Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mountain Home

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Families Are Forever

My babies- 
Purposely dress alike because "we're best friends and that's what best friends do".
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This year in Primary (a Sunday School for children under 12), the theme for the children is Families Are Forever.  Last Sunday, my two youngest, and the rest of the Primary presented to the congregation what they have learned so far this year.  The kids have different speaking parts and sing songs they have learned.  It's always really cute.

My favorite song this year is The Family is of God by Matthew Neeley.
This song teaches the importance of not only families but also the role each family member plays:

1. Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in fam’lies.
2. A father’s place is to preside, provide,
To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in fam’ly prayer to share
Their love for Father in Heaven.
3. A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare,
To nurture and to strengthen all her children.
She teaches children to obey, to pray,
To love and serve in the fam’ly.
4. I’ll love and serve my family and be
A good example to each fam’ly member.
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad,
I’ll help my fam’ly remember:
[Chorus]
God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.
I can't sing it or even listen to it without the sweet Spirit testifying of it's truthfulness.
I am so grateful "God gave us families" to be each other's best friend and to help each other to learn and grow.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Foolish Virgins

Last Saturday, after a long day of shopping for a Homecoming dress (but that's another story for another day), my oldest daughter and I attended the General Women's Meeting.
art by Walter Rane

In that meeting, Sister Linda Burton, General Relief Society President, shared her thoughts on being prepared to enter the temple and keep our temple covenants.  She quoted Alma 49:8 
"Behold, to [the Lamanites’] uttermost astonishment, [the Nephites] were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known.”   She followed up the sciputre with the question
"How can we better prepare ourselves for temple blessings today?"
Sister Burton likened the parable of the 10 Virgins to being prepared for temple blessings.
Just last week I had my own "Virgin" experience.  
Last Sunday members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah were invited to attend the dedication of the Ogden, UT temple.  I with #2 and #4 decided to attend the 10:00 am session and Clint and the two other boys would attend the 1:00 pm session so someone could be home with the two little girls who are not old enough to attend yet.  The three of us were ready and arrived at the church (in the pouring rain, no less) 10 minutes early to find all the doors locked.  WHAT?!  No one was in sight.  The chapel doors were shut, the cultural hall doors were too.  By this time there were a few other people attempting to get in too.  I decided to check my ticket just to make sure we had the right time.  That's when I noticed the Attendance Instructions on the back that stated, "Please be in your seat at least 30 minutes before the session begins.  No one will be admitted after the designated hour."  After explaining this to the others, one gentleman exclaimed, "Well, at least now we know how the 5 foolish virgins felt."  Yes, we did,  And it did not feel very good, having the doors locked, being turned away and having to go home spiritually empty.  Thank goodness, unlike the 5 Virgins, we had two other chances.

Sister Burton pointed out that "Sometimes we feel sad for the five unwise virgins. Can’t we just be kind and share our oil with them?" Her answer was simple:  No, "The oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared."

Just like the 5 foolish Virgins, no one could share their obedience of following the Attendance Instructions, nor their punctuality.  That was only something I could do myself.

President Spencer W. Kimball explained why it is impossible to “share oil” with others when he said, “Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures – each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thought and actions … these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.”

Sister Burton closed her talk by encouraging us to prepare to receive oil drop by drop and be prepared to keep sacred covenants made in Temples. Doing this will empower us and bless our lives.  

Be Prepared.  Add Oil to Your Lamps. You do not want to be left out!  Trust me, I know!

Friday, September 26, 2014

THE PHOTO

This photo was taken two years ago on a Sunday drive up the canyon to look at the changing Fall leaves.  It wasn't planned, but I'm so glad we took it because it has become my favorite photo ever!
It was taken just before life would take a wild turn and deal us some pretty hard things.  This photo continues to give me hope and helps me to keep going.
It sits at the top of our stairs where everyone can see it, and see it often.  
This photo stands as a reminder that family (my family) is the most important thing in the world.  Nothing can (or should) take it's place.  That the relationships our family have is what is most important.  It stands as a reminder to keep our priorities straight.  To put nothing (Church callings, careers, hobbies, friends, recreational past-times, etc) above our family.  After all, as President Uchtdorf  says,“In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time." 
 
