Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It's been a while since we just did a general update. Things at the Anderson house has been a little crazy for us. We have put in our 60 - yes 60 day notice at our apartment. We are looking for a house to move into. It's been a little bit of a struggle since apparently the Las Vegas market is one of considerable speed. Basically no one wants to talk to me until we are two weeks out.
We are not sure if we are going to be in the same ward (as our ward takes up about 2 square miles) There are few houses in our boundaries that are 1 - in our budget and 2 - meet the qualifications we want (namely a 2 car garage and at least 3 bedrooms)

I will be calling someone on the 9th and get things started! Wish us luck and good fortune please!

In anticipation for our move, Jacob got a little house warming gift for us....... We have a family date night on paydays to Sams Club. We eat cheap pizza or hotdogs, drink large sodas and then shop.... for the past 3 trips we have seen a grill. It's a pretty nice one but it was returned and all the sticker said was "damaged or missing parts". The first time we went it was 98 bucks.... and we thought without knowing what was wrong with it, it wasn't worth the 98 bucks to see. The same happened on the next trip. This past trip though we walked by the clerance isle again. I have never had a lot of luck in Sam's clearance but I still think it's worth checking.... and this is what we found...

For 40 bucks we thought - okay, let's chance it. Jacob knows a lot of welders though his job so missing legs, or handles could be remedied with some welding and a piece of metal. Screws are easy to find etc. SO we bought it.... and he put it together with a little help from Kira. Turns out there was a dent on the right side.... but with all that auto body work Jacob has done, he got it all worked out and you can barely tell.
It's currently living in our dining room until we can find a place with a back yard (or in actual terms a piece of dirt about 16 feet by 20 feet that the people of Las Vegas call a back yeard) I am looking forward to some yummy food.
Here is the Boppa enjoying the fruits of her labors - which included handing pieces of metal to Jacob and holding his screwdriver for him... but she LOVES it!!!!
This is a picture of an attempt to do a cute hair do... but it didn't quite work out like I planned. Her hair only likes to do a few things and being held up by Boppy pins is not one of them. But she liked it and we will try something again soon.

She is doing fantastically. She is, as always, a lot of work. She is SUPER smart and learning to read (I think she has memorized the books we are working on so I'm waiting a day or two between sessions.... I mean it's good that she's memorized sight words but it doesn't do any good if she can't sound out the new ones) Anyway.

We just got done with sports class, that she loved, even though they don't hand out candy at the end of class. The summer it looks like we won't be doing much. The center is over booked with summer stuff for kids whose parents work so there is no space for the little ones during the summer. We are thinking about enrolling her in soccer come the fall. It's what she has chosen and she is very excited about this prospect.

She is loving sunbeams and loving singing time with Sister Bootkey (Guetke). She loves her new Sunbeam teachers and enjoys sustaining all those who get new callings on Sunday. We are working on her reverence during sacrament but she is improving.

If she had her way she would skip her 4th birthday and go straight to being 5. She can't wait to go to school.... which maybe a problem here in Vegas. (Rumors are kindergarden classes are going to be full - so I'm contemplating homeschooling.... we'll see)

As for me, I am waiting to hear back from the cat scan place about my next scan. I still don't know if I should hope for no growth or hope the little thing has grown so they can take it out. It's hard to say really, especially because we will be moving in June so having to pay for and plan a surgery doesn't sound like so much fun for me. I have been released from primary, which I was so totally sad about but actually really enjoying Relief Society. I miss the kids but love the spirit I have been feeling there and know it's exactly what I need right now. No news on the baby front until the cat scan is done so once that is done and we know what's up we can start planning Anderson Baby 2 (or 9 depending on how you look at it)

Jacob has been working like a dog. He's worked many a 6 day week. ALL DAY! I know I sure miss him. I sometimes feel like a single mom. I know I'm not but sometimes he home long enough to eat dinner, bathe Kira, read scriptures, say prayers and fall asleep in front of the tv. He does love his job, which makes me happy. He's excited about his bbq and wants to attach a smoker to it.... we'll see...

Anyway, we hope you are all well and I may not post again until we move. We will see how crazy it get's around here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Life is Fragile

As i was sitting down last Sunday night to a little Larkrise to Candleford, season 2, I got a call on my cell. It was 10:45pm and I thought, "who could this be" and my dear friend Korie's name popped up on the screen. I wondered why she was calling me so late, especially because she would have just gotten home from her week long vacation in Washington D.C. but I was glad to hear from her anyway.
It turned out that it was her husband. Who called to tell me that she had collapsed at the airport here in Vegas while on a layover. To make a long story short Korie had to have a triple by-pass surgery this past Monday. She is recovering well and is expected to be back to her ole' self soon.

