Wednesday, December 31, 2014


For the last several years I have chosen one-word goals.  For more than one year my goal was "Gratitude", because being grateful makes everything better, and showing gratitude doesn't hurt either.

In 2013 it was "Give" because I wanted to always be thinking of ways I could give of my time, talents, energy, and love.  I sang "Give Said the Little Stream" a lot that year, reminding myself to "do as the streams and blossoms do:  for God and others live".

For 2014, I hesitantly chose "health".  I was afraid I would not enjoy this, but I felt like it was an important topic that I too-often neglect.  Thankfully, I feel like having that goal has helped me to make some progress.

At the beginning of the year I mentioned in my blog that I had started doing Tai Chi, and had made dinner menus.  I was also studying up on sleep -- hoping to help my non-sleepers.  I gave up on studying sleep because I sleep fine, and me studying about it wasn't helping anyone else. Surprisingly, the most beneficial thing I learned has been about my "discretionary" time, or the time when I don't "have" to be doing something else. More specifically, it helped to learn that not all of my day should be considered discretionary!  Important things are not optional!  This has helped me to keep doing Tai Chi, and other exercise, and has helped me prepare dinner for my family a little more often, and has therefore made it so that I don't go to bed so discouraged every night.  All of these things have a positive impact on my health.  YAY!

It turns out that doing the important things takes time!  Mapping it all out allowed me to see how much time I reasonably had to work with to accomplish other things.  This has helped me to make more manageable plans for my day, which keeps me from being so disappointed in myself when it is bedtime.

I am not perfect at this yet (shocker!), and often find myself falling back into my old patterns.  Still, as I have moved forward, I have found joy in small improvements. I am starting to realize that Heavenly Father is patient with my slow progress, and that I should be too!

Christmas Day!

 Here are some pictures from Christmas morning, and from this afternoon, because we didn't take many on Christmas.  The day was very pleasant.  One of our favorite things is, sadly, not in the pictures.  Derek's sister Erin and her family came over to visit so that we could show off our new things.  They sometimes bring some of their favorite gifts too.  We love it when they visit -- anytime. Then we all went to Derek's parent's house for Christmas dinner.  Yum!
The end of the race up the stairs, Kayli won but I was too slow with the camera.

Travis, Trisa, and Tia

Travis, Kayli, Connor (background), Dan

Dan and his new bike
Dan with Peter Panda, and his helicopter

Jake and his AT AT Walker

Connor and his Star Destroyer

Kayli by her Christmas loot.
I got a microphone and speakers so that I could sing louder than my guitar.  Wahoo!  I got a mermaid puppet from Travis and Kayli, and beautiful shirts from the girls.  I got so many nice things!  Derek got a copy of my brother Brian's novels, and a tool box and tools he picked for himself. I try so hard to find something to surprise him with -- but I only really managed to surprise him with a light that didn't work, and a scrap book of his mission.

It was a happy Christmas, full of nice things -- but my favorite part was being with all of my kids, and the time I got to spend seeing and talking to family members.  Now if I can just be like Scrooge, and keep Christmas all year long!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve Pajama Picture

This one is pretty good except Tia doesn't like that you can see the young her on the t.v.
and Travis is kind of looking the wrong way.

Oops.  Travis blinked.

Travis is on the left, then Trisa, me (in pink), Dan -- with Jake in front of him, and Derek with Kayli in front of him.  Tia and Connor are our back row.  I think Connor won't be able to stand up there much longer or his head will be missing (in the picture)
I was going to get everyone evil minion shirts except me.  I would have been the only sweet minion holding the flowers.  Yes, I thought I was pretty funny.  There weren't girl evil minion shirts to be found in the right sizes so the girls get to have mad minion skills.  None of my minions are evil.  They are all really fun to be with and I loved being all together as a family!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve Program

On Christmas Eve we went over to Derek's Parent's house -- which is our tradition.  We visited with family while we ate pizza, and salad, and drank root beer.  To get a few more steps for our "coast to coast" walking challenge, some of us got up and jogged in place by our table while other family members looked at us like we were doing something abnormal :-).  Then, after a little cleaning up, it was time for a short Christmas program.

