Friday, December 31, 2010


Color looks sickly, but the sweet new beautiful baby makes up for it!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Its a beautiful Life....

Life is a complicated thing, it has such highs, and lows, challenges and gifts.

I wonder if the more we focus on those gifts and blessings if the trials actually diminish or of the strength to over come them is magnified.

I don't know, but I do know when I have awoken and the first thoughts are of my blessings, or of the wonderful gifts I have been given, of friendships, relationships, love, and opportunities I seem to spend the remainder of the day with a growing, swelling, over whelming happiness that over takes the frustration of the monotony of daily tasks.

This Christmas was a tough one, traditionally we adopt from the "angel tree" and each of the kids has the opportunity to pick out gifts for kids their age. They have so much fun, and they all giggle and talk about how much these kids will enjoy the presents they have picked out.

We got hit with a hum-dinger of a (financial) surprise on November 20th, and it may well take us the rest of the year to recover from it.
NO funds were available for extras, we were blessed to have enough to pay all the bills, but food & gifts were going to have to wait.

As a family we discuss with our kids all of the details for these types of situations, and of course they were disappointed and sad, but they never complained or made me feel bad. as a matter of fact, they each recanted their holiday wish list (which they are allowed 3 things, an item they need, an item they want and a freebie)
The kids and I made cinnamon rolls, (and ate them, then we made them again, and tried to deliver them, and ended up having a ice storm day. so we never made it to deliver treats to the wonderful friends we cherish.

I was positive that all would work out, and it did, through some anonymous help and some dear kind friends we had enough for Christmas morning, enough that we were able to share with another family that ended up staying with us for the Holiday, as their car broke down and the ice storm (that never was) grounded them to our home.

We enjoyed having them with us, and the sweet family had 3 kids and no gifts. we were THRILLED that we had enough to share! it made the Gift opening spectacular!

Its ALWAYS better to give than to receive!

and the yummy foods we were able to share with the Missionaries on Christmas Eve, and our other good friends, the Whole holiday was made with memories of sharing, caring, and loving. Couldn't ask for a better gift!

I feel so loved.

Heavenly Father knows me, and He Loves me.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Our family tradition for the past 6 years has been to host the missionaries for Christmas Eve dinner.

We felt so blessed to have extra friends who could join us for the Sacred Holiday celebration.

We had Tammy C. and family

Christina J. and family

and Elders Koch & Brilliant.

It was a fantastic night!

We enjoyed a Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings, Pies, cinnamon rolls, Hickory Farms candies, Zack made home made Mint Andes. it was all wonderful!

After eating, we had a Nativity reading and sang Hymns.

The Glory to God Chorus, reminds me of my sweet Grandma Clara who is in Heaven singing with the Angels now... and every time I sing that chorus I choke up with the memories of all the Love she has shown me and those she came into contact with. She was a wonderful example of Christ-like love.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

When we have done it unto the least of these....

Ye have done it unto me.

Done something lately? Are you called to repentance? Or are you smiling that you have reached out, lent a helping hand, offered a healing balm, loved the unlovable, served, sacrificed, and in the end, who is it that benefits, who is it that reaps blessings, and receives all that our Father in Heaven has in store?


Us. NO matter what we do, no matter how much we give, sacrifice or offer, we are always indebted to Him.

H i m

This is His season, His Birthday celebration.
What are you doing to show how grateful (FULL) for His Love.

His Mercy.

His support.

I have so so so much to be grateful for. I have 6 Amazing, beautiful and wonderful children. That not a day goes by that one (or all) of them wraps their arms around my neck (or girth) and squeezes, pressing all the love and affection into my very core.

My adorable Zeke said to me, gazing across the sofa table, after reading scriptures. "Mom, when I grow up to be a man, I'm gonna marry you."

NOTHING is sweeter to me than hearing this.

I try so hard to deserve this devotion.

I never will. I fall sadly short every mark of the way.

And there is more. More room in my house, more room in my heart, and more children that need me. O- scratch that, I need them!

I have SO many goals, and the kids' and thier sweet spirits spur me onto attain those goals. I want to become better for them. I want to succeed with them.

I am building my mansions.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mommy!

I was thinking of a few scriptures;

Proverbs 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Matt 25:40
. . . . . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

So what have i done, have I hurt, judged, lashed out, criticized , or have I


am I Living for Him?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fw: IMG00043-20101121-1810.jpg

Vic and rubi clowning around
------ MMS ------
Sent: Nov 21, 2010 6:34 PM
Subject: IMG00043-20101121-1810.jpg

Vic & rub
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Madi-Moo

Madi worked really hard on her Faith project, and I was unable to print her poster; But I can share it here!

