August 26, 2008

I’m happy to announce that I have finally figured out how to get our scanner/printer/copier to scan & copy. Boy, that took some doing. And it’s slow as a dinosaur… but I’m glad it works. Hence, you see those pictures below from my YSA days. And also hence, instead of blogging about our adventures up here, I am spending my spare time digging through boxes. There are TONS of great pictures just waiting for a digital home here. You’ll see.


Friends Forever

August 26, 2008

What a treat to be so loved that someone drove 600 miles just to come visiting us! . Kim and I have been friends since I moved into her ward as a youth 10 years ago. We had two years of friendship before she went up to BYU as a freshman, then she came home & I transferred up to the Y – school swap! A year 1/2 later I graduated & came back, where we enjoyed another year or two in the same state once again. During that year as Young Single Adults, Kim was roomates with Karlyn Finnell (now Tolley), and the three of us are still close. There’s just something special about the friends that get you through your YSA time, not unlike the best friends you have through childhood/middle school. They hold a special place in your heart and life. I’m grateful to have had such great friends in my life, and blessed to still stay in touch with them. Yay!

Photo captions: Above, me & Kim in our Halloween 2002 boat dance costumes. The three of us (me, Kim & Karlyn) were Misses: Miss Fortune, Miss Tickle, Miss Demeanor – and Kar’s brother, Ben, was our security guard. (Sorry, Kar, can’t find your “Miss Demeanor” portrait… grr!) Fuuuuuunny stories, but no time for that here. If I find my other boat-dance pictures, I’ll be tempted to post just about that. Above, right, me & Kim in a photo booth at Knott’s Berry Farm, age 18 (?).

Below, bottom, me & Kim in a self-portrait taken at a YSA dance, with the help of a bathroom mirror. I know it’s blurry, but I just love this picture. Below, right, Kim, Kristen, Karlyn, and me @ Disneyland — incidentally, the day after I met John. No, he wasn’t there. More stories. (both photos, age 20-ish)

Anyway, Kim’s husband Shonn hasn’t ever been to Utah – gasp! So they took their first family vacation up HERE to visit & see the sights. I love her account of their adventures on their blog, and Episode 1 of my rendition will follow this post.

Better 2nd time around…

August 25, 2008

My second Relief Society lesson was based around Elder L. Tom Perry’s talk called, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It was refreshing to dive into something basic and familiar to me — but to approach it from a slightly different perspective. I haven’t really pondered over a lot of these principles since becoming a mother, and I was surprised how much I learned.

Funny, how excited I was to blog about it earlier today, but couldn’t. Now that the kids are all in bed and the house is quiet, I don’t have nearly enough energy to put into this. Oh well. 🙂

The good news is that heaven was smiling down on me this morning, helping me get to church in one piece, with everything I needed. John finished with meetings early enough to hitch a ride home and help load kids/stuff into the car. (Wowzers! That never happens!) I had printed what I needed for the lesson earlier in the morning, but as we made the last trip out to the van, I remembered that (ACK!) I actually hadn’t printed my notes. Not again!!! Good thing we were running early, and good thing John was there to help. Amazing, how helpful it was to have an outline to refer to. 🙂

I was less nervous this time – more excited about what I had to share with the sisters there. They seemed a little more engaged this time, which was nice. Although, come to think of it, it may be just that I was a little more in tune with them than last time. Yeah, prob’ly that.

As I was preparing, one of the things Elder Perry said really stuck out to me:
When we think of eternal life, what is the picture that comes to mind? I believe that if we could create in our minds a clear and true picture of eternal life, we would start behaving differently. We would not need to be prodded to do the many things involved with enduring to the end, like doing our home teaching or visiting teaching, attending our meetings, going to the temple, living moral lives, saying our prayers, or reading the scriptures. We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go.

Hm, I thought, prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go. If we yearn to go somewhere, how do we feel when we’re getting ready to go there? Happy? Excited? Gleeful, even? I know in the 20 minutes I had to pack for my little vacation with John, I was ecstatic. I certainly wasn’t grudging the time I had to spend packing clothes, putting things in order, and I certainly didn’t mind the long drive up to our timeshare. It was all part of the adventure. As we live our daily lives, how do we feel about the things (little or big) we need to do to prepare to live with our Father in Heaven? Elder Perry is right. When we have a vivid picture of eternal life in mind, it’s easier to live righteously. It’s easier to be happy when we have that to look forward to. Not that life is easy or that there isn’t reason to be sad sometimes… but for me anyway, there’s an element of HOORAY!!!! when I remember what I’m here for, what Christ came for, and I that I can be with Him again. Lately I’ve been missing that perspective, and diving into this lesson brought it all back.

