Sunday, January 26, 2014

Musical Soul

I could not end today without writing.

My heart is full.  My eyes have cried many, many tears.  I feel so Spiritually blessed and fed today.

I woke up in a FOUL mood.  If I was a grumpy cat meme - this would have been me:

Sensing my mood, the family all allowed me space to pound out my feelings on the nice keyboard of our piano

After some pounding, the keys started to work together and sound more like music than a hysteria of emotional cacophony spewed onto the keys.  I felt more at peace.  Then Lyse started in about this or that, I got up from the piano and saw that each thing I had asked her to do was NOT done and once again
It wasn't pretty!

After a wise hubby calming put out the fire, I melted.  It seems like I have been running as fast as I can in this world and just fall further and further behind.  I have felt like a complete failure as a mother, a wife, a disciple of Christ, an employee...every aspect.  My world has involved work, tears, sleep, tears, mothering, get the picture - lots and lots and LOTS of tears.

So we left for church.  I have REALLY struggled with my new calling.  I struggle getting up in front of all those people and guiding them in music.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE picking the songs each week.  That is the highlight of my calling.  The actually leading and conducting - um not so much!  Last week, as I was picking the music, Ben mentioned we never sang his favorite songs.  With that being said, and after saying a prayer and feeling it still appropriate, the opening and closing songs were both songs out of Ben's favorites (hey he knows people!)

As church progressed, that emotional feeling I had while pouring my heart and soul out onto the keyboard, kept purging from my eyes.  I KNEW this week we would have a practice hymn.  The practice hymn I had chosen was, "Armies of Helaman".  I KNEW I would not make it through it without tears.  I was right.  So not only was I conducting and up in front of people (both strong struggles), I was also now crying up in front of people.  I mentioned before the song the reason for picking it was for my family that was not currently members of the church.  Specifically, I kept thinking of my Tayler.  Oh how I love that kind, gentle, loving soul!  As we sang the song, WOW!  The Spirit was so strong as I listened to adults, youth and children sing.  I secretly think this is one of the all time favorite primary hymns.  I felt the power of music in my life.  My life has been so richly blessed by music I can't even beginning to explain or share.  The song, "Armies of Helaman" always reminds me of my drive to Vegas in the car with my sister Shay when I was 19.  It was in that time that I KNEW the church was true.  I KNEW that the Armies of Helaman, the Lord's Missionaries were spreading the gospel to all the world.  

When President Monson changed the age of missionaries, once again, I thought of the song and the words, "We hear the words, our prophet declares, let each who's worthy go forth and share".  It sent chills down my spine and I knew I was not only part of the Army of Helaman, but I was raising daughters and I had the divine power given to me to teach them to be part of the Lord's Missionaries.  Today as I sang that song with my ward, I knew our ward was part of the Army of God.  

When church ended we went to my parents house and the entire family met.  Before dinner prayer, my mom had an announcement.  Tayler had my mom announce she was being baptized!  Prayers that have been prayed for years and years have been answered.  The Lord's missionaries have found part of the lost sheep, people in my own family, and they help her come to his fold.  Oh the joy and tears!!!  The words to the song came to my mind again and I once again had my testimony strengthened.

Tonight, we went to Young Women's New Beginnings.  Katy will start Young Women's this year.  I know she is getting older and building her own testimony but it was crazy for me to now think that she was going into young womens.  I am old enough to have a daughter in Young Women's.  The songs picked out tonight were beautiful and Christ centered.  As the picture of my little girl was shown up there, her looking all grown up it hit me again - the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth.  There were over 40 girls on the stand singing "Come unto Jesus" and 10 girls (my Katy included) in the audience entering young women's this year.  The Lord's Army is strong, valiant men and women!  They are here.  They are our children!  The song that many years ago brought tears to my eyes while driving from the canyon from St. George to Las Vegas was no longer a song about boys off serving missions in far away lands but rather is the young men and woman, boys and girls, brothers and sisters in the gospel that unite together to share the Lord's work and glory.