Monday, November 15, 2010


Determined, intelligent, resourceful little boy.

Determined, intelligent, resourceful little boy. (Yep I love him!)

By touching the copper screws

By touching the copper screws (live wires)

It has a 2 plug

It has a 2 plug outlet instead of a normal plug end, He came to Madi and asked for her help, since he kept getting shocked

My bedroom where he plugged

My bedroom where he plugged the TV back in, funny thing was; I had jimmy-rigged this cord while we were on the road, and

Zeke saw he had no

Zeke saw he had no power, followed the extension cord into the storage room, and unplugged the freezer, took it back into

Been given 3 deers for

Been given 3 deers for canning, I needed the freezer plugged in.

Zeke was determined to watch

Zeke was determined to watch a movie today; I had taken the extension cord and used it for the deep freeze, since I had

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Phew another week

Another week has gone by, we are doing the 5 day count-down to daddy coming home!

Yeah, Big plans, Busy house...we are going to have allot of FUN!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Overcoming pain/hurt

I have been hurt before. I have gotten over it. I am a slow learner, I normally do not get offended, especially if what was said or done was not meant to offend, but what do you do when something IS meant to offend? What if the venting and ranting IS personal. as in, its all about my weaknesses, insecurities and defects.

I am well aware of those, I see them each and every time I see my reflection, or hear my vice, or... you get the idea. I am pretty hard on myself. and when i have been down, I have made a commitment to get back on the horse, go outside myself and serve, selflessly.
I don't see that as bragging; I think of it the way others clean when they are hurt, or some shop when they are down, some may even jog, or write, or...whatever.
So when I am accused of being self-serving and selfish I do feel hurt, to the 9th degree.

but i am attempting to climb out of that pain, i am trying to separate their pain from mine, and own my weaknesses.
One of my weaknesses is my big, fat, mouth. I am one who does not like things left unsaid, I would rather confront, and not to fight, or be angry, but to get the truth out, and resolve it. I hate unresolved issues. I loose sleep over it. and I need my sleep.
When someone has said gossip about me, I tend to go to the source and try to resolve it. that makes others' uncomfortable. I tend to make most people uncomfortable.

Not that I am trying. I just permeate something, like a stink bug. and others feel.... at odds.

So on to my healing, I spent the night in restless sleep, thinking about the mistakes I have made (which are not exactly the list that others think of me?)

and so I work to mend, I watched my beloved prophet council me, and I have made a resolve to try harder. Not allow their judgmental comments,looks, or feelings towards me to influence my actions. - Ensign Article - Charity Never Faileth

If only I could have this mastered, I could have saved allot of people allot of pain in the (recent) past.

Monday, November 01, 2010


California 2010

So as not to confuse you with our OTHER California trips (wink)
We only had a few hours on the beach, but the pictures will last me a while.
(until Jan-Feb when Wes & I are going to HAWAII!)

We left Disneyland and jumped in the bus,

It was chilly in the morning, but warm enough for swimsuits by 10 a.m. we sat, listened to the waves and enjoyed God's Splendor. He is so good to us. What creative, and breathtaking beauty.
we headed towards a beach (any beach really I just wanted to be on a beach for the sunrise) Wes drove and the rest of us rested, (the kids can sleep while the bus is rolling, I however cannot) We found a public parking spot, and read the signs, it was closed until 8 a.m.
We found a peace officer and asked his advice on where to sleep. He gave us instructions, and we were off.
We found the spot he suggested, and I directed Wes into a parking spot.
We pulled the curtains closed, open the windows to listen tot he surf and went to sleep. around 4 a.m. Elijah woke and was crying, we found a binky for him and tucked him back into bed with us. then within minutes we had an obnoxious KNOCKING that would not stop. Abi was asleep on the front bed,a nd she freaked out and rant to he back of the bus, Wes got dressed and went to the door.
It was a set of officers who were not to pleased.
They set in interrogating Wes on who we were, why we were here, and a number of questions.
Did we know that it is illegal to sleep in your vehicle?
Did we know it is illegal to cover all the windows in your vehicle?
Did we know we could not take up multiple parking spots?
Then they set in on the bus,
Are there seat-belts?
Where do we put the kids while we travel?
Why did our daughter (who they thought was a 20 year old) run and hide when they knocked on the door?

