"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Little Imp

Don't let those big blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and curly hair fool you. She's really not that sweet. Mischief and naughtiness find here where ever she goes. People say she can do no wrong, but we know better. What a stinker.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Did I Marry Him?

...Because he's my best friend. I've been reminded of this numerous times this week. This new calling is proving to be very challenging for me, but I'm already seeing the blessings that were promised to me. At first Cody wasn't happy about it and he wasn't very supportive. When the Bishop set me apart, he specifically said that because of this calling, our marriage would be strengthened and Cody would be a helpmeet to me. At the time I so stressed that I almost blew it off like "Yeah right...not him."

This past Sunday was really hard for me. I have so many new responsibilities and I was beyond tired by the end of church. That afternoon when we got home, Cody seriously stepped up to the plate. I could not believe how he took over all of my house duties and he worked and worked until midnight. He cleaned, he cooked, he got the kids ready for bed, and he kept insisting that I relax.

And it hasn't stopped since then. I have seen a dramatic change in his attitude in a few short days. He's happy, he's pleasant, he doesn't complain about anything, and he has been putting all of my needs first. Last night I came home from a meeting at 10:00 and I was beyond exhausted. I crashed into the couch and I realized I was starving. He asked me what he could make for me, but nothing sounded good. So he kept pestering me about what DID sound good, and the only thing that sounded good was a taco salad. He said "I feel bad that I haven't satisfied any of your pregnancy cravings this time around." He grabbed his keys and hopped in his car to go find a place still open where he could get me a taco salad!!

I am beyond thrilled at his change of heart. I'm sure it's fleeting and he'll likely fall back into his old ways from time to time (that of being a total guy) but for now I'm extremely grateful that he's been so wonderful to me. I know the Lord is holding to His promise. I married Cody because he was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I'd ever met. He has a huge heart and it's a quality that I admired in him from day one. I'm very lucky that I've been able to see it shining through this week. I love you Cody!!!

Water Play

82 degree weather, not a cloud in the sky, sunscreen, water balloons, a sprinkler, bathing suits, neighbor friends and popsicles. What could be better than that? It is supposed to be chilly and rainy again this weekend so we are outside as much as possible right now!

Tee Ball Begins

Ethan has been talking non-stop for months about starting baseball. He's been a "natural" since he was two years old. So in February Cody took him to get signed up the first hour of the first day of registration. We're lucky that a guy from our ward/neighborhood is his coach. He's Stockton's dad and the kids are good friends. We were sure that since he knew the coach and at least ONE kid on the team that he would do fine.
Last Saturday was his first practice and Cody had taken him a few days before to get a new glove. The boys of the house were so excited for the start of the season! We made it a family outing to go to his first practice. To make a long story short, Ethan cried most of the time and wouldn't even look at the coach or any of the kids. He sat on the grass and was frozen with fear. He can be painfully shy in certain situations and this turned out to be one of them. Cody and I did our best to exercise patience and understanding, but it was wearing thin. Finally we packed up and left.
All week long we have been hyping him up even more about playing ball. This week Cody took him out to get cleats and on Friday they will go get a new bat. It's all about helping him be excited. On Tuesday evening Cody came home from work early and the kids played ball in the backyard while I made dinner. Ethan practiced with his tee and I loved listening to their banter from the kitchen window. At one point Ethan came running inside and said "Mom, where did you put my new shirt and hat?!" He just couldn't play ball with out them! I know he really wants to play. Being shy in a situation like that must be a huge handicap to over come. But I know Ethan will come around and maybe after THIS Saturday's practice he'll see that it isn't so scary after all. By the way, they are the Cincinnati Reds!

Easter Morning

On Easter morning we woke up to find that the Easter Bunny had visited during the night! The kids wouldn't sit still for breakfast, so after the hunt they had Easter candy as their meal. Are we great parents or what?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Apostles Thoughts on Easter

This is one the messages at Conference that struck me the most. I don't know if I breathed during his entire talk. I have a deep love and admiration for Elder Holland. He's always been able to reach me. What he has to say about the Savior will make you think. I don't have the words to describe the way it makes me feel, but you can watch it here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

An Unexpected Easter

Sunday would have been any other wonderful Easter Sunday. We would have gotten up to see what the Easter Bunny brought and hid, we would have eaten too much candy in the morning. We would have gotten dressed in our new Easter clothes and I would have curled Hailey's hair. We would have gone to church and had great lessons about the atonement and resurrection. We would have heard beautiful music during Sacrament Meeting. We would have come home and had a delicious honey baked ham and funeral potato dinner.

Everything mentioned above did in fact happen on Sunday. It was a memorable and spiritual Easter. But something else happened that will make Easter 2009 forever live in my mind. I was sustained as the new Primary President in church. I had known about this calling for almost three weeks.

It's funny how it happened. The Executive Secretary made an appointment for Cody and me to meet with the bishop. After some speculating, Cody and I came to the conclusion that he was probably getting released from his three year calling in Scouts to be called to something else. It had been a bad day for me. That Wednesday was a hard one and I cried a lot. I was feeling overwhelmed with life and sicker than sick. I'd thrown up a few times that day and managed to drag our brood to the swimming pool for swim lessons. I was barely hanging on because I was so exhausted and sick being in my 11th week of pregnancy.

