Monday, November 29, 2010

Holy SNOW Batman!

Yesterday, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed some more. Right after we'd shovel it all would look like we never worked on it. Wowza!
To the side of the flag pole we made a ramp that the boys started using for their snowboards. After the snowfall we added to the ramp with a slide that elbows to the right and heads down the side stairs to the side yard. It's pretty sweet! (pictures on that later!)

 All the boys at work! Tyler even shoveled one of our neighbor's yard for them. He asked me if he could. Of course! How nice was that?!

It's so beautiful! We all love the this weather!

THANKful Wreath

On Thanksgiving I had everyone outline their hands and cut them out. Then, everyone colored them with their own style. Next, they had to write one thing they were thankful for. We had over 30 colored hand prints with thankful messages on them.
We sure have a lot to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Poor Brig's!

 Poor Brigham! He was so sick on Thanksgiving! I was in the middle to taking the shells off the eggs for Deviled Eggs when he wanted me to help him get to his bed. I told him "Just a minute!" And there he fell asleep waiting for me! Poor guy!

Turkey Cookie

On Thanksgiving, before the big dinner, the boys and I made these adorable (and YUMMY) Turkey Cookies!


It was a fun and easy craft. The kids enjoyed making them and the company thought they were cute!

Time Out for Women Part 5

Saturday Morning....Marima Kallon

Mariama told a heart-wrenching true story of her childhood and faith. She has no clue what an inspiration she truly is to so many people around the world. I copied and pasted the paragraph below from her bio on the Time Out for Woman page.

Raised in war-torn Sierra Leone, Mariama Kallon saw many things as a young girl that might fill a person with fear and hatred. Soon after witnessing the violent murders of parents and siblings and spending her youth fleeing from rebels, she was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ and found hope in God and peace in a knowledge of eternal families. She was given a humanitarian kit by the Church, which became a treasured symbol of hope that she used to bless the lives of many as they again fled for their lives. After returning to her town, she was called on a mission to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission, and wept in gratitude to the Lord as she visited the place where her precious humanitarian kit was made. Today Mariama stands as an example of the divine purposes of humanitarian work and tells her story to numerous audiences, urging them to participate in this work.

Wow! She has so much faith and such a strong spirit. I am thankful for her story. It make the concept of the resurrection have more meaning. (Her brother and sister had their limbs cut off, in front of her) I am thankful for her strong and powerful message.

Elder Morgan!

 My cousin, Elder Morgan, is serving here in the Salt Lake mission. He and his companion stopped by (with permission!!) on Thanksgiving afternoon for a quick visit! What a great surprise it was to see him! Earlier that day they were at lunch with a member family and playing dodge ball and broken him pinkie finger! OUCH!!

Three Generations...Kind of

 Here is a great shot of Papa, Scott and Brig's on their way up to the top of the hill. Three generations, kind of.

 Brig's enjoys himself until his hands or face feel the snow. And then it's all over for him! He'll enjoy himself more next year!

 And yes we stayed out in the teen degrees sledding. It feels like were still on vacation here in Salt Lake City!

Scott tried snow boarding on a sled and bit it! HA! Will, Jackson, Tyler and Gavin all have that snowboarding thing down! I am so proud of them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts and Decorations

We went sledding this morning, watched a movie in the afternoon and then make some cute, fun crafts for the house. (We're off to go sledding again as soon as I'm done typing this up!!)

The "Give Thanks" banner.

Time Out for Women Part 4

Friday Afternoon....Brad Wilcox

I truly love this man. I have known him for almost 20 years of my life. I have heard him speak a couple dozen times, and am thankful for each and every opportunity. He is a real inspiration and a wonderful teacher/speaker. He spoke on "Grace". He reviewed the entire 6th chapter of his new book, The Continuous Atonement. (Which I bought,and can't wait to read!!)

We are all saved by GRACE after ALL we can do! 2 Nephi 25:23
Grace is a constant energy source. God and I both know it's not my all or best, but He still loves us no matter what.

