Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How the girls are spending their days after Christmas...


We had such a wonderful Christmas. On Friday morning, the Prasse family (our good friends from Fayetteville) came to visit us. They stayed all day Friday, spent the night, hung out at the mall with us on Saturday and then left at about 3 p.m. We had so much fun with them. Friday day we spent all day catching up. Deborah, me , and Gabby (their 9 yr. old daughter) went shopping, the boys (I mean men) stayed home and watched Katelund and James (we have decided that we are going to prearrange Katelund and James' wedding) while they played X-box and watched Jimmy' special ops training movie of his tazing experience (he had to get tazed and taze others in order to be certified). Then that evening we got a babysitter for the kids and took them out Friday night to our favorite restaurant here in Fayetteville, Flat Rock. Saturday morning, we go up early and went to the mall. Cory had to be there to help solve problems if they arose, so he walked around with his walkie-talkie and got us all free massages, discounts, and hook-ups on free car strollers for the kids. We also fulfilled Katelund's Christmas wish, to get her ears pierced. We were so sad when we had to say good-bye. We love and miss the Prasses SOOOO much!!!!

On Christmas Eve, we only had sacrament meeting. There were some great speakers and then some musical numbers. I actually had a part in each one because I was in the the "ward chamber" (it is a group of 8 of us that the bishop calls the ward chamber choir). I felt so lucky to be part of it because they are all AMAZING singers and the songs sounded GREAT!!! I only wish Gladdis (sp?) Knight had been there to hear it (I guess she didn't come here for Christmas this year). Anyways, then I led the primary in 2 Christmas songs.

After church, we went and had dinner at the Curriden's house. Afterwards, all the kids (and both sets of missionaries) acted out the nativity and then we all went caroling around the neighborhood. We had a great time!!! The Curriden kids LOVE Cory and were constantly wanting him to play with them. Katelund and Cloey followed their dog around the house all night and I just loved spending Christmas Eve with some of our ward family.

Christmas day was wonderful but it was a little bit lonesome. I loved being with my family but I really missed having a lot of people around. I spent the evening giving Cory his Christmas gift, the best body massage ever and an incredible pedicure. He loved it!!!! As I was talking to Cory during his massage, I told him how sad I am that the Christmas season is over. But then he so sweetly reminded me that the Christmas season is all about the spirit of Christ and that is something that should be with us all year long.

If you look closely in the picture below of Katelund, you can kindof see her new earings. They are little gold studs. She LOVES them!!! She tells me that she feels like a princess.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Our Savior's Love

Yesterday my visiting teaching partner and I had all of the sisters that we visit teach over to my house. I had made neck warmers for each of them, so we heated them up put them around their necks and read the Forgotten Carols to them (along with the music from the CD). While they listened and relaxed, my partner served them cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate while I read. And then while she read, I gave each of them a manicure or pedicure. It was so much fun!!! They loved it but I think that I love it even more. One of the sisters had never had a manicure in her life. I gave her the best one I could possibly do. It is amazing how when you serve people you start to feel such an incredible overwhelming amount of love for them!!!! I am so thankful for the Relief Society organization that provides and encourages service to other sisters. I am very lucky that two of the sisters that I visit teach, I am also very good friends with, one of them is Austyn, my running partner. Yesterday as we were running, we were discussing how so many times we tend to look at the blessings from the Lord coming in financial ways, but probably someday when we look back retrospectively we will see so many other blessings that came through good health, wonderful friends, safety, etc... I know that one of the blessings from the Lord that I have received is the ability to feel the Savior's love for others, and as I feel that, I find it very easy to love them and want to serve them. I think that blessing is probably a natural gift in most women, but I am so thankful for it, because it helps me to better understand the atonement, the great need for charity, and the magnitude and significance of our Savior's love.

Waiting Prayers

The other day I sat down with the girls to say prayers at lunch. I asked Katelund if she wanted to pray. She said sure and then she bowed her head, folded her arms, closed her eyes, and....sat there for a little while. Then she opened her eyes and began eating and Cloey and I were sitting there wondering what that was all about. I said, "Katelund you didn't pray." She said, "Yes I did Mommy, it was a waiting prayer". I thought it was so funny but the more I have thought about it I think that she taught me something very profound. I think that it would be really good every once in a while to just fold our arms, bow our heads, close our eyes, and wait for the Lord's answers/inspiration to come.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cloey's Boots

Yesterday I was getting the girls dressed to go to the work-out room (they walk on the treadmills while I run). Anyways, I was trying to put Cloey's tennis shoes on her and she was throwing a fit because she didn't want me to put them on her. She ran to her closet and I realized what the tantrum was all about. She wanted to wear her black boots. It was so cute!! She puts them on all the time to walk around the house in. I think she loves them so much because everyone makes such a big deal out of them when she wears them to church.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Precious Moments

Katelund has been saying and doing some of the cutest things lately that have just really been melting my heart. Here are a couple that she said or did today...

In her prayer today at lunch she said, "Please bless the missionaries and help us to be missionaries too."

While I was making dinner tonight, Cloey came up to me and was pulling at my pants because she wanted me to read her a book (this is her new thing that she is now doing all day long). I asked Katelund if she would read the book to her. I didn't think that she really would, I just kindof said it. To my surprise, she sat down on the floor with Cloey and began to read her the book perfectly. She then read about four other books to her that apparently she knows by memory. The teacher and mother in me was beaming from ear to ear!!! Cloey was loving it, but not as much as I was!!!!

Today as I was cleaning Katelund's room "with her", she started to walk out the door. I asked her where she was going and she said, "I'm just going to go read my scriptures for a little bit." It was so adorable!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I am so excited, we finally have our computer up and running again (thanks to Cory's home teaching companion). The other week at Enrichment, the sister that was teaching asked everyone who writes regularly in their journal to raise their hands. I was so proud of the fact that I could raise my hand because I consider blogging as my journal writing.

This last week I finished making my Christmas cards and I sewed 10 Christmas presents. I felt like such a "Martha Stewart" this week. I slacked off a little in my running because I had some really bad cramps but I made up for it by accomplishing some great projects. I decided this weekend that I really like to sew. There is nothing like the feeling after you have sewn something all by yourself and it looks good.

I am just on such a high lately. I am just so happy in my life. Are things perfect? No, and they never will be in mortality, but I am finding that they older I get and the more I grow spiritually, the happier I become with who I am and how my life is going. It is so easy to become upset over the little insignificant misfortunes that life brings, but when I have an eternal perspective it is so easy to deal with the hard times through rose-colored glasses.

I had such a wonderful birthday last week. I couldn't believe how many random people in my ward called, wrote a letter, or just wished me a happy birthday. Last night as we were at our ward Christmas party and I was walking around from table to table talking to people and saying hello, I realized how much I am beginning to love my ward here in Asheville. I wasn't sure that the day would ever come where I would feel like this ward even compared to our Fayetteville ward, but the day has surely come. Heavenly Father is so wise and loving by setting our church up in ward units where together we become a family as we learn how to serve, forgive, lead, follow, and love one another.

Tonight we had the missionaries over for dinner and I had invited my neighbor , Beth, to come over also. She ended up not coming. I was so disappointed. I was so excited after we talked for so long about the gospel, and after she had gone to the Christmas devotional and told me she wanted to come to church with us. Cory was trying to cheer me up and telling me that I needed to keep loving her and planting seeds so that the Spirit will prompt her when it is time. I know that he is right, I was just so excited about sharing the gospel with her. It is like having the most valuable precious thing in the world and just yearning to share it with others and have them feel the same way about it. I will just keep being her friend (which is very easy because she is an incredible girl) and pray for the Spirit to work within her heart.

Friday, December 01, 2006


It has been awhile since I have posted, and for that I am so sorry. It is a little tough to get to get access to a computer these days.

Anyways, I have so much to catch up on and so little time...
First, I just want to say what an incredible Thanksgiving I had. I had such a wonderful month and I was overwhelmed with such an amazing amount of gratitude in my heart!!! I was also very excited to compete in my very first race. Although it was only a 5k, it was a major accomplishment for me because it "has only just begun"...I am planning on racing in a 1/2 marathon with my friend Austyn on April 28th in Virgina. I am so excited and I have a lot of work and training ahead of me.

