Music boxes

Music boxes
Music boxes have within melodies they carry in them, once they're open music feels the air;
Every person you have known has a song of their own, once they open up you'll hear whats there;
Every person longs to find who they are deep inside, every person yearns to know their place..."

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm alive!

We made it, and if life was busy before, it's even crazier now. But it's a nice kind of crazy, it's super exciting to be back home. I love all the smells and the little places that bring me sweet memories.

The kids are adjusting fairly well. School doesn't start until late September, and it's great to have the extra time.

I wish I had time to write more. Time is always the problem, isn't it?

Nicolas got sick Thursday night, and gave us quite a scare. He has viral meningitis. I learned that the word viral is a GOOD one, but hey, when someone mentions the word meningitis, panick settles in immediatly. They did a test on him where they had to draw liquid from his spine, poor thing! He's been very brave though. He was fever free yesterday and they should release him from the hospital today.

I miss my cyberworld terribly! Can't wait to be settled in!

Oh, my nephew came home from his 2 year mission to England on Thursday, (when they had the big scare at the Heathrow airport!) But he made it on a later flight, and I'm sooooooooo excited to have him back! He's still having problems speaking portuguese, lol, but he'll be fine. He's the sweetest kid I know and Im very proud of him.

BBLater! Thanks for reading y'all! :)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

be back soon!

We're flying Tuesday.
Wish us luck!

Maybe I'll find some time after we're there to write some details of the trip!

Be good ya'll!


Friday, July 14, 2006


Last Sunday we talked about Peter in Sunday School.
Peter is known to be a man of little faith, because he sinks in the ocean on his way to Jesus. But I do have another opinion on this.

I love Peter. To me, he is not an example of little faith, but of courage to look for the Lord when in desperate need for help. How many disciples ventured their way into the sea, walking on water? Only one. And when he saw the raging waves and strong winds, he waivered, yes, he did; like we all do in this life. But Peter had the courage to start to walk toward Jesus. Better yet, when he felt himself sinking, he knew who to turn to for help. And even better than that... the Bible doesn't say anything about Jesus carrying little Peter back to the boat. Jesus helped him only to get back on his feet. They both walked back to the others afterwards.

How many of us would have the faith to get out there in the first place? And how many of us would have the courage to TRY AGAIN, with no doubt this time, even after we failed?

I love the story of Peter. It's one of courage, strenght, faith, and recognition that with the Lord, we can do all things.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Joseph Smith

Most of you know I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ oay Saints. I know this is quite a long text, but I would like to share with you what I learned preparing for my talk today in Church. I truly believe all the the things below. It has been revealed to me by the same God that the scriptures talk.

Nephi wrote that he was "born of goodly parents". So was the Prophet Joseph Smith; he once declared, " Words and language are inadequate to express the gratitude that I owe to God for having given me so honorable a parentage."
The heavenly messenger Moroni admonished young Joseph to go to his father following a glorious night of sacred instruction. In Joseph's words, this messenger " commanded me to go to my father in the field, and rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me that it was of God, and told me to go and do as commanded by the messenger."

Joseph Smith, Sr., was in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. He knew that his young son spoke the truth. He not only believed the boy's words but encouraged him in the work he had been called to do.

Not every father would've had the same faith in his 14 year old boy. But father Joseph had been prepared for this amazing event. Lucy Mac, his wife, writes about visions he'd had in the past about such an event happening, and the leader to be brought up would be a member of his family. In fact, in the year of 1819, just one year prior to the first vision, Joseph Smith Sr. had his seventh and last celestial vision. So, it's no surprise that when young Joseph came to him, he didn't even question the veracity of his words.

During the course of his life, father Joseph endured ridicule and persecution because of his prophet son's experiences and claims. Yet, he was unwavering in his loving support and defended his son. He saw and handled the plates of gold from which the Book of Mormon was translated and testified throughout his life to the truthfulness of that sacred book. On one occasion he was imprisoned and told he would be released if he would deny the Book of Mormon. Not only did he NOT deny it, but he converted two persons during his thirty day confinement.

