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Category Archives: Family

Musing, reflections, and updates on children, parenting, and family in general.

Eternal Marriage- F. Burton Howard


Remembering Romance, continued: Hugs and Kisses!

  Hello, everyone!  Yesterday (Sunday, supposed to be relaxing and joyful, was definitely not!) offered me several challenging opportunities for practicing remembering love and romance.  I’d like to offer you a jumbled rainbow of my archived quotes.  Perhaps one will make you smile, strengthen your resolve, soften your heart, or give courage to your spirit, as rereading these this morning did for me.  I hope you enjoy! 

 happiness is like a kiss-

In order to get any good out of it

you have to give it to somebody else.


Don’t worry, be happy!  -Bobby McFerrin

A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away. ~Bil Keane, “Family Circus

Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism. ~Leo Buscaglia

You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug. ~Author Unknown

Hug Department: Always Open ~Author Unknown

I love hugging. I wish I was an octopus, so I could hug ten people at a time. ~Drew Barrymore

No matter how hard you hug your money, it never hugs back. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I will not play at tug o’ war
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs….
~Shel Silverstein

Arm ourselves for war? No! All the arms we need are for hugging. ~Author Unknown

A hug is a handshake from the heart. ~Author Unknown

You can’t give a hug without getting a hug. ~Author Unknown

A hug delights and warms and charms,
 that must be why God gave us arms.
~Author Unknown

Hugs are the universal medicine. ~Author Unknown

A hug is a great gift – one size fits all, and it’s easy to exchange. ~Author Unknown

A kiss without a hug is like a flower without the fragrance. ~Proverb

If you’re angry at a loved one, hug that person. And mean it. You may not want to hug – which is all the more reason to do so. It’s hard to stay angry when someone shows they love you, and that’s precisely what happens when we hug each other. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

Hugs grease the wheels of the world. ~Author Unknown

A hug is two hearts wrapped in arms. ~Author Unknown

I don’t discriminate – I’m an equal-opportunity hugger. ~Author Unknown

A hug is a smile with arms, a laugh with a stronger grip. ~The Quote Garden

Hugging has no unpleasant side effects and is all natural. There are no batteries to replace, it’s inflation-proof and non-fattening with no monthly payments. It’s non-taxable, non-polluting, and is, of course, fully refundable. ~Author Unknown

Never wait until tomorrow to hug someone you could hug today,
because when you give one, you get one right back your way.
~Author Unknown

Sometimes it’s better to put love into hugs than to put it into words. ~Author Unknown

Be a love pharmacist: dispense hugs like medicine – they are! ~The Quote Garden

A hug is the shortest distance between friends. ~Author Unknown

Hugs can do great amounts of good – especially for children.
Princess Diana

They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything  -Bil Keane

We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.
 Virginia Satir

Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you. ~Jacques Prévert

The secret to having it all  . . . is believing you already do!

“In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out!”
~ President Gordon B. Hinckley

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.  Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.  Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.  Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.  Live on the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!                                                                                                                                           –Christian D. Larson

(context for including this in my love quotes:  I think to myself, “what am I bringing to my relationships?  what am my creating?  do I hold my spouse in smallness, flaws, and mistakes of the past; or, do I wake up allowing him the opportunity to grow and change, do I recognize that he is a different person today than he was yesterday- just as I am?”)

“BE the change you wish to see in the world.”  Gandhi


i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
 my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
 by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
 no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

e.e. cummings

  I’ll be back to share more soon!  This month is such a big one, I’ll have lots to share, including some of the projects, gifts, children’s crafts, and decorating I have planned. 


Remembering Romance

At the end of the month, my husband and I will celebrate our 19th anniversary.  We’ve had our ups and downs; we’ve had rough days and rough years, yet we’re in this for the long haul.  We believe in eternity!  Marriage isn’t easy, nor is it meant to be a walk in the park.  It is meant to teach, protect, and strengthen.  Some moments feel more like teaching, testing moments, yet for me that’s ok.

