Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Operation Solo Cup

 
Do you remember this past January when Sis (#2) was asked to Sweethearts?  
Well the tables have turned and its her turn to ask someone to MORP.
(FYI: MORP is PROM spelled backwards.  It's a casual dance where the girl asks the guy and everyone can attend.)  
While brainstorming ideas, Baller (#3) suggested doorbell ditching a bunch of ICEEs with a sign that reads: "There are a lot of fish in the sea, but you're the only one ICEE (I see).  
Let's just say his idea was rejected.
 Instead Sis went with Operation Solo Cup
 She recruited her friend, "Amy", and her two brothers to help her.
Here they are sneaking up to the house.
On his driveway they left this poster
 and using red solo cups, they spelled out the word MORP
It looked like this. . .
or this. . . 
When everyone was back in the car, Baller quickly rang the doorbell and ran.
Operation Solo Cup = SUCCESS!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Egg Hunt

Like many of you, one of my family's Easter Traditions is an egg hunt.
 Each year, on Easter, the Easter Bunny hides candy/prize-filled plastic eggs around the house, and the children run around finding and collecting them all.
The two youngest were up at 6:30 excited and ready to go!
(We're nice parents, and made them wait until 8:00.)
After all the eggs have been found, the kids crack open all their eggs to see what's inside.
This is almost more fun than the hunt.

Did you know the Easter egg is said to be a symbol of the tomb Jesus rose from?  We hunt for the eggs just as we might go to hunt for Jesus in the tomb.  When we find them, there is joy, just like the women had when they reached the tomb and found that Jesus was no longer there. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He Lives!

He is Risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days' prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
-Joachim Neander

HAPPY EASTER

Today as I reflect on the Resurrection of our Savior, my Savior, I am filled with an immense amount of gratitude and joy.
I join with Job in proclaiming that I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES!  
(Job 19:25)


Decisions for Eternity

Decisions for Eternity
by Elder Russell M. Nelson

"Each day is a day of decision . . . 'decisions determine destiny'.  The wise use of your freedom to make you own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity.  You are never too old to change. "

In his talk, Elder Nelson talks about our Human Body and our Human Spirit.  Each is important and they both affect each other.  He challenges us:

"Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple.  That truth - refreshed gratefully each day - can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it.  And those decisions will determine your destiny.  How could this be?  Because your body is the temple for your spirit.  And how you use your body affects your spirit."

We have been commanded to keep both our body and our spirit healthy. 

HEALTHY BODY:
- regular exercise
- healthy eating
- not partaking in drugs, alcohol, and other harmful substances (following the Word of Wisdom)
- drinking plenty of water
-etc

HEALTHY SPIRIT:
- daily scripture reading
- daily prayers
- meditation
- not partaking in entertainment, etc that is unrighteous and harmful to our spirit.
-etc

"Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time.  You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time, to be a leader in His great work on earth.  You were chosen NOT for your bodily characteristics but for your SPIRITUAL attributes, such as bravery, courage, integrity of heart, a thirst for truth, a hunger for wisdom, and a desire to serve others.  You developed some of these attributes premortally.  Others you can develop here on earth as you persistently seek them."

What are some of your spiritual attributes?  If you don't know, pray to find out.  

MARRIAGE 
Elder Nelson reminds us of our freedom to choose.
"We are 'free to choose liberty and eternal life. . .or to choose captivity and death'.  When we choose the loftier path toward liberty and eternal life, that path includes marriage."

"Marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the Lord's doctrine and crucial to God's eternal plan.  Marriage between a man and a woman is God's pattern for a fullness of life on earth and in heaven.  God's marriage pattern CANNOT be abused, misunderstood, or misconstrued.  Not if you want true joy.  God's marriage pattern protects the sacred power of procreation and the joy of uniting as husband and wife."

Lately, governments and various other groups have been fighting to change the laws protecting God's pattern of marriage.  
"Regardless of what civil legislation may be enacted, the doctrine of the Lord regarding marriage and morality cannot be changed.  REMEMBER:  SIN, EVEN IF LEGALIZED BY MAN, IS STILL SIN IN THE EYES OF GOD! . . .we cannot change his doctrine, it is not ours to change."

SELF-MASTERY
Elder Nelson talks about the pivotal spiritual attribute of self-mastery

SELF- MASTERY= the strength to place reason over appetite.
"Self- Mastery builds strong conscience --> And your strong conscience determines your moral responses in difficult, tempting, and trying situations."