needless to say my plans for camping on a beach for 2 weeks was ruined. if I had to answer these types of questions each and every day the 'relax on a beach' part would not be possible!
So I had to suffice my needs with an morning on the beach, and sigh.... make do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time with Family . . . . in Utah

We have been so lucky to be able to spend time in Utah with family, I was able to care for my grandpa for two afternoons/evenings. What a privilege, he is.... well words can not describe the love and admiration I have for this man. Wes got a new phone, and we were able tor record the boys being silly on it, hopefully I can get it to load here. they were doing the Haka. if you don't know what that is, it is the intimidation dance done by the Maori warriors, and rugby players have adopted it in their pre game warm ups.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blogging just for bloggings sake

I went private, not that anyone would know, since I did not announce or invite anyone, I am a reclusive person, I enjoy being with people but only if they want to be with me, I have serious issues, i am terrified of rejection.

This past month has been hard, I have been rejected by 2 people who I thought would always love me, no matter what. it hurts.

We have a new son, his name is Sione, he is 19 years old, and is the most honorable, honest, hardworking and respectful boy I have ever encountered.
He is living with us to prepare for his mission, we are looking for work for him, work that he can be surrounded by good mentors and teachers, and he can meet peers or friends who will help him reach his goals.
We truly love him, he has become a part of our family.

We are into a routine, Madi wakes for seminary at 5:30 and I wake at 6:30 I go running/work out and when we both get home we prepare breakfast, and have devotional.
The older kids pair off with the youngest ones and do lessons, reading science and art. then the older ones are off to do their own personal study time.
We are usually done by 11 a.m. then we get chores tackled and...boom boredom sets in.... I am not a creative person, I hate messes so crafts are out, I don't eat sugar so baking is out, I have no gas money so going out is not an option, that leaves reading, playing outside, and bugging the mom.

Today is one of those days, the work is done, and the kids are bored, so they keep asking me for this & that, I would love to crawl back into bed and sleep until next week, but that is not an option, so we keep on plugging.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Keep the Faith

I know that life is tough, we are all here to make a difference, to show our character by how we endure and grow through challenges, I feel as if I have been beaten down, and kicked tot he ground lately, as soon as I make a goal, and set in my path that come what may I will endure until the goal is met;

Chaos ensues.

We have had more financial set back in the past 45 days than we have had in years (since we lived in Utah)
Most of these set backs were surprises, something that snuck up and caught us off guard.

It seems unlikely now that the funds that were appropriated for our adoption may need to be used for these surprises, I am sad, and discouraged. I am hoping we can find another way to off set these expenses and continue in our desired goal of home-study in November, and enough funds set aside by February to find a match.

Prayers appreciated, and ideas accepted. Right now I am thinking I can moonlight as a pizza deliverer? or substitute teacher? I have been researching fundraisers. that could work, but it may take a while, since I have to put up the money to pay for some of the coupon cards..... what to do?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Salt Lake Temple

as suggested by THIS blog, asked us to share this photo to aid in the Church publicity department, if you too want to help, all you do is share this photo on your blog! pretty easy huh?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bob Marley- Three little Birds with lirics

Have I mentioned How Much I Love Bob????


Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy

Our family has been working on attitudes and stress, so we have adopted these two songs to remind us!

Family, isn't it about Time?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The adoption Journey We are opening our hearts and home and would love YOUR support!

Dear Family and Friends,

We want to share our exciting news with you!

We have decided to expand our family through adoption and are busily getting
ready to welcome our new child!

For us, the difficult part of this process - other than the waiting - is the expense. As some of you may know, adoption expenses include agency fees, legal fees, document preparation costs, travel expenses and more.

We have been saving for some time, but are still seeking ways to raise more funds for our wonderful venture.

We recently learned of a program through OneCause and the National Adoption Foundation that we think will help us make
our adoption dream come true.

OneCause is a nontraditional fundraising program that will help us earn the funds we need through everyday opportunities, such as shopping at hundreds of name-brand merchants online or in stores and catalogs, through purchasing gift certificates, by using the OneCause credit card, or through a variety of other easy programs.
We're really excited about this program and wanted to let you know that you can participate and help us build our family by becoming a member of OneCause.

There's absolutely no cost or hassle to you - just do what you do everyday and we will earn credit toward our adoption costs!

Here's How You Can Help

1. Become a registered member of OneCause. Simply go to and register as a OneCause member. This only takes a minute and you'll be on your way to helping us out.

