Lately I have been thinking about my testimony more than usual.  Someone I knew growing up has a blog that I occasionally read.  She is a great writer and I have loved reading the different perspectives she has had on life.  Well, recently she left the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and more and more of her posts have been about why she left and why she doesn't believe the church is true anymore.  The more I read what she writes, the more I feel like the church IS true and I do have a testimony.  When I read her posts I feel down and awful inside.  I decided I needed to stop reading them because the things she was saying bothered me.  The one thing reading them did do is make me think of why I believe the church is true and made me remember experiences I have had and never written down that confirmed the truthfulness of the gospel to me.  I would like to share some of them:

When I was living in Hawaii, I was talking with a small group of people after a fireside.  I suddenly started to feel the spirit-almost like it was coming toward me.  A man approached us and the spirit was so strong I couldn't even talk.  He said hello and shook my hand as I stared at him with tears in my eyes, he said something to the group of us and went on his way.  When I could talk, I asked who he was and someone told me it was the mission president.  I felt the power of God with him and that experience testified of the power of the priesthood and leaders in our church.

Another experience I had was when I was living in Hawaii as well.  I had just finished my visiting teaching and was driving home and was overcome with Heavenly Father's love for me.  It was at a time I needed to feel loved and he poured that down on me.  I felt he was showing me this love because he was grateful I was doing my visiting teaching even though I was going through a rough time.  I cried the whole way home and thanked Him for his witness.

Another time, I was at a General Relief Society meeting and looking for some specific direction I needed in my life at the time.  I remember feeling disappointing after the last speaker sat down because I hadn't heard an answer to my prayers.  Then the closing song started and I couldn't sing because I was just bawling from being overcome with Heavenly Father's love.  I felt he cared for me and loved me and everything was going to be okay.

Another experience I had was when I went to Nauvoo one year and was going through the different buildings and houses that you can tour.  The spirit is very strong there and it is so peaceful and wonderful.  There was one particular house I went through-I am pretty sure it was The Mansion House Joseph and Emma lived in.  I felt a little off and peculiar as I was going through it and noticed a change in the spirit.  It's hard to describe.  It made me feel a little sad.  I mentioned this to someone and they told me it was owned by the reorganized church- not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It amazed me how I was able to feel that difference.

These are just some of the experiences I have had that have strengthened my testimony and helped build it.  There have been many other times I have felt the truthfulness of the gospel in my heart.  I know the church IS true and I feel like I can say that with a surety.  I know there are some things we may not understand about the church or that may seem wrong, but the way I feel when I have the spirit or am living life righteously can overcome that fear or doubt and give me the faith I need.  I love the feeling of the spirit.  I love how I feel when I hear the Prophet and his leaders speak.  It is a feeling of peace, clarity and strength.  I remember going on splits with the sister missionaries before I was married and the spirit was so strong, I didn't want to leave them.  I didn't want that feeling to leave.  I know Heavenly Father loves us and truly cares about us.  I know He and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and helped him restore the gospel on the earth again.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet who lived his life in the service of Heavenly Father.  I know Jesus Christ loves us and went through so much suffering for our sins so we can return to live with him again.  I know President Monson is a true prophet of God and the words he speaks are God's words and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



We met up with our homeschool group on September 11th to thank the firefighters for their service and the sacrifices they make for us.  
First the kids made cards for them and then we delivered them to the South Jordan Fire Station.  They were very gracious and gave us a tour of the fire house and the fire trucks.  

One of the firemen put on his full gear and then had each of the kids give him five.  

Then the kids and I headed over to the Healing Fields.  I had no idea this was even here.  It was beautiful and somber there.  There is a flag for each person who died in the attacks.  I still remember that morning very well.  I was flying from Salt Lake to Los Angeles when our pilot came on and announced that some planes had crashed into the world Trade Center and that for extra security, we would be getting out on the tarmac.  They had completely shut down the airport.  I had no idea what the World Trade Center even was and didn't comprehend what was going on.  Then as I watched the news in horror, I realized the severity of the situation.  The stories of people who risked their lives, some losing them in the process, are inspiring and are some of the good that came out of that awful day.  It reminds me there is still good in this world and that our freedom is worth fighting for.  



Just taking a breather while on vacation.  I'll be posting again soon...


The Big 30

Danny had his 30th birthday and has now joined the ranks of us in our 30's.  I played him the song, "My Next Thirty Years", by Tim McGraw.  It's a good one.  He wanted to go mini golfing so we went to Mulligans.  It was the kids' first time and they had a blast.  Then we finished off with a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake.  Happy Birthday Honey!


Draper Temple

One Sunday we decided to go up to the Draper temple and walk around.  It is so nice living near so many temples.  They are so beautiful and whenever I see one, I am reminded of Heavenly Father's plan for us.


