Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Pictures

Memorial Day

Yesterday we went to Pisgah mountain for Memorial Day. We met four other families there and we had a big cook-out and then played in the river. We had so much fun! It was Katelund and Cloey's first time to go river rafting. :) We played and played until someone saw a copperhead in the water, and so we all got out. The husbands played some football and the girls all sat around and talked while the kids played together. It was a great day. As we were driving out of the mountains, we stopped at Dolly's Ice Cream where everyone got ice cream cones, except for Cory and I, we split the biggest banana split I have ever seen!! Although we had a wonderful day, I couldn't help but feel a little melancholy as I thought of all my friends in Fayetteville who were spending the day alone while their husbands are out serving our country. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that I had to live in a military town where I saw the sacrifice, tears, fear, and pride associated with having a daddy/husband gone for 6-18 months at a time. It is a life that I could never live, but I am so grateful for those who sacrifice so much on our behalf so that we could spend Memorial Day together as a family.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Katelund's new song...

I told Katelund that when we got back from our walk that we would have to clean our house. She then starts to sing the following song (Cory didn't believe me...but I promise that I did not teach her this song, although I do make up songs like this quite often).

(sung to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush")
Everyday we clean our house,
clean our house, clean our house,
Everyday we clean our house,
We clean everyday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Biggest Fan...

On June 2nd, Cory and I are racing in a 5k for members of the chamber of commerce. I am not a member of the chamber, but Cory is; so they are allowing me to race as part of his office's team. Cory went and ran the the race earlier this week so that he would know what it was like. He said that it was a lot harder than he'd prepared for; which made me really nervous because he is really prepared!!! I haven't been training for a race because I was taking some time off after my 1/2 marathon. I started training seriously again last week and so today I went and ran the course. Wow, it is really tough!!! It is in downtown Asheville, so basically it is mostly hills. It killed me! I have so much work to do in the next week if I want to have a good time. I really don't even care about my time as much as I care about keeping up with Cory. :) At the very end of the race you have to go up a steep incline for about 1/2 a mile. I was so tired of going uphill and I just wanted to be done and so I decided to take a 10 sec walk break. As soon as I began walking, Cory pulled up in the car beside me and started cheering me on. He slowly drove the rest of the way up the hill screaming and cheering me on to the finish line. It was SO CUTE!!! He truly is my biggest fan.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eternal Perspective

After I got home from Texas last week, we left a couple of days later to go to Fayetteville in order to attend a funeral. One of Cory's good buddies from Brock Cabinets, lost his little baby boy. His name was Hollis Ryan Newcomer and he was three months old. His mom, Rebeccah, had put him down for a nap and she felt impressed to go in and check on him. She went in and found him rolled over on his tummy with his face pressed into the comforter. She rolled him over and found him blue and cold. She called 911 and did CPR. They resesitated him in the ambulance but they had to keep him on the breathing machines because he was not getting any brain activity. The next day they went home from the hospital to rest, but the nurse called them and told them to come back because his organs were shutting down. They went back and held him in their arms until he died.

It was a really hard funeral to go to because all I could think about was my brother, Kelly, who died when he was 4 months and I was 5. It is never easy to see a mother and father have to bury their child, but I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have of the plan of salvation. I know without any uncertainty that Hollis has returned home to his Heavenly Father. I know without any doubt that he was and is perfect and that his family will see him once again if they live righteously. I know this to be true because the Spirit has born witness to me over and over again that my brother was and is perfect and that he has/will attain the highest degree of celestial glory. As I walked through the family line at the grave site, I got really chocked up as I knelt down to talk to Hollis' 4-year-old big sister. All that I could see was myself, a little girl who just lost her baby brother. I took her hand and I told her that I was close to her age when I lost my brother. I told her how sorry I was for her loss and that everything would be okay.

Although I was such a young age when Kelly died, the reality of his death has been relived for me as I have had my own children. I could not imagine having to go through such an experience, but I do know that those women who I know who have been blessed to bear such perfect spirits, are some of the most incredibly strong people I know. One of those being my own mother. How grateful I am that I have the example of incredibly strong and faithful parents and also the example of a perfect brother who has already made it. In my kitchen I have a picture of me and Kelly in a frame. As I look at it each day, it helps me to remember the purpose and importance of the decisions and choices that I make daily. It helps me to have an eternal perspective on life and to know that there is a divine purpose for all trials and experiences that we face in mortality. After the funeral , I picked up my two precious little girls and just held them in my arms. I couldn't imagine going through my life without them, but even if I had to, I am just so thankful to know that they are my little girls not only for time, but throughout all eternity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Texas Top 20

We had such a wonderful vacation to Texas. Some of the highlights from the trip were;
1. Seeing friends and family
2. going to the zoo (with everyone else in the metroplex)
3. scrapbooking with the best and making Mother's Day gifts with my sisters
4. getting kisses and hugs from my nieces and nephews
5. having one-on-one time with my mom
6. going for a fun ride with my dad in his convertible
7. driving the scooter
8. watching my girls have the time of their life with their cousins
9. hanging out with Sean, Britt, Kade, and Landen
10. staying up late at night with Ryan, Andrea, Maren, and Issac
11. attending church in my home ward and being part of the best relief society lesson ever and hearing my Dad give a great Bishop's talk.
12. texting Cory every hour. :)
13. going out to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
14. turning the radio up and tuning out the kids in Andrea's car
15. giving manicures, pedicures, and facials to my sisters
16. stopping to look at every rolley polley
17. playing Phase Ten and scrapbooking with Katie in candlelight b/c the power was out
18. the non-stop Texas thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and frizzy hair (gotta love humidity)
19. walking Abby home from school and having my heart melt everytime she smiled at me.
20. getting on the dreaded plane ride home (flying with 2 kids is just not fun) to find that my Dad had suprised me and bumped me up to first class without me knowing and then having the best airplane ride of my life. :)
Thanks to Mom, Dad, Katie, Andrea, Ryan, Abby, Ethan, Sean, Brittney, Kade, and Landen for a wonderful three weeks filled with great memories, laughter, tears, and LOVE!!!! We love you all and miss you terribly!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Great Day

Yesterday was so wonderful. The only thing that could have made it way better would have been to have Cory here in Texas (I am REALLY missing him). It all started with Relief Society. WOW! It was an incredible lesson (thanks to Trudy Lethcoe). Afterwards, there was a short powerful testimony meeting, and then to put the cherry on top we closed the meeting with the song "I Believe in Christ". The Spirit was so incredibly strong. It was so wonderful to be around such strong sisters, including ones that I grew up with. I also loved sitting next to my mom, and my two incredible sisters. It was awesome. I missing being around them so much. It is really nice to all be together once again.

Sacrament meeting was also wonderful. Angie Johnson, who was at one time my YW president, bore a powerful testimony. Afterwards, I told her that all though I am no longer a YW she is still teaching me and in her testimony she told me the exact things that I have been needing to hear. Once again, she was an answer to my prayers. I will forever be grateful for my home ward and for the wonderful and powerful examples that surrounded me as a youth. I will forever be changed because of the incredible examples of the Pickerings, Sister Johnson, Sister McLain, the Harringtons, the Jacobsons, the Lethcoes, the Manns, Dowdles, Mullins, etc....

After church, my mom had a big family dinner. It was so much fun to have everyone together (except Cory, sniff, sniff). It was full of laughing, screaming, running, teasing, and great food. There is just something so fulfilling for me in being together as an extended family, and to think that it is only going to get more crazy and exciting as more kids come and Katie starts her family. I can hardly wait. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Girls Camp Fun

I am getting so excited to be a ward director this year at girls camp. A couple of weeks ago (right before I left for Texas), I coordinated a fund raiser for the girls. It was so much fun!!! We gave pedicure, manicures, and facials for $4 each. Me and my friend Janae decorated the back of the gym to look like a salon. We had toole on the chairs, pretty tablecloths, rose petals, chocolate dipped strawberries, truffles, a silent service auction etc... It was our "Girls Night Out" fundraising activity for the sisters in the ward. It turned out wonderful. Since I am in Texas right now, I wanted to do something to thank the girls for their hard work and to let them now how excited I am for camp this year so I made them these cards. On the inside I made up the following song to the tune of the primary song "Popcorn Popping". These are the words;
I looked on the calendar and what did I see?
girls camp coming in a couple of weeks.
Camp will bring us all a nice suprise,
laughter, memories, and sad goodbyes.
Camp just won't be the same without you there.
Pull out your grubbies and a fire we'll prepare.
It isn't very far,
very soon you'll see,
Asheville's girls camp is the place to be!

Friday, May 04, 2007


I am finding, as I get older, that some of the things that I have done that I swore I would never regret, I am regretting. One of those regrets that has really been on my mind lately is not going to my graduation. At the time, I was big and pregnant and I didn't think that it would be worth the money to make a trip all the way back to Idaho. I didn't think that walking across a stage was that big of a deal, but I am now finding myself filled with regret. It's not that I needed the recognition of an entire stadium filled with people, it is the fact that I don't have that final culminating event to celebrate such an accomplishment as one of my memories. I don't have pictures of me in my cap and gown to show my children and grandchildren one day as I encourage them to continue their own education. I know that it is really not that big of a deal, but for whatever reason, I am just wishing I would have made the sacrifice. I guess that I will just have to get another degree. :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"The Mormons"

After finishing the two-night series on "the Mormons", I am finding myself with many mixed feelings about how our religion was portrayed. I was pretty upset after Monday's nights presentation because I felt like they totally disgraced Joseph Smith. I was so offended by the way that they talked about polygamy being a way to fulfill sexual desires. I know that it is a hard principle to understand, in fact, the way that our society is today makes it almost impossible to look at polygamy without perversion. I don't know all of the reasons why it was asked of the early Saints or why it is a celestial principle, but I do know that I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. I know that they gave him the intructions and revelations that he needed in order to restore Christ's church upon the earth once again. Knowing those things makes the need for me to fully understand polygamy irrelevant and unimportant.

Last night I felt like they did a much better job as far as being more accurate, but I still felt that they crossed the lines when they talked about the "secrets" of the temple. I feel so sad for the lady who talked about such a sacred ceremony with such irreverance and disdain. I also felt so sad for her when she talked about her excommunication. As she talked about her everlasting salvation being destroyed, I thought to myself; she must have never really understood the gospel of Jesus Christ. She must have not understood what the Atonement is all about and what it means to experience the incredible process of repentance.

Their may be some who struggle with the things that were presented on the series, but I was strengthened because I know that I belong to Christ's church and I know that we are led by God's prophet today and that the church has been directed by Christ himself ever since the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days. It does not matter what others may perceive as unfair, strange, and/or confusing, I do not need every point of every doctrine perfectly explained in order to believe it because I know that the Holy Ghost has born witness to me over and over again of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the Book of Mormon. There is no greater witness than that.

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