Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Since the year's about over, and I've slacked off on writing, I'm catching up on months.  Today.... September.
My birthday was in September.  The kids all gave me some great presents that day.  I think there's nothing that makes a mom happier than kids that do nice things all on their own, without being told.  So here is what the kids did for me:
1. Mac took a nap... rare, but desperately needed.  That way I napped too, desperately needed also.
2. While I was napping Sara made me birthday cards- thoughtful girl.
3. While I was napping Andrew made me HAPPY BIRTHDAY out of Legos.... so cute.
Aww- they made my day and made me feel loved.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Morning Has Broken

I remember as a teenager a song that my mom would play: Morning Has Broken sung by Nana Mouskouri.  Of course, my mom loved her and played her music a lot, and we all got tired of hearing her.  Lately that song has been coming back to me because that's how I feel.  Morning has finally broken.  The sun is out, the birds are singing... la la la.  My morning sickness is finally gone! (for the most part).  You know that feeling when you've been so sick and then you finally feel better?  Yea, and it feels like "Aaaaaaaaa" (That's angelic singing there).  That's how I feel.  What a blessing.

These yucky feelings have been consuming me the past three months, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too.  I didn't want do my church callings, go to church, clean the house (not that that is anything new), make dinner, write a blog, ... do anything really.  I know- sad, bad attitude.  I'm feeling much better now and appreciate feeling good.  I also appreciate the many people that put up with me and helped me out over the past few months.

When I go through a trial it's hard not to think, "Why is this happening?!" "Why do women have to go through this?!"  I've thought about it a lot over the past few months.  This is what I came up with.
1. We suffer so we can be humble and have more faith.
2. We suffer so we can empathize with others.
3. We suffer so we can appreciate the good and the people around us.
4. We suffer to refine us, preparing us to become more like God.

 “'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.' Then, in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord, saying, “Thy will be done. - Robert D. Hales in the last General conference, click here for the full talk (it's very good).

Now, I know that my trial is really a blessing and a minute affliction compared to the many that are out there, but it has helped me appreciate the little things that I take for granted.  That is my blessing.  Maybe now I'll be better and post some things that I've missed :) 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Here are a few blessings from August.  I'm going to try to make this quick :)
1. Andrew's Baptism
Andrew was baptized and confirmed on Aug. 6th.  Wow- that means I'm getting old!  It's hard to see my baby grow up, even though it makes me happy at the same time.  He asked my dad to give a talk on the Holy Ghost, my sister to say a prayer, Tavish to baptize him,  and Tavish's dad to confirm him.  It was a special day- good feeling there.
Porter Family Picture- too bad Dad's eyes are closed

2. 5K
I ran (not sure if ran is the right word here- slowly jogged is more like it) my first official 5K.  Good for me... and everyone that ran with us.  It was fun.

3.  No Brain Tumor
I lost some hearing in May, and it hasn't returned- as many of you may know from my complaints.  I was just sitting quietly at the table (no screaming kids at the time) and  BZZZ- my right ear started ringing.  I had a cold that may have set it off.  Yea- annoying.  So, after many Dr. appointments, hearing tests, steroids, MRI... they found nothing, and it seems to be part of my life now.  Although this is really annoying to me, I'm so glad I don't have a brain tumor (sudden hearing loss can be a sign of a brain tumor- ask my Grandma she knows from personal experience).  I really started worrying and imaging the worst.  Ahh- no tumor, just a brain that apparently looks normal.  I think trials help us empathize with others.  Now I can empathize with people with hearing problems and ringing ears.  I was surprised to learn of how many people in my family had ringing ears.  They just don't complain about it like I do.  I'm trying to accept it, so this is the last you will hear me complain from my ringing ears... maybe.  Just remember that I'm probably not ignoring you if you are quietly speaking to me on my right side, I just can't hear.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Three Little Blessings

Once again I've procrastinated writing.  I'm sure few of you really care whether I post or not, but this has been my journal this year, so I should do better.  Anyway, as I ponder my blessings this month, many of my blessings come from the kids.  I've had a few non-blessings too, but maybe they're blessings in disguise :).

