Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why Making Choices Is So Hard

In a thought-provoking article, Orson Scott Card examines the book, "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less"  by Barry Schwartz.   

Are you a Maximizer or a Satisficer?  

You'll have to read it to find out!

 Here's an excerpt:

"Why is it that even though we live in the richest country in the world and have an enormous number of choices we can make every day, we Americans show signs of being unhappier than we were thirty or fifty years ago?
Why are so many people so much more depressed?
Why are people who have everything so dissatisfied?
In the book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Barry Schwartz takes a scientific and logical look at why it might be that Americans feel so oppressed in the midst of freedom, so unhappy in the midst of plenty."

I highly recommend reading the article in full Here- Why Making Choices Is So Hard

You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Literature

Little Britches by Ralph Moody.  Another wonderful book chock full of amazing moments and life lessons.  His father was as true a man as ever lived and his quotes alone and should be read again and again.

Here are a few:

“A man's character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth.” 

 “Always remember, Son, the best boss is one who bosses the least.  Whether it’s cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government.”

 “That night while we were milking, he told me it had been a day I should remember.  He said it would be good for me, as I grew older, to know that a man always made his troubles less by going to meet them instead of waiting for them to catch up with him, or trying to run away from them.” 

 “There are only two kinds of men in the this world:  Honest men and dishonest men. There are black men and white men and yellow men and red men, but nothing counts except whether they’re honest men or dishonest men.  Some men work almost entirely with their brains; some almost entirely with their hands; though most of us have to use both.  But we all fall into one of the two classes – honest and dishonest.  Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest.  The same God that made you and me made this earth.  And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need.  But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man.  Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.” 

There are other great books in the Little Britches series- my favorites being 'Man of the Family'  and 'The Home Ranch.'  

Each and every book in this series teaches valuable life lessons mixed with humor and hard work.
I wish every family could read these books!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Month of Thanks: Literature Style!

I love books.  I love the way they feel, the stories and information that burst forth when you open their covers.    Many a childhood day for me was spent between the pages of a favorite book; hoping Mom wouldn't call me to perform a chore, run errands or mind a younger brother or sister. 
This November, I pay tribute to some of my all time favorites.
 Beloved quotes that have shaped my ideals, filled me with inspiration and, in general, made me a better person.  

The first book may be my all time favorite.  It's hard to decide, but this one book is filled with such beauty, such goodness and sweet humor; everytime I read it , it fills me with a mixture of joy, longing, wholesomeness.... and even tears.  

It's Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter.  (Her real name is Geneva Grace Stratton-Porter- such a lovely name!)   Loosely based on her childhood, this book makes me long to be a part of her family, brought up on an Indiana Farm and raised by remarkable parents.  
I could write on and on about the story, but I think a few of my favorite quotes will better convey how I feel about this book.  There are so many to choose from- but some are too long to post here.  I hope that everyone has the opportunity to read and absorb the beauty of this wonderful book!

"The roads crossing our land were all right, and most of the others near us; and a road is wonderful, if it is taking you to the woods or a creek or meadow; but when it is walking you straight to a stuffy little schoolhouse where you must stand up to see from a window, where a teacher is cross as fire, like Miss Amelia, and where you eternally hear things you can't see, there comes a time about the middle of April when you had quite as soon die as to go to school any longer; and what you learn there doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared with what you can find out for yourself outdoors. Schoolhouses are made wrong. If they must be, they should be built in a woods pasture beside a stream, where you could wade, swim, and be comfortable in summer, and slide and skate in winter. The windows should be cut to the floor, and stand wide open, so the birds and butterflies could pass through. You ought to learn your geography by climbing a hill, walking through a valley, wading creeks, making islands in them, and promontories, capes, and peninsulas along the bank. You should do your arithmetic sitting under trees adding hickory nuts, subtracting walnuts, multiplying butternuts, and dividing hazelnuts. You could use apples for fractions, and tin cups for liquid measure. You could spell everything in sight and this would teach you the words that are really used in the world. Every single one of us could spell incompatibility, but I never heard father, or the judge, or even the Bishop, put it in a speech." 

