Thursday, August 25, 2011

School Begins! (0:

What a week this has been! Wow! It is Thursday and I am exhausted already! I am happy to report my children are all settled in school and doing well. Preston ended up with Mr. Holmgren this year. He is a fabulous teacher. I was in his room a little last year, and I was always impressed with how well his classroom ran. He never raised his voice. Yet his students knew what was expected of them, and they respected his rules and expectations. I wish I could command my groups like Mr. Holmgren.

Spencer has Mrs. Gish. She is going to be fabulous! This is her first year teaching, but fortunately, she substituted for Mrs. Deaton last year so Spencer already knew her. He loved her as as sub and he loves her now. The principal additionally placed Spencer in the same class as his friend, Seth. Last year was a horrible year for Spencer. He was unhappy and he didn't have any close friends. The changes in our family just about did him in. He was physically sick and emotionally distraught. The school counselor did not help at all. As soon as summer came, his stomach aches disappeared. He was happy and relaxed. The minute he knew school was starting, his stomach pains returned. He shed many tears, and I prayed my heart out this year would be better for him. The minute we walked into the classroom on Back to School Night, I knew all would be well. He had a wonderful teacher he already knew. The teacher placed him right next to Seth. Spencer came home with a ear to ear grin. So far, he is happy. He has a friend. I couldn't be happier!

Austin began middle school today. I really like the way Mount Logan handles the incoming 6th graders. They started the 7th and 8th graders yesterday, and the 6th graders stayed home. Today the 6th graders attended and the 7th and 8th graders stayed home. It gave those 6th graders a wonderful opportunity to get a feel for the school without so many others in their way. Austin did well. I was the one who was a mess! I was worried about him getting to class on time. His locker was broken when we were at orientation last night, and I worried it would not be fixed today. I worried about him finding the bus at the school to bring him home. My prayers were heard! He didn't have any problems, except at lunch. The stupid lunch line was so long, he didn't get to eat before the bell rang. Tomorrow I will send him a lunch so he won't get stuck in line like he did today. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, other than the lunch glitch. He was blessed. He liked his classes. His locker was fixed and way better than before. He made friends and found a girl he likes. (Imagine that!) He was happy! I hope tomorrow will be as good of day for him. Lots of prayers yet to be said!

I also feel so blessed! I was online last night and discovered I was charged too much tuition for this semester. The financial aid I was planning to use for books and rent was non-existant! They charged me student fees I had never seen before and tacked on an out of state tuition charge. I was so distraught! I didn't understand why the charges were there, when they weren't previously. I didn't know how we would afford my books. They are going to cost me 500.00 this semester. That is saving money by buying used books off line. I had to buy a calculator for stats, which cost us 100.00, which we already bought (included in the $500). On top of that, our van died two times last night. Fortunately, Jason was driving because we were in the construction zone. We just spent 150.00 fixing the van a few weeks ago. Obviously, it isn't fixed yet. I was super upset about that as well. We don't have the money for expensive vehicle repairs. I am scared to drive the van for fear it will die in the middle of an intersection. It will start again, but only after sitting for a couple of minutes. The mechanic doesn't know what the problem is either. He can't get the van to duplicate the problem. With the worry over Austin's first day today, I was a wreck last night. I got up early this morning and studied and prayed for a while. After the boys went to school, I called Utah State and fixed my tuition crisis. As it was, I registered for a campus class and thus the reason for the extra charges. What a relief to find out I will receive the money for books and rent after all! Jason talked to the mechanic this morning. I don't know what we will do with the van yet, but at least we have Jason's car. It is a stick, but I am getting pretty darn good at driving it. I think we will take the van to the repair shop in the morning for an evaluation to see what we are in for. Hopefully, we can afford to fix it. I know I was blessed today. All of the things I worried about melted away. My school is okay. Austin did well. We are working on the van. I can afford my books. And tonight, I was at peace. The stressed, scared feeling totally fled my person. I knew all would be alright. Next week, the whirlwind continues. School begins. Work begins. I have to learn to manage our new morning routine, with Austin catching the bus so early. But we will survive! As I said previously, with God, all things are possible!! (0:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Journey of Sheeka