Perhaps less visible than the Prophet's father, but equally important in shaping and influencing his life, was his mother, Lucy Mac smith. She gave birth to eleven children and endured faithfully as all but four preceded her in death.
Lucy prepared herself early in her marriage to raise a prophet. On one occasion she became seriously ill, and the doctors said she would die. Luce records that she made a solemn covenant that if He would let her live, she would endeavor to serve Him according to the best of her abilities. After a voice assured her that she would live, she told her mother, "The lord will let me live, if I am faithful to the promise which I made to Him, to be a comfort to my mother, my husband, and my children."
Her determination to testify to the restoration of the gospel may have led her to dictate her well known "History of Joseph Smith". This was a major undertaking in her day. The book's importance to the church today is immeasurable! It contains many details of the prophet Joseph's life that might never have been known otherwise. It stands as a monument to the devotion of Lucy Mac Smith to her family.
Like great parents of all ages, Lucy turned to prayer for divine help to sustain her family. During the march from Ohio to Missouri known as Zion’s Camp, Joseph and Hyrum were seriously ill with cholera, and their lives were almost taken. At one point, “Hyrum sprang to his feet and exclaimed, ‘Joseph, we shall return to our families. I have had an open vision, in which I saw mother kneeling under an apple tree; and she is even now asking God, in tears, to spare our lives. … The Spirit testifies, that her prayers … will be answered.
Joseph Smith beheld God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in the spring of 1820. There has been no event more glorious, more controversial, nor more important in the story of Joseph Smith than this vision. It is possibly the most singular event to occur on the earth since the Resurrection. Those who do not believe it happened find it difficult to explain away. Too much has happened since its occurrence to summarily deny that it ever took place. Some years later, still suffering under the impact of that happening, Joseph said, “If I had not experienced what I have, I should not have known it myself.”
Of this experience, Joseph said: “I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision. … I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”
President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“I would like to call your attention to one little thing in the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is very significant, and Joseph Smith did not know it. If he had been perpetrating a fraud, he would not have thought of it. You will recall in your reading that the Father and the Son appeared, and the Father introduced the Son and told the Prophet to hear the Son.
“Now suppose the Prophet had come back from the woods and had said the Father and the Son appeared to him, and the Father said, ‘Joseph, what do you want?’ and when he asked the question and told him what he wanted, the Father had answered him; then we would know that the story of the Prophet could not be true.
“All revelation comes through Jesus Christ; that is a fact.”
What of this man Joseph Smith who communed with deity? What was his reputation? What effect, if any, did the great vision near Palmyra seem to have upon him? As promised by the angel Moroni, both good and evil have been spoken of him since. The New York Sun in the late summer of 1843 said:
“That Joe Smith, the founder of the Mormons, is a man of great talent, a deep thinker, an eloquent speaker, an able writer, and a man of great mental power, no one can doubt who has watched his career. That his followers are deceived, we all believe …
“Few in this age have done such deeds, and performed such apparent miracles. It is no small thing, in the blaze of this nineteenth century, to give to men a new revelation, found a new religion, establish new forms of worship, to build a city, with new laws, institutions, and orders of architecture,—to establish ecclesiastic, civil and military jurisdiction, found colleges, send out missionaries, and make proselytes in two hemispheres: yet all this has been done by Joe Smith, and that against every sort of opposition, ridicule and persecution.”
Elder Oaks: During my college studies at BYU, I was introduced to the History of the Church, an edited compilation of the writings of Joseph Smith and others. After I graduated from law school, I carefully read all seven volumes. I also pursued personal research in original records in Illinois, where the prophet Joseph lived the last five years of his life.
The man I came to know in this way was not the man I had imagined. When I was a boy, growing up in the Church, I imagined the Prophet Joseph to be old and dignified and distant. But the Joseph Smith I met in my reading and personal research was a man of the frontier—young, emotional, dynamic, and so loved and approachable by his people that they often called him “Brother Joseph.” My studies strengthened my testimony of his prophetic calling. What a remarkable man!
Joseph Smith had more than his share of mortal afflictions. When he was about seven, he suffered an excruciatingly painful surgery. Pieces of bone in his leg were chipped away without anesthetic. He was on crutches most of the next three years. Because of the poverty of his family, he had little formal education and as a youth was compelled to work long hours to help put food on the family table. The first three children of Joseph and his beloved Emma died at birth. A later child also died at birth and another in early childhood. Only four of Joseph and Emma’s nine birth children survived childhood. They also adopted twins, and one of these died as an infant.
Joseph was attacked physically on many occasions. He was often hounded by false charges. He was almost continually on the edge of financial distress. In the midst of trying to fulfill the staggering responsibilities of his sacred calling, he had to labor as a farmer or merchant to provide a living for his family. He did this without the remarkable spiritual gifts that sustained him in his prophetic calling. The Lord had advised him that “in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling."
The Prophet Joseph had no role models from whom he could learn how to be a prophet and leader of the Lord’s people. He learned from heavenly messengers and from the harvest of his unique spiritual gifts. He had to rely on associates who had no role models either. They struggled and learned together, and the Prophet’s growth was extremely rapid.
The event that focused anti-Mormon hostilities and led directly to the Martyrdom was the action of Mayor Joseph Smith and the city council in closing a newly established opposition newspaper in Nauvoo. Mormon historians—including Elder B. H. Roberts—had conceded that this action was illegal, but as a young law professor pursuing original research, I was pleased to find a legal basis for this action in the Illinois law of 1844. The amendment to the United States Constitution that extended the guarantee of freedom of the press to protect against the actions of city and state governments was not adopted until 1868, and it was not enforced as a matter of federal law until 1931. We should judge the actions of our predecessors on the basis of the laws and commandments and circumstances of their day, not ours.
As students at the University of Chicago, historian Marvin S. Hill and I were intrigued with the little-known fact that five men went to trial in Illinois for the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. For over 10 years we scoured libraries and archives across the nation to find every scrap of information about this trial and those involved in it. We studied the actions and words of Illinois citizens who knew Joseph Smith personally, some who hated him and plotted to kill him, and others who loved him and risked their lives to witness the trial of his accused assassins. Nothing in our discoveries in the original court records or in the testimony at the lengthy trial disclosed anything that reflected dishonor on the men who were murdered.