"God implanted strong appetites within us for the nourishment and love, vital for the human family to be perpetuated.  When we master our appetites within the bounds of God's laws, we can enjoy longer life, greater love, and consummate joy. . . Most temptations to stray from God's plan of happiness come through the misuse of those essential, God-given appetites.  Controlling our appetites is not always easy.  Mistakes happen.  Errors are made.  Sins are committed.  What can we do then?  We can learn from them.  And we can truly repent."

Elder Nelson reminds us that one of the reasons we obey the law of the fast is because "fasting helps your spirit to develop dominance over your physical appetites." 

"A strong human spirit with control over appetites of the flesh is master over emotions and passions and not a slave to them."
Self-mastery gives us freedom.

"The Lord's way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness."

If you are currently living differently from the Lord's way, it's not too late.
"We can change our behavior.  Our very desires can change.  How?"  
"TRUE CHANGE - permanent change - can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. . . He allows you to access His power as you keep His commandments, eagerly, earnestly, and exactly."


Next Week's Talk:
by Elder Kevin S. Hamilton

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rivals

 
Yesterday this handsome guy played tennis against his old Junior High School (you know the one he went to before we moved).  This is one of his best friends, K-man.  These two hung out together even though they were on opposing teams. 
(Can anyone tell me why my camera looks focused when I take the picture, but really isn't?)
 I love watching this boy play.
(Have you ever tried to take pictures through a chain-link fence?  It's not easy)
 He always shows good sportsmanship.
AND I love that he compliments his opponents when they have a good hit.
. . . Sure makes a mama proud.

Right his win (6-0), #3 celebrated by partying at the dentist's- 3 fillings and 1 tooth extraction.
Poor guy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Better Me

This week my thoughts and focus have been on my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Because of how one day started over 2000 years ago, He made so many things possible.  One of these "things" is the opportunity to change, to become better, to be what you've always desired to be.
Starting today, Christ has given you a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to change.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?  

WHO WILL YOU BECOME?

HOW WILL YOU CHANGE?

Will it be easy?  I'm afraid not- 
There will be hard things we won't want to do, but things we need to do, things we have to do.
Even Christ himself was asked to do hard things.  He didn't want to do it either.  He asked 'Isn't there any other way?'  "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." (Luke 22:42)  He did it, and because He did we have the power to become, even as He is.

-Will you forgive someone or seek forgiveness yourself?
-Will you judge less?
-Will you mend a broken relationship?
-Will you be more optimistic?
-Will you be more loving?

What will you do today? 
What changes will you make? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#BecauseofHim

Mormon.Org has a new video for this Easter season.  We watched it last night for FHE.
Warning:  Get some tissues handy, its powerful.
This week they are also doing a social media campaign to help spread the message of Christ.
Each day post a photo/image that goes along with the daily prompt and include #BecauseofHim.
I'm participating in this on Instagram.  If you participate, tag me, I'd love to see what you share.


MISSIONARY UPDATE:
Yesterday we were lucky enough to be able to drop this missionary couple off.
 They will be staying at this campground and driving back and forth to Heber Valley Camp (HVC) until the snow melts and then they will be able to move up into HVC.
This will be their home away from home for the next six months. 
 A week from Friday they will find out exactly what area they will serve in and what their duties will be.
My dad grew up in this valley. Isn't it gorgeous?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Farewell

Today my parents are leaving on a service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They will be serving at Heber Valley Camp.
They are super excited and we're excited for them.  My parents are awesome and I'm happy to share them.  They will be a great asset to the camp and to the campers. 
Last night we had a "Farwell" party at their house to visit one last time and to say our goodbyes.  My parents took the opportunity to bear their testimony to their children and grandchildren.  They bore witness that Heavenly Father is our father and that he loves us.  They testified of Jesus Christ and His love and sacrifice for us.  They firmly stated that the church we go to, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and is the only true church on the earth.  It is Christ's church and is the same church Christ established while he was here on the earth.  They related to us how much Heavenly Father has blessed them, and because of the gratitude and love they have for Him, they want to serve and bless others.  For "when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).
Mom and Dad if you're reading this we're sure proud of you!