For those of you who don't know, not long ago, while visiting Grandma Bell in Brigham City, my boys discovered a beautiful female Gopher snake crawling down the road. We captured her and brought her home. She is now a part of our little zoo. (Yes, we have a zoo. We have two dogs, two birds, two fish, one snake and three stray cats we feed!) The snake's original name was Bully, but due to our discovery that the "he" was a "she", the snake became Sheeka. Well, two weeks ago, our Sheeka shed. I was sure after she completed the shedding process, she would eat again. Thus far, she has had no appetite. I have been very concerned about her and her happiness. I decided a couple of days ago to let her crawl around the cupboard in the kitchen, in the sunshine, hoping a little freedom might perk her up. At first, it was fine. She slithered up into the window seal and in and out of the blinds. She layed in the open window, basking in the sun. It was great! Since it was successful to let her crawl then, I figured she could do that same today and be fine. How wrong I was! She discovered a little ledge at the top of window, which she happily crawled into. The ledge itself wasn't a problem. The problem was getting her out again. We were meeting my sister and her family at Riverwalk, so we had to get her off the ledge and back into her cage before departing. Well, being comfortable in her little niche, she didn't want to come out. I got this brillant idea that we could gently nudge her with a straw to get her to move. Well, she did move when we prodded her, but she discovered a hole in the window in which she quickly crawled. This particular hole was on the top right side and went all the way down the window frame. (In my defense, I did not realize the hole was present!) There was no way to access that hole except from the top right of the window or the bottom left of the window. I am not doing a good job explaining. Let me just say, we thought Skeeka was lost and gone forever in the interior wall of our house. The kids started crying. It was pandemonium! My sweet Spencer came to me, with his pure little heart, and begged me to gather everyone for a special prayer that we could get our snake out of the wall. We all knelt down and I said a quick but heartfelt prayer that if it were possible, we could find a way to retrieve our snake. In the mean time, my handyman husband went to work trying to scare her out. At first he lit matches and held them to the hole opening. That didn't work. Then he got his compressor and blew air into the hole. That made her tail come out of the hole, but she was still inside. He finally got the idea to use alcohol. He put an alcohol soaked cottong ball up to the hole and guess what?? Our snake came out of the wall!!!! It was a miracle for the Winn Family! The boys all hugged her. We made sure she was not hurt and promptly returned her to her cage. We had a wonderful discussion about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers, especially when we have great faith in Him. In this instance, it was His will our snake come out of the wall before she died and stunk up our house. (0: I know my sweet boys will remember forever the day Sheeka was rescued from possible death.

Sunday August 21

I can't believe school begins this week! It seems like yesterday the kids were starting their summer vacation. I feel both excited and nervous all at the same time. Spencer and Preston will begin on Wednesday. Austin won't start until Thursday. I can't believe I have a middle schooler this year! Of course, Ashley would be entering 8th grade, but when she was in 6th grade, she was too ill to go to school. We were homeschooling, so I didn't have to watch her make that school change. Austin is way excited to enter middle school. Last week at registration, we found all his classes, and practiced with his locker. He isn't a bit nervous. But I am!! I worry about bullies and him being tardy for class. I worry about lunch time and if he will have people to hang around with. Austin is my social kid. He hasn't ever had problems finding people to hang out with. But I still worry! Believe it or not, I am sad because I won't get my "mom" hug every day like I did last year. I taught 5th grade power hour and never fail, at the end of group, he would come find me and give me a big hug. Those hugs meant the world to me! I won't get my treasured "mom" hug with him at a different school. I don't think he would think it was cool anyway. (0: But who knows!! (0:

It is late and I am tired so I won't write a huge novel tonight. I did want to say two things about today. First of all, I did speak to the bishop about cub scouts. This morning in bishop brick meeting, Bro. Phillips mentioned to the bishop the poor turnout for pack meeting and the lack of leaders present. The bishop was already aware of most of my concerns. We talked about several solutions. I came away feeling much relieved! I don't want to give up on this calling. I really enjoy planning the activities. It makes me proud when my hard work pays off, even in the smallest ways. I think with changes in leadership our program will improve by leaps and bounds. I will continue to pray we will be guided to those who will help us make our cub program more successful.

