Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Go Dolphins!

This summer we have spent many, many, many days at the pool watching Katelund and Cloey swim with their swim team. They LOVED it! They had practice three days a week and then a swim meet every Saturday morning. They REALLY improved from their first swim meet to their last one on Friday night. We were so proud of them (especially Cory...this is his thing ya know)! I think this is something we will definitely do again next summer. More pictures and hopefully video (if I can be techy enough) to come....

Diaper Derby 5k

Last weekend, I hosted my very first charity event. It has been very time-consuming but I really enjoyed doing it and I learned a lot of things over the last couple of months as I was planning for it. Back in the spring, I had read a newspaper article about a new charity in the area that collects diapers for families in need. As I read about the reasons why this lady started this organization, I felt drawn to her words. I couldn't stop thinking about it and I realized that I wanted to help. I emailed her and told her that I wanted to host a diaper drive at my church. She was very excited and so the planning began. I ended up with about 20 or so people (all youth, except me and 2 other men) who participated in the 5k and we ended up collecting almost 2 whole barrels of diapers. In order to run in the race, you had to push a stroller. For a YWs activity, we made "sugar babies"(look at pictures above to see one) and then the girls decorated them and some even decorated their strollers. The babies turned out really cute and the girls LOVED it. One of the best parts was during the closing prayer of our "sugar baby" activity. The YW who was saying the prayer said, "...and thank you that we could all come to church tonight to make babies." I think everyone in the room started laughing. Overall, it went really well. I had no idea how much it takes to put something like this together. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My New Favorite Quote

I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two years closer till we meet again.

Happy Perfection Day to Clairisa, the angel of my dreams!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teeth, Youth Conference, and Grocery Shopping (all in that order)

Since it feels like it has been forever since I last posted a pic of all my girls, here it is. Aren't they just adorable? I think so.

Last Thursday was a really big day in our house. Katelund FINALLY lost her first tooth. I am so relieved. Last year in first grade, her teacher kept a poster in the room where the kids would put a tooth sticker by their name every time they lost a tooth. Katelund never lost any teeth, but I seriously came really close to just pulling one out myself if she came home crying one more time because she was the only person in the whole 1st grade that hadn't lost any teeth. Oh, the drama of 1st grade. :) I'm so glad the long awaited day has finally come. She couldn't be more proud!! I left for youth conference that day so I wasn't there when the tooth fairy came....which is why the tooth fairy gave such a generous amount of money. :)

Speaking of youth conference, it was incredible. It was a four stake event and it was held at a cute little college near Knoxville. They sent a request to the general young women's board and the general young men's board for two speakers and Sister Dalton said when she saw the request, she felt very strongly that she was the one that needed to go. Brother Eagan came as well and so did Elder Cornish. They all spoke several times and they were AMAZING!!!
Some of the girls are missing in this pic, but here are some of the beautiful girls that I am so blessed to be with.
Sister Dalton is so beautiful!! She seriously just radiates love and virtue. If you have ever listened to her speak, then you know that she is all about virtue. In fact, she even has a gold iphone that she showed us (gold is the YW color for virtue). She is such an inspiring lady. In fact, in the testimony meeting one of the YW said that she wants to grow up to be just like Sister Dalton....amen to that!!! One of the ways that I am trying to help the world return to virtue is by turning over all of the magazines at the grocery store that have immodest pictures on the front of them. It really bothers me to see such immodesty staring right at my children's faces everytime we go to the store. So I decided to do something about it. My girls think it is so funny. In fact, I don't even have to do it anymore, because they do it for me. I must say, I have gotten some pretty weird looks from people. :)

I just read a post on my cousin's blog about her accomplishment of grocery shopping with her little boy and brand new baby. I so remember what it was like to have two little ones and try to grocery shop...or do anything productive for that matter. It was hard, but eventually I figured it out. With three, it is also hard, but I think I have finally figured it out. I had to go grocery shopping yesterday and so I decided to give assignments. I had Katelund write out my grocery list as I named off all the items to her. Then, at the grocery store, she was in charge of naming off what I needed and marking it out whenever we put it in the cart. Cloey's job was to push Hailey in the umbrella stroller. It worked perfectly!! We made it out of the store in under an hour and with smiles on our faces....that is a HUGE accomplishment!

Monday, July 05, 2010

What freedom means to me... I am thankful to live in a country where I can have as many children as I want and a place where it is just as exciting and wonderful to have a girl as it is to have a boy ('s a good thing).

R.............religion. The whole reason why our country was founded....religious freedom. My dad just sent me an experience he had just recently with a man from the Middle East who had recently been converted from Muslim to Christian (it is an incredible story) and then after a dream, he came to the U.S. where he was told that there was even more. Miraculously, he came here and was taught the gospel and baptized within a 2 week period. He has now left America and is back home where he could be killed for not only being a Mormon but for just being a Christian. After hearing of this story, I was very humbled by how much I take for granted. How very grateful I am to worship how, where, or what I may.

E..............expression. Although I am absolutely disgusted by the horrible slander that goes on all around us by and about politicians, I am grateful for the freedom we have to hold our own political views and to be able to express them aloud. I believe that with this freedom there is also a great responsibility that each of us have to not abuse such a right. When I was a tutor at BYU-Idaho, I tutored a boy who was from Albania. He was just completely blown away by the fact that we could choose whatever classes we wanted to and that our government didn't tell us what our major would be. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have such a freedom taken away. One of my favorite books these days is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. It is about a man who goes over to Pakistan and builds girls schools. By doing so, he is fighting terrorism one school at a time. (It is an INCREDIBLE story and an amazing thing that he is'll have to read the book). I believe that education truly is one of the greatest keys to freedom.

D..............democracy. I believe that our country was founded by men who not only were good, God-fearing men, but who also were divinely appointed to fulfill such noble tasks. I believe that they were led by that same God who led the children of Israel out of Egypt and Lehi and his family across the sea to the promised land. The democracy that they built up and organized was one founded upon truth and revelation. How blessed we are to be able to defend and uphold such inspired documents as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Although some may have forgotten, there are still many who stand by the motto that our democracy was built upon..."in God we trust"

O.............optimism. Two of my favorite books are The Hiding Place ( I just reread it last week and fell in love with it all over again) and Man's Search for Meaning. In both books, I have learned that although you may be in the worst of circumstances and live in a day where corruption and evil are abounding, one can still find freedom within as they look optimistically to the future. Although we may live in a free country, there are plenty of people who are confined and imprisoned within their own cells of addiction, fear, hatred, and pride. It is in optimism, hope, love, and faith that we can find freedom in whatever circumstance we are in.

M............mankind. Okay, this may be a touchy subject...sorry. It is not that I don't think that there should not be any rules or regulations in regard to immigration, but....I do feel like there is a lot of hostility and injustice towards other religions and ethnicities based upon the acts of a minority, and sometimes a majority, of those groups. Yesterday I read the most awesome quote by President Howard W. Hunter. He said, "All men are invited to come unto Christ and all are alike unto him. Race makes no difference; color makes no difference; nationality makes no difference...No nation or people or individual could expect to be favored above another...We need to discover the supreme truth that indeed our Father is no respector of persons. Sometimes we unduly offend brothers and sisters of other nations by assigning exlusiveness to one nationality of people over another....words from the lips of the Master know no national boundaries; they are not limited to any race or culture." If He knows no national boundaries then why should we be so stingy with the freedoms that we enjoy? Okay, I said it. Please don't write hateful comments to me. :)

From every mountain side.....let FREEDOM ring!!!!

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