Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The of 6/17/09

Well, it's been quite a week here. Nothing terribly exciting but busy to say the least. Jared left us for Scout camp on Monday and won't be back home until Friday evening. He was a bit nervous when he left and so was Mom. I wanted to make sure he had everything he needs, etc... While I'm sure he'll be enjoying the trip and may or may not get homesick, I sure do miss him here and I never seem to stop looking for him around the house.

Yesterday Jason and I made the trip to Monroe, LA. Two hours of ALONE time. YAY!! Maybe if we hadn't had to wake up at 4AM it would have been a more talkative trip down there. Once we got there, we had special permission to pick up Elders Harding and Hansen and take them out to breakfast. We really enjoyed our special time with the two of them. Ya'll may remember Elder Harding as being a major Carris family fav. So, everytime I have to go to Monroe on business, I usually schedule something with him and his new companion. Yesterday Elder Harding reminded me it's been almost six months since he served here in our ward. Where does the time go?

With business matters attended to and the Elders fed to capacity! Elder Hansen can really eat!!LOL Jason and I headed back home. Now I don't know why it happens but everytime I am in Monroe I come home with a sinus headache. Allergies to something there, I suppose, but this time was a bit different. We pulled out of Monroe at about 1130am headed towards home (actually Minden first..explained later) with my headache fully onboard. EEK! Every bump in the road felt as if it were a knife entering my skull and tylenol wasn't touching it. So here we go. Great I begin running a temp.

Finally make it into Minden so Jason can see the foot doctor for a problem he's having at 2pm. You see, we're really trying to adopt a new lifestyle. With that comes some bumps and bruises. We are ok with this. We just didn't know about the blisters that would come on as part of our efforts to change our existence.

You see, Sunday, Jason, the children and I walked. Jason set the pace and off we went on a 5 mile trek. We really enjoyed our time and goofed off together as I struggled to keep up with my leggy children as they breezed by me in lock step with their father. Sheesh! I felt a little like a troll trying to keep up but I managed it without a trip to the ER and afterwards we all felt great! Except Jason. Jason had a sore spot on the ball of his left foot that was giving him some real pain. Upon taking off his shoes we encountered a blood soaked sock and a blister 2.5cm by 1.5cm deep enough to be classified as a stage 2 pressure sore. So, we dealt with it the best we could on Monday and Tuesday he HAD to see the doc. It was obviously getting infected despite my best efforts to keep a sterile dressing on it, clean, etc...

He sees the doc, and off we go to the house to sleep for two hours before he works the nightshift replumbing a kitchen at a nursing home and I go on exchanges with a fever. It was an enjoyable evening, Sister Heaton and I got to visit at length with two less than active families of our ward. It was a fun and exciting time. Once we got back to our meeting place to meet the other sisters, forty-five minutes late. I was ready to crash, so we chatted for a bit, and off to home I went.

And Crash I did........I hugged my children, prayed a short prayer, asked my hubby for a blessing which he did give me...(insert shocked expression here)......and for which I am very thankful!! And I slept....woke up this morning still a bit out of sorts, (as though ya'll can't tell from the drugged rambling in this post.)

OK...on that note.....I'm out! Hope you all have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Oh My Hannah...

I woke up this morning with a burr.....augh! Not an actual burr but more of an issue that I have been trying to figure out how to deal with for over a month. So, armed with a dream I awoke from and a day or two of sincere prayer I went about the task of writing emails. It was something that I really didn't want to do and yet knew it had to be done. There is air to be cleared here and I'm arming myself with the force of a Mighty Wind and trying my best to allow the Holy Ghost to lead me in the right direction come what may.

The Scriptures say in D&C 121:43 (paraphrased not quoted) that we are to nip things in the butt immediately with sharpness when moved on by the Holy Ghost and then afterwards show forth an increase of love toward those whom we reprove lest they esteem us to be an enemy.

So I wrote, and I wrote until the feeling in my stomach was gone and finally love began to flow through me again. I can't tell you how many countless lines or hours I had written about all of this in my journal or how many heartfelt prayers I had prayed, (I even fasted...ack!!) nothing seemed to bring about the peace and comfort I needed until now. It is my hope and my prayer that although scattered and hard to read they may be, the people reading those emails will know my intention is love and only love that inspired them.

~~~~~~~~~~Interesting update~~~~~~~

Well, I read my 'horror'scope this morning on Yahoo! and it went like this...

"Jump at today's big chance -- you can make almost anything happen, if you are willing to drop what you're doing and act! It may startle those around you, but you know it's all for the best. "

Of course my prayer is that it is only for the best....

~~~~~~~~Update ...AGAIN!!! says my horoscope for today is this....