Sacrament meeting was awesome today! The last speaker was Bro. Maughn, who is the high counselor over our ward. He talk centered around fasting and how important fasting is in our lives. I have a testimony of fasting. Many years ago, when I was at college, I had a young man who was pursing me very diligently. He had me convinced God wanted us to be together. He told me on more than one occasion, he was prompted by the spirit that I was to be his wife. At first I resisted him. But over time, I came to believe he was the one for me. He never asked me to marry him. It was more like an unspoken agreement between us. There was no ring. Nothing like that. But we talked about marriage, where we wanted to live, when we wanted to be married, etc. Another huge problem with this boy was that he had previously dated my sister. She really cared about him. Then he decided he liked me. My sister and I were roomates at the time, and there was not good feelings between us. I was too stupid and naive to realize what a mess I was creating. (Jason had not yet left on his mission.) My parents knew I was in trouble. They knew this boy was driving a wedge between my sister and myself. They felt he wasn't the right person for me. They decided to have an extended family fast to help me in this decision. My dad drove all the way to Rexburg to get me for the weekend so I would be away from Mark as I prayed and pondered. It was on Sunday night, while I was in my room praying, that I finally saw the situation for what it was. I knew I was not to marry Mark! Heavenly Father had other plans for me and for my life. I started bawling!! In the mean time, my dear sweet Jason came over and took me to the park in Paul. We talked for almost three hours! In that time, I knew how much I loved Jason! I wanted him to leave in his mission knowing how much I cared and how much I supported him. He forgave me completely. I had to go back to Rexburg and tell Mark he needed to do some more praying because his revelations were not correct. It was embarassing and I felt awful!!! The point of all this is that I did not ruin my life because of the family fast my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings held in my behalf. I know fasting works, and I feel that is a huge answer to our situation. Jason and I need to fast. We need to fast for guidance. We need to fast so the path for us will become clear. Fasting is hard. I don't like to fast often because I have blood sugar problems and I get sick and dizzy when I go without food for too long. But I know we need those blessings! Especially right now when so much is up in the air. I truly felt Bro. Maughn's talk was an answer to my prayers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday August 18, 2011

I picked blue tonight because I am feeling in a blue mood! Today was just a poopy day! Jason lost his job. We knew it was coming. In all honesty, it is good he is leaving Verizon. They are not a good company to work for. They have no loyalty at all. They are firing their top seller tomorrow because of some comments he made many months ago. He wasn't even warned before hand. They were going to blind side him. I am thankful Jason at least had warning. The good part about this situation is that he already has a job offer. Idaho Watersports offered him his pick of three different postions. He loves those wonderful people there. I know Jason wants to work for them again. It would mean we have to move to Burley. We are not sure Burley is where we should go next. We are finally loving Logan. It has taken some time to get used to life here, but now I really enjoy it. I got my school job back. The kids are adjusting well. They struggled at first, which is to be expected when their lives turn upside down. But overall, they are happy. I love living right next to a temple. I get to attend every week, and that has blessed my life immensely! I am right next to Utah State, so going on to graduate school would be easy. I could finish my bachelor's degree in Burley via Logan Distance Education, but getting my master's degree would be difficult. ISU does have a school counseling program, but I don't know how I would live in Burley and go to school in Pocatello. I hate to uproot the boys. Austin is so excited for Middle School. We have his schedule all worked out. He has lots of friends. Spencer doesn't want to move. They all said they love our home here. Burley is appealing to me in other ways. I love the small town atmosphere. Jason and I both grew up there, so it feels like home. We love the size of the schools and the people. I would be close to my parents again. I just don't know what we will do!! My head hurts thinking about it!

I am also very down because once again I had a poopy pack meeting. Only one leader showed up. The others didn't even bother to let me know they weren't coming. They didn't make the assignments I asked them too. They didn't call and remind their boys like I asked them too. I had additionally asked them to advise me on our hike next month. I am new to this area, and I don't know where to take scouts on a hike. Only one leader responded to my email. I have no idea who to ask about the hike. I want our hike to be fun, but without guidance, it won't be. I was also bummed because we only had four boys. I worked very hard planning and preparing, and then had a horrible turnout. I will say, the water games we played went well with the boys who did come. They had a great time. It is so hard to shake that feeling of being unimportant. I was unimportant to the fire department when I asked them to speak. I am obviously unimportant to the den leaders. They don't care to help. My children have been unimportant to them as well. Austin has only been to a handful of scout meetings since we moved here. No one cares if he comes. They don't call. They don't reach out to him. In the past two months, they have tried a little bit, but it was a half hearted effort. Spencer hasn't been to a bear meeting yet this summer. No one cares if he isn't there. His leaders never call to check on him. They don't even call to tell him when the meetings are. I am the cubmaster. I should know, but they don't communicate with me either. Preston turned 8 in May. Do you think the Wolf leader cares? Nope. Not at all. He hasn't said a word about den meetings. Again, I should know when the den meetings are, but they don't tell me. Just plain frustrating!!!! I love the people in this ward. I know the den leaders. They are wonderful, but not with me. I am going to talk to the bishop on Sunday about my frustrations. I need some help figuring out a solution without offending anyone. I cannot carry pack meetings on my own. Once school begins, and I start work, I won't have time. I need help. The ironic thing about this month was our theme: cooperation. When a pack works together, things go well. Cubs are successful. When one person carries the pack, things don't go well. Meetings fail. Cubs can't reach their full potential. I want this pack to be as good as it can be. There has to be a way for us to bring cooperation and unity back. I need help to find that way.