I am so grateful for the gospel in my life.  I am grateful for my children that help teach me daily.  I am grateful for a merciful, kind, loving Heavenly Father that sends me tender mercies and Spiritual blessings in my biggest times of need.  I am excited for the new adventures Katy will undertake this year.  Young Womens, Girls camp, activity nights.  I am excited for the Personal Progress.  I am thrilled that they have encouraged me as a mother to do the program with her and grow and learn Spiritually alongside my daughter. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

$1 Spiritual Lessons

I honestly can say I have NO clue where all the time has went.

Katy is now in 6th grade.  For her birthday, she got her own cell phone.  She is turning into more and more of a teenager every day.  She has a friend, who is a boy, that she texts back and forth with daily.  They really are just good friends and I glad to see her cultivate relationships with boys and girls but MAN did this happen so fast?  Katy had her mid-term grades come home this week.  Straight A's in all subjects.  She is literally SOARING.  She is getting her math really well.  She had mostly 92, 98 and 100.  She had 1 test she got an 84 on and that was the week she missed some school due to her Great Grandpa dying and going to a funeral.  She told me she just hadn't understood that as much but now she does.  Her spelling, vocab and everything else are the same - 100% and high 90's.  She has more confidence in is so fun to see her maturing.  Even though it breaks my heart that my baby is getting so big, I am soooo grateful to see how happy, kind, loving, thoughtful, giving and precious she is.  Katy's testimony is growing more and more each day.  She works hard on doing right and being an example to those around her.  She has an amazing Spirit and I am truly blessed to be her mom.  I love her and am so blessed that she made me a mom 11 years ago.

Elyse is now in 3rd grade.  Did I just say that?!?  3rd?  Where did all the time with my baby go?  She is growing up too fast as well.  School is going much better in that we realized the ADD and how it is affecting her schooling.  It's amazing how just knowing the root of the problem helps, even though nothing other than that knowledge and how you approach things a little different is all that has changed.  Elyse is soooooo smart.  It scares me sometimes how smart this one is.  Elyse has come out of her shell in so many ways.  She is a social butterfly and has so many friends.  She also has a very tender heart.  She tries to hard to help everyone feel included.  She wants to help anywhere and everywhere she can.  She has come to realize how giving and serving feel so good.  Elyse loves to sing and play the piano, her love for music is very strong.  Lyse is a natural at the piano.  I started giving her lessons and she is just taking off.  She struggled at first and I know at times it will be a continued struggle but I am seeing growth.  She has such a strong love for the gospel and her testimony truly astounds and builds mine.  She loves to drive past the temple and often asks for us to stop and see it.  Her prayers are true, heartfelt and sincere.  She thinks about what she is going to say and shares her inner most soul.   Elyse keeps me on my toes and for that I am so grateful.  Being her mom is one of the biggest blessings in my life.

The other night, we were getting gas.  We are currently at the last days before paychecks.  I only put in $12 of gas just to make sure we had enough to get to the places we needed to go, but it didn't fill the car up by any means.  A man walked up and asked if I had a dollar for him.  He needed oil for his car because it was really low but didn't have enough for it.  I told him no because honestly, I don't have extra at all right now.  As we were driving away, I realized I was teaching my children the WRONG thing.  What if that man really did need oil?  What if his prayers were supposed to be answered through me.  That man had hesitated asking me, I saw it.  What if he had nothing?  What if his car would blow an engine without gas and leave him in a really bad situation?  What if my selfishness was preventing the Lord from blessings this mans life?  In the matter of about 20 seconds all these thoughts flooded me and I HONESTLY felt extreme guilt as I started to pull out of the gas station parking lot.  I knew it was the Spirit speaking to me and I had to act.  I had $11 in my wallet left for the next 4 days.  That was every penny to my name but I also had enough gas and food to last those next 4 days.  I justified in my mind that the Lord tells us to be prudent as well as giving.  We need to know when we can help and when we need to help ourselves and say sorry to others.  Trust me I was justifying away in my mind.  I changed my mind, the Spirit changed my mind.  I found $1 in my purse, turned the car around and went and gave that man the dollar. 

