Friday, January 25, 2013

stop everyday...


I stepped into her room to ask her a question.  She had only been home for 15 minutes.  Her uniform was off.  Her feet were up.  She was reading a book on her tiny ipod/kindle.  She had friends, the stuffed variety, close.  Slippers ready at her side.  The scene made me so happy that I snapped a quick picture.

instagram HERE.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

one year and 13 days


We are one year and 13 days apart...
We have always had each other for as long as either of us can remember...
Which is one of the things I am most grateful for~

Happy birthday Dede!
xoxo

instagram post HERE.

Monday, January 21, 2013

a weekend in Huntsville


One of our very favorite families, the Freemans, invited us to their vacation home in Huntsville!
It was a weekend filled with great friends, food, games, tubing, ice skating and laughing!
Thank you Tom and  Jenny!!!!
xoxoxo  






Saturday, January 12, 2013

snowshoeing


If you know me at all...
you would know that winter is not my favorite.
I am tired of despising this cold season---
and I am making an effort to get to know it a little better.

So, when Danny and the girls asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I chose snowshoeing!
We bought snowshoes for the whole family (and I bought some more serious snow boots!) and we headed out!  We had received SOOOO much snow this week- we decided not to head out to the mountain spot we planned---and instead trek the golf course by our house.

We LOVED it!!!!!
We were warm outside as snow was falling!
The exercise was invigorating!!! 
(we kept it at a comfortable pace for the girls)
The fresh clean air made us sooooo happy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cil Bocchiardi Karp



On Thursday January 3rd, 2013 Aunt Cill passed away.
I have only met her once.
We were in Southern California on vacation and made our visit to Aunt Cil the very first thing we did.
We picked her up on Sunday morning.
We attended mass with her.
We took her to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast, just down the street from her church.
We picked up the wheel chair and talked her into exploring Balboa Island with us.
After our adventure we took her home.
The girls picked lemons off her tree, that looked more like small grapefruits.
She was worried about pictures of her brother Dominic that passed away many, many years ago.

She worked hard her whole life, had a wonderful memory and was very patriotic.
She loved to fly the flag every day and brought it in each night
Aunt Cil was married to Walter "Walt."
They loved to travel together.
He died over fifteen years ago.
She never had children of her own---but she knew the names of all of her nieces and nephews...and their kids.
She and her husband loved to travel together.



I can only imagine the sights that they will enjoy together now.

(photos taken from March 2010)

Preceded in death by her parents: Michael James Bocchiardi and Maragaret Marianna Ferrando.  Her sister Josphine Papa and Dominic Bocchiardi.  Her husband Walter Karp.  She is survived by Margaret Compton (Grandma).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

a family that plays together...

We have made WONDERFUL changes to family life this year!!!  
Inspired by THIS...we have decided to start this new money/chore system!

We have simplified the checklists we had been doing...
and now their are four boxes a day!
They are able to earn $1-for every year they are old-every week.
If they miss one check they only get half...
and if they miss more than one they get nothing.
They can make up one check by memorizing a poem.
(That reminds me of THIS which I was absolutely love.)

The girls will be responsible for purchasing personal wants...and 1/2 of their clothes
(for each item they choose to purchase they will have to pay for half of each item)

These changes have been good for all of us...
(THE GIRLS HAVE BEEN MAKING THEIR BEDS WITHOUT BEING REMINDED!!!!)
BUT the VERY best part of it---
are family fun Saturdays.
We work hard all week and we NOW play together on Saturdays!
This was the first Saturday play day....

We decided to go to the Leonardo Museum!
We all ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!
We did visit the temporary exhibit---DaVinci...
but their very favorite part was the art area just as you enter the museum.
There was a man presenting that hand makes violins.
It was fascinating to learn from him and the girls were able to bend wood just like is done in violin making.  We can't wait to go back!!!





Friday, January 4, 2013

gratitude


If there was anything I was going to avoid this year while choosing my resolutions---it was journal writing.  If there is one thing that is my achilles heel it would be that.  I began pondering what I wanted new, in the new year, on New Years Day.  Danny and I began the day with a new $ plan (I will blog about this later...we are really excited about it!) we have been hoping to do for our girls for a couple of years.  Several months ago we decided 2013 was the year---and so we procrastinated to the last minute!

I was excited about the new plan for our girls and thought of several things that I could do that would compliment and support our new system.  With out writing anything down yet, I had a few things in mind...hoping to keep it simple and something I would remember.  (I had no idea what my 2012 resolutions were...and that isn't a very good sign that I was successful.)