I am happy that I get my job back. I loved working at the school last year. I know this semester is going to be tough. I want to keep my good habits going, like weekly temple attendance, scripture study, and exercising. It is going to be tough to find that balance. I think I will be so much happier if I do. I know I will be happier. The exercising has become a life line for me. I feel so good when I finish a nice, hard workout. I feel the stress leave my body. I like the feeling of being strong. The other night, when Austin and I tackled the swamp grass in our back yard, I was pretty darn proud of myself. We mowed that tall grass for almost two hours. The mower kept clogging. Austin ended up weed wacking while I mowed behind him. It was hard, grueling work, but we did it! I didn't get that tired. I wasn't even sore the next day from all the bending over and lifting. I know it is because of the hard workouts I do lately. I feel my body getting stronger. I still get dizzy, but I adjust.

Well, it is time to read scriptures with my boys. I know life isn't easy. It isn't meant to be. But oh I hope we can survive the next few months. It is going to be tough!!!!

*I have to add Jason came to my rescue tonight. I was feeling pretty low after pack meeting. We went for a walk up Center Street and around the temple. It felt so good to get out and walk and talk together. I am going to go to the temple in the morning. I know it will help me more than anything else at this point.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ashley's Special Blanket

I didn't get a chance to write about the special gift from my sister. As many of you know, Ashley's 14th birthday was July 19. I blogged about that day previously. Not long after Ashley's birthday, my sister Tammy sent me a card in the mail. It was signed by all of my family, including cousins, aunts, and grandparents. They each related their love of our Ashley, and what she meant to them. It was so touching to me! At the same time, my sister included a picture of a blanket she had created. It was a special picture blanket, with various pictures of Ashley. (I will include pictures for all to see). When I saw the blanket, I cried! It is a beautiful tribute to our angel. Also included with the blanket was a special figurine of a little blond haired fairy. My sister has a talent of finding the most darling little things which remind me of my Ashley. I loved the little fairy as well! Words cannot express how grateful I was for my sister's thoughfulness.

I also wanted to post pictures of two wreaths I created on Memorial Day. We were not able to travel to Burley to decorate Ashley's grave. As such, I decided to create something to honor her here in Logan. I have to say, not being a crafty person, I think I did a pretty good job. (0: I do want to thank everyone for their love and prayers and kind words as we once again faced Ashley's birthday. It was a hard day, but with so many wonderful people behind us, I survived! (0: Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What a great weekend! (August 14, 2011)

I think it is so fun to play with the font colors! (0: It keeps the blog more interesting for sure! Ha ha ha! (0: I have so much to write about again, I am not sure where to begin. Friday turned out to be both a good and bad day for us. Jason's wonderful grandma dropped by some money and a ton of coupons so we could go school shopping. I was so grateful to her for her generosity. Our money is so tight right now. With Jason's job on the line, every penny counts. I was not planning to buy the boys anything new, with the exception of backpacks, until I knew where we stood financially. As it worked out, we were able to find some wonderful deals. They each bought a couple pairs of pants and a couple of new shirts. We also went out for lunch. It was a superfun afternoon. I also found out I get to work at Woodruff again this year. I was so thrilled! I loved my job last year. I am eager to work with the students again. I definitely have more confidence, and I know what I am doing. It is also comforting to know we will have an extra income. My contribution last year wasn't much, but it definitely helped. My school schedule is going to be demanding, but I will be alright. I just have to stay on top of all my deadlines. The bad thing about Friday was that Jason was informed by the general manager that the HR people decided to fire him after all. I have so say, I am so sick and tired of Verizon Wireless. They tell him he is getting fired. Then they tell him he isn't. Then he is. Then he isn't. It has been this way for three months now, and it is absolutely ridiculous! He was all geared up to work his fanny off for the next three weeks and make them the best he could. Now there is no point. Needless to say, he came home very downhearted. There wasn't anything I could say or do to comfort him. Dang Verizon people! He isn't alone in his frustration. There are several other employees in the same boat as Jason. They are at their wits end as well. At least Jason can say he didn't do anything wrong. He worked hard and did his best every day. He won't have any regrets about his work ethnic. I pray he will be able to find a job where he can be appreciated for the wonderful man he is and what he can bring to a company!! We have lots of praying to do!!

