Monday, April 27, 2015

Heard from Charity

Just got this note from Charity and Ian:

hey guys,
we just got to wifi after having crossed thorong la pass this morning. going through emails and seeing news has left us stunned - with the outpouring of love and concern for us and with shock about this awful disaster. we were resting on the side of a mountain a couple of days ago when the quake hit. we felt the ground moving and it was scary for about 3 seconds, and then we just thought it was kind of cool that we felt a baby earthquake in the himalayas. we felt a couple of even smaller aftershocks when we got to the camps where we slept over the next couple of days. a fellow trekker with a radio told us it was quite serious in kathmandu, but it was business as usual at the guesthouses where we stayed and along the trail. we had an incredible ascent to the pass this morning under perfectly blue skies, surrounded in spectacular mountains. it's just hitting us now what a huge deal this is. thank you so so much for all your concern and prayers. we are certain they helped to keep us safe and sound. we are totally healthy and safe and everything is normal here in the little town of mukinath. we are trying to figure out if we can fly to pokhara and then kathmandu (our original plan) and if we will be able to link up with the church or another organization to help with rebuilding. looks like the airport is back open so we will be able to make it out of nepal, but we may stay if we find an opportunity to help. we left a bunch of our luggage at our hotel in kathmandu, and we have no idea of it is still standing. we would love to go back there and try to help if we can. please keep sending prayers to nepal. these are such beautiful people, and this is so tragic.

we were soooo excited to hear about the safe arrival of baby dean when we connected with mom and dad on the phone as soon as we crossed the pass and got reception. life is so fragile and beautiful and we are so blessed to have this new healthy beautiful baby in our family!!

will send updates when we can. thank you so much for your love concern and prayers. we love you all very very much.


SO glad to hear directly from her and to know that she's safe! But so sad that so many others are not. Thanks to Charity and Ian's being in Nepal, I have sure felt extra empathy for the victims of this quake and have felt extra love for my family and extra gratitude for the simple blessings of my daily life - safety, a strong house to live in, daily food and water in abundance, so many comforts that many people in Nepal never had, even before this recent devestation that has made situations so much worse for so many.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Today I feel overcome by gratitude - the kind that comes when worries about life and death come into play and positive outcomes are so joyful and the kind that comes when beginnings and endings offer fresh perspective.

1. I am SO grateful that my baby sister Charity and her husband Ian are almost for sure OK. They are trekking in Nepal so the news of yesterday's earthquake was pretty scary. Thanks to research by my siblings and helpful reports from kind strangers on Trip Advisor, we've been able to find out that they were almost surely outside the danger zone during the earthquake. There's no way to reach them until they get to the next village with wifi (our new Trip Advisor friends say that'll be in about a day based on where we estimate she'd be right now). So that's a bit unnerving. But we all feel at peace that she's OK (for more details, see my sister Shawni's post here.) Can't wait to hear a direct update from her, though!

In the process of trying to figure out if Charity's OK, I've come to know more about this particular natural disaster than most. I now feel a greater sense of connection and thus a greater sense of sorrow concerning this earthquake. What terror and tragedy for so many people - people who were already struggling to feed their families while living in crudely-built homes that were no match for an earthquake. I'm so grateful for the good people who are doing all the can to help those in need and I imagine that Charity and Ian will help in any way they can.

2. I'm SO grateful that my newest nephew has arrived safe and sound. My brother Eli and sister-in-law Julie had their baby day before yesterday. After the scary and slow and careful breech birth of their first child, Zara, this little guy shot into the world just 40 minutes after they got to the hospital (after a crazy rush-our cab ride through NYC where they live).

They sent this photo of their wonderful little family:

And it reminded me so much of this photo of our first two children:

Where has the time gone???!!!

I'm so so so grateful that all our children arrived here safe and healthy - we sure had some crazy deliveries (I got pre-eclampsia with Ashton and had to be induced early with him, Isaac came 1/2 hour after we got to the hospital, Eliza came out entirely blue and looked dead but she was fine, almost lost the twins when the placenta started separating itself from the uterine wall at about 14 weeks of pregnancy, did modified bedrest - with three tiny kids who needed me - for a couple months and thankfully, the placenta healed, then Oliver was born quick and easy but Silas got stuck and I had to have an emergency C-section...)