We need to be more gentle with ourselves. God is more concerned with our knowledge and love for Him and His Son and not our accomplishments.
You are nothing, powerless without him. Brad talked bout wanting to make the theme for the next EFY to be "You are Nothing"! Funny, but so true.
He told a heart-felt story of a young mother whom went through many trials in her young life and when asked something on the lines of "In your deepest sorrow did you feel that the Savior left you?" Her humble, sweet reply was (and I'm paraphrasing here...)
There were never 2 sets footprints in the sand. Only one. He never left me.  
We need to continue to follow the teachings, "After all we can do" faithfully and continually.
We should NOT be called Human BEINGS. Rather Human DOINGS. We need to DO. To act. To become.
After all we can do. Means me and God. Together.
Jesus doesn't make up the difference for us. He makes the difference. (Love that, so profound!)
Don't try an earn your way to heaven, Prepare for it. Jesus paid our debt in full.
It is by Grace that all things are possible, but we must also be transformed by grace.

During lunch and the breaks he would walk around hugging, shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures with the women. Bobbi and I walked up and he gave us his undivided attention and we spoke about his talk, the gospel, and the savior. What a wonderful few moments it was with him. Thank you Brad for you kind words and love.

Happy Sledding!

 Last night there was a HUGE BLIZZARD (well, that what they said was coming, but it was a total disappointment.) It was a little windy, and it snowed a couple of inches. But that's it. Anyhow, the boys didn't have school today and REALLY, REALLY, wanted to go sledding. We piled into the suburban and headed to a local elementary school for the seasons FIRST sledding. It was snowing a little bit, but the boys didn't seem to even notice. They didn't notice that it was like 16-18 degrees out there either! We only stayed an hour, but it was a blast!

The boys even brought their snow board and tried it out for the first time. They did awesome on it. Brig's went down one time, went into a tree, and then went back to the car. Poor little guy! Gavin was a total dare devil, taking a running start and jumping onto the inter tube or sled!

What is WRONG with this picture??

Yesterday, it was about 30 degrees, snowy and windy. We all got dressed and headed out to do a few last minutes errands before the BIG day. Everyone has pants, snow bibs, scarfs, beanies, mittens, snow coats....Except the "Heater" himself, Scott Thompson! Earlier in the morning when he and Bill were shoveling the drive-way he was wearing the same thing! Seriously? Flip Flops in the snow? You are crazy!

But we still love you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time Out for Women Part 3

Saturday started bright and early. We met at the convention center at 8:15am so we could get better seats than Fridays night. The conference didn't officially start until 9am, but 3,000 other woman had the same idea as us! (We did find some pretty good seats in the middle section!)

Saturday morning...Linda Eyre and her daughter Shawni Pothier

The mother and daughter duo spoke together about Motherhood. They offered 5 "helps" to be a better mother.

#1 Be your own best kind of mom! Everyone comes form different packages, different husbands, and different circumstances.

#2 Infrastructure. Have a family mission statement and/or motto a theme for your family. Something that your family puts together. (Shawni's family is "Learn, Work, Service, Respect". (My family's motto is "All for one, and one for all!" We also have a saying for the boys, "Brothers First") Hold Family Home Evenings and family meeting often and regularly.

#3 Give your children ownership. Have your kids make their own goals they want to achieve. They talked about the "Repenting Bench" which was so cleaver! (I've already used this form of ownership a few times already!!) When the kid are arguing or get mad at one another they have to sit on the "Repenting Bench" until they can say what THEY did wrong. (we used the stairs in our home)For example, we were listening to music in the kitchen the other day when Jackson and Tyler started arguing about it and I had them sit on the stairs and tell me what THEY did wrong in that situation. They both tried to state what the other brother had done first. I would interrupt him and have him start over by stating only what he did wrong. It was pretty cool!

#4 Family traditions. Hold family testimony meetings on Sunday after Fast Sunday. (Make sure they tell how they FELL about Jesus in their testimony. They have a picture of the Savior in every room. (I would add a picture of the family, or brothers in every room as well...)

#5 Teaching your children to work. (Scott and I totally believe in this as well!!) They offered some cleaver ideas how to contract out jobs by the children bidding on them or after you've taught a child a certain chore ie scrubbing the toilet they can then teach a younger sibling to do it and receive a special certificate by doing so.
**Keys for good work:
Print out (List or bubble system)

Cherish those small moments, the moments that make up the tapestry of life.

Time Out for Women Part 2

Friday Night...Heidi Swinton

She is the author of the new AMAZING book, To The Rescue. A biography about our dear, beloved prophet. Se was an incredible speaker. Her entire talk was solely in regards to President Monson. She spoke about his childhood and referred to him as Tommy. As she retold stories about his teenage years she referred to him at Tom. I will share just a couple of the stories that jumped out at me.

The primary president was in tears one Sunday afternoon right after church was released. Tommy went to her side and asked what was wrong and what he could do to help her out, if anything. She began to express her sadness that the children in primary were too talkative, disruptive, wouldn't listen to the lessons or sing and would get out of their seats too often. She asked him if he would help her and do the opposite of what she had just talked to him about. He promised, with a sincere hug. And she never had a problem in primary again! HA! It was HIM that was the little turkey!

President Monson became Bishop, at the age of 22, in his home ward. That is a feat in itself!

President Monson was over the Iron Curtain area as a General Authority. He worked extremely hard in those rough areas for over 20 years. He single handedly helped aid in the opportunity for missionaries to serve in those areas. AND have members from the Iron Curtain area to leave to serve missions.

In President Monson's journals, he has written in over 20 huge books. Sister Swinton was surprised over and over as she read from those novel journals. She was expecting writings about serving as a bishop, Stake President, Quorum of the 12...But he wrote very little in regards to his service. 90% of his journals were about people. What his brothers and sisters taught him and hoe touched he was when he interacted with so many from all over the world.

Of course there was much, much more. She is a sweet, smart, humble sister. I appreciate her candor and honesty as she spoke to us.

I am so thankful to know a little bit more about President Tomas S. Monson. What a blessing he is in my life and how thankful I am to have him as my latter-day prophet!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time Out for Women

I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to attend Time Out for Women with some WONDERFUL friends from Santa Barbara. I was invited last minute and I am so glad I had the chance to go. It was fun hanging out and chatting with some dear friends of mine. The speakers were incredible. On Friday night was the kick-off and there were 2 speakers and a singer/performer. On Saturday the inspiration continued and I heard 4 other speakers and another musician perform. There were 3,990 women in attendance! I am going to write up a different post about each speaker and their powerful message, and my perception of it.

Friday Night....Sister Virginia Pierce

How to have a "Successful" life

Do YOU see things/people/events like Heavenly Father sees them?
Being patient and diligent= Successful

Get out of the business of competition, and focus on what's eternally important. Each person on earth has been blessed with a mission, a gift, talents and things to offer the world.
Comparison is the fast track to misery. Who cares if she/he is better at singing/drawing/football....Someone will always be better and someone will always not be as good at something. Someone will always be fatter than you, and skinnier than you.
MAYBE he/she is doing EXACTLY what our Father in Heaven has planned for them.

Make sure to properly measure your success. Cannot be measured by others actions. For example...You do all you can, as a mother, to help you child to be smart, play a sport or musical instrument and have a testimony of the gospel. But, at the end of they day it's THEIR life and THEIR decisions. If you do all you can and your child receives an "F", it's not a failure on you.

YOU are responsible for YOUR own success in life. Outward results of YOUR actions. Continue to LOVE regardless of what they do.
We need to continually help to build up the church. BUT it's NOT measured in the amount of hours. It's what each of us can do.
We need to continually RECOGNIZE, RELIE, and ACT on the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Personal Guidance from the Holy Ghost is having a Successful Life. THAT is the single most important skill we can obtain here on earth.
Don't know how? PRACTICE! It is a gift open to ALL of us. We're better at it than we think!
To trust Christ and use His atonement to be more like Him is a successful life. Will you be successful because of Him?? OF COURSE! That's the gift He's offered you (and me!!)

She was wonderful!!

$3.99 for The Blind Side!!

I just ordered this AWESOME deal!!
The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock is only $3.99 (80% off) at Amazon right now. This was such a great movie! I highly recommend it. This is a perfect stocking stuffer, if you can wait that long!!

Make sure you sign up for Amazon Mom so you can get Amazon Prime FREE and get all these great deals with FREE 2-day shipping.

Senior Pictures

Over the weekend I took some shots of one of my cousins for her senior pictures. We went to this great location, her dads offices. They turned out pretty dang good. (Not that hard when your subject is so beautiful!!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pine Wood Derby

 Jackson participated in his FIRST Pine Wood Derby in Utah. They ran the derby much differently here than in Arizona. It was chaotic. It was wild. There was no rhyme or reason to anything. They didn't even weigh all the cars. Kids were hanging all over the track.

Jackson did great. He placed third in his age group. He is such a wonderful boy. Such a wonderful cub scout.
Congratulations Jackson!!