Life of a Real Mom

Unedited Mothering

Tag: happy parents

Adam is off to the Missionary Training Center

Adam is off! He has learned the gospel, saved money, and chosen virtue his whole life to serve Jesus Christ for the next two years. The time has come!

Reading his call (Mission assignments come via email now)!
Sao Paulo, Brazil, South!
Adam’s ordination to being an elder.
After Adam’s farewell speech in the Lakeshore Ward.
Adam visiting with guests in our home at a farewell party.
On the way to the airport early in the morning!
He made it safely to the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center. This is a photo of the district he has been assigned to. All of these missionaries are headed to Brazil as soon as their visas arrive.

Some Current Trends in Education

Eighth Grade Promotion

Curt had over 70 standardized tests in middle school! He has often reminded me to help him reach his goals, because the schools aren’t doing it. I recently read The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley. It was very telling. The U.S.A. school system and culture leaves something to be desired. I was not surprised.

Ted Dintersmith

Ted Dintersmith’s book looks at the schools in the U.S. His look is critical, instructive and refreshing. There are some good things going on in some schools that the others could learn from. This talk gets me so excited and concerned all at the same time.

Williamsburg learning says the same thing – the current way of doing things in our schools isn’t going to meet the vast opportunities available to our next generation.

My cousin Monica is a gifted education advocate in Cinnicinati, Ohio. She has recommend the following books for me to read:

I’ve been reading and thinking about homeschooling for years and years. Finally, we are all on the same page and I am going to homeschool Curt ninth grade this fall! I am not going to use Williamsburg Learning, but I have been inspired by some of their ideas.

There are SO MANY resources out there that we will be taking advantage. I would say I am more of a manager of Curt’s education than THE instructor. What AM I going to do?

  • Encourage TONS of exploration and invention, following HIS ideas
  • BYU on-line SCIENCE (Anyone can use this incredible resource.)
  • BYU on-line MATH
  • ASU camps, museum and real-life hands-on field trips
  • Memoria Press Literature and Composition
  • Duncan’s ASU geography content and quizzes from his college curriculum (Did you know my husband is a geography professor?)
  • History books, videos, and research
  • Private piano and violin instruction
  • Our local school sports program
  • Our local seminary program
  • Local homeschooling Co-op for even more socialization and exposure

Out of the 24 classics that Memoria Press recommends for third grade through middle school, Curt has read two. So we are going to have a blast reading the books he has missed starting in August. We are going to read them for fun, for discussion, and for application in real life – not for a test or an assignment. I am so excited! Here is the book list for this fall:

  • Farmer Boy
  • The Moffats
  • The Blue Fairy Book
  • Dangerous Journey
  • The Cricket in Time Square
  • Lassie
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Heidi
  • The Twenty-one Balloons
  • King Arthur
  • Adam of the Road
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • The Door in the Wall
  • The Bronze Bow
  • The Hobbit
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Trojan War
  • The Wind and the Willows
  • Treasure Island
  • Tom Sawyer
  • As you Like It

More than the book list, Curt’s freedom to invent to his hearts content will be the most striking improvement this year. He is constantly sharing idea with me. He watches science shows and SpaceX during his free time. He has drawers of wires and screws. He loves dumpster diving for broken machines so he can take them apart and find out what makes them tick.

I hope and feel quite excited that Curt will have an “out-of-the-box” experience this year. The sky is the limit and Curt is ready to launch.

Start With the End in Mind

I just read this in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” this morning. I paraphrase:

  • Figure out what is most important to you. In other words, what do you want in “The End?”
  • Plan how you will achieve “The End” in your mind and on paper.
  • Work forward with this “End in Mind.”

“The same is true with parenting. If you want to raise responsible, self-disciplined children, you have to keep that end clearly in mind as you interact with your children on a daily basis. You can’t behave toward them in ways that undermine their self-discipline or self-esteem” (Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 106-7).

I am Amazing, so Why am I Washing Dishes?

How can I help you understand how I feel?

I am special! I think about it every day, many times every day. I am special and nobody knows it. If I am so special there should be something to show for it, but there isn’t, so maybe I am not doing what I am suppose to be doing. Maybe I am not “measuring up.”

Some may ask, “You aren’t suffering from a lack of self esteem, are you?”

No. I DO have a good self esteem. I have an over abundance of it, as a matter-of-fact. That is the problem. I think too much of myself.

I am amazing!

So, I think every day, I should be DOING something amazing. The problem is that I am washing dishes and trying to catch up on photo albums, just like everybody else.

Its the pits.

And do you know what else? Do you know what Heavenly Father wants me to do?

He wants me to wash dishes and catch up on photo albums. I just need to be okay with it and that is hard.

Have you ever felt this way?

You probably want to remind me: “You are a daughter of God, of eternal worth and potential. Mothers are on a divine mission. You will be a queen to your husband.”… and all that great stuff. I know. Plus, there are the cool accomplishments and blessings I should never forget: my wonderful cute kids, my loyal and good husband, and the talents I have been given and have developed. Plus there are the callings of trust and responsibility that I have fulfilled valiantly and people’s lives that I am helping in my ward and community. Thank goodness I am doing something with my time here on earth. Don’t worry. I will continue ministering and learning and I will continue to love it. I will be given happiness and joy from these opportunities, as always. I have am so blessed. Then why do I feel like I am waiting?

