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Hi I'm Mary

I am nature-loving, ever-learning homeschooling mom of 11 children on earth and one in heaven. I'm a Mormon!

About Me

I love to be outdoors, read, play sports, cook (and eat!) and spend time with my family. I grew up with 6 brothers, as the oldest bossy sister. I did well in high school but always struggled with feelings of self-worth. Despite that, with the confidence and support of my family, I went to Yale University for 2 years before marrying my best friend and transferring to BYU, where I finished just before we had our first little girl. As a new mom, I was determined to do everything right, but seemed to do everything wrong. When I prayed for inspiration about my daughter's kindergarten education, I was hit on the head with "Thou shalt homeschool thy children!" "What?!" I replied. "Homeschooling is for anti-social, back-water hicks who refuse to contribute to society!" I also knew how impatient and imperfect I was and, doubting both myself and the timing of the inspiration, I put it off. That was in December. Five months later in a tragic accident, I ran over my 3-year old son. It was devastating. I wanted to pull my children close and never let go. Homeschooling not only let me do that, but has given me the ride of my life as I have not only re-learned much of what I thought I knew, but many real life lessons with my children. Looking back, I could see God sent the inspiration to homeschool them at a time when I could see His answer unclouded by my grief. His direction has taken our family to Hungary and New York as we keep trying to follow Him, no matter how unconventional!

Why I am a Mormon

I was born in the faith, but I have seen over the years that it does not matter if you are born in it. At some point, you need to make the choice to be truly converted. It is not worth it to simply go through the motions: it is too hard and I have never seen anyone do it for long. As I left my home as an adult, I saw many examples of people who did not live according to my beliefs and I could see the negative consequences. I could see the peace and happiness that came to those who followed Christ and even more so the tenets of the LDS faith. I could feel my own peace and direction from the stirrings and whisperings of the Holy Ghost within me as I did what prophets and leaders and parents counseled me to do. I could feel the doubt, disappointment and darkness that came from doing things against it. It was that simple. It feels better to do things the way that the scriptures and prophets direct. On a bigger scale, I have LOVED re-learning history with my children and have seen similar cause and effect relationships between good and evil choices in societies and individuals throughout history. As my mind plays out as many possible outcomes as I can think of for different situations, I cannot see any other path that compares to the joy and peace that comes to those who follow Christ. Personally, I have received my own testimony of the power of Christ to change lives and heal through my own experiences. Nothing can describe the horror and darkness that overwhelmed me after running over my little boy. The depression and anxiety that I have experienced over the years has been debilitating. The only peace I have found in the midst of it all is in going to church, attending the temple and in continually immersing myself in service, the scriptures and prayer. I don't do those things often enough, unfortunately, to feel the difference! I know that I will see my little boy again. I know that I experience miracles on a daily basis if I choose to see them. Love it!

How I live my faith

I find peace in starting my day with scriptures and prayer, even if I am imperfect at both. I like to visit with others in my church and neighborhood, finding out how to love them and how to show them God's love for them. It is amazing how much I feel loved when I take the time to do that. I enjoy my church calling of teaching the little children each Sunday through music and the scriptures. I have loved playing sports over the years and going on outings with my church friends. Over the years I have served with the youth as a leader, sports director and camp director. I love teaching and learning in classes. One thing that I have loved learning about in the different areas we have lived in is how perfectly imperfect we all are. We can learn so much from others as we let down those barriers of "perceived imperfection" and are genuine. I have loved serving side by side with my sisters and brothers, even if it is something as simple as cleaning up the church. There is something about serving side by side that makes things so real and wonderful. I think that one of the most important ways that I live my faith is by going to church every Sunday. I remember when we were in Hungary, there was a Sunday when my husband was in Norway visiting his parents. I didn't speak much Hungarian and had 10 kids at the time, including a new baby. We didn't have our own car and used public transportation so it took us about two and a half hours to get to church. When I showed up at church, a Hungarian friends asked, "It is so hard. Why did you come?" I shared with him how a leader of our church had counseled that if we knew how important taking the Sacrament was each week, we would crawl on hands and knees to get there. I have thought about that counsel often, seeking its truthfulness in my own life. I have felt peace and cleansing that surpasses understanding in my life and seen its lack when I don't go. It is not about how perfect we are but how much we need Christ.