This was the time during Christmas where I felt the Spirit and meaning of Christmas the most this year.  Aunt Megan (Derek's sister) organized the grandchildren and they presented the nativity scene with the words of the Christmas story from the book of Luke in the Bible.  Then Derek's Dad spoke about the Shepherds and the sign given by the angel -- that they would find the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.  Next my girls and I sang my Christmas song, Light Came Shining.  Finally, the whole family sang a couple of songs (What Child Is This? and I Know That My Redeemer Lives), and headed to the cemetery where we put candles on the graves of Derek's brother Alex, and his Grandma and Grandpa Christensen.  We sang Silent Night and Angels We Have Heard on High.  I love music, and its power to bring the Spirit to an occasion!
Tia, Trisa, Kayli, Sherie
I enjoyed all of it, and felt really blessed to have all of my children with us.  This was a great start to a merry Christmas.

Kayli's Last Teenage Year Has Begun!

Kayli turned 19 on the 19th.  I love that she opened all of her presents while sitting kind of on top of Jake.  She was in Monticello with Trisa and Travis for a few days visit before her birthday.  Trisa drove her to Green River on her birthday where Derek and I met them and had lunch with them.  It was my first time having lunch at a Tavern!

After traveling home we had dessert.  I think the pictures of that are safely on Derek's phone.  She had homemade brownies with homemade peach ice cream.  Yum!  For dinner she had the easy version of lasagna. Pretty much it's lasagna made with different noodles on the stove-top.  We watched a movie after dinner.  Presents were between dessert and dinner.  Here are pictures of that.

Kayli on Jake's lap.  Dan handing out the presents.

Kayli holds Olaf

I loved going to wake up Kayli the next morning and finding her snuggled up next to Olaf.  Kayli is a very kind, fun, and talented girl.  She makes beautiful music on the piano and with her voice that I miss when she is away at college.  She is such a good sister and a caring friend. She is also helpful, and she loves her Mom and Dad too, which I'm really glad about.  I love Kayli!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


I forgot to take a picture of this when it was done.  Oops.  I shared this before.
Now imagine it with lots more feathers, and notice the Turkey's look.  Kayli said it looked sad.

I never reported on Thanksgiving, and I also didn't take any pictures-- thus the repeat.  We went to St. George for Thanksgiving so that we could be with Tia, help my parents, and spend time with "the" cousins.  Here are some things we loved.

1.  As I mentioned -- Tia could come.  YAY!
2.  It was really fun to be with my parents.
3.  We were able to be helpful at my parents house, and helping is fun.
4.  Connor and Kayli bravely, or foolishly (depending on your point of view) went Black Friday shopping with cousins and Aunt Tonya.  I don't think they bought anything, but I know Aunt Tonya was grateful for Kayli's company, and Connor loves spending time with Porter.
5.  I went black Friday shopping with Tonya, Haven, and Haven's friend.  It was not early.  The lines were long, even the line to get out of the parking lot.  The good thing was the company, and Haven was happy with her acquisitions, and I saw a cousin who lives in Idaho, who I don't see often.
6.  The weather was pretty nice.
7.  I loved spending time with my Mom.  She was so cheerful and fun to be with and I was so happy to be there!
8.  We went to the park and walked around a bit while kids played.
9.  My brother Ray and his wife Lori were at my parent's house Saturday morning, and so we got to see them too!
10.  It was Thanksgiving, and we were feeling well, and had good company, and good food, and we were Thankful.

July Pioneer Trek

All of these pictures, except one, were taken by Kamie Tingey.  She did a great job.  One picture was taken by Bishop Loveless, and I noted it under the picture. 

 I am really proud of how well my kids did on Trek.  Kayli was having allergy and asthma issues, and I appreciated those who watched over her and made her ride in the truck for a while (she slept) and even pulled her in a handcart.  She was a "Ma" and she loved her family and I'm sure she managed to laugh a lot and help others do the same.

I laughed when I tried to get a picture of Kayli and Connor when they got home, and Connor wouldn't stop ripping off those pioneer clothes while he said, "Let's never do that again!"  He smiled in a lot of pictures though, and, our new stake is doing Trek this year and he may, indeed, do it again!

Jake was an inspiration to many.  His "family" loved him because he was quiet, but when he said something it was funny, and he just quietly kept that rope over his shoulder, pulling and pulling.



Connor on the left, Jake next to him


Connor, Matthew, ?, Clayton

Kayli, far right

Mountain View First Ward Pioneer Trek 2014

Picture of Kayli taken by Bishop Loveless

Kayli and Jake
Bishop Loveless and Jake

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy

The new star shone up in the sky
And a gentle breeze was blowing by
As shepherds left their flocks at night
And went to see a holy sight
A mother with her baby small
A mighty king, on Earth for all
Our Savior, then an infant son
The Prince of Peace, The Holy One

And in the night the angels sang
Their praises to His holy name
They sang with gratitude and joy
For the birth of this important boy
Who'd stand against evil and sin
And this hard battle He would win!
He'd conquer Satan and death too
He'd do it all for me, and you.