For the past week, I’ve gathered more quotes and ideas for celebrating.  I’ll be posting some of them under my love tag, but there are more on my Pinterest Romance board.  Check those out if you like.

Shifting mental gears; bear with me:  I have never been very impressed with Valentine’s day.  For me, it isn’t a religious holiday; it seems over-hyped by retailers; and, most of all, can present perfect opportunities for people (women especially) to adopt an attitude of dissatisfaction.  However, years ago, I wanted to decorate, and I decided that I would decorate in mid-January and make my anniversary a month-long focus instead.  Now, my anniversary date resides right in the middle of that month, and Valentine’s day is right at the end.  I find having something big to celebrate brightens up the bleak, cold months of January and February.  So, we’ll have a lot of lovey-dovey stuff going on around my house.  I like to draw my children into it, because our marriage was the beginning of it all.

I want to remember: I want to remember where my husband and I are headed, why we chose each other, and all the great moments, sweet moments, strong moments.  I choose to remember the romance.

So, here are a couple of my favorite quotes, which I journaled long ago that bring a smile.

      ” 12 February, 1840

Already the 2nd day since our marriage; his love and gentleness is beyond everything, and to kiss that dear cheek, to press my lips to his, is heavenly bliss.  I feel a purer more unearthly feel than I ever did.  Oh! Was ever woman so blessed as I am.                             -from the journal of Queen Victoria”

Although I conquer all the earth,

Yet for me there is only one city.

In that city there is for me only one house;

And in that house, one room only;

And in that room, a bed.

And one woman sleeps there,

The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom. 


       Sonnet XVII

Who will believe my verse in time to come,

If it were fill’d with your most high deserts?

Though yet, Heaven knows, it is but as a tomb

Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.

If I could write the beauty of your eyes,

And in fresh numbers number all your graces,

The age to come would say, this poet lies,

Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.

So should my papers, yellow’d with their age,

Be scorn’d, like old men of less truth than tongue;

And your true rights be term’d a poet’s rage,

And stretched metre of an antique song:

But were some child of yours alive that time,

You should live twice;- in it, and in my rhyme. 

  -William Shakespeare

(Steven always teases me about my love of Shakespeare’s sonnets and their abundance of beautiful eyes 🙂  But I still love them- Hence, two of my children’s names:  William and Sonnet.)

Well, I will be back with more about love, marriage, romance, etc. soon.  Until then,

A Theme for 2012

I am a new year’s resolution maker- have been since I was a young teen.  I love the idea of a theme or focus for the year!  This year, my theme is “Remember!”  I have so many blessing for which I am thankful!  I must remember every one of them, and from whom they come!  I have a purpose, which I need to remember.  I need to remember who I am, the ideals for which I stand, and so much more.  My remembering assists me in retaining my focus, keeping a positive attitude and my faith, performing challenging tasks, and fighting off boredom in mundane and routine situations.  My remembrance of the important, sometimes simple and precious, sometimes complex and intricate aspects of my life holds a critical place in my experiencing joy, appreciation, and gratitude.  So, this year, I will focus on remembering, speaking, witnessing, studying, searching scriptures, and living in a way that promotes and manifests my remembrance.  I will teach my children to remember what they have learned and assist them each in building their perspective of  “the whys”- why they should learn, and why they should remember.

My younger children, Simon, Grace, Abigail, Sonnet, and I are working our way through C.S.LewisChronicles of Narnia.  (Side note:I love the Chronicles of Narnia!  I am a firm believer in reading the entire series and I think that those who read or watch the movies of only the three most popular books are really missing out!  The movies are wonderful, yet the series is wonderful when read in its proper order, and full of wonderful imagery and Christian symbolism -for those who are ready- and an awesome adventure for those who just want a good read.  Digital versions of the series are inexpensive, and one printing was a paperback 7-in-1 deal,  yet I love the illustrations in my paperback copies, which were the 50th Anniversary printing with Illustrations by Pauline Baynes, from 1955, which we’ve read over and over during the past 13 years.  If you’re experiencing on your own or want to listen during a commute, the books on disk are available in a set (more expensive, yet fun in its own way), each book touting a wonderful artist/actor (such as Kenneth Branagh or Jeremy North as its reader.)