"After who knows how long spent in endless negotiations, you've finally found the magic verbal key. Yes, you really can prove your point now without offending anyone or gaining a reputation as a bulldozer. Hey, bounce it off a friend if you're still skeptical."

So even if my knees feel like jello and I'm quaking in my boots, there is even more confirmation I'm at least standing in the right place.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Antsy Morning......

Well, I just woke up...never the best time to be blogging. I'm supposed to go to the gym this morning with Hillary to work out but already I can think of a million and one reasons not to go. I woke up with a pulsing headache....took something for it and I'm hopeful it will go away before 0730 or I will have to cancel the gym appointment. It seems whenever I get a headache like this I battle nausea. Thinking it's probably not such a great idea to go puke in the gym today.

It seems to be a high anxiety morning too, not sure why other than my NCLEX results should be in today, I hope. Or maybe it's that I have six children here instead of my normal four which didn't help me sleep well last night. Who this point, I'm thinking of going back to bed and starting over in a couple hours.


Interesting to me was when I read my horoscope this morning just for fun and found this to be my daily reading...

" You have a headache, you didn't sleep well last night and everyone seems to want something from you. Just this once, refuse. Even omnipotent multitaskers are entitled to downtime."

I'm not typically a huge believer in Astrology but I do find it very interesting when it's this accurate.

~~~~~~~update #2~~~~~~~~

I did pass the NCLEX!!!! YAY!!! Got my license here in the state of Louisiana FINALLY!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Patience IS a virtue.......

Finally at long last....yesterday I sat for my NCLEX examination!!!

I had really wanted to journal more on here about my hopes, feelings, etc... from while I was in AZ and since I've been home from visiting my family but my head has been so full of conflicting thoughts and emotions that I felt it all better kept to myself. It seems that with time and prayer the clouds are beginning to dissipate and the light is seaping through little by little. I hope in time there will be a genre for the opportunity to share the personal growth I've experienced as a result of that trip. For now, the morning of NCLEX...

Don't even worry about getting up late, I was up at 0445 ready to take on the world or at least a few ATI exams. (ATI exams are the mock NCLEX ) So, after making Jason's lunch, getting a warm heartfelt hug/kiss and good luck wish from him I sent him off to face the world of nasty chicken guts the various other ilks he was dreading about working with while doing the plumbing for the chicken processing plant in Farmerville, LA. (I'm so happy to not be a plumber!!) At 0515...armed with my cup of warm mint water, and my handy dandy notebook, I'm off.... First practice test, Pharmacology. Yikes! I did have to chose that one first....ummm yeah, well... An hour later with a 54% score and my ego in the dirt I decide (since I can't read my entire drug book in 3 hours) I'll just freshen up on the drug classes in the front. 30 mins later I'm back on the puter for test #2 Pharmacology again......Oh my Hannah....a rather frustrating hour goes by and I score 71%. YIKES!!! Looking at the's only 0750 so I've got about 2.5 hours to study. (forget about getting dressed, applying any make-up and the hair from hell....yeah, it's going into a ponytail today!) OK, not doing very well in Pharm so I switch to Med/Surg questions, the tests flow a bit easier for me but still only an 84.5% and I'm about to run out of time.....oh man, I still have to put clothes on...are you kidding me...nah, just a few more Med/Surg questions....I'll have time.

Jared and Alyssa get up at 0930, exactly thirty minutes before I had planned to leave, and decide to do something nice and make Mom (me) a "good luck on your test breakfast" of fried pancakes loaded with real butter and syrup....I go with it, yummy comfort food!! After all, my brain needs food...and the calories....well, I've heard somewhere if ya cut it into little pieces the calories fall out right?!!? O'well if they don't I'll walk a couple extra miles this week and pray it comes off my hind end in the process. Then there it goes.... my quiet, easygoing, peaceful, relaxing morning that I had discussed with all of my children the night before goes straight down the toilet. Let the fighting begin.....must I always have to be a referee?? Why do 12-13 year old children think the WORLD revolves around them???? That's all I have to say about that. So, in a state of complete frustration with one of my children and with my stomach in knots due to nerves, I leave the house and I'm just cranky....thank goodness I put all my documentation in the car Tuesday night because in my mood I would have forgotten everything I needed.

On my way to the testing site, silence. No radio. I just need to cool off. Once I've gained some composure I text a few friends and family to let them know I'm on my way and I need them to pray. Of ten messages, only three responded for which I'm extremely grateful. Talked to Jason, Hillary and Jerry during the rest of my journey and received encouragement. My cousin Derek sent me a text message wishing me there such a thing as luck? If so, I hope to be the luckiest person alive today!! Eeek! That's a rather selfish thought....

