Thanks for visiting my blog. I have a strong belief in the preservation of family. I love keeping records and memorabilia of our family and everything we do. I have created a website to share some of the wonderful memories I have of my family and of many others that I have been blessed to have been behind the camera for. I invite you to visit my photography website, while you are there if you would like to schedule a photo setting all the information is there. I am a Scrap 4 Hire, which means, I will gladly preserve your family history for you. All you have to do is make the memories.... When you are done here, please visit

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Thursday, February 28, 2013


We all have weaknesses, these weaknesses lead to addictions if left unworked with. We all know what weaknesses are within ourselves. For me, I spent so many years trying to cover them up, and to compensate that my life literally became a lie. When I came into recovery I didn't know what the truth was, or even how to tell the difference between my lies and the truth. This was a very scary realization. It also made me wonder if I could be successful in recovery, sometimes I still wonder. 

The lies we tell out of our own sense of realization and self-preservation become woven in the core of our DNA. In order to break these lies, up into parts that we can deal with we must first and foremost admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable as I am living it.

When I was first, looking at my life coupled with the lies that made up my reality I discovered that even though life sucked and was very dark and scary, it was familiar, it was safe, it was predictable. At this point in time, I had to make a choice. It is the same choice I have to make every day, sometimes several times a day. The choice of do I was to heal from my addictions or live in my safe predictable Hell. As I come to admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable I can choose to stay in recovery.

It takes a lot of courage and self evaluation to honestly come to the moment of realization that I am powerless.  It takes even more courage to come to the place where you are willing to give up the safety, familiarity, and predictability of the Hell of your life.  
For me, recovery is only possible in the moments that I am honest, and admit that I am powerless to overcome my weaknesses and addictions and that my life has become unmanageable. 

Life has offered me many opportunities this past couple weeks to turn my will over to God. Honestly, most days I haven't done very well. I have stepped back in and taken over, and thought I have had the power to control my situations. Through, these experiences I have come to realize that I am powerless to control my life, the life of my family, and that I need to work on building more faith in my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that I can trust that I can come through these struggles with peace in and through them. 

In the quiet moments through my days, it is so hard not to want for things to be different. It is almost impossible not to utter a silent prayer to God, to take my struggles away. I have even gone as far to “justify” God taking my struggles away, to make things easier for my family.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Moment of Clarity

I have been able to move past a place where admitting my powerlessness felt like a forecast of doom and dread to a place where admitting my powerlessness is welcomed with a sense of peace, and a feeling of being uplifted. 

This morning my daughter came to me and confessed that she had not done a big assignment for English which was due today. Immediately I kicked into my co-dependent mode. Trying to figure out what I could do to get the assignment done. My words on the other hand, were strange as they came out of my mouth...I said things like:
"Tell me about the assignment."
"In what ways do you want my help?"
"Send me the questions."

I could hear my words loud and clear, they were separate from the way I was feeling. Very separate, my insides were scrambling, the clock was ticking, and my nerves were crackling. 

Through, the craziness of my emotions, I felt the sense to go to a box of family history and gather a birth certificate. Once I opened the box, plainly there was a gift for me. A copulation of family history stories, just like the ones my daughter needed to do her assignment.

All of a sudden I realized, this was my assignment. My assignment is to know, to really know that I am not alone. That my Heavenly Father loves me, and knows me and my needs. He has prepared a way for me. He has given me the ultimate give of my family before me, that still loves to serve me, just as they did while they were here with me. 

My daughter was now ready for school, and we sat together and went through her assignment. We were able to get a decent draft of the assignment together, and I sent her with the stories so she could continue to work on the assignment before it was due at school.

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father, for His steady hand within my heart. That I could knowingly feel the separation between how He was asking me to feel and act, opposed to the feelings and actions I take within my co-dependent behavior. I am also so very thankful to my family who guided me this morning from their Heavenly Perch, so that I could have this moment of clarity.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Probably one of the most valuable gifts during my healing journey, to me was self awareness. Until I understood the problem honestly, I was at a complete loss to help myself. For example my need to control. It was through self awareness that I realized my control issues were fear induced. 