Today, we began The Silver Chair, which is the sixth installment in the series.  The children in the story, Eustace Scrubbs and Jill Pole, learn some key signs, which they must remember, recognize, and to which they must respond to fulfill their “mission.”  I found a quiet, yet powerful teaching moment within our literature lesson, which I will remember and reference this year as we study, grow, and progress.

I am so excited for this new year, for my children’s potential and my own.  About what areas of your life are you particularly excited or passionate this year?

My wishes

We had a wonderful Christmas!  I hope every one did, too.  Our house is calmer than before Christmas, and everyone here has basically spent the past two days vegetating together in front of media, playing card/board games, or visit back and forth with family.  Our celebrations were simple and filled with traditions.  We didn’t exchange a lot of gifts, it was just right, and we did not have a fuss about what anyone did or didn’t get for Christmas.  Our children don’t see dollar signs pre-Christmas, or become greedy for “stuff”, which is such a blessing!  We had a couple of sweet neighbors play “Secret Santa” by leaving gifts for the children, which we appreciate, and we feel loved.  We have basically everything we need and want; and yet, we know that Christmas is not in any box!  Christmas is in knowing Jesus Christ and in love, which anyone and everyone can hold in his/her heart year-round no matter what the circumstances may be.  For me, Christmas is remembering, faith, warmth, love, family, and togetherness!   We chose to “pay it forward” with some of our blessings as a family, even before these sweet little experiences, and now I am even more excited to get busy with them.

I loved having all my kids around and sharing Christmas movies and Christmas music for the past week!   No stress, no worries, or deadlines!  We have a rather large collection loaded in our I-tunes library decades of collecting in the making, but klove (online, is my radio station of choice (I’ve been a listener since I was 14 and glad its nationwide), and it’s had some wonderful selections!  I recommend it any day of the year!  I love listening to Christmas carols, especially the ones that focus on the real Christmas!  I am not ready to give them up, and I am glad I don’t have to, even if other people want to get back to everyday business.

My children are missing the snow, and to be honest, I have really enjoyed the warmer than usual weather!  I know the snow is a blessing though, because we will need it next year, so I am praying that the snow will drop (heavily) this year and that America will be protected from drought and a good growing season next year.

Some of us had an Indian themed evening last night,  which was fun. Not really Christmassy, but we had togetherness!   We ate Tandoori Chicken ( I love the Internet and the wonderful, rich availability it gives to other people, cultures, and recipes), some vegetarian curry/masala dishes, rice (my mom and I made everything with either nut or seed milks so I could try everything, and left-over vegan cream pies for dessert; a slide show of India (thank you, Mathew!), and the epic movie Jodhaa AkbarHrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai are both superb in their roles and my family has watched it a few times!  Fun, fun, fun!  I loved cooking with my mother and just being with others…,

Peace is good!

Five more days before my children and I all hit the books again.  I love simply having time with them!  So thankful for this break from the world and the chance to reconnect with those I love.

With all my heart, I wish everyone peace and comfort, and that love surrounds each of us as we transition into 2012.


I took a break from studying for a little while to enjoy the warm autumn afternoon. All seven of my children are home- which almost never happens now- and I get to enjoy it. I can count on two hands the times we will have together for more than a day between now and when my oldest (just shy of 18- oh, my gosh!) leaves home in a little over a year. I am grateful he’s living at home for his first year of college, or I’d never see him.
So, because I wanted a break I needed a project- I am not the “sit-still” kind of girl, you know. I decided I’d listen to some fab cozy music while I whipped up some waffles to store in the freezer for the kids to grab during the week.
They made waffles for breakfast, so the irons were still hot. Yes, I have two waffle irons! (Two little cheapy ones, which each produce two waffles at a time. With a crew like mine, I’d be in the kitchen all day with only one, and even still breakfast can take a while because my teens can eat an insane amount!)
Well, anyway, I mixed up 16 batches worth of batter, and putzed on my math on my laptop with some awesome music in the background for a few hours while waffles cooked and cooled. (I like to save bread bags when the kids finish off a loaf because they are just the right shape for the waffles in the freezer. I tried using gallon-sized ziplock bags, but they are bulky and inefficient.)