The accessibility of Illinois court records led to another untouched area of research on Joseph Smith—his financial activities. Joseph I. Bentley, then a law student at Chicago, and I discovered numerous records showing the business activities of Joseph Smith. As we explained in our article, this was a period following a nationwide financial panic and depression. Economic conditions in frontier states like Illinois were ruinous. The biographers of an Illinois contemporary, Abraham Lincoln, have described his financial embarrassments during this decade, when business was precarious, many obligations were in default, and lawsuits were common. The enemies of Joseph charged him with fraud in various property conveyances, mostly in behalf of the Church. A succession of court proceedings that extended for nearly a decade examined these claims in meticulous detail. Finally, in 1852, long after the Saints’ exodus from Illinois (so there was no conceivable political or other cause for anyone to favor the Prophet), a federal judge concluded this litigation with a decree that found no fraud or other moral impropriety by the Prophet. Independent of that decree, as one who has examined the hundreds of pages of allegations and evidence in these proceedings, I testify to the Prophet’s innocence of the charges against him.
Pres. Hinckley:A few years ago, I received a letter written by an evangelist who with diatribe lashed out against the Prophet Joseph Smith, calling him a wicked imposter, a fraud, a fake, and a deceiver, and declaring that he was undertaking a campaign to spread his views. Whatever became of his work, I do not know. It will not have been significant. That kind of work may topple a few of the weak, but it only strengthens the strong. And long after that man and others of his kind have gone down to silence, the name of Joseph Smith will continue to ring with honor and love in the hearts of an ever-growing band of Latter-day Saints in an ever-increasing number of nations.
I think of the little boy, born in Sharon in December of 1805, given his father’s name. I reflect on that terrifying period of sickness when typhus fever struck the family, and osteomyelitis, with great pain and debilitating infection, settled in Joseph’s leg. That was while the family lived in Lebanon, New Hampshire; and how remarkable it was that only a few miles away, at the academy in Hanover, was Dr. Nathan Smith, who had developed a procedure by which that infected leg might be saved.
But the cure was not to be accomplished without terrible suffering. In fact, today it is difficult to conceive how the little boy stood it as his father held him in his arms and his mother walked and prayed among the trees of the farm to escape his screams while the surgeon made the long incision and with forceps broke off the portions of infected bone without benefit of anesthesia of any kind. Perhaps remembrance of that intense suffering helped prepare Joseph Smith for the later tarring and feathering at Kirtland, the foul jail at Liberty, and the shots of the mob at Carthage.
As I contemplate Joseph Smith’s life, I think of the forces that moved the Smith family from generations of life in New England to western New York, where they had to come if the foreordained purposes of God were to be accomplished. I thought of the loss of the family farm, of poor crops in that thin soil, of the great freeze of 1816 when a killing frost in July forced upon them the decision to look elsewhere; then of the move to Palmyra, of the purchase of a farm in Manchester, and of the revivalist preachers who stirred the people and so confused a boy that he determined to ask God for wisdom.
That was the real beginning of it all, that spring day in the year 1820.
I reflect on this amazing Joseph Smith. I cannot expect his detractors to know of his prophetic calling by the power of the Holy Ghost, but I can raise some questions for them to deal with before they can dismiss Joseph Smith. I raise only three of many that might be asked: First, what do you do with the Book of Mormon? Second, how do you explain his power to influence strong men to follow him, even unto death? And third, how do you rationalize the fulfillment of his prophecies?
If there were no other evidence for the divine mission of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon would stand as an irrefutable witness of that fact. To think that anyone less than one inspired could bring forth a volume which should have so profound an effect for good upon so many others is to imagine that which simply cannot be. The evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon is found in the lives of the millions, living and gone, who have read it, prayed about it, and received a witness of its truth.
My second question, how do you explain Joseph Smith’s power to influence strong men and women to follow him, even unto death, is similarly difficult to dismiss. take Willard Richards—an educated man who, when Joseph and Hyrum Smith surrendered themselves to the governor of Illinois and were placed in Carthage Jail, was among a handful of men who went with them. By the afternoon of 27 June 1844, most had been sent to take care of certain matters of business, leaving only John Taylor and Willard Richards with the Prophet and his brother Hyrum. That afternoon following dinner, the jailer, knowing of the mob outside, suggested that they would be safer in the cell of the jail. Turning to Willard Richards, Joseph asked, “If we go into the cell will you go with us?” To this Elder Richards responded:
“Brother Joseph, you did not ask me to cross the river with you … you did not ask me to come to Carthage … you did not ask me to come to jail with you—and do you think I would forsake you now? But I will tell you what I will do; if you are condemned to be hung for ‘treason,’ I will be hung in your stead, and you shall go free.”
Strong and intelligent men do not demonstrate that kind of love for a charlatan or a fraud. That kind of love comes of God
What of Joseph Smith’s prophecies? There were more than a few, and they were fulfilled. Among the most notable was the revelation on the Civil War. You are familiar with it; it was spoken on Christmas Day, 1832. There were many high-minded men and women who deplored the institution of slavery then common in the South, and there was much talk of abolition. But who but a prophet of God would have dared to say, thirty-nine years before it was to happen, that “war [would] be poured out upon all nations,” beginning “at the rebellion of South Carolina,” and that “the Southern States [would] be divided against the Northern States”? (D&C 87:1–3.) This remarkable prediction saw its fulfillment with the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. How could Joseph Smith have possibly foreseen with such accuracy the event that was to come thirty-nine years after he spoke of it? Only by the spirit of prophecy which was in him.
Or again, consider the equally remarkable prophecy concerning the movement of the Saints to these mountain valleys. The Saints were then living in Nauvoo and its sister community across the Mississippi and were enjoying a prosperity they had not previously known. They were building a temple and other substantial structures. Their new homes were of brick, constructed to endure. And yet one day in August of 1842, while visiting in Montrose, Joseph prophesied “that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and [speaking to those who were present] some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.” (History of the Church, 5:85.)
Viewed in the context of the time and circumstances, this statement is nothing less than remarkable. Only a man speaking with a knowledge beyond his own could have uttered words which would be so literally fulfilled.
And what of this prophecy, which so magnificently foresaw the joyous destiny of this church?
“Our missionaries are going forth to different nations … the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
Great was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s vision. It encompassed all the peoples of mankind, wherever they live, and all generations who have walked the earth and passed on. How can anyone, past or present, speak against him except out of ignorance? They have not tasted of his words, they have not pondered about him, nor prayed about him. As one who has done these things, I add my own words of testimony that he was and is a prophet of God, raised up as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty to usher in a new and final gospel dispensation. Of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we could say:
“When a man gives his life for the cause he has advocated, he meets the highest test of his honesty and sincerity that his own or any future generation can in fairness ask. When he dies for the testimony he has borne, all malicious tongues should ever after be silent, and all voices hushed in reverence before a sacrifice so complete.”