As I got back in the car Elyse and Katy BOTH had so many questions for me.  Katy said, "What if he goes and buys cigarettes with that instead of getting the oil for his car like he said?"  My response, "I am not to judge that.  I am judging based off what he said and what I felt.  I felt like I needed to help him.  It is his choice after that on what he does with the meager amount I had to help him with."  Elyse immediately piped in and said, "Um mom.  I think I owed you a dollar anyway.  When we get home, I will give you that dollar you gave that man.  That way you won't have less and you will have the money you need for the family and we can still know we helped that man."  MELTED. MY. HEART!  I of course told her it was ok and we could count that dollar from our family and that she didn't owe me a dollar.  What amazed me is her desire to help.  I think she felt it too.  Katy is always willing to help out where she can so it amazes me to see Elyse maturing and doing the same thing.  Katy's response was the exact reason I wasn't giving that man the money to begin with.  I know Katy wasn't being a grinch and Elyse santa claus.  I know that Katy would give every penny she has to help others in need.  I also know that we all learned something from that event.  Even if that man wasn't the one that needed that dollar, my family needed to give that dollar.  We all learned a lesson.  I know that I did the right thing.  We all felt the Spirit and knew we had acted as Christ.

I am grateful for little moments like these to share with my children.  I hope they each felt the Spirit in this and had it confirmed even more that our Heavenly Father answers our prayers but many times those answers have to come from others actions.  If we don't follow the promptings we are given, we are not only stunting our Spiritual growth but we are stopping the work of our Heavenly Father.  Yes he will find other means and ways to help those he needs to but we will miss out on the blessings given to those that help.  The Spiritual Blessings I gained from that $1 far exceed anything that I could have spent that $1 on.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grandpa Great

We have had so much happen in our life lately, I don't know how to post about it all!  I do however need to post about our wonderful Grandpa Delton Robert Hawker.  Today, at age 86, he passed away.  Almost 12 years ago, my grandpa passed away.  Shortly after, we went to visit Grandpa and Grandma Hawker.  Grandpa made me feel so loved.  He reminded me so much of my grandpa who had just died that I just completely let him feel the void of having lost my last grandparent. 

All of Ben's grandparents have been AMAZING grand and great grandparents.  I love them all so dearly, yet Grandpa always held this special place in my heart.

Today as we sat in Sacrament meeting, I felt Grandpa Hawker so strongly.  My mind suddenly flooded with all the times we went to visit him.  His sweet, loving hugs and his "we sure wish we could see you more.  We love you" said with his scratchy, deep voice.  A few moments later we received a text message we knew was coming soon...Grandpa had passed away.

It is a good thing.  He has been in pain for a long time.  He has been stuck to his chair in his home for far longer than he wanted.  He loved to be out doing.  I am so grateful that I got to have him as my grandpa for almost 12 years.  My children are so lucky to have had him as their Great Grandfather.

Grandpa shared stories of the war time with me.  He shared his love for his donkeys with me and my children.  Grandpa had a dog named Pup.  Until he died, Pup went everywhere with Grandpa (even on the 4 wheeler).

Grandpa loved airplanes and passed that love on down to all his sons, grandsons and really all his grandchildren.  All his sons have pilots licenses, many of his grandsons do and I have heard many of his great grandsons and grand daughters talk of the day they will get their licenses.

Grandpa LOVED John Deere.  He loved John Deere anything!  He collected pocket watches, and his favorite was the John Deere.  Grandpa had replicas of all the different John Deere tractors.  He could tell you what year each replica was made of and what was great about it.  He should have been a John Deere tracker salesman cause he had a pure love for them...and he shared that love.

Grandpa loved his grand children and his great grand children.  One of Ben's cousins was born with spina bifida.  Grandpa learned that it could be good for Ben's cousin, Cory, to ride horses.  Grandpa had lots of land.  He went out and got a Donkey named Shasta so Cory could ride her.  I am not sure how often Cory rode Shasta but I know that Grandpa sure loved that Donkey.  Each time we went to visit, Grandpa would take us out to see his donkeys (he later adopted another donkey, which was pregnant and so Grandpa ended up with 3 donkeys at one point). 

Sometimes Grandpa drove his little silver truck down to the pasture that held the donkeys, but most of the time you would find him on his 4 wheeler driving down.  He would put the great grandchildren on the 4 wheeler with him, Pup would jump on the front or run beside the 4-wheeler and off we would all go for the adventure of seeing the Donkeys.  My kids LOVED it!

