Tuesday, October 15, 2013

100 Random Things Blogiversary

Exactly one year ago today, I started my adventure in writing, both a blog and freelance articles. I didn't realize I would enjoy it so much. Per suggestion, I am commemorating this day with a special post--100 random things about me. I know, scary, right?

  1. I am the second oldest of 6 children.
  2. My husband and I have been married for 13 years.
  3. I have 6 kids (but, you knew that right?).
  4. I'm not really an animal person.
  5. I LOVE food. Probably mostly Mexican type foods, but I love most foods.
  6. ^^That being said, I don't like cottage cheese. Or Lima beans.
  7. ^^Or Jello with vegetables or nuts or cottage cheese in it. Gross. Jello is good with fruit in it.
  8. I like to cook, but my specialty is probably homemade bread. Or enchiladas. Or black bean/corn salsa.
  9. I try to feed my kids healthy foods, like kefir, but sometimes you'd think I'm torturing them!
  10. I am very much into natural remedies.
  11. I always kinda liked writing essays or other papers for homework assignments.
  12. I've played the violin since I was in 3rd grade. I don't play so much anymore. :(
  13. I had my appendix taken out when I was in 1st grade. I was sad to miss school because of my stomachache because Fridays were spelling test days. I liked spelling tests.
  14. I participated in orchestra, choir, theater, speech team and played badminton in high school.
  15. I did not make it into the college orchestra.
  16. I wrote for the SUU paper for about a semester. Didn't care for it (or maybe the people there). But, I did have some front page stories!
  17. I joined the forensics team in college--a.k.a. speech and debate. Met lifetime friends and learned so much.
  18. I worked as a hostess at a Mexican restaurant in high school.
  19. I've held jobs such as janitorial work at the college, telemarketing, shirt girl at a dry cleaners and as a recreational therapist for a care center for the elderly. I also dabbled in direct sales (not my favorite thing). I even worked in a daycare at a gym and babysat a child for one of my friends. Now I'm a full-time mommy/wife and part-time writer.
  20. Though my kids sometimes drive me nuts, but I love them more than anything. Opposition in all things!
  21. I'm not as organized as I would like to be.
  22. I teach in Relief Society at church (women's organization) and I love it.
  23. I have a weird thing with numbers and dates. I remember all sorts of dates--birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and I have my and my husband's driver license numbers memorized.
  24. I can't stand to have someone mad or upset at me. 
  25. When someone close to me is suffering or sad, I am too. I work hard to try to cheer them up. I am very susceptible/sensitive to other people's energies and emotions/feelings.
  26. I'm not a dancer, but really always wished I was. 
  27. ^^Probably why I love to do Zumba for exercise.
  28. I am an intensely loyal friend. Conversely, if you hurt me, that trust is gone and hard to recover. I may let the hurt feelings go, but you probably won't be that close with me again.
  29. I love to read good books. 
  30. I am in two book clubs, but I'm not sure how well that is working out.
  31. I am working on writing a book, but the summer with all of the kids home threw me off, so I am trying to get back to it.
  32. I'm still in contact with my tight group of friends from elementary school.
  33. I can't hide my emotions very well, but I HATE crying in front of people. I'm an ugly crier.
  34. It freaks me out when I teach at church or blog and share really personal information...I worry how it's going to be received by the audience.
  35. I love to share the gospel.
  36. I say how I feel and don't usually hold anything back.
  37. Most of the time, I feel like I put more effort into friendships (staying in contact) than people do with me. Though, Facebook has made this a lot easier recently. 
  38. I don't like being cold.
  39. I sleep with socks on at night; it helps me stay warm.
  40. I'm not the biggest fan of camping. It didn't used to bother me, but, now that I have kids, well, it's different.
  41. I've only ever left the USA once. We went to Samoa with my husband's family. I guess we went to Canada once to see the other side of Niagra Falls, but does that really count?
  42. I wanted to serve a full-time mission for the LDS Church, but I got married a few months before I could.
  43. Some college friends and I played some pretty good pranks on some other college friends. It involved hanging a baby doll with ketchup on it outside a roommates door. Haha!!
  44. Most of my friends are older than me.
  45. I took piano lessons for a little while recently. It's hard to learn new things when you're older.
  46. I used to have an obsession with the color purple. That ended when I went to college.
  47. I never dated much as a teen. 
  48. I have a strong moral compass.
  49. I don't have very much self-confidence. 
  50. Sometimes I look back at things that happened in my life and wish they didn't ever happen. But, then I realize, that they have helped shape me into who I am today.
  51. I never took a typing class, but I think I type fairly quickly. I do have to look at my fingers though.
