Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Abundance vs Scarcity

I have done posts about this years ago, but thought I would do an update.

About 10 years ago Chris and I learned some ground breaking principles that completely changed the direction of our lives and the way we think. Once we learned these principles, we were so excited we felt the need to share them with many others.

The first one I wanted to share in this article is simply this...

Life is abundant. There is enough and more to spare in the world. 

And the addition that I have learned as I have grown...

The more we share, the more we will receive. 

Does this mean we are "rolling in the dough"? 

Not necessarily. 

But what it does mean is that we don't live in fear that we won't have enough. We do store things for the future. In fact we have a current goal this year to make sure we have a year supply of food and items we use to live.

The kicker is that we aren't freaking out over some future event. We just want to be prepared for anything that might happen. Because, that is what happens in life. Things happen and we want to be prepared.  

Here is a quick list to tell if you are thinking in abundance or scarcity:

When you are thinking abundantly you think: 
  • Positive
  • You have faith things will work out
  • You are patient
  • People are more valued than thing 
  • You don't put limits on your dreams
Verses when you think out of scarcity you have thoughts that are: 
  • Negative
  • You lack faith.
  • You are impatient
  • You hold things as more important than people
  • You limit yourself

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January's Focus: Being Spiritually Prepared

I have been feeling strongly to be prepared.

This isn't for any specific reason, but to simply be ready and as physically prepared as I can in case of ANY type of emergency. So many focus on a specific catastrophic event to be prepared for, but I wanted to focus on being generally prepared for anything. Like a storm in the winter knocking out power, a long period of time with no paycheck, an illness, even coming upon a car accident. These are the types of instances I want to focus on as I blog this year.

I have a beautiful friend, Kellene Bishop who has created a company named Preparedness Pro. In her company she focuses on 10 main principles of preparedness:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Mental
  3. Physical 
  4. Medical
  5. Clothing and Shelter
  6. Fuel
  7. Water
  8. Food
  9. Financial
  10. Communication

 I wanted to take the first ten months of 2015 to dive more in-depth and increase my knowledge, understanding and finally application of these principles.

I am not a professional, by any means; however, I will be showing how I have progressed in my preparedness as I go though this year.

Since we are in January I wanted to focus on being spiritually prepared. This is a topic that is very personal to me. I am very passionate about my spirituality. It is the foundation of everything I am. My belief in my Heavenly Father and my trust in Him is how I survive every challenge in life.

This being said, I will end with a simple weekly goal.

This weeks goal: My goal this week is simple (as will most of my goals). I am going to go through all my empty canning jars and fill them up with tap water and place a lid on them. My friend told me that she stores them this way because she is already storing them... they might as well serve a purpose while they are empty.

This is a great, basic article on water preparedness.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Truth About Starting a Small Business: A Spouse's Point of View

Starting a business is not an easy task. It has many challenges along the way. Not only is it hard and takes much time and commitment from the one starting the business, but family and friends supporting the business as well.

Here are a few of the realities I have found about our adventure starting a business from a wife's (a.k.a. support system's) point of view.

What does he DO?

When asked the question, "What does your husband do?" I often stumble and fumble to describe what he does. And it isn't because he doesn't do anything. It is quite the opposite.

My response would be something like this... "He, uh, coaches people about their business and finances."

Which would be replied to with something like, "Oh, he's a financial planner."

Then I would have to say, "No, he does the opposite of a financial planner. He doesn't take a person's money and invest it. He teaches people how to find and know where their money is and where it goes. He also teaches them to protect it and to make more of it."

This would be already past the point people were wanting to hear. I would see eyes glazing over and their minds trying to figure a way gracefully out of this conversation. They were looking for an easy peg hole answer.What he does doesn't fit into a perfect hole. He isn't a doctor, lawyer or manager. He has many titles and things he does every day... including husband and father.

Feeling Conflicted

Which brings us to our next area of conversation today. When you are a... public speaker, marketing director, accountant, coach to clients, customer service, tech guy, event planner, CEO and whatever else comes up that day, he feels like he has to constantly be working. But he realizes these aren't his most important roles. He is drawn by wanting to fulfill his most important roles of husband and father as well.

Seeing him have so much makes me feel guilty for not helping more, but at the same time, I realize my role of running the household (which can have a huge list of its own) and being a wife and mother are the ways I am helping him. When I take care of the kids, help with homework, laundry, yard work, etc, it puts his mind at ease as a father and husband... at least I hope it does.