We did get the opportunity to travel to Burley with my awesome sister, Tammy, this weekend. My darling cousin just returned from a mission to St. Louis, Missouri. She reported her mission today. There was also a big celebration for my Grandma and Grandpa Morgan this weekend. Both of my grandparents are celebrating their 90th birthdays, so their respective families and friends gathered to honor them. I was not able to attend the celebration. It was on Friday night, but I did get the opportunity to visit with my super cool aunts. We had a big family barbecue on Saturday evening with my family and my extended family. It is always so fun to sit and visit with one another. My aunt Peg and uncle Jim stayed for a while after dinner was over. We all sat around, joking and laughing for almost two hours. It was a blast! Of course, we were all up super late. I sat up and talked with Tammy until almost 1:30. I think Austin was up until almost 3:00. He absolutely could not sleep. (Gee, I wonder where he got his insomnia from???) This morning, the troops were exhausted. I actually let Austin stay home from the missionary report. He was not very happy, and I truthfully felt like it would be better for all of us for him to stay home and rest. That was a smart decision. (0:

The report was wonderful! Carrie had such a special spirit about her! She was a fantastic misisonary. She shared so many wonderful missionary experiences! I wish I could relate them all like she did. One which really stuck with me was an experience she had with a lady in one of her first areas. This particular lady was baptized into the church, but later fell away. She met up with the missionaries and desired very much to return to church again. The problem was, she was hit hard with tons of opposition. In one week, this poor sister lost her home, her husband, and her car. She was left with nothing and small children to support. The church came to her rescue, and helped her get back on her feet. Carrie said this lady had every reason to turn her back on the church. Since taking the discussions, her life had become increasingly difficult. Instead of becoming bitter, this faithful sister got up in fast and testimony meeting and expressed her love for the gospel. She knew it was true, and despite her destitute situation, she knew she was not alone. With the Savior on her side, she could conquer anything. I know that is so true! Our family has been through so much in the past few years. Sometimes I still wonder how we ever survived. We did not travel the difficult path alone. At the most destitute and heart breaking times, the Savior was there. I know He carried me when I lost my angel. There is no other way I could let her go. I know He carried me numerous times last year, as I struggled to adjust to our new life. With God, nothing is impossible! I hope I always remember that.
After church, we headed back to my parent's home for another family dinner. And then it was back to Logan. It was a fast trip, but so worth it! I feel so fortunate to belong to such an amazing family. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family as well. They are all such great examples for me. Of course there was nothing greater than coming home to my husband. I wish he could have come to Burley too, but his work schedule did not permit it. Even if they are firing him any day now, he is not giving up. He went to work and did his part. We did get to go on our Sunday walk up Center Street. Jason and I love to walk Center Street. For those of you who have never seen it, it is spectacular! There are many historic homes. The sidewalks are covered by beautiful shade trees. I don't know what it is that struck us about Center Street. Perhaps it was the history of the homes. Perhaps it was the pristine street. There is definitely a special spirit as you walk along that street. The other cool thing about Center Street is that it is only a few blocks from the temple. We can walk up to the temple grounds in only a few minutes, and have several times. It has become our special activity together. I won't say that I don't mind the additional exercise either! (0: I truly have come to love Logan. It is a beautiful place, and I am thankful for our experiences here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Winn Family Update

It is very late and I am tired. This past week has been stressful. Jason was told he would be let go on August 10th. They told him that last month, but then decided to keep him. He went to work yesterday expecting to be sent home, but the H.R. people did not send management his termination email. He went to work today expecting the same thing and was told they are keeping him for another month. While I am grateful he still has a job, it is so frustrating to keep stringing him along like they are. There are other employees in the same boat as Jason is. No one knows what corporate will do. I think Jason should look for another job. Verizon is not a good company to work for at all! They tell you one thing and then do another. Their rules are unfair. One of the assistant managers just got engaged. She wants to transfer to California to be with her fiance, but the company won't let her because she has a write-up on her record. She was told she must remain in Logan for six more months, until that write-up clears, getting married or not. She just put in her notice she will be leaving the company. It is ridiculous!