2. Once you have registered, find the "Dues Crediting" field at the bottom of the online registration screen. You will see a field called "Benefiting." Enter our registered email address and your contributions will automatically begin to benefit us. Our Registered Email address is:

3. Begin shopping at hundreds of OneCause merchants online, in stores, and through catalogs. You'll earn a merchant contribution on each purchase, a percentage of which will go toward our adoption credit. Remember to begin all of your online shopping at OneCause so we earn credit!

4. Consider signing up for and using the OneCause Visa card for all of your purchases. On every purchase you make with the card - no matter where you make it - the National Adoption Foundation earns a 1% contribution, part of which goes toward our adoption. To sign up, go to or call 1-800-297-1286 and use code 28B8. Once your card arrives, be sure to activate, register your card, and start shopping!

5. Ask us about other OneCause opportunities to help us earn adoption credit!
That's all there is to it!

Please call or email us with any questions you may have regarding our situation. We are always excited and happy to talk about this wonderful adventure.

When our child arrives home to us, we will contact you with our happy news.

Thank you so much for helping us bring our child home.

Register with OneCause and help us build our family!

Abigel Arvina turns 12!

My Spitfire turned 12 today, she is such a fun kid, and draws so much light and happiness towards her. She is without malice, and guile, she is all sweetheart.

So much fun,

she also puts her needs aside to ensure that others are being taken care of.

When she was in preschool, and won a prize or got a treat (package of smarties) she would hold the candy in her sweaty little hands until we got home just so she could share with sister and daddy.

Always she loves and endures s much for us. We are so grateful for her!

I took her to get a haircut and we enjoyed lunch with daddy, I have to say, it took some convincing to get the stylist to cut it short enough in back, but WE LOVE IT!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Principals in Parenting I learned from the scriptures

Scripture study on Teaching our children

Who are we? Deut. 14: 1
Ye are the children of the Lord your God:
Ps. 82: 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Rom. 8: 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

What should we be doing?
 1 Tim. 3: 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
Definition of : subjection a : to bring under control or dominion : subjugate b : to make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior
Definition of : Gravity a : dignity or sobriety of bearing b : importance, significance; especially : seriousness c : a serious situation or problem

What our households should look like
1 Tim. 5: 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
Definition of PIETY: a: fidelity to natural obligations (as to parents) b : dutifulness in religion : devoutness
Definitions of requite: to make suitable return to for a benefit or service

What we do when we love our Father in Heaven
1 Jn. 5: 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

After reading and explaining these scriptures we have come to understand better our roles as Heavenly Fathers children, we understand he expects us as Parents to Love the children (easy…right?) he expects us to guide them teach them to respect us, teach them to anticipate the return of service, you can decipher that to mean whatever you would like but The way I see it: If you are grateful for a service rendered, you will reciprocate that service, you will have a desire to improve the lives of those around you in any way you are capable, including but not limited to, obeying, cheerfully doing your obligations , seeking out opportunities to please those that have served you.

Imagine your children learning this principle, and applying it through their entire lives: as an employee, or student, neighbor, friend, they show their gratitude for employment or the time of a teacher who engages the in studies by :following through with their studies, or doing a job well, and then seeking out additional ways to exemplify this principal, going the extra mile. Imagine how much farther our kids will progress if they could master this skill.

We applied this principal in our studies to our family environment, as the Mommy I agree and commit to being loving, kind and nurturing the children, in return the children agree to serve, respect and obey the Mommy.

If you wonder how those with large families can cope and manage, it is by applying this principal, by leaving the duties to Mom which are divinely ordained and allowing her to embody the Christ-Like love towards her children, she is not worn thin by doing too much, and she is fulfilled by being served.

I think they call this a Win-Win situation in the work force!

If you would like a better explanation feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to clarify.

But remember : if this principal is hard to swallow (it was for me at first!) you may need to spend some time in prayer and scripture study to understand a LOVING way to approach this change in your family.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Zeke my Buddy turns 4!!

My little man is growing up, he is such a FUN KID! wherever we go everyone falls in love him (just like his dad)
We got back into town just in time to have this little get together for his Birthday.

I love that no matter what my kids get (whether it be one toy or a dozen) they are THRILLED with a gift.

He had SO much fun.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hannibal, MO Mark Twain caves

As our last Huzzah before we got home we stopped at the Mark Twain caves, Madi guided me right into the camping spot (after we drove over a power box & created a HUGE spark/explosion)
My first and only casualty,
we lounged, did some laundry and took the cave tour (Over priced but interesting)

Then got up bright and early to hit the road home, it was a grueling 3 hour drive, and it went too fast. As we crossed the Mississippi I had an overwhelming and depressing feeling that my traveling days were over.