Missionary Flags can be purchased Here.  Tell them Elder and Sister Luke sent you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage

Lamentations of Jeremiah:  Beware of Bondage
By Elder Quentin L. Cook

Bond' age  (noun) -  the state of being under control of another person or thing


"Turning from the worship of the true and living God and worshipping false gods like wealth and fame and engaging in immoral and unrighteous conduct results in bondage in all its insidious (subtle but harmful) manifestations.  These include spiritual, physical, and intellectual bondage and sometimes destruction." 

"Bondage, subjugation, addictions and servitude come in many forms." 

Elder Cook shares four examples:

1. "Addictions that impair agency, contradict moral beliefs, and destroy good health. . . The impact of drugs and alcohol, immorality, pornography, gambling, financial subjugation. . ."

I have a friend whose brother (an active member of The Church) use to be addicted to alcohol.  He was an alcoholic by every definition of the word.  Wondering when he was going to be able to get his next drink always consumed his thoughts, and once he finally did get his drink, he wasn't able to stop with just one.  He would have many drinks which would cause his judgement to be impaired and he no longer had control over his thinking, actions, etc.  

One afternoon, on his way home from the bar, he hit a parked trailer right in front of the town's police station.  He was arrested and convicted with a DUI and sentenced to attend an alcohol rehab program, and his license was suspended.  He lost the freedom to drive.  Once his rehab program was finished and he developed a pattern of sobriety, he was given back his license, but the steering wheel of his car was fitted with a breathalyzer lock.  Before his car will even start, he has to blow into this lock.  If his blood alcohol level is within limit, his car will start, if it's over, it won't.  Every so often while driving, he'll be prompted to blow into the breathalyzer to retest his levels.  He has basically become a slave to this breathalyzer lock.   


It has been almost two years since his sentencing.  He has remained sober, and in a few more months, he will regain all of his driving privileges and freedoms back.

2. Addictions that use up our "precious allotment of time which could be used to accomplish virtuous objectives. . . These can include excessive use of social media, video and digital games, sports, recreation, and many others.

I talked about my addiction to social media and the bondage I felt because of it here.

Last night we had some friends over.  While we were visiting, one of our friends mentioned his addiction to Clash of Clans.  He loves that game and can't wait until he gets off work everyday so he can spend his evening plotting and playing.  His confession reminded me of a news story I had heard on the radio.  The story talked about how people are severely addicted to the online game candy crush.  Last year users spent a whopping $493 million dollars on the game.  If you type in Candy Crush Addiction into Google there are 1,220 search results.

In an October 2010 Ensign Article, President Boyd K. Packer said:
"Remember, brothers and sisters, any kind of addiction is to surrender to something, thus relinquishing agency and becoming dependent. Thus, video-gaming and texting on cell phones need to be added to the list. Some gamers claim to spend up to 18 hours a day going through level after level of video games, neglecting all other aspects of their lives."

3. Ideology or political beliefs that are inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  "Substituting the philosophies of men for gospel truth. . . ."

"Gospel truths are often rejected or distorted to make them intellectually more appealing or compatible with current cultural trends and intellectual philosophies.  If we are not careful, we can be captured by these trends and place ourselves in intellectual bondage."

Elder Cook then used the modern-day philosophies that criticize women for choosing to be full-time "mothers, teachers, nurturers, or friends to children".

4.  Forces that violate sincerely held religious principles. 

"One of the most invidious forms is when righteous people feel accountable to God for their conduct are forced into activities that violate their conscience--for example, health providers forced to choose between assisting with abortions against their consciences or losing their jobs."  

This example reminds me of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case.  The Affordable Care Act is forcing the Hobby Lobby Company to go against their beliefs by paying for emergency contraceptives, something they feel is morally wrong.

"We must do everything within our power to avoid the sin and rebellion that lead to bondage."
"The whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin. . . because they come not unto me."  (D&C 84:49-50)

Next Week's Talk:

by Elder Russell M. Nelson

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Break

This week my school-age children are out of school on spring break.
We really haven't done much.  Since Clint has to work, we've used the break to sleep in (except for the youngest two who seem to wake up at the same time each morning, no matter what time they go to bed the night before), relax, and play together and with friends.

We started off the week getting the kids their biannual dental cleanings.  All were cavity-free except for one, who will get 3 fillings and one tooth extracted next week.   I've gotten some "spring cleaning" done around the house, not my favorite thing to do, but . . . .
Wednesday we celebrated our one-year anniversary of living in our new home by playing at a trampoline park and afterwards, going to dinner.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Do You Remember?