Friday, June 30, 2006

The hawks srike again.

Unstopable dreamer

Today we decided to outsmart them. We didn't open the garage doors while we were fixing things inside. It almost worked... at 7:30 we hear this banging on the door. My first instinct was to ignore it; come on! If you're gonna knock, at least knock, don't bang! Not to mention we do have a doorbell, very much like a regular doorbell, it's not like you don't know what that round button with a yellow light does. But I digress...
I'm still in the garage putting more things up, and determined that I will not give in, no siree. It's my sale and my house, and I'll have it my way... until I realize that we already sold the house, and we'll have to replace the door if we don't stop that insane banging. So I go and peek outside, and see a lady that was here yesterday already...a returning hawk! There's four types after all, I think to myself.
When she sees me she yells: "Are you open yet?" Like I'm some kind of retail store.
"No", I say. We open the store at 9:00".
"But I have to go to work!"


OK, I think, glancing at the driveway and spotting about a dozen hands waving at me. Who am I kidding? They win, they always win. So much for our ingenious plan...I smile a half faked smile and open the garage doors, or should I say, my little store. I know they have money and want to buy, and I want their money, so, let them flood your house for goodness sake!

The day went pretty much like yesterday's, except for this one returning hawk. I lost count of how many times she came in and tried to buy a silly five cent nick nack for half the price. There was a time that another lady was asking me the price for my nice clothes hamper. I was sure I marked all my stuff; but sure enough, the price tag wasn't there. I told her it was ten dollars, and that the sticker probably felt on he floor or something... until I heard my favorite hawk at the check out register with a nice battery charger displaying a shine pink ten dollar sticker. My husband labels all "his" type of stuff, so he knew I would never put a price on anything that I don't know what it is. He looked at me, I looked at him, we looked at the clothes hamper... and he says:"I't 30 dollars, m'am." "Thirty!?" replies the innocent voice. "Yes, I remember labeling that with a green sticker that read $30.00. I'm sorry, someone put this wrong tag in here".
Oh, dog'gon'it. She couldn't afford that, so back it went to the table.

She came back a couple more times, and the last time she brought her daughter to look at my little boy's bedroom set. The daughter really liked it, but even at the ridiculous price we're selling stuff for, she couldn't afford it. But what are moms for, if not to help their children? My sweet lady quickly jumps to the rescue, and tells her daughter she'll help with a $100.00 check. Hmmmm... a check... ok, sure.
They call someone to bring a truck and haul the stuff out, and my husband suddenly needs to go "out". He goes by the bank and asks the teller if the check will clear... "It will if you cash it now, sir, there'll be only a couple of dollars left on that account if you do it now. I'm not sure it will clear by Monday if you wait".
So he comes back home, cash in his pocket, and helps them load up the truck with a smile on his face.

Ahhhh...all is well when it ends well...

But it hasn't ended yet. We'll be out there again tomorrow, and goodness, a Saturday, can't wait! My hawk promised to come back to look at some more stuff... a friend of mine will be helping us out. Hopefully, almost everything will be gone, and we can donate the rest to the salvation army.

Tomorrow promises to be a nice, hot, humid day. We're all ready with the gatorades in the refrigerator, and of course, the alarm clock set up for 5:00 a.m. After all, it's the weekend, and the store needs to open earlier to accomodate the needs of or faithful clients.

Calgon, take me away!...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yard sales and hawks

We all love them. We go hunting for bargains, and get so excited when we find just what we were looking for, for less than we would ever think paying. I love yard sales; it doesn't matter if they're in the yard, driveway, garage, who cares. This is a great way to find tresures .

I thought it would be as fun to have our own big moving sale. Ya know, when you go shopping at these you always see the people sitting down in comfy chairs, talking and eating MacDonalds chicken biscuits. What a great time to relax! Right? WRONG! yard sales are a big ordeal. Especially if you want to sell all the furniture in your house and all the millions of toys you never dreamed your children had, until you actually get them out.

We had people from Church and other friends come in before the ad ran in the paper. That was good, we sold a lot like that. But after that, well, let's see... 12 straight hours sorting through all you have and dividing into piles. 12 more hours bringing the stuff down, and another 12 putting them where they should go, and labeling. Ohhhh... labeling... what fun...

Then comes the great day; and after those 36 hours of work, (which if we combine them with my husband's 36, they'te really 72), we're ready to sit down and see some money coming in while relaxing.

This is where the hawks come in the picture.
I've found out there's 3 groups of hawks.

