Monday, February 28, 2011


I told our Bishop that we would be fine for a few months. He suggested we conserve our cash and get a food order. No way. We have beans and rice. We have tuna fish and pancake mix. I survived on Ramen and frozen burritos in college. We will get by on our own just fine. I don't need any help. I have never taken it. I won't take it. We are givers not takers. We contribute to the solution, not the problem. All of the harsh criticisms that I have thought of others taking assistance over the years came into my mind. I do not need charity or welfare...I don't need it. I don't need it. I won't I won't I won't...

Then I thought, we could seriously lose everything here. We may be without Jeff's income for awhile. We could lose our house. This is a lot harder than I was thinking it would be those first few weeks. This all kind of sucks.

I talk to myself a lot these days. Mostly pep talks, but now that reality is setting in, there is also a bit of fear and doubt. I can't see where any of this is going. And even though there is still a steady stream of little miracles, I am scared. Scared enough to realize that maybe I need more humility in my life. And that I may need a little help. I would rather take a food order than have to ask for a house payment...which may at some point still be the case. But for now, I am realizing that everyone needs help sometime...and after my trip to the Bishop's Storehouse, I understand how being in this position can change you, forever. And there is so much we can learn from any point in the road we may be on, and blessings that follow with every step.

Derek went with us today to the Storehouse to pick up the food. As we were checking out, he asked if we could buy some cute socks that were on a rack nearby. He persisted after I told him no, because they were very cool looking socks. I had to tell him that those socks were not for sale and were just for people who didn't have any socks. I reminded him that he had plenty of socks at home, and we were just there to get food. He already knew that the church was helping us to get some food so we could save our money since Dad was out of work. He helped me to put the food in bags and I could tell he was thinking about the socks, and some little kids who really didn't have any. On the way out to the car he said "Our church is the nicest place in the world to help all of those people like that...."

Yes, Derek, it really is.

And just like that, a testimony takes hold, and begins. In the humblest of circumstances, in the most unexpected places, a moment I wouldn't trade for anything. I'll take it, and be grateful to be where I am right now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Valentines Day... I woke up to this....

What more could a girl want???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Home-made Valentines

Still putting my "spin-art" machine to good use. Derek made these cool hearts for his class valentines.
And I made these for the girls at work.

I love Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Five Dollars

"I thought you said you had 'eight' dollars" I yelled at Jeff. Irritated that we were going to have to get back in the car and go find an ATM. "No," Jeff replied. "I said 'A' dollar". This is nothing new. Whenever I attempt to go to the temple, nothing ever works out. Today was no exception. Neither one of us have temple clothes that fit. We would have to rent a dress and suit. We needed a few dollars. We started to go back into the car. I got in and noticed Jeff talking to someone in a car that stopped behind ours. I thought it was just someone he knew. I waited, looking at my clock on my cell phone. This was going to be much longer than I had expected. What else is new?
Jeff came to my side of the car and opened my door. "That lady just stopped and noticed that we were getting back into the car and asked if there was something she could do to help...I told her we forgot to bring some cash for clothes, she just gave me five dollars...I tried to get her info so I could pay her back...but she insisted that we just keep it."

I felt completely unworthy, and grateful at the same time. I was determined to not feel unworthy, since that is what I always struggle with when I come to the temple. I have recently come to realize that it has to do with my pride. I tried to shrug all of my self-centered and insecure feelings off before I entered. I tried really hard to replace them with gratitude. I almost started crying when the cute and sweet little Japanese man at the entrance took my recommend and said "Sister Bingham, Welcome to the Temple."

I got dressed and went up to the chapel to wait for Jeff. He was taking awhile, so I felt like I should really go back out to see if he was waiting for me downstairs. I went to the seating area outside the dressing room, and there were 3 temple workers around this little lady who seemed a little distressed. They told her to sit down, and huddled together away from her, talking in whispers, trying to work something out. I tried not to look like I was interested, and sat down to wait for Jeff. I tried not to look at the little lady sitting down, but she did catch my eye from across the room and said softly, "espanol?"