I’ve tried to break out of this life of housework and normalcy. I’ve thought about leaving it behind. Thank goodness that awful day is behind me. … Some people struggle with the thought of leaving family or life behind for “ease,” “glory,” or some other reason. May God bless them. Their cloud is heavier and darker than mine. My heart goes out to them and I pray they will find peace. Since my opportunity to escape came, which I decided wasn’t what I wanted, I have never looked back. I AM my kids. I love that part of myself. Nothing on earth would be worth walking away from my husband or my children. Ever.

I’ve also tried to start businesses, advanced degrees, and careers. Heavenly Father taught me important lessons with each experience, but they weren’t meant to be long term solutions. I thank God for His mercy and guidance through each season. God is in charge. I know this is truth for myself and for you. He loves us all equally. He knows each of us and our unique potential and is leading us toward it.

Still, I feel like I am waiting to grow into my shoes. What am I capable of? When am I going to not just feel, but BE amazing? What if this long awaited quenching of my lifetime thirst doesn’t come? What if I am just ordinary, mediocre… Could I handle it? What will bring me satisfaction? Can I find it now?

I know the answer, but I don’t want to admit it, because it doesn’t seem enough. My entire childhood I wanted to be a mom. I love my kids. I am living my dream come true. I know that mothering is the most important work I could be doing. So, the answer is in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This gift is available to me now and every second, to feel His love, to feel and BE amazing. I can find peace. Through Him I am more than I can be alone. I just need to accept it and then act on it.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf says, “Faith must be accompanied by action; else it has no life (see James 2:17). It is not faith at all. It doesn’t have the power to change a single individual, let alone the world.

“Men and women of faith trust in their merciful Heavenly Father—even during times of uncertainty, even during times of doubt and adversity when they may not see perfectly or understand clearly.

“Men and women of faith earnestly walk the path of discipleship and strive to follow the example of their beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Faith motivates and, indeed, inspires us to incline our hearts to heaven and to actively reach out, lift up, and bless our fellowmen.”

Julie B. Beck shared this beautiful perspective,”I was recently at a park where I met a group of women with mother hearts. They were young, covenant-keeping women. They were bright and had obtained advanced degrees from respected universities. Now they were devoting their considerable gifts to planning dinner that evening and sharing housekeeping ideas. They were teaching two-year-olds to be kind to one another. They were soothing babies, kissing bruised knees, and wiping tears. I asked one of those mothers how it came about that she could transfer her talents so cheerfully into the role of motherhood. She replied, “I know who I am, and I know what I am supposed to do. The rest just follows.” That young mother will build faith and character in the next generation one family prayer at a time, one scripture study session, one book read aloud, one song, one family meal after another. She is involved in a great work. She knows that “children are an heritage of the Lord” and “happy is the [woman] that hath [a] quiver full of them” (Ps. 127:3, 5). She knows that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man. She has the vision that, if worthy, she has the potential to be blessed as Rebekah of old to be “the mother of thousands of millions” (Gen. 24:60).”

If I pray to ask what Heavenly Father sees in me, I’ll probably get the same answer: “Patience Child. I will teach you line upon line….Help others. Stay in the loop. The lives of your children are the most important contribution you could possibly make to this world. Even the just shall live by faith. Faith is the power to transform lives, yours especially.”

And for all of you out there, who like me, thirst for your final SELF, I testify that Jesus Christ IS the answer. So, now is the time for us to trust God, to learn, to support others, to feel peace (through the Atonement of Jesus Christ) and to be patient. We ARE special. Our futures will be worth the wait.


I admit: I can be arrogant and prideful. I am trying not to be. Believe me, I have had enough embarrassing moments to be humble by now.

J.D. was honored with a gift of insight from Heavenly Father through a member of his stake president yesterday, who after a meeting asked if he could “have a word ” with J.D. After pulling J.D. aside, President Jones put his arm around him and said, “J.D., You are awesome! Relax. You are doing everything to receive the blessings the Lord has in store for you. Just keep going.” Now that is what I am talking about! Little reassurances like that can help us endure to the end, to be patient as we learn precept upon precept, there a little and here a little.

What are the blessings I have seen from living by faith?

If I pray to ask what Heavenly Father sees in me, I’ll probably get the same answer: “Patience Child. Line upon line…let Duncan be AMAZING in the bishopric. You are staying in the loop as Institute substitute. Even the just shall live by faith. Faith is power.”

I know that I have been guided throughout my life because of my faith in a caring God. I have a sense of security that He is watching over me and that truth is all around me. I receive more truth as I live by the truth I already have. I feel loved by Heavenly Father, who is like a father to me – one I can confide in and share everything with. I feel loved by Jesus Christ in a different way. He is my Savior. He has set the perfect example, endured indescribable pain, and has died so I can be cleansed and return to my Heavenly Home. He is my hero. This knowledge gives me confidence and peace. I don’t know what I would do without my faith.

LEARN more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
LEARN more about why Mormon women often put child-rearing ahead of a career.
LEARN more about other Mormon women.

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