Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WARNING: This blog post is rated PG 13 ~ for the "Cootie" Sensitive ;)

Good thing my husband, Miles, doesn't read my blog post's unless I point them out.
Time to have a little FUN! :D

I was sitting on the boat ~ watching the rest of the family swim. The sun was setting. We had been at the lake for several hours swimming and sailing and I was beginning to get cold. "I'm cold." I called out to Miles in my cutest little voice. :)

"Why don't you swim across the lake and go warm up in the suburban." Miles responded with as much concern as he could possibly muster - without ending the kid's fun.

I put on my cute little puppy dog face, and shook my head innocently. "Unt - u - I don't know how far I can swim." (BTY ~ Though I am not the greatest swimmer in the world, I had just swam from shore out to the boat, which was almost the full distance of the lake 10 or so minutes prior to this conversation; it's a tiny man made lake.)

I said nothing more, but continued to look as cute as possible. Why don't you paddle the boat across the lake to get to the truck?" The wind was dead, and Miles was desperately trying to find a solution for me; he knows I hate to be cold.

I shook my head from side to side in tiny little quivers and quietly responded; "I'm too cold." I continued to look at  him with charm.

"Do you want me to paddle you across?" He asked... grinning from ear to ear ~ looking quite taken with me I might add.

"Yes," I responded while batting my eyes just a little, and of course - while giving a pleased little grin. :)

As I watched my loving and devoted husband coming toward the boat my thoughts went wild with delight; "Wow!" I thought. "This woman power ROCKS!" :D I have to admit, I did feel a bit honored, too. And blessed to have him.

Miles paddled me to shore and escorted me to the suburban. I sat in my seat, comfy, warm, and cozy. I was quite content. But Miles seemed to be having a hard time leaving my side. He lovingly reached out to take one of my hands in his and began to kiss it... working his lips from my hand, up my arm, then over to my lips. YUM. :D

The next thing I knew, the sail was taken down and the family was there with me in our suburban.

I LOVE being a woman! :D
As soon as Miles left to take the sail down and gather children, I immediately went to work writing about the fun little experience you just read about. By the time the family was there - it was already written. I sat there minding my own business, reading. And, to be quite honest with you, I delighted in what I had just written. I giggled. And somehow, Miles knew - I had just written about him!

He looked at me with big eyes and a smile and asked, "what did you write about me?" I burst into laughter as the two of us simultaneously reacted to each other. I tried to sit on my notebook, as he reached out to grab it. After a bit of wrestling... he won. I giggled as he read it. He smiled and laughed a bit, then gave my notebook back to me. (I was really enjoying this.) This enjoyment of mine really got the kids curious, and Mindy asked me to read aloud. So I did. But this post is long enough already. I'll tell you what happened when I read it to the kids in another blog post. :)

As if the day couldn't get any better... IT DID. After arriving home Levi asked for ice cream. I didn't want to go to the store to get it, but turned to Miles and reminded him that it would be nice to have a FHE treat. He suggested I go to the store and get some. I then gave him that all too familiar puppy dog face. Words were not needed. He began to look charmed, as usual... then said, "wait a minute! Not this time! It's not working this time!"

It was then that I began to sweat things out. My secret had been unfolded; were my 20 years of charming my husband over? I knew I didn't want him to read that notebook!!! I was desperate. I had to do more to keep the charm up! And so, I added...
the batting of the eyelids... (not really ~ I just got lucky! :)

The rest is history.

He should be home any minute now - with ice cream. :)

Corine :D

PS For those of you who don't know me ~ I really am NOT a manipulative person honest!!!  But, I have to admit that I am not opposed to getting my way through charm. :) I figure, if God gives you a talent;  you should USE IT! ;D


PS - Here are a few photos I took of the kids having a little fun, capsizing the boat.