This brings up the questions about "hiring" some of these many tasks out on both the home and work front. I mean, it is the most logical thing to do, right?

This leads us to our next section.

You must be rolling in the dough!

There is a big misunderstanding that when a business is started that you instantly are doing great.

Guess what I have learned?

It takes a long time. Years in most cases to get to a point of taking home a steady paycheck.

Then comes the idea (mainly from those who are well meaning) that you just shouldn't do that. It is "too risky." You should just do what is safe.

I not usually vocally, but in my mind reply, "Well the safe job you have at ABC business was once started by someone who took the time and challenge to start the business."

There are many (if not the majority) of well known business owners who had to take a chance, follow their dream at some point, which made the "steady jobs" many are talking about possible. Where would we be without those willing to take the chance? 

One I love to refer to for many reasons, is Walt Disney. What household, almost worldwide, doesn't know the name Disney, or at least Mickey Mouse?

Did you know Walt Disney's father was adamant he pursue a "real" job? The business of drawing characters and animation was not fully developed to say the least. He did not take a traditional path of college and a safe 9 to 5 job that was expected. This isn't to say he didn't educate himself. He worked very hard to continually educate himself. He loved learning. A trait I have noticed in my dreamer. Even after the challenges to just get the business started, they experienced a wonderful success with Snow White. Only to turn around and experience many more flops, like Pinocchio and Fantasia. (I had no idea they lost money on these.) Walt kept going, kept working, pushing forward. What if he had given up after Snow White? So many amazing achievements would have never been realized.

So, my plead as a wife of an Entrepreneur is this: Please, offer real encouragement, and if not encouragement, love. Even if you don't see the vision. It is hard enough to try and keep a positive outlook without the many who are well meaning, but lack the big picture of what is being attempted. Remember that many of the things you enjoy on a daily basis took a dreamer to make a reality. 

How do you do it? 

I wish I could list every aspect here on this blog, but that would take a novel. Which may not be a bad idea. Supporting a dreamer isn't easy. And I have to admit, I am not the at my best all the time. I sometimes get frustrated and discouraged and really wish we could just have that steady 9 to 5 job. Trying to keep life upbeat and steady for our family of 7 isn't easy when you are not always sure of a budget.

It takes sacrifice from the entire family to achieve the dream. You cannot easily budget something in. At least in the start up years... which is where we are. You quickly learn how to make due with what is on hand. You learn to make something from nothing, which is very satisfying in and of itself. Something I hope to instill in my children.Our former Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley would often quote an old pioneer adage that sums my feelings on this best.
“Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

Cheers to all in a similar boat! Here is to a happy, uplifting day! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Series: Why I am a great parent- Part 1

After a traumatic or exciting event, I usually do 3 things: 1.) Make sure all involved are ok. 2.) Thank my Heavenly Father nothing worse happened and 3.) Call my sister so she can laugh and tell me that whatever just happened is, in fact, funny to other human beings. She also reminds me that I should write it down.

This is for all those parents out there who think they are the only ones irreversibly messing up their kids. You are not alone.

Friday mornings are similar to the rest of the week. Wake up bright and early, have a plan and vision to do just like Pinky does, "Try to take over the world." Only to slowly, and painfully realize that in parenthood, your "best laid plans" as the quote goes, "often go astray."

With the kitchen in it's post catastrophic morning explosion and kids fairly happy, it was time for the 3 minute (really, only 3 minutes to and from) drive to drop a kindergartner I watch off to school. My hubby, while usually here, had just gone out for jog, and in my 10 year long sleep deprived brain I thought, "The 3 remaining kids will be ok for 3 minutes. It takes longer to take the garbage out. And by the time I load all 4 kids into the car, the kindergartener would be late for school."

3 minutes later, I pull back into the garage and can hear one child crying..."Uh oh, better go see what happened." is my thought. As I spring up the 2 stairs and turn the doorknob I promptly slam my shoulder into the door. It's locked. I now know why the child is crying. They locked the door and are freaking out.