  52. I had pneumonia multiple times as a kid. As a result, my lungs and health are somewhat weakened.
  53. My toenails are currently painted "Sunset Peach."
  54. I didn't get my driver license until I was 19 years old. I had previously witnessed a horrific accident at the time I was learning to drive, so that stunted my desire to drive.
  55. I still remember the acronym from my high school government class--UBTIC WEAE SYT: Use Buzz Terms In Context With Evidence And Examples Supporting Your Thesis.
  56. I am insanely frugal.
  57. I have been to Washington, California, New Mexico, Idaho, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey (drove through), Maryland (drove through), Delaware (drove through) Washington D.C., Virginia, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, Utah, and Arizona. I've only lived in two of these states, some were for vacation, and some I competed in for college speech team.
  58. When I was 3 years old, I didn't want to grow up because "it would hurt"--I think I was wise for my age.
  59. I've never been to an actual music concert--unless the symphony counts.
  60. Live theatre is something I will never get tired of watching.
  61. I'd rather go to the gynecologist than to the dentist.
  62. My favorite color is red.
  63. I love to hang out with groups of friends, but I may prefer the individual, one-on-one connections and conversations.
  64. I live for Friday night Date Night with my husband and our friends.
  65. Sometimes, it's disappointing to eat at restaurants because I think it tastes better when I make it.
  66. Because I have some physical weaknesses, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about natural health.
  67. When I'm camping, I NEED to know what time it is in the night. I don't sleep well, so I need to know that time is actually passing.
  68. I have so many mentors/people I look up to in life that I can't even count them all.
  69. I don't have as much patience as people think I have.
  70. Once, I rode a duffle bag down the stairs at a friend's house and re-shaped my left arm bone.
  71. I've had stitches twice. Once from tripping and hitting my head into the corner of a brick wall, and another time because my brother threw a PVC pipe like a spear. He blames me, of course. And obviously for the appendectomy and birthing related stitches. 
  72. I got married when I was 20. Best decision ever. I'm so glad he asked, still not sure why he did.
  73. I love to make other people happy.
  74. I wish I could sew.
  75. I wish Mary Poppins was my alter ego.
  76. I think I would panic of claustrophobia if I ever went scuba diving.
  77. I am somewhat OCD in some aspects of my life.
  78. I went back to school in 2008 and earned my associates degree in general studies. 
  79. I've contemplated going back to school, but not 100% sure what I would want to actually pursue. First and foremost, I am a mother--and that's a full-time gig!
  80. I worry about people in my life who seem to have lost their way spiritually.
  81. I used to afraid of lightning and thunder and fireworks. 
  82. I don't have much "daredevil" in me when it comes to things that may actually be potentially unsafe.
  83. I have a lot of songs that I love, but the one that stands out is "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables.
  84. My favorite drink is Dr. Pepper. 
  85. I love Christmas--not for the commercialization, but for the celebration of our Savior and the spirit of giving.
  86. I like to go on adventures with my husband and 6 kids--though sometimes that is a feat!
  87. I want to vacation somewhere tropical...or on any island. Both with all of my kids, and also just with my husband. Oh, and with friends too.
  88. I really want to take my family to Europe to experience that part of the world and visit amazing historical sites.
  89. One of my relatives, Samuel Downing, was the last survivor of the American Revolution. Another one, Sir George Downing, is responsible for the names Downing College (part of Cambridge) and Downing St. where British Parliament is located.
  90. I watch guilty pleasure shows like "The Bachelor."
  91. Whenever we vacation, we also incorporate LDS sites like various temples or historical places such as the Mormon Battalion site in San Diego, CA.
  92. I had all of my kids within 9 1/2 years.
  93. I was an EFY (Especially For Youth) counselor one summer. Loved it!
  94. I've thought about being an inspirational speaker--for women or youth. 
  95. When I hear myself on a recording, it sounds like I talk without any expression whatsoever. I hope that's not really how I sound.
  96. In college, I used to climb a tree outside of my dorm and just sit there to think, read, or cry. Now those dorms and my tree are gone.
  97. I graduated in the top 7% of my high school class and I led the Pledge of Allegiance at graduation.
  98. One of my favorite memories is when my best friend decided to get baptized, and then later when I got to attend her wedding in the temple.
  99. I really like to play word games.
  100. Once in a while, I randomly start laughing so hard that I cry. And, it's usually at something that's not that funny--except it is to me.
I hope you enjoyed that little stroll. If you have anything you'd like to ask, I will answer any questions--though this was probably more than anyone would ever want to know! Haha!!