My fear is being afraid that I am going to lose something I have; or not get something I want. Fear distorted how I saw the world; and how I thought that the world saw me. I lived in a constant state of alertness always on guard.

As we are approaching gardening season, I've been considering the commitments I've made to my garden, my family, and my life. If I don't want a weed to grow back I never just pull the top off, I must pull it up by the root. I also have an obligation to teach this principle to my children. What further lessons, can be taught as well? Admitting the Exact nature of my wrongs is pulling these self-destructive problems out by the roots. Step 4 and 5 do not allow self-deception. Without cleansing myself through self-honesty and self-forgiveness, my destructive behaviors will just lie dormant waiting for the first opportunity to come back & come back they will, just like all weeds will. (Idea concept borrowed from Co-dependent Life)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reverse Your Thinking

There isn't much to say today, that video doesn't profoundly say on it's own. I want to invite you to take this moment a consider reversing your thinking...Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tender Mercies

I have had the opportunity to recognize the tender mercies the Lord is offering in my life. It is sometimes difficult to put in words what these tender mercies are, but I want to share with you what I can.

I've been given a heart of simplicity, in that I have found a willingness to let go, and let God. I know many of us in recovery have heard "Let Go, and Let God" What does that mean, and how do I do it??? Were my on going questions, but not anymore. I can't tell you what it means or how to do it, but I can tell you He will.

In this new found place of willingness, I can see His hand in my life through His tender mercies. For example, I decided I wanted to buy something that I didn't have the money for. Therefore, I decided to sell something that means a lot to me. Having put forth several efforts to sell this item, there was no interest. Yesterday, a check arrived in the mail that was completely unexpected and $33.02 less than what I wanted. WOW! what a blessed tender mercy. Praise be to God...

I have been blessed with some special angels in my life recently. Kind, loving, sincere, honest ladies that all seem to have similar goals to mine. All on vastly different knowledge levels than mine. How could I be blessed more, than to not have to travel on my journey of simplicity alone? Within that, simplicity is built in, because I don't have to reinvent the wheel, per say. I just have to trust and love in return.

I urge you to look for the tender mercies in your life, and follow them with a true passion and a gratitude for Him who sent them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cowboy Caviar

This morning I am going to offer you one of my most popular recipes...First how does a recipe contribute to my recovery? When I am in my addiction, I don't create, I don't love. I just sit in my misery. This recipe for Cowboy Caviar, is special because it is meant to be shared...When I'm in my addiction, I don't share! 

For anyone reading this, I challenge you to make Cowboy Caviar this weekend, when you do realize you are creating...creating opportunities to share, and to love. Enjoy!

I am finding that the more I am willing to share my life and my love with others willingly the more I can withstand the temptations of my weaknesses. 

I actually, have taken more time to spend in the kitchen. On Sunday morning I made eight meals for my family and stored them in the freezer. I'm so excited to use them. But I also love them in the freezer, and I'm way hesitant to use them. Obviously, that's another post...LOL

So I hope you are off to make your own sharing bowl of Cowboy Caviar...Let me know what amazing experiences you have when you serve it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The subject of forgiveness brings out strong emotions for many of us. For me, forgiveness was different in different circumstances. Sometimes I made a decision to forgive and I did just that. Other times it took time and effort to come to that conclusion. I wanted to forgive so that I could be free. At the same time I did not think it was fair to let them off the hook. Sometimes my anger made me feel safe from them. In order to forgive I had to work through all that.

Sometimes I have even fantasied the person that hurt me begging for my forgiveness. I pictured them having profound regret and sorrow for what they had done. But the truth of the matter is that some of the people that hurt me had no regret and they could have cared less if I forgave them or not. So where did that leave me. For a long time it left me in the clutches. Just thinking about them hurt me all over again.

But then I found these Steps. It was through these steps that I learned how to forgive. In Steps 4 & 5 I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it was not my fault. I learned how to see myself in a balanced way. Not all good and not all bad. I was able to see how much time and energy I gave to this hurt and I was able to see why I felt it was necessary to hang onto my resentment.

