Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well Christmas is over...HALLELUJAH!!!!! The kids had a wonderful holiday. They have been in a candy, toy, electronic induced stupor even into the day after Christmas. Oh to be a kid, where magic is real, all your dreams come true, and an old fat man in a red suit sneaks in and leaves gifts a plenty. (That actually sounds pretty creepy, when you think about it)

I am thankful for all those who have helped me and my little family through the last sixteen months, but especially through the last few holidays. It's been really hard, and there are only a few people that would understand the exact degree of difficulty. In fact, I sit here now, physically sick with sadness. There are times that I wonder if my heart will actually survive, and not in the emotional sense, but the actual ability to continue to beat sense.

I wish there was a magic pill that would take all the pain away. If I could invent such a thing, I would be wealthy beyond Bill Gates standards. The problem is, the pain is there to teach us what is really important in life.

Hollywood makes family seem like a thing that we are saddled with when we are either irresponsible, or finally done having fun. And then, it's easily expendable, just get a good pre-nup and attorney and your good to go. However, if that is the case, then why is it so painful when a family falls apart? Why is it that when one family member is no longer here, there is a gaping hole that threatens to swallow you whole.

My testimony of family had grown infinitely through the loss of my sweetheart. I know that what we had here on this earth will continue into the eternities, but I miss him so much that the pain makes me make certain promises to myself about the things that I will do for the rest of this life and on and on. Here are a few of those promises.

  • Say "I Love You" to everyone that I do love, as much as possible
  • Hug more
  • Pay attention to the small moments of life, they are the most important
  • Acknowledge feelings for what they are, and deal with them appropriately.
  • Stop worrying about what others think of me, only worry about what the Lord and my family thinks of me.
  • Take time to watch a movie with the kids
  • Read together as a family
  • Laugh as often as you can, even if you have to make up an excuse.
  • Make sure that the important people in your life know that they are important
  • Trust your instincts, they are a gift of the spirit, and they won't lead you astray.
This list could go on for an eternity. It actually has a lot of bullet points for marriage, but I will leave those out for now, they're just too painful.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Ok, so here we go. I'm about to unload some crazy dreaming on you, you ready? I woke up this morning with a surge of adrenalin. I am somewhat known for my crazy dreams, ask anyone. (except my dad, he hates when I tell my dreams) Usually the dreams are really just entertainment for me, apparently my psyche needs to be entertained at all times of the day and night. However, last night was different. Let me lay it out for you. I was in a very tense situation, bad guys everywhere, and there I was climbing higher and higher up this crazy scary contraption. I don't really know the point of all of that, but here is where it gets interesting. There was a man there to save me. The only way he could help was for me to climb all the way up to the very precipice of the structure. Once there, I had to turn around and sit on this tiny ledge several hundred feet above the ground. The tower swayed, and there was nothing to hold on to. Just thinking of it makes my heart pound. Behind me was this man who kept telling me to trust him, and not to worry. He very carefully offered his hand, and with little effort helped me to safety. I remember having such an internal struggle with whether or not to trust this man. It was literally die alone, or trust this person to help you live. I know, you are probably thinking I watch way too much James Bond. I can't stop thinking that the dream has a deeper meaning. In fact I have made two conclusions.
  1. I don't have to do it all on my own. There is someone out there who can help on this earthly sphere if I just open myself up and trust.
  2. I'm not alone. My savior is always there for me. Sometimes, I have to do scary things, and it seems like I'm doing them all by myself, but really he's right behind me ready to catch. I still have to do my part, but the protection is always there.
Hmmmm, isn't it cool that even in the midst of bad guys, and death defying acts, the savior is always with us, and there is always a lesson to be learned. P.S. Please don't bug me about my run on sentences, it's early and my brain is still nigh night.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Oh, how the holidays are upon us.

The snow,

the lights,

the food

Normally, that's enough for a great year. Now, I wish I could skip it. All that I can think of is being alone. The kids are missing him more than ever, which makes it so much harder on me.

I have all these great daydreams of being in a coma till May, however with the slim chance there, I have to make preparations for my children to have a great memory this year. Even with John gone, the kids deserve a beautiful holiday.