In the first photo the kids all moved to one side then leaned out to cause it to capsize.
In the last photo they were using the riding line to recover the boat to it's original sailing position. :)  I couldn't get a photo of the boat being recovered because the battery died on my camera.

BTY - If you have never purposefully capsized or practiced capsize recovery... you should try it; it's an adrenaline rush! :D ~ Happy Sailing! ;D

Monday, June 28, 2010

Recent Highlights...

I have been SO BUSY! With what, you ask? OK, I'll list just a few highlights....

*Traveled to Boise to hang out with family/friends and attend a wedding...

*Jotted over to Moscow to visit the newly wed's. The sweet young bride called and insisted we all come over and have a sleepover with them (I love that girl!)...

(Here's a quick snap shot for the bride's mom to see how nice her wedding gift looks on their wall ;)

*Hung out with my friend, Dee... We usually roller blade with our friend, Jessica... but since we all keep missing it due to either RAIN or the change of summer schedule, I stopped by Dee's house on one of my spontaneous outings {Jessica lives too far for me to skate past her house and pick her up - sorry Jessica!} and kidnapped her for an afternoon rollerblading session. Dee had the fabulous idea of going down town Coeur d'Alene at the park, which I emphatically consented to. We then continued rollerblading on the absolutely beautiful Centennial bike trail and added to the spontaneity of the adventure by taking off our roller blades and jumping into the lake, (fully clothed :).

Actually, it was Dee's idea to jump in with our clothes on. After I responded with a hearty "heck yeah - I'll jump in!" Dee conveniently remembered she still had her swimsuit on from taking her kids to the beach earlier that day. :O Totally NOT FAIR!  But even with the clothes on ~ it was so much fun!

I wish we had a camera with us to get photos of the trail and park we rolled through - The whole outing was A BLAST!!! Mental note to self: buy a cheep, small camera that I can take with me rollerblading etc. One should always be prepared! :D And get photos of the three of us girls rollerblading, too.

The following day Dee and I dropped our kids off at the theater and headed off for a much funner summertime adventure than movie watching... we hiked. It was super short (darn) ... but on our way to the hiking location - we sure had fun swinging at a park! :D

I couldn't stop laughing when I got up high enough on the swing. You know you're past your youth when you get on a swing and laugh hysterically like you are on a roller coaster at the county fair! Did I just admit that out loud? :O Oh well... age is only a state of mind; I'll be young FOREVER! :D

*The night before this small but awesome adventure, my family joined me in shoveling a trailer load of dirt into a huge trailer, after which we took turns shoveling it into a wheel barrel and rolling it across the lawn to be unloaded in the second garden area that I recently built. That morning, we reloaded the trailer (for a grand total of about 4 huge trailer loads full in the past month) and did it all again. Only this time... I had to finish the job alone (I love it when they jump in here and there between activities and take a wheel barrel of dirt to the garden! :). This meant I actually got sore muscles the next day. Yikes!

I actually spent the next couple of days unloading dirt in to the second garden bed... finishing the planting of the hopeful crops to come (A bit late to plant...  I know! But I had to try. At least I will be fully ready - early - next year). 

*BTY - I made a couple of "smile box" collages (below) with pretty frames and music etc. But for those of you who would rather just see a collage you don't have to load, I give you this...
PS As you might have guessed... this activity has taken up the majority of my time lately! I'm so excited to have it DONE, and can't wait to see produce!

In case you like to see photos with colorful and creative backgrounds and a little music to boot - I give you the following...
(Give the collages time to load - You will see an advertisement before the collages begin loading)

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Gardening
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
This collage customized with Smilebox

Click to play this Smilebox collage: Groovy Gardening slide
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Make your own collage

LOL ~ Are you totally tired of seeing the same photos, repeatedly? ... Do you have them memorized? Sorry... I had way too much time on my hands yesterday and was experimenting.
BTW (again:) - It is so nice to have the guts (I think it comes with age) to make a blog post of yourself after gardening all day in your grubbies, with no shower, no makeup (that one's easy... hardly ever touches my face), hair a mess - never curled under (come to think of it - I don't think I even combed it ~ no ziz zags either), and dirt all over (even my forehead was covered with dirt... as were my clothes from head to toes!) :O ~ But hey... I'm making memories! :D

*I also helped my daughter with a yard sale. She has decided she is just about ready to fly the coop, and is lightening up her load first. I really hope we get a couple of super fun weeks in with her before she moves! :O I am really going to miss this super awesome daughter of mine!!!!

