Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cherished Blessings

From Wednesday:
  • A very effective Cub Scout planning meeting
  • Mike got home early
  • The jovial store clerk
  • garbanzo beans
  • Sandy at the library who plays Bingo with the kids
  • clean air
  • the hymns
  • my hands
  • seahorses
  • a warm coat
  • we always have enough food
  • our pediatrician who followed up on Audrey (she goes in for a repeat x-ray next week to make sure the foreign object has passed through her system).
  • our piano (thanks MJ)
  • the mail lady
  • Mindy Gledhill
  • the human body and it's amazing instinct to survive!

And on this Day of Thanks:
  • Inspired, talented, generous people who are willing to share their talents with the world. (Really, check them out. You'll be so glad you did!! Here is the official website.)
  • Turkey and all the trimmings
  • Our fine china (that we only take out for very special occasions)
  • that we got the yard work done before the snow arrived!!
  • the movie theatre is open today so Mike could go see HP7P1.
  • My family, immediate and extended.
  • The people who have influenced me in my life.
  • tweezers
  • super glue (which made it possible for me to mend Liam's new motorcycle)
  • ice water
  • A man in my life who cherishes me and our children and always puts us first.
  • Jesus Christ and this truth:


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In Mercy Given

  • My dancing children
  • the internet was down all day (so we did out of the ordinary things like danced and watched Pete's Dragon).
  • the lifted fog
  • our big huge pine trees that stay put even though the wind is hoooooowling
  • Audrey cheated death yesterday (I just can't stop thanking God for this one).
  • my Dad is getting better every day and is almost up to full speed
  • This soup (yes again, I told you it was a favorite)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Catch Up

  • A great meeting where I heard some wonderful talks by a few shining women. You can read about them here, here and here. They don't normally come all the way to Maine, but I sure am glad they came.
  • Safety
  • Spiritual growth

  • Mike's help in preparing for Sunday
  • The many errands that I was able to get done
  • Caleb's friends
  • the broom
  • a dead mouse (our third this year, plus a mole)
  • a clean house
  • antacid (heartburn, you know?)
  • my bed
  • Cooperative kids (we were on time for church, even though Mike went early and wasn't here to help get the kids ready)
  • Liam found his own socks
  • the "munch-n-mingle" after church
  • smiling babies
  • honesty
  • Caleb had a pleasant disposition. All day. That's rare. (I am so happy to count it.)
  • egg salad sandwiches
  • the heater in the van
  • my Sunday nap
  • Cub Scouts
  • the food drive we are doing
  • warmth
  • the unity our family feels when we do good together
  • the annual cookie swap invitation
  • Baby Magic lotion
  • scented candles
  • my hair color (at 40 it's never been dyed, nor do I have the gray to necessitate a dye job)
  • that Audrey didn't *die in her sleep today. Thank the good Lord for guardian angels.
*****This morning (sometime before her nap), Audrey was showing signs of having swallowed something. Harrison comes to me and said "Mom, Audrey is choking!!" When I got to her she was swallowing over, and over, and over and her eyes were watering and her face was red. After a few seconds, she seemed fine (not in distress) and I assumed she "got it down," whatever "it" was.
Fast forward an hour or so.....I put her down for her nap, thinking nothing of the choking incident. A couple hours later I heard her hollering from her crib. I sent Harrison up to get her. I hear him giggling and he said "Mom, I think you have a mischief baby, here. I think she had a marker in her crib. Her lips and tongue are blue." He brought her to me and the first thing I noticed is that her face was white, I mean WHITE!! Then I noticed that her lips and her tongue were blue. I then sent the kids upstairs to search for a marker, a crayon, a colored pencil....anything that she could have sucked on to make her mouth blue. By this time she was walking around, happy, and didn't seem to be in distress. She was singing, talking, being her regular cute self that she always is after a good nap. She looked weird but was acting totally normal. So I took her out on the porch (where the light is better) so I could get a better look at her. By this time her lips were starting to look red again. I call Mike and ask him what to do. After another minute or so, she was normal color again. Mike says do this, this and this. Then call the doctor. The doctor suggested bringing her to the hospital for an x-ray. So I left the kids here watching a movie and took the baby, knowing that Mike would be home shortly. She screamed through the x-ray and was anxious to tell all of those techs "bye" as soon as her shoes were back on her feet. We had to wait in the waiting room to talk to the doctor. He said there was "something foriegn" in her stomach but it was "no longer compromising her airway." " So what does that mean......that her whole nap she had a compromised airway?"
"Well, yes." He says. "That is most likely. Count your blessings."


Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am thankful for:
  • Our local library
  • Fire in the wood stove (have I mentioned this one before? I really love fire.)
  • People who genuinely want to make the world a better place.
  • Peter Pan
  • Lundi's luck
  • Googol Power (Steph mentioned on her blog and it reminded me that we haven't used this resource in a long while. It was very well received today.)
  • Missionary work, and that I was able to serve a full time mission in France.
  • milk
  • my elliptical (gettin' back on it now that vacation is over and all visitors are gone and life is back to being manageable)
  • Sandy at the library
  • the Mormon pioneers
  • the old door knobs in this house
  • that my kids love to read (all of them).
  • Lowe's and their DIY videos (I've learned so much)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Mittens and hats made by Sister Mitchell, drying near the wood stove.

  • My kids and their creativity
  • Sister Mitchell. She knits hats and mittens throughout the year, then brings bags full to church to give to the kids every year when the weather turns cold. We love her and her precious gifts of love.
  • UMF community Orchestra
  • The Holy Bible
  • I have one coat done on the kitchen floor (it looks better already)
  • The Smiths
  • The youth program of our church
  • caring people
  • sleeping children
  • lively children
  • a clean house (at night, anyway)
  • Audrey's (daily) expanding vocabulary
  • B.H., K.S.C., D.C., M.H. and their tremendous (and constant) effort in shaping, guiding, encouraging, inspiring and influencing our Young Women.
  • electricity
  • The United States Constitution, even though it is being challenged every single day.
  • The scriptures and the sure promises of our heavenly Father.


These creatures have spent a lot of time at our house lately. They come to feast on our cherries.
We welcome them.

The Cedar Waxwing.
Learn more about them here.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Mayhem Monday

  • A whole lot of laughing, joke telling and hootin' and hollerin' around the dinner table tonight. We laughed so hard our spaghetti almost came back up.
  • Mike's medical knowledge. (Just think of all the money I save on doctor visits).
  • That I have taught myself to strip, sand and polyurethane the kitchen floor. (I am so excited to have it done...I'll post an after photo.)
  • Family Home Evening
  • Whoppers
  • Ibuprofen (for my aching back)
  • The palm trees of California
  • Chester Greenwood (from Farmington, Maine)
  • The nice guy at the tool rental place because he put that 300 (+-) pound sanding machine in my trunk.
  • The late Gordon B. Hinckley
  • The power of discernment


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sacred Sunday

There will be more changes around here soon. Something is happening in our family that will require more organization, more sacrifice, more commitment and more trust in our Heavenly Father. On the other hand, these changes will also bring great blessings to our family. I have a few (minor) reservations. I am weak and easily overwhelmed by all that I have to do. Mike is a key player in keeping our household running, our children happy and our finances in order. He is half my team. I feel like my plate is full and over flowing. So much of the time I am choosing between two equally important (and righteous) things. I think this is a common feeling among the members of The Church. It's no secret that we are asked to give, and give a lot. We give of our time (we have a lay ministry), our talents and money. But as all faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can attest to, the blessings far outweigh the sacrifice. The Lord always blesses us for our obedience. I know he will compensate for the time that Mike will be away from us, fulfilling his calling. Many times today, I have thought about this talk that was given in October 2007 General Conference. It will now become more important to me and take on new meaning as I try to prioritize what is good, better or best.
Today I am thankful for a loving Father in heaven and the opportunity he gives us to serve and grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Thirteen

Full of Gratitude:
  • Inanna put on a great show tonight. And the kids thoroughly enjoyed dancing their tails off.
  • A most perfect working in the yard day with gorgeous weather.
  • chocolate
  • cupboards, the pantry and the deep freezer are all full of food.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Forget Not Friday

The two oldest kids had friends over tonight (they are still here) for pizza, some loud music, games, custom made milk shakes and Harry Potter 5, the movie. They're calling it a party.
Mike is in the ER tonight, chopping away at that extra money that we need to earn. Maybe I should seek employment myself. But I think it would be so hard to pick just one of my expertise's to make money on. Educator? Chef? Negotiator? Chauffeur? Accountant? Professional cleaner? Manager? If I stay home I get to do all of these every day.
Today was a very laid back day. Looking back, here are a few things that I recognized as blessings:
  • peace among the kids
  • cooperation
  • my kids ability to learn how to work (Audrey "helped" Caleb unload the dishwasher today, it was so very cute!)
  • a telephone
  • good pizza
  • Bose speakers
  • comfy shoes
  • Liam is learning to read and doing amazing!!
  • Lundi had a huge break through in her math today.
  • a paycheck
  • a hot bath
  • my ability to cut my family's hair (think of all the money I save)
  • the television and it's awesome ability to district Liam during haircuts
  • maps