I have often given thanks for my sweet children. Without them, I don't need to carry on. I could curl up and just let the years pass. But with them, I can see the light. I know that it will be hard, and painful, and frustrating at times. I know that the ache in my heart will always be there. I know that I will be faced with tough decisions that will have to be made on my own, but I also know that it will be worth it. I know that my family will be protected. I know that one day, this pain will subside, we wont be alone, and we will feel whole again.

For now, I just put on a brave face, suck it up, show my kids that they are loved, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Faith Precedes the Miracle

I was given the opportunity last weekend to speak to the Laurels of the stake. It was such a beautiful experience. There is something about being around those young women that seems to recharge my battery. Here's a portion of the talk. I thought it turned out pretty good. I can always tell when divine intervention is involved, because it always sounds smarter than I could make it myself.

I’m so thankful for this experience to speak to you beautiful young women. You have such a wonderful spirit about you. I was asked to speak to you about How my faith is Jesus Christ has helped me through life’s trials.

I guess I should start by giving some background. (plane crash)

Trials and Faith:

Everyone in this life will experience trials. They are there to humble us, and teach us. There are two responses that people have to trials. 1. Cry and whine, and say woe is me. This is the pity party attitude. 2. Is to suck it up, look beyond the trial itself and try to see the miracles that are going on around you.

I find that my mind is pretty powerful, so it is important that I look at things in a positive light. For instance when I was younger I could get a headache just by hearing the word. So, whenever I’m faced with something that I may think is hard, I have to tell myself that It’s really not hard, just time consuming. I do this same thing with trials. So we are going to change trials to trails…TRIALS and TRAILS. The word is nearly the same, just two letters are flipped. Now we are looking at a set of trails, instead of a set of trials. How do we know which trail to take? Well we probably need a few tools with us so that we don’t get lost.

· Compass- Faith - In Nephi’s time, they were given a compass that would only show them the way if they exercised their faith.

· Map – Scriptures – The scriptures truly are Gods way of speaking to us, all we need to do is study them, and they will show us the way.

· Warning Signs – The holy ghost -When we learn to listen to that still small voice, we will be able to avoid trouble, and the pit falls of life.

Now if we can look at that trial as a journey, suddenly our outlook changes from why did this have to happen, to what can I learn from this.

I believe that our family was prepared for the loss of John through inspiration. I also believe that because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we listened, and acted upon the promptings that were given, and as a result we were blessed beyond measure. We were set on a trail that lead us to friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances that have allowed for the exact kind of support that we needed to help us through this difficult time.

So, I want to stop there and talk about Faith. I have been asked, “How has your faith grown because of your experience?” This question has really given me pause, and I have thought about it even more since being asked to speak tonight. The answer that I have come up with is this…I have always had faith that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are here for me. I have always known that the gospel is completely true. I have always known that Christ Atoned for me. So my faith was always there. What I have learned since the accident is that Faith Precedes the Miracle. The miracle being the simple fact that my family and I have survived the unthinkable, and in fact, we have not only survived, but we have thrived.

There is a scripture in 1 Nephi that I love. 1 Nephi 7:12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

How many times do we forget? I know that I forget more often than not. We get busy in our lives and we forget that ALL things are possible, not SOME, but ALL as long we exercise faith in him. Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love us more that we can know, and all they want for us is happiness. That’s why it’s called the plan of Happiness, not the plan of sorrow, or the plan of frustration, or the plan of loneliness. We need to exercise faith, that they know what they are doing, and that if we follow our trail, that we will end up where we need to be.

Faith is not something that is going to swoop in and save the day after being ignored. Faith needs to be our foundation, and then with that sturdy foundation, our structure can weather any storm.

I heard a wonderful story about this from a friend of mine. She said that she was in the mall one day, and noticed the gardener was violently shaking the trees as she went around watering them. My friend though to herself, “I wonder what is going on there?” This strange though stayed with her for several days, and then she realized that with the indoor shelter that these trees had, they had no reason to lay down deep roots. In nature, when the wind blows, and the weather changes, trees will instinctively force their roots deeper into the earth to protect themselves, and ensure their survival. Have you noticed the trees at the bottom of the canyon? The wind has constantly blown and forced them to grow at an angel, but they are alive and thriving in that environment, because they have been forced to develop enough strength to survive where they were planted. The trees indoor, have none of those natural forces, so the gardener was shaking the tree to force it to protect itself, and become more hardy.

