Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Cup is Overflowing

"...and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." Alma 34:38
I've always been not only a "glass half full" kind of person, but really a "cup overflowing" kind of person. I think I've been able to see from a very young age the blessings from the Lord in my life. We had a lesson in Young Womens this past Sunday on spiritual gifts, and I think one of mine is being able to feel gratitude easily. I also think that this has helped me to be a pretty happy person through out my life as well. There is just no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father knows me and blesses me daily! I can feel his hand in my life all the time and recognize that all these blessings and tender mercies come from him. So because it is Thanksgiving, I thought I would list some of the things I am grateful for. This list could probably be endless, but I'll just post a few.
First and foremost, I am thankful for my relationship with my Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. My testimony began a long time ago as my parents taught me and made sure I went to church every Sunday. I can't really think of a time when I doubted if the Church was true or if I was a child of God. I remember vividly on the Sunday I was confirmed after my baptism when I stood and bore my testimony, and then bawled for the rest of the meeting because I felt the Holy Ghost so strongly. If I ever did question, I always thought back to that day. Since then, and especially as I've been married and had children, I've tried especially hard to have the Holy Ghost as my constant companion. Through my teaching and service opportunities in the church, and in following the commandments, my knowledge and love of the Savior has continued to grow. I know now, like I've never known in my life before, that I can not do anything by myself. The Savior makes everything possible and magnifies my efforts 100 fold.
I am thankful for my home. It is small, there is not much room to store things, most of my furniture is hand me downs, it is rarely spotless, I live on an annoying hill, but I LOVE my home. We have created so many family memories in this little house. I always know where everyone is and there are lots of times when we just have to get cozy to watch a movie together or eat together. I love my neighbors, neighborhood, and ward. I love living where everyone else is "in the same boat" financially. I love having neighbors I can borrow a stick of butter from when I need it. I love that there is at least enough rooms in my house that I can have a toy room so I can just shut the door and I don't have to see the big mess all the time. I love that it is hard to tell when my new carpet it dirty so even though I know I haven't vacuumed for a while, you can't really see the dirt all that much.
I am thankful for the blessings of the temple.

(this is from the last wedding I just filmed)
It is obvious when Mike and I haven't been to the temple in a while. Our tempers are shorter with each other and we just don't seem to connect as well. Somehow, when we make the effort to go, our relationship is blessed. I am so grateful to know that Mike and I and our children will be able to be together forever. I love that as a couple, we have our ultimate goal in mind, and everything we do is to get us to that goal. It unites us as a husband and wife and it gives us direction in raising our children.
I am thankful for my calling with the Young WomenThese are "my girls." So what if I wasn't given daughters of my own, instead he gave me 17 of the most wonderful, amazing, and talented girls to hang out with. It's amazing to me how Heavenly Father gives us the ability to love those that we serve. They truly are a blessing to me and I love the experiences, especially camp and Youth Conferences, that I get to have with these girls. It is fun watching them grow up and to see their testimonies grow.
I am thankful for my job
(My "Success Maker" computer club in the morning.)

(My fifth grade reading class.)
How lucky am I to be able to get up each morning excited to go to work? How many people can say that? I absolutely love my job as a teacher. Besides being a wife and mother, I feel like it is what I was put on this earth to do. There are so many things these kids need to know and their learning abilities and styles and levels are all so different, so every day is a challenge. But they are full of potential. More than anything, I feel like my job is to help them be successful and know that they can do more than they think they can.
I am thankful for my extended family
Even though this picture only shows the Miller side (I don't have one of the Harkers) I am so blessed to have some of the best parents, in-laws, grandparents for my children, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews on the planet. I am so lucky that we all live relatively close to one another and can spend holidays and special occasions together. Some of my best times are spent with them.
I am thankful for my own family