I still don't know if I get my job back yet. I spoke to the principal at Woodruff and he did not have his approved list of funding from the district. He was hoping to know something by this week, but hasn't yet. I really want to work at the school again. It was the perfect job for me. It gets me in the school, working with kids. The money was helpful, and I loved having a place to go every day. It worked great with my USU schedule. I am not sure what the Lord has in store for our family, but we definitely have lots of praying to do.

I am having a hard time with my calling again. I swear this calling has been the most difficult for me yet. No matter what I do, I am met with opposition. Last month, we were unable to have a committee meeting because no one was able to come. I can understand that, with so many people traveling and such. My frustration came on pack night. We had a bike rodeo. I was really excited about it, but as usual, I felt like it flopped. No one came to help set up the course. I had asked my den leaders to help with that, but they bailed on me. I did the best I could with what I had. It could have been better if I had help, but one person can only do so much. I only had one den leader show up to pack night. He came because he was our guest speaker. The other den leaders didn't bother to make assignments again. I had to scramble to find boys for prayers and flag ceremony. So frustrating!! I spent almost two hours setting up the course, which the boys destroyed in a short time. They didn't follow the instructions at the various stations, but without leaders helping run the stations, what could I do? The parents didn't say anything. The boys knocked over the cones and chairs. I know their parents didn't realize how much work I put into that course. When it was time to tear things down, only one person helped me. I had chairs all over the parking lot, dividing up the various stations. It was not an easy task to clean up. I felt alone and abadoned like I always do. I truly don't like this calling and I am not sure what to do about it.

Preston had his leg surgery today. At the beginning of the summer, I noticed what looked like a blood blister on Preston's leg. One afternoon, he accidentally popped it while playing outside. It bled like a blood blister would, but did not go away. It came back. As time went on, it continued to grow, looking more like a wart all the time. Finally, when it kept bleeding, I took him to the doctor. The doctor had no idea what it was. He watched it for a little while. It continued to grow, and so today, the doctor removed it. The procedure went very well. Preston was a trooper the whole time. He has six stiches which will remain for ten days. In the mean time, they will biopsy the growth to make sure it isn't anything harmful. I am thankful we finally got it off of his leg. I have worried about it for quite a while now. When we were swimming on Monday, he bumped it on the wall of the pool and it bled for a long time. Just a nasty thing to deal with!

Jason has healed fairly well from his procedure. The past couple of days haven't been good however. He has had more bruising, swelling, and pain. I am not sure if the increased pain and swelling are because he is on his feet all day long or because of complications. He is in lots of pain tonight and I am praying he is okay. He has enough stress already.

I do know the Lord is watching over our family. I was so stressed with the thought of Jason without a job. He has never had a problem finding work before, but we don't have as much savings now as we had previously. Thankfully he will be employed for at least three more weeks. In the mean time, he will continue to look for another job. It seems like life always throws hurdles at you. But with every trial comes the strength to endure it. I know we will get through these!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday August 5, 2011

Today has been a much better day. I was so out of it yesterday. I spent a long time in prayer last night, pondering over how to stop the feelings that were overwhelming me. This morning, I was blessed to attend the temple. I absolutely LOVE how I feel when I am in the temple. Every care I had was lifted off my shoulders. I was overcome with feelings of happiness and peace. I knew I was going to be all right. As I sat in the celestial room, praying and pondering, I had one very distinct thought fill my mind. I need to pray more. I need to pray out loud, and I need to really think about what I am praying about. I say my prayers, but often I shoot off a quick prayer because I am in a hurry. I never pray before I study the scriptures and I should. Sometimes I am so tired before bedtime, I fall asleep while praying. I lose my train of thought. I realized today prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have. It is our link to a loving Father in Heaven who can see the whole picture when we can't. He is there to guide us and help us, ALWAYS, but it is up to us to reach out to him. Sometimes when I am afraid of a particular answer, I won't pray about a certain problem. One such example is my health. I have been petrified about seeing a doctor. I have no idea where this fear of doctors came from. Perhaps it is from all the years of going to doctors who told me I was fine when I wasn't. I know I have a problem that must be dealt with. I know if I asked, I would be guided to go to the right doctor and I would be blessed to find a way to deal with my problem. I haven't wanted to deal with the situation, so I haven't prayed about it. I can't blame anyone but myself that I still don't feel well. The point here is that I need to tap into that spiritual power. If anyone needs guidance in his/her life, I do. There are so many things I want to do with my life. I want to get my education. I want to raise my children to be strong, righteous, and valiant. I want to serve and help and lift others every day. I know there is always someone who needs a smile, a hug, a simple pick-me-up. I want to know I am doing everything in my power to be worthy of the wonderful blessings in store for the righteous. I want to know when I die that I did all I could on this earth to fulfill God's plan for my life. Today I felt hopeful I am on that path. Even though I am not perfect, and I made mistakes in the past, I am still a good person. I am trying hard and working every day to be better. Heavenly Father will help me as I reach out to Him. With God, all things are possible! Even for plain old Connie Winn!