 "Had I life to live over, I see now where I could do more; but neighbor, believe me, my highest aspiration is to be a clean, thrifty housekeeper, a bountiful cook, a faithful wife, a sympathetic mother. That is life work for any woman, and to be a good woman is the greatest thing on earth.  Never mind about the ladies; if you can honestly say of me, she is a good woman, you have paid me the highest possible tribute."

"If I had made that morning myself I couldn't have done better.  It was sunny, spring air, but it was that cool, spicy kind that keeps you stopping every few minutes to see just how full you can suck your lungs without bursting.  It seemed to wash right through and through and make you all over. The longer you breathed it the clearer your head became, and the better you felt, until you would be possessed to try and see if you really couldn't fly.  I tried that last summer, and knocked myself into jelly.  You'd think once would have been enough, but there I was going down the road with Laddie's pie, and wanting with all my heart to try again. 
 Sometimes I raced, but I was a little afraid the pie would shoot from the shingle and it was like pulling eye teeth to go fast that morning.  I loved the soft warm dust, that was working up on the road.  Spat! Spat!  I brought down my bare feet, already scratched and turning brown, and laughed to myself at the velvety feel of it.  There were puddles yet, where May and I had "dipped and faded" last fall, and it was fun to wade in them.  The roadsides were covered with meadow grass and clover that had slipped through the fence.  On slender green blades, in spot after spot, twinkled the delicate bloom of blue-eyed grass.  Never in all this world was our Big Creek lovelier.  It went slipping, and whispering, and lipping, and lapping over the stones, tugging at the rushes and grasses as it washed their feet; everything beside it was in masses of bloom, a blackbird was gleaming and preening on every stone, as it plumed after its bath.  Oh there's no use to try- it was just Spring when it couldn't possibly be any better."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sisters and Friends

Anyone have daughters who are sent to their room (s) to clean their considerable mess, grumbling and blaming each other all the way...
 fighting over who left what on the floor and how unfair life is when you have to share things with your sister....

....only to find them laughing and friends again 45 minutes later?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Importance of Family Culture

Family.  The very idea of it stirs up memories; playing with my brothers and sisters, being tenderly cared for by my mother, having adventures with my father.   The stories told to us children by our grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents.  Stories of another time in America, different than the era in which we were growing up.

I knew instinctively, that when I was a mother, I would be the caretaker of my children.  I would not pass them off to someone else for their daily needs.   When my oldest two were four and six, they remarked that they wished they could be in daycare like some of their friends.   Their friends also had divorced parents and it seemed neat to my children that they could stay at one parent's house or the other, could go to daycare and have fancy store-bought snacks, could have twice the Christmas presents.    
I tried to explain how lucky they were to have a mother who stayed home with them, to have parents who worked hard to do what we felt was right by them.  It was hard for their little minds to grasp.

Recently, in our home, we've been reading aloud, The Giver by Lois Lowry.  A thought provoking book, it's created some great discussions around the living room.

From Review:

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.

In the first few chapters, one of my daughters mentioned several times that she thought she would enjoy such a community.  Everything organized, everything in its place, everything controlled and simple.   Her comments led to discussions on individuality and what makes life interesting.  How important free choice is and how throughout history, a person or people cannot be held accountable for their actions unless they had freedom to choose for themselves.  

In relation to this, I read a really great article that I felt I needed to share.  
It's called The Family Culture vs. Pop Culture by Israel Wayne.  You can read it HERE.

Family culture, in my opinion, is so important.  The influence of generations past, when weighed for truth and rightness,  is a precious thing.

  Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer 2012

Sign he found on the beach
This summer was a busy one. 
Hot days
Ever-growing kids
Beach time
Extended Family
- All the trappings of the season!

A photo recap is necessary in order for me to preserve those precious memories!

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homeschooling- Banishing Doubts

 I spoke to a long time homeschooling friend last night.  For years our kids were in the same co-op, taking classes together, playing with one another.  She and I taught many hours of lessons, enjoyed the camaraderie of discussions with other homeschooling mothers and, in general, strengthened our resolves through it all.  I look back fondly at the days that seemed to stretch before us, our little children playing in the trees or with stick 'swords' as we spent long afternoons chatting and comparing educational methods.

