FAITH

" I believe in the sun even when it is not shining...in love even when I am alone...and in God even when He is silent."

inscription found scatched into a wall in Germany, by someone hiding from Nazi concentration camps

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Moving, moving, moving


k...World's fastest blog....we are moving to Reno, NV....I was only told less than a week before Christmas...we flew to the other side of the country to find a house... found one...back before Christmas...barely! Did Christmas-yeah, joy, love good times....now packing...now packing....now packing....should of just thrown the christmas tree on top of the suburban...loaded the 4 kids, and hit the road...packing is no fun...I'm used to magical crews of people who come in and pack for me...not this time when Paul's new company is on the "reimbursement" mentality. We just don't have $80,000 to throw around....so we are on our own economic crisis plan.....and I despise hard labor....but hard labor it is~hope you are enjoying your holiday season...relax and enjoy...I'll do the work! I just checked my fellow bloggers blogs...beautiful...I have no time left in this break to comment...but I love you guys....until??????

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy 2nd Bday Zachary Steven Ashton...we miss you!


This will be my blog of love. I don't want to write about this because of the emotions it stirs...I know my friend Gil feels like her pain has no boundries and, even though December 13 is a day of celebration, it causes rememberence for loss. I am posting a bit late...we had a impromptu family cruise, and impromptu last minute surgery gone wrong for me...and so these pictures come a few days late!
On Saturday December 13, 2008 we had just returned to our port in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We had a long drive home to NC and knew we were going to participate in my best friend, Gil's, celebration of Zach's 2nd birthday who, as many of you know, returned to our Father in Heaven exactly 10 months ago. She asked if those who would celebrate with her would let a balloon go in his honor with a note attached of their spiritual gift they would give to Heavenly Father. Gil has told me many times over the past 10 months of how she wants more than anything to live a better life to be sure of the reunion with her precious Zach...this is something that at times worries her. To all and any of us who know Gil...we don't worry for a second. I have been a few places in my life...known many different people...and there is no better friend, sister, wife, cousin, auntie, daughter, daughter-in-law, mommy, on and on and on than my sweet friend Gil. For her and her family to include us in this celebration is such an honor and a privilage!
So....we saw the rain clouds coming and pulled over quickly in Lake Charles, FL and bought our balloons at a Publix grocery store!
I was the photographer - I felt such a joy in writing on the tag...celebrating the cutest boy evers birthday. I knew Zach would feel of my love and I knew Heavenly Father knew of my heart and how Zach's precious little life has touched and changed me forever.
But as we let those 6 white balloons go....I just could hold it in no longer and the tears and pain at loss overwhelmed me. I stood in the parking lot bawling. Quickly, a cute Publix grocery store man, in his 70's, and another girl worker in her 20's ran over. They thought I was crying at the sudden release and loss of these balloons -the old man ran towards us with a wicker broom hoping to help us in our despair. It was really sweet and then they saw the tags - Paul solemenly told them of it's meaning and the real reason for my tears. It was neat to see 2 people so willing to help...and 6 people looking towards heaven with hope and promise that Zach and our loving Heavenly Father would see our message that we pledged to change ourselves.
Pain really has no boundaries. My heart froze...literally froze the night Gil called me and told me that Zach had left this earth. My life will never be the same. I have changed and grown in ways I never would of without this experience. Love is different to me. It is deeper, it doesn't judge, it holds promise and growth, and it just feels different. I love people...I really try to do good....I want to help when I can...I wish everyone well....but this isn't about me...it is about my best friend Gil who has been a true daughter of God. She is real, she hurts, she tries so hard, she laughs when she can, she holds on, she has faith, she believes, she suffers alone and she suffers with others, she keeps going and making pumpkin bars for others!, she keeps up!!!!!! Gil would hate it if I told you she was my hero but sorry honey....you are and you are a sister and a friend to me. You love your children and you love one little boy who is now with Heavenly Father...in good and constant care of Him until birthdays will be celebrated again together! Until then we have balloons and love and an incredible faith and hope of better days and happy times. Grateful I am in a loving Heavenly Father who guides us in life allowing us to see what is really important, whose promises are real and unchanging in such a changing world. I don't know too much but I do know that Families are forever and that we are all here to help each other along the way. I am blessed in my life! Thank you Zach! We love you and your family!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turning a new leaf!

