Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 3 Beauty of Fall

The Beauty of Fall, this is my most favorite time of the year. I am so grateful for all the wonderful colors of the rainbow. Also, for the amazingly vibrant colors of the fall foliage that is all around. There's not much here in South Georgia where I live, so I get to travel to see the beauty, but enjoy it nonetheless.
In the scriptures it says when God created the Earth, in Genesis 1:11-19 it says:

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

At this time of year all of nature is changing. I love to see all the new and different changes going on around me. It is crazy to think that this year is beginning to come to a close. It has gone by so fast, but also there are days, when I feel like it is slithering by like a snail. My life has gone through many changes over the past year and a half. I am grateful for the change, it has been a long, difficult road. But also very rewarding. I have proven a lot of things to myself and I have learned a lot about myself too. I thank my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ for standing beside me and holding me up when I was not able to stand on my own. They have never let me down. They will never walk away from us, we are the ones who turn away. My life has been so blessed during this change. Thank you!

The photos in this post are taken from two different areas. These first ones are from North Alabama, Birmingham area and north of there. I love the red of those maple trees, at the temple with the Angel Moroni trumpeting over top. Glorious and so beautiful.

I absolutely love the contrast of the colorful leaves in the trees against the vivid blue of the sky. I could lay down in the grass and look up at the sky and the leaves for many hours. Enjoying all of Gods beautiful creations all around us. If we don't take the time to smell the flowers, and slow down a bit in our busy lives. We will miss out on some of the most wonderful things, the Lord has blessed us with on this earth. I try took at everything I pass by. Especially sunrises and sunsets. I keep my camera with me almost at all times, because you never know when there is going to be something worth capturing on film.

This is out windshield as I traveled to Hamilton back from an afternoon at the Birmingham Temple. I love the hills we are driving in, and the pink in the sunset. This sunset, is probably one of the most vibrant I have EVER seen. The sky was clear, but the colors were amazing. Gods paintbrush was everywhere. And we were traveling west, so we got to see it for much longer.

As the sun set further, the pink turned into a firey orange. I was in awe by how bright the orange was. And sorry this photo does not do justice to how it looked in person. I mean we looked from one end of the horizon to the other side and it was this beautiful rainbow of color all the way across the sky. Thank you Heavenly Father for wonderful and amazing works of art across the sky each morning and evening.

This is one of the landscape as we traveled up the interstate. I love the hills. This part of the country is in the foothills of the Appalachian mountain range. Its absolutely amazing up here. I think if I could picture what heaven looks like, this is it. I grew up in the mountains of Utah, and they are wonderful too. But I think I fell in love with this area, it is so pretty. Brings back many memories of my childhood.

The rest of the photos are from Dauset Trails in Jackson, GA. A park outside of Macon. We had a single adult hiking actitvity last fall in November. It was really pretty there too.

I love how the steps are covered with the fallen leaves, it just makes the whole scene look that much more inviting to me, and so peaceful.

I love the gold color of those leaves, as the other against the brightness of the blue in the sky.

This one is right on the edge of a small lake, but the red is amazing on the trees.

Nature is the art of God. ~ Dante

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 2-- Tender Mercies

(1 Nephi 8:8) And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.

I have been writing this post for a few weeks now. I am very grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord that have been bestowed upon me over these past few weeks, but also over this past year and a half. There have been so many wonderful things that have happened to the boys and I, that were out of my control, too many to list, so I will only speak of a few from the past few weeks. I need to thank my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for all of it. I know all comes from them. And if we are worthy, we will receive the things we need in our lives.

Some of what I have been dealing with, has been the result of being a single parent, having a home based business, and also the economic times we live in. I have been somewhat overwhelmed lately, with a lull in my daycare. A few months ago, I was turning business away because I did not have the space to care for them, but as of today, I am very open for the next few months. I have one full time infant boy, and two part times toddler girls. Until the end of October I will be this way, then I will have two more newborn babies to start. And another to start sometime at the beginning of next year.

So over these past two months, I have really had to look over my budget and try to cut and trim as much as I could to make ends meet, which is already very tight. It has been very stressful...and unfortunately some things have come up that have made it even tighter. I had to put 4 new tires on my van, and then a week later I had to put a brand new battery in the van also.

Then we had a class at Enrichment Night about budgeting and also using coupons to cut our grocery spending. I have always loved to use coupons, but have not been able to afford to go out and buy the newspaper. So I have been relying on the ones that come in the mail mostly, and my gracious neighbor for giving me his newspaper last year (maybe I can get his again this year when he's done). The lady who taught the class said she has been able to cut her grocery bill from $150 a week, to almost $30 a week, with the use of store, manufacturer, competitor and coupons on the containers. There is a store here that will double coupons on a specific day up to a certain amount, and another that will take competitor coupons, so I hope I can use this for my benefit in the future to help lower my spending even more than I already do. I am really good at budgeting, and knowing how to make it all work, being a single parent and also a stay-at-home mom. It can be trying, but well worth the effort as I have seen in the past.