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

We spent the majority of the day outside today. The yard has not yet been prepared for winter, which is just around the corner. So we went out to make a dent in the work that has to be done. We raked leaves, stacked wood, took all of the supports out of the garden, used the garden shears to cut down a bunch of dead plants (in preparation for tilling) and picked up a lot of outside toys.
Right before we left for California, on a very windy day, the neighbors tree fell into our yard, right smack in the middle of our garden. I was so worried about our raspberries, but they seem to be fine. We just need to repair their support fence because the tree ruined it. The good part about the tree falling, is that the neighbors offered us the wood. They cut it all up into one foot pieces, and we were happy to take it. So we did a lot of wood stacking today. We won't be able to use it this year, it needs to stay out and get seasoned. But it will definitely be used next year. So today's blessings mostly stem from the days experiences. Here are a few of them:
  • The American Veteran
  • Harrison's ability to have fun while working
  • the wheelbarrow
  • my kids discovered that snow shovels work way better than rakes for scooping leaves. Smart kids.
  • The Ensign, The Friend and The New Era
  • the leaf blower (a necessary household appliance around here)
  • a strong back (5 of them)
  • Mike's willingness to work to support our family
  • clean towels
  • a piano (and that my kids can plunk out just about any song)
  • Audrey's 3 hour nap (which enabled us to get so much done outside today)
  • kissing
  • Chinese food
  • the talents of others
  • Mr. Wells apple trees
  • Mr. Wells
  • Davis Wurts


I love how blogging about blessings keeps them in the forefront of my mind. Here are the blessings of Wednesday:
  • my kids' friends and the good influence they can be
  • sunshine
  • Murphy's Oil Soap
  • my marriage
  • Eucerine (it's that time of year again)
  • my GPS
  • Tamara
  • flash lights
  • flushing toilets
  • Boy Scouts
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus
  • Kyle Dickson and his military service
  • the human body's amazing ability to heal
  • Wednesday night activities
  • I got to have a tour of the House's house tonight. I'm so excited to have them (almost) here.
  • Maine architecture
  • France
  • insulation


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Word Is Out

(The kids in Utah with the cousins in Utah who will soon be cousins in Maine)
And it's bitter-sweet. I know that there are those who will be very sad to see them go.
I am at liberty to share the news with you now. My Mom and my sister have been made aware of the upcoming changes. And since it wasn't my news to share, I had to wait until they knew (from the source) before I could share it on the blog.
It all started when my younger sister, on a whim, googled "houses for sale in Maine."
A short time later, I received this email:

On Sep 21, 2010, at 6:55 PM, Robyn House wrote:
Hello, Kim.

I have an idea. James may be switching jobs in a few months, (James' work may finally sell, and we may finally get a large chunk of money and be able to switch jobs) and the company that wants to hire him wouldn't require us to stay in Utah. The company is based in San Francisco, and he would travel monthly or bi-monthly to CA, but we could actually live anywhere we wanted. So why not live in Maine?

All I have to do is sell the idea to James. We've talked many times about moving out of state. It would be an adventure, good for the kids, fun to live somewhere different. And I want to live in a small town, in the country. I've always wanted to live in Maine, actually. Sort of a teenage fantasy. Now I've become obsessed with the idea. I've even been looking at houses for sale in Franklin County.

So, if everything happens with James' work (maybe 80% chance) the way we hope, we will be moving. That's the first thing I have to get his agreement on- won't be difficult.

What are the benefits of living in Maine? Why should we relocate our family to Maine, and not Idaho or South Carolina or some other random place? Is it a good place to raise kids? How is the homeschooling community? How cold does it really get? From what I understand, the winters aren't really any longer than Utah, just more intense? How friendly are they to newcomers? (The regular community, not worried about the church community, of course.)

Not that you have to convince me- I'm pretty much sold. But how do I answer these questions for James?

I hope, I hope, I hope, he is able to quit! Pray for us that everything goes well. (Should know for sure within three weeks.)