So I had the sisters visualize their dream vacation. Someplace they reeeeeally want to go. If we were going to make it a reality, how would you feel as you called your travel agent? Would you be dragging your feet? In the moment of teaching, it dawned on me to have them imagine that this dream vacation was all inclusive and all paid for. I got lots of smiles on that one. Sis. Ellis even said she’d have booked it yesterday. (Exactly the enthusiasm I wanted to see! Thank you!!!)

Our Savior made it possible to gain salvation. This destination to beat ALL destinations really is all inclusive and all paid for. He paid the price! It’s been totally taken care of! We just need to give our hearts and lives to him.

It was an analogy that grew out of that quote up there as I read the talk one last time Saturday night, and it grew a little more as I was teaching. Hopefully it went over well. I think it did. J

Every time I teach I learn a little more about what to do, what not to do, and I feel a lot more love for the people in the class. As I was looking around before hand, I really wanted them all to know how glad I was to see them there. Each of them. I love their insight, their experiences, their willingness to answer my silly questions (half the time up there I have to fight the urge to treat them all like nursery kids… Can’t help it. 2 year olds are so much easier for me to level with. Ha!). I love that they humored me and even laughed when I warned them about another nursery-question coming today. (hehehee)

[“What is a gate?” (lol!) No, really. A prophet in the Book of Mormon compares baptism to a gate – What, then, are characteristics of a gate? Think about it. It’s a great analogy. I love it. T’was another favorite moment teaching today.]

Look Who’s Talking!

August 24, 2008
He spoke! Just now, he did! Oh, the excitement. It’s not every 6 month old baby that speaks.

But Evan does.

I meant to do a cutesie “Evan is 6 months old now!” post on his 6-month-date… but I didn’t. So now I shall try to make up for it by sharing how excited I am about his most recent word:


Okay, so it was more like, “Ma ma ma ma ma”

but he meant me. He was crying after a nap and I was just putting dinner in the oven, so he had to wait a minute; when I got there he stopped crying, reached out for me and said, “Mamamamama.” It counts. Really! More than his two other pseudo-words.

“Puh puh puh,” (as in diaper) means “change my diaper, please, it’s wet,” and when he scratches stuff it means he’s hungry. At least, it usually means he’s hungry. Sometimes it just means he’s scared or needs me. It’s so awesome that he has language already. I’m grateful to have picked up on it. Looks like I should’ve been teaching this one sign language. Add it to the top of my list of things to do. 🙂

(this picture to be replaced by a more recent one of Evan, to be taken as soon as the batteries for the camera are done charging.)

Bedtime is approaching!

August 22, 2008

And I’m very happy about that. Cinderella & Doodle seem to wake up one of two ways:
Best Friends
Best Enemies

As Kim’s hubby Shonn put it, “It’s like they woke up and heard the bell – Ding!” and they’ve been at it ever since. (Still laughing at that description. It was SO fitting for today I can hardly stand it.) The little punks, I mean, precious children did have a few hours of friendship this afternoon, but it was rocky compared to how things are usually. Doodle is cutting his last 2 year molars, so I think it makes him more aggressive than usual. 😛

So! Bedtime is coming and I’m thrilled to let their little bodies sleep it off.

For Ashley…

August 21, 2008

Since I know you’ll read this, and because you always comment… bless you for that…
I saw this on my friend’s blog (well, a relative of a friend) and thought of you. If I had money to burn, I’d buy it and instead of seeing it here, you’d find it in a box on your porch!

Fall is coming!!!

New Toy

August 21, 2008

No, it isn’t a new bike, unfortunately. John rides his bike to work (7 miles) several times a week now, and enjoys it – junky/almost-broken bike notwithstanding. (The nice one he inherited from his folks got stolen. Sad.) As it’s staying dark longer in the morning now, he looked up a really spiffy gizmo for said bike.
White lights in the front, red in the back – and it runs off power generated by magnets stuck on the spokes. COOL! Love it. And now when it’s dark, my sweetie will be much more visible to the crazy Utah drivers. Love it even more.