I will never forget the time we went up and Grandpa climbed down on the floor (this was before his knee replacement surgery and when he could get up and down).  Katy was down playing with toys and Grandpa climbed right down there next to her and played along side her.  Oh Katy thought she had struck gold.  That memory is a treasure.  I tried for a long time to see if I could find a picture of it, but I don't know if I actually took a picture or if I just etched it into my brain so strongly I thought I had a picture of it!

On a visit a couple years ago, Grandpa sat talking to us for hours about his love and worry about his children and grandchildren.  I really started to understand how tender Grandpa's heart truly was.  It broke his heart to see his children and grandchildren suffering with life.  He shared his concern for his grandchildren with disabilities and his complete love for all of us.  He had to put on the gruff exterior to protect his loving, fragile and tender heart.

Grandpa always had an opinion and he would share it.  I remember one time about 8 or so years ago, Grandpa was talking to his neighbor and his neighbor mentioned something about loving his dogs as much as anyone could love their children.  Grandpa thought the guy was off his rocker and as the guy was talking about how expensive dogs were and kept comparing them to children, Grandpa finally had enough and he turned to the neighbor and said, "When you have sent your dogs through college, then we can start comparing."  LOL  That line still cracks me up (and I think of it often as people talk about being "pet parents"...that line always comes to my mind).

Grandpa loved and served everyone.  I always felt so much love and acceptance from him.  It took me years to feel loved and accepted by Ben's family yet with was instant!  I am so grateful for that.  I am so grateful to have gotten to known such a wonderful, kind hearted man.  He had a gruff exterior...I think that was to protect his soft, kind heart inside!  Grandpa Great will be sorely missed!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have found a lot lately I have had to say, "It's okay.  It's life."

What I then do is finish it in  my mind saying, "and mine SUCKS".

I am so tired of this all.  I have hit my breaking point yet no one seems to care and it doesn't matter.

I am just so done with it all.

Insurance crap.

Health crap.

Unemployment crap.

House remodel crap.

Death sounds good about right now but I can't afford to die.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Musical thoughts


A word I hoped I would only use in my past.  Yet here it is again in my present and probably in my future as well.

The word haunts me and my body.

I am at my breaking point.

My body.

My house.

Everything is falling apart.

The words, "I need thee every hour" keep coming to my mind as I just keep thinking "what is in store for me?"  "is there a plan?"  "how much more do I have to endure before I see a bright spot?"

I have been racked over the coals and I wanted to come out shining like a diamond but I fear I will just be ash.

"Oh I need thee every hour oh Gracious Lord.  No tender love like thine can peace afford.  I need thee oh I need thee...oh bless me now my Savior I come to thee!"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Not typical

I have come to realize I am NOT the typical woman.  While I love cute purses, clothes, shoes, etc...I love MORE construction supplies.  I would MUCH rather shop at Home Depot, Lowe's or a home fixer up place than Macy's, Dillards or really any store in a mall.  I can't recall the last mall I walked in; however, Lowe's or Home Depot I beg Ben to take me to or go with me to weekly. 

Even when I don't have money I love walking the aisles and coming up with ideas of what I want and how I could make it.  Today is a day I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have lots of extra money so I could go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get some lumber to help complete the storage closet downstairs.  I also have an AWESOME desk drawn up and can't wait for the money and my new work position to start so I have weekends to work with Ben on making it **Squeals**  (Yes I am that big of a nerd in it all!)

I started deep cleaning the girls room.  Lyse has had soooo much in her room she just can't keep it clean.  When your living space has too many things, you organize and remove.  That is just what I did in Lyse's room.  After cleaning for a bit, I found her dresser needed fixed.  Out came the hammer, screw driver and wood glue.  20 minutes later it was fixed and I was in heaven.  I LOVE fixing things.  I love re-finishing old.  I would have made a GREAT carpenter as a trade.  I would revel in going to work and creating something.

Now don't confuse this with the girly craftiness.  I am not very crafty at all.  If you want to know the truth, Ben is MUCH more crafty and creative with things like that then me.  I much prefer working with wood and creating something beautiful or something that helps organize. I feel productive when I make shelves or create something out of wood.

I look forward to having $40 to go and buy lumber to make my finish my closet downstairs, the shelves in the garage and I am sure I could come up with some other things needed as well.