I am getting so excited about Christmas this year. I am excited about the fun traditions that we are beginning in our family, the Christmas music that I'll have playing constantly in our home, and the time I have to reflect upon the greatest gift given to mankind, our Redeemer, Savior, and King.

Well I have to go but I will continue this blog tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Katelund's Christmas List

Today as Katelund was putting pretend make-up on me, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas from Santa Claus. She told me "All I want is earrings like you Mommy" (she has been wanting them for quite some time, especially when she watches me put earrings in my ears). I then asked her what else she wanted and she said, "That's all I want because I just have everything else I want in my toybox." How adorable is that!!!! Wow, I have so much to learn from my sweet Katelund!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I have been feeling such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude the last couple of weeks. In our family, we have made the goal to thank Heavenly Father for at least 3 things in each of our prayers. One of the things that I have been feeling the most gratitude for is the gift of the Holy Ghost. In my New Testament reading, I have been amazed at how much the Holy Ghost is referred to in the book of Acts. I know that it truly is the Holy Ghost that changes our hearts and opens our minds to truly understand the mysteries of God.

I often wonder if I have undergone the kind of true conversion that Alma the Younger experienced. There are times when I am reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, or listening to a talk where I feel that I have, but then there are other times where I find my faith lacking or my natural man tendencies taking over. I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father gave us such an amazing gift, the gift of the Holy Ghost. Without this gift, I feel that endrance and steadfastness would be an impossible task.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken Recipe

I promised Mom that I would post this WONDERFUL recipe. So here it is for all to try and love!!

Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken

1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt divided
4 (4 oz skinned boned chicken breast halves
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; saute 5 minutes. Sprinkle thyme and 1/4 tsp salt over chicken. Add chicken to sauce pan; saute 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 tsp salt, preserves, vinegar, and pepper to pan, stirring constantly until preserves melt. Spoon sauce over chicken, and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 2 tbsp sauce).


Yesterday I walked in on Katelund as she was going to the bathroom, all though, as you can see in the picture, there was something wrong. She was sitting all the way down with her bottom in the toilet water. I asked her what she was doing. She said, "Mommy my bottom hurt so I needed to take a bath." Apparently, she was bathing her bottom in the toilet water. So I told her that was yucky and that we don't take baths in the toilet. I then left the bathroom and after a while I realized that I heard water. I walked in to find her taking a bath in the sink. I guess that she didn't want to get in the bathtub when all she wanted to do was wash her bottom. The funny thing is that as I was taking the picture of her in the sink it felt like dejavu. I remember a picture that my mom took of me taking a bath in the sink when I was around her age. Like mother, like daughter,.... I guess....:)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Picture Moments

For church yesterday, I dressed Cloey in a leather coat, a cute little skirt, and leather boots. Everyone was going crazy at church because of how cute she looked. She is definitely playing the part of the rebellious 18 month old, so her outfit really goes with
her personality these days. By the end of nursery, she had pulled out her ponytail and her hair was sticking straight up, it just completed the outfit perfectly! :)

Katelund and Cloey are turning into partners in crime. The other day Katelund climbed up on the counter and pulled down some leftover monkey bread that Cory brought home from work and took it under the table with Cloey. I didn't know where they were because I was in the other room, but I heard some giggles coming from under the table. It was so cute, all I could do was laugh and take a picture (and of course let them finish off the monkey bread :) ).

Last night after our dinner guests left, Katelund and Cloey climbed up on the recliner, snuggled up in a blanket, and just laughed back and forth at each other. They also had a great time on Saturday as we turned up the music and had a family dance party (sorry, I didn't get any pictures of Cory and I dancing :) ).

Halloween Pictures

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pioneer Stripling Warriors

This week as I was preparing to teach a song in Singing Time, I was trying to find some pictures in my gospel art kit that would help expound upon the words and the teachings found in the song "Can a Little Child Like Me?". One of the pictures that I chose for one of the lines in the song was the picture of the three boys that were part of the rescue team for the Martin Handcart Company. I am sure you are all familiar with the story but just as a reminder...when the rescue team that had been sent by Brigham Young met up with the Martin Handcart Company, they found them at the banks of Sweet Water (I think that was the river). The men and women in the company were full of discouragement and tears as they realized that they had to cross another icy cold river which would cause more death, illness, and exposure. There were three 18 year old boys who decided that they were going to carry each one of them across the river. Due to the large amount of exposure in that icy cold river, each one of those boys ended up dying from the effects of that single heroic act. When Brigham Young was speaking of these boys, he said that singular event would guarantee them a spot in the celestial kingdom.

As I was reading this story on the back of the picture, I became overcome with emotion as I realized that the event that I just read about took place exactly 150 years ago to the day (November 3, 1856). For just a moment, I felt like I could feel the overwhelming amount of gratitude and love that those pioneers of the Martin Handcart Company must have felt for those incredible "Pioneer Stripling Warriors". Those boys truly understood what the gospel is all about. They understood what the Savior meant when He said to love thy neighbor and to lose yourself in the service of others.

I wonder in my own life if I have stayed close enough to the Spirit to know when the Lord has needed me to help carry someone across any "icy river" in their life. No wonder the Lord has set up His church so that we have an incredible support system in our families, wards, and stakes. As we learn to "carry" each other through life's tribulations and trials, I know that retrospectively we will see that as we were carrying another it was the Lord himself who was carrying most, if not all, of the weight and making it easier for us to bear.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I can't think of a title...

Once again the sickness is gone and we are all doing great. I am so thankful that throughout all of the sickness, I didn't get sick at all. It was such a blessing that I didn't because everyone else needed me to take care of them. I have learned that once you become a mom, you no longer have sick days full of pampering and sleep. It is on those days that all I want is to have my mommy taking care of me. There is just no replacement for a nurturing mommy! :)

This weekend we are feeding the missionaries and a family from the ward. I have decided to pull out my china. I am so excited to use them!! I haven't use them since Thanksgiving at our townhouse in Rexburg.

Yesterday I had such a good run. I was listening to this song that Cory downloaded for me. I think it was called "Stay with You" by Goo Goo Dolls. It was the most motivational running song I have ever heard!! I listened to it over and over again because it made me feel like I could run forever. I am going to run my first race on Thanksgiving, it is called the "Turkey Trot". It is only a 5k, but hey I've got to start somewhere right? I was up to 7-8 miles back in Fayetteville, but since we've moved I had a month of sparadic running and now I am starting to build my endurance once again. I am up to 4-5 miles now. I love to run so much, once I get into the habit of it everyday, I start to crave it. I feel like it is my time to ponder, imagine, and solve all the problems of the world. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween in Review

I guess Katelund has decided that her favorite spot to throw up is in her car seat. She threw up there again today when we were on our way home from grocery shopping. I hate watching my kids throw up. I feel so bad for them and I hate the fact that there is nothing that I can do but clean them up afterwards and give them tons of love and comfort.

We had so much fun yesterday on Halloween. Marie came over during the day and we ran together and then talked while the kids played at the park. Then we went to the mall to go trick or treating. I have decided that going to the mall to trick or treat is a great way to go.

Afterwards, we went over to Marie and Ian's house for a Halloween party. We ate homemade pizza, Halloween cupcakes, and roasted marshmallows over a campfire in their backyard. They literally live in the mountains. In fact, you have to drive up a winding little road to get to their house. They have dogs that are in a caged area in their backyard just to keep the bears, coyotes, and racoons away. It is so fun to go over but it is quite the drive. Luckily, she is used to driving a long ways to go everywhere so she comes over to my apartment at least twice a week. I am so grateful for her friendship. Our favorite thing to do together is talk about the gospel and what we are learning in our scripture reading. I know that we must have been friends in heaven. I will miss her terribly when we move from Asheville. I have made so many incredible friends in so many places. I am so excited for the day when we will all be together again.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Scripture Scavenger Hunt...

I cannot write very long because I am at the leasing office and my children are in to everything imaginable!!! Anyways, I had such a wonderful weekend at stake conference!!!!! I loved it so much and I want to write a really long blog about it, but I will have to another time.

I had such a wonderful scripture study today!!!! I learned many new things it was incredible!!! I am so grateful for cross references that take us into even deeper study and reflection. While I was reading yesterday in John, I came across something really funny!!! I am not going to tell you what it was because I think it would be fun to see who can find it. It is proof that the scriptures where written for our day (a day of email and blogging, hint, hint...). It is found in John chapter 6.