Each fall is a magical time for me. It started way back when I was little...I was fascinated by the autumn hues and how the leaves would bear their colors for change. It meant Christmas was that much closer and there just seems to be an air of excitement. Here in North Carolina we are glad to say good bye to 90+ degree weather and humidity. But my real love for the fall started back 13years ago when I held my baby girl and took her first fall pictures.

We were poor, I had a cheap camera...but my precious 10 month old lit up the leaves. From then on I have taken fall pictures with the girls and now with all 4.

o.k....since this blogging thing is a journal of types...here goes my sentiment. I guess I am reminded each fall of where I have been and where we look to go in the next year. Lately I have doubted if we are even headed the right ways (that whole move thing and waiting on it patiently is at its' wits end for me) Today I loaded up the 4 kids and headed off to a park way out in the country off of old hwy 150. As I was driving back I wondered if I would see the incredible colors of fall in North Carolina again. I thought of the years of leaf pictures that got me to where I am today. I thought of how when Kailee was born we didn't have much. I didn't even have a baby shower...unless you count some unmarried college students giving me a six pack of pepsi 'cause all they could think of was how funny the no sleep thing would be for me. When Paul and I had Kailee we were so on our own. Except for my family buying us a crib and just a few outfits...that was it...we had no other support or encouragement...my family was it. And now here we are...4 kids later...a good marriage...lots of autumns under our belts and the future of kids leaving home, marriages, missions. It's like these amazing tree lined roads here in North Carolina...you can't see over the up coming hill but somehow you know you'll make it. Seeing the beauty in the simple things...like the changing of leaves...is how I have made it my whole life.
I can never go back to that adorable 10 month old sitting in a pile of leaves.(trust me-I would give a million dollars to hold these children a few more hours, change their diapers, burp them, teach them)...but I have the pictures to remind me of where we have been...and where the new leaves are turning our lives towards.
Here are a few of todays pictures. Kailee, of course, is feeling that "I am way tooooo old for this" but with some" mommy pouting" she cooperated. It still feels like Paul and I are on our own...really we are except for the love of good friends and family(So needed with all the negative that tries to creep in-I so stay away from that)...I feel lucky to be on this road with the crew I have been given and I hope to see many more autumns where the simple joy in leaves falling from trees can remind me of the journey behind and the ones to come. Enjoy!






Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Happy Candy day to all! Welcome to the world of the Guthrie's trick-or-treating....the costumes this year couldn't of been more random than they were...I always envied the families that pulled together the whole theme thing...nope...not us. Paul wouldn't ever put on a costume and for years the girls were so girly and princess-ed out that it just wouldn't come together....so here they are...in true form...have fun...we did...sugar high for days! Yeah!
Photos at my (sniffff sniff...last Kindergarten Halloween party

Jake is the most adorable policeman ever...reallllllly!


Sadie is the clown...so cute at 9yrs old. I asked her where her friend Helen was and she said "oh, she's out with some other clown"...I love her!
Shelby is the banana...middle school and she's is making them laugh...she tried to be a banana with a mustache but the mustache wouldn't stick???????


Kailee was an Indian...though she wouldn't trick-or-treat but dressed up to appease her mother!

The whole "nutty" crew!

And this is how a kindergartener who has full day of school (7-3pm), runs around 2 neighborhoods, eats a ton of candy....ends his day...
Precious!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I am not big brother!

Did any of you ever read that Orson Wells book 1984 where "big brother"is watching you? That's what it felt like with that live traffic feed thing I put on my blog...so I took it off....you are free to come and go on my blog and I won't spy on any of you....I feel so good...I hated that thing!

What I've been up to




This is what I have added to my schedule...it helps keep my mind off of missing my kids at school, worrying about moving across the country...when-right?...and being mad at myself for reading all day long (loved the Host by stephanie myers) when I should be doing laundry or other mom things....it is fun to be creative again!