I guess I am just not the typical girl cause I am the one begging Ben to start the next fun project!  Isn't Ben lucky?!?  :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Paradise Vacation

AMAZING!  That is what I need to say first and foremost.  It had been so long since we had a good long vacation.  On top of that, St. Thomas and St. John are such beautiful and amazing islands.  It was so relaxing.  I don't have enough good to say about it!

We left for St. Thomas on Wednesday January 09.  We originally planned to leave on the Thursday night, the 10th but the flight looked better on the 9th so we headed out.  We came back on Tuesday January 15th.  Ben, Katy, Lyse, Jana, Dave, Tayler, Brookie, Dustin, Mom, Dad and I were the ones that went.  It was sooooo fun!

This was a last minute planned vacation.  Jana got a vacation rental in St. Thomas and Jetblue flies there so I didn't have to pay a cent to get there.  We had so much fun.  We didn't get to our room until almost 6 pm on Thursday night, so we honestly did not do much that night.  Our big adventure was finding a baby rat in the POOL when we got there.  The kids all jumped in the large, beautiful pool.  They said, "There is something in the Pool.  It's a mouse.  It's a dead mouse."  I looked in and saw the baby rat swimming away and said, "Nope it's alive" as all the kids were screaming and running out of the water!  Ben got the pool skimmer and grabbed the rat.  He was kind (? I guess?) and released the little critter by the beach.

Now I was thinking, "cleanliness"?  But honestly that little rodent was the only unclean thing I saw in our resort.  It was VERY well kept and there were even some cute, kind and well cared for cats that ran around the premises (I am sure to keep those rodents under control).

Our rooms were amazing!  We had the most amazing views from our patio.  This is what we got to wake up to each morning!  Down a few stairs and we were at an amazing bay on the Caribbean Coast.

We had a great 3 room unit.  It had a fully stocked kitchen and we were able to really keep the price of this vacation down due to the kitchen and a few grocery store trips.

Friday we spent the day at the beach outside our room.  After a while, Jana and I went and picked up our parents from the airport. Ben, Dave and all the kids stayed at the resort to play.  Mom and Dad's luggage was lost so we ended up being at the airport longer than planned (about 2-3 hours).  We didn't get back to the room until later that evening.  Ben, Dustin and Lyse were all snorkeling down in the bay.  They were able to see many fun conche shells as well as a sting ray.  They loved it.

Saturday we spent the day at Coki beach.  For Christmas Ben and I got an amazing tree hammock.  That hammock was hung on many beaches and fully enjoyed!  At Coki Beach I was rather sick, so most of my day was spent wrapped in a blanket in the hammock on the beach enjoying watching Ben, the girls and my family play in the water.  It was rather relaxing for being sick! :)

I did go out and snorkel with Lyse, Ben, Katy and Dustin for a bit.  It was fun and the water was warm.  Lyse LOVED snorkeling. Wow that kid loved to snorkel and she really loved the snorkel power units my parents have to pull you around in the water.  At one point she took off on one and was clear out in the bay with the unit.  Scared me to death (and every other adult) and it was my fault cause I told her to take it and go out to her dad.  She just headed the wrong way and rather than heading to Ben on the side of the bay, she headed straight out into the bay.

The day at Coki was amazing but cut short when a storm blew in, we decided to pack up and head out.  We stopped at fruit stands and purchased some yummy mangos, bananas and papaya to make fruit smoothies and then headed back to the room.  The kids went down to the pool for some more swimming and I took a nap then helped with dinner.

The Sunday I REALLY REALLY wanted to go to St. John Island.  I finally convinced everyone it would be amazing and worth it so we took the 5 minute drive to Red Hook to catch the barge to take the minivan (that technically seats 7 but had 11 in it) over to St. John.  I said I would pay for it to go across so I stressed BIG time it would be like $100 or more but it ended up being $45 total and we didn't have to pay for the people so it was just over $4 per person to go across to St. John.  My dad and Jana also helped pay and so it was only $20. 