I am so grateful that everything worked out and that I get to keep one of my best friends for a while. However, it got me thinking how much we take for granted every single day. What happened to Korie was obviously unexpected and happened at what was probably *almost* the worse time possible... on vacation... out of town. What it really has shown me is that I need to do better. My last post was about sacrificing for the things I want, and then I went back to drinking Mt. Dew... (I have been pretty good about walking still) and then Korie went and had a heart attack in one of the busiest airports in the west.

It solidified to me that we really need to take advantage of every single day and every single minute we have. All I could think Monday, while she was intubated and sedated was that I really didn't want to lose her. She is one of my oldest friends, I was a bridesmaid at her wedding, she helped me with mine. She loves my daughter like a niece, my Kira loves her like an aunt. She is part of my life and I don't know what I would have done losing my grandma and one of my best friends in less than 1 year. I also thought - man - how could this happen to someone so young? What would happen if this happened to me or Jacob? What would I have done? I don't know the answers to those questions but what I have learned is that we have to take advantage of little kisses on your cheek, the smiles of our children, holding hands with the man that you love.
You may not have tomorrow to do it.

It may seem like this is a little contrary to my last post but it's not. I'm willing to sacrifice and give effort to the things that are important to me. One of which is getting healthy again. Because if I do, then I am not guaranteed to have another day but at least I would have a better chance at having another day to cuddle with my Boppa or share a laugh with the man that I love and who adores me despite my flaws.

Korie will get better and I will too. I am writing this so you can start thinking about what's really REALLY important. How are we choosing to spend our time? What could we be doing with our time? My sister is great with her time, I am not. SO I'm going to try to be more like my sister, I'm going to try to me more like my aunt, my mom, my *other* mom. I'm going to try to be more like who I know I can be. The person our Heavenly Father knows I can be. Sometimes I will fail, sometimes I will waste a day or an hour here or there but as long as I strive to be better then eventually it will happen. To quote the lady of the week, "When you know better, you do better" (Oprah, who might have gotten it from someone else) I know better.... now I need to do better. I won't do it on my own, I will need help, a patience from myself, from Jacob, from Kira, from my other family members, from my friends and from my Heavenly Father... but I will get there.

- so, if you are still reading this ramble, I thank you and hope that I have made you start thinking about the things that are really important in your life and focus on those things so that if any day were your last day, it wouldn't be a wasteful one. -

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sacrifice and Effort - Effort and Sacrifice

I have been contemplating whether or not I should write about my Saturday. I don't usually use this forum to talk about my spiritual life. I posted my testimony a couple of weeks ago but that was about it. It's not a part of my life that I really spend that much time on actually. Which I guess is why I want to write about it. this past Saturday, our stake did a Relief Society Social. We got to listen to 5 different speakers talk about different aspects of our life as it relates to the gospel.
The keynote speaker was our Stake President. It's the first time i saw him, because last Stake Conference I laid in bed while Jacob took Kira with him.... He talked about how well we were doing as women, wives and mothers and then he asked what I think is a very important question that I don't think I ever pondered before.

Here it is: "Are we taking advantage of all the gospel blessings there are available for us?" Now, I'm pretty sure I have heard this question before but this is the first time I really pondered what that meant. On the heals of getting an euphony at the temple the week before, it really struck me. I have not been really shy about us trying to have Anderson baby number 2, and the challenges we have had with it. I think I have left out some of the gorier aspects, but overall I have been pretty open about it. Why am I bringing it up in relation to this question? One because it's on my mind often. I feel like sometimes it's all I think about and Two, because children are blessings and a blessing I want again, so what do I have to do to get this blessing?
Is it as simple as doing those basic things - reading my scriptures, praying on my own, not just as a family? Fasting? Cause I don't do those things. Some of those things seem impossible to me. And maybe it is as simple as doing these things... I know that doing these things won't heal my body but how will putting God and our Savior first change my life?
It's odd that I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since I was 8, been going since birth and I'm just now thinking about this? WHY has it taken me so long? I think part of it was the past year, the question of my faith... is it all true? I now know (again) that it's true and now I want to take advantage of those blessings. So how do I do this?
It's a complicated answer to a pretty uncomplicated question, I need to do these things, these basic things that we talked about in primary every week, these things that I have done sporadically throughout my life to differing degrees. I need to read scriptures on my own, I need to have my individual prayers and let God help me through this because he wants to help me but I need to be humble enough to ask and accept this help.

Funnily enough the other ways to achieve this goal, the goal of claiming all these blessings came through 3 of the other classes. One was given by a sweet older man who cried more than us women did. He said two things that really stuck with me... 1 - Find out who the LORD wants us to be.... and 2 - Things happen in the LORD'S due time. Not ours.