It was Clint's idea to have the kids build a pyramid.  In order for it to work, each kid had to work together as a team to support each other.  If not, the pyramid would fall.  Same goes for family.  If we're not working together and supporting each other, our family will fall.  (This is something we try to stress daily in our home.) 
Support each other. Make time for each other.  Be each others best friend FOREVER (even when you grow up and have your own family).  Encourage each other.  If someone starts to fall do everything in your power to catch them and set them upright again.

To me, this photo symbolizes so much and that is why I love it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

ABC's and Addresses

I wanted to post today about #2's date to Sadie's but the girl who took all the photos is a little slow in getting done.  So, I'm going to wait until I have photos to show.   Instead I'll tell you about one of the sneaky mom tricks I like to use.
These two girls love to play school.  I'd like to say they evenly take turns being the teacher and the student, but usually that's not the case.  #5 dominates and is the teacher the majority of the time.  I use this to my advantage.  

Last week, my little kindergartner was suppose to memorize her address and phone number.  So, I wrote them down on a piece of paper, handed it to "Teacher" and let her teach away.
"Teacher" would say it
and "Pupil" would repeat it.  After about 30 minutes, #6 had our address memorized (which is mostly made up of  numbers - 12 to be exact- That's no easy feat!), and I had dinner made.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Perfect Sunset for the First Day of Fall

Wordless Wednesday
(No edit was done on this photo.  Seriously the sunset was bright orange!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall Y'all!




 Yesterday, September 22, 2014 at precisely 10:29 pm EDT the Northern Hemisphere ushered in the beginning of Autumn.  I love Autumn/Fall.  It's my very favorite season.  For me it marks the beginning of the holidays.  The crisp, cool weather, and beautiful changing leaves just put me in a good mood.  With the beginning of Autumn also means General Conference is just around the corner!  
Time to start putting together the General Conference Bags!  Snack Food HERE WE COME!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Life

1.  As of last Thursday (September 18th) the padres (parents) are home from their service mission to Heber Valley Camp (aka HVC).  At least for a bit.  They will return for another year of service in the spring.
We really missed having them around and are super excited to have them home and to be able to see them more than just a handful of times.
Although I'm not so sure how excited they are to be back seeing as they are leaving today for Vegas.   Then from Vegas to San Francisco where they'll leave on a 17 day cruise to The Panama and Caribbean.  Their last port will be in Florida where they will then spend 2 weeks visiting my brother and his family before flying back to CA and meandering their way back home.
Ahhh- such is the life a the retired!  Have a fun trip Mom and Dad.
 2.  Speaking of parents, we had a brief visit from Clint's parents last Sunday.  They brought us a bug zapper which has gotten a lot of use.  THANKS!!!!  It's been great entertainment for the kids.
 3.  #6 had a great 6th birthday!
 
She insisted on decorating her cake by herself.  I 'helped' her frost she did the rest.
 It turned out pretty cute.  She was thrilled with it. 
(Rapunzel you look gorgeous girl!)

4.  On Saturday, Number Two had a great time with her date at her high school's Sadie Hawkin's Dance.  Pictures to come soon.

5.  Also on Saturday, #1 "Pimped Out His Ride" with LED lights under the seats. 
They flash to the beat of the bass, which makes for one Totally wiki-wiki-WICKED, Phat ride!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other

Sisterhood:  Oh, How We Need Each Other
by Bonnie L Oscarson

This talk is from the General Women's Meeting.  It was one of my favorites from that night.

Sisters = an unbreakable bond.

I think of my relationship with my sister.  No matter what happens in life, or what we agree or disagree on, we are always there for each other.  As members of  the Church, we (as women) all belong to a sisterhood.  