Anyways, I have to go before my children destroy something....

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Finally....the sickness is gone!! YEAH!!! Cory and Cloey are doing great now and luckily Katelund and I never got sick (knock on wood). I was getting nervous last night because I was feeling a little sick, but I am so glad that I am feeling great this morning because today I have a primary leadership training meeting and stake conference tonight and tomorrow. I am so excited for stake conference. I love Saturday night sessions, they are the best. I actually called a young woman in the ward to babysit tonight. I was so nervous about who I should ask, but I feel pretty good about the girl, her name is Ashley. She actually already had plans to go to a football game, but she told me that she would babysit instead. Isn't that sweet? I don't know if I would have done that at her age.

Well this is the 4th week in a row that Katelund has slept through the entire night in her underwear without having an accident. About a month ago, she told us that she didn't want to wear pull-ups to bed because she just wanted to wear panties. So we decided to try it and she hasn't had one accident. Amazing huh?

Yesterday Katelund was asking me what letter she was holding from one of her puzzles. I told her the letter and she said, "Yes Mommy, you are so smart!" How adorable is that? I love it when your kids make you feel so good about yourself, I better enjoy it while it last, huh? :)

Cloey climbed out of her bed for the first time last night. I am hoping that it was just a one time thing, I doubt it but I am just really nervous about having her and Katelund in beds in the same room. They will never go to sleep!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 things I love about...

Vaughn- 1. her easy going personality 2. how he makes others feel important 3. how his heart melts as he looks at his daughter and wife

Amber- 1. her strong will and determination 2. her love for the gospel 3. her ability to accomplish goals and overcome obstacles

Brooklynn- 1. her cute little body 2. how much she loves to eat 3. how excited she gets when her mom walks into the room

3 things I love about...

Sean- 1. how he can make anybody and everybody laugh their heads off 2. his huge heart 3. what a wonderful daddy he is

Brittney- 1. how dedicated she is to her family 2. her dancing skills (of course) 3. her hilarious and spontaneous personality

Kade- 1. his faith 2. the incredible love he has for others 3. his desire to be obedient

Landen- 1. his incredible eyes 2. how his smile lights up the room 3. how much he looks up to his older brother

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

3 things I love the most about...

Dad- 1. his unshakable testimony 2. his ability to not only overcome hardships, but to come out stronger in the end 3. his love for his children, grandchildren, and daughter-in-laws :)

Mom- 1. her incredible ability to make others feel loved, wanted, and even needed 2. the love she has for the gospel and her desire to be a woman of integrity 3. her fun and light-hearted personality

Logan- 1. his ability to stand up for what is right even when it is hard 2. his loyalty to his family 3. his ability to make others feel important

Stefani- 1. how beautiful she is , inside and out 2. her tender compasionate heart 3. her ability and desire to see where she can serve and help others around her

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3 things I love the most about...

Ryan- 1. his love for learning 2. how important his family is to him 3. how much he loves and supports my sister

Andrea- 1. her loyalty and love for her friends and family 2. her ability to accomplish anything and everything 3. the ability she has always had to have an eternal perspective on life

Abby- 1. her curiosity and desire to learn 2. her cute little body and the strong spirit she has within it 3. her spitfire personality (a fighter from day1)

Ethan- 1. his easygoing personality 2. his incredibly beautiful eyes 3. the cute things he says and does everyday

3 things I love the most about...

Dad- 1. his perseverance and steadfastness 2. the way he sets and accomplishes goals 3. the way he loves to serve and help others

Mom- 1. her gentleness and faithfulness 2. how beautiful and graceful she is 3. her support and love for Dad

Katie- 1. her endrance and diligence 2. her desire to continually stand for truth and righteousness 3. her smile that brings happiness to everyone around her

3 things I love the most about...

The 3 things I love the most about...

Cory- 1. his testimony 2. the way he shows love to everyone around him and what an incredible father he is 3. his excitement for life

Katelund- 1. how she gets excited about the little things in life 2. how much she loves her Daddy
3. when she sings primary songs and says her prayers.

Cloey- 1. when she says, "mommy" 2. her sweet hugs and kisses 3. how her little lip quivers when she cries

My Incredible Family

I was thinking today about how much I love every single person in my family. I feel extremely blessed to be part of a family that loves the Lord and loves one another. As I was reading in Luke the other day, the Savior talks about how in some families mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, and even mother-in-laws would be divided against one another because of those who follow the Savior and those who choose not to. I think that it is incredible that there is not one person in my family (mother, father, sisters, brother, husband, children, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, neices, and newphews) that are divided against one another in choosing to follow the Savior. We are all in this journey together!!! How lucky we all are!!! As I was thinking about each specific person, I thought about all of the things I love about each one of them. I decided that today for my blog, I would like to start writing about the 3 things that I love about each person. It may take me a couple of days to finish, but for whatever reason, I feel inspired to do this.

Monday, October 23, 2006

More pictures

Our Vacation in Asheville

Sorry I haven't written for about 5 days, but I was busy enjoying every moment with Mom and Dad. I had such a wonderful time with them!!! Not only was it a vacation for them but it was also one for me and the girls. They took us to the incredible Biltmore Estate, on a beautiful drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the incredible fall leaves and the beautiful Looking Glass Waterfall, a ride on the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad, and a trolley ride through downtown Asheville. We ate at the most incredible restaurant ever, traveled through tunnels (Katelund called them "turtles" and she got SO EXCITED everytime we went through one), and Cory showed off his new office at the mall. Cloey fell in love with Grandpa and fell asleep on his chest. Katelund always wanted to hold Grandma's hand and walk next to her. Katelund was also spoiled by her Grandpa and loved every minute of it. He took her on a scavenger hunt at the Biltmore, bought her rocks, candy, sunglasses, and whatever else she wanted. Grandma spoiled both the girls with cute new clothes, trains, dolls from Alaska, and Katelund's "cards" (they came with her trains and she carries them around with her everywhere). It was hard saying goodbye because I wanted them to stay longer, but I am so grateful that they came. I love them both so much!!!! There is nothing better than watching your parents who you love so much, playing with and loving your own children. Mom and Dad, thank you for everything!!!! We love you and miss you!!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No Messes for Grandpa Black...

I spent a couple of hours today getting ready for mom and dad to come tomorrow. As I would clean a room, my beautiful little girls would mess up the one I cleaned previously. After I finished my room, I went into the girls' room to check on Cloey. She had taken toys and books and threw them all over the floor and she'd taken clothes out of the dirty clothes basket and thrown them all over the bathroom floor. Katelund turns to me and says frantically, "We cannot have a mess for Grandpa Black, Mommy!" It was so funny!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How would I ever get my chores done without my girls?


A picture is worth a thousand words...

The closer Cloey is getting to two, the more fiesty she is becoming. The picture says it all...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Proud Moment

Katelund comes walking out of her room this morning all dressed in her dress-up wedding clothes. She says to me, "Mommy I am getting married." I said, "Oh, really?" She said, "Yep, I am getting married in the temple." Don't you just love it when kids say stuff like that? It just goes to show that they really do listen and learn to what you teach them, talk about, and sing about (we love to sing "I Love to See the Temple" together).

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Today I was watching Oprah as I was folding my laundry. It was actually a really interesting show. They had an author on the show who wrote a book about the war in Iraq, 911, the lack of truth in propaganda, and the lack of demand for truth in America today.

I understand the fact that we went into war under circumstances that may not have been 100% accurate, but I really believe that Bush is a God-fearing man and that he does everything in his power to do what is best for the country. If the reasons we went into war turned out to be a different, then I am okay with that because I trust that Bush did what he felt was needed.

Maybe I am being a bit niave or idealistic, but I am so sick of everyone slamming on Bush. People are making such a big thing about how we, as American people, were lied to. Well I think that it is pretty ironic how all of the sudden everyone has morals and feels the need for honesty and integrity in our world. I really think it is more about people just needing someone else to blame for the problems we face as a country. I don't believe that the war on terrorism will end until the Second Coming, in fact we were told that in General Conference. As long as we are doing all that we can as a nation to help others and keep our country free and safe, then I don't feel the need to get all upset about what we were and were not told. In fact, I for one am glad that I don't have to make the decisions about whether or not we go to war. That is a decision that I leave for our Commander and Chief, the one who knows all of the information and who I chose to make those important decisions.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Friend from Heaven...