3. And while I'm on siblings, I have to say that all this extra interaction with my family due to worry about Charity and communication about the new baby has just made me so extra grateful for all my siblings. I love that we share a crazy wanderlust and that we feed off each other's excitement about travel. I love seeing Charity and Ian's posts from around the world and Tal and Anita's pictures of their new home in Switzerland while seeing Jonah and Aja and their five kids take off for a new life in Spain while planning our family's trip to Bulgaria and Italy while talking to Saydi as she plans her family's Europe adventure. I'm so grateful for the love of travel and learning and adventure that our parents blessed us with (even though, I have to admit, there are times we all feel like this love can be a bit detrimental - we pretty much all have itchy feet and a serious appetite for adventure which usually means there's a lot of stress and expense involved!). And as it's Jonah's birthday today, I just have to say I'm SO extra grateful for him and his example of marching to the beat of his own drummer. When I first met my brother Jonah, he was a 3-pound preemie in an incubator who was given a 50/50 chance to live. Now he's one of the strongest guys I know - spirit, mind and body.

Here are a couple shots from last-year's amazing trip to Bali:

4. And while I'm on family, I have to say that I'm extra extra grateful for my wonderful mom. It was her birthday this past week and I can't imagine where any of us would be without her. She is the kindest most Christ-like person I know and she somehow makes time for SO many people and helps everyone feel truly loved. Check out my tribute to my mom here if you want (lots of great old photos):

Happy Birthday Mom

5. I'm SO grateful for the chance I've had to serve in our ward's Primary presidency. For the past three and a half years, I've spent pretty much every Sunday with a whole slew of kids ages 3-11 and I've come to love each of them dearly. I've been able to share the simplest and purest truths of the Gospel with them during the Sharing Time lessons I've taught and I've so enjoyed their sweetness, their energy, and the genuine and original (and sometime hilarious) thoughts they've shared. Our presidency was released today and we will be turning these kids over to a truly stellar new presidency. It's time. It's right. But as I greeted each child today the way I have every Sunday, I felt so much love for them and some real sadness that I won't get to interact with then in quite the same way anymore.

6. I'm SO grateful we've FINALLY finished most of the key details of our itinerary for Bulgaria and Italy. There are SO many choices and SO many wonderful things to see and do! We've got our full itinerary of orphange visits ALMOST finalized, we've got our places to stay firmed up, we're finalizing our rental cars (wish we could just do trains but it's way more expensive that way with 7 of us). It's hard to know where to draw the line between fitting in enough of the many many amazing things we'll be close to and really enjoying and soaking in at least a few things. It's been pretty crazy trying to get all this set up while helping with this Primary transition, finishing our new Family Systems eCourse for Power of Moms (been working on that for a year - just a couple more places in our special intro group for the course if you're interested), finishing the updated Joy School lesson plans (stay tuned for more info on that), and getting ready for our big Power of Moms Retreat this coming weekend. Now if Isaac's passport will just show up in the mail in the next few days, I can stop stressing about that.

7. I'm SO grateful for YOU. It was so touching to see how many of you responded quickly and generously to Ashton's request for donations for the orphanages. It made me tear up to get that great card in the mail with the euros to treat my kids to gelato in Italy (see the post right before this). And I thoroughly appreciate all the comments on my post about teenagers - thanks for your thanks and for your helpful ideas as I navigate what sort of feels like a minefield sometimes when parenting my teenagers. I was so glad to hear from many of you who really appreciate my honesty and from many of you who had constructive ideas for me. Thank you so much.

So that's my top seven for today.

Have a fabulous Sunday.

And if you want to see more of what we've been up to, feel free to check out Instagram where I post a photo almost every day - and where there will be some extra-exciting photos soon as we head out on our grand Bulgaria-Italy adventure soon! Just look for "sarenloosli" on Instagram if you want to follow me. He's a quick collage of some recent Instagram stuff:

Monday, April 20, 2015

You guys are awesome! [another guest post from Ashton]

Hey everybody, this is Ashton again. Here's a quick update on my last post. So far, we have raised $435! This is incredible; I never expected that this would take off so fast! Our goal is to raise $600 so that we can buy the computers and books for the kids.

The coolest thing happened today. My family recieved the nicest note from an anonymous reader in Switzerland - along with some money we're supposed to use to buy ourselves some gelato. We've been so excited to try real gelato - and that's just so super nice of you to treat us! Whoever you are, thank you so much!

In case you can't read it, the part about the gelato says: "I would love to treat the Loosli kids to a gelato as a thank you for being positive role models - especially in regard to their creative fundraisers for Bulgarian orphans. Two thumbs up, Loosli Kids - and happy adventures." How nice is that?

Again, thank you all so much. This will make such a huge impact in these kids' lives. Any donation helps! We'll be closing out donations on Friday so there's still time you want to donate towards the computer and books for the new library room at one of the orphanages.

--Ashton Loosli

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A little help with my Eagle project? [Guest post from Ashton]

Hey everyone, this is Ashton.