So, a little about my 3 little (getting bigger) blessings:

1. Andrew-
It was his birthday this month.  He turned 8 years old; can you believe that?  We spent 4 days in St. George with my parents while Tavish went to scout camp.  Although I love my little children very much, I wasn't about to spend 4-5 days and nights alone with them. :)  We celebrated part of Andy's birthday in St. George, and the other part at home.
This is what I love about Andrew:
He makes life interesting for us all
He's a thinker and always has questions (and answers) for us
He has a desire to be righteous
He stands up for what is right
He's kind to others.  I have a pet peeve with children making fun of and being rude to others and am sooo grateful that Andy tries not to do that.  Ok- there are probably times he does this that I don't see, but from what I see he's nice to others and kind to the under dog.

2. Sara-
A couple of nights ago I was nagging my children to go to bed.  I got after Sara, who was in her room, asking her (not so nicely) why she wasn't in bed.  She said, "I had to organize my clothes".  "GO TO BED!"  is what I said.  So, later that night when she was asleep, I put away some laundry in her room and noticed that her drawers where totally organized- no clothes poking out the top so you can't shut it, just all very neatly folded.  I mean, better that what I would have done.  She even had a pile of clothes that she couldn't fit into anymore ready to take downstairs.  WHAT?!  I can't tell you how happy that made me. I know, that says a lot about me, my house, and my life, but that seriously filled my bucket.  I even had Tavish come and see this miracle that had taken place.  Since when do my children clean and organize just because they want to?   Ahh- isn't it nice to have a girl? :)

3. Mac-
It was Mac's birthday at the end of June.  And guess what present he gave me? ............. drum roll............this tops them all.............. more drum roll.............  He potty trained himself!!!!! I put him in underwear finally (something that I'd been putting off because of past experiences), and that was it.  He tells me when he has to go... pee pee, poo poo, every thing.  WHAT?!  Those who aren't parents yet will some day learn that that is a super great blessing.  I have even said many prayers of gratitude for that one. Before Mac I've been a little jealous of those moms who say it took a day, or a week, or even a month to potty train their children.  I've always thought, "What is my problem then?"  Now I think, "That wasn't my problem, it was my kids' problem!"  So if you happen to be reading this, struggling through potty training just remember that is your kid's problem not yours; just take a break from it and come back when they've decided to solve their problem.

I love my 3 little blessings, my babies,  even though even my youngest isn't a baby anymore.  This one's for you kids :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fill a Bucket

I found this book that apparently is fairly popular, but new to me.  This is what its about in a nutshell:  When our invisible bucket is full, we are happy. When it is empty, we are sad.  It teaches us how to fill other's buckets by doing nice things... and in turn filling our own bucket.  I thought it would make a nice family night, since that is something we always need to work on, and it did!  So, here are a couple of  ways people have filled my bucket since I last wrote.  (Parental Warning: some children may inform you that you are dipping from their buckets when you discipline- very annoying)

1.  Easter Morning
Easter Saturday we had an egg hunt with way too much candy.  On Sunday, usually the Easter Bunny brings a little something in the kids' baskets.  Well, as I was lying in bed Sunday morning, I realized that the Easter Bunny didn't come- shoot!  While laying there thinking and worrying, I heard little whispers by my door.  I got up a little later and this is what I found outside my door:  "Holly folloe this trale"... a trail of candy for me that led to.... well, nothing really.

Aww- that filled my bucket- and I didn't hear a word about the Easter Bunny.  Now that makes a mom happy.  Of course, the Easter Bunny surprised us and came while we were at church... during Sunday school.  I know- bad Easter Bunny working during church, but I guess he had to do what he had to do.

2.  Tavish
A couple of weeks ago I went with Sara's class to the Zoo- with my other kids too.  Tavish had to go to a scout camp (He's the new scout master- lucky him, and me).  While the zoo was fun and all, I'll admit that it was totally exhausting to me, plus I wasn't feeling well.  Taking 3 kids by myself wore me out, especially when Mac threw ROYAL fits when we didn't go where he wanted, or when it was time to get off the train and the carousel- embarrassing.  Then going home and getting kids ready for bed... battling... all by myself, it was tiring.  I know some people might be saying: "Waa waa I do that by myself all the time".  I'm sorry.  I really admire those single moms who can do this day in and day out.  They will be blessed.  I'm grateful to have Tavish.  He's one that is very good to help out with the kids.  Through out that day, night, and the next day I kept thinking, "Oh, Tavish would have taken care of that. Tavish would have helped me with that... "  Tavish is a bucket filler.  What a good husband.  I sure appreciate him.  