First, the early birds. They get up at 6: 00 am and read the paper while drinking their coffee. At 6:30 they're calling each other, and deciding to come at the same time... well, just for the fun. I can picture them laughing at the idea. The paper says, 9:00. But they have selective reading. They're all here at 7:00. I almost see them wink at each other. They flood the house, and we start to panick! I'm not ready yet!!! But they don't care. These type of hawks go through each station of the house at the same time; like, they all want dishes at the same time, so there I am wrapping fragile stuff franticly. They then go to the basememt, and all want the tools at the same time, and there's my husband taking care of them all. They also can't read signs like "do not open cabinets", or "SOLD" on pieces of furniture. "m'am, is that leaf table for sale?" huh... "it was sir, but it's SOLD, like the sign says!"

By now I'm on the phone with mother in law. "Please come help us!!!!!" But sure enough, when she gets here, the hawks are gone. Mother and father in law bring us the famous MacDonald's chicken biscuits, and hang out for a couple of hours. Nothing. Not a living soul. That's when father in law decides to leave, assuring us that the crowd will be here Saturday, not to dispair. I just give him the look, and let them go. Five minutes later, there they are again...

...the late birds. They were all hidding to see when our help was leaving, and as they see them drive away, they whistle the secret whistle and come in marching down the driveway. The late hawks are tricky. This lady was buying a tin can that she "LOVED" for 25 cents. Good. What I didn't know when I marked it, was that the can was full of pennies, probably 4 bucks worth. She insists that she didn't see the money, she really just like the can. OK, lady, you can take the can, but the pennies stay. All of the sudden, the can is not as cute anymore. It goes back where it was found.
Then there's the other older lady buying children's book's, 25 cents each. And what do you know? She finds my "Childrens song book" from church, who was NOT cheap at all, and there she goes with it for 25 cents....
We need to watch these hawks like hawks!

The third group is the one where everyone comes looking for the same thing. They want a chest of drawers... they're all gone, I'm sorry. After 15 people ask for that, they all want the same table. And then they all want the same bookshelf, and then the washer and dryer.
I believe this third group is the worst; they totally drive us nuts. I think they're out there with a mission... to make us insane, at a time of the day that we are ready to colapse.

Oh, how fun it is to see our sweet home invaded by alliens; they come in flocks, they leave in flocks...

And so here we are, trying to make the house presentable for the next crowd tomorrow. We're full of energy, as you can image. We're looking forward to it...

One day down, two more to go...
Oy! Can hardly wait for hawk invasion, part 2.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Unstopable dreamer

We are closing on our house in 3 weeks. Time just creeps on us like that, and before we know it, Boom!
I still have tons of boxes to pack, donate a lot of stuff, and prepare for an estate sale we'll have before the closing on the house. We decided to sell everything and start from scratch there. The main reason being, we can't take any electronics with us, since they have a new system there and everything that needs to be plugged, won't work there.
So, we are mailing our books, winter clothes and photo albums, and that will be all we'll have when we get there. I'm excited; it will be fun to go and look for a new bed, new cute covers for the kids, utensils, all the basic stuff. It will be fun to eat on the floor again. We really are excited about being there! It's the GETTING there that is setting all this panick in me. There's so much to be done in this house, I feel like a chicken with her head cut off, running and running without knowing where to go and what to do first. I'm still boxing clothes and books; I need to go to UPS and have them package and mail a couple of picture frames I want to take. Then the estate sale... labeling all the stuff will be a lot of work! We have gotten lots of people that want to help, but I need to get organized so I'll know what they can do and what I need to do myself. After that, the cleaning the house will actually be ok, since we have a wonderful circle of friends.
I also worry about the kids when we get to Portugal; they will be fine, they know the language and love my family, but it's the school that worries me. My daughter can speak fluently, but can she go to third grade and be at the same level as the other kids? She'll have to read a lot, and her spelling won't be good. She is a smart cookie, she was a star student, averaging 98% in second grade. But it will be tough in the beginning. I need to go and find her a good school.

I'm excited, scared, happy, concerned, all at the same time. This was such a quick decision, one that shocked a lot of people, including us. I could never even begin to imagine to leave the US; we have the best school system, our schools here are on the top 1% nationwide. We have a wonderful branch at church, family and friends, a beautiful home and the best doctors that help my daughter with her Tourette's. I can't explain why we're doing it. I can only say that we heard a voice and are following it. This explanation is not enough for most people, but that's all we have. Who was it that said once, "when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right". That's what we are doing, and we have peace and are happy.

I will miss living here, of course I will! When I look at the walls that I painted, the stenceling on the kids' rooms, the curtains I made for each room in the house, the furniture I recovered, the garden I planted, the frames that I carefully hung on the walls... And I think about the day we got a new dryer, then the couches... the day we went shopping for bunkbeds for my daughter... and the day we got the furniture for our big boy's bedroom... I can still remember when I got little silly things like a nice rubber spatula from pampered cheff. Everything has a memory. Yes, it will be hard, and it will be heart wrenching to say goodbye to the people at church, friends and family. I'm dreading that day, but it's getting close...

But we are so looking forward to start over, so excited to be close to my family, and in the Country where I was born and raised, which I dearly love!... We are happy! And we are doing what is right.

And to all of you that once said, "we would love to go to Portugal someday", there you have it!
Now you'll have a place to stay! :)

Monday, June 05, 2006


Unstopable dreamer

I wrote this huge blog a while ago and it vanished in cyberspace. Gotta love it when that happens!

The very small version, we are moving to Portugal by the end of July. It's been a busy couple of months, spiritual and emotional draining.
We're excited! I'll get back to you when I have more time, and hoppefuly I'll remember to SAVE what I write before I try to publish, huh?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And that, my friends, is why I don't have pets.

