Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trip to Spokane, WA

What a weekend I had!

I took off Friday morning for Spokane to do a Retreat there with my cousin Taunie. We drove all day on Friday, slept that night at a very nice total stranger's home and presented a Retreat all day Saturday (love how friends-of-friends and even complete strangers are always so willing to step up and host trainers and invite us to hold Retreats in their lovely homes). The woman who originally volunteered her home for the Retreat had a last-minute emergency but a friend with a house nearby volunteered her home as a replacement and everything worked out perfectly. It always does. I always get stressed out but out of 17 Retreats, we've had 17 Retreats work out beautifully.

The 11-hour drive each way didn't seem all that long given that I had great company and we traded off driving. I went with my cousin Taunie (she lives quite near me and is one of our Power of Moms trainers) and her daughter and Taunie's sister, Carley. I loved the chance to talk so much with moms who are ahead of me in their mothering (Taunie has teenagers and Carley's two girls are in college). We shared great stories and ideas pretty much the whole way there and back. It was a perfect pre-Retreat and post-Retreat session.

Plus the scenery with all the changing colors of fall was truly spectacular (and my phone didn't really do the scenery justice as I snapped photos from the window of a car going 70 miles per hour).

It probably sounds weird to say "Taunie's sister" rather than my other cousin but Taunie's sister Carley isn't my cousin. Taunie was adopted and I only found out about Taunie a few years ago - my aunt had her and gave her up for adoption back when everything was very hush-hush with adoption. We all found out about Taunie a few years back and how grateful we are to have this amazing cousin added to our family! I loved the chance to get to know the sister Taunie grew up with during our long drive, get to know her cute daughter better, and meet a lot more of Taunie's adoptive family while we were in Spokane (where Taunie grew up). Her adoptive parents had ten children but felt strongly they were meant to have another child. So they adopted Taunie. They are wonderful people and it was great to see the house and farm where Taunie grew up, the schools she attended, and a little slice of her earlier life.

So it was all great but wow, I'm tired. 22 hours of driving in a 3-day period plus 8 hours of presenting plus not getting much sleep at all because that's just how it goes the night before each Retreat when my brain won't turn off. But i'll catch up on sleep here soon. Taunie did a fabulous job as my co-presenter. One of our new trainers, Daisy, did a wonderful job with the food. Another excellent trainer and Power of Moms Board member, Chantol, helped with food and did a great job leading discussions. And as always, we had a truly great group of women there and it was really a great day. The house where we held it worked out great. i love my kids more than ever after being gone for a few days (love that about coming home from each Retreat). My house is dirty and the fridge is pretty empty but I'm feeling re-energized about motherhood and so glad to have had the chance to share ideas and learn from so many wonderful moms at the Retreat. Life is good.

One thing I resolved to do at the Retreat was to come home and do the "Love Languages Test" with each of the kids. At the Retreat, we talked about how important it is to set up an environment in your home where your kids are more likely to WANT to behave. We talked about really listening to our kids more, giving them lots of praise for the good stuff they do, and minimizing the criticizing (I talked about this a bit in my post about the Idaho Falls Retreat here - and developed a new mantra). And one essential ingredient in helping our kids get the attention they need and really feel loved is understanding what their love language is. I've been meaning to do this forever, but with my Retreat resolve in hand, we talked about Love Languages last night at Family Home Evening and the kids got really excited about taking this little Love Languages Test. Being more in tune with the different ways we give and hope to receive love will really help the environment in our home I think.

I'll post Retreat photos and more info when I gather photos from those who actually took them!


Jill said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts from your scripture challenge and Conference Saren. You have inspired me in my personal study. I loved your post today and was particularly touched with the Psalm you shared. Lately I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with the "stuff" I need to do. When I read your post, I decided to give this a try. I copied down Psalms 23 on an index card and took it with me on my walk this morning. As I walked I read this over and over pondering what it meant to me personally. I felt a deep love for my Savior and Him for me. I really appreciate you sharing from your heart. You made my day brighter today. With love and gratitude, Jill in San Diego

Noah said...

this is awesome Sar! You are changing lives for the better all the time. thanks so much for your example big sis!

yin-keng said...


yin-keng said...

Hi Saren, I've always wanted to comment (for a very long time) but never have the courage as I feel I'm such a STALKER, Yes a stalker all the way from down under New Zealand.But I feel I would be very ungrateful if I don't let you know how much your blog means to me.Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your lovely family on your blog, your thoughts on motherhood and scripture challenge which I so so look forward to it each week.You are simply awesome and so inspiring! You don't know me and we will never meet yet I feel I know your family well. So how did I find your blog. Let me explain quickly and backtrack a bit. I know of your parents back in 1977 when I was a young mum with a 3 month old baby when my husband and I were living in London. 2 fine missionaries, Elder Thackeray and Elder Zachary found us and we were subsequently baptized.Your parents might probably remember them. We were also taught by lovely Sister Barbara Jenkinson and her companion whose name unfortunately I can't remember.Back then we were in Catford ward, South London where we attended a few awe-inspiring firesides by your Dad.We left London in 1979 and went to live in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi for a few years and eventually settled in NZ. Back in NZ and 6 children later, if my memory is correct sometime in early 1990's I was pleasantly surprised (actually thrilled) to see the Eyre family on "The Oprah Show". Of course I promptly bought The Teaching Children Values book and the other series thereafter. Fast track to 2009, (hope this is not boring you and thank you for still reading)I was going through a very difficult time in my life and found myself googling your parents to check if they've brought out any new books (btw they are my favourite authors), of couse I bought some more of their books and also found your blog. By now you must surely guessed I'm not your regular young mums blog readers. You're right. I'm in my 50's. You may well wonder why a mother of 6 fully grown adults and grandmother of one who still leads a very very busy hectic life still makes sure she finds the time to read your blog -well simply you are so inspiring and honest and I so enjoy reading your blog. Besides I tell myself I'm still very young at heart as I look after my very active adorable 4 yr old grand-daughter on my days off (I'm a nurse)and I have also been serving for quite a while in the YW's presidency, only released from my calling recently so I don't feel so "guilty" that I'm gatecrashing your blog (lol,)or that of Shawni's blog esp when she was in YW (I justify yeah, I have some right to read her blog as I can borrowed some ideas of her YW's for our YW. lol) So yes I read her blog too and that of Saydi and Charity (see what I mean when I said I feel I'm such a stalker!!! but I hope it only validates that I am really young at heart because I so enjoy reading their blogs too. They are equally inspiring and what great writers! So Saren,a BIG THANK YOU to you (and your sisters) for giving me the highlight of each day when I get to sit down to read your ever uplifting, inspiring,real honest-from-your heart blogs. You have an amazing family. Just don't stop blogging.lol

Saren Loosli said...

Thanks SO much for sharing your story of how you ended up here on my blog. I forwarded your comment on to my whole family and they were all excited to learn about the connections and see the ripple effects of things they've been involve with. Please keep reading and please keep in touch!

Saren Loosli said...

So glad to know that my scripture posts have been meaningful to you, Jill. I just write them because it's a great way to keep myself going on scripture reading and I sometimes wonder if anyone else out there enjoys them. Nice to know that Jill and Yin-Keng are really enjoying them!


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