BTY - During our yard sale we met a cousin of Hobie... (The man who created Hobie Cat's / IE the most popular sailboat around... which my husband loves and sells for a living) I immediately sent for Miles. Miles was excited. :) (BTY - That man of mine is so cute! ~ Not to mention... totally gorgeous! :) As it turned out... this cousin also has a name for himself in the sailing world, Alder. Miles knew his name and was excited to meet him not only because he was Hobie's cousin, but because he was himself. Nice. (I'll give him just an ounce of privacy, and leave the first name off) So, with their consent, I took a photo of the two men together. :)

Yesterday (day after yard sale) I slept and lounged around. And that brings me to today. Time to start getting this house of mine back in order. :O Uggh!

Corine :D

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Religious Beliefs of Our Founding Fathers

Signed: l.r. Howard Chandler Christy, Sail Loft, U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., April 1940 (This painting hangs in the east stairway in the House wing of the United States Capitol.)

I read a great post about our Founding Fathers and their religious beliefs in a blog today. In this particular post, quotes of our Founding Fathers are given which show clearly their religious beliefs and faith in God. I would like to share it with you, just click on the link above to read it. The name of the blog is a bit strange to me... but I really like the content I have read so far. I just had to comment (a few changes are made, here)...

So much is said which isn't true these days (IE- founders not being religious, constitution being outdated etc.).

It is so sad that more people don't realize the truth.  To KNOW that the founders were religious, did pray before each assembly, did ask God to direct them in creating the Constitution and framework for the United States of America, and that God did hear and answer their prayers... IS TO KNOW that THE CONSTITUTION WAS INSPIRED OF GOD,  AND THAT TO RETAIN OUR FREEDOM WHICH WAS SO DEARLY FOUGHT FOR - WE MUST VOTE IN/FOR CONGRESSMEN, REPRESENTATIVES AND PRESIDENTS WHO WILL BE TRUE TO THE OATH THEY TAKE WHEN THEY ARE NOMINATED INTO THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES, TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION!! 

Some people will never know the truth. But, there is a God, and He will continue to whisper into the hearts of those who will ask for truth and hear; His words will be known, and thanks to the good of those who hold onto and fight for the blessings of the God inspired Constitution, THIS NATION SHALL ENDURE!

Thank you for this post!
Corine :D

This nation became a free and prosperous nation because it was lead by men who loved and honored Jesus Christ. These founders prayed, honored Christ, and lived Christ's teachings. They were honest, frugal and hard working. They had Charity - the pure love of Christ. They were willing to make sacrifices for others, but never forced others to make those same sacrifices. They respected the free agency of others. These leaders were people of high morals. And overall... the. people. were. too.

If we want our country to be prosperous and good as it once was... perhaps we to, as individuals, families and as a Nation, should go back to living the principles that made our country so prosperous and so good... so long ago. I have been examining my life lately and am working on this. It is so exciting! :) It feels so good. I hope your life feels good, too. :D

Sunday, June 20, 2010

♫ Father runs triathlon with his son in tow

Fathers and Sons

I was going to write a Fathers Day post, but then I saw this....

... and nobody does it better!

 To all you Dad's, Dad's to be, and Mentors who so graciously stand in vacant places...

Happy Fathers Day!

We want you, we need you, we applaud you, we love you! Thanks for being you and for all the good that you do to make life wonderful, meaningful, funny, and just plain fun!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spankings ~ A Comical Remembrance...