So here's the thought of the day (if you want one): Go and fill someone's bucket, and be grateful for those who fill yours.  

New Dinosaurs at the Zoo

My little monkey watching the monkeys


Monday, April 4, 2011

A Lesson from Dad

The longer I wait to post a blog, the harder it is to decide on what to write about.... so I just put it off longer.  So, now I'm finally doing it- yay for me!

As I think about the past month, I think mostly about parenthood and the challenges that come with it.  Tavish and I have had many power struggles with one of our strong-willed children lately.  I'll spare you all the details (there are many), but just to tell you- it has been exhausting.  I've had many people and experiences that has helped me cope with it all, so I thought I'd share just one of them.

A while ago we went to St. George.  On Sunday we go to all 3 meetings of church there.  The one particular strong-willed child doesn't like this idea.  I understand that; I'll admit that it isn't something that I always totally enjoy either.  It's hard going to new classes as a stranger... all of that.  Anyway, this was a battle I decided to fight.  There was no choice in the matter: he was going to his class no matter what.  So... he was defiant and decided to run away after putting him in sharing time... Ok- that isn't something to make Mom and Dad happy.  I was sooooo mad inside; we found him and put him back into sharing time...

While he was sitting in the back in sharing time (probably ready to bolt again), my dad, who is the bishop, had a small part to do for the kids.  He was planning on telling a scripture story to the kids.  Instead, my inspired dad decided to tell his story of going on a mission.  He told about how he was so afraid to leave on a mission and how he didn't want to do it... and how he decided to go despite his fear... how to overcome our fears... etc.  Then, my stubborn child suddenly got up and walked right up to my dad in front of everyone and said, "Grandpa, I'm ready to go to class; where's my class?"  He then willingly went to class and stayed the whole time.  What?!! After all our fighting and battling, it just took a story (and probably the Spirit) to help my boy decide to make the right decision.

So, once again, I learn a lesson from my dad.  Growing up, my dad rarely lost his temper with us and was never one to force us to do anything.  He was so good at talking with us, telling us stories, and inspiring us (rather than telling us) to make the right choices.  We always knew that he loved us and we all wanted to please him.  So many times in life I have thought, "What would my dad do in this situation, what would my dad say?"  And now, I find myself thinking the same thing.

This month, I'm thankful for my dad and the many other people who have helped me learn to be a better parent.  I know this motherhood thing can help me be a better person (or worse I guess, depending on how I react- I'm shooting for better).
Thanks Dad; I'm trying to be more like you :)
Sara and Andrew with their grandparents

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Family Photo Book

Last year I made a 2009 family photo book, and liked it so much decided to do it this year.  Photo books are great, because I'm not a scrapbooker and not good at printing and organizing all of our pictures.  I make my photobooks from a company called Winkflash because they have this deal where you can get a 100pg book for the price of the 20 pg book- oh yeah!  I love good deals.  Of course, it isn't the best site with all the really cute backgrounds... but I'm too impatient and indecisive for that anyway.  Alright- I'm sure you, (all 5 of you who might read this) don't really care about all of that, so I'll get to the point.

The point is... my photo book is a book of blessings.  Through keeping a journal, photo journal or regular, we really can see the blessings we have.  I'm not sure that makes sense.  But as I went through all the pictures and organized it, I kept thinking, "That was so fun, my kids are so cute, I love my family..."  Now, I know that all those times in the pictures (the vacations, events...) weren't totally full of  fun.  I know there were many frustrations, hard work, sleepless nights, and naughty kids in there, but I didn't really think of them, just the good times.  I went through my book and was grateful for our family, the places we get to go, the experiences we get to have,  and just how blessed we are.  It makes me want to make the most of this coming year too.  (I went through my mission pictures for a RS activity we're having, and the same thing happened to me.)

