You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. some may be significant only to you. some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience. - President Hinckley

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A few Christmas Favorites

Snitch came back this year and made his appearance in some pretty clever places.  He looks different you might say - well, yes he does - he started eating his vegetables and got healthier....:)  At least that's what the note said when he came. 

Hunter dressed up for Christmas at school - it was a contest for best idea or something and he won - a candy cane.

I boiled potpori daily duing December.  love how it made my house smell like Christmas!

Mom and Dad got a Dog - he is the cutest little puppy - Travis has a soft spot for the little guy too. :)

Travis got a Justin Beiber ( a famous pop singer) doll from Philip's boys (Brit, Trevor, & Preston) it was a classic gift!!!

I didn't get a whole lot of shots opening presents, but the kids were very fortunate this year to have had  more than they could imagine.  We had a family approach us and ask us what were on each of their lists and they managed to get almost everything they asked for.  Travis and I felt so fortunate to be a part of something so thoughtful and we will pay it forward when we are in a position to do so.  Hunter got a Nintendo3DS, marbles, light saber, iPod docking station with clock.  Gwendalin got several Monster High dolls, some crafty things, a digital recorder, a weighted baby.  Tyler got a helicopter with remote control, wall tracks, beyblades, light saber.  Dallin got a marble track, a remote control helicopter, light saber, orbeez, spider man web blaster.  And all of them had even more than that - but those were some highlights.  We were blessed.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tender Mercies of 2012

I wanted to try to remember everything from the year that has happened but I know with my mind I will not remember them all....the ones I do remember though I don't want to forget, so here goes.

**We were still receiving all of Travis' medical bills at the beginning of this year for his health situation last fall.  They were piling up and the financial burden was becoming very heavy.  I was paying what I could and as much as I could, but I finally called the hospital billing people and said that I needed to get on a payment plan - even if it took me 50 years to pay it all back I couldn't do it all in a year (we were looking at bills around $12-15K- I can't remember the exact amounts).  They sent me some forms to fill out with all of our information so I did that and mailed it in and waited.  About 3 weeks later I got a letter in the mail (it looked like a statement from the hospital). I opened it and the balance due said zero- I assumed this was because they had put my account on "hold" like they had told me they were going to do while they processed my payment options and I woulnd't have to make payments until we figured out what plan I would be working with.  I called in.  I asked them what this statement meant....the girl had no idea why I was confused.  She said "Ma'am, your account has been zeroed out, you don't owe the hospital anything...."  they line went dead silent and  I started to cry.  I mustered up enough composure to reply weakly into the phone "Are you sure?" "Yes, Ma'am..." My response was a simple "thank you." because that's all I could get out.  I couldn't believe it - we were going to drown under the pressure of those bills b/c we already struggle with our day to day bills let alone adding more to the stack.  I know it was Heavenly Father taking care of us.  Travis and I were both very emotional over it.

**In October Lucky (Travis' dad) called me and asked me to set up an "auto draft" for the mortgage that is in his name (the house that we rent).  He had indicated that it would be easier to just have it draft from our account rather than shuffling money from ours to his to the bank's. So, I went online and set it up.  Only problem was that the bill was due on the 1st and there was only a 5 day grace period.  Well, the way our bills work is, we don't usually have ANY money around the first of the month - it's just the way our clients pay us.  So, November 1st was rolling around closer and I started to panic- I looked at the accounts and saw that there wasn't going to be enough money to cover the amount of the auto draft.  I went online and tried to cancel the payment so I could call my father in law and let him know, but the payment couldn't be cancelled it was already starting to process two days before it's due date.  I simply sat in the office and stared at the computer screen.  I leaned back in my chair and said a little prayer.  "Heavenly Father, I don't know how I will make this payment, but I know I will if I can have some help figuring it out from thee...." I sat in silence for a moment and then it occured to me - I could go back through the business accounts and see what hasn't cleared in over 90 days....and maybe there's enough? 
I reconcile monthly but I can't void uncleared payments until 90 days has passed. It had been a while since I had "cleaned up" old I started looking - WHAT?!  There was a check written to ME that hadn't cleared for $800 a few months prior - how in the world does that happen?  There was a big chunk of the mortgage....I kept looking and found just enough that I was able to pull it off....Talk about a miracle!?  I was instatly in tears (yes, I tear up a lot) and thanking my Heavenly Father for helping me figure it out.

**I was asked to accompany my neighbor in sacrament meeting while she played the violin.  It was really a duet because the piano was as beautiful as the violin was.  I got the music around the beginning of November and started practicing religiously (1/2 - 1 hour a day) because it was a really fast song and I need to get it pretty solid in order to have the number sound good.  I took it with me on our Thanksgiving trip as well.  I got pretty good by the time the performance rolled around, but when I started practicing the day or two before I was sucking.  I had anxiety so bad I was a disaster.  The night before church I asked Travis to give me a blessing (which he did) and the next day the nerves were gone and to be honest - my body was there and my fingers and eyes were working together but I had some serious divine help to get through the number almost perfectly.  I am so glad I had Heavenly Father's help!

Friday, December 21, 2012

2nd Grade Music Concert!

Gwendalin was part of the 2nd grade music concert and did a great job!  It was an adorable little presentation and she was a Hawaiian camera (of course) had no battery when I pulled it out, so I only got a couple shots and they aren't very good.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2nd Grade Store- so fun!

Gwendalin has to earn money in 2nd grade - she rents her desk, pays to use the restroom out of turn, pays fines for talking when she's not supposed to be, gets paid for selling items during "store", etc.  It is a FANTASTIC program and I love every bit of it.  So just before Christmas when it was her class turn to have store (not shop, but sell) I made a gazillion pretzel rods dipped in carmel and chocolate....they looked so pretty.  She sold 2 rods per bag for $20 and sold out in a matter of minutes.  GREAT way to learn if you ask me!