So as you look in the Christmas sky
Imagine an angel flying by
Singing with joy in the quiet night
As a new star shines its heavenly light
Imagine the shepherds running past
In search of a Savior, come at last.
And let your own heart fill with joy
For the hope that was brought by a tiny boy.

By Sherie
Image from Google Images

*I wrote this poem for Diana and Bryon's family for Christmas, and so I waited to share it with all of you until I knew they had seen it.  I hope all of you feel the love of our Savior this Christmas, and that you find joy wherever you are.  I am thankful for you!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

People Grow Up, And They Can Change

The other day, when I was writing about cousins, I remembered an incident from my youth when my cousin was telling me nice things about someone who had been less than kind in the past.  I said something stupid like, "But, they weren't nice to you".  And she said something simple that I thought was profound.  She said, "People grow up.  They can change!"

When we don't see someone for a while we might keep them, in our minds, just the same as we perceived them before -- which may not have been correct in the first place, and may be even more incorrect now!  Hopefully we remember the good things they did, but we may also remember the ways that they hurt us, whether intentional or not.

I have found that remembering the good things people do for us, and for others, can help us to love them better. It is equally important to forget the bad, and to allow that people can change.  Most people want to be good people!  I really hope nobody remembers too clearly the stupid things that I have done or said, and I want the people that I know to feel safe with me -- to know that I will remember the good in them, and will let the rest go.

It is also good for me to remember that I can change.  I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that I am the same as I have always been, and in some core ways that is true.  However, I am thankful to be able to look through my journals and to know that I have changed.  I have grown up, and hopefully I have improved along the way.  My cousin was right. People grow up, and they can change.
Little Sherie
I couldn't think of a picture for this blog, but I suppose this works.

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Wondrous Weekend

Friday I was thankful that I had made dinner enough times during the week that we had leftovers. That made it so I could take that time practicing for my part in a missionary activity.  I was also super thankful to have a couple of nice ladies texting me to see if I needed help, and to distract me from being nervous.

Connor helped lead a group of people around on Friday night at the activity, and helped out Saturday morning without complaining.  Jake was his Dad's working buddy on Saturday and Derek said he did a really good job.  Dan was a little hyper Friday night, but I liked that he volunteered to say a prayer, and was disappointed not to be chosen.

Saturday there was some cheer leader fun with my new puppet.  I got her out and was making up silly cheers for Connor while he ate breakfast.  Dan wanted a turn and had found one of my "cheers" hilarious and so he was the cheerleader saying over and over, "If you won't cheer lead with us, then you should get back on the bus".  It was a variation of what I  had done, and I thought it was funny that he thought it was so clever.
Photo by Dan
I had said that maybe we could do a show where the cheerleader tries to teach the princess to cheer, and the princess keeps goofing, but I couldn't be both the cheerleader and the princess.  Dan said he'd be the cheerleader.  We haven't actually done that yet, but here is Dan with the cheerleader.

Sunday I was thankful for a few things, among them were a nap, and choir practice.  Today, I'm thankful for the energy to be cheerful -- so far :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Parts of My Day

Today I got to go to the Provo Temple.  This is the temple I have been able to attend the most, and I love it because of the peace, and gratitude that I find there.  I love it for the chance it gives me to share the ordinances I love with my family who have gone before, and who have not had the chance to know the Savior, or the gospel that means so much to me.  I am thankful for temples.
This is what the temple looked like when I went in summer.
This picture is from Google Images
When I got home from the temple I found a happy surprise.  A gift from my fiend, sitting on my porch, with one of the nicest notes I have ever received.  Meet my new puppet friend, picked because she reminded my friend of me.  I always thought I'd like being a cheer leader!  Go team!
My new puppet friend.  Isn't she cute?
 I should remove the tag though.
The funny things is, on my way home today I was thinking about what one word goal I should pick for next year and I thought, "Maybe I could just pick Encouraging, and try to be even more encouraging than usual."  My friend is very encouraging.  I am thankful for her.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sunshine Through the Window

Google images -- not my house

Right this very minute I am thankful for sunshine through the window.  It's cold outside, but the sunshine is cheerful, and I enjoy cheerful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Quick List

Picture quote from Google Images

I haven't exactly listed what I've been thankful for these last few days.  Here's a quick list that covers Friday, through today.