Yesterday at the baby shower, I invited a girl from the ward to come over today so that her son and Katelund could play and so that we could get to know one another. On our first Sunday in this ward, I past her in the hall and she stopped me and told me how beautiful I was (which makes me laugh because she is the beautiful one) She is a Spanish girl that grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She was baptized at the age of 17 when missionaries knocked on her door.

I am so excited because I think that I just found my new best friend. Her name is Marie. She is incredible, funny, humble and she has a unshakable testimony. Her husband is struggling with the gospel right now and he works on Sundays, so she brings her 3 children to church by herself week after week. We had such a great time talking. She is one of those people that you want for your friend because she makes you want to be better.

One of the things that made me the most excited about having her as a friend, is when she told me that she doesn't want to be part of the gossip (there is quite a lot of gossip among some of the sisters in the ward). We both think that we must have been friends in heaven. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sore Muscles

Yesterday I went to Cory's gym (he gets a free membership from a renter at the mall). I decided to do tons of weights (which I had already done that morning at the exercise room here at the apartments) and to run 3 miles (I had already ran a mile that morning). Well, today I am feeling quite sore!!!! Especially in my arms and chest. I really need to be running that much a day but I have been so bad about it since we've moved here. I run a couple of days a week and only 2-3 miles each time. I have got to get back into my training or I'll never run my half marathon before another baby joins our family. I really want to run the 1/2 marathon this winter but it might have to be pushed back to spring. I don't know, we'll see. I could do it a lot sooner if I didn't have to worry about running it here in the mountains. Hills are so much harder to run!!!

I went to a baby shower this morning. Carrie (one of my friends) came to pick me up and take me there since she couldn't get a hold of me and she knew I didn't have a car to get there. She is so sweet. While at the shower, there were a lot of people there to socialize with but for some reason I found myself hanging around the same sisters the whole time. I was very disappointed in myself afterwards because I should have taken the opportunity to mingle with everyone. I just need to get into my groove again of making friends. I am finding that this ward is quite a challenge for me, but that is not going to stop me!!! Because I am " a bumblebee happy and free to explore new tomorrows with delight and glee". :)

I guess I am just experiencing some sore muscles today (physically and socially). :)

Friday, October 06, 2006


I have finally been called to be a visiting teacher. I have been kindof anxious about getting my assignment because I really want the blessings from getting to know and serve some of the sisters in the ward. I really struggled with a desire to do visiting teaching until I lived in Fayetteville. I had such incredible experiences with the sisters I visit taught there, and I actually felt like they needed me. In other wards I'd lived in, I never really felt like it made any difference if I went each month or if I did not. I prayed for a testimony of visiting teaching when I lived in Arlington, and little did I know that in the next place that we lived, that not only would my testimony of visiting teaching come, but also my love for it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The faith of a child...

Katelund's leg had an excyma break out today. I put some of her steroid cream on it but it was still really hurting and bothering her. She was crying and getting really frusgrated because her medicine wasn't helping. So I asked her if she wanted to say a prayer... (the following conversation is word for word)..."Yes Mommy, that is a great idea, because I know that Jesus will make me feel better." So after I said the prayer, she got up and said, "Mommy, I am going to be baptized." Isn't that so adorable? It was so precious that I had to hurry and write it down so that I will never forget it.

A New Day...

Thank you to all of those who commented on my blog yesterday. I love you all so much and I just live to hear from each one of you. I am sorry that I haven't posted pictures lately, but I no longer have access to the technology that I need in order to make that possible. I will ask Cory if he knows another way that I can get them from my camera to the computer. Again, I am so sorry that I was so down, but sure enough the clouds went away last night.

I was walking out to my car yesterday evening and I sat and talked with our new neighbor for quite some time. I forgot her name but she is also 25 and she is living here with her dog. She goes to school here (she actually used to go to Purdue). Her parent's own a bed and breakfast up at Black Mountain so that is why she moved out here. She told me yesterday that she is having a really hard time here because she is lonely and just has no social life. I told her that she could come over anytime she wants. I know that it was not a coincidence that I ran into her yesterday!!! Heavenly Father knew that she is just what I needed. I have now been praying and pondering upon what I can do to make her feel better about living here. Today I am going to make some cookies and take them to her (this really is a sacrifice because thanks to the South Beach Diet, I can't even have one bite of dough). It is amazing how when you focus your thoughts and energy on serving others, your worries and problems seem to disappear.

After Cory got home last night, we got the strollers out and walked to the store to get some milk. We had so much fun on our walk and it was just what I needed. I love Cory so much, he always knows just what to do to make me feel better. Then when we got back from the store we heard a knock on our door. It was one of our neighbors, Bryan (he is head of security at the mall). He is the father of the girl that I was babysitting the other week while her mom was in the hospital. Well her mom (Tonya) is back in the hospital again. Anyways, he came over to borrow our cell phone to call his wife because his phone was dead. Well after he called his wife, he told us that he had been thinking about some of the things that I had told him about our religion. Anyways, we ended up having about an hour discussion about the gospel. It was AWESOME!!!!! I couldn't think of a better way to end a day!!!! I got to be a MISSIONARY!!!!! I can't wait to go on a mission someday. Hopefully him and his family will come to church with us this week. As Bryan was leaving last night I handed him a Bookof Mormon and then Cory highlighted Moroni's promise and told him that he knew that if he prayed after he read it that he would know for himself of its' truthfulness.

So as I start a new day, I do so with a much better attitude and with gratitude in my heart for my Heavenly Father who shows me his love each day.
P.S. Grandma, if you are reading this, I just want you to know that I have changed my blog commenting rules so that you can now post as anonymous. Love ya!!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is anybody there????

I am thinking that I might as well just start writing in my journal instead of posting on the internet because I don't think that anyone is interested in reading my blogs anyway. I know that I sound like I am feeling sorry for myself, but I just have not had the best day today. I am just feeling kindof alone. I can hardly talk on my cell phone, I don't have a car during the day, and I can't walk to anymore stores because all I do is spend money.

I am so sorry to complain ;all though I don't know who I am saying sorry to since nobody blogs anymore. I even prayed today at lunch that when I checked my blog, my sister's and my mom's blogs for the 100th time this week that sombody will have written. I just need to keep praying for a friend who doesn't work and who has children that aren't in school. I am so grateful for the wonderful friends I have here, but I can only spend time with them on the weekends. Again, I know that I am just feeling sorry for myself, and for that I am so sorry. I have so much to be grateful for, but for whatever reason, today all I see are the clouds.

Growing Up

Katelund has turned into a southern belle. She talks with such a cute little southern drawl. I don't know where she is picking it up from, but we love it!!! My favorite is when she says "douwn" (down).

Cloey is starting to talk more and more. She is now saying "please" and "thank you", but she still says "diaper" the very best. She says "diaper" and pulls at it whenever she needs a diaper change. It is really cute.

It is amazing how much Cory and I's marriage has gotten so much better ever since we moved into our own place. Things are so wonderful. I feel like we get the butterflies again when we're together in each other's arms. I know that I can't just contribute it to having our own home. Since we moved here I decided that I was going to get us into the routine again of saying our prayers night AND morning and reading our scriptures in the morning (we used to do it at night). We have also been having really good family home evenings. The routine that we now have has been incredible for our family. I feel like we are stronger now than we have ever been. It is amazing how when you do what the prophets tell you to do, that the love in your home grows and your relationships with one another deepen. I love my family so very much!!! I am so grateful for the experiences that Cory and I have had that have taught us and refined us into better people. That is what life and marriage is all about; standing a little taller each day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Conference Weekend

This weekend we got to spend conference weekend with Cory's family. They decided to drive up Saturday morning and spend the rest of the weekend with us. John, Sherrie, Stefani, and Logan came to stay in our tiny little apartment. I was a little bit nervous about space, especially considering the fact that we have so much of our stuff crammed into our apartment. My worries were washed away as they came in and I realized how excited I was to see them and spend time with them.