I run around to the front window and curse myself for making sure the front door was locked for my 3 minute trip. I see 2 toddlers sitting in the living room. No blood. Whew. But, one crying because they realized they locked the door, the second happy as can be. I knock on the door and push the doorbell many, many, many times, trying to dislodge the almost 5 year old from the movie I put on earlier. No luck. I knock on the window and tell the toddlers they will be ok, but to go get said almost 5 year old (that sounds better than saying 4, at least in my head). One still crying and pressing her hand against the window... seriously sad to see. I touch where her hand is from the other side of the glass and have visions of all the shows where one loved one is in prison and they touch hands through the glass. The next toddler climbs onto the chair and giggling shuts the blinds on me and continues to play peek a boo.

I continue running back and forth from the garage door to the front door trying my keys I realize are not the right keys for the house, banging on the doors and ringing the bell for the almost 5 year old... nothing. I try to get the toddlers to unlock the door... no luck... go figure. I see the back door and realize, that might be easier for the toddlers to unlock.

I run to the back gate and try to unlatching it... only to realize that my usual overly protective self has a padlock on the gate... and the keys are inside. Next step after running back to assure the toddlers all is well and that they should go get Jon... they continue to stare at the funny Mommy outside freaking out. 

Run back to the gate and try to climb the garbage can to jump the 6 foot gate... only to realize two new realities... 1.) I am not a teenager AND 2.) The garbage can will tip and you will bruise your shins.

Run back to check on the toddlers. Yup, one still crying and one went upstairs to stare at the tv.

A light bulb goes on. The ladder is in the garage! Yes! I am blessed for not putting something away! I grab the ladder... and daintily drape myself over the gate... ok, it may have looked more like, well, a desperate 30 something year old mother trying to climb a gate she locked herself. After landing with no major injury I run to the back door and knock hard on the door... realize that being deranged isn't going to help the crying toddler... so I sit down on the step and encourage her to come to the door. After some kind prompting, she comes and then I show her on the opposite side of the glass how to push the lock up.

3 minutes later... ironic, right? She pushed the lock up and I slide the door open and scoop her up. Her tears stop instantly. I go upstairs to my almost 5 year old and toddler and see them, happy as can be, watching the movie. Not a clue of the last 15- 20 minute drama that had just taken place.

All in all... I think I am more traumatized by the event. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Not so Hidden Treasure

In our happy little valley we have a treasure that is not so hidden and most don't realize it. Thanksgiving Point Institute is huge and has been a focal point of memories in almost every person's lives who are blessed to live near it.

From the amazing 55 acre garden, Farm Country, Museum of Ancient Life (who happens to be one of the worlds largest collections of dinosaur bones and fossils), the Children's garden, restaurants and shopping.  This Spring they are adding a world class Children's Museum of Natural Curiosity.

The 55 acre garden is huge and hosts The Tulip Festival every spring where you can see the over 250,000 tulips. My children have grown up here. They have learned to walk, explore nature and created many wonderful memories as they have run and played. Each Monday in Summer they have a family activity that my children live for. they have fun theme's like Narnia, or different science experiments. A favorite is the HUGE slip n slides they run down the grassed amphitheater one Monday per summer. It is a blast!

In Farm Country my children have learned all about different farm animals. They are very confidant around
the ponies and have learned to mount and dismount like champs. They love to get the peacock strutting his feathers by calling to him. They have learned about animal life by watching the baby goats, chicks and bunnies each Spring. In Fall they have all sorts of fun Fall activities for families to enjoy.

We spend so much time in the Dinosaur Museum that everyone recognizes our family. My kids will often make parallels between something they have observed about the dinosaurs and things they notice at home or school. Because of the sand and water table they understand about erosion and its part in dinosaur fossils preservation.They hold family activities every Monday year round. We love decorating cookies  in February, dressing up in our Halloween costumes each Fall and celebrating Christmas with the dinosaurs.

The Children's gardens have great sand and water play all summer. They can explore caves, watch fish and plants grow . They climb over, on and around, learn about music in nature. Cooling off in Noah's Ark splash pad, and getting lost in the shrub mazes. We have spent many days exploring these gardens and love every minute. Following up our adventure with an ice cream cone at the old fashioned ice cream parlor below the tower.

If you can't tell. I love all Thanksgiving Point stands for and offers to families and our community as a whole. In addition to all the enriching, world class places to visit, events and educational classes are always going on as well. These educational opportunities are mainly provided by generous donations from those in our community.

