A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'll learn from history

I really enjoyed listening to the Relief Society general broadcast. I loved President Monson talking about how important it is for us to not judge people by their appearance. That's always a good reminder. One thing that really struck me, though, was the "announcement" from Sister Julie Beck, the general Relief Society president. She was talking about how they had been pondering and praying about what could help the sisters of the church today -- how we can strengthen our testimonies, how we can overcome trials, how we can weather the storms of life, how we can raise strong children of faith. (She didn't mention those specific things, but I'm sure they were all a part of it. :) Anyway, she said after talking to the Brethren they had come to a conclusion.

At this point I was nearly sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what this profound thing was that we needed to do to be strong. Prayer? Scripture study? Service? Nope. She said the thing that will teach us is knowing and learning from the history of the Relief Society. Really?

Okay, this was not what I expected to hear at all. They're currently compiling booklets we can study from next year as we study the history of Relief Society.

However, I decided I'd go with this and learn all I can from the sisters of Relief Society history. You see, when I was in college it was the sesquicentennial of the pioneers arriving in Utah. There were huge (and pretty cool) celebrations. There were all kinds of special programs and events. And there were Devotionals at BYU every week (as usual) all focusing on the pioneers and their stories (not as usual). I had a bad attitude. I mean a very bad attitude! When they started into a new pioneer story I would almost roll my eyes and take a nap until it was over. I felt like it was painful to hear so many pioneer stories. I mean, weren't a few at the beginning of the year enough?

Of course, 10 years has given me a little more wisdom. I now am so touched by pioneer stories -- their faith, their endurance, their hardships, their love of the Savior and each other, etc. -- that I have no idea how every one of the stories I heard that year didn't touch my heart! So, now that I think of the Relief Society and its 150+ year history, I realize there are going to be other opportunities for stories of faith, courage and service that can touch my heart. It still wouldn't be in the top 10 things I would think would strengthen me to weather this life, but obviously I'm not the one in charge. He who is in charge has inspired His workers, and this is what they feel we need at this time.

So, as we go forward learning about our Relief Society "progenitors" I hope others also have a good attitude and I don't hear complaints of, "Another Relief Society story?!? Why? Please no!" If so, I might have to chuckle to myself and hope that she gets it 10 years from now ...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Austin's snapshot

I was rebuked for not having a page for Austin, so here it is:

That was my quickest page yet. I'm hoping that as I do digital more and more it'll become easier and easier ...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nothing quite so cute

I bit the bullet and signed up Shayla for dance. I knew it would be adorable, and I knew we'd both love every minute. However, I was trying to be frugal. I should have signed her up last year, but I'm soooo happy that I did this year. There is really nothing quite as cute as a little girl in dance. :)

Here are pics from her first full class:

I still remember my dance lessons growing up and how much I loved it (other than having to lock arms with a girl whose arms I thought were too hairy -- I guess that happens when you're the youngest one in the class :). I look forward to taking many more cute dance pics. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another digital page

So I broke my cardinal scrapbooking rule, which is to never go back and fix a page until I'm caught up. So, basically, that means I never will. So, unless a page REALLY bugs me, I just leave them alone. My pages from when I first started to scrapbook are hideous! (I'd post a few, but I'm too lazy to scan them.)

However, I had made a digital page with a cute story about Shayla that I just wasn't liking. I made it months ago when I took a digital scrapbooking class. (Anyone looking to learn digital scrapbooking should really take Jessica Sprague's classes -- they're great! And her Photoshop Fridays, which you can buy for only $1 each week, have great mini tutorials.) Anyway, I finally decided I'd just bite the bullet and fix the page today. It took very little time, and I'm very happy with my changes.



I'm really happy with the final product. I'm lovin' me some digital scrapbooking ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! It seems like it was only about a week ago, but I guess I've mowed the lawn two times since then. :)

Paul comes home from his business trip today and I'm THRILLED! :) We'd never been apart this long (10 days), and he wasn't supposed to come home until Thursday. We aren't telling the kids, so I'm excited to see their faces when he's home unexpectedly. Shayla is coming with me to pick him up, and the others will be home from school wondering exactly where I am ...