The wind doesn’t blow the same on all of us. The storm may rage in one place, and not another, but we are all out in the weather. Each of us are here on this earth for a propose. We were chosen for that purpose before we were born, and I believe that trails are merely a way for us to realize our full potential in life.

I know that I will see my sweet John again. I know that the veil is thin. I know that, though it is really hard now, that it will become easier. I know that we are protected through the holy ghost and priesthood blessing. I know that my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ love me, and want me to succeed. I have often wondered about what my life would be like now if this hadn’t happened, but I have realized that with all the promises and blessings and knowledge that my family and I have received, there has come a sacred knowledge of faith, the plan of salvation, and the role of families in our lives, that I would never want to be without that knowledge.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Hallows Eve

Well we made it through our sugar induced coma's long enough to post a few pics. I must say that I was not Johnny on the spot with the camera this year, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Here's Ruby the Demon from Supernatural. Let me tell you, the more you have to explain a costume, the less fun it is.

Here's Commander Cody. The boys are a little too taken with Star Wars.

Here is little miss sassy pants the witch! If that girl isn't just a little poser.

Captain Rex, leader of the Carter kids.

We started our trick-or-treating at 4 o'clock, and didn't get home until around 9. Now that is die hard treat gathering. Now if I knew what to do with the 40lbs of candy...

Saturday, October 24, 2009


As I sit procrastinating sleep, I wonder why does it have to be so hard sometimes? I realize that I don't want to sleep, because in my dreams everything is normal. John is back, if only for a few minutes. Then I wake up and my heart breaks all over again. I don't know how long I can handle the pain. Everyone says that time will heal all wounds. That is true to a degree, but I don't think there will come a time that I don't have John on my mind. I don't know that there will be a day when my heart doesn't ache for him.

I find that I really compare myself to others in my grief. I have known of a few people to lose spouses over this past fourteen months, and for some reason I feel like I should be handling things the same way that they are. It's stupid, I know. Not every situation is the same, not every relationship is the same, not every person is the same, so why do I think I can compare?

All that I know for sure is, I miss him. I know that I'm here by myself with sick kids. I know that I'm lonely. I know that as much as I love him, I have to move forward. I know that he can't move forward until I do.

Those revelations are easy said, but not easily accepted. I want to give my burdens to the Savior and move ahead, but I just don't know how. I think that deep down I'm being punished, and I don't know how to get passed that feeling. I feel like John was taken away because I didn't deserve him or our life together. Pathetic, I know. The mind is a powerful thing, and mine is twisting me and turning me, and I really have to concentrate to figure which way is up. I know in my head that it was just an accident, but my heart sometimes has a mind of it's own.

I keep thinking about a dream John told me about. It was when Ethan was a baby, so we had been married for about two years. He woke up really upset, and it took him a while to settle down and tell me about the dream. He said that some men came to take him away from us. He didn't think they were bad men, they just said that we couldn't be together anymore. He tried to get away, but they were too strong, they wouldn't even let him kiss us goodbye. He was so upset for a long time, and now that stupid dream is all I think about. I wonder if that was a little heads up to us. Why is it that we don't get to grow old together? It's so unfair, but I can't dwell on that. I know for a certainty that there is someone else out there for us. I don't know the reason for all of this, but I do know that we were meant to be involved with another family, and for some reason this family was meant to be with us all along. I know that there are other children out there for me. I know that there is a wonderful man out there that will be a tremendous dad for the kids, and a loving companion for me here on this earth. I also know that I don't have to worry about how it's all going to play out in the eternities, because I have had so many positive affirmations. It's not mine to worry about. (That doesn't mean I still don't wonder)

I've got to say, I am totally impressed that we have made it this far. I leaned so heavily upon him, that I forgot what it was like to stand on my own. Or maybe I never really learned to stand on my own, so I never knew that I would be good at it. I don't like it, but I can do it. I have found out that my safe little back row personality was a lazy cover that was blown open by this trail. I never knew that the Lisa I settled with was the wrong Lisa. I didn't know that you could choose who you were going to be. I thought that you were born a certain way, and that was it. I don't know how it took me so long to figure it all out. Oh yes I do, it was because of my hard heartedness (ie stubborn, bull headed, thick sculled) I had to be humbled to be taught. That sucks, why can't I just listen sometimes.

