Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy 10th Anniversary, Luder, I love you.

October 27 2001, Washington DC Temple
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The man I love.

  How do you put into words the love that has changed you? Growing up, I always wanted a family. I wanted a companion and someone to share my life with, someone who would care for me. As I became a young adult, there was a realization that it would be hard to find the person that I could imagine spending forever with. 
   Looking back, my mind is flooded with memories. Memories of building our life together as a young married couple, of precious time surrounding the births of our beautiful children. Memories of graduating at the same time, building our life in Richmond and of many many blessings and trials that our marriage has withstood.
  As I reflect, I am brought to tears and laughter. We have truly had so much fun together. I don't know where I end and he begins anymore, nor do I care. I have grown to rely on him so much and the only thing I would change about us right now is that I wish I could see him more.
  I am so proud of him, no one knows the person that I see. That is the privilege of marriage I suppose. He is a dedicated father, I have rarely seen a father like him. He puts everyone else first. He loves the Lord and has a rock solid testimony. He amazes me with all the kindness that he wishes people, even people that are unkind to him. He is patient.
  What touches me the most is the way he loves me. He tells me that I am beautiful and would never say otherwise. He supports everything I do. He would give me anything I want, knowing that I would never take advantage. He is my best friend. We can talk for hours and there is nothing I would rather do than ride along a country road with him, discussing our dreams.  
  I am so grateful for this blessing from Heavenly Father and can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Parents-tell me, is this normal?
I have a kindergartener and a 2nd grader. When the oldest child was in kindergarten, we decided to have my husband take him to school (because I had just had a baby) and he would ride the bus home. I became acquainted and annoyed with the school system's transportation rule. The rule is, if you have a kindergartener come home on the bus, an authorized person must be at the bus stop with their legal ID every single day. If you go to the bus stop to get your kindergartener on the 100th day of school (bus driver has seen you 99 times before with your ID) and you do not have your ID, the bus driver will take your child back to school. Leaving you at the bus stop, probably in tears and leaving your child on the bus, pulling away in tears. This never happened to me but it causes great anxiety for a mother everyday around 2:00pm.
As I thought about this, I thought to myself-1. I am glad that they don't let kindergarteners off the bus alone, that they check and make sure the person is authorized etc (even though they make mistakes all the time) and 2. I have legal custody of my child, it's my child and you are telling me that a stranger (bus driver) has the authority to drive away with my child, taking them back to school, all because I, as the parent, registered MY child for kindergarten and allowed them to ride the bus and forgot my ID one time? This is silly.
Back up to May when I registered my 2nd child for kindergarten. I did some research and found out that there is a waiver that I can sign to have my child get off the bus without the ID everyday. I wanted him to get off the bus with his older brother, we live about 40 feet from the stop, I can see the stop and they can see me. I would be outside, watch them get off, walk about 20 feet to where I would split the difference and all would be well. I wouldn't have to get in my purse everyday, pull out my ID and walk to the stop and sit there for who knows how long. Seems like a good plan to me.
So, I signed the waiver and on open house night, I spoke with the Vice Principal or resource teacher about this, on the first day of school I sent an email to both teachers of my children and I was at the bus stop with my ID just in case.
It's a good thing because they had NO idea about any waiver I had signed. So, I spoke with the bus driver about the situation, showed my ID and went into the house with the children and called the school. They said they would handle it.
It's now the third week of school, the bus driver still calls my son the wrong name and looks like he's confused. Yesterday, I was at the stop (because I am too nervous to not be there and because I like to watch them come off the bus) and the driver told me to come over to the bus. "WHAT NOW!" I thought as I walked over.
He had a copy of the list of people that I turned in to the school that are authorized to pick my child up, like my child's grandparents, my best friends that could help if I was in a pinch. He told me that I had to take one of their names off and replace it with Cason's name. Right. So I should take a responsible adults name off the list and add a 7 year olds name. Ok. And, they also said at open house that if you don't put yourself on the list, you can't pick up your own child.
So, I called the school again to ask if this was correct. After they laugh and agree with me that this is ridiculous, they do some research (talk to the Dept of Transportation) and call to tell me that the driver is correct and they will be sending me a new authorization form to fill out in my handwriting to add Cason and take someone else off.
I forgot to mention that they wouldn't let my sweet little kindergartener get on the bus the first day to come home because his name tag said his middle name (which he goes by) and not his first name. He had to argue and tell them his full name, at 5 years old.
All of this is silly. This is all because they do not want to get sued. How far have we gotten from caring about the children and putting them first because we are afraid of a lawsuit or being fired? Where were the mother's and parents when they decided all of these rules and procedures of our PUBLIC school system? Where are our rights as parents? More and more red tape is added each year. You should see the amount of releases I have to sign to have my child at school.
I am tired of it. I love the teachers that my children have. I really like the school and I think the staff and principal are wonderful. I think they care.
I don't know where the breakdown happened or why I have to go through so much just to have my children return home to my open arms when I, their mother, am physically there every single day.
Who else has this policy?

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Did It, Elder Cason

 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has asked all males at the age of 19 years old, who are able, to serve a full time mission. These young men dedicate two years of their lives to a mission. They are assigned to any possible part of the world where their service is needed. They teach people about Jesus Christ, they provide manual labor for free, they baptize and bring a message of hope to those who are willing to hear.They do not see their families for two years, they do not talk to them on the phone or text them (with the exception of two phone calls a year, one on Mother's Day and one on Christmas). They are not paid, they actually have to pay for everything themselves. These young men serve the Lord willingly and do nothing else for two years.
Scott is the the first missionary in our family to serve The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no way to adequately describe the change that happens to these young men when they go and serve. Some people say that they leave a boy and come home a man. I have seen the blessings of a mission. My husband served a full time mission in Costa Rica and I benefit from it everyday. I have also been blessed because of Scott's faithful missionary service.
  This was always a dream I had for my little brother and I know it was his own dream. As he began to prepare and the time was drawing close, some people did not understand why he would want to go. Why would a 19 year old boy want to leave family, college, dating and the comforts and safety of home to talk to people about God?
All I can tell you is that I have seen his life change, as he changed the lives of others. He has written home and shared with us the many miracles that have happened while he has been away. He has walked the streets and met people who were hopeless, taught them that there is hope in this dark world and through this, he has changed them forever. He has performed hard manual labor, helping communities in California. I have seen the mile long hills he has had to climb in 100+ degree weather on a bicycle with a pack on his back. His life for the last two years has been filled with purpose and dedication. He has been in leadership since he began his mission and through this, he has learned many valuable life lessons.
I have never heard him happier, than he has been these past two years. Although I wasn't able to talk to him regularly, his mission strengthened me. It blessed my family. It increased my testimony and changed me forever. I am so proud of him and I love him.
He did it! He did it!

To learn more go to:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mother's Day Tea

So, for the past several years, I have had the great privilege to go to a Mother's Day Tea at the preschool where they honor Mother's. It is a special day. What touches me the most is his excitement. He is so excited to finally be able to do something nice for me and make me feel special. I love the little write up they do, they ask them our name, our favorite food, how old we are and the answers are so funny. I think this year I was 15 years old and my favorite thing to eat was casserole. He also said if he had a lot of money he would buy me a beautiful necklace. I love the opportunity to see myself through my child's eyes.