Life has changed us both in many ways and raising young adults has kept us so busy, we don't see each other very often.  When we get to visit, we fall right back into our great discussions and in talking about our upcoming school year, we both realized that we still have so much in common.  
 We've graduated children and have a sense of accomplishment in the fact that they've successfully made that transition into adulthood.  We both have highschoolers who have opted to take classes at the local public school.  (Which, I might add, feels like such a derailment from everything you believe as a homeschooler the first time you even contemplate such a thing!)
We both have plenty of younger children still in the wings at home and lots of teaching/mentoring still ahead.
And....we're both tired.  

Not just because home education requires quite a lot of vision and energy, but because so many other things in life want to sap that energy!

I've had to re- ponder and pray about what I believe in as far as education goes. 

As I enrolled my son in high school classes for the first time, and stepped into a public school, it felt surreal.   Schools, to me, are their own microcosm and unlike anything I can relate to in real life.  It has always bothered me that parents I talk to feel at times that the schools practically own their children.  This, I think, is more rampant in the elementary years.  From what I've seen, in high school, the kids' choices are more respected.
I'm not against public schools.  I actually don't think there is a perfect system for education and that every parent must carefully choose what's best for their own family.   My biggest reason for homeschooling has always been to instill values and morals and to protect childhood innocence as long as possible.
My decision to allow him to take classes was based, foremost, on the fact that our small school district has caring teachers for the most part- who know their students well, and that the majority of students are really good kids from strong families.   The kids don't get away with much before parents hear and, for the most part, do something about it.

In any case, I know that:
 I still I have strong opinions about family and parental influence being far and above any institution. 
 I believe that God entrusted these children to my husband and I, knowing our imperfections, knowing that by and large we would step up and become better people, better examples because we had the responsibility to teach them well.  No one else on earth cares more about their upbringing than we do.
I believe that no matter where or how children are educated, the responsibility for it rests on the parents.  Until children are mature enough to be handed over that responsibility, parents need to counsel with them, oversee and carefully choose wisely what will benefit each child most.
I believe that having some time to ponder and think and even get bored is more important than having every hour of the day structured in activities.
I believe that service and work and being out in nature are equally as important as book studies.

After pondering what rings true to me at this stage of life and learning, I had to look at why I'm so tired and how to avoid that constant feeling of slight or severe burn-out.  

In reading my own post from a few days ago, I realized that what I had learned not only applied to life trials, but also to my attitude of late about homeschooling.  The Six Destructive Ds of doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief  had taken their toll.
You'd think that after homeschooling for 15 years and graduating two young adults, I'd have gained great confidence in myself and my abilities.   But you see, I've been plagued with self-doubt for so many years, I'd constantly question and tear down my own confidence.  

I can see clearly the pattern of doubting myself, then getting discouraged, becoming unfocused as the weight of responsibility began to seem too great,  and then lacking diligence in following through with a perfectly good plan.  My children began to see my wavering and lack of confidence and it started to lead to a disbelief in the goodness of home education.   A belief I have felt strongly about for many years.
I have prayed much over my educational choices for these precious kids of mine- and many times I've felt deep inspiration that family-based education was best for us.  So how could I possibly begin to doubt?  

From Kevin D. Pearson's talk:
"We get what we focus on consistently. Because there is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode our faith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personal tendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change."

I can see clearly that my own tendencies brought the majority of this upon myself.  My own habits, along with discouragement and I began to doubt even the answers I had prayed for and received! 

 Answers received through prayer should not be doubted.  Circumstances can change and new inspiration can come, but I should never have allowed doubt to creep in, leading to the other 5 'Ds' of discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief.

When I am striving to do my best in raising and choosing good for my family, I can follow these scriptures and know how to choose wisely:

Moroni 7
  13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God......
 15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
 16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

If I receive inspiration and feelings of peace and light around my choices, then I cannot doubt.   Doubt, discouragement and lack of diligence (inactivity) are the antithesis of faith, hope and diligence....the very things upon which families are built!

I know this- and have known this.  For some reason, it has taken until now to really grasp it in this area of my life.  I'm so grateful for the power of this lesson learned and to begin a new school year protected from that horrible plague of 'Ds.' 

 Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Faith Versus Worry

I've always been a worrier, a 'people pleaser' and have suffered from many self-doubts.

It's not uncommon for me to agonize over every major decision,  whether I should have said something or not in conversations, or worry if I've done something to make someone else unhappy.
Truly, it stems from my desire to do the right thing, to teach my children good principles, to see everyone around me content, and for life to be peaceful.

The problem is, that over the past few years, life has heaped a number of unexpected difficulties upon us.  No matter how hard I tried to set it right again, to bring back the peace and contentment in the form we once knew, I couldn't.   This caused a plague of worries and doubts to descend upon me-I think because I felt it was up to me to bring back the happiness that we knew single-handedly.

Once I realized that there were some lessons to be learned from the life changes we were going through, and that I was slowly sinking into a pattern of worry that was unhealthy, I began to research ways to heal and reverse this trend.

In pondering how to overcome worry and doubt, I was led to a wonderful article by Kevin W. Pearson.  

It opened my eyes to the struggle I was having within.  I thought I was firm in having faith- faith in God, faith in our future, faith that all would be well.   At the same time, however, I was plagued by major fear, doubts and anxiety.

In my own mind, I thought if I could simply work out any possible future problems before they happened, I would be doing my part to work toward my goals.  
Instead, I realize,  a battle was raging within me: a battle between fear and doubt and FAITH.   
When I read his words, "Faith and fear cannot coexist." It struck a chord in me and I realized how true that really is.  As he says in his talk, "One gives way to the other."  In my own heart, when I would realize that fear and doubt were winning, I'd strengthen my faith to even things out.   This battle raged on and was wearing me out physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Another powerful truth was when he said, "We get what we focus on consistently".
 How many negative thoughts do we think in a day- even though we feel we're pretty positive people?   
My husband and I ran some errands in town the other day and I was letting him in on some of the things I had been internalizing and worrying over.  He was giving me advice, diffusing some of the negative self talk and helping me look at the bigger picture.   He asked me, "Do you even realize how many times you've said the word 'worry' in the past 20 minutes?" 
He was right!  

Trying to work out possible scenarios of the future is ridiculous when there is really nothing I can do to change anything now.   I'm learning that I can't help everyone, I can't make people happy, I can let go of things I have no control over, things that are past and stop worrying about things that may never happen!

A favorite funny (and so true) quote by Mark Twain- 
"I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."

I had heard this quote before, but was reminded of it yet again when speaking to Mindy Heath, who is author of the blog Living the Joyful LifeShe mentors people and I was the grateful recipient of a 30 minute free mentoring session.  She helped me put my thoughts in perspective and gave me some great springboard articles to read- including Elder Pearson's talk.  I highly recommend reading articles on her blog- they are so inspiring!

As I heal myself from this plague of over-worrying, over-thinking everything and doubting myself, I know I'm learning valuable lessons that I can, in turn, teach to my own children and others who may need them. 
 Now for the true words of wisdom from Elder Pearson's talk.
Here are excerpts that really stood out to me.  You can read it in its entirety HERE.   (Bold type added by me.)

"There is a quality of faith which develops as we focus all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. It is seen and felt in the eyes of a great missionary, a valiant and virtuous young woman, and righteous mothers, fathers, and grandparents. It can be seen in the lives of individuals young and old, in every land and culture, speaking every language, in every circumstance and station in life."

He says this is the "eye of faith...,  the ability to focus and be steadfast, continually holding fast to true principles, nothing wavering, even when the mist of darkness confronting us is exceedingly great. This quality of faith is exceedingly powerful."

 However,  he reminds us that God gave us agency to act for ourselves even though there is opposition in all things.   " And so it is with faith. It can be enticing to choose doubt and disbelief over faith."

"Faith and fear cannot coexist.
 One gives way to the other. The simple fact is we all need to constantly build faith and overcome sources of destructive disbelief. The Savior’s teaching comparing faith to a grain of mustard seed recognizes this reality (see Mathew 13 31:32). Consider it this way: our net usable faith is what we have left to exercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. You might ask yourself this question: “Is my own net faith positive or negative?” If your faith exceeds your doubt and disbelief, the answer is likely positive. If you allow doubt and disbelief to control you, the answer might be negative."