Lesson learned...for a minute.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conference Weekend

This weekend has been fraught with emotion for me. It was General Conference Weekend. I usually look so forward to it, we have some pretty treasured traditions that revolve around Conference weekend. We always went on a drive that ended in a hike of some kind. John lived for nature, and it was a good bet that we would find ourselves right in the middle of it whenever time would allow. We spent many a Sunday at Snowbasin, hiking and taking pictures. We loved to drive down Provo canyon to Bridal Veil Falls in the spring when the ice was just starting to melt. We loved to look at the fall leaves, and spot wildlife, and just be in the midst of God's beautiful creations. This Weekend, I stayed home and watched conference in quiet.

It is so wonderful to know that God knows each and every one of us. The talks that were given, seemed to be prepared for me and my family. I enjoyed so much the words that were so skillfully put together in a way that I had been searching to do myself during this last year. It was so uplifting, and so sad at the same time. Then in between the morning and afternoon sessions on Sunday there was a story about the humanitarian effort in Guatemala. It was a beautiful story, they mentioned the crash, and showed a picture of John. I cried, and cried, and got really mad, then felt guilty, then cried some more. I was sad that John never got to meet those people that he was so excited to serve. I was mad that the people that were featured on the story did get to meet them, and with no problems might I add. I was really mad that it made me think about the crash again, and all the sadness that went along with that horrible day. So needless to say I have been in a super fantastic mood the last several days (months).

In the middle of my sorrow, I talked to my beautiful, wise, brilliant sister-in-law Mel, and she suggested that I make a list of all the things that I have learned, and the blessings that we have received since we lost John. It is so hard when you are in the middle of grief to realize or understand that there really has been progress made, and sometimes we really need to sit back and take a good long look at personal growth that has taken place.

Keep in mind that this list is very incomplete, but it's a start.
  • I know that my Father in Heaven loves me.
  • I know that my Savior died for me.
  • I know that Johnny is mine forever and ever.
  • I know that my family loves me.
  • I have true friends, the kind that can handle anything that you throw at them, and they do it with ease and grace.
  • The veil is very thin.
  • Service really is the only place you can find relief.
  • Life is too short
  • Love never dies
  • The Atonement is way bigger, and more complex, and I will never learn in this lifetime all of it's facets.
  • Family is forever
  • Family is the reason for this life
  • Guilt is of the Devil (and he wields it like a double edged sword)
  • It's ok to not be perfect
  • It's ok to do things your own way
  • Sometimes we make mistakes, and guess what, the world doesn't end
  • When God brings you to it, he'll get you through it.
  • We are going to be ok
  • I know that we will be better than we were before
  • I know that there are angles around us
  • Things may seem sad and hopeless, but I know that there is nothing but hope and happiness in our future.

Here are a few pictures that I came across, and they speak volumes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Child's Simple Wisdom

The other night we were reading scriptures and talking about the Angels that Heavenly Father has sent our family. The boys were participating and interjecting their ideas, and taking turns reading. We weren't paying too close attention to Averie, she was just jabbering away like she always does. Pretty soon, I caught a bit of what she was saying, and I tell ya, it was golden. She was pretending to read the scriptures (which were upside down), and she was essentially bearing her testimony. She was pretending to cry, while "reading", because that's what she has seen when people bear their testimonies. I caught a little of what she said on my cell phone, so here is word for word Averie's sweet testimony...

Today, I learned about Jesus. He was so young. He is around me. I know his name. I love him so much. Families are forever. I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday... When she started singing, the boys and I joined her. You can't resist a beautiful primary song, especially when a four year old is singing it.