© Wendy 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Keep the Fire Burning in Truth

We just concluded the 183rd semiannual conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members from around the world--or anyone who is interested--was able to watch or listen via satellite, television, radio, internet and soon, the written word.

I love these weekends for the inspiration, the spirit, the instruction, and the time to realign my priorities and goals. To help me remember, I tried to compile quotes from the talks and decided I'd share! In no particular order...

"We sometimes have a tendency to be very critical of ourselves. During these times we need to seek the spirit and ask. "Is this what the Lord wants me to think about myself? Or is Satan trying to beat me down?"" - Linda S. Reeves

"When the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost come, you must have the courage to set aside your outlines and your notes and go where those promptings take you. When you do this the lesson you deliver is no longer your lesson, but becomes the Savior's lesson." Elder David M. McConkie

Photo: Comparing home teachers to shepherds, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson urged the men of the church to be shepherds who lead their sheep rather than sheepherders who ride behind their sheep during the LDS priesthood session Saturday night.  #ldsconf


"Man's laws cannot make moral what God's laws have declared immoral." -Dallin H. Oaks

Photo: New and improved...this was a pic I took near my home in August. When I heard Elder Bednar's talk, I knew it fit this picture--which I thought looked just like a window into heaven. :)
(image, © Wendy 2013)

"We need to get into spiritual shape." -Richard J. Maynes

"Satan will try to use our previous guilt to lure us back into his influence." -Richard G. Scott

Photo: “Believe in miracles.” #ElderHolland #ldsconf http://bit.ly/1b6cvPr

"Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" - Thomas S. Monson

"...you are entitled to teach with the power and authority of God." -David M. McConkie

"This is our destiny--to prepare the kingdom of God for the return of our Savior." - Neil Anderson

"Our everyday decisions will impact our lives in significant ways...Choose to be diligent and gain the great blessings and protection that come from gathering together and keeping covenants." -Kevin S. Hamilton

"Can good fruit grow from a bad tree?" --Adrian Ochoa

"God should be the center of our universe, our literal focal point. Is He?" -Terence M. Vinson

"Stellar spirits are often housed in imperfect bodies." -Russell M. Nelson

Photo: "May heaven's blessing be with you." #PresMonson #ldsconf http://bit.ly/1b6cvPr

Pin this Image to Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1ghwTjL

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of change!" Russell M. Nelson

"Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin!" - Russell M. Nelson

"May you constantly nourish your testimonies of the gospel that they may be a protection to you against the buffetings of the adversary." Thomas S Monson

What were some of YOUR favorite conference quotes/moments?

Friday, October 4, 2013

LDS General Conference

Every 6 months, we have the opportunity to hear from prophets and apostles and other leaders in a world-wide broadcast. These men and women have been called by God to be leaders in His church and to deliver His message to us. I look forward to these weekends where we can spend time with our family feeling the spirit of the Lord. 

Also, for me it is a special time where I get to ponder the words and messages from Church leaders. I often receive personal guidance and revelation specific to me, answers to questions I have or problems I have been struggling with. The messages and inspiration fill my mind with peace, hope, and love and strengthen my resolve to live better. 

I encourage everyone to ponder questions you have, problems you or loved ones are having and to pray about these to God. Ask for His help and guidance. I know that you can receive answers from Him. 

If you're interested in watching, you can view a live stream, or find it on a local channel.

Also, you can find other inspiring videos on the Mormon Channel

I am really excited for this weekend. I love it and look forward to the spiritual boost and testimony building moments. 

Other related blog posts:

© Wendy 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Being an Answer to Prayer

I've been really touched recently as I have witnessed God working in my life and the lives of others who are close to me. It has caused me to reflect and realize how often He really has had his hand in my life--usually through others He has placed in my surroundings to teach, lift, inspire, shape, encourage, and support me.

Even as far back as elementary school and then into junior high, high school and college, I can recall times where friends, teachers and family have taught me and helped me in my life. I've claimed (unbeknownst to them) some as my personal mentors (I probably have more mentors than I can even count). Some have helped me through my personal hard times, some have taught me by their example, others have amazed me by their love. Sometimes, I have observed how bad choices have affected their lives. I have seen others helping each other in various ways to better their lives. I have learned from the strength, testimonies, hard work, compassion, and different views of so many wonderful people.

I love this quote as it encapsulates so much, while teaching us that we need to help each other:

I strive and hope to be a person that can meet the needs of another person. I want to help people become closer to Christ and to become who He knows we can become. I have had so many do this for me, how can I not desire the same for others? In fact, one of the reasons I started blogging almost 1 year ago, is because of some wise insight from one friend and encouragement from another. I truly believe that these two women have helped me to understand more fully my mission in life by being willing to help and lift me--and listen to promptings. 

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much more than we can comprehend in our mortal minds. He also sees us so very differently, so much better, than we see ourselves. If we only knew, I think we would not succumb to the pitfalls we sometimes fall victim to. He did not put us here to fail. We need to trust in Him, pray to Him for help, and seek out those who He can help through us. 

I feel my words are not adequate to share these deep feelings I want to express, but I hope you can feel the meaning in your hearts. 

© Wendy 2013