Saturday, March 31, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

A Day in the Mountains...

Last weekend we had such a fun Saturday in the mountains. First, we went to the fish hatchery where they breed rainbow, brook, and brown trout. The girls loved feeding them because they would jump all over each other in order to get the food (hmm...sounds like my girls). Then we went down the road to a beautiful picnic spot by a little creek/river. We had a great lunch and then we went down to the river where Cory taught us girls how to skip rocks. Then I showed them all up by pulling up my jeans and walking across the FREEZING cold water. Cory and I carried both the girls across and went to the other side where the river wrapped around to this beautiful cove where kids go in the summer to cliff jump. It was gorgeous. We decided that we have to go back in the summer and try it out. We got really wet and cold but we had the time of our life. It was such a great day!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


My little Cloey is growing up so much!!! I can't believe that in less than a month she will be two!!!! Today she reminded me how much she is growing up. While we were at the park, she was swinging on the swing while Katelund was playing in the sandbox. She called out to Katelund, "Sissy, I love you!" It was SOOOOO ADORABLE!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stake Conference

This weekend was incredible. We had our stake conference on Sat. night and Sunday morning. I really enjoyed it!!! Saturday night was so wonderful. The theme was "If I Could Hie to Kolob". It was a great theme. The speakers talked about truth, love, and marriage having no end. Then the stake presidency each spoke about all of the wonders of God's creations and how they have no end. Then they testified that although God's creations are endless and enormous, we are the "matter" that matters. He still hears and answers and prayers and even weeps for us (account given in Moses). I usually take a lot of notes during conference but this time I didn't because really it was more of a feeling of love that was given to each member as they bore testimony of the Father's love for each of His children.

Sunday morning I woke up sick to my stomach because I was so nervous about my talk. I seriously thought I was going to throw up. I forced food down my stomach and just prayed my heart out all morning long. As I got to the assembly building, my fears only increased. By the time I was sitting on the stand and looking out over the bustling crowd I was almost shaking. Then all of the sudden, the pianist began to play my favorite song in the whole world, "My Soul Hungered". I knew that it was a tender mercy of the Lord. I instantly felt peace and calmness. After the music stopped and the stake president stood to welcome everyone, my nerves once again got the best of me. The opening song was done by the choir. They sang an incredible rendition of "Behold a Royal Army". It was so powerful!!! All that I could think about was how lucky I was that there was I sitting out looking upon the royal army of Asheville stake. I felt so inadequate to speak to such a crowd. I knew that anyone in that crowd could have given a much better talk than I, but for whatever reason,I was the one that the Lord had chosen to speak on having a forgiving heart. I quietly pleaded with Heavenly Father to pour out His spirit upon me and upon the listeners so that he would be the teacher because I knew that I could never do it alone. As I stood up to speak, my nerves gradually calmed down and I was able to listen to the spirit's whisperings and speak with confidence beyond my own. It was a great experience and I learned so many things throughout the entire process.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Katelund's Haircut (sob, sob)

Here are the "after" shots of Katelund's hair. She was very excited to go in and get her hair "fixed" (as much as possible). The lady who cut her hair, Michelle, was very nice and she did a good job. She now has some long layers in the back in order to help blend in the right side. The left side (the one with all the bangs) is pretty much a done deal. There is just not a whole lot we can do but let it grow and wear headbands. I really miss her long hair, but it is fun to have it short for the summer months to come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Can you say MULLET?

The dreaded day has come....Katelund cut her hair. Last night, Cory and I took the girls to the church because I had choir practice and Cory wanted to practice the piano. Cory took the girls with him to the YW's room while he played. Apparently, there was a basket of scissors in the corner of the room. So Katelund started chopping. When I went into the room after choir practice, I couldn't believe my eyes!!! After a dramatic gasp and a look of horror, I walked back out of the room so that Katelund wouldn't see the tears that were welling up in my eyes.

Once we got home and the shock had worn off, I realized that it was time to give her some comfort, love, and reassurance. I don't think that she'd realized what she had done because once I told her that we were going to have to cut the back, she broke down in tears. I took her to the mirror to show her what she'd done so that she would understand why we needed to cut it. As she looked in the mirror, she immediately threw herself at me as she cried her little heart out. I continued to comfort her but she was still so upset. She went over to the edge of the couch and just had the saddest look on her face as the reality of what she'd done set in. Cory told her to come over and sit with him. He then looked in her eyes and told her how beautiful she still was and that her hair would look so pretty short and that over time it would grow back out. I think she just needed to hear her Daddy tell her that she was still pretty because after he told her, she calmed down curled up on his lap and then asked him if he would brush her hair. It was so tender and sweet.