Since Thanksgiving Point is a 501(c)(3) charity they need so many donations per year to keep their standing as a charity, which means each donation we send to them not only stays in our community to keep this jewel ready to go for generations to come, but continually gives back to our community as well to keep it as amazing as it is. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Decision

A big decision has been weighing on my mind for sometime.  I could safely say it has been on my mind for over two years, progressively getting more and more prominent and hard to ignore.

Are we done adding to our family right now? 

I know many would tell us that it is about time, I mean, 5 kids in 8 years is quite the accomplishment. But this has been a very personal and soul pondering decision. Not one made lightly.

My husband was good with our five and felt peace about our beautiful children we have been blessed to bring into this world. I on the other hand, have been thinking, pondering and praying about this decision for some time. I love each so much and cannot imagine life without them, individually or as a whole.

Does having children bring struggles, yes. It is some of the hardest work I have ever done in my life and it is only going to bring more challenges as each grow and experience life for themselves. These challenges I wouldn't change for anything. My life feels so much more enriched than I could possibly put into words. I do not regret any of it. This is not meant to put any of my friends, loved one or acquaintances who have not had children or who struggle trying to do so. This is simply the life I have been given, complete with many challenges and trials that have come with it.  

Admitting that this beautiful and challenging season in our lives is coming to a close has bought many tears, but it is right for us. This makes my next tasks very hard. Time to clean out the baby items, clothes, swings, bottles, baby toys, blankets and maternity clothes. It makes me cry thinking about all the memories made while working hard to gather items for each baby.

It is time to make room for our next stage of life, that is happening and continuing to come fast... Raising these 5 amazing children into adults.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting Ready for a Special Day

Sacred Gifts

This past Saturday, my good friend, my little McKenna and I were able to go see Sacred Gifts at the BYU Museum of Art. It is a beautiful and breathtaking collection of art by Carl Bloch, Heinrch Hofmann and Frans Schwartz. It took all involved over 12 years to arrange this opportunity, and I can truly say, it is a gift.

All are welcome and encouraged to view these works free of charge. Many of the pieces are alter pieces from various churches in Denmark and Germany. These wonderful and religious people are giving up a focal point in their churches to share with us this beauty. I appreciated this all the more knowing that they are going to church for over a year without these priceless works in their churches and collections.  

This outing was initially scheduled as an outing just for me and my friend, but quickly turned into a very special day getting McKenna ready for her baptism this upcoming May. I quickly realized after we arrived that it was a very special opportunity to teach McKenna about the life of Jesus Christ, through these marvelous paintings from artists so far away from us physically and historically. To see the detail that you often miss in prints, the brush strokes, the time taken, the actual size.

As we went through the exhibit, we were able to learn about the history of each work, where is came from, the artists who painted it and mostly, about our Savior's life here on earth. My heart was filled even more as I was able to physically see my beautiful little girl gaining a stronger understanding and testimony of the scriptural records of Christ. They were coming to life for her. This priceless gift is something I wish for everyone to see.

More Treats

After seeing Sacred Gifts (have I mentioned everyone should go?) we went to Cravings in Pleasant Grove for some cupcakes. McKenna was in heaven not having to share or be in the crazy state she is accustom to with 4 other siblings. Granted, she hardly said a word the entire time we were out. I think it was really throwing her off being without her siblings and outside of the house.

After a cupcake (she actually had a BIG sugar cookie) we dropped off my friend and stopped by two stores looking for a baptism dress. We ended up finding her own set of scriptures, which I was able to have imprinted with her name. Something I know she will treasure. As she tried on a baptism dress, she looked like a little angel. She turned side to side, making sure to view herself from all angles. We didn't end up finding THE dress, but it was so fun to spend that time with her.

Afterward, we went home and I had her try on my old baptism dress... she really did not like the style and told me, "I'm just not use to this style" She reluctantly allowed me to take her picture, because she knew it would end up on Facebook. We looked at some of my baptism pictures and went off to do grocery shopping as a family.
The One

As we went into Costco, we saw a few white dresses. Kenna fell in love and we can now say we found her baptism dress! Yahoo! It is so pretty... and didn't break the bank at $17! It is lined and has beautiful lace all over. She wanted to try it on right after her bath that night... which explains the wet hair.

 I am so excited to keep helping her prepare for baptism over the next few months. My prayer is that of Gordon B. Hinckley...
"Let us go on rearing our children in righteousness and truth. Let us be good neighbors and good friends." -Gordon B. Hinckley