"We do have a choice.
 We get what we focus on consistently. Because there is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode our faith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personal tendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change. I will refer to these influences as the “Six Destructive Ds.” As I do, consider their influence on you or your children.

First is doubt. Doubt is not a principle of the gospel. It does not come from the Light of Christ or the influence of the Holy Ghost. Doubt is a negative emotion related to fear. It comes from a lack of confidence in one’s self or abilities. It is inconsistent with our divine identity as children of God.

Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement comes from missed expectations. Chronic discouragement leads to lower expectations, decreased effort, weakened desire, and greater difficulty feeling and following the Spirit (see Preach My Gospel [2004], 10). Discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith.

Discouragement leads to distraction, a lack of focus. Distraction eliminates the very focus the eye of faith requires. Discouragement and distraction are two of Satan’s most effective tools, but they are also bad habits.

Distraction leads to a lack of diligence, a reduced commitment to remain true and faithful and to carry on through despite hardship and disappointment. Disappointment is an inevitable part of life, but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, or lack of diligence.
If not reversed, this path ultimately leads to disobedience, which undermines the very basis of faith. So often the result is disbelief, the conscious or unconscious refusal to believe.
The scriptures describe disbelief as the state of having chosen to harden one’s heart. It is to be past feeling.
These Six Destructive Ds—doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief—all erode and destroy our faith. We can choose to avoid and overcome them.

Challenging times require greater spiritual power. Consider carefully the Savior’s promise: “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moroni 7:33)."

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I invite all to visit Mindy Heath's blog, Living the Joyful Life.

One word: Amazing.  Okay, three words: Amazing and Enlightening and Uplifting.

Here's a short excerpt to ponder, then go now, visit and inhale her thoughts! (And thank her later.)

"What do you expect? Of yourself, your children, your spouse? What is your perception of life, marriage, money? Is is right? Is is true? I know it feels true but is it true according to the teachings of Christ? Another question is does it make you happy? Does it bring you peace? If not, why not change it? Choose another view, another perception. One that gets you what you want in life. One that helps you feel the love, joy and connection you were born to feel. Because isn’t choosing our thoughts the best use of our God given agency?
So today say to yourself, “Self, from now on I choose to be happy” and then go practice and when you find harmful or unhelpful thoughts choose other ones instead. Maybe it is that easy, maybe it is all just in our heads."  By Mindy Heath, Living the Joyful Life: Is it all in your head? (This will totally change your life!)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21st

Our 23rd anniversary!

The other hot summer evening, we loaded our wilted selves, kiddos and friends in the back of the truck, stopped in our small town to grab a shaved ice, and went for a drive.    
We drove down by the river, where we hiked around and crossed a beautiful old bridge.

The evening was majestic, the river completely peaceful and everywhere I looked, I saw beauty that had stood the test of time.

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

This morning on our anniversary, while pondering the past twenty three years and all that entails; ups and downs,  stress and change, amazing children, blessings beyond measure and unspeakable joys, I thought again of the following quote:

“For children love is a feeling; for adults, it is a decision. Children wait to learn if their love is true by seeing how long it lasts; adults make their love true by never wavering from their commitment.” 

~ Orson Scott Card


Marriage is beautiful.  It really isIt stretches you and, like parenthood, helps you become a more selfless person.  It's not always easy- two different souls trying to stay in tune and unified over life's bumps and hurdles- but when you look back and see the growth that has taken place, see the tapestry that has been woven while you were simply living and earnestly striving; the pattern is breathtaking.

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Counting my Blessings

Embroidery Library Inc.

Ever feel like you're 'spinning your wheels'  and getting nowhere you want to go?
I just realized that's what has been taking place in my life for the past year...hence fewer posts.   
I thought I'd be in my own home by now, not renting a furnished house.  
90% of our belongings are still taking residence in my mother-in-law's very patient shop and spare bedroom.
On a daily or weekly basis, someone in our household needs something that is still packed away.    It constantly leaves us with that feeling that life is still on hold.