We have an appointment to get the rest of it cut tomorrow, but as for today....can you say mullet?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Katelund's Pilate Moves

Today I took the girls outside to play with their balls while I laid on a blanket and read a book. Beth came outside to say hi to us and we started talking about different stretches because she pulled a muscle in her leg. Apparently, Katelund decided that she had some better stretches to show Beth. She began to do the downward facing dog, the cobra, the warrior, and the exalted warrior. It was so adorable. I guess she really has been watching me while I've been teaching that Pilates class at the church.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I LOVE Primary!

I was such a proud mother yesterday in Primary. Sister Weekes was showing the children pictures from the scriptures and then asking them questions about the particular scripture story. She held up the picture of when Christ was among the Nephite children and how the angels came down and fire encircled them about as the angels taught and ministered to them. She asked the kids what this story tells us about Jesus. My sweet little Katelund raised her hand. Sister Weekes called on her and Katelund said, "that Jesus loves children". I was so proud of her!!! I had to keep the tears back. Of all things that I have taught Katelund, that would be the one thing that I would want her to know above all else; that Jesus loves her. I think that if you know that and you know who you are then everything else just kindof falls into place. I am so grateful for the primary program.

I am also so grateful for the Primary president that I work with. I had such a hard time with her at first, but all of those feelings have been replaced with love and great respect for her. Is she perfect, of course not, but she is trying to be. Yesterday we had a teacher development meeting to review the things that we learned at the worldwide broadcast and discuss how we can apply the principles we learned to our primary. When she started the meeting, she went around the room and singled out each teacher individually and stated the things that she loved about them as a teacher and told specific examples of the wonderful things that she has observed them doing in their teaching. She ended with me and she got all choked up as she expressed her thanks to me and said some very sweet things. I love my calling so much!!! I just don't think that I will ever have a calling that I love more than this one. Okay, maybe my other calling as ward camp director. :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fun, Fun, Fun...

Today I watched one of my friend's daughters because she was busy preparing for funeral arrangements for her step-father-in-law who died last night. He actually lived on the other side of their home (it is kindof like a duplex). Yesterday evening they noticed that he had not turned his light on and they hadn't heard the tv on all day. They knocked and then opened the door to check on him. They found him cold and purple. They believe that he had a heart attack. The ironic thing is that yesterday when I was visiting teaching with her, we had talked about death and resurrection.

Anyways, I really wanted to make it a fun day for Emily so that she could somehow be distracted and just have a busy and exciting day. She came over at about 9 a.m. I let her and Katelund watch Dora, then I took all the girls on a walk. We walked for a good distance and then we went to the park. After that, we went and got cookies and ate them on a picnic table near the park. We walked home and then turned on fun music, danced around, colored pictures, and then prepared for a picnic. We took out the picnic basket and blanket in front and had a great lunch that consisted of hot dogs, oranges, and carrots. Then we played tag and had races (where I made sure that each of the girls had a chance to win). We came inside and put Cloey down for a nap while Katelund and Emily watched a Care Bears movie. After their movie, we took out the glue, crayons, scissors, and paper and made "crafts" until Emily's mom came to pick her up at about 3. It was a GREAT day!!!

I actually realized some funny things about my girls today. First of all, Katelund is very competitive (like her Daddy). She did not like the fact that she was not the winner of every race. I guess I need to teach her about sportsmanship. :) Cloey of course loved the picnic (she just loves food period), but she had something she'd never had before; carrots dipped in ranch. She was so funny though because she would dip her carrot, bite off and eat the part that was dipped and then put it down and get a new carrot (see above pictures). After she had done that to all of the carrots on her plate, she asked for more. I told her to eat the rest of the ones on her plate. But she said "all done" and took the carrots and hid them behind her back. Apparently they were no good because I guess she couldn't double dip. Although it is wasteful at least she has good manners, right? Another funny thing that happened was while they were watching Care Bears. I was on the potty and I asked Katelund if she'd go get me some more toilet paper. She said, "sure" and then I heard her quietly turn to Emily and say "Emily will you please go get some toilet paper from my bathroom for my Mommy?" I was laughing so hard. I guess delegating is a good skill to have. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Row, Row, Row, Your Boat (or laundry basket)

I had been in the girls' room putting clothes away, and when I came out I found them like this. They had gotten Cory's golf club and was using it to row their "boat" down the river. When I got the camera out they decided that they each wanted their own turn to have a picture rowing the boat. They were both saying "cheese" over and over again while I was taking their pictures. It was so ADORABLE!!

At about 4 am this morning, Cory and I woke up to Katelund and Cloey in their room fighting. They were both crying back and forth at the top of their lungs, "Mommy"..."My Mommy"...My Mommy"... It was hilarious! I went into their room to settle them down and they both reached their arms out to me with little tears falling down their cheeks. My heart melted. I told them to both come into bed with Cory and I. Cloey snuggled right up with Cory and Katelund cuddled up to me. It was really sweet. All I can say is that it's a good thing that we have a king-size bed because both of our girls end up sleeping horizontally. They take up more of our bed than we do.