Thanks to Tender Mercies of the Lord, I was given an upgrade to a higher priced safer set on my tires for the lower price as the ones I intended to purchase. And wonderful faithful priesthood holder friends of mine, I have a new battery in my van. Also the Relief Society Presidency was in tune with the Spirit to know that the members of their ward needed to learn of new methods to cut excess spending, ways to save, and get out of debt.

I am so eternally grateful for the gospel in my life, and for the blessings I receive for being a member of it. My testimony has grown so much over the past 19 months. I have always had a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but lately it has been strengthened immensely. 

I also believe in the power of prayer. As I was sitting on my porch emotionally distraught over my situation with my van battery, because it would only happen on a day when I had many errands to run, and a first soccer practice to get too. As I sat, I prayed to my Heavenly Father to allow me to be the recipient of a tender mercy, because I did not know how I was going to get all that I needed to get done accomplished, without the use of my vehicle. And thanks to the wonderful members that listened to the Spirit to take the time out of their busy lives to help me accomplish all that I needed to.

I have tremendous faith in the Lord that He will protect and provide me with all that I need to sustain my life and my children's lives, but sometimes we fall short, and that is what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for. When we repent of our shortcomings, we can be more blessed by this gospel and the tender mercies that are available.  When we are living our lives as righteously as possibly and following the teachings of our leaders and our Prophet, we will be blessed beyond what we can ever magine.

There is a pretty bad flu bug going around right now, H1N1. And there are schools that are closing due to the number of children affected. In one week at Chandler's school they sent home 60 kids in one day and I think 30 another day, due to symptoms. Chandler was sent home one day for a fever, which I found out later was very slight, not even a whole degree above normal. Within 2 hours and without medication, he was just fine. I am blessed that my children have not gotten ill with this or any other sickness that may be going around. That is also a blessing. I pray every day that my children will continue to grow strong and healthy and be able to stay in school, and learn as much as they possibly can. It's exciting to see the new things that Chandler, Owen & Hayden come home to tell or sing (Hayden) to me. Hayden is learning his colors in English and in Spanish, and he is only in Pre-K. Awesome!!

We find happiness in the midst of the trial of our faith. The Lord manifests Himself to us through His tender mercies, which we find along the road of happiness. We see with increased clarity His hand in our lives. -I don't remember where I found this or who said it.

David Bednar said in a talk from May 2005, titled "The Tender Mercies of The Lord"
"Recall how the Savior instructed His Apostles that He would not leave them comfortless. Not only would He send “another Comforter” (John 14:16), even the Holy Ghost, but the Savior said that He would come to them (see John 14:18). Let me suggest that one of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies. For instance, as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. And the persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord."

" is good if we live in such a way to make it so. Believing, desiring, deciding, and choosing correctly are the simple actions that define an increase in happiness and an increase in the inner assurance that transcends this life."  -Benjamín De Hoyos

I truly believe that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know who I am, they know my strengths and also my weaknesses. I know that they hear and answer my prayers. I know that we are all recipeients of the Tender Mercies of the Lord on a daily basis, and we may not see them when they happen, but as we reflect on our lives we will rellize that we are blessed, and we are loved. I am very grateful for all trials that I have to endure in my life, they help me to grow mentally, physically and spiritually. I have to say that I do not enjoy all of them, so are very stressful, but there is purpose in everything, and that is part of the test of why we are hear on this earth. We will take all that we have learned with us into the next life.

Do you see the Tender Mercies of the Lord in your life? I hope you do, and if you don't...take the time to sit, ponder and contemplate your life, and all that you are blessed with. It's amazing all that HE gives us. I am so grateful for the ones in my life, big or small.

Love to all,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9-11-2001

Today I am sitting at home remembering what I was doing on the morning of Sep. 11, 2001, and how it changed my life.

I was at home recovering from the birth of Owen 9 days prior to that day. Chandler was sitting in front of the television watching Bear in the Big Blue House, and I recieved a phone call telling me to turn on the news, that the Twin Towers in New York City had been hit by an airplane.

So I immediately changed the channel to the local news channel, (which by the way Chandler didn't like at all). And the T.V. did not change channels again for almost 3 days as we watched how the events unfolded. I watched as the second tower was hit by the next airplane, and then also as both towers fell to the ground. It was a devastating thing to watch, and very emotional. I have never witnessed anything like this in my lifetime.

I was concerned that there would be more attacks in different parts of the country. At that time we lived in a very small town in Texas, about 80 miles East of Houston, and I wondered if because Houston was a big city, it was a target. Which I later found out it wasn't.  I also, was worried about my mom, who just the day before had flown into Boston for a work conference. We couldn't get a hold of her due to all the phone lines being tied up.  When we did hear from her, she was doing fine, but would not be returning home at the time expected. She had to stay until the airports started flying again.

It's very sad to see attacks like this going on today. I am thankful that no one in my family was hurt during these attacks. And send out my condolences to all those that have suffered pain or loss from the terrible event 8 years ago today.