Unstopable dreamer

My daughter and I have reached an agreement about pets a long time ago. She was three years old then, she's 8 now, but she still remembers everything very well. She wanted a horse; I said she could have one, when she was 26 and if she was married. Agreed. Then she wanted a dog; I told her she can have a dog at 18 when she moves to college, and the dog goes with her. Also agreed. After that came the kitty cat conversation; we decided that when she's 16 she can have one; by then I'm assuming she'll be able to care for the cat. Finally came the goldfish. Ok, you can have a goldfish when you're 8! Somehow, when you kids are 3 years old, 8 seems like a very long time, I mean, come on, she'll be baptized! My daughter, baptized!? That's a loooong way off! So, every dear wish would be put off until she turned 8. Including a complete room makeover and the so dreamed of trip to Disneyworld. Well, guess what? She's eight. I just closed my eyes and when I woke up she had grown!

Her first choice was the room makeover, so we did that for her birthday. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. In fact, it turned out so cute that she never mentioned the other things again... until last week, when her 2nd grade teacher offered a goldfish to all the kids, with parent's permission of course. Right, like I can say no! There's no choice. She comes home with three little goldfish, beaming with excitment. Right away, I went online and became familiar with the fish, got everything they needed, and off they go in a cute tank.

OK, you may be thinking I don't like pets. Wrong. Just the opposite. I don't have them because I love them. Not making sense? Well, there I was last week watching the fish as if I was watching TV. Even my daughter got bored, but not me! I pulled up a chair, sat down and watch them swim, fascinated with every move. I learned that fish poop like we do. You should see my cry of excitment when I saw them do it, I called the whole family to come and marvel at the sight. I'm serious now; if you haven't seen a fish poop, something is missing in your life.

So, TV, computer, housechores, everything took the backseat. Watching the fish swim, eat and poop took priority in my life. Until 3 days later, when I realize one of them is not eating, and is acting weird. I yell at it to go and eat, but he doesn't, and I know something is terribly wrong. Sure enough, we find him floating the next morning. The same happened to another one the next day; by now, my daughter is quite sad but I am completely going crazy! I run to the pet store and gather all the info I need, what I did wrong, etc... the lady's conclusion? Well, sometimes fish just die. What? That's it? I did everything right and they still died?
I'm a nutcase by now. I buy 2 more fish, only these come with a warranty, if they die withing 2 weeks, I can replace them for free. But seriously, how do you replace a pet you love? I'm reading these words and realizing this is me talking! Not the little old lady that knits sweaters for her little dog and loves him like a child. This is ME!

So now you know why I don't let my kids have a kitty or a puppy. I'm really not a bad mom. It's just that if I'm like this with a creature that does nothing and I can't even touch, imagine me with another pet, I'd go bananas.
Now you know that I don't have pets because I love them. yup. I love them too much.

Gotta go now. My 4 year old is crying for me because he's hungry; gotta go make him lunch.

But not before I check on the fish.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm here...

Unstopable dreamer

I'll come back later with more time to fill you in on what's going on around here!

Friday, April 14, 2006

On hold for a little while

Unstopable dreamer

I'm having some personal issues that need to be resolved, and the internet is taking the back seat for a while in my life.

I will return when I have things figured out.

I'll miss you!

Monday, March 27, 2006

did you know....

Unstopable dreamer

...that the Eiffel Tower is light brown and not gray as I thought? :p

I'm in Europe right night, came with my girl to my niece's wedding. We had a loooong layover in Paris, 8 hours, so we got on a bus and got to see the Tower. It was cold and rainy, but still got our noses out to take a pic. It's fabulous!

Anyway, just in case you were wondering what color it was, now ya know, lol...

We are having a fabulous time here.

I'll tell you all about it when I come back! :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Miracle workers"

Unstopable dreamer

For a long time now I've had mix feelings about "feel good" reality TV. Like extreme makeovers, or giving away cars and houses and all kind of nice things to people in need. Don't get me wrong; I'm happy for those who receive these blessings. It's just that I think about other people that also need things, maybe more than the ones on TV, but no one notices, and let's face it, they can't help everyone. Take for instance: the other day I was watching "Regis and Kelly" and they had this wonderful thing they were doing for a family in New Orleans. I was so happy for them, I was seriously crying. But then I think; how many people from New Orleans are watching this now? How many of them needed this even more? And how, please tell me, how do they feel watching this? Are they happy for the others? 'Cause it isn't fair if we balance things like this.

But you know, since I was never in that situation, I was never "the other one" watching and not receiving. I have a house; I have food to eat; I don't need a nose job. So I always wondered... until last week.

"Miracle Workers" is a new show on Monday nights where doctors and specialists do extreme life changing surgeries and treatments for people that have already lost hope. They made a lady walk the other night, and a blind man see. It's an amazing show.
Last week's episode brought reality TV to my reality. I saw a teennage girl with severe Tourette Syndrome. She could not control her tics, she kept slapping her head and face and doing all kinds of strange things. If I was watching that behavior for the first time in my life, I would have thought she was really weird. But I didn't, because my eight year old daughter has the same illness.
I looked at the girl and saw my daughter in a few years. Right now her tics are somewhat under control, medecine and therapy are helping a lot. Our neurologist has warned us though, it will get worse during her teenage years. How worse? No one can predict. Only time will tell.