So dang cute. Nothing like a forced cry, and those sweet words. A child's simple wisdom.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"W" Formula

We are finishing our basement, so I was forced to clean the dang thing out. As my sis-in-law Mel and I were cleaning, I came across a missionary book of John's. It was compiled by his mission president, and had all the weekly reports in it. It also had notes from different zone meetings and talks that he heard along the way. There were a few that I really loved. He wrote notes from a talk he heard from Pres. Monson. It was call the "W" formula. Work Will Win When Wishy Washy Wishing Won't. Hello, love it! I love Pres. Monson, and how his sense of humor can always be likened to a scripture, or a life lesson.

As I continued to read through the book, I found something that hit me really hard. It was very simple, probably notes to a talk he gave. I said...FATHER IN HEAVEN
He knew then, a mere seven months before we would meet, that the reason for this life was for families. He knew he was leaving his family for a few years, so that other families could be together forever. He knew that our family would be together in heaven because of the covenanted that he made and kept. I am so thankful for a faithful husband, and for an eternal family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Than Just Feet

I have spent the last few days back to school. I will briefly describe the modality that I have been learning, but most of you will scratch you heads and say, What? So here goes...I have been learning the foot zoning technique. Basically, in a nutshell, all the systems of the body can be accessed from the feet. It's like hitting the reset button on you body, making it perform the way it was originally designed to perform. So with that said, the things that I learn while in this class have been soooo much more than anatomy and physiology.

Yesterday, as we broke for lunch, we were all sitting around shooting the breeze. The conversation turned to that of a very spiritual nature. Thank goodness for a class full of active latter day saints. We started to talk about our true nature, and how if we can be in tune with our spirits, then we will always have to answers and the tools that we need to find our way through this life. How many times in our lives have we been asked to take a test, when we haven't been given every answer before hand. In the pre-existence, we were taught and trained, so that when we came to this earth we would have every single answer that we would need. The vail was placed over our eyes, but our spirit remembers. We need to practice and get into the habit of relying, listening, and believing what our spirits have to tell us. We will never go wrong, if we go by the spirit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life Lessons

My heart is full tonight and my mind is set on John. I was just thinking about all the things that we have done together. All the firsts we experienced together. First love, first place, first bills, first babies, first "Oh man, what did we get ourselves into!" First real joy when we were married, and one by one our children came into our family. First real sorrow when we lost our baby. All of these firsts built such a foundation for the "Carter Family." I feel like we have lived such a wonderful and all encompassing life, and at the same time, I feel like it was way too short.

I was picking up a little today, and I just walked past a picture of John, and it fully hit me. He's not coming back. I had to sit down it hit so hard. It's easy to go to that safe little place called denial, and set up residence there. I guess I was away so long, that I forgot that I actually have to live this life without him.

Now before I get a whole bunch of "he's always with you" speeches... I know and realize this probably more than most people, but that doesn't make it easy or fair. Nothing, and nobody will ever take his place. He was the one that I could talk to about anything, and he never judged. Most of the time he would just hold me and tell me that he loved me and that everything was going to be okay. I need that so bad right now. I just need to know it will be okay. I just want this to have had meaning and reason. I want others who are struggling to be able to come across this and see that though things are hard, and sometimes unfair, I can get through it with grace and virtue. I want people to realize that just because something bad happens, or some road block is in your way, that doesn't give you licence to throw away everything that you know to be true and right. I want to document the good things that can come out of an experience like this. Because lets face it, there is always good in everything, and if we don't see it, then we are looking in the wrong places.

The scriptures teach us to endure to the end, but if we read on it says endure well. I don't think it counts if we come barreling through the finish line covered in dust and grime, and hanging on to the coat tails of the guy in front of us. I think that we need to stand ourselves up straight, dust ourselves off, and learn to finish the race on our own two feet. Maybe that is part of what I needed to learn in all of this. I needed to gain my own testimony (a greater testimony) in order not to rely so heavily on John's. I needed to not feel so self-conscious about the things that I feel or believe. I needed to learn what was truly important in my life, so that I could teach my children.