The freedom of driving away from the town you had just visited, the setting sites on a new unexplored location , and the exciting ever changing movement, we never stood still for our trips, we just kept on plugging along, it was fantastic!

But then we came home, settled into the same old routine and now I still fight the urge to cry each day I wake up in the same place.

Don't get me wrong, I love Missouri, it is beautiful, it is welcoming, it's not the location that breaks my heart, its the fact that every day is ground-hog day.... the same things




never changing,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Washington DC . . . . Our Nations Capitol

We spent 3 days in DC and sadly the first day we took all the memorable photos, and they were corrupted on the disc, the 2nd day we took photos and we share them here, and the 3rd day (of the rally) we forgot the camera, and are waiting for friends we met at the rally to share the ones they took with us.

During this trip, I couldn't help but lament that my children were not "getting it" we studied American History in Home school the year before we made this trip, and we learned about the names & dates, but I still felt like they were not understanding, it was just information to them, and it was not sinking in.
I bore testimony of the necessity of these wars, and sacrifices, I shared with them how they had benefitted from our Founding fathers' sacrifices. but I still felt like it was not sinking it. and then , after we touched the Vietnam Veterans Wall memorial, and we sat through the most moving rally where we were incited to ignite our desire to teach, represent and facilitate HONOR throughout our everyday lies, The kids got a rare and special treat;

A decorated Vietnam Vet approached our blanket after sitting for more that 6 hours for the rally, the kids & I were lounging and visiting when he approached us, He asked the girls how they liked the rally, and if they had seen the Vietnam Memorial Wall, he shared that those names on the wall were his buddies, his comrades, and that they
did not get to come home, they lost their lives in the battle, and then he said to them, "Those boys gave up their lives for you, and let me tell you something, Your Worth It"
He then went on to tell them that the one and only way for my girls to pay back those men for their sacrifice was they had one job to do: "get an education" that is it, you pay them back, you honor them by taking your studies seriously and learning, doing their best in school.
I was in tears, The girls were speechless, And It Sunk in,, the girls "got it" , What a blessing it was to have met that man, to have the honor of shaking his hand, and looking him in the eye to say Thank You. I cannot thank every single solder who has put his life on the line for us, but I can honor their memory and their efforts by studying, teaching and sharing what I know.

New experiences, and overwhelming gratidtude for our Freedoms, and the Blood spilt to ensure those freedoms.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Valley Forge

Leaving Williamsburg VA we traveled to Valley Forge, after a long drive, Wes navigated through the crowded and traffic riddled streets, to arrive at 11 p.m. at the National Park.

It was so late, and we were ready for bed, so Wes parked in the visitors parking lot and laid down, I knew we were going to get visitors so I suggested Wes prepare for it when sure enough a Spot Light was directed to our bus and 2 patrol vehicles pulled up next to us.

Wes got up and talked with hem, they notified us it was illegal to park in this park (as they do not offer camping faculties) Wes apologized, they took our ID and we proceeded to visit with them as they ran my ID.

They said they normally would ticket campers, but felt like we would be OK to stay for the night since we had "FAMILY" painted on the side of the bus, and didn't want to bother the kids who would be sleeping.

Incidentally they asked how many kids we had on the bus and we told them 6, they asked if they were all ours? (grin) of course!

The next morning, we readied for the day, and walked around the Park, we took a tour, and learned about Washington's Army. We were in awe and humbled by what pains and sacrifices were made by our American Brothers of 1776.

They also offer a "once upon a Nation" Story telling bench, throughout the park (which is 3800 acres) they have park benches and story tellers who teach the kids in great narrative voices about stories from that time and place.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Williamsburg, VA Yorktown Battlefield

We boon docked (slept in the bus, not plugged in) saved money... I like that :D

and then we got to see Yorktown Battlefield, the kids talked e into walking down the path to the White Flag of Cornwallis



After we were done (and crispy sun burnt) we had to walk back to the picnic area, I swear it was a 4 mile round trip... in the open air (read: SUN SHINE & HUMIDITY)

but the kids had fun (who knew they had cactus in Virginia!?)

the view was spectacular, the company was lovely, and the historic reminder of the preciousness of FREEDOM was poignant .

We talked to the kids about the significance of this part of the country, just as the precious blood spilt in Nauvoo for our religion, the blood spilt for our Nations freedom it is hard NOT to be humbled by the magnitude of sacrifice.

Thank You America....

I Love You