Thanks to these Steps I learned to love myself and I learned to not allow or accept abuse from others. Abuse was not okay. I learned that I could forgive you and at the same time not allow you in my life. Forgiveness did not mean that we had to be friends or even in a relationship. I did not know that before. In forgiving I was moving on without you and without no residual negative influence from you. I also learned that forgiveness, many times, could not fix things as if they had never happened. They did happen; so now what? Forgiveness was my decision to no long be sick; to no longer be a victim; to no longer be under your control. You may not have changed, but through forgiveness I did and I was moving on.

For me forgiveness was just like most everything else in this program; it was a process. Every once in a while, pain from old wounds will sneak up on me and momentarily trigger old feelings. When this happens I immediately go on alert to things happening in my life. What happened that made me feel threaten. Why has this resurfaced? Something is going on that I need to pay attention to. When this happens I go back to the Steps and I do a mini inventory. There is always a reason. I am no longer afraid or naive about the world around me. Thanks to these Steps I have a new respect for myself and that means I am no longer willing to accept unacceptable in my life. Co-dependent Life 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Farmhouse Chic

Sorry, I missed you on Friday. I've been struggling with a seasonal cold, and I'm just not shaking it very well. Thanks for bearing with me. 

Alright, I've been working toward to simplifying my life, through offering myself and my family opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty around us. And through my not so sublet withdrawal from the mainstream world around us.

Today, I'm going to walk you though this adorable Farmhouse Chic, hand soap dispenser that I made.
First I cut a hold in the center of a mason jar lid. I just used a kitchen paring knife. I'm not sure that I would recommend a paring knife for those of you that might tend to cut yourself, like I am prone to...

Once you have a hole, sufficient enough to place the hand pump through, go ahead an position it the way that looks best to you, and begin to glue it in place. I used a superglue, that promised to glue metal and plastic. I assumed it would bond fast, but surprise it didn't. I had to be patient and wait, and hold the soap pump and the lid together for a bit. 
I assumed it would bond fast, but surprise it didn't. I had to be patient and wait, and hold the soap pump and the lid together for a bit. 
Once the bond seemed to be holding, I propped it up against the jar. Where I let it dry for a couple hours, while I made dinner.
Once the soap dispenser was completely dry, I ran a bead of glue around the ring of the lid and  glued it to the seal. Now I wouldn't recommend just twisting your lid on now. I held mine together for a while, until they bonded. Then I placed them on the rack in my food dehydrator for several hours to aid in the drying. I don't know if that's necessary, but it worked for me. 
The next morning I filled the jar with hand soap, and placed the lid on the jar....I couldn't resist, I washed my hands! This little Farmhouse Chic hand soap jar is so much fun to use, and it's so cute to look at.

I highly recommend making one of these right away. It has added a special yet simple little something to our home.
There really is so much I can add to the joy of my family, that doesn't take away from their growth and agency. There is beauty all around.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


“Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives . . . will degenerate into ugliness and chaos”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Believe in Being Honest,” Ensign, Oct. 1990, 2).

Being honest with myself is so challenging for me. I know that sounds harsh, and kinda strange, but let me explain. I grew my life, based on one lie after another. My mind naturally created, stories to keep my lies together, thus keeping my life from falling apart. 

When I started working on the ARP program, I didn't even realize my life was such a lie. As I started to take the first couple of steps, and begun to realize the lies. I also, realized that not only had my life become unmanageable, the lies were falling apart. The Lord was offering me two choices. To begin, a healing journey back to Him, in which I gave up the lies willingly. Or, He was going to allow my life of lies to continue to fall apart, and I would get to suffer the consequences of my life crumbling in front of me.

At this moment all I knew was lies. In fact, I didn't even know the depth of the lies. There wasn't any truth in my life, not that I could even recognize it anyway. The darkness of knowing my life was built on lies was deeper, and darker than you could have ever imagined.

There was no way for me to escape it, not on my own anyway. It was like being lost in the forest, and not even being able to see the forest for the trees. If I was going to make it out of this, the Lord was going to have to do it. My life wasn't just unmanageable, it was unlivable. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Profound Trust

This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience.
Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 16

This is a very challenging action for me to take. I become emotionally charged very quickly, for some reason when my emotions run wild my trust in the Lord seems to become blinded. How strange is that? So, how do I keep my emotions in check so that my trust and faith can keep me connected to Christ and His teachings?