I raced home from the pool, made dinner, got us semi-dressed and we headed to the church to meet Dad who was already there for a Scout meeting. When we walked into the Bishop's office I immediately apologized for our haggard appearance. I explained that it had been a really hard day. We all made small talk for a while as the kids made chaos around his office and drew on the white board. Finally the bishop got down to business. And that is when it happened. He issued the calling by turning to Cody and asking him if he would sustain me as the new Primary President. I almost lost it. After several minutes of taking about it all in and the three of us discussing it, Cody and the kids left the room.

I then began crying and I told the bishop what terrible timing this was and how I was so unprepared and incompetent. But he gave me some amazing counsel and I walked out of there and hour later feeling afraid, but okay. He was giving me several days to pray about my decision and get back to him with an answer. When I got home that night I did the only thing I could think of. I called my parents. They are incredible examples to me and I value their opinion. My mom made me feel great and assured me that I could do anything that the Lord asks.

That night I prayed and prayed. I had an intense conversation with the Lord that seemed to go on and on. Then I barely slept that night as I was in and out of thought and prayer. Then at 5:00 that morning I received my answer. It came clear as day and I was filled with an indescribably feeling. After finally falling asleep and getting a little bit of rest I woke up a few hours later and knew I needed to give the Bishop my answer right then and there. The rest is history.

Calling a new presidency was way more work than I had ever imagined. I never knew how much thought and prayer would go into something like that. One of the hardest things about the last few weeks was keeping it quiet and not telling anyone about the new calling. Some people found out, but I did a really good job of keeping it to myself.

Now the real work begins. In the last four days I have been in about 15 hours of meetings and I still have two on Sunday morning, one on Monday, and then a huge Primary board meeting on Tuesday with every Primary worker in the ward. To say I'm swamped it a gigantic understatement. Right now my life is about living and breathing this calling. I'm very overwhelmed, but I know it won't be THIS busy forever. Getting the new presidency up and running is taking a ton of work, but I called some incredible women so I'm not doing it all alone. This is a huge sacrifice, but I know our family is going to receive a lot of blessings as a result. I just pray that I can do a good job and I won't let these precious kids down!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Re-Visiting an Old Friend

I came across this old favorite today. Many women find solace and relaxation in reading things like "Twilight" and other romance novels. Not me. I prefer to re-visit old Judy Blume books. She was my favorite author when I was a tween.

I sat down to read this when kids were in bed tonight and I couldn't put it down. For the life of me I can't recall what happens to Stephanie or Rachel. And I don't know if she ever does get up the courage to talk to Jeremy Dragon. But I know that I loved this book and others like it. Judy Blume was the master at getting into the young reader's mind. No matter what age she was writing about- be it fourth, fifth, or sixth grade, she had a way of nailing every single detail and making you believe that the person narrating the story was in fact that age.

So right now I'm intrigued by twelve year old Stephanie Hirsch and I can't wait to find out if her dad actually makes it home for Thanksgiving. This book reminds me of a simpler time. Not just because I was in junior high and life was much easier, but because back then kids didn't have cell phones and not every kid had access to 300 TV channels first thing after school. We actually went to our friends houses and had silly clubs and wrote notes to stick in lockers the next day. We didn't text. We talked.

And I remember when cable TV wasn't even available in every neighborhood yet. If you had MTV you were something. And MTV was actually about music, not reality shows. Music was music, not noise (although I'm sure my parents will disagree). We brown bagged it and traded sandwiches. It was still legal to hold bake sales consisting of homemade food. None of this "packaged from the store" garbage. We rode bikes and stayed out 'til the street lights came on. It was safe to stand out at the bus stop and ride the thing to and from school. Simpler times.

My New Favorite Tool

Whoever thought of this is a genius. I browsed through the Distribution Center today and came across this book. It's a spiral bound compilation of over 130 gospel images. It contains every painting from all the standard works, plus art work of prophets, temples, and misc. gospel principles, plus several gorgeous paintings that I have never seen before.. I have almost the whole art kit in a binder, but this is much handier and FAR cheaper! I love that it is spiral bound. It's perfect for FHE lessons and great to throw in the church bag for kids to look at during Sacrament Meeting. And the best part is it only cost $3.50. How can you beat that?

Easter Fun

Today has been all about Easter. I can't believe it is on Sunday! This afternoon a package arrived from Granana and Gov. There is nothing more exciting to a child than getting a present in the mail. My grandmother used to always send us a goody package for different holidays and my mom is carrying on the tradition. The kids got their Easter package from her and were very excited about it. Thanks Granana!

Then we dyed Easter eggs after dinner. If you have even a drop of perfectionism in your blood, all that goes out the window when dying eggs with children. This year Ethan proved to be the authority on egg dying. I was impressed that he knew exactly what to do and he was good at helping the girls. We tried a glitter kit this year but it's way more hassle than it's worth. I'm all about sticking to plain old colors. It's much easier with kids. Maybe when they are older we'll try some of the fancier tricks. Tomorrow evening we'll be having a lesson about the atonement and resurrection. It will likely go over their heads, but then we'll eat cake and that will balance things out.

Spring Pictures

Ethan is on Spring Break this week so we have the afternoons free. On Tuesday the weather was unbelievably gorgeous, so I jumped on it and did pictures. After Lauren's nap I got them dressed up in their Easter attire and we hit Temple Square. It was really sunny which is not good for pictures, but it was nice being out in the semi-warm weather. The kids had a blast running around dipping their hands in fountains and smelling the flowers. The pictures turned out good enough for my little point and shoot Cannon. One day I'll have the camera of my dreams. But until then we have to be able to afford things like diapers, gasoline, and groceries.

I love how in this picture they are fighting over standing in that spot, then in the one below they are pouting about it. Sisters.