St. John was so worth it!  It was GORGEOUS!!!!!!  We went to Trunk's Bay Beach and it was the most beautiful beach I have EVER been on.  I had been really sick all day Saturday but I could NOT resist the water on Trunk's!  It was absolutely AMAZING!  It was warm water, beautiful sand.  It had pretty good snorkeling.  I guess the waves were bigger than normal but the big waves were fun!  We spent hours out in the water playing.  As we were playing, a man with a paddle board came by.  Dustin asked if he could ride and the guy actually handed over his paddle board for the kids and Ben to play on!  They were in Heaven!!  Ben had always wanted to paddle board so I was so grateful he go to do it for a bit!

Trunk's Bay was my favorite little piece of paradise!  I could spend days and days and DAYS there!!!

That night as we got the car back on the barge, I looked out over the sun setting sky and I saw a HUGE sting ray jump out of the water and flap it's wings.  I was amazing and yelled for everyone to look as the beautiful creature jumped out a second time.  A funny islander man said, "Stupid Eagle Ray thinks he can fly like a bird".  LOL  made me laugh and I was in awe at the beautiful, amazing creature I was able to see.  I seriously at first thought it was a dolphin because it was so large.  I am so grateful I got to see that moment.  It just made my day!!

Monday once again I was really sick after spending the day in the water.  We went to Meghan's Bay (another beautiful beach).  The family all loved spending time in the water jumping the large waves.  I avoided the water because I just was not feeling well.  Lyse and Katy earlier in the day told me they would not be putting on swimming suits because they "hated the beach and did not want to swim".  It took them being at the beach about 2 minutes to come up and ask where the swimsuits were at and how they could get in the water!  Silly girls!  I loved watching everyone play and wished I could be out there.  As the group was getting ready to go I thought, "that's it.  This is once in a lifetime, I am going out to enjoy for a bit".  I was not going to get my hair wet or ride the waves like they were.  Lyse was actually riding Ben's back while riding the waves.  He was her "surf board" and she loved it!  What an amazing Daddy he is!!!!  As I climbed in the warm water I wished I didn't feel so cruddy and could have enjoyed this all day.  I managed to play in the water for a long time.  As I turned my back to watch Ben, Lyse and Dustin ride a wave, a large, LARGE wave broke over me and Katy.  I was fully wet and lying sprawled drowned eagle on the sand.  Lovely! :)  I was rather embarrassed that it seemed like EVERYONE on the beach saw my knock out!

After leaving, we went back to our Resort beach and played on the kayak.  As we were down in the water, a lady told us of a turtle.  We searched for him for a bit but never saw him.  As we headed back many snorkelers told us of the sting ray.  That was it, I HAD to snorkel.  Afterall, I couldn't get more sick right?!?!  So I quickly borrowed my mom's snorkel gear (she was out there snorkeling with my dad).  I got to see the sting ray.  It was amazing!!  We got our snorkel gear and Ben and I snorkeled out in the bay until it was too dark to snorkel any longer.  We saw all sorts of beautiful coral and fish.  It was gorgeous!  We also saw a crab in a conch shell and fish that looked exactly like sand.  It was truly amazing.

We finished up the night by warming up in the hot tub then going to the room to pack.  I had promised Katy we would try to go shopping and later that night we headed to Red Hook to see if anything was open to shop.  It wasn't but we did get an ice cream cone and saw a fight go down between to Isalnders at the restaurant "Taco Hell".  We headed back to the room to go to bed.  It was so sad to know we had to get up early in the morning to leave.

Tuesday morning we got up super early and loaded 16 bags and 11 people in a Dodge Caravan.  I will post the video of this on my blog.  It was hilarious to see us all get out!  We left at 6 am and got home after midnight (it was soooo cold our starter motor on our car was actually FROZEN and many prayers finally helped us get it started so we have a working car).  We went from 75 degrees to 5 degrees in 1 day.  Oh I miss that 70 degree difference.

Our vacation was a TRUE paradise vacation.  I loved it.  It was so relaxing and enjoyable.  Everyone left looking forward and making plans to do this again next year!  It was GREAT!!!  I will post more pictures as I get more uploaded!  For now, I am going to bed.  See I came home and was REALLY sick when I got up.  Went to the doctor and I have bronchial pneumonia and a sinus infection.  I did decide I much preferred being sick in Paradise of St. Thomas and St. John than being sick in the cold of Utah!