A couple of months ago I had discipline on the brain. I remembered this story of my youth and just thought I might share it on this blog (though I did on another blog some time ago), but never did. It is a light hearted writing about some of the experiences I had with spankings as a child. Note: I do think there are a whole lot of better ideas out there which actually teach kids principles and skills to help them to behave, - but... this is still a funny memory, so "what the heck!"  :) And for any who might wonder about spankings from time to time - there is a very enlightening link at the end. Enjoy! :)

When I was a kid, I was extremely overly sensitive (highly emotional). If anyone or anything got hurt in my presence... I would hurt, too (oh gosh :S... I'm still like that!).
Anyhow, mom and dad were really into discipline; either you would discipline yourself to behave, or you would BE DISCIPLINED.

I remember quite well, dad's belt, used for spankings (by both mom and dad), and the horrible anticipation of.... can you guess? I'll give you a line or two to think about it.....

Bingo! The anticipation of WATCHING my siblings be spanked in a fight that I participated in; the guilt and pain was UNBEARABLE!

You have a question? You thought I was going to say the anticipation of being spanked? No, that I could bear (though it did sting!) But watching them be spanked I could not bear! It was the greatest form of torture imaginable to me!

So... what I am about to tell you - is the truth - honest. And though it made me cry at the time, I have many times since, looked back and laughed my head off over it! :D

When dad was gone, and mom had to do the harsh disciplining, she would take us all to her bedroom and get one of dad's belts out of the closet. Then she would have us all line up at the bed (there were 8 of us kids all together, but probably 4 or 5 of us at this time).

Anyhow, as I was saying... mom would have us all line up and bend over in front of mom and dad's bed with our behinds in easy reach so she could go down a nice efficient spanking line. When this happened, I would remember waiting at the end of the line as I listened to the younger kids screaming out in pain; thus... my pain would start prematurely.

After this happened a couple of times, the anxiety over the anticipation was so great that I would beg mom;
"Please mom! Just spank me first, NOW... so I can get it over with!"
This pleading began from the moment I found myself escorted into the room in which the belt resided.

Over time, something happened. Maybe mom was learning better methods of disciplining, maybe we were just getting older, I don't know what the actual "maybe" was... but things changed.

As soon as I started into my usual routine of begging her to
"just spank me first and let me leave!"

Mom would attempt to calm me down, and say things like,
"Now, just a minute Cori, I want to talk to you all first."  

(At least, I think/thought she said, 'first.')

I would be so worked up that I would just repeatedly plead with her;
"No mom! Please! Please just spank me now and let me leave the room!"
What's a mom to do
with a frantic child
who begs for a spanking?

She finally did what mothers sometimes do when weakened with begging... she gave me my way; I was spanked ahead of the others. And boy was I grateful! That meant that I could then quickly exit the room - before the others were spanked.

Oddly though, when the other children came out, they weren't crying. Mom had "talked" to them about what they had done, and decided NOT to spank them.

Hmmm... First I was glad I didn't have to watch the other kids be spanked;

...then I wished I hadn't been spanked, either!

This happened a few times.

I really hope my sense of humor doesn't seem warped here... but the memory of these times when I was spanked and the other kids weren't eventually sent me into hysterical laughter. For many years afterwards I laughed my head off at the thought of what I un-necessarily, put myself through!

Now that it is all over and done, all I can do is try to learn from the past. The lessons I learned from spankings had little to do with what I did wrong in the first place. What I did learn, was that lacking faith that I could handle a situation and panicking to get out - only gave me more to have to handle. I'm sure we all learn different things in life by the way we handle things (or don't).

I have seldom made use of spankings (only used on rare occasions when mine were fairly young, but never before about the age of 3). And I was calm and careful about it (as my parents were). Even still... there are better methods of disciplining and there were times when I did spank my kids and felt strongly that I had made a mistake.