Country Fest

Every year we go to our city, South Jordan's, fair.  We give the kids a certain amount of tickets and they each get to pick what rides they want to go on.  It is fun seeing which ones they choose.  We didn't get any pictures of two of my favorite things I did.  Since having babies, my balance has been off and I can't even go on the swings at the park without feeling sick.  I went on a Ferris Wheel a couple years ago and it was not a good experience!  I used to be able to go on rollercoasters and spinning rides without any problems before and never understood how it made people sick.  Well, now I know.  (Actually, I feel like any time in my life when I have wondered why people were the way they are or did things I thought were strange, I have been put in that exact position.  But I'll save that for another post!)  Anyway, I was feeling like maybe I could do one of the rides that I haven't been able to do since having children and I wanted to give it a try.  Just looking at the Ferris Wheel still makes me feels sick, but I was feeling up for the Zipper.  You know that ride where you sit in the cage part and it moves around in an oval all the time while spinning you constantly.  That was always my favorite growing up.  Well, I did it!  I got in and was having a great time and when I thought the ride was over, the guy puts it in reverse and goes again.  I was done by that point so the rest of the ride I was waiting for it to be over.  I think it was an extra long ride because there was no one in line.  It was fun, but I don't know if I have a desire to do it again.  I think I was more just trying to feel young again!

When we were about to leave I had to get a waffle from the Waffle Love truck.  I had heard about these waffles and was excited they were there.  Well, they didn't disappoint.  They are different than any waffle I have ever had and so good.  They put this stuff called biscoff spread on it and then I got real whipped cream and fresh berries- so delicious!


Mel's Kitchen Cafe

So, I love trying new recipes.  It is so much fun seeing how they turn out and putting them together in the kitchen.  I am pretty picky about which ones I keep just because there are so many good recipes out there nowadays via the internet.  When I put together my two week meal plans, I usually use a couple recipes we already know and love and then I pretty much always go to this website, melskitchencafe.com, to get the rest.  If you haven't been to it, go to it...now!  It is amazing food.  She makes everything from scratch, which I love, and everything I have made from her site has turned out so yummy.  She is definitely my go to site way more than even pinterest for recipes.  Well, now that I have talked it up so much, I need to share one of my favorite recipes from her.  There are so so many, but this one we made recently and I am craving it right now.  I have a couple great enchilada recipes, but Danny mentioned he would love some red sauce enchiladas and so I went to Mel's site and found one. It is so yummy and we both ate way too much.  I love that it is from scratch and has so much flavor to it.  Enjoy!
Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Also stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
  5. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  6. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.
Make Ahead Instructions: Follow the recipe, letting the sauce, onions and chicken come to room temperature before assembling the enchiladas. Finish following the recipe instructions and instead of baking, cover the pan with a layer of tin foil and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Alternately, the assembled enchiladas can be covered with a double layer of tin foil and put inside a jumbo-size ziploc bag (if you don’t have a jumbo-sized bag, make sure the edges of the pan are sealed well with tin foil). Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Bake from frozen, baking for 1 1/2 hours covered at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake an additional hour until hot and bubbly.


Nature Journals

We started the girls on their grade one curriculum a couple months ago.  They wanted to keep going with school rather than take the summer off.  Every Friday is pretty relaxed.  It is known as Exploration Day and its focus is on enjoying Heavenly Father's creations.  We do our science lesson, which has to do with nature, and then we go outside and find something Heavenly Father created that the girls can sketch.  Wyatt got his own sketchbook and joins in when he wants to as well.  The girls love to draw and look forward to this all week.  We decided to go the Gardner Village this week.  It is so beautiful there in the summer.  Here they are in their element:


Jack & the Bunnies

Just some cute pictures of Jack cuddling with the bunnies...



Danny and I had been noticing that Violet never wanted to sit by Wyatt at meal times or any other time, she refused to hold his hand and acted like she didn't want to be around him anymore.  It was starting to worry us so I asked Violet about it one day when we were alone.  She said that he is too rough with her.  She explained that she is a girl and you need to be soft with girls.  I explained that I would talk to Wyatt about it and that he may have just been confused because sometimes Violet does wrestle with him so he may think she likes it a lot.  So I went and explained to Wyatt how Violet felt and that she just likes him to be soft with her now.  He said, "Okay", and went on playing.  A little while later, I asked the kids to get in the van to go somewhere and I come out and see this:

It was one of those moments where you feel like maybe they are listening to you.  I know it seems so small and simple, but it made this Mom's day!

Meanwhile, I look over and see my little Jack and my beautiful Lainee.  I am one lucky Mama!