So, I get to the testing site at 1110 with a few minutes to spare before my 1130 exam and park under a shade tree at the far end of the parking lot...somehow the distance seems to allay the anxiety a little or could it be it just the truck was faced away from the building diverting my attention from impending doom?!?! Ummm...where's that smell coming from? Oh...ooOOOOoooOoOoo pizza. Looking up there was a pizza restaraunt right next to where I parked...yeah, that's a I can't think at all!!! Great!! Somehow then my mind went from the yummy fragrance of warm pepperoni covered in cheese to decubitus ulcer staging and ecchymosis....yip! that's completely disgusting flowed well so I went with it. Talked with Jason and then with Sharon again really quick before walking the "green mile" of cobblestone that took to me my certain doom. Suddenly I remember to pray a feable prayer for absolute recall, comfort, reassurance and success in my efforts before getting to the door. I must have looked like an absolute idiot walking to the doors of this monsterous building talking openly to Heavenly Father....I'm sure it looked as though I was talking to myself. Yeah, just what I need the Nursing board to think....."schizo"....not!!

Finally I make it through the door a few steps to the elevator and suddenly my knees begin to feel like jello....gulp! My tired brain is screaming "Get ahold of yourself" and my stomach chimes in.....great...lions and tigers and bears...OH MY HECK can we stop it already!! Wandering around the second floor looking for suite 212 or a bathroom whichever comes first....oh's not the bathroom. Suite # 212....the receptionist looks like someones sweet little grandmother. She must be used to nervous folks because it seemed she was able to read my thoughts through the desperation in my eyes. She quickly scans in my documentation, photographs me and takes my fingerprint and I now get to sign my life on the dotted line. Suddenly my bladder refused to cooperate as the blessed receptionist simply stated; "the bathroom is across the hall dear if you need to go, go ahead" Bless you!!! and I'm outta there.....

Another quick prayer in the cramped commode "Heavenly Father, PLEASE be with me through this..." and my reprieve was over. Back to Suite #212 for the test, with a short "we who are about to die salute you" I'm fingerprinted and taken in to the exam room, introduced to my computer and instructed to raise my hand if I need anything at all. I was assigned to cubicle #2 and given a dry erase board with pen for any writing I might need to do and the proctor wished me luck. Here it is..... the moment, my moment to shine...... a moment that took forever to tick-tick- TICK by with the huge round wall clock I was blessed or CURSED enough to be placed directly under.

Now, I had a well thought out NCLEX test plan and strategy for completing my exam as comfortably as possible, I picked soft loose clothing with comfy shoes. I used the bathroom before I left, and had planned to use it again one hour into my test which would also allow me to get a drink of water. My plan was for four hours of testing containing 205 NCLEX style questions. Best laid plans of mice and men/me.....much to my horror 45 mins into answering some difficult questions, some of which I know I pulled out of my hind end, my exam stopped, dead....85 questions, that was it. No more questions, no more chances.....just done. OH MY HANNAH, what do I do now? My stomach groaned in agreement. I raised my hand before my planned bathroom break and I waited for the proctor to come. I was pronounced free to go and escorted to the door. Now I wait for my results.........noone knows how long that will take so I wait....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Smiles ARE Contagious!!!

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with a friend and I'm grateful for her contagious smile. Shown here is Sister Cardon with her family in their much dreaded Easter pic which I stole from her blog...or borrowed rather....(coughs...eek! I hope she doesn't mind my using it on my blog. )
Sis. Cardon has been a wonderful inspiration to me with her beautiful well behaved boys, her clean home which she has opened up to our family, her interest in being fit and healthy, and with the beautiful spirit and 'gung ho' positive attitude she possesses. I'm thankful to be able to call her my friend.
As things go, a friend in need is a friend indeed; such was I yesterday. Having allowed so much negativity into my own mind and with frustration mounting faster than I could contain it over this situation with the nursing board, I was fit to be tied and clearly ready for the padded room by yesterday morning. I was miserable and felt entirely hopeless in the situation. What a blessing it was to be able to call first thing in the morning and find a compassionate voice on the other end. I'm so grateful she was willing to come hang out with me for the afternoon AFTER a 40mile bike ride. I would have needed ambulance assistance but not Hillary, she showed up with a smile and she even brought lunch!!
Now, as frustrating as it may be, the situation hasn't changed one bit with the nursing board at this point. Being with Hillary though has helped me see the forest instead of the trees that are blocking my path and her being here was just the distraction I needed to make it through the day. Sharing a few laughs didn't hurt anything either. Thank you for that.
I find myself today just a little complacent or blah for lack of a better definition. I talked with the Board representative this morning and there's still no news yet as to when my letter might get here entailing whatever else they'll need so I just have to wait....ICK!! I wish I had something to work on or that I could do to feel like I'm actively pushing onward and upward with this thing but.... no dice.... today I just wait. Making good use of my time is the goal today, so far I've made thank you cards for those who remembered my birthday, cleaned out my bedroom disaster, put dinner in the crock pot which smells absolutely wonderful, scrubbed the children's bathroom and even managed to read my scriptures and journal a bit. So far, it's been a good morning. OOoooPs there's the door.....time to go work in the yard again!! Here's to hoping I have more time to write later!! ~chiao