Last night we had Beth and the missionaries over for dinner and a discussion. It went really well. The missionaries had asked me beforehand if I'd like to teach part of the discussion. I was so excited and nervous. It was a lot of fun. I cannot wait to go on a mission someday with Cory!!! Since that will not happen for awhile, I just have to look and pray for missionary opportunities each day.

I found out what they want me to specifically talk about at stake conference. My topic is..."Characteristics of Zion are beauty and holiness of Spirit. Talk about how a forgiving heart fosters these characteristics within us." It is a good thing that I didn't already start my talk because I was not expecting to talk about forgiveness based upon what they had originally told me. When I was talking to Sherrie the other day, she read me an awesome quote that she had just read in her seminary manual. Elder Marion D. Hanks said, "The ultimate form of love for God and men is forgiveness." I think that I will begin preparing today after I go visiting teaching. I am so nervous about giving this talk, especially after the letter I received in the mail from the stake presidency. It is a letter that states guidelines for giving talks in stake conference. It has a whole list of ways to prepare and then near the bottom it says..."Remember- if you give a ten minute talk to 100 people, you are using over sixteen hours of the members' time to worship the Lord. Be responsible with that time. " No pressure right??

I have been teaching Pilates the last two Mondays at the church for an enrichment class. Yesterday I had us do a whole bunch of push-ups and today I am SOOOO SORE!!! I can hardly move my shoulders and arms around. At the end of the class, Lauren (a cute 20 yr. old that comes) told me that she had never been taught how to line dance so I decided that she needed to learn one. I turned the music to country and we line danced for the last 15 minutes. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! It brought back a lot of memories from stake and college dances. There is just something so liberating to me about dancing. I cannot wait to take ballet classes someday!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Life Forces

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about what I am going to talk about in stake conference. When I was first asked to speak, I felt very inadequate for such a task. Then as the idea settled in, I began to feel excited because I really enjoy doing the research part of giving a talk. I always learn so much in the process. Now I am beginning to feel nervous and inadequate once again. I know that the inspiration will come, but in the meantime, I am having lots of random thoughts and ideas that are not making a lot of sense to me. I talked to Dad about it the other day to see what he would talk about on the subject. My subject is based off of Doctrine and Covenants 82:14; which says; "...enlarge thy borders and strengthen thy stakes and put on thy beautiful garments...". Dad suggested talking about how important it is to work together as a stake and supporting one another. I had been thinking about it yesterday and I found an awesome way to relate it to the Nephites near the end of Alma. Captain Moroni had been unifying the Nephites and putting them under covenants and oaths that they would fight for their families, homes, and religion. They had strengthened and fortified their strong and weak cities and were able to defend themselves in an incredible way because the Lord had given them strength. After they drove the Lamanites off for a season, they began to have some contentions within. Nephihah, their chief judge, died and the people become divided upon what to do next. The freemen wanted Pahoran, Nephihah's son to be the next chief judge, and the king men didn't want to continue having chief judges and basically a democracy, they wanted to have a king. The freemen outnumbered the kingmen, which led Amalickiah, the leader, to take some of his followers (the dissenters) and not only join the Lamanites, but kill their king, take over, and entice them to go back to war with the Nephites. When they went to attack, the Nephites were not prepared because Captain Moroni and Helaman had been doing damage control due to the contention and dissenters. They were weak and the Lamanites overtook many of their strongholds. Symbolically speaking, I feel like that is a perfect analogy for the importance of supporting our leaders, strengthening each other, and working together to create a Zion within our own stake.

Yesterday I took the girls to the park. Katelund was climbing up a little climbing wall to get up to the slide. Cloey was trying to follow her, but it was very apparent that it was a little too advanced for her climbing skills. Just as I was about to pick Cloey up and help her, Katelund turned around, reached her hand down to Cloey, and said, "Come on Cloey, take my hand and I'll help you up". It brought tears to my eyes. It was very sweet, but it was more than that. It was another analogy to me of the importance of helping and strengthening one another.

I am so eternally grateful for the scriptures and my children who constantly teach me everyday of my life!!!! I couldn't survive without either one of them. In fact, the other night I was laying in bed with Cory and I was almost asleep when I realized that I had not read my Book of Mormon that day, which would have been the first time I'd missed in a LONG time. I told Cory that I hadn't read that day and he said, "Honey, go get your scriptures and and read them aloud to us, you don't want to miss a day." It was so ADORABLE!!!! Man, I love that MANN!!! :)

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