We had so much fun together!!! We all loved conference (although I think Sherrie and I were the only ones who didn't fall asleep at some point). We also played games, talked, Cory and Logan wrestled, Sherrie and I planned seminary lessons, Stefani talked on the phone and played with the girls, John snuggled with Cloey most of the weekend, and we had a birthday dinner for Cory and Logan.

Saying goodbye after the final session was hard for three reasons. First of all, it will probably be another couple of months before we are together again, and secondly because I did not want conference to end!!! I could have listened to 4 more sessions. It is amazing how the older you get the more you come to LOVE and look forward to conference. Lastly, it was really hard because I felt like we were saying goodbye to President Hinckley. As we were singing the closing song, "We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet", tears were rolling down my cheeks as I bore a testimony of gratitude in my heart of how blessed we are to have a living prophet to lead and guide us in these latter days. President Hinckley is one of a kind and he has done so many incredible things. In, fact Elder Bednar said to the Honduras missionaries that he finally understands why there are twelve keep up with President Hinckley. I know that all the prophets of the past and future are and will be incredible...but, I will always hold a special place in my heart for President Hinckley, who taught me to "Stand a Little Taller".

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do I know Him?

I had an epiphany today as I was reading my scriptures. For my personal scripture study, I am reading the New Testament. I have had an incredible experience reading and learning more about the life and ministry of the Savior. But, as I was reading to day my thoughts went back to a conversation that I had last week with the little girl that I was babysitting, Brianna.

Everytime she was over she always asked me what I was reading when I was reading my scriptures. On one of these occassions , she said, "Why do you always read about Jesus?" And I said, "Because I want to learn about Him." She then said, "I don't know Jesus." I said, "Well do you want me to tell you about Him." She said, "No, I just don't know Him." I said, "Well He knows you and I know that He loves you.". She smiled and walked away. Later that night when we were having family prayer, she wanted to say the prayer so she could talk to Jesus.

It was a really cute experience, but it has also really made me think. As much as I learn about Christ's life and ministry, it doesn't really mean a whole lot unless I come to get to know Him, to really know who He is and what His purpose and mission was and is all about. One of my favorite scriptures says, ..."and when that day comes (referring to the day when we see the Savior face to face) we shall know Him, because we shall be like Him.

I love the New Testament because it teaches me about Christ's life and teachings, but I love the Book of Mormon even more because I come to know who He is and I learn how I can be like Him through the incredible examples of Nephite and Lamanite prophets and leaders. These books truly do go hand in hand. Without one of these books (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible) I would not feel complete and I don't think that I would ever figure out how to be like Him so that one day when I see him face to face, I too will know who He is.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Girly Girls

Today I took the girls on a walk to enjoy the gorgeous 70 degree weather. Before we left, Katelund decided that she needed her hair done, and she had to have a bow in it. Of course Cloey then wanted her hair done also. Katelund then when to go get clothes on, but not just any clothes. She wanted to wear her skirt with her jacket that matches. Then she wanted to wear one of my braclets. As we are heading out the door, Cloey comes walking out of her room with her purse on her shoulders. Katelund then had to run and get her purse also. It was so adorable!!!

If I ever have a boy, it will be really wierd to not put a bow and ponytail in his hair, make sure he has jewlery to wear when we go out, or get a purse for him to carry his flowers that he picks along the way. Life will be way different, but I can't wait for that day. (No, Andrea, I am not announcing anything)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Red Hot Carpet...

This morning Katelund decided that she was going to help herself to a cheese stick in the fridge (remember how she went to bed starving last night :) LOL). While getting to the pack of cheese sticks, she knocked over a whole glass bowl full of Frank's Red Hot sauce (Cory had used it this weekend to make buffalo wings for "the guys"). The sauce went everywhere!!!!

I was in the bathroom, so I didn't know what had happened. She was crying and I was so worried that she had gotten hurt so I told her to come and tell me what happened. As I saw her walk in, I panicked. I thought there was blood all over her leg. I then had a whif of the hot sauce. As I came out of the bathroom, I realized that she had tracked the hot sauce ALL OVER the carpet because it was all over her feet and legs.

Of course I couldn't be mad at her because I was the one that told her to come to me. She was just obeying. (why of all times did she have to obey me this time?)!!! :)


I guess Katelund decided yesterday that she no longer wants to call me "mommy". She is now calling me "mom". Is it wierd that it breaks me up inside everytime she says, "mom" instead of "mommy"? I hate it. I want her to always call me her "mommy". I feel like I have just had a demotion at my job. I guess I better just appreciate the fact that to Cloey I am still mommy.

Last night Katelund was crying because she wanted to eat at 9:00 p.m. and I wouldn't let her. She wouldn't stop crying so I decided to imitate her. I started to pretend cry back at her. She stopped crying and said in the most desperate way, "Stop crying Mom, I'm crying". It was hilarious!!! We both started laughing so hard.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Today was a great day in primary. I actually got to teach the music today. I had so much fun doing it and the best part about it was that the kids were having fun and they were singing so well!!!! They are a small primary, but they sure know how to raise their voices and sing. I am a little bit nervous about working with the Primary President, but I am sure that I just need to have a change of heart.

Katelund and Cloey looked so cute today. I try to match their dresses each Sunday. If they aren't wearing matching dresses, I at least coordinate their colors and bows to match each other. Cloey is growing into her own little person. She tends to be a little on the stubborn side, but she is so blasted cute that it is really hard not to give in to her. As we say our family prayers each day, she immediately comes over, folds, her arms, and stands or sits quietly throughout the entire prayer. I am hoping that Katelund will learn from her example. Cloey has also turned into quite the climber (she must have got some of the same genes as Ethan). The most common place I find her these days is sitting in the sink smiling at herself in the mirror as she puts on my makeup. On the rare moments that Kate and Cloey are not fighting, they play really well together. I live for those moments. :)

Katelund had a major accident in her panties today in nursery. It was horrible. It got all over a teacher's skirt. I was so embarrased. I offered to pay for the skirt to be dry cleaned but she wouldn't even hear of it. She told me that she just became a Grandma and so she just looks at it as a preparatory experience. She then offered to clean Katelund up herself. I couldn't believe it!!! I am so grateful for people like her who teach me through their incredible examples.

I have been so uplifted this weekend by the Relief Society Broadcast. It was incredible!!! I said a prayer beforehand that as I listened, I would receive my own personal teachings by the Spirit, of the things in my life that I need to change and/or improve upon. My prayer was answered in many incredible ways. I am so grateful for the messages that were given, especially Sister Pingree's talk. She is an amazing speaker to me because I can feel the spirit so strongly as she speaks and testifies of the gospel truths. President Hinckley's talk was also wonderful. I was so excited when Sister Parkin announced that the Prophet would be the concluding speaker. I felt such a sense of renewed commitment and rejuvinated spirit within myself. I am so excited to hear again from the Prophet, Apostles, and other church leaders this upcoming weekend at conference. I really want to focus this week on preparing my mind, heart, and spirit to be taught through the promptings of the Holy Ghost as I listen to the Lord's chosen servants.

I am so grateful for little moments each day as a mother, wife, and member of the church, where my spirit and heart are rejuvenated to increase my testimony, desire, commitment, and love for Heavenly Father's plan for me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Just Another Day in Paradise...