Monday, October 13, 2008

For those of you who haven't been around Kai

Kailee is brave...she is adventurous...she is silly....she wants to learn about everything and explore (good things of course)....so for those of you who haven't been around my teenager lately or even know her....I just found this video from Labor day this year when we were in Atlanta and visited the World of Coke...I went straight for my comfort-Diet Coke and there was Kai headed straight for the brazilian version of some strange soda that was known to taste bad and warnings had been issued that it was "nasty". She had to find out for herself and of course we "egg-ed" her on to be brave and taste it.....
video

Ohhhhhh....and if I'm going to keep up with this blogging thing....please leave me comments 'cause I need motivation to keep me blogging since you know...I just sit around all day and eat bon bons and donuts....help me out here....let me feel your love....tell me how great my kids are...or I am or what evs! Did I tell you that on my "mommy break" last week I bought this book called "Laying Down the law...the 25 laws of parenting" of course I haven't even read the first law yet....make comments so I keep blogging and have this distraction from "laying down the law" on my poor kids!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Grocery store anyone?????


Tonight I was putting Jake to bed....wait...rewind -

yesterday I was on mommy burn-out so I took off...I took myself out to dinner, went to Barns & Noble (spent most of my time looking for books for my children???? remember me time), went to a movie (road to ?? with richard gere...boring...horrible!), and yes a little wal-mart...we needed bread. I didn't want to be with anyone..talk to anyone...except, of course, Gil who is always there to laugh at me when I am sour...and gets me! So off I was for some alone time.....

o.k. back to tonight...Jake going to bed....I say to Jake "give me some kisses 'cause I missed you last night" of which Jake says "where did you go?" I tell him that Mommy needed a break and then he says "oh, you went to the grocery store" hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......

is that what my children think...that when mommies need breaks we take off to the grocery store for some heel kicking good times? I think I need to get out more...and my kids need to see me doing it! Maybe next "mommy break down" moment I'll head to a laundro-mat, volunteer to do some yard work, or clean some strangers house....'cause that is what my sweet little pumpkins think I do for fun!

*side note - I haven't been blogging 'cause I lack motivation, I think of funny things to write but logging on takes too much brain power, and I have been busy...refer to above!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm always the last one to bed


So where do I sleep? Ever feel like this...and the first up in the morning...and the last to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. That's me...but as long as everyone else is happy then mom is happy (of course the cats and fish count too!) It's all worth it and even the cats feel comfortable in our home!
Also, this is my new hobby/business...I am always asked out here "where did you get that"(utah..and I know this is old stuff 4 you all) and now I can share and make it for others...and get my creative groove on!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Watch out Olivia Newton John...here I come!


My friends are rallying around me...to help me pull out of my un-expected, couldn't see this coming, where is the fun, depression of sorts. All of my kids are in school for a full day-7am to 3pm...even my little Jake! I feel like a mom with no purpose. In my head there is this battle between what I should be doing, what I could be doing, and what I used to do for 14 years. It doesn't help being stuck in a place in life where I don't know where we will be in 3 weeks and having a house that is not unpacked...I am the mom who loves to clean, cook and do laundry...all gone now...which takes me to Olivia Newton John!

Tomorrow I am being dragged to a Jazzercise class...yes I said it...a Jazzercise class. I shouldn't be blogging right now because I should be at wal-mart picking out my leotard suit, my leg-warmers, and my fuzzy headband! But before I do that I am going to practice my "jazz hands" in the mirror! Watch out Richard Simmons...here comes Jen!

It's easy to say...go get a pedicure...go grocery shopping...read a book...but when you have structured your whole existence on being a mom...and they are gone for all those hours...part of you is lost and I am trying to find me again....I wouldn't have it any other way....and all of you will be here one day or have been here...the joy lays ahead...so for now it is reading all the "twilight books" (I am half way through "Breaking Dawn") and eating poptarts while I sleep in/lay in bed till noon...and of course get my jazzercise groove on! Don't you wish you were me!!!?????

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Want to go for a bus ride...come on and get on!