There is a reason this baby hasn't come yet. I don't know what that reason is. I don't know that I will ever know for sure, but I have the faith to do the things I need to do. Go to the Dr and million and a half times, exercise, learn how to eat right, drink that totally Kisskusting (disgusting in Kira talk) stuff so I can get another expensive cat-scan, sacrifice my time to things I may not want to do but should do simply because it is asked of me by my Heavenly Father who has given me so much.

Another answer came to me on Saturday - What is another way to take advantage of all the gospel blessings that are available for us? ANSWER: Modesty - boring right?- that's what I thought too but alas, I did learn something I had never thought about before. I'm a modest person, partly because I'm so darn fat and I don't want people to see more of me that necessary, but also because it is asked of my by the Lord. He has asked me to give up cute little sun-dresses that I would by 1000 of if I could so as to not be so HOT in Vegas. But He has asked us to be modest in dress... but this is the kicker... He has also asked us to be modest in thought and speech and action. I don't know why things hit my last Saturday in a way they haven't before but it struck me... what does it mean to be modest in speech? What does it mean to be modest in action? How can I learn to be these things? I don't totally have the answers to all of these questions BUT some of it is not gossiping, not thinking bad thought about people. I'm a generally a non-judgmental person. Certain situations in my youth taught me pretty quickly how painful gossip, ridicule and judgement can hurt others. But there are some things I have forgotten. Am I modest in speech? I don't know honestly, but it's something I'm going to try to do and hopefully be.

And the other answer I got on Saturday was - oddly enough (or maybe not) in a class about reading our scriptures. The man who taught this class said the following, "Too many of us are living on a plateau and living the lesser portion of the world. It takes effort and sacrifice." And appropriately enough, it was in this last class that I got, not all the answers that I needed, but enough answers to continue in this journey of life. It's also interesting to me that this answer was also part of the epiphany I had in the temple the weekend before. SACRIFICE & EFFORT.
What are we willing to sacrifice for the Lord? What am I willing to sacrifice to "Take advantage of all the gospel blessings there are available for us?" Well, I'm going to find out. So far it's little things, some silly, like giving up my games on Facebook... and guess what, it gives me more time to clean my house and spend with my Boppa-lou-lou. It makes my house a nicer place for my husband to come home to because I actually got off my butt and did something........ I still have a long way to go, I can still waste time on the Internet as well as the next person AND it's just the first step in many to get to the point where I want to be. But this sacrifice and a little bit of effort is just the first step of many I am willing to take. I don't know what all those sacrifices will be, worldly things of that I'm sure. And I'm sure I will never fully get there, I am only human but I know a big part of my journey involves the Lord. I have been having a hard time with this whole new "diet" thing, but i have found if I do my part, the Lord has helped me this week not crave the Mt. Dew... again silly. But a testament to me that if I do my part He will make up the rest (I will still partake on occasion but it's not something I should be drinking everyday). If I turn my troubles, these baby troubles, my parenting troubles, my troubles with my ward, over to Him, He will help me... all I have to do and all you have to do (if you are reading this) is ask and be humble enough to listen. Do I think this will guarantee me a baby - maybe not in the way I was expecting (i.e giving birth to the cute little thing) but I will get him. Of this I have NO DOUBT!

I hope this rambling and no pictures has helped at least the one of you who read (I'm pretty sure only one person actually reads this thing anymore anyway) And if not, at least this will help me come and be reassured of the new direction my path has taken.

p.s - I don't know why the font changes half way through my post - that's just blogger for ya!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The blessings of great women

It's Mother's Day weekend... so as my Flashback Friday/ Saturday I thought I would honor my "mothers"
Ms. Clinton popularized the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child" and while I'm not a fan of hers I really have come to believe it.

My mom is a great mom, she was always supportive of us and what we wanted to do in life, she showed us how to love and never ever made us feel bad about ourselves. And I'm not taking anything away from how she raised us and loved us but as we all know we learn things from different people and there were a lot of lessons I learned from those who have been a big part of my life. So I'm going to talk about them as well as my mom. My mom was one of those mothers when I was little that would sit down on the ground with you and play in the dirt if you asked her too, she was never too busy for a hug or if you needed to talk about life. Now as a grandma she does the same thing, she is SO involved in not just Kira's life but my niece and nephews too. When I talk to her she is always telling me about what Austin or Mikey said on the phone to her the day before or some picture of Tater-tot (that's not her real name but I love it) that my sister sent (these are my sister's kids) and she does the same with Kira. My mom will just call to talk to Kira and Kira LOVES it, whenever she's bored she says, "let's talk to Gram-Jan, I want to call her" Thanks Mom. I love you!

I know from how she talks that that was not the way she was raised. My grandmother (her mother) was a more, how do I put this, not really at arm's length but just sort of separated I guess you can say. She loved her kids, but she was an only child and i don't think had a lot of interaction with young kids. She was a great mom too, just in a different way. She was very supportive of her kids too and was a great grandma to us. (Even though sometimes I would be afraid of her when she would glare at us with her head tilted down over her glasses) As I got older and spent more time with her I realized what a sweet and genuine lady she was. She fought cancer for 15+ years and took care of my ailing grandfather during one of her cancer free periods. She has taught me perseverance and patience. When my grandpa passed away she didn't hide in a hole she got out and saw the world, went on cruises and had fun. One of my favorite times in my life was the 3 weeks we spend in England together with my mom, sister and friends. We just had a blast!!!

The other lady in this picture (other than my sister and me) is my great-grandma. I know I have talked about this before but I was lucky enough to not only have all my grandparent's growing up but also my great-grandparents. And boy did they love us! My great-grandma or as we called her "Dede" was a pretty tough woman. She was little but TOUGH!! I can't imagine what it must have been like to lose your husband to pneumonia having to raise an 8 year old daughter in 1938. But she did it and did it well. Dede loved her grandkids and her great-grandkids. She had a great sense of humor. I miss her.

(from left to right: My Mom, Me on her lap, Dede, My Grandma, my sister on her lap)
picture taken sometime in late 1980/early 81

This is my dad's side of the family.... with my mom second from the left. These ladies are my aunt Cheryl on left, my mom, my grandma and my Aunt Michelle. My mom had no sisters of her own growing up but got them through marriage... and friendship.
These ladies have been just as instrumental in my life as the ladies above. Cheryl has taught me kindness and perseverance. When she first joined our family I was little taken aback. We were living in South Afrika when my Uncle started dating her and we came home on home-leave and there she was, just appeared out of what seemed to be no where, or at least that's what it seemed like to my 9 year old brain. But over the years she has become a real part of my family, she helped throw my baby-shower for Kira and it was SO fun and SO great, it was then I really knew that she thought of me as a niece and loved me that same way. I am thankful for her love and support and grateful to call her my aunt.

I already talked about my mom, so I'll skip her.... LOVE YOU MOM!!

Those who read my blog, not sure how many there are really, but those who do will remember this post that I wrote last year. My grandma was pretty fantastic. She took me in at 18, helped me with school, money, and whatever else comes with an 18 year old. She loved us grandkids and her family and only wanted what was best for us. Read that link, it will tell you how I feel about her. This is the first mother's day of my life without my grandma. I miss her. I wish I could be there with my family as they visit her grave tomorrow. My life wouldn't be what it is today without her. I miss you Gram.

Then there is Auntie M.... she is my dad's twin and is the only aunt that is actually blood related to me. Crazy as she was she took me in at 18 too (I went to Seattle first before I lived with my grandma in California) She found me a job, dealt with my insurance, finding a car, dealing with it being stolen. Going to court and fighting for me, finding me a new car and then just the everyday day stuff of me being 18, feeling lost and throwing tantrums..... Once I decided the sun was better for me than the rain I missed her. She loves me, she teaches me every day. She loves Kira, she is so giving. I'm so thankful for her as well. Like I said above, there are lessons that your parents teach you and there are lessons that someone else has to teach you. She has taught me a lot of those lessons. I love you "M"!

The last lady I want to write about, I don't think I have a picture of, except from my huge wedding party one.... My "Aunt" Ginny. I'm using the ""'s because she's not actually my aunt. We aren't related at all. She is my mom's best friend and currently lives in England. We meet her in South Afrika, one of the only women that would speak to my mother at church when we lived there. They became instant friends and she became a big part of my life. She has taught be the lessons of sacrifice, faith, determination and love. There is a special place in my heart for this lady who I hardly ever see. (Last time was when I got married almost 7 years ago) But I often think about her and the lessons she has taught me over the years. I often wonder what she would say about certain circumstances in my life, like my health and my ward...(the ones about my ward make me giggle... cause she's pretty feisty!)

My Heavenly Father has blessed me with women both strong in the gospel and strong in their individual faiths. MOST of my family is either no active in our church or just not LDS... but these women have ALL taught me something of gospel principles whether they meant to or not. They have shown me the rewards of patience, perseverance, unconditional love, faith, service, charity and I could go on and on. This doesn't even include my mother-in-law who has got to be one of the BEST women I know.... She is fantastic and I am thankful for her everyday of my life. I miss talking to her everyday or a couple of times a week like I used to when Jacob and I were dating and just married (she's not a great phone talker, she doesn't hear well if she can't also read your lips) She is just as responsible for these life lessons.

I could really go on and on and on about fantastic women in my life. I did my friend post a couple of weeks ago... all those women could be included in this post too. So I think I will end here, because this could potentially be the longest post every, with a Thank you to my Heavenly Father for placing me in the family he did, for the lessons I have learned from each one of these women, for the love I have felt my whole life from all of these women. I truly am blessed.