And yet,


-To be living in a beautiful house, with very nice furnishings (let's face it, ours are practically shabby by comparison!) - all courtesy of a friend of ours who is trusting enough to let a large family rent it.
It is spacious enough that our daughter and son-in-law and their babies have been able to stay in the bonus room for the past month, while moving here to begin a new job and looking for a place of their own. 
 Not to mention spacious enough that we can all exist in the main part of the house without tripping over one another. 
We've been able to host holiday get-togethers for the extended family and utilize not only the house, but the amazing yard as well.

-That my mother-in-law has graciously allowed us to house our heap of belongings in her  space for this long, saving us tons of $ in storage fees.

Truly, we give thanks every day for these blessings.  
I chastise myself regularly for not being grateful enough when I begin to have impatient feelings or unhappy thoughts about our temporary living arrangement.

I'm not sure what life lessons we're supposed to be learning here- other than patience, of course- but I hope the lessons will soon be finished  so we can move on.  
I've come to realize just how important home is to me- my own home.
I've lived in smaller, cramped spaces and larger-than-we-need spaces.  Homes in town and in the country, near busy roads or isolated enough that if we heard a car, it was coming to our house.
We've had landlords that would call if the front grass was half an inch too long (seriously!)  as well as those who were very relaxed.   In every instance, the rentals that were allowed to feel like our 'own' became our favorites.   We took our stewardship seriously and always left a house looking better than when we'd moved in.  (With the exception of a child's Slurpee stain on a white carpet in Wyoming...which we paid for heavily.  Sigh.)

While I prefer to own my home, I've come to appreciate the varied roofs that have covered our heads throughout the years.  The houses that have become homes, have seen our children born, watched them grow, have seen them leave.    Walls that have marked their heights, still there under coats of new paint.   Walls that have enclosed the sweet sleep of little children, family nights, homeschooling days, one-on-one deep discussions and yes, even arguments.  
  It's no wonder that older homes can take on a distinct feeling, with all the living that's taken place in them!

When it comes down to it, I suppose that is what I'm longing for: To begin making memories in a home that doesn't feel temporary.   Family memories are a precious thing!    

Yes, I want to have my belongings near me.  Several of my children have asked in recent weeks if we could at least go get our family photos and bring them here.  They want to see pictures of themselves at various ages.    I think they, too, are feeling as if our life is not completely with us right now.   Maybe we're too hung up on mementos, I don't know.  Certainly there are people who have lost all in fires and other emergencies  and have had to move on, realizing that life and memories exist even without 'proof' of them.

Still, I can't deny that we're needing...something.  Validation that our memories are what we remember them to be through photos and tangible items.  That while living in this beautiful home, which is still untouchable in a way, we can grab hold of what is real and hang on until we're truly settled again.  
Maybe that's one of our lessons we're learning- to appreciate any home that becomes ours once we're blessed enough to have it!   

Now for some favorite quotes by David O. Mckay to remind me of what I know to be true:

“The greatest work we will ever do will be within the walls of our home.”

“Happiness consists not of having, but of being; not of possessing, but of enjoying. It is a warm glow of the heart at peace with itself. A martyr at the stake may have happiness that a king on his throne might envy. Man is the creator of his own happiness. It is the aroma of life, lived in harmony with high ideals. For what a man has he may be dependent upon others; what he is rests with him alone.” 

 “The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.” 

 “All good things require effort. That which is worth having will cost part of your physical being, your intellectual power and your soul power. Let us ever keep in mind that life is largely what we make it.”

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


"When we deal in generalities,
We shall never succeed.
When we deal in specifics,
We shall rarely have failures.
When performance is measured,
Performance improves.
When performance is measured and reported,
The rate of performance accelerates."
~Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family, good food and sunshine= Memorial weekend fun.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hummingbird Moths

This evening, the Man of the House saw what he thought were baby hummingbirds hovering over our Honeysuckle.  
It turns out they were Hummingbird Moths- something of which we'd never heard.
We captured a few on camera:

Summer evenings...there's nothing like 'em!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to my dad.
What a guy!

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse

We were checking out the eclipse; projected all over the side of our house!
Neat way to spend a Sunday evening....

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A New Teen

My little girl is officially a 'teen'!
Fun times, GREAT moments in life.

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails