Monday, December 8, 2008

Yesterday morning I was really struggling with how to make Christmas be more about Christ and less about Santa in our home. I have always tried, but I feel like the outside influence is so strong that I need to be even stronger! I spent the morning researching different talks on and found a great talk by Pres. Monson called "In Search of the Christmas Spirit". I knew this was the talk I needed for family home evening this week. Later at Church the relief society lesson was on this same subject and Sis. Graham used parts of the same talk. She did such a wonderful job. I was teary the whole time because it was just another testament that our Heavenly Father knows each one of us personally and what our needs are. The sisters all had great suggestions on ways to bring Christ back into Christmas. I am so grateful for the wonderful ward we are in and the examples of the sweet sisters around us. Sis. Graham was so nervous for her first lesson in RS and she did such an awesome job, I can't wait for more. I wanted to share a little from Pres. Monson's talk because I think we can all use a reminder.

"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others. This noble transition is exemplified by an entry dated 24 December 1847, in the pioneer diary of Mrs. Rebecca Riter. She describes that first Christmas in the valley of the Great Salt Lake: “The winter was cold. Christmas came and the children were hungry. I had brought a peck of wheat across the plains and hid it under a pile of wood. I thought I would cook a handful for the baby. Then I thought how we would need wheat for seed in the spring, so I left it alone.”

We are prone to say, “Oh, those were difficult times, times of stress and trial,” and they were. But I would also reply, “These times in which we live are also difficult times in their own way.” There is no shortage of opportunities to forget self and think of others. Such opportunities, however limitless they may be, are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved." Pres. Monson Ensign Dec. 1987.

This is just a small part of his talk, you can read the rest

Hopefully I am doing a good job teaching my children the true meaning of Christmas. I think one of the best ways to do this is by example. I would love it if you shared some of your traditions with me. So please comment and if you have any great Christmas book ideas, I need one for book club.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Look!

I love my new background! What I love most about it is that I didn't even have to do it! The credit goes to Samantha. She is my blog stylist! Thanks Samantha it looks fabulous!

Since my reason for having a blog in the first place is to capture moments for future generations I thought I should catch up on a few things that happened over the last couple of months!

Christopher and Andrea started school. They both love their new teachers. Christopher is doing so well, he is loving school for the first time ever! Even our carpoolin' friend (Jolene) has noticed a difference in his attitude towards school. Andrea is working very hard and loving being in the same class as her bff Nicole.

Andrea turned SEVEN September 1st! I really can't believe it. She is growing up so fast. Her favorite things right now are: playing with friends, school, baby dolls, cooking and doing dishes, but what she wanted most for her birthday was to get a pedicure with Nicole.

Andrea's piggies are on the right and Nicole's are on the left!

Photo courtesy of Courtney

Halloween was great. Our ward had a fall festival the weekend before. I enjoyed it more that our usual trunk or treat. We were inside with the lights on so you could actually see each other and visit with everybody. They had games for the kids and a chili cook off. On Halloween we got to trick or treat with our cousins. They have lived out of state for the last couple of years and are on the way out of the country, so it is extra special to spend time with them. Samantha was Victoria (Twilight), Christopher was Dark Vader, Andrea was a Witch and Spencer was Buzz Light Year. Unfortunately I didn't get good pictures, we were in such a hurry a couple of them didn't want there pictures taken! I am posting them anyway!

Samantha turned FOURTEEN November 4th! Writing it down doesn't help, I am still in denial. She was looking forward to this birthday. She is now a MiMaid and can attend dances (no yet to my delight) Her favorite things are: friends, music, Twilight, Edward, writing, Edward, blogging, reading blogs, oh and did I say Edward. She choose to forgo a party to go shopping and to dinner with a friend.

Christopher turned ELEVEN November 19th! November is the month of birthdays in our family. (myself, two of my sister in laws, my Dad and a cousin too!) I still sometimes say he is nine. I don't think it has to do with his maturity level,wink, wink, I just don't like that my kids keep growing up! For his party he had a few friends over to watch Clone Wars and eat pizza. His favorite things are: the Wii, Lego's, reading, Star Wars and watching TV. Christopher also received his Arrow of Light and graduated from Cub Scouts to 11yr Scouts.

Andrea lost her first tooth November 19th. Actually she lost her bottom two teeth the same night. They were just hanging there and her Boopa pulled one and I pulled the other. We only got a picture of the first!

Thanksgiving dinner was at our house this year! It rained for two days before Thanksgiving. We live in AZ, I know we need the rain, but why did it have to rain this week! We usually eat outside all together on two long tables, the kids play outside all day long and it is always gorgeous weather. I was worried about how everything would turn out. It was great. The kids still played outside all day the ground had been so dry it soaked up all the water. We ate inside, played games looked at the adds and made plans for Black Friday. It was so nice to spend the day with family! I am so grateful to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends.

For the first time ever or at least almost ever, we got our Christmas tree up and inside of the house decorated for Christmas Thanksgiving weekend! It was such a fun weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Excuses!