Let us take a moment today to thank our Heavenly Father for all the blessings we have. I want to thank him myself. I am grateful for everything that I have here as I live upon this earth. I am thankful for my earthly parents, I love you so much, you are a great example to me. I love my brother and sister and their families, thank you for all that you for me and the boys, we are very appreciative. I love all my extended family and all my friends also. I have had some struggles, and am truly grateful for you standing by me, supporting me, letting me cry on your shoulder, for uplifting me, and showing me that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me and know who I am. My faith has grown so much.  I am so blessed.

Amy Kay :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in school...finally!

2009-2010 school year has begun in Thomasville, Georgia

Ok, I am so sorry everyone, I have been awful at blogging. Blogging on the blogger site has been so slow, that I have not been in the mood to sit and wait for all the photos to upload, because all of you that know me, know that I LOVE to take photos and usually have lots to put up. So I downloaded Windows Live writer thinking that would help me load pics faster...well I was wrong. I am sure it works fine for everyone else. But for me, it won't let me publish to my blog. It gives me an error message that says I am forbidden. I don't know so now I am back to posting on the blogger site, until I find another program to do my posts with, that will not take so long.

Well, here is our first day of school pictures. Yes, I am late, we have been in school for a month now. Wow...I will put a post next that is of ours (and mine) adventures over the summer. The boys were busy, and I was very busy. I did a lot of traveling this summer, to experience lots of LDS Single Adult Activities. I totally enjoyed gallivanting all over the area making new friends, and trying new activities. Re-inventing myself, and finding things that I like to do.

Chandler (10) 5th grade-Thomas County Middle School, Owen (7)2nd grade-Garrison Pilcher Elementary, Hayden (4) Pre-K-Hand-in-Hand Primary School. All ready for school.

Chandler showing off his new outfit and backpack, he loves his new shirt, with the guitar on the front and the necks on the back.

Monday morning Aug 3, 2009 was the boys first day of school for the 2009-10 school year. Here is Owen showing off his new outfit and backpack.

Hayden says “thumbs up”, he is ready to go. He had to put on his helmet so he wouldn’t forget it. His class gets to ride trikes, so they have to have a helmet.

Every year the boys gets new shoes, so here are the ones they got this year.

Chandler making sure he has all his last minute items in his backpack so that he doesn't forget anything important. Owen and Hayden are all ready to go, showing me their cute smiles. :)

Hayden is waiting by the door. He is so ready to go. He is excited he finally gets to ride the bus with “the brothers”. He used to cry last year when "the brothers" would get to go get on the bus and he couldn't yet. So this is his year!

All three boys waiting on the front deck for their dad and I.

Down the steps, here we go… out the door at 6:45 am to get to the bus stop a few minutes early just in case the bus earlier than normal, since it's the first day.

Owen and Hayden walking toward the bus stop. Chandler was lagging a little behind.

There they go, all three of my boys together. Wow, I have anticipated this day for a long time, but now that it is finally here, I am not sure I am ready.

Chandler, me, Owen and Hayden waiting for the bus to come. I am excited and sad at the same time. I haven’t been away from Hayden like this before.

This is their old bus that they rode last year, but because of overcrowding, they got moved to another bus. The bus driver honked and waved as she drove by.

Here is a stair step photo of them. They all smiled so good, aren’t they so cute. I can’t believe they are growing up so fast.

Chandler, Owen and Hayden.

Here comes the bus up the road.

Hayden watching as the bus comes up the road to our stop. He is the first to get on the bus because he is the smallest. He's so cute standing there waiting to patiently for it to stop.

Hayden showed no hesitation, he just marches himself onto that bus, he waved bye and was gone. I think he is ready for this next step.

My boys are all on the bus ready to go to school... I was getting a little teary, but I didn't cry...(posted after, I cried the second day, because I didn't walk them to the bus stop. And I watched as Hayden proudly walked down the road to the bus stop. He was so excited, and felt so big. I shed a few tears that day).

Owen waving goodbye.

This is the bus from my front porch, leaving our neighborhood, on the way to school.

And of course I had to get photos of them getting off the bus. I was waiting, and some of my parents came to pick up their kids…so I asked them to wait for a minute so I could get at least Hayden getting off the bus since it was his first day.

Owen was first off the bus…

Then came Hayden…

...And finally Chandler.

My three boys walking home from the bus stop.

That is so nice that they stayed together. I am sure that won't last long. Everything to them becomes a race or competition (that's a Watson thing), so I am sure they will be running home from the bus stop soon enough.

They said they all had a good day. They each gave me a high five when they met me on the driveway. But I couldn’t get much more information out of them than that. They said they forgot…yeah right. Well, when I asked Hayden about lunch, he said he didn’t eat. So I looked at the menu and asked the different items if he ate them, and he said no, except for the milk. He said he drank chocolate milk. :) My boy, has to have his chocolate. I love them so much, well I hope he eats at least a little bit.

So I guess the first day of school went pretty good. And so begins the next chapter of their lives....