And so I watched this girl... watched her shaving her head for the surgery, trying on some wigs... then I watched the actual surgery, where she had to be awake in order to tell where exactly the electrode was going to be placed. They found the spot. Just to be sure, they increased the voltage and her tics started to get worse and worse until I yelled at them to stop it already, you're torturing that girl! But they had to do it to make sure it was the right spot. It was. And just like that, as the voltage started adjusting, I saw her face go back to normal... no eye blinking, no nose and mouth twiching, no jerks of any kind. I saw a miracle happen before my eyes. And I was crying... I thought about my daughter and how uncertain her future behavior is... but I wasn't crying because of that; I was crying of happiness. Because I knew. I knew exactly how that mother felt during this whole ordeal. I was finally in a place where I could look and think, how, this is me! I know exactly what they are going through!
And it was that happiness that made me cry; because I knew that the suffering was gone, not for me, but for one that felt like me... and that felt good.

I don't wonder anymore. I'm grateful for the people that get relief and the help they need.
Who cares if they're just doing a show to get viewers to watch and earn millions themselves... They are performing a miracle to someone.
And that, to me, is enough.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Way to go, honey!

Unstopable dreamer

I have an 8 year old little girl that's in second grade and is a smart cookie, as we like to call her. Her weekly quizes average 97/98, she's that good. I actually think she'd do 100's all the way if she wasn't so easily distracted, but I'm not complaining about that, lol, she's awesome and we're very proud of her.
Last Friday she did exceptionaly well, though. She came home with a 100 on the math test, 100 on the reading test (The only one in her class of 21 students to get 100, she made sure we understood that!...) and a practize reading quiz where she got 9 out of 10 correct. This last one would normally be an a ok, but since this book she took a test on was a level 4.8, that meant A LOT for a second grader! Oh, and the spelling test, like usual, 105, counting the extra credit words.
Aaaaanyway... she was so excited, and I, of course, made a big deal out of it because, well, because I'm a mom, that's why.

When my husband got home, she ran to him to show him the work of a little genious... daddy was very happy as well... maybe a little too happy, 'cause he couldn't get over it and wanted to know what she did different that day to get such awesome grades. (you see, if you ask me, I'll tell you that since she's already a good student, "luck" was what brought this all up). But no, he wanted to know, and made her think of something she might have done differently.
I think in the back of his mind he was hoping she'd say "I paid more attention", or something of the sort. You know, dads are always looking for ways to teach the children a lesson or two on the hardships of life, and how we can better ourselves when we do our part.
After thinking for a bit, she finally remembered something.
"Oh, you're right, daddy! There WAS something different! I didn't study yesterday!"


Thanks dear.

Friday, March 10, 2006

How do you lose a friend?

I have four people in my life that I know for certain would do anything for me. Unfortunatly, they don't leave near me; I still count them as my true angels though, because I know they love me unconditionally, and I can always count on them.
But there's a part of me that aches for a friend like that who lives close to me; one that could come as soon as I called her crying, one that I wouldn't be afraid to just drop by and stay a while and just be there. It's the physical contact, I guess, the hugs, the shoulder, the tears she would let me cry.
Ever since I moved here, over 8 years ago, the search has been on for "THE" friend. Funny thing is, I was certain I had find her, well, let's see... at least 5 times. We become good friends, share secrets, I get all excited, and then, poof! She's gone. Our conversations aren't as personal, she doesn't return my calls, she's tired and busy with other things, and I'm left to wonder what I did wrong. I'm hurt for a while, then someone else comes along, and the story repeats itself all over again.
What is it? How do we lose friends like that? I can only thing of 2 reasons; one, there's something wrong with me, or two, she was never my true friend to begin with (this one hurts a lot more).

Anyway... As I was thinking about these things today, the lyrics of a favorite song popped into my mind. I couldn't describe to you how I feel today if it wasn't for this song; it really says it all.

"I can't do everything.
I know, because I tried;
I told myself I could,
and then found out I lied...
I believed with all my heart
that I could do it all...
But I can't do everything,
and when I try, I fall.

I can't please everyone.
I know, because I tried.
I needed their love so much,
Sometimes I compromised...
But the more I live and learn,
the more I plainly see
that I can't please anyone,
until I'm pleased with me."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

On "friendship"

Unstopable dreamer

My friend doesn't live next door to me. She doesn't pop in just to say hi or to borrow a cup of sugar. She doesn't come to my house to sit a while and just talk about everything or nothing at all.
My friend doesn't call me daily; she doesn't send me halmark cards every week saying how much she misses me and how much she'd like to be with me. Heck, she doesn't write to me at all. She doesn't tell me of her daily little frustrations and moments of joy that come with motherhood, or even womanhood for that matter. She doesn't call to ask for a recipe when she's planning a special dinner; she doesn't go to the movies with me or joins me to jog in the morning; she never comes to see me when I'm going through my most difficult trials in life.
But somehow, she's always with me.

My friend thinks of me daily; she prays for me when she kneels at night. She knows when I'm sad, she know when I'm happy; she knows when I need her the most.
My friend sends friendship vibes through her heart. She cheers me up when I'm down; she let's me know when I'm wrong; she listens to my many ramblings and complaints; she's wise without measure; she counsels me when I'm lost; she lets me know she loves me. My friend understands. My friend believes. My friend sees through my imperfections. My friend thinks I can conquer. My friend knows what I can become. My friend is my number one fan. She's my example. she's my hero. She's all I want to be when I grow up.

Our friendship was formed in Heaven and lives inside our hearts. If I never see her in this life, or if computers, telephones and the postal service cease to exist, I will never love her less, and I will always think of her everyday, and she will always be here for me.