1.  A date with Derek
2.  A relaxing evening with control of the remote (to the television)
3.  New challenging flute music with a cd that has an accompaniment (FUN!)
4.  Amazon (easy Christmas shopping)
5.  Thoughtful Family
6.  Parent's in law who live close enough to help if I need it, and who are willing.
7.  Dixie (a friend who does my hair for me and listens too!)
8.  Everyone in the family who attends school actually going to school
9.  Fun stories from Tia
10.  Seeing Erin (Derek's sister) and Dylan and Elena at the store.  Fun for me!
11.  Talking to my Kayli
12.  Cheerful Music
13.  A cheerful Jake to practice violin with.
14.  Good ideas
15.  Computers -- to connect to family and write things down -- without using a pen

Some days it is easier to find things to be grateful for than other days -- but there always is something!

Saturday, November 15, 2014


My cousin Mike posted on facebook yesterday in memory of our cousin Gene Raymond, who was a good friend to Mike, and who passed away 35 years ago when he was young.  Mike was just reminding us to tell those cousins we love how we feel, because we never know what tomorrow brings.
A young Gene Raymond.  He was older than this when he passed away.  I think he was about 16.
I got this from his sister Juli's facebook post. 

I am thankful to have been blessed with many, many more cousins than most people have.  When I was young I spent a lot of time at my Grandma Fuller's house with cousins.  That was a happy time!  My parents always spent the time and money to drive us across the country almost every year to see the Kentucky cousins too.  Mike is one of those.
Mike and his daughter Brittany
I got this picture from his facebook pics

Here are just a few of my cousins and why I am thankful for them:

I'm thankful for Mike because, of the KY cousins, he communicates with me the most and is a good example of someone who knows the importance of family.  I chatted with him for a short while on facebook last night.  That was nice.

My cousin Juli (the Juli from KY) has become my friend on facebook and is always very thoughtful and kind.  She shares my songs and makes me feel good about me.
Juli and her son
Taken from her facebook pics

My cousin Julie -- not from KY -- was my good friend for many years.  She made a big difference in my life.  We had such fun adventures together!  My face usually hurts from smiling if I get to spend time with Julie.

My cousins Deanne, Rose Ann, Melissa, Julie, and Cristy
This is from Julie's facebook pics.
When I was young, we stayed at Grandma's and we were, as we often did, sleeping on the lawn.  It rained in the night, and my cousin Doug carried me in.  I looked up to him, and thought of him as my tall cousin.  It was a bit of a shock to me when, after I hadn't seen him in years, I saw him and discovered that he is't really 6 feet tall like I imagined!  Still, he has been good to me.  He is a veteran who served in Afghanistan, and he took the time to write to me while he was there.  He has invited me to his kids' wedding receptions and sent me Christmas letters and I love him for it.
This is a kind of old picture of my cousin Dale's wedding.  Doug is at the top in the middle.  Not the one with glasses, that's Glade.  I got this from my cousin Tonya's facebook pics.  Facebook is a useful picture stealing resource.

I have lots of cousins I could mention but I think I will end with my cousins David and Danny.  I have sometimes wondered why, when I really haven't spent time with them for years, and when so many good and bad life events have come and gone without us being together, that I still love them so much.  I think it is because when I was a teenager, younger than them and not feeling very beautiful, or interesting, they were still my friends.  They did not ignore me, they danced with me, did things with me, and when I went to college they came to visit me, and took me for rides on their motorcycles.  When I didn't feel important on my own, I felt important to them.
David getting to be a Grandpa
I got this picture from his wife Rande's facebook pics.  I hadn't seen it before.
I love it!
Cousins have been, and are, a great blessing in my life.  I love having so many people who care about me just because I am related to them!  I love them for the good things they do, and for the good things they have done in the past.  I love them because they are mine.  I am thankful for cousins.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Soup, Energy, and a Pretty Van

Google image.  My soup had no carrots (we were out) or noodles
or green specks.

On Tuesday I decided to make some soup with the things I had on hand.  I used canned chicken, and canned broth, green onions, and some garden potatoes and tomatoes, and some seasoning stuff (technical name for spices).  It really wasn't anything special, except I thought it turned out surprisingly well considering my celery was brown and limp, so I threw it away.  I was thankful I liked it, but more thankful that Dan did!  He had three helpings while exclaiming over and over that it was delicious, and one of only four soups he likes (I have no idea what the other three are).