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pins and Needles....

I'm just writing to vent this time. When it feels like the whole world is moving on while you're simply standing still it's time to write it out. That's where I am today. For four long months, I've been pushing paper and complying with various different forms of red tape in my efforts to get my Louisiana Nursing License. It's been a gruelling process that I would never wish on my worst enemy. I've really worked hard to keep my chin up and push on through whatever challenges have come and I'm only freaking out today because I've done all I can do and now it's time to just stand still and wait. I've never been very good at that so I'm freaking out.

All day I've waited in one way or another, I've cleaned house and checked my email on the fly, I've went to town and bought necessities (toilet paper emergency) and I've read, prayed until finally I could not stand it and I called my contact at the nursing board and told her I'm feeling like that kid in the back of the car saying "are we there yet?" over and over again. She chuckled and said she should know something by 3:15pm. It's now 3:32pm and NOTHING YET!!!! AUGH!!!! You see my frustration.......

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Backhanded Blessings

This morning I find myself thinking about a recent learning experience. I know Heavenly Father sees to our paths so I know this was for the greater good for all involved. My thoughts are focused on mainly two things, one that our beloved Elder Harding (pictured here) is nearby and within easy driving range. So there's the possiblity of seeing him on a somewhat regular basis. Ya gotta love "P" days!! And then there's my current job situation that I was really toiling in my mind over last night while all the Missionaries where here. Here's that situation...
Recently I started a low paying job as a medical office assistant with a Podiatrist at a multipurpose clinic that also sees Chiropractic patients and sells health care supplies and medical equipment. It's kind of a Mom and Pop place run by a mother/daughter team with Dr. in the office a few days a week. Well, as it began, I was thumbing through the phone book praying desperately for a job I could work until my nursing license came through and called them up. I was hired on the spot, at first glance. Looking back over the past month I realize this should have been my first warning sign....something was wrong in that picture. At the time however, I was just thrilled to have the position and excited to get started. So, on Friday, after gathering as a family and thanking Heavenly Father for the blessing I set myself to start the following Monday. Warning sign number two came Saturday when my oldest son Jared went over the top of his bike handle bars and broke his wrist/hand leaving me in the doctors office on Monday rather than at work, but they were understanding so Tuesday I went to work and managed to work 5 hours before the school nurse contacted me to let me know Jared needed to go home and was in a great deal of pain. EEEK!! At this point I was freaking out about my job and worried that I would for sure be fired but I wasn't; so, I was back to work on Wednesday and worked my first full day. Long story short, I was hired originally for full time work, after that first crazy week, I worked one full week before the mother in that team asked me if I'd be willing to only work when the Doctor was in because she couldn't afford to pay me to work there full time and said she just didn't have enough work for me to do...I agreed. On the third Friday, my payroll check bounced twice and I had to have a very embarrassing conversation with them about getting paid last Tuesday. And yesterday, I received a call from the mother/my boss who said after praying about it over the weekend, she didn't know how this situation could continue to work to which I also agreed. She wrote me a letter of reference so I can find a better fit for my family and that was it. You see, on Sunday in all of my ward classes, I had a nagging feeling that I need to be at home with my children and put aside everything that is not necessary in my life. I counselled with my husband and came to find he felt the same way and so together we were trying to think of ways to approach my resignation from this same job that I was so thankful for. It was a backhanded blessing, a comfort and such a relief to get a phone call from my boss on Monday to let me know Heavenly Father had heard our prayers and was already leading the way!! I'm so thankful for a Heavenly Father that loves me as sees to my needs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We've just had the most amazing evening. I'm so thankful for Missionaries and the joy they bring with them when they visit. Tonight we had a house full of joy, happiness, and at the end, great gobbs of tears. Tonight we shared family home evening with a group of young people we completely enjoyed. Elders Harding, Penney, Voorden, and Shoell, and Sisters Heaton and Singleton. We had originally thought a couple more of the elders would show up but that just didn't work out. It was a powerful night full of fun, games, and of course an opening song, prayer and a lesson. We were so glad to get together with these guys, our family is especially partial to Elders Harding and Penney being that they served here as our ward missionaries for quite some time. Elder Harding is especially close to us and our children, with Katlynn being especially partial to him. He is a great young man and is 100% adored by all of us. We miss him greatly and love him very much. He is in our prayers every day.
I need to go before my brain cuts out on me and I end up face down on my keyboard. Yeah I'd laugh too if I didn't know for sure it could actually happen.
More about this special guy later. G'night~T

Guess who made Principals list and A Honor Roll this grading period!?!?! Yip! Jesse Carris is so cool he brought home a report card with all A's!!! He even improved his behavior grade and is doing good things. We are so proud of our little man!! Great Job Jesse!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a weekend!!

It's been a crazy week, starting out with a roadtrip to Longview, TX and ending with another road trip to Grand Cane, LA. Thankfully there has been fun along the way.

This is me on Monday in, of all things, a hanger at the airport looking at planes! Not something I ever thought I'd be doing since I'm not a huge fan of winged death tubes. Actually I have no real fear of flying, just a dislike for small aircraft that doesn't hold its own well in turbulance. What I'm standing next to in the pic is a 75 yr old fighter plane or bomber from WWII and I was very surprised to learn it's made out of wood and cloth. It's seams are stitched together by sewing machine and then taped before it's painted military green. (( EEEK!! Can someone say insanity?? )) I'm told building it that way made the plane light and easier to manuever in air battles and such but did nothing to protect the pilot in event of a crash.

So, there was a bit of a history lesson in my little roadie to pick up a friend at the airport in Longview, TX. After this pic was taken, Dean hopped in the car and we picked up Jason in Shreveport and all of us were off to pick up our friend in Longview. It didn't take as long to get there as I thought it would so in about an hour we were hanging out around the airport there. It was a tiny little airport with three gates and one restaurant. The whole building was about the size of my house completely surrounded by runways and a small parking lot. No way a person could get lost there so finding Jan was easy and we zipped back home.

This is Jared shooting one of his flights at the 4H Shooting Sports Regionals Competition. He did very well for a first timer shooting 41 out of 50 bright orange skeet. There were about 150 kids in the junior division and Jared placed 39th over all. Unfortunately he missed going to state finals by 1; still by far a proud parent moment to see him do so well! We got up before the chickens on Saturday to make the drive to Grand Cane, LA for the event. It was a great day for people watching as we milled around in the crowds waiting for Jareds team to shoot. The first two flights seemed to take a very long time after that it seemed to fly by while we all got ready and cheered on his first group of teammates as they shot the line. Into the fourth flight, Jared's first flight, it began to rain on us a little. We got all the kids in their rain gear and continued the competition. It stopped raining briefly and they were able to finish their two flights with a slight sprinkle just before the deluge dumped on us as the Moorehouse team was up for their two flights. Poor kids had to shoot in a down pour but they still did very well.

The rest of the week was filled with working for me and Spring Break for the kids. Katlynn babysat for a friends boys and earned some money this week she's anxious to spend it already. I learned this week that my job such as it is probably won't work out well come summer time when the children are out of school. So, it looks like I'll be looking for a job again soon. It would be really nice if I could find one working Sunday thru Thursday nights and not have to work any weekends. We'll just have to see what happens.

That's the update for now, it's getting to be past my bedtime so I'll have to blog more another time. Love, Peace and Chicken Grease!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

G'Morning!! This morning is Easter morning at our home. We decided that it's crazy enough trying to get six people up and ready for church in the morning that we didn't want to complicate matters tomorrow. Shown here is daughter #1 with her dog both of them in their Easter outfits. AWWWWWWWW aren't they cute? It's been a fun morning so far and it's just 7am. Whew, being a helper to that fat Easter Bunny is tough on an ole lady like me. It's about time for me to hop right back into bed!!

Today is fixin to be a busy day with an early egg hunt for the children at our ward, followed by the Sisters coming out to the house just to hang out and maybe we can get them to help us on an egg hunt here since we totally colored something like 40 boiled eggs last night. That was a blast! While Jason was in the kitchen cooking his little fingers off for a bake contest today, I kept the kids busy at the diningroom table getting their fingers colored as much as the Easter eggs. It was a great time!!

I totally dread the day when my children are to old to play. Thankfully that doesn't look to be changing as of yesterday. Here they are with their food colored fingers!!

Well, I wanted to share our little moments of fun today. Enjoy!! More from the Carris home later!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yikes!! A new Sister Missionary

Sister Singleton
Last night we had the pleasure to be introduced to Sister Singleton. She was transferred to our ward this week. We look forward to getting to know her and I'm sure I'll be going on exchanges with her and our beloved Sister Heaton soon. I have to say that I'm a bit apprehensive about getting to know another Sister not because of her or anything she's done but strictly out of fear knowing that getting to know Sister Singleton will eventually mean we will have to say "cya l8r" to Sister Heaton as she'll be moved to another area. I dread that day and I KNOW I'll be a great big bawl baby. As I try to lay my fears aside, I'm sure we'll have great fun with Sister Singleton. I'll keep ya posted on that.
This morning I find myself fighting a desire for perfection in my family. Having grown up around tons of LDS families, I seemed to have the expectation that mine would suddenly "line up" before they were dry from being baptized. I somehow figured there would be family prayer every morning and night, scripture reading everyday, no harsh language in the house, the house would be self cleaning, and that fairies would make shoes on the counter every night. What I've realized this morning is that life is not a fairytail and I need to be thankful for the changes that have been made and there have been changes I am very thankful for. I also realized that as we all strive to do better, the bigger changes I took for granted would just happen will be there their own time. Rome wasn't built over night and neither, I say, is an LDS home.
In striving to be grateful today, I want to say I'm so grateful for a family that loves me. I'm eternally grateful for parents who taught me how to think for myself and who did all they could do at the time to lead me and guide me towards truth. I'm thankful for grandparents who adored me and thought enough of me to just spend time getting to know me. I'm thankful for a sister who knows truth and has changed her life accordingly. I'm thankful I have a beautiful niece and pray for her daily. I am thankful everyday for Katlynn, Jared, Alyssa and Jesse, you are truly gifts of Heavenly Father to my life. And, I'm ever so thankful for a husband with a heart of gold. He's truly worth his weight in gold to me, but only if he's sitting in a tractor while on the scale, because he's little hiney wouldn't weigh near enough. I'm definately grateful for the gospel, for a loving Saviour who died so that I might have it, and for a Heavenly Father who saw fit to save us all. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Elder Palmer

Special mention today goes out to this mysterious super-missionary!! Elder Palmer goes home from his 2 year mission this week. He spent his last few moments of time in Shreveport here at our home on Monday night for which we feel very blessed. We have given this poor young man such a hard time throughout his time here about forgetting words to a song he made an impromtu choice to sing for our family a few months ago at our Family Home Evening. He redeemed himself however when he sang a beautiful song for our baptismal service by singing acapella beautifully and remembering every word. Brother Palmer has been such a blessing to us as a family and we love him dearly. We miss him already!!! We wish him all the best this life has to offer and hope he'll keep in touch often.

Two things I love about Springtime here in Louisiana; Jason's smiles and laughter (shown >>>) and crawfish boils. It's not so much eating the crawfish that I enjoy the most, it's the event. I love to help with the planning, food and fun as we gather together a group of our friends and loved ones. It's just a blast to all get together and enjoy eachothers company while the children play noisily outside. About two weeks ago, we invited Brother and Sister Cardon over with the Missionaries for FHE.

The Saturday before, the Sisters and I had went out on an exchange and drove by a store selling alligator sausage of all things!! Shown here by Sister Heaton in true Vanna White style.
So, in what we thought would be a silly prank phone call we called our personal chef, Jason, and asked him if he wanted us to pick up some Alligator for dinner. To our shock and mild horror he said "Sure". So, we circled back around to the store we had passed and went in to buy alligator sausage knowing that if we did we'd have to eat it later...YIKES!! Long story short, he wasn't able to fix it that night due to a weather related power outtage but come Monday night, with the Cardon Family coming to Family Home Evening, our personal chef, who can make anything taste absolutely wonderful, cooked alligator sausage, crawfish boudan, Pork boudan (for the whimps) and a truly cajun jumbalya (spelling???). We had a cajun feast!! Ironically enough, not a one of us was native to Louisiana or the south for that matter. Amazingly enough, it was great!! All of my anxiety about it being a total flop and about scareing these wonderful folks away from family home evening at the Carris' ever again, it was a huge hit! It was an interesting adventure in foods for most of us and the Cardon boys thought it was so awesome they called their gramma on the way home to tell her they had eaten alligator! So, what lesson did I learn?? I learned that it's ok to try new things because even if it had been gross like I feared, it still would have been a lot of fun to experience. I'm so thankful it was good though and I'm forever grateful that I have the best chef ever in my life. How do I know he's the best?? Because if he can make something as mean and green as alligator taste great, imagine what he can do with chocolate! He's wonderful and we a truly blessed to enjoy him in our lives!! Enough for today!! ~T

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sister Joy Wiechmann
Let me tell ya about a Missionary Sister
That line rhymes with blister.
We love her heart so much
She came into our lives
and our hearts she did touch.
After enjoying these missionary sisters so much I've realized how much hard work and dedication they put into what they do. This Sister came into our home and brought with her a sweetness and innocence the world will never know. She is a true blessing to us as a family. We wish her all the best as she goes and begins her "post-mission" life.
There's not enough time or words in the world to express our love for this lady. We miss her already!! So it is with much love and a heavy heart, we wish her well and hope she will keep in touch for the long haul. Thank you Sister Wiechmann for your kind smile, warmth, and sweetness. We love you!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Oh my Hannah Montana there's so much to learn and to tell!!

Ok so, on Friday night we as a family went to our pre-baptismal interviews, met with a missionary we hadn't met yet to answer some qualification type questions. I'm sure it was a difficult thing to find a missionary anywhere in our stake that didn't at least know of our family since almost every one of them had been in our home at one time or another over the past few years. So, we each met privately with Elder Bartholomew (amazingly enough we hadn't met or ever heard of him or he it was good.) and had about 15 minutes to share with him an opening prayer, answer some questions he had for us, listen to his testimony of gospel truths, share any testimony we may have, all wrapped up with a closing prayer then out to the relief society room for Sister Brownies......Yum!! Evidently, though I only know about the interview I had in detail, we all passed the questionaire and were deemed worthy and ready for baptism. Then, off to Walmart for white undies and a few last minute items before Saturday. Into bed a little late but all is well and things stay quiet.

Saturday morning, 0350 (yes that IS 3:50 AM!!) I'm up! I don't want to be up. I just simply can NOT sleep. I'm exhausted and my body aches after being up on my feet all week with my new job my right knee is killin me and I need to simply rest but my mind is headed 90 to nothin down the insomniac highway with no chance of changing course now. So, I sit. Finally about 30 minutes into my sitting on the couch desperately trying to nod off, I figure since I can't sleep anyway, I should make good use of the time and fold a load of laundry. Which of course turned into two and then three loads because once I got busy, there was just no going back to bed. During this time though, I had an opportunity to think about and feel out my thoughts. Through the quietness of our home I began to feel a growing peace and tranquility as I sat doing for others in my family my anxieties began to fade and finally they were gone.

Somewhere about time to wake everyone else up to go to the chapel for Conference I was finally able to doze falling asleep briefly on the couch next to my folded laundry piles. I may have slept for a very long time if my youngest son and little fireball of energy had not come into the quiet with his excitement and anticipation of playing his video game. Well, as he marched past me and the laundry to get to the television, he stepped on my foot waking me up and knocked a neatly folded pile of his sisters clothes onto the floor because they were in his way on the arm of the couch upsetting me greatly that he was so disrespectful of my hard work. Needless to say he was not able to play video games saturday morning and now the peaceful, hardworking mother of the Carris clan was tired, worn out, feeling unappreciated, and just generally annoyed before the day even really began. No time now for any type of peaceful reflection. Just time for a quick "Heavenly Father, Please help us make it to the chapel on time and in one piece. In Jesus Name Amen." No where did I mention in my prayer anything about my mood and that I was feeling extremely anxious with family coming in or that I was freaked out because family was coming and some people who shall remain nameless (Jared, Alyssa and Jesse) had been slacking all week on their chores so there were dishes that needed washing and floors that needed mopped, etc.... (kudos to Katlynn for actually doing hers everyday last week.)

Oh well, they were meeting us at the church anyway so here we go, get everything we need all together in one place and everyone up, dressed, and out the door all together with the things we need at about the same time. It was a bit crazy and I was a bit cranky but it all worked out and we all managed to get into the car with all the things we needed, no one fighting or being difficult and off we went to get to the chapel in time for conference to begin. We actually even made it a little early and before our family from out of state arrived. YAY!!

Brother Zander Hutchinson arrived with Brother Brody shortly before morning session began and we were all able to enjoy some donuts Brother Dean Williams brought (16 dozen...Yikes!!) for breakfast. They were delicious Southern Made donuts, a true Southern tradition. Before I realized it and after much giggling from pretty much everyone that saw him do it, I found out my seven year old son Jesse, whom I needed to be able to sit reverantly and quietly for conference, had eaten 5 glazed and 3 chocolate covered donuts which he now wore the evidence of all over his white church shirt as well as his hands and mouth. He was smiling ear to ear so proud that he, as little as he is, had managed to stuff himself with eight donuts. Boys are just so wierd. So, his sister cleaned him up a bit and conference began with Jesse sitting his little busy sugar buzzing self with Brother Dean Williams, the bringer of the the donuts. HA HA!!

We were about twenty minutes into the first session when our family arrived. Jessica, my husband's youngest sister and Yvonne, his mother, walked in and after their hugs and hello's were seated with the rest of us watching as church leaders talked and counselled us in matters close to our hearts and minds. It was a beautiful time to be had by all. Soon, the first session came to a close and it was time for all of us to change clothes and get ready to get wet. At our baptismal service, Bishop Sammy Moranto presided as opening prayer was said by Jessica Mae Zink, Song "i Need Thee Every Hour" was directed by Jesse Michael Carris, accompanied on piano by Brother Lyman Bahr, Sister Hillary Cardon gave a beautiful and insightful talk on Baptism I hope to remember the spirit of should I ever be asked to give such a talk. After Sister Cardon's talk we were baptized in this order ...Jason, and then Alyssa were baptized by Brother Zander Hutchinson who flew in from BYU to be part of the event. (He was one of the ward Missionaries who taught us in our home.) Then it was my turn followed by Jared and we were baptized by Jared Cardon of the Young Men's Presidency. ((or something like that. I'm learning the names of so many positions and callings it's hard to say for sure))

Once the waves were calmed and the mess of us were dried off and changed, we returned to the relief society room for a special hymn by Elder Palmer, a ward missionary that has been out to our home with the sisters. He sang a hymn his Grandmother Wanda West Palmer had composed called, "Help me to Follow Thee". Followed by a talk on the Holy Ghost by Brother Jared Cardon, shamefully I don't remember as much about his talk as I would have liked because I was a bit overwhelmed with my own feelings and a sweetness that seemed to flood my heart and calm my nerves. Then there came the confirmation of each of us as we received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands of several of the Priesthood. Among them were Jared Cardon, Zander Hutchinson, Brother Golettz, Bishop Moranto, Pres. Jason R. Knox, MD,(< my boss), Pres. Merrill, and many others whose names slip my mind at the moment. Jason and I both felt a flood of emotion and tissue was required to sustain us through the event, even more so as we watched the confirmation of two of our precious children. With the confirmations done, we were then each welcomed into the ward individually and as a congregation we all sang "I Am a Child of God" accompanied by Brother Lyman Bahr and directed by Jesse Carris who was so cute and did such a good job. A very touching closing prayer was given by Sister Joy Wiechmann. As congratulatory handshakes and hugs combined with refreshments made for the end of our baptismal service and the beginning of the second session of conference. Wherein as new members of The Church we were eligible to sustain Pres. Thomas S. Monson as "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" and to sustain several other posts and offer our thanks to others. It was a wonderful day, a clean and pure day filled with the blessings and hope of a better future if we will only just keep the covenants made in it. But, the best part came Sunday morning....but that's a story for another day.

For all who read this, I'd like to share with you my testimony;

I am a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that Jesus Christ lives and it is due to his suffering atonement that I now can have life everlasting.
I know that the Bible is the true and living word of God spoken of as "the stick of Judah" for the descendants of the Jews and that the truth contained in it is sufficient to lead them and guide them to the restored gospel given to the Gentiles through a young boy, Joseph Smith, in the form of the Book of Mormon "the stick of Ephraim", and that the two of them have become one in the hand of our God and Heavenly Father after the plain and simple truths in the Bible were removed during the great apostasy. I know that the famine for the Word of God on the earth as was foretold by prophets from the beginning of time occurred and that Heavenly Father designed for us a way home by restoring those simple and precious truths. I know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever so logically I can deduce that He has not left us on the earth alone but that He has given us a Prophet to counsel, lead and guide us according to His grand design. I know that if such a Prophet were to ignore the counsel of Heavenly Father and seek glory and honor for his own name that Heavenly Father would remove him. I know my Heavenly Father lives, that he communicates with His people through the five fold ministry and that His truth still marches on into hearts that search for His truth. I testify to you that just as I am a child of God, so are you, He loves you and desires joy and happiness for you NOT judgement, agony and pain. I leave these things with you in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5th 2009

Well, yesterday was the "big" day of our family baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yip! My mother's worst nightmare has come true...I'm officially married to a Mormon. Growing up in Mesa, Arizona that was a concern I'm sure since it's unofficially called "little Salt Lake" for all the LDS stakes, wards, etc... that are there. Yes, I grew up in the shadow of the Mesa, AZ LDS Temple and somehow managed to get 1400 miles and 20+ years away to become a Latter Day Saint. Ironic eh?
To speak a little on the subject, I can only share what I've experienced so far. So far it's been an amazing experience. About two weeks ago, my husband of 20 yrs made the decision to be baptized along with two of our children. Shortly afterwhich I consented to do the same having no real religious ties to any other denomination at the time I decided since a home divided against itself would fail it would just be best for me to jump on board. I've had a testimony to the truth and validity of the BOM for a number of years but could see no point in rocking the boat coming from a relatively "anti" family.
I'm excited to share all the news and amazing happenings surrounding our baptisms and conference weekend but for the moment I'm really exhausted and should get myself to bed. Farewell for tonight.