Personally, I have found that if I choose to pray always, keep my mouth in check, (if I shut up, I don't get as emotional), ready uplifting materials, listen to calming music, and keep my goals of staying close to Christ in mind; that my emotions follow suite and I do not get so emotionally charged when those times come that could easily set me off.

What works for you?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rear View Mirror

Please forgive me, I'm running a bit behind today. I've been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend. Since, I've been running in almost reverse this weekend, I've had some time to ponder what is in the rear view mirror. 

I'm so thankful, my past is behind me. I'm more thankful I can still see it, and know that it's there. As dark, and ugly as it is there is a reflection of motivation and forward motion staring at me. Every time I look back, there is a voice in the shadows whispering there is no room for you here.

As I've changed, as I've let go I can see there is a lot of wide open spaces for me. I've had people leave my life, that I wasn't expecting to. I've had some really fabulous people come into my life.

Last evening a new friend of mine called and said she was ready to separate her Keifer, and wanted to know if I want some. "Sure." I said. 

I, actually, have  no idea what to do with Keifer. It looks and smells gross. It is going to take some courage to even try it. But since, it has come into my life through this dear friend, I will try it, maybe only once, and maybe it will be a gift I'll rejoice for in years to come. 

As I reflect on the image of myself in the rear view mirror, I have come so far. I can feel Christ's forgiveness of me and my life. I can feel Him lift me up, and hold me when life gets hard. 

I still have my fears, but they are put to ease so much easier. I know that everything will work out, not because it always has, but because I'm not behind the wheel any more. 

My life has possibility, and my strength is in Him.

Friday, February 8, 2013


"The simplest form of charity is a kind word. You never know what experiences that person has had to endure in life and a kind word could make all the difference to them."--Unknown

I read this on someone's FaceBook page yesterday, and it occurred to me just how profound that statement is. (I want to thank this person for sharing.) You see, yesterday I committed to doing something that way out of my comfort zone. I mean so far out of my comfort zone, I couldn't even see where my comfort zone was. I had prepared for this experience, for almost a year. During which time, I had talked my self out of doing it, and back to being committed to doing it everyday. Yesterday, was my day. I spent the morning putting the final touches on my project, and prepared it for it's destination. 

I realized that I needed to go to the bank and cash a check...Ok, well that was an excuse for holding off just a little bit longer. I'm so thankful, that the Lord was watching out for me. I pulled up to the drive-thru at the bank where I was met by a kind woman, with a smile on her face, and a song in her voice. I don't think she was specifically kind for my benefit, it was just her nature. 

As I drove away, I audibly said, to no one in particular... "People can be nice to me, for no reason." I felt a surge of courage, and hope in my heart. It was just what I needed to finish my project, and send it on to it's next stop. I'm so thankful to this kind woman for the gift she gave me, just when I needed it. I'm also so very thankful to Christ, for His hand in helping this woman live up to her privilege. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Birth...

Although, we are still knee deep in snow and cold where I live; this new birth of Spring is starting to peak through the snow drifts. Yesterday afternoon we welcomed our first new baby goat of the season. 
I'm glad to say that both Momma and baby are doing great. 
Spending the majority of the past 24 hours sitting in a straw bed in our Goat Hut, has given me a lot of time to think about my life. What a sweet little momma this baby has. Even though she is just a first time momma she is kind and love, and oh is she ever protective. How is it, that momma's have that natural instinct to be there, and be everything for their little babies?

A huge difference, is this goat momma, was lovingly encouraging to her baby to eat, to stand, to talk a step or two; to survive. Meanwhile, I've spent so many years doing what is opposite of this instinct, but for the same reasons as this momma goat. I love my children, I want them to be strong, and successful. I now believe there is something very powerful to following your mother's instinct. 

How does Christ, teach us through our natural instincts?