My playlist today

Signed, sealed, delivered I’m yours- Stevie Wonder
Lovesong- The Cure
Baby, You’ve got what it takes- Michael Buble
Just the way you are- Bruno Mars
Amazed- Lonestar
How sweet it is (to be loved by you)- James Taylor
Whatever it takes- Lifehouse
With arms wide open-Creed
My best friend- Tim McGraw
Desert Rose- Sting
After all- Cher/Peter Cetera
Stand by me- Ben E. King
Longer- Dan Fogelberg
Recipe for love- Harry Connick Jr.
Take me there- Rascal Flatts
Perfect- Jon McLaughlin
I melt- Rascal Flatts
Home- Michael Buble
The Call- Regina Spektor
Way back into love- Hugh Grant/HaleyBennett
Last kiss-Pearl Jam
Closer to love- Mat Kearney
Collide- Howie Day
Haven’t met you yet- Michael Buble
I believe in love-Barlow Girl
Iris- GooGoo Dolls
Brick by brick- Train
All for you- Sister Hazel
I’m gonna be- The Proclaimers
Hands to heaven- breathe
Only one-Crosby Loggins
Hold me-Plumb
Love-Matt White
I believe in you- Il Divo
You and I- Ingrid Michaelson
Austin- Blake Shelton
My Confession- Josh Groban
Cheek to cheek- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Gotta be somebody-Nickleback
Everything- Michael Buble
Love story- Taylor Swift
We belong- Pat Benetar
Somebody- Depeche Mode
Every time I look at you- Il Divo
Perfect- Jon McLaughlin
Let love in- Goo Goo Dolls
Firework- Katy Perry
I run to you- Lady Antebellum
Little wonders- Rob Thomas
I could not ask for more- Edwin McCain
Come away with me- Norah Jones
Catch a falling star- Perry Como
Free- Ginny Owens
Long time coming- Oliver James
Fly- The Wilkinsons
Glitter in the air- Pink
Loving you tonight- Andrew Allen
I know what love is- Celine Dion
The way she loves me- Richard Marx
Turandot, act III- Pavarotti
Paint me in your sunshine- Marie Digby
She’s everything- Brad Paisley
Chances are- Johnny Mathis
Say it again- Marie Digby
Greatest story ever told- Oliver James
This is home- Switchfoot
Can’t take it- Imogen Heap

I know, some of this is really retro- that is why it feels so warm to me! Reminds me of my chilhood and makes me smile like a goofy kid.

Now that my waffles are done, and the knots in my shoulders have relaxed, I’d better get back to studying.

Wishing everyone a warm and wonderful autumn evening!

I am sorry!

Wow!  I am sitting snuggled up with my Sonnet and Abigail, and we just had an amazing discussion on mistakes, apologies, forgiveness, and atonement.  We stumbled on the conversation as part of our Wonder of the Day.  We learned about the High Holy Days of Judaism, and discussed personal evaluation, relationship building, relationship mending, and why giving an honest apology may become difficult.  What a great mom moment!  This also gave us an interesting opportunity to compare some similarities between our faith and that of other religions.  For instance, we observe a day of fast at least once a month, and although this may seem uncommon to many people, many religions also observe fast days – Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, to name a few.  I like finding opportunities to compare similarities because I hope my children will appreciate human beings from all walks of life and treasure them for their strengths and show grace and respect for their differences or weaknesses, as we hope others will do for us.  What a great day!  I hope yours has moments of light, reflection, and connection with those you love, too!  To check out the conversation lead, visit Wonderopolis @

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