The next couple of days I pondered.  I read my friend Misty's blog post about her resolutions and I was impressed with her attempt at finding one word that sum up the changes she hoped for in 2013.  What impressed me more was her decision to turn to prayer to determine what would be best for her.  I hadn't considered that once.  I decided I would try both of these things, so I held off my writing and continued pondering.

Yesterday as I was cleaning + cooking in my kitchen I decided to listen to a podcast.  I was drawn to this speech (it's title really, I had never heard it before):  A Grateful Heart by Ray L. Huntington.  One of the first ideas he discussed was a gratitude journal.  The study followed three groups that were randomly selected: those writing 5 things they were grateful for each week, those writing five hassels or problems they faced in the week, and the final group wasn't given any specifics either way.

The findings were, in his words, "impressive."  The group that kept gratitude journals over the ten weeks reported feeling: "better about their lives and were more optimistic about the future than people in the other two groups. The gratitude group also reported fewer health concerns, like headaches, and spent significantly more time exercising than people in the other two groups. According to the scale Dr. Emmons used to calculate well-being, the people in the gratitude group were a full 25% happier than the participants in the hassles or neutral groups.  In subsequent studies Dr. Emmons also reported that people who regularly kept a gratitude journal and were in the habit of recognizing and expressing gratitude for their blessings reported feeling closer and more connected to people, had better relationships, were more likely to help others, felt less lonely, felt less depressed, slept better, and were more pleasant to be around."

So, although my only sure thought, going into choosing my resolutions, was that I did NOT want to have anything to do with writing in a journal...that is exactly what my resolutions WILL center around...recognizing and writing down those things of which I am grateful.  My resolutions for 2013 will center around gratitude and ways that I can support this change.

grateful for my resources:  $, home, food, clothing, cars, technology, etc...  In order to center on gratitude for  my resources I will be a better steward over what has been give to us.  I will be making purchases based on need vs. want.  I will do that by eliminating impulse shopping (which means you will not see me browsing the isles of Target, studying the clearance racks at JCrew or entering into Anthropologie at all!)  We currently only have debt on our home and our rental property...but how nice would it be not to have that!  Memories doing activities and vacations are so much greater than filling all of the closets and bookshelves in our house!  (Living in a paid off house would be pretty great too!) To accomplish this I will make purchases only after I have written them down and considered them as a need.  This is BIG!  I am excited to do this!  (Danny will be even more excited when I tell him!) *much of the inspiration for this resolution came from the annual "new year's resolution phone conversation I had with my sister Annie*

grateful for my family:  Growing up I remember Saturdays being a chore day.  My mom often worked in the week so it was the best day she had to get things done!  I have carried it on in our family---and it is time for a change.  The girls have charts and responsibilities M-F and Saturday will be a day off.  Saturday = family day.  We will work on hobbies at home, go on outings outside, bike ride, explore, hike, visit museums and play at parks!  We hope to eat breakfast, make our beds and then after getting dressed head out for the day!  I AM SOOOOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

My gratitude as a wife and mother can improve greatly by watching my tone of voice (I read this here and thought it was something that would be great for me too), my choice of words and the expressions on my face.  Sophie asked me today, "Why do you only smile when we are playing a game (an imagination role playing game)?"  I am sure I do smile more than that...and I am generally very content and happy at home...BUT I am OBVIOUSLY a little too serious and need some lightening up!  I want to be careful about the influence and mood I create for my family.  I want them to know how much I LOVE and ADORE them and how grateful I am to be part of this little family of mine.

grateful for my mind:  I have a goal to read every.single.solitary.day in 2013!

grateful for music:  I will play/practice guitar or piano for myself each day (M-F)  I do love the feeling I have as I play, as limited as my abilities are.  My girls also sooo much better at their own practices when they have heard me playing my own instruments.

grateful for my body:  I will do some kind of exercise every day.  This could be yoga, walking, hiking, stretching, sit ups....SOMETHING!

To track my goal I have already began using Good Habits by Good To Hear that I initially found on 71 toes).  It will be a way for me to keep my goal in my mind and focus every day instead of once a year!  My past resolutions few year's resolutions are here:  http://peoniesinmygarden.blogspot.com/search/label/resolutions

Mr. Huntington quoted President Thomas S. Monson, "Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.  Said one well-known author: 'Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend . . . when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.'”