So- If you're having a bad day and having a hard time recognizing your blessings, take a look at your old pictures and journals.  I bet it will help you recognize your blessings :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

R.I.P. Onyx

Once again, rather than cleaning and organizing our disorganized mess while Mac is asleep, I'm writing a blog.  I just had to document one more blessing that happened a few weeks ago.  It was a blessing amid a trial.

We had a little black cat named Onyx.  We got him from a neighbor who moved about 4 years ago.  Onyx was old and slow, but very sweet and gentle.  He put up with kids holding him by the hair (or the tail), throwing him off the porch, laying on him, hugging him (really tight), giving him rides in tonka trucks, spraying him with water... about everything.  So, one very cold morning I thought that I had better check on the cat and give him water that wasn't frozen.  I went outside and he could barely move and had a broken leg.  He was suffering and would barely even open his eyes.  Can I tell you how upsetting this was to me?  I really, really, hate seeing animals (or people) suffer.  I was so upset I even swore... under my breath... to myself...twice.  Then I cried and cried... all day.   I knew it was time to put him to sleep.  This was one of those moments that I had been dreading.  I had always hoped that Tavish would be home when the cat died...  I didn't want to be the one responsible for ending his life, but I also can't let an animal suffer.  (The kids were taking this a lot better than I was, by the way)

 That was the trial, this is the blessing:

My mother-in-law was coming over that day to pick up Sara to play with her cousin.  They were going to play the day before, but we changed it.  It was a really snowy day, and I was contemplating going out with my bad tires and all the kids to go put the cat to sleep.  Doesn't that sound fun?  My mother-in-law came over in her all-wheel-drive car with studded snow tires and told me that she would take the cat in to be put to sleep.  I would never ever ask anyone to do that for me, "By the way, will you go kill our cat for us?"  But I debated for a while in my mind and finally consented.   I didn't know if I could really do it, and I didn't want to get in a wreck on the way.  She took the cat to the animal shelter for me.  I can't tell you how relieved I was.  What a great lady; I know it wasn't something she wanted to do, but she did it anyway because that's how she is.  Thank you Grandma Bobby, you are my blessing for the day... for the month.... always.

PS- Onyx, please forgive us for our cruel ways.  We'll do better with our next pet, if we ever get one.  And... sorry we are such bad owners that we don't even have a picture of you.  That one above will have to do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Christmas Carol

Darn, I hate it when I wait so long between blogs.  I sit here and try to think of ways that I've been blessed during the time I haven't written, and there is just too much.  So- here is one of the many things I'm grateful this past month.

The first week in December I gave a lesson in Relief Society (that freaked me out as usual) about how to have the spirit of Christ over the holidays and throughout the year.  That made me think about keeping the true Christmas spirit in our home.  I thought about it, but didn't do too much about it (hypocrite).  I feel like Christmas just snuck up on me.  We were so busy finishing our basement, , going to parties, baking, making peanut brittle, eating peanut brittle ... that I just wasn't feeling much more than exhaustion (and fullness).   I finally felt that true spirit of Christmas when we went to a play with the in laws. (It also helped not having the kids with us, so I could feel the peace :)
We went to The Christmas Carol.  I've seen the play before, watched the movies, heard the story... many times.  But this time I really liked it. (The music was good too)  I realized what a good story it really is- that it truly  illustrates the spirit of Christmas and what it's about, even if it doesn't directly mention Christ.  It's a story of repentance.  Is that not what Christ is all about?  It made me think how lucky we are to have the chance to repent and become better.  So, that's what I've been grateful for this past month- repentance.

  I love starting a new year too; I feel like it's a new start- a time to repent and do better.  I know we really get a new start every week in sacrament meeting, but I like looking back on the year- what we did or didn't accomplish- and make new resolutions for the next year. We accomplished about 1/2 of our family and personal goals this year.  Slackers?  Yes.  But I figure making the goals helps us accomplish more than if we hadn't made the goals at all.  Time to repent and do a little better this year.

Happy new year and may God Bless Us Everyone!
(Getting cheesy, time for bed.  Goodnight)