One of my favorite songs is "Just Another Day in Paradise". Cory and I laugh everytime we hear the song because we swear that it is written about our family. Well, today was a perfect example of why this song is about us. It all started last night as we were driving to the church at 9 pm for Cory to play basketball with a group of guys from the ward (Cory was in Knoxville all day for business so he didn't get home until really late, so in order for us to be together, we all went to basketball). As we are walking out the door, we decided that Cloey would just go without shoes because we didn't have time to search for them in their diaster of a room but she decided that she wanted to wear Katelund's high-heeled dress up shoes. Then we notice that Katelund is walking out with one flip flop on because she can't find the other one but that was the shoe that she wanted to wear (apparently one of them is better than none). So we get all loaded in the car, and as we are driving away, Cory and I were laughing hysterically about our Expedition that continues to sit in the parking lot as a storage unit (a very expensive storage unit). But we are grateful for it because we don't have room for everything in our apartment and storage units are very expensive out here ($48.00 for 5x5 unit). We got home late, put the kids to bed, and went to bed ourselves (after I gave Cory a dang good foot rub). We woke up this morning to find that our new cable is having problems. Then after we read scriptures and said prayers with Daddy, he gave kisses all around and headed out the door to drive to work in our hardly reliable car (Cory thinks it's the fuel pump this time). Katelund decided she was thirsty so she opens the fridge and takes out a berry smoothie drink. As she goes to drink it, it spills all over the floor, fridge, and cupboards (and of course I am out of paper towels). Meanwhile, Cloey finds my scrapbooking stuff that I had left out from yesterday's project. She had found my stamp pads and was stamping her nose and our new kitchen table. Then...after bathtime (a whole other story in itself) Katelund was climbing over our couch (that got broken in our move) so she had to sit in time-out. After she got out of time-out she very sweetly pointed out to me that the gum she had taken from daddy's basketball bag was now stuck in the carpet. Although it has been one of those days, it has been great!!! Sometimes when I have days like this, I just feel like my life is falling apart, but not today. Today I am just grateful for our beautifully destructive children, our semi-working car, our expensive storage unit, our broken couch, our beautifully decorated table, Cory's wonderful job, our very own home, and....more importantly.... another day in paradise!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fighting for Freedom

I feel like I would be very ungrateful to not express my gratitude for the freedoms that I enjoy so freely. I feel so blessed that I was able to live in Fayetteville for the last 1 1/2. Living so close to Fort Bragg, meant that I was basically part of military life without the sacrifices and benefits. Most all of our friends were in the military. Sometimes I would get a little jealous as they told me of their free healthcare, lack of mortgage payements, and all the other discounts that they receive on so many things. And then as I have had to be there and witness so many families say goodbye to their daddies for up to 18 months, I felt no envy at all. It was so hard to see mothers who would go to church week after week and month after month with 3-5 children who were feeling the stress and weight that their mother carried as she took care of them and all the other household responsibilites on her own. My heart ached for them and my troubles and trials seemed so insignifcant and uncomparable.

About six months ago, Cory and I had to say goodbye to one of our closest friends who was going to Iraq once again. As I said goodbye, I had tears running down my cheek uncontrollably. I just sat and held my friend, and his wife, Deborah as she told me of her fears and worries without even saying a word. One of our other close friends that Cory served with in YMs told us that if we only knew all the terroist activities that occur within our own country, it would be hard to ever feel safe again. I am so grateful that I don't have to know. What a great honor and privilege I have to know such incredible families who serve our country day in and day out and who sacrifice their comfort in order for all of the rest of us to be free.

Really the war on freedom started before we ever came to this earth. We have been fighting this war for a long time. Although I don't have to send my husband off to Iraq, I do send him out in the danger zone each day as he sets out on his own fight for spiritual freedom. I am so grateful for a prophet who has given us directions on how to arm ourselves each day with the armor of God, a sure protection that will keep us safe and free from the war stains of the world.

Potty Training....My Archenemy

Yesterday Katelund pooped in the potty 2 times!!! Yeah!!! I was so excited because I thought that she finally got it, but sure enough she peed in her panties and all over the floor once again. I guess it is just going to be that way for awhile. Since she has been doing so good the last couple of days, I feel like I have hardly had to change any diapers. In fact, I am almost forgetting to change Cloey's diapers because I usually just change hers when I change Katelund's (unless it stinks of course). Man I can't even imagine what life will be like without diaper changing. It will definitely be less expensive!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Family Picture

Joy in the Journey

Wow, it feels so good to sit down and blog once again. I have missed blogging so much, I know that sounds really dorky, but I love to sit down and write down what my frusgrations, exciting moments, feelings of my heart, or just about the ordinary events of everyday life (like that happens when you have a 17 month old (going on 2) and a 3 yr old (going on 16)).

Life is wonderful for us. We are loving our new home in Asheville, N.C. Asheville is BEAUTIFUL!!!! The weather is perfect, the scenery is breath-taking, Cory is loving the challenge of his new job, and the people here are great. Is there anything else you could ask for? Well, actually there is...I just wish my whole family could live here with me. We have made some great friends in our ward and we have also made some friends who are not members. I have also once again been called to the greatest calling ever...primary music leader. The other day I was talking to one of my friends in the primary presidency. She told me that they had known it was time for a new music leader but they didn't know who to call. They had been praying about who it should be and then...guess who moved in the ward...that would be me. I have had a couple of weeks to prepare as to allow the current leader to continue up until the program (in 2 weeks). I have really been debating about what songs to teach after the program. I have never had this calling without having to frantically teach the program songs. It is wierd to not have any specified songs that I need to teach, but I am looking forward to it.

This Sunday, Cory and I have been asked to speak in sacrament meeting. I am speaking about enduring to the end. I am really having a hard time preparing my talk because it is such a broad topic. I have done so much studying and now I just need to condense it all down to what the Lord wants me to say. Gene R. Cook has a great talk-tape called "Teaching By the Spirit", he says that when preparing to preach (you are not teaching, that is what the spirit does) you should study it all out in your mind and then go up to speak relying on the spirit to guide you as to what you should talk about on the subject matter you have studied. I am not so sure that I am to that point. I would love to be able to get up there and do that but I feel so inadequate even thinking about attempting it.

Anyways, it has been such a wonderful subject to study about. I love the scriptures SO MUCH!!!! I love the gospel SO MUCH!!!! I am so grateful for all of the knowledge that we have about the plan of happiness. I feel that it would be hard for me to patiently and happily endure the trials and disappointments of this life without knowing about the pre-existence and the eternities to come. One of my favorite quotes is..." In this life we are put in the refiner's fire to see if we will be burned to ashes or refined into gold." I am not sure who said it but I do know that Job talks about his many trials refining him into gold. I read the book of Job this week. I cannot read that book without thinking about Dad. When I found out that Dad had diabettes, I was so uspet and I just wanted to be with him. When I was talking to Mom on the phone one time, she was telling me how Dad was in so much pain and just having a really hard time. The story of Job immediately came to my mind and I realized that this is probably going to be one of Dad's biggest trials that he will have to endure. I knew just as I know now that he would endure it well just as Job did. Job never once lost faith or hope. My favorite verse in Job, a mastery scripture, is chapter 19 vs. 25-27; "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." I also love 27:5 "...till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me." What a great example of somebody who endured to the end. Sometimes when I think of the word endure I think of just grudgingly waiting it out, but in the footnotes of the scriptures it always has perseverance and steadfastness accompanying the word endure. I think that enduring to the end is having faith, hope, conviction, and joy in the journey.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Katelund

My little Katelund has turned into my clean-up machine. She is constantly going around and cleaning each room when it gets messy. She went and cleaned her room the other day and it looked better than it did since we've lived here. I couldn't believe how organized and neat she had everything. She has got quite a talent and I am LOVING it!!!

Katelund has also started a new thing. I have been trying to teach her about choosing the right and doing what Jesus wants her to do. When she is in trouble I will ask her if that is what Jesus would want her to do. She has responded really well to it. Well on Sunday she told me that she didn't have to go to bed because Jesus said "no" and she has also been telling me that she can eat this or do that because Jesus says "yes". It is so funny!!! What do you say in response to something as cute as that?

She also has been talking non-stop about her birthday party coming up. She is consistanly telling me how she is going to have a birthday cake and birthday party and her friends are coming and she is going to get a watch and earrings (she wants her ears pierced, well at least she thinks she does). I told Cory that I can't wait for this party to come because it is all she talks about. She got a birthday card in the mail from Grandma Black and she carries it around with her everywhere!!! It is her "special birthday present"(it has a picture of a present on it). She also was using it last night when we were reading our scriptures, she said it was her "scripture power"(we sing the song "Scripture Power" alot, so she now thinks that scripture power is the name of the scriptures) and it was her turn to read. So we let her and she told about a 2 minute story about Jesus telling us to go to church and be nice, etc... It was adorable!!!