I have a brother who thought likewise (and a daughter who felt the stings of spankings years later). This brother came across some great words written on the subject of spankings by some very wise and godly men, whose opinions we both trust. He shared them with me a few months ago (long past the years of spanking our children). I wished I had read them before I had children, or at least while the kids were young and I still spanked from time to time.

If any of you still have young children and wonder about spankings as I sometimes did... I hope you will check out the following link. You may really appreciate this link!! 

Good luck, and happy parenting!

Corine :D

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Significant In Every Way

Yesterday, a friend said something to me in reference to what I was like as a youth.  That got me thinking about my life and what I was like as a youth.

Then I watched a Mormon Youth video in which a young Mormon girl shares a poem that she wrote. I immediately thought of my years as a youth and of how I too came to realize that though I felt invisible at times... I was never insignificant; instead, I was a daughter of God with a divine nature, a follower of Jesus Christ, and though I wasn't always confident on many levels, I was an example to other youth who also desired a certain quiet confidence and peace that I was blessed with as I continually strove to live a reverent and virtuous life. The really cool thing is that I was not, and am not, alone in this.

PS. I hope you enjoy the sweet message this video carries as much as I did! :) Kudos to the fine young woman who wrote the poem!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can I Have Your Attention, Please?

I read a blog recently in which a teen boy was the guest on his mother's blog. His name is Coolister... and he seems to have an affinity for doing crazy things for the sake of "attention getting," or, in his own words... "becoming a legend." It reminded me of my own crazy teen days, and the similar phase that I went through (only with me, I was simply breaking free of an unwanted shell rather than trying to create a legend). I sent the legend seeking young man a LONG comment on his post... then decided to post that comment (with a few colorful adjustments), here! ~ Happy reading! Corine :D

... Here's an idea you can copy if you want to add to your "look at what I've done" list, without taking up too much time. :)

When I was about 17, I went to the mall with some friends. Without telling them what I was up to, I hopped up onto a bench and stood as tall as my almost 5 foot 2 inch body could reach, extended my arms high up into the air so as to be better seen, and very loudly made the following announcement:

"Attention... I have an important announcement; can I please have your attention?" I think I may have done it a couple times, in all seriousness, until most of the by passers stopped walking and most everyone consented to just standing around, looking at me. :)

Then I crossed my arms over my shoulders and leaned my head back in an "I'm in heaven" sort of way... and announced with great pleasure, "I LOVE ATTENTION."

I was breaking out of my shell... and I was in heaven. :) Looking at my massive audience, I had to continue and said something like... "Thank you so much, for the attention you gave me! I just.., really love attention."  :D

My audience just stood there... speechlessly... staring at me... (except for my friends who were busting out of their seams laughing hysterically). I was greatly enjoying both the attention and the ability I suddenly seemed to have to lead and direct the masses... but I had had my thrill, so I decided it was time to spare my friends from wetting their pants further.

"OK... That's enough attention, you can go now," I called out to the audience, with a wave of my hands to shew them away. But they just continued to stare at me for a moment longer (I don't understand why... perhaps they were all in shock at how awesomely brave I was. He he.); so I gave them a look of reproach for their slow obedience... and think I added something like, "Please, go now."

In my final moment of glory I jumped down off that bench with all the energy my new powerful little body possessed.

It was awesomely fun. You should try it! ;D Then let me know about it, OK? If you do it... you can be a guest on my blog, and we can both share our experiences (or not... a teen boy may not want to show up on a random old married woman's blog about random life experiences. That's OK. :)

In any case, I hope you keep having fun... without getting into too much trouble! ;D Corine

End of comment.

