Monday, September 27, 2010

The First Hunt - September 25, 2010

I am so proud of these three boys.  The worked very hard to earn their hunting license by taking a hunter's safety course the first week of school and passing a very difficult test.  Then they spent time learning to shoot.  Spencer got the ball rolling with the hunter's safety course, then Uncle Doug organized this first hunt.  Uncle Brett was awesome in helping the boys learn to shoot.  He even helped Ryan give it a go!  (Ryan cried and will wait a while before learning to hunt!)  The boys were lucky enough to be drawn for a junior hunt last weekend.  They went up to an area near Alturas on Friday after school.  They didn't get to bed until very late (around 11:00 pm).  Then they were up before 5 am ready to get out to the blind.  They learned alot from each other this first trip.  I wish we had gotten a photo of Doug out there.  My guess is that he was grinning from ear to ear while taking each of these shots.  The boys all got several birds, but only were able to find a few of them.  Ethan got two to take home!!  Chandler and Macky each got one!  They had a nice pancake breakfast out on the reserve.  Macky came home with a hoodie, hat, bird whistle and he even won some duck decoys and a bag to carry them in.  He was over the moon!  Spencer ordered Mac's gun today and a trip to Cabela's is in the works.  I think this is the beginning of great fun for these boys and their dads!!

Steve and Kayla Move!

This weekend I got to drive down to SF with my Dad.  We went to help my brother and his girlfriend move in together.  They found a FANTASTIC apartment just a couple of blocks from her work.  It's a one bedroom, with lots of really nice architectural features and a recently redone kitchen and bathroom.  I think they are going to LOVE it there.  The only picture I thought to take was of my trunk after our trip to Ikea.  We loaded up!  Kayla and I were laughing the whole time.  Who knew shopping could be so fun?  Although, when we went shopping the next day and we were grumpy.  We were shopped out!  I think we got them pretty much settled in.  It turns out that they can get like 30 channels with rabbit ears.  How crazy is that?!  They have great restaurants nearby and we got to try one out.  Yum!  Their community is very nice and I'm looking forward to visiting again so that I can check it all out! 

Laps for Learning/Jog-A-Thon

On Friday, Parkview had their Laps for Learning.  I was able to go and count laps for some of the children in Maddie's class.  Grandpa, John, and Ryan came along for moral support.  Maddie ran her heart out.  She also walked and talked alot too!  It was fun to see her having a good time with friends that are so new in her new school.  Ryan ran a couple of laps with them too.  Such a crack up!
Marigold had their jog-a-thon the same day, of course.  So, I went over at lunchtime and ate with Macky.  I didn't get to see him run, but I heard that he did fantastic.  He really tried his best.  It was nice to sit and eat with him.  Parking was a nightmare at Marigold, but it was worth it to have some nice time with Macky.

Ryan and Strawberries

Ryan skipped a step...or two.  He decided to put the whipped cream right on the strawberries while they were still in the basket that they came in from the store.  He was eating as fast as he could when I found him.  He knew he was in for it!!

Physical Science Lab at Chico State with Mrs. Henry's Class

Last week I got to go along with Maddie's class on a field trip.  This is the first one that I've gone on since I had John, so this was a big deal.  Her class got to go to the Physical Science Lab at Chico State.  Students planning on becoming science teachers were there to demonstrate experiments for the children and give them some hands-on learning experiences.  It was just fantastic.  Maddie was enthralled!  She loves science and especially likes to get in there and work on it herself, rather than just read about it.  She has a wonderful teacher and just lovely kids in her class.  I couldn't be happier this year for her!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mosiah 24:15

Today I tried to watch for simple learning moments.  I had a couple.  Well, I'm sure there were more, but I picked up two anyway.

The first one had to do with Mosiah 24:15.  I've come across this scripture several times lately.  Once from a talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds, once in a study guide, and once in the book 21 Days Closer to Christ.  It links well with this idea I've been playing with since my experience at TOFW.  John Byetheway suggested that we think to ourselves each morning, "I'll be delightful today."  It sounds cheesy, but it really works for me.  I have fun just saying that to myself.  When I get a bit cranky, I remember Byetheway's suggestion and I try to be delightful.  Well, sometimes it gets a bit rough to be delightful and I've only been trying for a week!  But as it teaches in Mosiah, I have felt the Lord strengthen me today and help me to bear my burdens.  I feel cheerful despite a heavy load.

The other learning moment I had today was while cleaning out the backseat of Spencer's car.  Any of you that know him, know that his car is a WRECK!  I needed it today because our van was in the shop and I wanted to pick up Maddie and Ty from school.  I got to the school and realized that there was no place for the children to sit.  I decided to scoop everything from the backseat into the trunk. 

The "everything" in his trunk was his materials for teaching seminary.  I came across the book that our ward put out a couple of years ago filled with the testimony of our members.  I went through and found mine and read it.  At first, I thought, "Man, I should have taken more time to do a better job of writing this!"  Then as I read it through, I felt the Spirit and remembered what it felt like for me to join the Church and how grateful I am for my story.  When I wrote that I did so to please our Bishop.  Now I'm so thankful that I got the opportunity to write down my testimony as it reminded me today of who I am and what I can do.  To read my old testimony, click here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

21 Days Closer to Christ

I just began reading a book by Emily Freeman called 21 Days Closer to Christ.  I am on Day 5.  The chapter for Day 4 suggests that I keep a journal of my experiences while reading this book.  As I am hopeless when writing on paper, I decided to write it here.

The idea with the book is as the title states, each day you read the chapter and assigned verses from the Scriptures.  There are some thinking questions at the end to consider.

Today I read the account of Jairus in Matthew.  The question at the chapter's end asks me to think of a time where I had to search for the Savior to find strength beyond my own.  I had a couple of thoughts.  The one I thought of sharing here is when I had my first son, Malcolm.  While pregnant, I finishing up my last semester of school.  My husband was going to school and working.  We were pretty poor, but happy.  I joke that I threw up in every bathroom at BYU and most intersections in Provo and Orem.  I spent some time with Spencer's sister, Krysti.  She taught me to can.  While we were canning, she bore her testimony to me.  She taught me how to use my spirituality to help me work through having a baby.  It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life.  She taught me that the angels would help me when I needed it.  She taught me not just to hope for it, but to expect it.

When I was in labor with Mac, I thought I was all set.  I drove myself to the hospital - I can do anything, right?!?!!  Then the real trouble started.  Because he wanted to come so quickly, they did not have time give me any pain medications.  He was stuck because he was so dang huge.  Let's just skip some details here as I'm sure you get the idea.  Dumb lamaze sure didn't help me.  It was my relationship with Christ and my knowledge of His love for me and for Mac that helped me through that trial.  I am constantly grateful for the power of testimony and the lasting effects of experience.  Thankfully, I don't have huge trials like that every day, but I get to keep my testimony and strength of character.

So while thinking about it, I believe that I learn the most about the Savior by watching and listening to others.  It is good for me to read the Scriptures and to pray and such, but I think the strongest factor in my developing relationship with Christ is the witness I receive from other people.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Maddie and Zane

Maddie loves babies.  Zane is no exception.  We all love him.  Maddie got to hold him for a bit today.  He is loving his binky!!

Time Out for Women - Sacramento

Sabra, Delayne, Shannon and I got to go to an even sponsored by Deseret Book called Time Out for Women.  Shannon, Delayne, and I drove down to Sacramento and checked-in to our hotel.  We went out for a quick sandwich and then met up with Sabra and a couple of her friends at the Sacramento Convention Center.  We got to listen to Jenny Oaks Baker play her violin.  That lady is AMAZING!!  She was funny and witty.  She has a serious game face when she plays that was a bit distracting, but she was just a terrific performer.  We got to hear from Ardeth Kapp, one of my all-time favorite people.  That lady is just a super star.  One of my favorite things that she said on Friday was that you can't start over and have a new beginning, but you can start from now and make a brand new end.  Love that lady.  Then we got to hear from John Byetheway.  Mac was so jealous that I got to go and listen to him!  He put up a great quote from Sister Hinkley, "Be cheerful.  Don't be a whiner."  He challenged us to pray each morning for the Holy Ghost to be with us and then to picture the Spirit with us.  I'm going to try that and see where it goes.  He also encouraged us to get up and think, "I think I'll be delightful today..."  So, I'm going to try that to.  I like the word delightful.  It just makes me happy. 
At the end of the program, we walked back to our hotel.  Delayne and I found the Safeway for some snacks and then we had a fun time chatting, laughing, and eventually sleeping! 
Saturday morning we got up early and ate at the hotel.  Then we walked back to the Convention Center.  We listed to Mercy River that day.  They were pretty good.  Two of the ladies in the group were pregnant!  One particularly pregnant.  It almost hurt to watch her!!  We heard from Emily Watts first.  She is an editor and writer for Deseret Book.  I met her once a couple of years ago, so I was looking forward to hearing from her.  She is quite funny and I ended up buying one of her books.  She talked about being prayerful in your work.  I liked that.  I think I could pray a lot more than I do and goodness knows I could use the help!!  Then we heard from Amanda Dickson, who is a non-member from Salt Lake City.  She has a morning talk show on the radio there.  Her voice was familiar to me.  She was really a kick.  My favorite idea from her was that whenever anyone yells at a child, they are communicating, "CALM ME DOWN!"  Isn't that true?  Then we heard from a super inspiring woman named Mariama Kallon.  Mariama is from Sierra Leone.  She has an amazing story of survival and hope.  She joined the Church as a teenager and served a mission in Salt Lake City - Temple Square.  She bore powerful witness to the importance of our humanitarian work throughout the world.  One of my favorite things about her, though, was the way she quoted scripture.  Before launching into a well memorized verse (of which there were many!), she would say, "the Lord told me..."  It was really amazing and strong.  I am trying to read scriptures that way now.  I think as I read that the Lord wrote all this down just for me.  It really brings the message home. 
For lunch we went to a nice Chinese restaurant.  I had curry, it wasn't great. 
After lunch, we heard from Jill Manning.  She talked about pornography.  That lady was scary.  I have some ideas on how to get a better hold on the media in our home.  She also went 20 minutes over, so while she had really important things to say, it was a bit tedious.  If you're interested in talking with your family about their media choices and working together to promote wholesome screen time, start with this pledge:  We'll be working on this once Spencer gets back home.  My favorite idea from her though applies to more than just pornography, she said we must stand up for righteousness and stay put until all danger is gone.  The final speaker of the event was Emily Freeman.  She is one wise woman.  I am going to have to read something by her soon!  She was funny and very spiritual.  I am really in awe of what some women accomplish.  I didn't write down any quotes from her, but that isn't because she didn't say anything great.  Just the opposite.  It's because I was so enthralled with what she was saying that I couldn't stop to write things down.  The big feeling from her in the end was that I am pretty great, the future is good, and we all have hope.  Nice!
I had such a great time.  I feel so rejuvenated.  I haven't felt the Spirit for so long in a LONG time.  I am really thankful that my oh-so-nice parents and brother helped with my kids so I could have some time away. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dissecting the Heart

Mac has been learning about the heart in school.  He's loving it.  This is a diagram that he drew of the heart!  He even got to dissect a pig heart.  What a teacher!!

Eliza the Star!!

Eliza and Lilly came over to play.  Eliza was so fun!  She played trains for quite a while.  Then she decided to dress up.  How cute is she!?!?

The Dinosaurs!

Ryan is oh so happy to be playing soccer.  This is his first season and these photos are from his first practice!  His coach is a friend from preschool!  Well, his Dad is the coach.  Ryan did great!  He was running around and having a great time for about 50 minutes.  Then he was done.  It was over 100 degrees and he was too hot and wanted to go home.  But, I sent him back in and he finished up for some oranges.  I'll have to think of some ways to help him stay cool!!

Happy Birthday Aunt Delayne and Lilly!

Our littlest niece turned one!  Little Lilly is so super cute!  I almost can't stand it.  She is learning to walk and can take a few steps now.  She is definitely still a mama's girl.  Delayne got her this cute cupcake thing that looked like an ice cream cone with lots of scoops.

Aunt Shannon made a special cake for Delayne.  It is the one with raspberries on top, creamy goodness in the middle, and white cake on the bottom.  It's Spencer's favorite!  

John really enjoyed the cupcake!!

Lilly totally got into the treat and had a great time eating her own cupcake!

The cousins definitely needed a bath after all that yummy cake!!