On a different note, Jason and I made a VERY difficult decision this week. After lots of prayer, we decided our family is complete. Perhaps that was part of the reason I was sad. In my heart, I wondered if we were supposed to have another baby. This week it was confirmed to both Jason and I that a baby wasn't in the plans for us. So at 11:30 today, Jason had surgery to prevent any further pregnancies. The way it all went down further confirmed it was the right decision. We called the doctor on Tuesday to discuss this option. They just happened to have a cancellation for a consultation appointment on Wednesday. After that appointment, they happned to get an opening for the surgery today. Jason was able to have the procedure completed while he already had time off work and before we lost our insurance. I hate to say that it was a blessing, but it was. Within a short time, we would have been faced with this decision, as my IUD must be removed soon. I wasn't sure without insurance how I could afford another. Heavenly Father blesses us in all aspects of our lives, even when it comes to family planning. (0: Consequently with Jason needing some quiet recuperation time, I took the boys to the Aquatic Center this afternoon. I have to say, I am so proud of my boys and their swimming abilities. Preston and Spencer are both in the deep water now. Austin already has beautiful strokes and he is a super diver. Today I practiced diving and elementary backstroke with Spencer and Preston. They both did so well!! (0: We played tag and enjoyed some time in the shallow pool under the water buckets. It was a blast! After swimming, we downed some ice cream and headed home. Austin and Preston weren't home more than 20 minutes before they wanted to swim in our little pool. I love swimming so much it is fun to see them love it as well. Jason is actually doing alright tonight. He is sore and swollen, but what a trooper!! I haven't heard him complain once and he certainly has every right to complain!

I also have to add I spent some time last night on USU's website. It got me soooo excited for school to begin! I have some amazing classes coming up, including Child Guidance, Analysis of Behavior, and Introduction to Folklore. I printed up my book list. It looks like I will be in books almost $400.00 which is better than last semester. Last semester I payed $500.00 for books! Man college is expensive! But oh so worth it. I am thrilled to be learning again!!

Well, time to get kids ready for bed. I hope everyone has a wonderful night!! (0:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stupid Dang Depression!! I HATE IT!

Last night was a horrible night. I absolutely could not get a grip on myself. All I could do was cry. Jason was amazing! He tried everything he could do to console me. However, I was up a good portion of the night. I don't know what is wrong. It is like all of a sudden I am at the bottom again. I know this happens to me, but why now? There are so many exciting things coming up soon. I am thrilled to be back in school. My classes for fall are going to be challenging but so fun! (0: I am not sure about my job at Woodruff yet, but hopefully I will be working there as well. The summer has been awesome. We have been able to do lots of fun things. The kids have loved the time with cousins. We just had a wonderful trek into Yellowstone, which was a blast. I guess on the flip side, there are some challenges to overcome. One of the biggest is that Jason will lose his job soon. There is nothing he can do to prevent that. He has done everything he can, been the best worker he can be. He has been responsible, hard working, kind, patient, compassionate, and accommodating. It doesn't matter that all his customers, as well as management and employees love him. If his numbers don't measure up, he is gone. It sucks!! Verizon has no loyalty what so ever! It is all about numbers. I would rather Jason work for a company who rewards their employees for hard work and appreciates good leaders when they have them. I am concerned about the loss of a job. I know Jason can get a job anywhere. I am confident about that. But we already have financial strain. I hope we make it through.

I also haven't felt the best lately. I knew at the first part of the summer I needed to deal with my health challenges. I kept putting it off because I hate doctors so much. Then I put it off because I knew we couldn't afford medical bills. Now I won't have the means to do anything about it. I have learned to accommodate. Some days I do fine. Other days, I feel pretty crappy. I have pushed myself every day to exercise, even on the bad days. Even though I am not losing weight, the exercise certainly helps my mood. I have learned I must take time after a hard workout to walk around and collect myself. I always feel dizzy when I finish. I have also learned not to be afraid of the dizziness. It is an every day thing I deal with. This week has been especially bad for me. But it always is when my hormones are out of whack. I think that is the reason I have been extra tired. Afternoons are always hard. I have more problems then. Sometimes driving in traffic bothers me. Sometimes I will have waves of dizziness while sitting in church, at the temple, waiting at stop lights, or at home while watching TV. When I get off balance, it is hard to walk. It is hard to sit. I get nervous, especially when I am driving. But like I said, I have learned to accommodate. I don't go places when I don't feel well. I rest when I need to. And I survive. I do get down when I feel under the weather. But it is my own fault. It isn't like I have done anything about it.

The other problem I have is this awful feeling of worthlessness. When those stupid feelings hit me, they hit me hard. I think that is one of the only ways Satan can get at me. He knows I am a person who has always struggled with self-esteem. I don't have any close friends, with the exception of Jason. I don't feel talented or extraordinary in any way. Basically, I see myself as a plain old individual and he plays up on that every chance he gets. I am trying so hard to overcome this weakness, but as of yet, I have not found a way to conquer it. I will just have to keep looking and keep trying to beat those blues. It makes me feel awful when I get so down. I have said this numerous times before: I have so many wonderful things in my life. I don't want to be ungrateful or unappreciative of all the good there is. But I can't seem to keep myslf on top. It is hard to explain these feelings to Jason when they come. He takes my unhappiness to mean I am unhappy with him, which isn't true. I am simply trying to understand my stupid body and figure out a way to beat it. I don't always want to talk about it. I can't always explain how I am feeling. I don't want others to see me as a wimpy sap. You wouldn't believe how long I have lived in this way and no one has ever known how hard it has been. I am pretty dang proud of myself for being so strong and enduring such a horrible personal trial.

Well, life calls. I was hoping writing would help me understand myself a little better. It didn't make me feel better, but I do have hope I will pull out of this. I just have to keep up the faith.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I have no idea what is the matter with me lately. I just haven't been feeling like myself. I have been emotional and tired. (No, I am NOT pregnant!) I haven't slept well. I miss Ashley terribly. My heart has been hurting so badly! I thought I was dealing pretty well with life in general, but lately I don't feel like I am. It all started around the time of her birthday. Ashley's birthday is July 19, which is only a few days after mine. I wanted her birthday to be special. Last year, we were in Burley. We went swimming, ate pizza, and had cake. We also lauched balloons at her gravesite. I bought gifts for my neices in honor of my princess. It was a wonderful day. This year, we talked with the boys and decided to do two of her favorite activites. We went to Chuck-A-Rama and we picked out some of her most favorite candy in lieu of cake. We talked about her and looked at pictures. It was a good day for all of us. Shortly after her birthday, we went to Yellowstone. This was the first year we were in Yellowstone without her. I thought I was okay with that. On the day we came home, I felt myself aching inside, missing her, wishing she were able to be with us. She has been on my mind constantly since. It doesn't help that last week, I was reminded of mistakes I made in my past. It made me think of all the time I wasted. I am not proud of who I was then. It wasn't that I was an evil person, but I put priorities on things which were not important. I had one friend in particular whom I cared for a great deal. But this friend did not have honorable intentions. The friendship led me to places I did not want to be. Fortunately for me, my husband came to my rescue. He helped me to see the error of my ways. He helped me down the road to repentence. We began to be a team once again. I was able to communicate with him as I had never been able to before. We fixed what was broken. I will be forever be grateful I had my life in order when Ashley died. I needed the gospel to get me through. I also needed my husband. I could not have survived without him. The thing that kills me most now is how much time I wasted on unimportant things. I could have spent more quality time with my angel. I could have served better. I could have been closer to the spirit. Now I have to live with all these regrets. Lately, they seem so HUGE! It breaks my heart that I was unable to see the eternal perspective for so long!! In addition, I hurt my husband a great deal. I think a lot of his struggles stem from me and who I was then. I am trying so hard to love him and make him feel like my special king. Unfortunately with life circumstances like they are, he is already down. Today I know he was down because of me. While I put my life in order, and am living the gospel of Jesus Christ to the fullest every day, I have to live with these regrets. It doesn't make me like myself at all. Sometimes I feel I am never going to be good enough to be with my little girl someday. I hope she knows how very much she changed my life. I hope she knows how sorry I am for all the times when I didn't read to her, didn't take her for walks in her little purple wheelchair, didn't sing her to sleep, didn't spend an extra hour talking about the stars in her science class, didn't teach her more about the gospel. I can't take that back, but I can make the future better. I can make sure I never repeat those mistakes again. One day at a time!!