So Jake has been a trooper-8 days and he happily gets on the bus. Our morning routine does involve his gripes about how tired HE is and how HE needs a break-but he goes and comes home one happy boy. Today we were not so fortunate.
The usual rhetoric went on and as usual I just ignore his words and go on with the morning and put forth my faith in him that he will wake up! The bus arrives and Sadie and I dash out the door-but today Jake won't follow. I pick him up and carry him as he grabs at anything and everything he can...the door jam...the suburban as I pass...trees...are you following me on this???? We get to the bus and the sweet bus driver pleas with him that all will be well...not for jake...not taking any bait..the bus is parked in the middle of the street...you do know it is a felony to board a school bus...right? So I ask the driver..."can I walk him on?" She is so sweet...says "of course" but looks around like she hopes she won't get in trouble...bus still blocking street...Jake won't let me leave...so we drive off to the next stop....me and these pint sized kids no older than 7 except for Sadie. One kid shows me a treasure box...and me the 5foot 10 Mommy on the bus just taking a ride. Next stop...Jake still isn't giving up...so I ask him if I can drive him to school...he agrees and Sadie, Jake and I get off the bus as the new kids at the new stop get on...with parents watching....and we take the hike back to our stop at our house...I drive them in and all is well. Jake comes home loving school and skipping to his own beat.....of course my head is dreaming of what tomorrow morning will bring!
I need to post on how this whole freedom while the kids are in school isn't what I thought it would be. I am bored and refuse to do laundry and cleaning...that isn't part of the dream I have been dreaming of for 14 years....so more to come...just proud of me for posting....and riding the bus part of the way to school today! There is no tact in being a mom...try as we may...we still look like a mess!



ok here are pictures of shelby's first day of middle school and Kai's first day of 8th grade!



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Empty Nester...14years in the making!






Jake started Kindergarten today....surprisingly...no tears...we weren't sure if he would be willing to go....whole "umbilical cord still attached to me kind of thing". It was so cute....Sadie got on the bus first and he quickly followed. when he was fully up the bus stairs-he realized that he was on the bus and the fear was in his eyes...and yet he pushed on and sat by his sissy....all we could see in the early morning dark...with the tinted bus windows...was his little bitty head and he was off....and he had a great day!

Of course Sadie started her first day of 4th grade yesterday...no less of an event. She bounced off to school in her usual cheerful smiley fashion...that girl melts your heart! Love the penguin shirt don't you?

Next week will make my empty nesting official with the older 2 girls starting middle school at a private school. We still don't know dates of the BIG move...but I have so much on my plate with this quick move that I look at things minute by minute.

Paul and I celebrated our 15th year anniversary during the move...which consisted of sweaty moving all day...a run to a local restaurant...and let me tell you...nothing says love and happy anniversary like wearing sweats to a restaurant where you can throw peanuts on the floor and everywhere you look you see dead animal heads and horns! But there is no sobs here....I really know and feel like the best present and above any formal celebrations is the gift of a happy marriage...healthy and happy children...and being married to my best friend (here is where I wish I could post a picture of us....all packed up though) He is awesome and we love to be together. We always have. We have had our share of struggles....but our love is strong...I thank my family for the support they give us...my dad was so sweet and called on our anniversary and humbly and tearfully expressed his gratitude that Paul and I are together. I feel the same gratitude....I have been so blessed to have all of this and to have fun along the way. So to my dear Paul....I love you...I am so proud of the man that you are...the woman that you make me...and the love that I feel from you. You are amazing Paul and such a hard worker against all odds....you love to be with your family and would turn down friends, golf, sports to be with us...all on your own-I still have such a hard time with that after 15years-I tell you to go but you want to be with us. I love your quiet and strong love for your Heavenly Father. You are such a good man of faith and love...thanks for letting me be your wife...and thanks for standing by me as I keep us laughing!

Thanks fellow bloggers...the second I post you all respond...I feel so much love and support even after a long absence such as this past month. This blogging thing is so great...I want everyone to feel it too!