Have fun on your trip. And, of course, don't speak of this to anyone, Mike excluded.

I love you!I don't usually indulge in fantasies, but I can't help myself. It's not that crazy of an idea, is it?


I don't usually indulge in fantasies, but I can't help myself. It's not that crazy of an idea, is it? Oh, and being away from family- mixed feelings. And, of course, there's YOU!
I, of course, was ecstatic!! But Mike and I discussed it and decided that there was NO WAY that she would ever be able to convince James to move to Maine. But we hoped and prayed anyway, because we were thrilled with the possibility, no matter how remote it seemed. We really wanted them to move here, but more importantly we wanted them to be guided by the Lord as to what would be best for their family.
Mike and I had a planned vacation/business trip planned (for months) to San Diego. I had tried in vein to find child care for our kids. I mean, I asked everyone that I could think of. A week before we were to leave, I had a spot for Harrison and maybe a spot for Lauren. I kept thinking "maybe I should take this as a sign that I'm not supposed to go. Maybe something bad is going to happen." So as a last resort (because I knew he was busy and was caring for my nephew on a regular bases) I asked my Dad to come from Oklahoma to keep the kids. Another maybe. It depended on what his doctor said about his heart and whether or not he could find care for Jakub. So the Monday before we left he called and said that he couldn't come. I resigned to staying home, and that was fine. He couldn't find anyone to take Jakub and the situation at Jakubs house had gone from bad to totally hostile. There was no way he could/would leave him with his Mom. There was no way that I would ask him to. So I called Robyn that day to ask her to please pray for Dad, Carolina (Jakubs Mom) and Jakub because they needed all the help they could get. She said she would. A short time later (that evening) Robyn called and told me that she could come and keep the kids if we paid half the ticket. I told her that I had decided not to go to California and that it was a stupid idea anyway. Because that meant that the burden of finding childcare would be transferred from me to her. I mean, how much sense did it make for her to find a babysitter for her kids, so she could come to Maine and watch my kids. See, I told you it was a dumb idea. We decided to think, pray and talk about it with our husbands. The next morning (Tuesday) she calls me and says "Kim, I am supposed to come to Maine. I prayed about it and feel very strongly that I should come. I bought my ticket and I'll be there on Wednesday."
What!?!?!?!?! Okay, great. I guess I won't argue with that. "What time does your flight get in?"
So she got here on Wednesday and spent the next two days with Carol Hatch, our good friend and favorite real estate agent. We left for California on Saturday, totally in shock of what had happened, but totally hoping things would continue progressing while we were gone. And they did. It turns out that she extended her stay, James flew out from Utah to look at houses with her and they found their house. (I wanted to post a picture, but the realtor has taken it off the website since they are now UNDER CONTRACT!!!)
Now there have been A LOT of answered prayers and miracles along the way. Not the least of which, James has received his own confirmation that it's right for their family. I'm just glad it's not China, or Montana, or Mississippi. Because the Lord could have called them anywhere. We are so very grateful that we get to benefit and have them close. They will be just twenty minutes from us. We couldn't be more thrilled.
See? Miracles.



Tonight there was a message on my phone.
It was this:
"This is the Oklahoma City Morgue. We are trying to locate someone to identify the body of an Onie D. Sims. We'll try to call you again later. Thank You."

It's not even April, Dad. And It's a good thing I know your voice!!!

He makes me laugh. Today I am thankful that he continues to recover at lightning speed, and that this phone call was only a joke.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Portland city lights. Taken from Casco Bay, Maine

  • Prayer (it works)
  • warmth
  • beef (that roast was yummy!!)
  • I think it's neat that Dustin posts pictures of his baby brother on FB. What a good big brother!! It made me smile today.
  • my voice (I love to sing, though not well)
  • baby wipes
  • Benadryl (because if we give Audrey just 2 mils before a long trip, she doesn't get car sick. It took 27 times of cleaning up puke on long car rides for me to finally find this solution. Thank you Google.)
  • Betsey
  • missionary work
  • our ability to learn
  • the Celestial Kingdom
  • Savannah Hurley (we still remember her)
  • Harrison's giving heart
  • Alexander and the Magic Mouse
  • lunch in the van
  • Stake Conference (today and yesterday)
  • peace
  • Nephi
  • The New Hampshire, Manchester Mission Presidents wife.
  • Primary
  • the innocence of children and the way I can see God in their eyes.
  • The Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was for all of us.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Much Obliged