My mom hasn’t announced it yet on this blog but WE ARE GOING TO BULGARIA ON MAY 6th! After 8 years of putting on Children for Children concerts at Christmas to raise money for the orphanages there, we’re really excited that we get to go and actually meet the kids we’ve been sending money to for all these years and do some volunteer work in the orphanages.

Click any of these links if you want to read more about the concerts we've done:

If you don’t know where Bulgaria is - that’s OK - it’s in Eastern Europe above Greece and below Romania. They speak Bulgarian which my mom speaks since she served a mission there (that's when she first got to know all about the orphanages and did a lot of volunteering with the orphans). There are tons of kids in orphanges because they they don’t have a foster care system plus during 40 years of communism, people were taught that kids would be better off in an orphanage if the kids had special needs or if the parents were having any issues. The problem is that the government does not have the necassary funds to support these orphanages very well and the kids don't have great supervision or very good food or medical care, plus they don't get to participate in extracurricular activities. And, of course, they don't have loving parents to care about them.

Here are a few pictures of orphanages and orphans in Bulgaria

As part of this trip, I am going to be doing my Eagle Project so I can earn my Eagle rank in Boy Scouts (an Eagle project involves me leading a project to benefit a non-profit organization - I chose One Heart Bulgaria). I’m going to be putting together little gifts for the 60 orphans in one orphanage that is for kids ages 7-18 (with the help of a lot of people in my community). I’m also going to be planning some games and English-learning activities that we’ll do at several orphanages. My mom is going to be doing a special training to teach the orphanage staff and volunteers about positive discipline and building self-esteem in kids plus answer any questions they have. They generally don't get a lot of training so this will be a great thing.

I found out that one of the orphanages with 80 kids ages 7-18 is in need of a computer and some Bulgarian books (they have a little room that they want to make into a library) so I'm trying to get some money donated so that we can buy those things for them once we get there (we’ll need to get the computer and books in Bulgaria so that the books are in Bulgarian and the computer has a keyboard with the Cyrillic alphabet that they use there).

If you could help us get the money we need for a computer (about $250) and books (about $200), that would be amazing!

Click below to go to One Heart Bulgaria and make a donation - any amount will really help!

When you're confirming your donation, click where it says "Add special instructions to the seller" and make sure that you state that your donation is for the Loosli Family Book and Computer Donations. Here's a screenshot of the link you should look for:

If you want to learn more about the orphanages in Bulgaria, here’s a short video that we made to show at our Children for Children concerts.

If you want, you could watch this video about the orphans with your kids and if they want to help raise money for the computer and books, they could do extra jobs around the house to earn money from their parents, and then their parents (you) could donate that money. If they earned five dollars, that would buy one nice book. Also, you could ask you kids if they would like to substitute a family outing for a game night or movie night, and use the money that you would have spent on your outing to donate towards the books and computer for the orphans.

- Ashton Loosli

P.S. After our time in Bulgaria, we will be visiting Italy, where my dad served his misison. It'll be really cool to see where both of my parents went on their missions in one trip! We'll see some sweet sights and eat some great pizza.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Last Call for Early Bird Pricing

For years, I was helping to put on a Power of Moms Retreat almost every month - East Coast, West Coast, Autralia, you name it. It was so wondeful to meet face-to-face with fabulous moms and learn together. But when my husband's schedule became less flexible and my children needed me more, I cut back on Retreats. Way back. And April and I started focusing more on offering great programs and events online which kept us at home with our families where we needed to be while encouraging our great Power of Moms trainers to continue with great in-person events for moms. This strategy has worked out great for the most part. But I sure miss getting together in-person with great moms!

In the past few years, we've held ONE major Power of Moms Retreat each year. Every May, we gather with about 100 awesome moms to learn and grow together at my parents' lovely big house near Park City. My amazing parents will be speaking. My sister Saydi is flying in from Boston to do a special presentation on how we can be more present and find more joy. Of course April will be there too - presenting life-changing ideas on how we can organize our brains and tasks better and actually accomplish the projects that are important to us beyond motherhood WHILE being good moms. And we'll all have the chance to learn from each other in powerful discussion groups.

Power of Moms Retreats are for ALL moms. We have moms from every religion and background attend. We have single moms, stay-at-home moms, moms who work outside their homes, moms who are doing great in general but would love to take things to the next level, moms who are struggling big time, you name it. The principles we teach are applicable to all moms and we love gathering with moms from all walks of life who have the same goal: to be the very best mom and woman they can be.

This year, this Retreat will be on Saturday, May 2nd (all day). We've got tons of great moms already signed up and flying in from places like Hawaii, Canada, the East Coast, you name it.  If you'd like to join us, register today and save some serious money. The Early Bird pricing on our Retreat ends TODAY but the regular pricing is only a little more expensive. So come!

Registration for May 2nd Retreat in Park City, UT


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