"Sisters take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin."

Just this past week I received a call from a 60+ year old women in my ward who, out of the goodness of her own heart - not because she was asked, but because she wanted to, was asking for help bringing meals in to her 30 year old pregnant neighbor who was just put on bed-rest.  That is sisterhood.  Taking care of each other despite our differences, whether they be age, or beliefs, etc.

"The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another.  He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another. . . When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others.  Sister Patricia T. Holland once said, 'The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another -or ourselves- so harshly.'  She goes on to say there is nothing that is worth us losing our compassion and sisterhood over.  We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences. . ."

Years ago, when I lived in Provo, my ward was made up of all types of women - students, stay-at-home moms, working women, some rich, some poor, some newlywed, some nearly dead- but all came together as a sisterhood to help each other.  Each one, despite our differences made an impact on my life as they served me or allowed me to serve them.   There were no cliques, no judging, just pure love.  It was one of my favorite wards to be in because I felt loved and accepted.

Majorie P. Hinckley once said, 'Oh, how we need each other.  Those of us who are old need you who are  young.  And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old.  It is a sociological fact that women need women.  We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other.'

"We have been blessed with charitable natures which enable us to render Christlike love and service to those around us.  As we look beyond our differences in age, culture, and circumstance to nurture and serve one another, we will be filled with the pure love of Christ and the inspiration which leads us to know when and whom to serve."

"I invite you to not only love each other more but to love each other better."

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Friday, September 19, 2014

You Never Know How Much Good You Do


Yesterday I watched the Mormon Channel's new video.
How many things did you get checked off your “to- do” list today? Sometimes, the most important things you do each day were never even on your list. As we help a neighbor or family member, we often overlook the results. You might worry about the things you never get done, but President Gordon B. Hinckley reminds us, “You never know how much good you do.”


This video is based on President Hinckley's talk To the Women of the Church.  As I read through his talk, his words touched my heart.

"We all worry about our performance. We all wish we could do better. But unfortunately we do not realize, we do not often see the results that come of what we do."

"You never know how much good you do. . . You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price."

This whole talk is chock-full of goodness!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Baby

 Today my baby girl turns 6.  I know I always say this (but it's true!)- It seems like just yesterday that she was a 7 lb. 2 oz. chunky-cheeked newborn.  
I think that was the first and only time she was ever chunky. 
 She's been a tiny thing ever since.
 Oh my goodness.  I can't stand it!  Too much cuteness. . . . 

 This is one of my favorite photos of her.  This was the age where she was really into taking off an putting on her shoes.
 Here she is at 2 years old.  She loved to bake then 
and still does (everyday!!!!!)
 A couple years ago she started to sprout freckles.  I can't get enough of them! 
 She is growing up way too fast.
Happy 6th Birthday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Word of Wisdom Family Night

Every so often we try to have a Family Night lesson dedicated to the Word of Wisdom.
Sometimes we discuss things that are good for our body such as exercise, and healthy eating.  Other times, we discuss things that are not good for us such as drugs, alcohol, etc.  We try to use this lesson as a way to inform our children of new things that have come about that we feel they should be aware of.  For example energy drinks (did you know some contain alcohol?), or the popular playground smiley face tongue sticker that contains acid.

 Last night we discussed both the bad and the good. First, we discussed the somewhat-new teen trend called the E-cigarette, an electronic smokeless, tobacco-less way to smoke.  We warned our children that this is still smoking and it is a vice Satan is using to try to trick people into hurting their bodies (Did you know that just a teaspoon of liquid nicotine found in a e-cigarette can be lethal?)

 After our discussion, we reminded our children of the importance of exercising our bodies by going on a hike.    PHEW!- 
 
Just above our house is an awesome trail.
The leaves were beginning to change,
and the views are ridiculous

  Luckily we made it up and back down just as the sun was setting. 
 (It wasn't really this dark yet.  It just looks that way because I had to use the flash.)