I don't think he will respond... but I figured I'll just go ahead and share this little memory with you, for the heck of it! :D TTFN! Corine

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

Hi. :D ~ I was just looking at some photos taken last week while our family was traveling home from a wedding. We stopped all along the way and turned a 7.5 hour drive into around a 10.5 hour drive; it was AWESOME! :D (with exception to becoming SO tired and eventually quite anxious to get home)

One of the things that we always do when we travel through desert lands is stop to let the boys catch snakes. Our boys are especially talented with animals, and on this trip Devry caught another rattle snake. Yes - I do mean rattle. His father and I have both made the mental transition from freaking out over the things he does... to anticipating it with total confidence that he knows what he is doing; we are actually relaxed now and very impressed (but still cautious). His talent is truly amazing. I really need to do a post just on animal catching talent.
These boys of mine are positively awesome! :)

A little further down the road the boys stopped for a hike. Actually, I hiked with them for a bit but chickened out when I saw bobbed wire. Before I wandered back down the mountain (hill really, but mountain sounds so much cooler! :) I gave the camera to Miles and told him to get photos of our boys. I thought it was interesting as I looked at the photos to note their postures in comparison with each other in each of the photos. These two (as do many other twins) do so many things alike without even realizing it. The way they each place one hand on one leg in just the same way (and even at the same time.) The way each of them will place one thumb in a pant pocket without knowing that the other is doing it... and with perfect symmetry (the outside pockets only). Here are a few photos of them hiking and looking for snakes and rocks. You may enjoy looking for the mentioned similarities in each photo.

So many similarities... and yet so many differences.

Dausen and I were talking to each other after watching Devry fearlessly catch yet another rattle snake with his bare hands (he knows how to do it so they can not strike). He mentioned that Devry is sure to die of something like a snake bite or "spontaneous combustion." I have to admit... when he was little, I feared for his life. I could not believe that boy lived through each and every one of his bizarre antics; and I want you to know I really did try hard to watch him.

Speaking of rattle snakes, I just have to tell you about a rattle snake incident we experienced the last time Devry caught one. On this occasion, Devry actually brought home a rattle snake! Since the snake didn't kill him, he's lucky I didn't. When I insisted he get in the car to take "that thing" back into it's own terrain... Devry realized he lost the 1 gallon ice cream container he put the thing in inside our house. Then someone found an ice cream container... knocked over and OPEN. The next five minutes were fraught with contention and panic as we all frantically rushed around the house looking for a rattle snake, and hoped not to be killed in the process!  Then we prayed and spent the next 5 minutes calming down. Naturally, the snake was found... in another container which had the lid still on it! :D (we save icecream containers for bugs and critters... I don't think my boys will ever grow out of them). I was thankful that the lid was on, but was equally thankful that the experience frightened a little common sense into my ultra, overly adventurous son :)! Dausen is a good example; he actually uses his head with caution. :) Thank you Dausen. ;) OK, in all fairness... Devry really is very careful, too... just very daring as well. :O

It's late, so I'll stop writing now. Perhaps I will post some photos of some of the animals the boys have caught over the years... just for the heck of it.

TTFN!  Corine

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Principles of Freedom and Prosperity

Tonight as my husband and I took an evening walk together we met some new neighbors who were out cutting wood for the coming winter. The father was out working side by side with his sons, ages 11 and 14. It was a WONDERFUL sight. They live in a duplex. Their neighbors paid $280.00 for their utility bill last month, while they paid only $88.
And then we walked home and saw in our own yard the raised garden bed that we are 95% done building and anxious to finish building and plant our first garden in. As I looked at these sites, I reflected upon the principles of freedom that I am seeing in action; and an incredible feeling of peace and joy came over me.

There have been times when my husband and I have found our family financially strapped and wanting in a very big way. Even with savings, each year, things would get so financially tight in the winter months of November and December that we found ourselves in need of help to feed our children. It was SO hard, but we would go to our bishop at church and ask for food.