My fitness challenge is going well. It's so exciting to hear how people are making such positive differences in their lives. I've already lost seven pounds, and I haven't been perfect about eating my veggies and such. (Veggies aren't on the point system this time. Maybe I should have left them there after all! :) Other women are also losing lots of weight (some have already lost 10 pounds in only three weeks), so it's fun to be a part of. This group, though, is REALLY competitive with earning their points, so I'm going to have to work hard if I really want that $250 pot.

I also have been excited to step into digital scrapbooking. I've been hesitant to do it, because I just don't like when the page has fake-looking, cartoony elements. I asked my friend Autumn (whose scrapbooking is the most awesome ever!!) how she makes her pages look so real. (When I'm looking through her album I have to feel some of them to see if they're digital or not. I LOVE that!) She gave me some ideas so I'm going to get going on it. I also realized that if I come up with some templates I can use them again and again by just plugging in different pics and paper and you may not even realize they are from the same template.

These ones are from the first template I created. Mind you, I meant for these to be somewhat similar since they're all a "snapshot" of my kids right now. I suppose I should do one for Austin, too, but we'll see if I get to that. In the meantime, here are the ones I made for the other four:

Since Austin didn't get a page posted I'll just mention his latest feats: He can sit up a little bit by himself, and he will give you kisses if you get close enough and make a kissing sound. It's so cute! He's totally not even trying to roll over, but it'll be fun when he does. I don't mind if he's a little slower getting around, because we have a LOT of baby-proofing to do when he does!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Random Thought ...

So this morning I mowed our back lawn, which was much needed after two weeks of not being mowed. I decided I'd go ahead and go mow some of the weeds that are growing up around our box garden. They are some big weeds, so it took a bit of mowing back and forth. I turned around and started mowing the lawn again, and when I looked back over toward the garden I saw one lone tall weed still standing ... maybe even taller than it had stood before ... probably mocking me.

I went back over and mowed over it again, only to have it still there. I mowed over it backwards, and it still stood. Seriously, this was one stubborn weed. Finally I put the mower on top of it and wiggled it around and just left it there until I heard the weed go down. (I know, sounds vicious ... but it was just a weed. :)

Anyway, that got me thinking. (What else are you going to do while you're mowing the lawn?) I once heard someone say a weed is something that grows where it's not supposed to. So, if a flower is growing in the middle of your lawn, it may be considered a weed. I then started thinking that to the world we (religious people) are weeds. They'll do anything to mow us over and cut our feet out from under us. And for those of us moms who stay home to raise strong, faithful children, I feel like maybe the world sees us as even bigger weeds. We are of no value to them. We are just nuisances.

However we, like that stubborn weed, can stay strong. We can stand tall and confident as we live the gospel and teach it to our children. We can be beautiful in our own way (the Lord's way) no matter how much it repulses the world. We can stay faithful even as evil surrounds us. And we can be even stronger and grow taller as we tap into the Living Water -- no matter how the world treats us or disregards our value.

Who knew I'd learn this just from mowing the lawn?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy birthday, Tyler!

My sweet little Tyler turned nine this weekend. He, of course, is the boy who made me a mother, and I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Tyler is such a sweetie and I am so grateful he's mine.

For his birthday he wanted a water party. So, when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said he wanted Kit Fisto and Jar Jar Binks. (Kit Fisto is the underwater Jedi, and most people know who Jar Jar Binks is.) I asked him if Lego versions would be okay, since I thought that might be a bit easier. Fortunately our RS had a Super Saturday where we learned the art of cake decorating the week before his birthday. I think it turned out great considering 1) it was my first cake to decorate this way; and 2) I ran out of time and ended up having only an hour to decorate ( not nearly enough time to get it perfect! :).

He LOVED his cake (phew -- that's always my goal), and he was so impressed that I got Kit Fisto's light saber the right color. My boys love Star Wars. Here is Tyler with his cake:

As I mentioned, he had a water birthday party, which he loves to do every year. We started by playing tag -- only "it" had a water gun instead of just tagging another person. The one who surprised me by loving this was Shayla. Look at how intense she was as "it":

I also had saved some plastic for a slip-and-slide. They had a lot of fun with that, as you can see:

Then on Sunday morning Tyler got his family presents, including Star Wars Monopoly (Clone Wars edition). He was thrilled! He loves Monopoly, he loves Star Wars, so how much better could it get?

Happy birthday, Tyler. Now go conquer 4th grade!