Sister Dalton shared the following story that was once shared with her of two women who walked together each day.  "One was a member of the Church and the other was not. In an effort to share the gospel with her friend, the Church member said, "I am so excited because it is general conference time." To which the friend inquired, "What is that?" The woman then said, "This is a time held every six months when members of the Church gather to hear the words of prophets, seers and revelators. These words are translated and broadcast all over the world." The neighbor became very animated and asked, "You mean, you believe in prophets who can see things that are not yet seen?" To which she replied. "Yes, that is exactly right." The two walked along in silence as the woman's friend absorbed this. At length her friend asked, "So tell me, what did they tell you to do last general conference?" The Church member thought for a long while. And then admitted, "You know, I can't remember." This prompted one additional observation from her friend. "Then what good does it do to belong to a Church who believes in living prophets if you don't remember what they told you to do?"

What good does it do to belong to a Church who believes in living prophets if you don't remember what they told you to do?
Sister Dalton then says:
"As the world is flooded with messages twittering, blogging and Facebooking around the world, [we] must be attentive and alert to the sure voices of prophets, seers and revelators. In fact, I believe, in a world increasing in media messages each must be riveted on their words and know how to apply them in their lives. Prophets speak for God. They are a voice of warning. They can guide, direct, admonish correct and teach. They can provide personal answers to life's questions and challenges. They can also prepare each of us for what is to come."

What were we asked to do this past General Conference?

Are we striving to obey?

Are we applying their words to our lives?

"Perhaps each of us might want to make a personal "to do list" of things that we can do in our lives to learn and live these messages. Perhaps each of us will want to review carefully the messages in written and visual form on the Internet. The time has come to hold these words close, download them onto our iPods, our iPads and our mobile devices; but more importantly into our hearts — "lest we forget, lest we forget.""
This is little Tinkerbell's (my #6) notebook.  Inside she keeps her drawings.  Each day she chooses a new drawing to be displayed on the outside cover.  Last Saturday morning, this is the drawing she displayed.  She explained: "This is President Monson and me. This is the Conference center, and the pretty flowers they always have behind the person talking.  And this (bottom) is our Conference Bags."

It makes me feel good as a mom that she gets it!  She knows how lucky we are to have a prophet on the earth today.  She knows how important his words are.  As we study the talks from conference, may be "riveted on their words and know how to apply them in their lives".

I would love for you to share your thoughts and feelings on the talks as we discuss them in General Conference Club each Sunday here on the blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Moving Day April 9, 2013

(almost)Wordless Wednesday
One year ago today, we moved!

 17 years ago when my parents gave us this extremely heavy old upright piano, my dad swore he would never ever move it again! HAHA.  Little did he know he'd end up moving it 5 more times.  Sorry Dad.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Surrounded by Jocks

 I married into a family of Athletes, and then made little athletes myself (thanks to their father's genes).  I am like a fish out of water when it comes to sports.  I just kind of flop around looking dorky and feeling like I'm going to die.  Maybe in the next life. . . 
Baller (#3) is playing tennis again this year.  Last year he played on the Jr. High team for his old school. This year he is playing doubles on his new school's intramural team. 
His partner was on his basketball team.  They play really well together.
 Baller has plans to challenge a boy on the regular tennis team.  If he wins, he is automatically on the team, and the losing boy is off.  Sounds mean to me, but I'm told that's the way it works in tennis. 
 Here is part of Baller's Cheer team (although it's bad manners to yell and cheer in tennis).
Wait!  Something's wrong with Sis? 
 She is screaming "Get it Off!  Get it Off!"
(Don't worry Sis, you're mom may not be athletic but she can remove a worm from off your foot.)
This is Clint's baby sister, Deb.  She was 7 when Clint and I married.  I've had the pleasure of watching her grow into the beautiful (inside and out) woman she is today.
 Deb plays for the BYU Women's Lacrosse team.  She also had a game last Thursday night.
(Deb is on the far left)
 I've never watched a lacrosse game before and therefore had no idea what was going on
 but at least the sunset was pretty.
 
 and I got to spend time with my family.
 Due to the crazy wind and cold 
 I and some of my little jocks spent most of the game watching from the car.
Go BYU and my favorite little player #4!!!