When things got even harder, and we anticipated needing help longer than two months, we made the painful decision to go to the government for food; we were still working (tons of work when you own your own business which has new infrastructure constantly under reconstruction), just not getting paid. We also did odd jobs in addition to our own self employed work to try to make ends meet – but it wasn’t enough. We knew the church charity program was meant to be temporary and felt that the winter months were simply not temporary enough (though that was purely our own decision – not the churches), so we applied for government help with food.

Then we began studying history, the Constitution and government together in our homeschooling. Our eyes were opened. We learned more about the moral principles which were lived as a whole when America was founded, which caused America to become the richest, most prosperous nation in the world. These principles include independence, self reliance, frugality, hard work, integrity, and honesty. Remember the lesson John Smith taught the colonists of Jamestown… if you don’t work, you don’t eat? Incentive that proved to invite prosperity to a people who were starving!

In our studies we came to realize that Americans live very differently now than they did when America was more prosperous. We learned that there are many government programs that are being used which cost the government billions of dollars… and that the government has to raise taxes to pay for these programs. We learned that when you go on a government program… you choose to force all tax paying Americans to pay for the need that program provides, rather than working by the sweat of your brow to provide that need for yourself.

Long story short… we realized that to choose to use a program without first exhausting every means one has of doing what they can for themselves, is to choose to increase taxes for everyone and to make all of America poorer. It is also to choose to NOT be independent, self reliant, honest, and to have integrity… since it is basically forcing others to pay for what you get from the program.

Government programs are not like charity programs. Charity is when people give freely of their own accord, without being forced. And many Americans are impressively good at this. America is there through church donations, Red Cross, and many other Charity programs helping people every day. These programs are good, and we have great reason to be proud of Americans for being so generous and giving not only to Americans, but also to persons of other countries.

But government programs are not charity. They are not run off money that is donated; they are run off money which is stolen from the people… whether the American people agree with the program, or not; taken from paychecks in taxes, whether the workers want to donate to that specific cause or not.

To take without consent is to steal. To be on a program funded by stolen money is to steal. This is not independent (or interdependent), nor is it honest. If one claims to be an honest person and needlessly takes from programs funded this way, then one is not living with integrity. These are hard truths that my husband and I had staring us in the face when our youngest child learned these principles and turned to us and asked… “We don’t use these programs, do we?” When we honestly said “yes” all of our children turned to us with bewilderment and asked us with shock, “why?”

It was at that moment that we knew we needed to find another way to feed our family – year round. – And it was at that moment when the words of my Relief Society leader’s words rang in my ears when I told her we would no longer need assistance in the winter due to having applied for food stamps. I first told her we just felt that our need was too long to ask for help. Her response was, “but you are doing all you can, and though it is long, it is still temporary.” She was right that we thought we were doing all we could at the time. She was right that it was temporary. But with great thought and prayer we determined that there was more that we could do, and that we needed to exhaust every independent resource possible to live the principles that we knew our Savior Jesus Christ inspired our Founding Fathers to instill in our Constitution – to bless us so that we can prosper as a country, and as a family.

And so the goals were set. We planted fruit trees and berry bushes, but we knew we could do more. The berry bushes were not doing well. So we talked to someone who has bushes that are out of control about thinning their bushes and taking the surplus that they would have thrown out to plant on our property and we decided to finally build a raised garden bed (we didn’t think we had room for it before we determined we must have one). And of course, we determined to do everything we possibly can to live frugally and save more money for winter so that we can provide for ourselves with greater independence. We also determined that if after doing all we can do, if we are still short, then charity will have to do – no more government bought food.

I am so thankful for our Savior. I am thankful for His love for us always, no matter what, even when we fall so short. I know Christ does not judge us harshly for having used government programs in the past; and I will judge no one who feels the need to use it. But as for me, I am determined to strive to never use another government program again… I will work, sweat, do ALL that I possibly to avoid it. And I pray the lord will bless our family’s efforts that they will be enough...

May we all be blessed with Happy and Prosperous Living! ;)

Corine :D