In the talk; “Called to Serve”, Neal A. Maxwell, Brigham Young University on 27 March 1994.
“In the revelations the Lord speaks of how the voice of his spirit will be felt in our minds. For me, the message is not a whole discourse, but a phrase or a sentence. The Lord says also if we read his words, meaning the scriptures, we will hear his voice. Many here have had private moments of pondering and reading the scriptures when the words "come through" in a clear, clarion way. We know Who it is speaking to us! We've all had the experience of going over a scripture many times without having it register. Then, all of a sudden, we're ready to receive it! We hear the voice of the Lord through his words.
So it is in the process of discipleship. There are more meaningful moments than we use profitably, just as in terms of Christian service there are more opportunities around us than we now use. God is ever ready, if only we were always ready.

With the budding spring on the horizon, I know that my new life is budding as well. For me, I know that I must listen intently, search profoundly, and follow my natural instinct with pure love. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


“Taking the First Step” is not a matter of reading the words “…admitted we were powerless…” but of impressing them so deeply on our consciousness that the admitting will be established as part of our way of thinking and feeling.

We may read and repeat this Step hundreds of times, and still fail to use it in the way we think and act.  If we really accept the fact that we have no authority or power over any other human being, we would not try to compel your loved one to do what we want him to.  Have I attained this frame of mind?  Can I make myself let go of the problem?

I will look back upon all the things I have done to make my loved one stop using or behaving the way he does.  Has it produced one iota of improvement to scold, weep, complain, accuse, reason, appeal or threaten?  Am I any better off today for indulging in these futile gestures?  Is my loved one any closer to changing?  Or is the situation worse?

“I pray for the wisdom to realize that progress begins only when I am ready to detach myself from the idea that I alone can control and solve another’s problems.”

Only when I turn to God can He direct my path. (One Day At A Time)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


One of the most powerful activities I've found to be motivating to me and my recovery is becoming a Prepper. Not in a doomsday, sorta way, but in a lifestyle sorta way.

In my recent posts you can see that I have started making my own laundry soaps, dishwasher soap, hand soap, and so on. I love it. I love the simplicity! I love how I can teach my children to become more self-sufficient. Spending time with my family, teaching them to become more self-sufficient, is the total opposite of co-dependency! There is a new sense of love and joy in teaching. I'm so excited to see my children grow, in a way that builds their self-confidence. Subsequently, I have a "real" sense of success knowing I am giving them something they can do for themselves. 

I'm getting ready to order my first round of heirloom seeds. I've not planted a garden in many, many years. Let me tell you my motivation for using heirloom seeds this year. Growing this garden, is like growing my new life. The seeds are key. My life is a seed right now, in need of light, love, nutrients, love, water, and more love, along with some tender loving care. The extra special thing about the heirloom seeds, is that at the end of this growing season I will have the opportunity to prepare the seeds I harvest from my plants to be stored and planted next season.

I have the opportunity to grow and regrow year after year. I have the opportunity to prepare and nurture my children in the same way. 

I want to invite you to come along with me this whole growing season, and share in the beauty of watch my new life bloom.
I also want to invite you to come over to the Homestead Barn, and visit with all the wonderful contributors to the Barn Hop that they are currently presenting. There is a endless flow of ideas to simplify your life, and to build a provident life for your family.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Resentments were like a cancer eating me from the inside out, yet I struggled with letting go. The 4th Step helped me see my pay-off for hanging on to them. One of several reasons is that they served as a guard dog to protect me from the people that had hurt me. My anger and resentment held them at arms length. What I did not realize is that even though I maybe holding them at arms length they still owned me. By not forgiving and holding on to my resentments I allowed the people that hurt me to keep hurting me even after they had moved on. If I wanted to heal and be free I had forgive them and let go of my resentments. (I'm borrowing this thought from Codependent Life-A Facebook Page)

In all honesty, sometimes, I find it hard to put words to my feelings. This morning as  I read this thought, I realized she was describing me. First, I want to express my gratitude to a wonderful Father in Heaven. Feeling this emotional connection to the wonderful Facebook contributor, means to me that I'm not a lone in my pain, and that Heavenly Father Knows me, and has paved my path with beautiful angels for me on my journey.

Coming back to yesterday's post, I'm so thankful for the void of resentments in the ending of this long standing relationship. I've learned so much, I've grown so much and I'm so thankful that this relationship ended the way that it did. I'm thankful I stayed present through the pain, and realized my powerlessness to be here now.