How could I not love and adore these sweet faces? I am amazed and grateful daily that Heavenly Father entrusted some of his choicest spirits to come to Mike and I. I feel the great responsibility of raising them to be righteous men. They make me smile constantly. I am so proud of how curious and smart they are. They soak up knowledge like little sponges. I love that they get along (most of the time) and watch out for each other. I love how they won't go to bed without family prayer and a hug and kiss from mom. And then even more grateful that they stay asleep all night. I hear my friends complain that their kids wake up in the middle of the night and come into their room or in their bed, and mine have never done that once! I love that they are willing to help around the house. I love that they don't demand unnecessary things (like toys or treats from the store) and I haven't seen a temper tantrum out of the oldest three in a really long time. They are trying so hard to do their best and live what Mike and I are trying to teach them. They want to be obedient and I just know that they are here for a special reason. All four of them have a mission Heavenly Father wants them to fulfill while here on earth.
Along with my children, I am so thankful for Mike. Everything I have listed is because I chose to marry him. I wouldn't have any of it if it wasn't for his willingness to love and take care of me. He has had to really step up to the plate lately with me being so busy with Young Womens and school. He gets the kids where they need to go each morning, and he is NOT a morning person. He stays home while I go to meetings or activities and never complains about it. I am loving watching the relationship between him and our boys grow. I know they are looking up to him and learning to be like him. I couldn't ask for anything more. He is my partner through it all and gives me hope and encouragement when I need it the most. I will love him forever!
Of course there are a million other things I could list. My life is "full to the brim" with blessings and I am so thankful for each and every one.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh We've Got Trouble!

See this sweet, innocent face? Well, don't let it fool you. This kid is nothing but trouble! He is into EVERYTHING! I go into one room to clean up one mess, and come into the next room to find it all torn apart. Books, Tupperware, Kleenex, toilet brushes, nothing is off limits to this kid. His new favorite toy is the toilet. Mason went into the bathroom the other day and was freaking out because his socks got all wet. "How?" I asked only to find the bathroom floor covered with toilet water that Miles had splashed everywhere. Last night I came home from Young Women's to find every cupboard and drawer in the bathroom completely emptied with the contents strewn all around the house. (Yes, nice babysitting Mike!) And right now as I am typing this he is throwing a soccer ball all around the office and knocking things of the desk. He has also started throwing some pretty good temper tantrums by flopping down on the floor and grinding his nose into the carpet. The other night we went to get our family Christmas photo at Target. The family shot went well, but when I wanted just one with the boys, Miles wouldn't have any of it and flopped right onto the floor and started bawling. A few weeks ago I got a call from a dispatcher at 911 asking if I had an emergency at our house. Apparently Miles was playing with the phone and dialed 911.

Of all my boys, this one is by far the most spirited and demanding. He climbs on everything, wants to be picked up, then gets mad and wants to be put down. Most the time I don't think he even knows what he wants. He sure is giving me a run for my money.

But despite it all, he is super cute and can be pretty funny. The other boys laugh at him all the time, which might explain why he continues his "naughty" behavior. He LOVES the reaction he gets from the older three. Everyday is an adventure with him, that is for sure!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Halloween happened. It started with the pumpkin carving for Family Home Evening. Each child did all their own gut scraping and carving. They all did a great job. I have some pretty creative and independent children.

Even Miles got in on the fun flipping pumpkin seeds all around the dining room.

The spooky, finished products.

My two animals. A dinosaur and an elephant. I did not buy one new costume this year. All of them were hand-me-downs. That saved me a lot of money!

My two fighters, a ninja and a pirate.

This is Mitchel's fourth grade class after the big parade. His teacher's costume was by far the best! She was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Mason also had a parade that day at preschool. These are his teachers Ms. Jackie, Ms. Chris, and Ms. Carol.

Halloween afternoon was our first ever Trunk-or-Treat. Because of the rain, we had to have it indoors.
The turnout was great!
Later that night we went out Trick-or-Treating for real. First we did a few houses in my parent's neighborhood, then came back and did our block with some of our neighborhood friends. When all was said and done we had a pile of fat, lard and sugar sitting on our counter top. I didn't even have a bowl big enough to put it all in, so I had to go get a tote!
Another Halloween come and gone. Time goes by super fast. I am grateful that I get to experience all these holidays with my kids. They sure make life more fun!