"Si", I replied. She clapped her hands and started talking to me in Spanish about how she was from Peru, and her husband was here, she couldn't find him and he may have mis-understood what ordinance they were suppose to do first and she needed to find him, and no one understood where he was and that he didin 't speak english...and no one understood what she was asking...just then the other 3 ladies came over and I was able to tell them what she needed. They found her husband. Then she told me that he needed clothes, and she didn't bring any cash, and she wasn't sure how much it would cost. Just then Jeff came out, and he gave the last 3 dollars from the five that the lady in the parking lot had given us. Miracles all around. Sometimes there just is absolutly no doubt...the church is true, and Heavenly Father is leading us. And it is the little things that mean the most.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Tide

This was suppose to be the year. The year the tide finally turned and all of our financial problems would come to an end. I had an indisputable urge this past fall to get my teaching certificate re-newed, and by this time next year we would be on top of the world. All of our money troubles would be over with. Both my boys would be in school at the same time I would be. We would have two decent sized incomes. I started dreaming of new cars and family vacations. Everything was going to be wonderful. Easy. Perfect. For the first time ever, money would not be an issue.
But I had no right to dream of such things. In fact, I feel like I am being punished for thinking them. And maybe I am.
Jeff lost his job yesterday. I am in shock. I shouldn't be. Jeff has had to let a lot of people go the over the past 2 years. I guess I just really thought he was safe. He wasn't. No one really is. The whole thing has come at a really bad time. For the first time in our married life, we won't have insurance, which is what I am the most worried about. Clint needs braces, we are still in strep and flu season, Derek gets toothaches sometimes...
Next year, if I can get hired as a teacher somewhere, we will have insurance again. And the education system has great insurance...and now I fully understand, and am so grateful for the overwhelming need I had to re-certify. I know Heavenly Father was looking out for us then, and was trying to tell me what I needed to prepare for. I am ready to do it. I am also ready to do what is necessary to help our family understand what it is Heavenly Father wants us to learn from this. Or where he wants us to go. In spite of how awful the whole thing is, and how typical of me it is to think the worse, the only thing I feel right now it gratitude. I am so grateful that Jeff didn't lose his job when Derek was a baby. I am so grateful I was able to be a stay at home mom when it was so important. I am so grateful that I have a teaching certificate. I am so grateful we are healthy and strong, have a good community and families to help get us through this. I am grateful for Jeff, Clint and Derek. I am feeling strong at the moment. Opening myself up for the possibilities the future holds. Getting ready to accept whatever happens next. Realizing I need Heavenly Father now more than ever. I know I won't be able to hold on to this feeling forever, but I guess I thought maybe if I wrote about it, it just might stick around a little longer. I hope I can stay strong. I will do the best I can.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Derek's photography

Derek was inspired to do his own photo shoot after I showed him some really cool photos on Flickr by Chrissie White. A 17 year old girl who has an amazing eye and natural talent. He had his own vision, and I just let him do it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pink Pops

Oh How I love Bakerella!!! I made these for my friends baby Shower...all 85 of them. I took about 6 hours. But I love how they turned out! Cant wait to make more for St. Patricks Day!!!

Ninja Birthday

Derek The NinjaInvitations
Ninjago Cake and Cupcakes--Made from Pretzles and Chocolate. The top of the Dojo is chocolate. I had to support it with Graham Cracker pillars in the back, and fill the cake with melted chocolate where the pretzles went in to hold them up.

Meet The other Ninjas!

And the littlest Ninja
Travis taught the Ninjas in Training to make Origami Throwing Stars, and how to play Ninja Warrior
Clint played Ninja Warrior too

The last two standing for Ninja Warrior face off
Derek insisted on Pin the Sword on the Ninja
And he got lots of Legos, and Ninjago stuff too
A better shot of my was late and so the photography is not to good
I made these cupcake toppers from priniting off a poster from the Lego website and then used my square punch to clip them out and mount them on paper...
I wonder where that square punch is now...

6 years old!
My little Ninja

And Grandma and Grandpa Rawlins were able to come all the way from Michigan! Thanks to Aunt Shelli!
This really was one of the greatest Birthdays Ever!!!