  • good friends
  • chocolate milk
  • Australian accents
  • reunions
  • fasting
  • email

  • Mike's willingness to iron
  • children's laughter
  • Carol Hatch and how she always speaks kindly of people
  • history
  • water
  • homemade bread
  • iPods
  • people who extinguish gossip
  • our church buildings
  • self discipline
  • courage
  • Jesus Christ (and lighthouses. and that He is one for me)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Granted & Grateful

San Diego Temple - October 2010
  • the Holy Ghost
  • milk
  • flushing toilets (There's been a whole lot of pooping going on here today)
  • Mike's moonlighting job (because we need an extra $3500.00 in the next three weeks)
  • clean clothes
  • salad
  • Liam did less screaming today (I think he finally got enough sleep last night)
  • magnets
  • sleep
  • Harrison's beautiful eyes
  • electricity
  • San Diego (we had so much fun)
  • people who care about my kids
  • homeschooling (that it's legal)
  • The Book of Mormon
  • apples
  • my Dad's recovery
  • kindness
  • my community
  • the Temple



This tree is at SeaWorld in San Diego. I would love it if someone could tell me the name of it.

I don't know how much longer I can stand it. I have some very exciting news to share. There are some pretty big changes happening around here. The Lord has been working a miracle over the past few weeks and I can't wait to share it, blog about it and express my excitement. But I have to wait a little while longer.


Recovery Continues Elsewhere

He's out, done, released, fini, turned loose, discharged, dispensed, unshackled, vented, extricated, exculpated, unchained, bailed out, cleared, unfastened, absolved, delivered, unfettered, unbound, casted loose. Liberated! And he didn't even do it A.M.A!! (against medical advice)
He had open heart surgery on Tuesday, was ready to go home yesterday and was released today. And prayer works.
But he says, "Now I really need your prayers, I have to live with somebody and be taken care of. Now the hard part begins."
That's my Dad: Mr. Independent. I told him to eat some humble pie and let Janice take good care of him.
We are thrilled with his progress, but not at all surprised.
We love you, Dad!!! You're a champ.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


One of my most favorite parts about California was how different the plants are from anything we have here in Maine.

  • Prayer
  • Apple crisp
  • nature
  • the ability to communicate
  • A husband who can cook
  • naps
  • erasers (and repentance)
  • A funny Liam
  • Ed Helper
  • rain (rain in fall makes the forest smell so good)
  • our local ski mountain and their great deals
  • Cold Play
  • stability
  • The Library of Congress
  • hard wood floors
  • my baby's dimpled hands
  • Lundi's compassionate heart
  • the Priesthood
  • the internet
  • the different plants that grow in California
  • my camera
  • the sun
  • a deep freezer full of berries (that we either grew and/or picked ourselves)
  • my family


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eleven/Three/Two Thousand and Ten

A Blessed Day!
I am thankful for....
  • A great day of learning
  • Great Cub Scout leaders
  • socks
  • hot cocoa
  • paper towels
  • a library within walking distance
  • a stapler that works (I finally fixed it)
  • Caleb's wit
  • the telephone
  • modern medicine
  • my Daddy (who had heart surgery yesterday and is recovering like the champ that he is)
  • Janice
  • a safe neighborhood
  • long, uninterrupted showers (so rare)
  • bloggers who inspire me
  • kids who still fit on my lap
  • a big washer and dryer (because I got a weeks worth of laundry done in three loads)
  • the crisp Fall air
  • Audrey's curls
  • The Lower Lights
  • My iPhone
  • Laurette's 150(+) year old pot (because it makes the best soup)
  • good books


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

le 2 novembre


Je suis reconnaissant pour:
  • la langue française
  • connaissances
  • couches
  • rires
  • mes sœurs qui sont fiables
  • mon droit de vote
  • Liberté
  • Mon travail maris.
  • Temps
  • le feu
  • la musique
  • des oreilles pour entendre
  • lotion

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Whole Month of Thankfulness

November 1
  • Fire in the woodstove.
  • "Christmas Milk" (aka, Eggnog)
  • Liam's giggle
  • Maple trees
  • Aunt Kathy's lentil soup (which we are still eating today. It has become a favorite recipe.)
  • Our beautiful home
  • The Holy Ghost
  • Miracles happening in our (extended) family
  • A good visiting teacher
  • A forgiving husband
  • Two reliable vehicles
  • Sisters
  • Good health