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.