we are just thankful for a quiet pregnancy so far. The kids are really excited, Carter seems especially impatient, asking me often when will it be time to go to the hospital so the doctor can take the baby out?? He now knows that after his birthday on July 24th, it will be time, and he reminds us often! When I showed Carter the ultrasound pictures, he says in the cutest tone, "Ooooooh, the baby is SOOOO cute!" He is going to be a very loving big brother, just he was with Kya! And Anna was a little put-out after finding out the sex of the baby, she exclaimed to me very much annoyed, "It doesn't even look like a baby, just a big BLOB!!!" Hahaha! So dramatic! She was very grumpy and not feeling well, so we will give her some sympathy for her lack of it that afternoon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It just doesn't seem right...

There is a house for sale. 5 Bedrooms 1 bathroom. It's in the school district we like, right by a brand new park, and in a great neighborhood. Plus, it is only a block away from grandma and grandpa's house. If they looked out their kitchen window, they could see the front window of this house.

The house is on a "short sale" and going for only $89,900.

Russ and I wanted it. Bad. It's perfect...the house isn't perfect...but we could just see ourselves living there for a long time. And the house has lots of potential, new windows, bay window in the front living room, new flooring in kitchen and bathroom, lots of square footage for a family of our size. Like I said, it's perfect.

We found this house last night. Russ's mom is the office manager of a real estate company in town and she told us about it. We started looking into things more, we thought, "Hey, what if we could actually get this house?" We gave it a try. I called a lender.

This is what is awesome and at the same time frustrating.

Through Idaho Housing, we can get a loan for 3.97% and we wouldn't have to pay monthly mortgage insurance for not being able to pay 20% down. With the interest rate of 3.97% our loan amount would be $87,200. Pretty sweet for a 5 bedroom house. Even better, the monthly house payment would be $414.80!!! What??? Who reading this ever paid a rent payment for that little? With taxes, the payment for the house would be just over $500/month. And this is money that goes towards something you will OWN. When we lived in Rexburg, we paid rent for a 3 bedroom apartment with no dishwasher, no washer or dryer, and the smallest kitchen/dining area ever! In the living room, an adult could take 4-5 steps to get from one couch to the other. And we had to deal with newlyweds living above us, who were always chasing each other around the apartment, playing their game system too loud, drumming on the kitchen table at night, shaking our ceiling, not to mention the ridiculous amounts of squeaking we had to listen to coming from their bed or living room couch! I even could hear them singing in the shower! When we moved out, our rent was $650/month for a year contract, and tenants paid electric. We made the payments, even when Russ was making WAY less than what he makes now.

If you want to be approved for a loan, the lender looks at your debt to income ratio. Your debt can't be over 45% of your monthly income. Our ONLY debt right now is what we owe on our van, and we pay $60.00/mo on my student loans. Our van payment is only $182.00/mo. That's it. But the lender has to look at student loans. Because Russ is not finished with school, we aren't paying on his loans yet. The amount the papers say we will pay on a monthly basis isn't really the amount we will ed up paying. We will end up paying less. But the lender can't account for that or for the fact that Russ will be making more money when he graduates from college.

So, as frustrating as it is, we can get approved because of student loans. We can't get a house for just over $500.00/mo. and will end up renting something we will never own, and pay up the wazoo for something smaller with fewer bedrooms, and no ability to update, paint, change anything.

Russ has had struggles in school. Who doesn't? There are thousands of students who have to work their butts off, some getting A's and some who are just average. There are students with learning disabilities, students who have test anxiety, everyone faces their own individual challenges. We have. But Russ kept at it. He has 2, at the most 3 semesters left. He did it. (well...almost!) And he has done it all for his family, so that one day we can have hope for an easier life. But where's the hope in America for our family when we have to accept the fact that we have to pay high costs for a rental because we can't get a house that we can actually afford? In this day and age, you HAVE to get a college degree. The sad fact is that MANY men and women who have degrees are working minimum wage because in so many areas and communities, it's hard to get  a job. There are many lucky students who manage to get through college with minimal debt, the majority HAVE to get student loans. Because of many factors, we are in that group. We go into debt to get a degree, so that we can have a career that brings success. But those loans are often the cause of holding many families keeping families in high-cost rentals instead of owning something.We aren't stupid with our money, we CAN afford that house! Russ is a hard worker...

I'm just sayin...

It just doesn't seem right.

*thank you for allowing me to vent. I think I am done now. And maybe I will feel better about this someday...when I can learn to be more patient and realize that yes, we will have a house of our own, someday...