Signing out on this marathon post...hopefully it won't be so long till my next post!
ok i'll add this video clip since I have this new camera and want to play with it soooo much....but remember-i handed paul the camera and he couldn't figure out how to not zoom...not to mention his brain couldn't stop focusing on my rear end! thanks paul...it's about jake's 1st day of kindergarten and not my dairy-air!

video

Friday, August 22, 2008

Been gone a looooong time!

We sold our house...had to move out in 18 days...of which 8 I was gone....and we are one tired, sore, married couple...with 4 kids, 2 cats and renting a friends house till we know when we are exactly moving across the country....so school starts monday...and I am hustling to get everything together....sort of unpacked...and a little sleep...more to come...my email is not working so reach me by commenting on this blog! more to come......

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to my one and only Sis!

Darolyn,
You are beautiful in every sense of the word...you define beauty inside and out. I am so lucky to have you as my one and only sister. Here are the top ten reasons why I love you...but if I had time and didn't have to load up the 4 kids-2 cats and drive around town in my suburban (even went to a carwash!) while my house is being shown and hopefully has sold....rambling....then I would write 1000 reasons and have to stop myself...because I love you so much...you are incredible, you get on my nerves and I would do anything for you....you have taught me so much about love, kindness, generosity, and patience(sometimes!). We are really good at laughing together and you were the one that lead me to my love-Paul. Thanks for being in my life Dar and thanks for who you are....you are beautiful....now let's stop wasting time and get you married in the temple so my kids can babysit your babies!
Top Ten Reasons:
1. If I fell off the face of the earth my kids wouldn't mind because you would be the best replacement and they absolutely, 100%, without any hesitation, adore you....you are the best Auntie in the entire world and you love my kids like they are your own....you are family to them...you are pure love to them...thanks!

2. You have compasion like no one I have ever known...you really do put others before yourself (reason why you dated someone for 9yrs and believed in him...good for him...not for you!)

3. You love to laugh and boy have we needed that in our lives.....laughing till we cry and pee our pants....you are the only one who keeps me going like I do when I am on my "comedy act" and you stay and keep listening...well until I embarrass you...as usual!

4. You think of me all the time and want me to be pretty, fashion forward, and cool...and send me clothes and make me dye my hair....I'd wear a ponytail or have my Hawaii bun everyday if it were not for you

5. You love Paul like a brother and it means the world to him. You are also always thinking of him and your support makes him feel like a million dollars...you love him more than me sometimes and that's ok 'cause he needs it...you really are so cool to him and I could never thank you enough for all the encouragement you give him.

6. You are soooo adventurous it kills me....I wouldn't eat squid or go hang gliding but off you go...bring it on is your motto

7. You forgive faster than anyone I know...or quicker than I think is humanly possible...you really just see the good in everyone....I mean everyone....I used to tell you I didn't think you should hang out with "this person" in high school and you would come back with "don't worry Jen they are good"...I couldn't see it but you did

8. You will hate me for this...but I am so in awe of how you keep your head up...because I know it is hard....and I know you want to find someone to share your life with and have a family...HE is missing out until HE meets you....they are going to get one awesome deal when He gets you as a wife and mother!

9. You love your Dad, sister, and brothers....you worry about us and would put your life on hold to help us out...and you have....you have big brownie points with the Man Above for all that you have done for Dad!

10. You shine....and I shine when I am with you....people love you Darolyn....you are the best sister, friend, boss, neighbor, dog owner - I know Mollie is not a dog...she is part of you...she's your baby!...o.k back to shining....you do.....and everyone who knows you is better because of you.....
I love You - Sister -Auntie-Mollie's Mommy-Friend
Happy Happy Happy Birthday and we'll celebrate together soon!

Darolyn and I around 1973

Adventurous D -after this picture the raw squid juice fell in your mouth...worth the photo?

Cruising the Carribbean-how much fun was that!

The Dancing Queen....boy were we rocking on that ship

I should of put all the food in front of you...you can out eat me and be a size 2

The BEST Auntie EVER!
What did I say....YOU are beautiful!


Have a great Birthday!

The Guthrie's in 2006

The Guthrie's in 2006