'cause she's my friend.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I did it!

Unstopable dreamer

For a few months now we've had a type of infestation in our house. The stuff is everywhere. Everytime I tried to kill it, some more will appear and keeps growing everyday. My attempts to get rid of it are useless; something always happens to keep me from doing this dreadful task. Kids will throw up and beds have to be stripped down; the toilet will flood, and I have to use every towel in the house to dry the floor. It's just a big, cahotic mess.

I don't know exactly how this "plague" spreads so fast. I mean, come on, I'm a mother; I need to care for the kids, cook, clean, help them with homework, grocery shop, the list goes on and on... I don't have time for this!
But yesterday I put my foot down. I said to myself, "that's it. I will do whatever it takes to get rid of this stuff. "
I told my husband (in the nicest way I could) that he had to watch the kids. And fix dinner too, while he's at it. I was on a mission, and I meant business.

After months and months of battling with this, here I am happy to report that my kid's closets smell nice and their clothes are fresh and clean. There is not one sock on the floor or behind the washer and dryer (believe me, I checked); The laundry hampers are completely empty; my bath robe is soft and comfy and smells like Spring.
Yup, you guessed it. I finished the laundry.

I will now sit down in this state of bliss and enjoy the sweet taste of victory. I did it. I really did it!
And I have a whole hour to enjoy this feeling. A whole hour until the family gets home and starts to infestate the place again; can you believe it?

I'm good!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Unstopable dreamer

I went to a bridal shower two days ago. I 've known this young lady since she was 13; now there she was, looking radiant, her cheeks about to pop from smiling. My mind took me to my own bridal shower, which was so much like this one, and I couldn't believe it's been 9 years already....

When it was time to open presents, a particular one stood out. Her mother had made this unique quilt, that came with a letter to explain the meaning behind it. Sarah started reading the letter, and I'm pretty sure everyone in the room was trying hard to hold back tears. The quilt was made from old jeans that belonged to Sarah and her fiancee. Meaning that they would both contribute to a beautiful thing. It was double stitched, meaning that they would now walk side by side. It was put together by both her mom and his mom, representing that they were both brought up by good parents who love them.
The quilt was 23 squares long, (his age), and 19 wide (her age). The backing was a beautiful soft white material, representing the pureness of the Temple they would be married in. There was also in the bag some left over yarn that was used to tie the quilt. The letter said that with time, the quilt will wear out, and will need some mending. This was a job for the two of them to do together: mend the quilt with the original beautiful white yarn.

When I came home I couldn't stop thinking about it. I guess because it's been nine years since my own shower, and I remember all the emotions that came with it. I was told then, "you'll see, when you have a child it would be the greatest thing". Having children was way in the future, but sure enough, the future came quickly and here she was, my precious little daughter. School was something that never worried because she was so young...I'll be able to enjoy her for a whole 5 years! But indeed, the time came that I sent her off to school with tears in my eyes. How does time sneak up behind us like that?
My little princess will be 8 years old in 9 days. In two weeks, she's getting baptized. The reality of this is overwhelming. She can't be growing like this! Something is wrong with the world! Please stop the madness!

As I write this I look at a picture of her in my desk. I'll never be ready to let her go... But I know the day will come, that she'll be stollen from me by a knight in shinning armour.

Her first steps, her first words, her first foods, the first time she said "I love you"... all these past things seem like they happened yesterday. Her baptism, her teenage years, college, marriage, these are things that seem so far away.... But deep inside I know it's the oppositte. It will be here before I know it.

Meanwhile I'll sing with her, I'll color, I'll listen as she speaks about her day at school, I'll kiss her goodnight in her bed when she's asleep, I'll push her on the swings and roll in the grass until we can't stand the laughter anymore.

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like for always,
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

To eat or not to eat

Unstopable dreamer

I have a picky eater at home.
You're probably nodding and thinking "me too"; but my picky eater is different. He's... funny. I know a mother shouldn't think that her child that doesn't eat is funny, but seriously, this kid cracks me up. He's 4 years old and he's pretty much sure of what he wants and who he is.

I'll give you an example: He doesn't like MacDonald's food, which is actually great; but since my 7 year old girl loves it, when she gets a happy meal he has to have one too... (don't you love those cute toys...). So, I end up eating the french fries and drinking the sprite and the hamburguer just sits there until someone remembers to throw it away.

He just nibbles on his pizza, eats the sandwich without the meat or cheese(aka--bread), and eats a teaspoon of his chocolate pudding. He's great at looking at something delicious and say he doesn't like it. That's just him; We've tried all the techniques we heard of. Nothing will make him change.

However, (and here come the funny part).... My picky eater has three things that he will eat. Yup, three things.
First, oatmeal.
Second, grits.
Third, brocolli. He will shove his brocolli all in is mouth as if it was chocolate cake. People think this is great... but really, can you see yourself cooking all those three things every single day? I don't. And I won't. He'll grow out of it eventually; at least that's what I choose to believe.

So, the next time you're in a restaurant and hear a little boy cry while his mother tells him "NO MORE BROCOLLI UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR MAC AND CHEESE!", please wave and say hello. You just met me.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Not really sure what I'm doing here. Seriously. I was just playing with my computer and here I am. I guess that means I'll have to write some stuff every now and then, huh?
At least I can say I'm in fashion tho. A blog. Wow! I might become cool now!

So yeah, that's it for now. I'll be seeing you around...