That's right, I have no excuses for not posting in forever! My record speaks for its self, I have phases! I do wish I was more consistent because I like to think of my blog as a journal, kind of.
Even though I haven't posted in awhile, I still enjoy reading all of your blogs and keeping up with the fun things you all have been up too! Blogs are the best! I have made friends through blogs, been inspired by others and now I have found a friend I haven't seen since Jr. High! I found her blog through a few links from my friend Jolene's blog. Mary is unforgettable! She has the sweetest personality ever! You know the kind of person that oozes sweetness and you just want to be around them because they make you feel good! That's Mary. She was always smiling and helping others. Any memories I have of her revolve around laughter. Over the years I have thought back on choices I've made that have put me where I am today! (which is completely happy and enjoying life) The choice that made the biggest difference in my life was 18 years ago when I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't made that decision. It wasn't a tough choice for me, I knew it was right. I didn't just wake up one day and decide to join the Church, I was prepared over the years by people I knew and Mary was an excellent example to me! I am sure she is that same person today, always serving others, being a friend to anyone she meets, and changing lives as she did for me. We never know what influences we have on the people around us. I hope to be more like Mary and I'm excited to get back in touch with her and learn what she has been up to for the last 21 years (jaw dropping I know, it feels like yesterday) You can check out her blog here and see her cute family. Just so you know, she looks exactly the same. I will admit that makes me a little jealous!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Two Down, Two To Go!

Yesterday was the first day of school for Samantha and Spencer. (Christopher and Andrea start on Monday) I have to say that I wasn't as sad as last year to send Samantha off to school yesterday, I couldn't be, she was too excited to see all of her friends and she truly loves to learn. Last year sending her to Jr. High felt like I was throwing her into the lions den. I cried on and off all day, so many times I wanted to go back and get her. Well she survived and so this year my sadness was only that I will miss spending the day with her (and the free day time babysitting too!)

(She really was excited to go! I think maybe she is tired of the 1st day picture routine)

Spencer started preschool yesterday. It was his first, first day of school. He officially started preschool last Feb. So this year he enjoyed getting a new outfit and backpack with the other kids. He has the same teacher which was helpful for both of us. I did cry on the drive home, but we invited a friend and her daughter to come swim with Andrea and I, so my mind was kept busy and I didn't dwell on it to much. He had a great day and can't wait to go back today, he gets to bring snack and show in tell!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Count Down Ends!

We are heading out right now to get Breaking Dawn! I am so excited! This is really fun in more ways than one. I am having fun with my oldest daughter. We've had a great time this summer rereading the Twilight series and discussing different things we didn't notice the first time through ( second and third times for her). At the same time we've been anticipating the release of Breaking Dawn all summer. It has been a great bonding experience. I really enjoy having something in common with her! Anyway, we are off to the Borders party and then at midnight we will have our book in hand.
I've wanted to post all week about our wonderful Cali trip, but I have been having after vacation blues! I will try to get to it soon. We had fun and I have some good pictures to share. We all know it won't be this weekend, and I will assume you will all be busy reading too!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Picture Tag!

A lot of tagging going on in July! I saw this on a friends blog and thought it looked like fun. So here we go, 10 things around my house:

#1 My sink

I was pleasantly surprised to find it clean. I wanted this to be as honest as possible. I didn't want to go around and clean the places I needed to take pictures of. (even if cleaning is what I should be doing instead)

#2 My Fridge


And Out

IN-N-OUT sounds good, much better than anything I could find in my fridge right now!

#3 Hot Spot

I have too many of these, so I picked the worst. Okay, maybe not the worst, but the worst I wanted to share with the public. My whole office could be considered a hot spot and only a select few have seen it. You know who you are and how special your are to me.

#4 My closet

Nothing exciting here, sorry!

#5 Laundry room

This was my favorite picture to take. This is my new washer and dryer. I love them. I debated on making this room my favorite spot, (a picture coming up) but it really is only my second favorite spot. Who new doing laundry would be a favorite thing to do and that you could wash and dry 2 loads in less than 5 hours. Yes, you heard me, my old washer and dryer took that long. I was still grateful to have them because I wasn't doing it by hand!

#6 What your family is doing right NOW!

This was fun, because they are so cute like this!


Christopher (I woke him up, OPPPS!)


and Spencer

#7 Favorite spot

This is my favorite spot because I do my favorite things here. Read, watch TV, talk on the phone, and Nap!

#8 Bathroom

Could be worse!

#9 Backyard

Yes, it's cloudy and rainy out today! Yipee! It's a rainy day in AZ! I should be in my favorite spot reading right now!

#10 Self Portrait

It's early okay, I haven't brushed my hair. I am dressed for the gym, which I am more motivated to go than ever after seeing my arms in this picture!

I won't tag anyone because I think this is fun and you will want to do it too, so I look forward to seeing what your 10 spots
look like!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Glow in the Dark Tag!

Yesterday was the 4th and we had a great day! We invited family and friends over for swimming and BBQ. It's tradition to make homemade ice cream and go to the MCC fireworks. The weather was weird last night. It seemed like there was going to be a really bad storm. It was so windy and we could see lightening all around. We decided to stay home and watched a couple of different firework shows on TV. Some of us were disappointed and the ones who hate stormy weather were relieved. (by the way, the storm completely changed directions and it was a beautiful night for fireworks, but by the time we realized that it was to late) We turned out all the lights, spread out the picnic quilt, ate our ice cream, and broke out the neon glow in the dark sticks. It wasn't the same, but we still had a great time. The ice cream is always the best part. Chuck made a peanut butter ice cream with pieces of recesses cups in it (YUMO!) and Boopa made the all time classic tutti frutti!

After everyone left the real party began!

With all of the lights out and everyone having at least one glow stick on, we played TAG! It was so much fun and I must say a good work out too! Only two rules, no upstairs and no tag backs. The funest part is trying to hide right in the open with your glow stick covered, waiting to see how long it takes for someone to notice you! We finally fell into bed around midnight completely exhausted with smiles on our faces.

I have to say that I am so grateful to live in this country and for all of the freedoms we enjoy! Especially for the freedom of religion. I am so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Next week will mark my 18th year as a member of this church. I am so very thankful for the knowledge I have, to be sealed to a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. I can't imagine anything more wonderful than knowing that I can return and live with my Heavenly Father again someday!