I LOVE my Katelund!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'll Never Stand Alone

Today was obviously a pretty hard day considering the fact that I am leaving about 60 of my own children (I feel like they are my children just like Helaman said he felt like the Stripling Warriors were his sons) and since I am leaving one of the best wards I have ever been a member of. One of the greatest things about the Hope Mills IInd ward is the love that the members have for one another. They are all so supportive and so humble. There really is not a lot of wealth in the ward. Most of the members are military and have sufficient for their neeeds, which makes for a really humble, loving, and giving group of sisters and brothers. I will never forget the examples and the strength of the members in this ward. I love them so much and although I may not see them again in this life (the military moves them every couple of years), I know that one day I will see them in our Father's kindgom. In closing exercises, I had the senior primary sing "A Child's Prayer" (they are incredible at this song!!!!) for the practice song. They stood on the stage and I went and sat down on the front pew in the chapel. As they sang, I felt as if I were in the presence of angels. Obviously I cried, and as I looked into each of their faces, I felt such a deep love for each one of them and I know that they will all become incredible missionaries, mothers, fathers, and church leaders. And hopefully in some way the primary songs and the testimony that I have born to them over and over again will have impacted them in some way, and hopefully they always be singing praises to their Savior. I love being a music leader!!!! It is the greatest calling on earth!!!!

I also completed my goal today of finishing the Book of Mormon. It took me 10 months to finish it this time, not the best but at least it was less than a year. I love this book so......much!!!! I couldn't imagine my life without it. Each day it gives me the strength and desire to put on my armor and fight my daily battles in overcoming temptations. I know with all of my heart and soul that this book is absolutely 100% true and was written for our day. I have come closer to my Savior through reading the Book of Mormon than I ever thought was possible. I cannot wait for the day when I can stand before Alma, Ammon, Nephi, Abinidi, Captain Moroni, the Stripling Warriors, the anti-Nephi-Lehis, Helaman, Moroni, and above all---Mormon. I love Mormon so much!!! His writtings touch my heart and capture me in a way that I cannot describe. I always know when he is abridging or putting in his input because I feel like I can feel his spirit. I know that sounds really wierd, but it is really hard to explain. I just love this book so VERY much!!!! How could anyone ever doubt its validity? As I finished the last chapter in Moroni, I laid the book on my chest and I closed my eyes and began to feel the tears well up inside. I had such an overwhelming feeling within me of the spirit testifying to me that the book that I just read is not only true but there were so many who sacrificed to make sure that we could read it today. One of my favorite songs is "I'll Never Stand Alone" from the Cumorah's Hill program. My favorite line says, " I stand with Nephi and Moroni, and Abinidi who testified in flames, I'll never stand alone." I feel the same way. How easy we have it today. I may never have to stand before someone like King Noah, but at times in my life I know that I will and have had to stand up for what I believe and it may be hard, but I know that I will never be standing alone, and that if the need may be, I too will testify in flames.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fiesta with Dora

This morning I took Katelund to go see "Hoodwinked" at the theater. It is a summer special show where they only charge $1. It was a lot of fun because Katelund got to watch the movie with her friends Bethany and Emma. They loved sitting there eating their popcorn and making comments about how funny the movie was. Afterwards, Katelund threw the tantrum of her 2 year old life as she had to say goodbye to her friends. It was not fun. She was screaming the whole way home as she was persistently trying to get out of her carseat straps. It put me in a not very good mood. She did not have a good afternoon, which means that I didn't either. I was not very happy and I knew that I needed to change my attitude, so I got down on my knees and prayed for a change of heart. I got up read some of my "Come Unto Christ" book and then I asked Katelund if she wanted to go to the store to get invitations to her birthday party next week. She had a change of attitude that very second. She was so excited to get invitation cards for her party. We went to Walmart and as I was searching for some kind of beach party card, something caught Katelund's eye, it was the Dora the Explorer cards, plates, cups, napkins, etc... She got SOOOO excited. I did not want to have Dora the Explorer as the theme, but as I was about to explain why she was not going to get those cards, I was instantly humbled as the Holy Ghost reminded me that it was HER birthday not mine. So I broke down and got the whole shabang. A girl in love with Dora is only 3 once!!! So next Thursday we are having a beach party/fiesta with Dora.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I Love to See The Temple

I love to see the temple, I went in side last night. I felt the Holy Spirit, I listened and I prayed. That is my new version to the song. What an incredible night I had last night. I LOVE going to the temple so much!!! I learned so many new things last night. It just amazes me how each time I go I learn something new, it never fails. The Lord really blessed us because Cory got off work a little late so I didn't think we'd make it because Cory's parents were driving and they told us they'd wait as long as they could. We just barely made it and then we were worried that we wouldn't make it in time for the session, but we did.

Katelund did not want us to leave. She kept saying, "Mommy, don't leave me, I want to go to the temple too." I kept telling her that in 9 yrs she could go with us, but for some reason that didn't pacify her. :) I cannot wait (well actually I can cause I don't want her growing up too quickly) for the day that I can see my own daughter experience the temple. That must be the ultimate life experience, seeing your children go through the temple and being all together as a family in the celestial room. What a day that will be!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

Yesterday Cory and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. We were both asked to speak on keeping the Sabbath day holy. I studied and pondered all week long in preparation. It was such an awesome week. I learned so much and the last two Sabbaths have been the best ones that I have had in my life because through all my studying, the Sabbath day has had more meaning and importance to me than it ever has before. There was a youth speaker that was supposed to speak before us, but she ended up not being there, so we told the Bishop that we'd give our talks and then he could fill in the remaining time. Well, all I can say is it is a good thing the youth speaker wasn't there. I spoke for 25 minutes and then Cory spoke for 30 min. With an intermediate song in between, the meeting ended up going 10 minutes over. Oops. Oh well, we both felt really good about our talks and got a lot of compliments, so I guess people weren't too mad at us for going over. :) Anyways, I used the story in Exodus 16 of the manna miracle in the wilderness to begin my talk, and in the story the Lord is talking about the Sabbath day and he calls it, "the rest of the Holy Sabbath". So I based my talk around that phrase. In order to explain what the "rest of the Holy Sabbath" is, I used "rest" as an acronym. The r stood for renewing and remembering. The e stood for eliminating the distractions of the world. The s stood for spiritual feasting, and the t stood for turning tablets of stone into tablets of the heart. I got the idea one night at about 1 in the morning. It turned out great because I really received tons of inspiration on what I needed to say. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost!!!!
We got a lot of packing done this weekend. There is still quite a lot to be done, but most of it is reorganizing what was already in boxes and gathering things from the garage, kitchen, office, etc that are ours. It will be intersting to see how our apartment looks considering the fact that we have no desk, dressers, tables, kitchen table, or chairs. All we have are our beds, a couch, recliner, and a little bookshelf I got for the girls. It is kindof like starting over again. I am really sad that we gave so much away in Rexburg, or that we didn't have enough room to take our desk or my wicker furniture from Arlington, but oh well, we will make do and the Lord will help provide a way for us to get what we need.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Proud Moment

I was babysitting a little girl named Emma the other day. Emma is 4 years old. Her and Katelund had been watching a movie and at the end of the movie there was music playing. Well Emma decided that she wanted to get up and dance to the music. Katelund wanted to join in on the fun, but Emma stopped her and said, (this is an exact quote) "No, Katelund, you can't dance because you're not pretty like me". It stopped me in my tracks, but before I could intervene, Katelund said, "Yes I am, my mommy tells me I am pretty." I came in and told them that they were both pretty and I would love to watch them dance together. I guess they really do listen to everything you say.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The dogs must have a cold...

This morning Katelund came into my room and told me that the dogs wouldn't stop coughing. She thinks that when the dogs are barking they are coughing. Isn't that adorable? I didn't tell her any different because I thought it was so stinkin' cute.

Today we went to one of our last playgroups. Well I guess there will be two more. It is going to be so hard to leave all of Katelund's friends behind. She has so many little friends that are such good kids. I know there will be more in Asheville, but the ones here will be missed. Brad and Mandy told me that they haven't told Bethany that Katelund is moving yet because they are so worried about how hard it is going to be for her. I don't think that Katelund is quite to the age where she will really understand that she is leaving her friends. Her friend Kevin Ward, our friends that moved to Tennessee awhile ago, has been telling Celeste, his mom, that he doesn't want to go to nursery there because his girlfriend, Katelund, is not there. I don't think Katelund has mentioned Kevin's name since he has left. She loved him to death, but I just think she is still too young to understand. At least I am hoping and praying that it won't be hard and she won't understand.