I am perhaps more thankful for that because my children take after me, and are a bit on the picky side. It's a lot more normal to hear "Ewww", or "Oh darn, not that!" or something along those lines than to hear exclamations of joy -- and for the record, my cooking is not that bad!  I gave my Mom so much trouble over food that I'm pretty sure I don't deserve anything but the "Ewww" comments (or frowns) I get, but it sure is nice when a complement comes my way!

Wednesday Jake was home sick again and I was really thankful to wake up feeling better myself.  I didn't have a headache all day long, and I woke up with a plan for handling a day with Jake.  The day went quite well, and then, when I was tired, I didn't end up having to go to a cold, outside meeting after all.  Hooray for so many tender mercies in one day!

Finally, today we got our white van back.  In June I was rear ended, and though the person who hit me was driving a car that was insured, and the police report clearly put her at fault, the insurance company fought paying for it. (For the record she was really nice, and it was an accident.  Those things happen).  Finally, at the end of October things were worked out, and today the van's bumper looks lovely and new.  My pretty van is pretty again and I don't have to call that insurance company back any more and try to convince them to be reasonable!

This is not my van, but it looks a lot the same.
The collision company even cleaned the inside for me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dan Says....

...When I was at Travis' house I watched all of the seasons of Scooby-Doo.  I am awesome!
Hanna-Barbera's Scooby.  Image from Google
The Travis Dan is talking about is his brother-in-law.  I am thankful that Dan still says things that make us all chuckle. We are glad to know it's not as hard to be awesome as we thought!  All we have to do is watch all of the seasons of Scooby-Doo!

Monday, November 10, 2014

When the Clouds Roll In

It is a good time to be thankful for fireplaces, and warm houses, and all of the comforts of home.

Connor and Jake were home not feeling well today.  Derek went back to work even though he's not 100 percent better.  And I am still stuffy and tired.  Still, I was thinking today as I drove home from the store, that this is a good time to be sick.  By that I mean that we have a comfortable house, more than adequate blankets and pillows, medicine to help us feel better, and entertainment at our fingertips. We aren't pioneers having to get up and plod along in a feverish state.  Even when I have to go to the store I get to drive -- and I have seat warmers!  I love those seat warmers!  True, being sick is still not fun, but it could be a LOT worse, and I am very grateful that it isn't.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Daily Bread

Today I am thankful that we got to see Kayli a little bit this weekend.  She was in town for less than 24 hours, and at our house mostly to sleep, but she makes beautiful music when she is awake and is kind, and thoughtful, and fun to be with.

I was thankful that Derek walked Jake home from church early when Jake wasn't feeling well, because it sounded like a long walk to me at the time.  It might have seemed like a longer walk to Derek than to me since he still has his cold too, but he did it anyway.  I am also thankful that, when Jake was feeling better, Derek helped him make bread while I took a long nap.

Finally, I am thankful that we could eat that bread with our dinner while Dan exclaimed about Jake making the best bread he has ever had.  I decided not to be offended even though Dan has eaten my homemade bread before.  The bread was good, and Dan really loves his big brother Jake.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Catching Up

I just remembered that I had planned on writing what I was thankful for every day.  Sometimes things come up, like terrible colds, or pounding headaches, or even nice surprises like phone calls, to mess up the reporting part.  Here's to catching up!

Thursday I was thankful for school counselors and teachers who care about my kids, and try to help them if they are having a hard time.  Helping my kids helps me!

Thursday I was also thankful for a chance to visit with my long time friend Shannon.  I always enjoy time with Shannon.
Dave and Shannon:  I saw him too since I went to their work to pick up Shannon.
This picture was "borrowed" from facebook 
Thursday evening I was thankful for the chance to skip to pack night with Dan.  I don't figure he'll be willing to skip with me much when he gets older, and it was his idea this time.

Friday I was thankful that Tia was able to take a friend and go help my parents move into their new place in St. George.  Since we couldn't be there, it was good to have a cheerful representative and her friend whose big muscles were very helpful.

Today I was thankful to feel well enough to be able to enjoy Super Saturday (a craft activity at church) all morning.  Derek, Connor and I have had awful colds the last couple of days, and mine waited until I got home to hit me again.  We're getting better though, and that is something to feel thankful for!