The Silver Dollar Effect

When there is an old tarnished silver dollar, one way to polish it is by rubbing it against a shiny NEW silver dollar. This process both removes tarnish, but polishes both silver dollars. This story was relayed to me the other day, and I have been thinking about it ever since. The woman who relayed this story likend it to working with the youth. She told of how working and serving the youth, her tarnished soul is polished by their new shiny spirits.
I loved this analogy so much. I would further state, that by our associating with those who are just a bit more loving, a little more in tune, a touch more kind, and helpful our tarnished souls can also be polished, and refined by their glowing example, and association.
I have looked around me and found myself smack dab in the middle of the most brilliant, luminous silver dollars in the mint. I am thankful for my associations with all of those who contribute to my progression and I am thankful for the opportunity to rub up against those whom I truly look up to.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh How Sweet the Harvest

There is so much satisfaction that comes from growing your own produce. This year we planted peas, beans, potatoes, onions, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts (oops, I thought John was still home. He's the only one that eats those nasty little things), tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, corn and all kinds of squash. We also have several fruit trees. Two apple, (plus two more that were given to us by Pres. Porter), three plum, and an appricot. How fun to see the kids go out side and pick themselves a nice treat.

The thing that you don't give much thought to when you are joyfully planting is, "what in the world and I going to do with all this stuff?" Well the answer is about 4 weeks of energy burning, back breaking, hand crippling harvesting and canning. Oh how I hate that part.

I have a wonderful group of friends that have been crazy into canning, and boy have we gone to town. So far we have canned salsa, grape juice, plum jelly, apple sauce, apple pie filling, apple jelly, and the girls did spaghetti sauce, pickles, corn, beans, beets, and jalapino jelly without me yesterday. (I was busy having a full on panic attack about our Relief Society Fall Social, and taking LuDene to lunch for her birthday)

All of this got me thinking about the things that we do in life that maybe we don't want to do, but we love it when it's done. I think that this directly applies to our trials. We hate to even think that tough times exist, or that most likely we will experience them. They still loom out on the horizon. I wont claim that I am through my trial, but I will say that though this has been the most profoundly difficult thing that I have ever even come close to. It has also been the most spiritual, emotional, and mental growth that I have ever experienced. I know who I am. I know where I'm going. I am more driven that I have ever been to do the things that I know to be right, and to be an example while doing it. I am no longer afraid of how people see me, or if I'm doing what so and so down the street thinks I should be doing. I know what is right for me and my family, and there is nothing standing in my way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Averie's Pretty School

Well it finally came, the first day of Pretty School!!!!!!! (Pre-school for you laymen out there) Averie was so excited that she couldn't sleep the night before. So 8am came really early, but she jumped out of bed and ran to her room, got dressed and was ready to go in a matter of seconds. If only I could get that kind of cooperation on a Sunday.

This is Averie walking into class. I wish I could remember the conversation that we were having, I was laughing the whole way in. It went something like this; "I wonder who all my friends are going to be? I wonder when snack time is? I wonder what snack is? Hey, look there is fun stuff to play of? Where is my Teacher? Do you think I look beautiful?"

My princess picking her nose.

Waiting for moms to pick up the kids

Meeting new friends. "Hey mom, this is the girl who took the last lollipop at church!" Fast friends

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Deep Thoughts from the Rolling Stones

Carter Clan

Carver Clan

"You can't always get what you want, but you just might get what you need!"

Who knew that Mick Jagger would get one right?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thank Goodness for Kids

In the past year, I have never worried so much about anything as I did the kids. My biggest worry was, "How can I do this on my own?" "I'm totally going to screw these kids up!" "I'm not smart enough to be the only parent to these kids!" ... You can probably imagine all the questions and concerns that I have had for my little sweeties.

Then one day I sat down with a very wise friend, and I voiced all my concerns to him. He said, "What makes you think that Heavenly Father loves those kids less than you love them?" Hummmmmmmmmm, well that sort of puts everything into prospective doesn't it. Why would Heavenly Father let HIS children falter and fail just because they had the misfortune to have to grow up without a father in a single parent home? Heavenly Father would give these little people extra blessing to survive in spite of me. In fact, Heavenly Father would send this clueless mother three of his best little spirits to teach her, and help her along her own journey. Thank Goodness for Kids!