Well the packing is coming along slowly. I do as much as I can while Cloey is asleep, because otherwise she is in to everything. Sherrie has been watching some kids from the ward the last 2 days, so Katelund has been very entertained and I have been so grateful for that. All though, she has now turned into the easy one and Cloey has become the challenge. She is just at that "get into everything" stage. Anyways, I have to go take Cory to get a drug test for CBL. Hopefully he passes. :) J/K :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Tribute to Gates Four Trashmen...

Today I spent the day over at the Mann's house packing. When I went over there I was thinking about how I really needed to find some boxes so I can really start packing things up. As I pulled into the driveway I looked over at a house down the street that just happened to have tons of moving boxes sitting by the trashcan. I ran over there, knocked on the door, asked the lady if I could use her boxes, and started carrying the boxes back to the house as fast as I could before the trashman got there. After I had carried back a couple of boxes, the trashmen pulled up and I asked them if they could just leave the boxes because I was going to use them. They told me they would and that they would carry them all over for me. I told them thanks but it would take awhile and I would just do it myself. But the one guy insisted he said, "Are you kidding, we'll get paid to watch a pretty lady work, of course we'll help you." So all three of them took huge armfuls and helped me carry them all over in just 2-3 trips. It was SOOOO nice of them. I felt so bad that I didn't have any cash on me to tip them but they told me they didn't want it anyway they just wanted to help. I was so grateful for their help. What an act of service. I would like to be that kind of person; someone so willing to help someone else even when it is completely out of my way. Thank you trashmen!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Katelund, what did you learn today in nursery?...

"I was baptized with Jesus in the lake."

500th reason not to have a dog...

Today Cory and I took the girls and the dogs on a walk. We were having a great walk until...another dog that was also on a walk approached us on the other side of the street. Both of "our" dogs went crazy and they both somehow got out of their collars/leashes. Cory ran for one and I ran for the other while Katelund stood there with Cloey (Katelund was pushing Cloey in the stroller). The dog I had, Annie "Noel", was heading straight for the other dog. I freaked out because I thought they were going to have a full on combat war. I didn't know what to do. The other dog walker was awesome though. He talked in a soothing voice and told the dogs that everything was allright (really he was calming me and making me feel like it was all going to be allright). The dogs both settled down and began licking each other. Cory sucessfully got Arthur under control and I got Annie to finally pull away from her new love (the other dog who was a boy, of course). Meanwhile there was a car waiting for us, since we were in the middle of the street when this all took place. It must have been pretty entertaining for them. I don't think the dogs will go on anymore walks with us.

Spiritually Fed Sunday

Today was a wonderful Sabbath day. We had the privilage of having the stake presidency and stake auxillary presidencies come and visit. In sacrament meeting, each of the Stake Presidency members spoke to us. President Mann spoke about what kind of member of the church we are; a sunbather (who doesn't want to get in the water, but watches others), a wader (who just gets his feet wet), or a swimmer (who immerses himself in living the gospel). Then President Catlett got up and had a brother from the ward get up and talk about his experience this week. He was assigned to be a home teacher for an inactive family in the ward. He could not get them to commit to an appointment so he went over there with his partner and mowed their lawn. He did it a couple of months, until the family finally committed to an appointment. Anyways, they started coming back to church a couple of weeks ago, and her friend was so touched that she started taking the discussions and was baptized yesterday and confirmed today in sacrament meeting. Then President Catlett got up again and spoke about how we need to be the same kind of home teacher/visiting teacher and that we need to reach out further than we are each day in the way that we live the gospel. We need to do more than read scriptures, say prayers, have family home evening, and go to the temple. We need to reach out to those around us and find ways to serve and lift those around us. It was very inspiring and uplifting. I am going to miss President Catlett SO much when we move. He will be one of the people that I miss the very most.

Singing time also went great today. I (Cory helped me a ton) created a pretend campfire with wood, orange and red iridescent wrapping paper, and a light to go underneath of it all. It looked awesome. I then created a little script of a program that consisted of little stories/exerpts of pioneer children journal entries (from the best book ever on Pioneers called "We Walked to Zion") and pioneer songs that we've learned this month. It was so fun!! I had all the children sit around the campfire on the ground, we turned the lights out and then me and Sister Curdy (a counselor in the Primary presidency) read the stories and then sang the songs in between. Sister Curdy and I dressed in pioneer clothes so that we'd look the part. The kids loved it!!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

"A child shall lead them..."

Yesterday Katelund bit Cloey really hard on the hand because she took a train away from her. I had Katelund go and put her nose in the corner of the wall for time-out (the only way time-out is effective these days). She was standing there crying her eyes out and Cloey was looking at her with such concern. Cloey went across the room, picked up the train, and took it over to Katelund. I couldn't believe it. I never would've given the toy back after my sister had just bitten me so hard that it left teeth marks and a bruise. I then realized that I had just been taught by my 15 month old daughter how to truly forgive.

A Ballerina After All...

Cloey is turning into such a girly girl. She has to wear shoes (no matter how big or small they are) all the time, even with her pajamas on (sounds like someone else I know...Ethan). She also carries purses around and is constantly wanting to brush her hair or my hair (partly because of Katelund's new hairbrushing phase). She also has the cutest dance ever. Whenever there is music on she twirls around in circles. She must be practicing her ballet....(a mother can dream can't she?).

Light Bulb Moment

While reading my scriptures this morning, I learned something really cool that I never realized before. While Christ was with the Nephites, they actually prayed to him instead of the Father. Jesus said that the people prayed to him because they were with him. I thought that was an interesting thought. When we pray to the Father we do it in Jesus' name because he is the mediator between us and the Father. But while the Savior was with the people, they prayed to him and then he prayed to the Father in their behalf. Isn't that cool? I thought so.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Annie Noel..."

Whenever Katelund or Cloey get into trouble or do something they should not be doing, I always say, "Katelund Marie" or "Cloey Noel" (in my "your not supposed to be doing that" voice). Well today, Katelund went to the back door and saw the dogs playing with each other. The youngest dog, Annie, likes to bite the other dog when she plays with her. Well, Katelund freaked out (Hallelujiah; she finally realizes that biting is bad) and started yelling at the top of her lungs, "Annie Noel, stop biting" . "Annie Noel....stop it now" I was laughing my head off!!!!

Goodbye Cub Scouts

Last night was my last night in Cub Scouts in the Hope Mills 2nd Ward. We had a picnic pack meeting and played games afterwards. It was so much fun. As each of my boys got up to get their awards (that would be almost all of the boys there since I was over Wolfs and Bears) I felt such a deep love for each one. I find that I get so attached to the children that I have the privilege of serving. I had to fight back tears as I said goodbye and walked out the door. I am really not looking forward to my last Sunday in singing time either!!! It is going to be so hard to leave such an amazing group of children!! They truly have lead and guided me to walk in the light of the Savior. I feel like I am leaving my own children behind. Luckily, I know that I will still visit frequently because of Cory's family, but it will never be the same. No wonder the Lord's church is set up as it is. We have the opportunities to serve in callings in order for us to learn how to love as He loves, and I think that to a small degree we can come to understand how it must have felt when Heavenly Father had to say goodbye to each of His children.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

view of Asheville from the mall parking lot

Live and Learn

Yesterday I was completely thrown for a loop. I got my root canal finished up and then I went up to the front desk to sign out. Well, originally I was told that I was going to be one of the new dentist's free jobs to get experience. I guess that since I didn't get scheduled until she'd been there for about a month, I no longer qualified. I was told that I owe $904.00 (that is excluding the amount for the crown that I still have to get). I couldn't believe it. I never imagined it would be so expensive for a root canal. It took everything in me to keep myself from breaking down in tears right there at the receptionist's desk. I asked her if I could make payments. She said that usually they don't do that but they might be able to let me do a couple. I got out to my car and just lost it. I called Cory in hysteria as I told him how sorry I was that I didn't take better care of my tooth so I wouldn't have had to have a root canal. He calmed me down a little and told me that it would be okay and we'd figure out a way to pay it. I am still in shock and I have no idea how we can afford to pay it, but I guess it could have been worse. I am trying to not let it get me down today. So the only way I know how to do that is to joke about it. Honestly, if I would've known it would cost this much I would've pulled the tooth out myself, but I guess it is too late for that. You live and learn, right?!

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